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What Do "Average Guests" Think About Each Park?

Trackmaster

Well-Known Member
There are less than 64,000 reviews of MK on TripAdvisor. There are certainly some complaints (e.g., people from Australia angry that Disney did not personally inform them that FP+ should be booked 30 days out). But overall MK has 4.5 stars. Would you consider TA an accurate crosssection of WDW guests? There seem to be a lot fewer WDW frequenters than on a board like this.
So that's less than 1/1000 of the people who have been to Disney in the last several years. Clearly you can't say that "everybody who goes somewhere has to post a review about it." But 64,000 is actually an incredibly high amount compared to the volume that most establishments give.
 

Tom P.

Well-Known Member
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That doesn't mean that those awful lot of folks are not disappointed or they don't do but just a couple of attractions while they're there. Also, I can guarantee you that a HUGE chunk of their business comes from Disney College Program students. Which we literally DO go to the parks almost every day we have off (or Universal) to just ride the ones we want to get on.

And again -- You've got 4 thrills. Want to know why they reach over an hour of wait time? Because they aren't other thrills. The problem? If they add MORE thrills, MORE people will come, so that won't make much of a difference as far as wait times go. Flight of Passage is a perfect example of that. Slinky Dog is, too. And so will Star Wars, Guardians, and Tron.
A few points:

1. The business generated for Disney by the college program is insignificant. Magic Kingdom, as I mentioned, has over 20 million visitors per year alone. They hire approximately 7,000 college program participants each year. Yes, college program participants may go to the park a lot, but 7,000 people are not having any statistical influence on an attendance figure of 20+ million.

2. I think defining Slinky Dog or even Seven Dwarfs Mine Train as "thrill rides" is not particularly accurate when compared to what other, non-Disney parks are describing as thrill rides. Yes, they are types of coasters. But very mild, "family" coasters. I don't think the college students going to Six Flags to ride the coasters are coming to Disney looking to get an adrenaline rush from Slinky Dog Dash.

3. At the moment, on a "slow day" in January, according to the My Disney Experience app, there is a 50 minute wait for an Anna and Else meet-and-greet. There is a 45 minute wait for The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. There is a 90 minute wait to meet Mickey and Minnie. There is a 50 minute wait for Frozen Ever After. Long wait times are not a function of people wanting more thrill rides. They are a function of very large crowds and not enough attractions in general, plus other ancillary factors such as the impact of FastPass+ on standby wait times.

To reiterate: Magic Kingdom is not just busy. It is not just popular. It is literally the single most popular theme park on the planet. And it has been so consistently for well over a decade. You don't get to be the most popular by disappointing an "awful lot" of your guests or not providing the experiences your guests are looking for.
 

larryz

Can't 'Member Anything
Premium Member
To reiterate: Magic Kingdom is not just busy. It is not just popular. It is literally the single most popular theme park on the planet. And it has been so consistently for well over a decade. You don't get to be the most popular by disappointing an "awful lot" of your guests or not providing the experiences your guests are looking for.
They're just ignorant tourists. What do they know?
 

WondersOfLife

Blink, blink. Breathe, breathe. Day in, day out.
A few points:

1. The business generated for Disney by the college program is insignificant. Magic Kingdom, as I mentioned, has over 20 million visitors per year alone. They hire approximately 7,000 college program participants each year. Yes, college program participants may go to the park a lot, but 7,000 people are not having any statistical influence on an attendance figure of 20+ million.

2. I think defining Slinky Dog or even Seven Dwarfs Mine Train as "thrill rides" is not particularly accurate when compared to what other, non-Disney parks are describing as thrill