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The Spirited 8th Wonder (WDW's Future & You!)

ParentsOf4

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the info, Spirit!
All thoughts regarding the wisdom (or lack thereof) of this concept aside, I'm surprised by the choice of resort. Since WL already has DVC, I'm surprised they didn't start with YC, the one deluxe with no DVC. They must really be enthralled with that whole tepee concept. :confused:
Due to its Convention Center, the smallish Yacht Club (630 rooms) is one of the few WDW Deluxe Resorts that consistently runs at a high occupancy rate. Realistically, there's no good place to squeeze in a new DVC building while converting existing hotel rooms to DVC there doesn't make a lot of financial sense.

I was expecting The Spirit to announce the Boardwalk Inn (whose occupancy has been atrocious at times) was going to be converted to all DVC.
 
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DonaldDoleWhip

Well-Known Member
Like I said, I am very torn on the whole thing. The WL is my 'home' at WDW, but due to ridiculous prices I haven't stayed there in seven years. But before that I stayed over 150 nights -- that's just there. AP is also a favorite dining spot that has outpriced me. I went last fall when CMs were getting 40% off. I think if you take 30-40% off the prices there, you actually get to what the experience should command in a real world, no DDP environment.
We ate at AP in June and had some amazing dishes, including a $29 Cornish hen entree with some interesting accompaniments. It was a large portion and perhaps one of the best values of the signature restaurants.

Granted, that dish was an exception in terms of price, and I'd hate to see what would happen to the cost of a typical AP meal if the restaurant is redone. Just look at California Grill - every dish increased in price by $3-5 and the desserts are an embarrassment compared to the previous menu.

That same logic applies to Polynesian's (and Wilderness Lodge's) room rates once these refurbs and DVC conversions are complete. Less supply + Disney management = massively increased prices. But people will pay them (at rack rate) for 'free dinning'. Ugh (and that typo was intentional, btw).
 

WDW1974

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Or they know their only cash cow is MK right now...not the other 3 parks

Not really true as my pal @PhotoDave219 will gladly chime in on. EPCOT is doing great business (I think it needs an asterisk but still) because it just mints money in food, beverage and merchandise sales. They don't care how stale it is precisely because of that. But this sorta goes off topic a bit ... but it does factor in. MK and EPCOT are fine no matter what the UNI fanbois say, which is sad because they both deserve major new additions. The other two gates are in free fall (no, I don't care about TEA numbers whatsoever as I know they are guesses) ...
 

sshindel

The Epcot Manifesto
Premium Member
You know, I find it hard to get into any of the DVC conversation these days because I can now never imagine a time when I would buy one, AND how it impacts the regular resorts doesn't impact me either because they have priced me out of even the "value" resorts. I can get a better room for a VASTLY lower rate (making it a better value) offsite.
The lovely bus system is not worth $30-$50 a day (at the least), in fact I would pay that much extra to NOT have to ride their busses. I don't care if I can afford an onsite room, I can get an offsite room and be able to afford more on my vacation and have a better experience.
 

WDWFigment

Well-Known Member
Like I said, I am very torn on the whole thing. The WL is my 'home' at WDW, but due to ridiculous prices I haven't stayed there in seven years. But before that I stayed over 150 nights -- that's just there. AP is also a favorite dining spot that has outpriced me. I went last fall when CMs were getting 40% off. I think if you take 30-40% off the prices there, you actually get to what the experience should command in a real world, no DDP environment.

We still stay at Wilderness Lodge pretty regularly, but it's with our DVC points. Paying out of pocket, I think about $180-200/night is my max for it, and that's exceedingly rare without a CM discount.

I highly doubt the teepees will happen, if only because someone up the food chain has to have enough sense to ultimately nix the idea. It's one case where things will be better for politically correct-ness.

What I wouldn't mind seeing happen is cabins akin to those at Fort Wilderness. I love those cabins, and I think they will fit well with the National Park lodge style...since many N'tl Park lodges also have adjacent cabins. Plenty of land around there without putting them over the water, which literally makes no sense in the context of the theme.

I also love Artist Point, but probably wouldn't go back for a full meal (well, maybe the salmon). It's a soup and dessert type place--not because the entrees are bad, but because of price and because their Smoky Portobello Soup is excellent, as are several desserts. Plus, I just love that setting. The art in there is beautiful.

I think more DVC at WL has the potential of being a good thing for average guests, but it also has the potential of being a very bad thing. I would not say that DVC additions have across-the-board been bad for regular guests at other resorts, though. I guess we shall see how it plays out.

ETA: I look forward to a thread with only a few topics to follow. It seems like there are a few people in other threads who feel the need to compulsively post even when they have nothing to say, which makes following along...tedious, to say the least.
 

CDavid

Well-Known Member
Yes. the DVC plans include (I am not 100% sure of the number) but about 10 bungalow accommodations sticking out on docks into Bay Lake. What will they look like? I'm not sure I even want to start on that one. The 'current' plan is to model them like teepees. Yes, you read that correctly.

If I didn't know better, I'd swear that was a belated April Fool's joke. Teepees? Good grief.

And, no, no BLT South as I alluded to.

Two reasons on that:

1.) The land there can't currently support it without some major infrastructure work (think erosion, think water bridge);
2.) The Contemporary is already at that tug of war point between lucrative conventioneers and DVCers. Thus far, it's a balance (not that there aren't issues both sides tend to have with the other groups). You add the BLT South and that resort is done as a MAJOR convention hotel.

I know that they're motivated by the wrong reasons, but at least that is potentially a kernel of actual good news in this mess.

DVC should not be tacked on to existing resorts. Full stop. I wonder depending who would be in charge of Disney Parks 10 years from now .... actually more conservatively 25 years from now how easy would it be for them to remove all DVC and the value resorts and revalue every room rate on property...?

Actually, I think that is an interesting question. We've no reason at this point to think it will ever happen, but should the market (and lack of sense among Disney executives) ever change, could DVC inventory ever legally be reduced prior to the end of the membership agreements (2042 and beyond)?
 

WDW1974

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
There is no doubt DVC moving into a resort has a number of impacts. In most cases though, I think the guests staying there as non DVC members win with upgraded amenities. I usually feel it is the villas side that is a bit lacking - often with no dedicated checkin/front desk, no nearby pool etc.

Other than potential price increases and reduction in availability, I don't see this as a bad thing for WL regulars.

I think that is a problem that Disney refuses to address. BLT never should have been built without its own dedicated lobby/check in and even a food service locale (let's leave the often empty Top of the World out of it for now).

Adding DVC always adds a strain to the resort unless it's a Saratoga Springs (dedicated DVC) or complete expansion like Kidani Village.

The Beach Club went from legit 4-star plus resort to rundown and unkempt as soon as the Villas went in. I went from staying there regularly to not returning. And just walking through it last week confirmed to me that staying away is a smart move.
 

George

Liker of Things
Premium Member
I think more DVC at WL has the potential of being a good thing for average guests, but it also has the potential of being a very bad thing. I would not say that DVC additions have across-the-board been bad for regular guests at other resorts, though. I guess we shall see how it plays out.

My view is that overall this is a bad thing if, as alluded to in the OP, this is part of an overall business strategy which I would call, "Doing anything we can to avoid lowering prices so they more readily align with the market".
 

Mouse Trap

Well-Known Member
Well, on a very gloomy, sad and depressing Thursday evening, let's talk some about WDW's future roadmap.

Let's look at what is coming and why? And what the plans say about WDW's current and future business model.

Also, as a favor to Steve and Marcia, let's try and stick to the few topics here. I'll still pop into Seventh Heaven for anything goes type discussion of WDW, UNI and general media and entertainment talk. So, if ya'll are ready, these are some things you may find interesting (if you don't, you don't need to express it here, just move on to one of the countless threads here that does interest you):

WDW's biggest DVC expansion has started and it is not going to take place (for now) where you think;
WDW is effectively done with deluxe resorts. You won't see a new one ever built unless a significant change happens in management;
WDW can't fill the resorts that it has, so be ready to watch rooms disappear;
WDW has thrown in the towel on Flamingo Crossing. It isn't happening. Dead;
Oh, and one little thing about Disney and UNI and how there are no secrets in the business ... we'll talk about that too.

OK, let's go ...

Two hours ago I looked into Flamingo Crossings for the first time and hated it. Now I learn it is no longer happening, today is my lucky day.
 

Hakunamatata

Wake me up when its over
Premium Member
Interesting. So basically Disney is canibalizing itself to turn non profitable space into that which they think makes them money. This must mean they are not forecasting growth in attendance to an extent. Which makes sense given the economy continues to barely move forward. People's discretionary income continues to dwindle as costs of living increases.
 

danv3

Well-Known Member
So, if it works at the Poly, why not at the WL? Yes. the DVC plans include (I am not 100% sure of the number) but about 10 bungalow accommodations sticking out on docks into Bay Lake. What will they look like? I'm not sure I even want to start on that one. The 'current' plan is to model them like teepees. Yes, you read that correctly.

Please let this happen! LOLOLOLOLOLOL! :D :D :D :D :D
 

DonaldDoleWhip

Well-Known Member
Not really true as my pal @PhotoDave219 will gladly chime in on. EPCOT is doing great business (I think it needs an asterisk but still) because it just mints money in food, beverage and merchandise sales. They don't care how stale it is precisely because of that. But this sorta goes off topic a bit ... but it does factor in. MK and EPCOT are fine no matter what the UNI fanbois say, which is sad because they both deserve major new additions. The other two gates are in free fall (no, I don't care about TEA numbers whatsoever as I know they are guesses) ...
AK definitely has issues, since everyone leaves after the afternoon parade (oops...never mind). Just last month, for example, I had dinner in Tusker House for the first time, and literally 4 other tables were occupied. Would longer hours (along with a nighttime draw and an 'immersive' new land) solve Animal Kingdom's problems?

And I'm not even getting started on DHS. With current management, it seems like a lost cause to me.
 

WDW1974

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
So what do you think will happen with the Flamingo Crossing land? If the hotels get built the will basically isolate the rest of the land from the highway. Think they will sell it?

Yeah. I touched on it briefly in the Seventh Heaven thread. ... Disney supposedly reached a deal with Marriott sometime over a year ago to put two of their lower end brands (I think Fairfield Inn and Springhill Suites, but I am not positive) there. But no one seems to think anything other than a letter of intent type of deal was ever entered into.

What I was told was if Marriott wants to build, then Disney will let them. But, unlike Disney Springs (which has a sales center/leasing office on the second floor of Splitsville), Disney has just given up on the concept of FC. I'd hold on to the land, but Disney is run like a company headed out of business in some respects. They either want to build on land or dump it, so I could see that happening.

What's funny is I recall a Disney talking head doing PR spin, I think in the O-Town Biz Journal, about how plans were on track yada, yada, yada sometime in the last year. I firmly believe that was the last ditch desperation attempt to line up tenants.

They spent millions on roads and infrastructure there for absolutely nothing. They should have let the orange groves stay and let the land sit.
 

crispy

Well-Known Member
As to my statement that no 'new' villas will be added at WL, that is not 100% true.

Why not? Look at the Poly for inspiration. What are they doing there beyond converting $600 a night deluxe rooms into villas? Yes, they are pretending they're one of those amazing South Pacific resorts like the one our dear @alissafalco honeymooned at.

So, if it works at the Poly, why not at the WL? Yes. the DVC plans include (I am not 100% sure of the number) but about 10 bungalow accommodations sticking out on docks into Bay Lake. What will they look like? I'm not sure I even want to start on that one. The 'current' plan is to model them like teepees. Yes, you read that correctly.

Sweet mother of god....
 

pixargal

Well-Known Member
I suppose it is a no brainer for Disney management to convert more rooms to DVC. The owners would be more financially responsible for the upkeep of the resort through the annual dues they pay. Plus, it would require less housekeeping staff. Instead of cleaning everyday, they would only need to service the rooms on day four and seven.

I think they did a good job converting rooms to DVC at AKL and keeping the integrity of the resort. Hopefully, the WL will fare as well.
 

danlb_2000

Well-Known Member
Yeah. I touched on it briefly in the Seventh Heaven thread. ... Disney supposedly reached a deal with Marriott sometime over a year ago to put two of their lower end brands (I think Fairfield Inn and Springhill Suites, but I am not positive) there. But no one seems to think anything other than a letter of intent type of deal was ever entered into.

What I was told was if Marriott wants to build, then Disney will let them. But, unlike Disney Springs (which has a sales center/leasing office on the second floor of Splitsville), Disney has just given up on the concept. I'd hold on to the land, but Disney is run like a company headed out of business in some respects. They either want to build on land or dump it, so I could see that happening.

They spent millions on roads and infrastructure there for absolutely nothing. They should have let the orange groves stay and let the land sit.

There were permits filed in May with the South Florida Water Management district for the hotels. The plans say they will be Spring Hill Suites (normal hotel), and TownPlace Suites (Extended Stay). Orange county tax map also shows the ownership of the land as "Jl Orlando Hotel 2 LLC "
 

WDW1974

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
It is to me. I can't pay deluxe prices as they stand now, never mind what a reduction in inventory would do to them. But there are always those that will pay.

Well, a reduction in inventory will certainly help the bottom line because their occupancy rates will go through the roof and they'll likely be able to offer far fewer discounts.

But unless I'm getting a room for $100-150 a night with a CM friend, I'm not staying there.

For those 150 nights I stayed (roughly from 1994-2006), I never paid more than $165 a night. I often stayed for around $100 (even was upgraded to concierge at that rate without asking, likely just for being a regular).

With inflation, I might say the resort is worth $200 a night ... but that's really a stretch when I regularly can stay at other top resorts for a fraction of that.
 

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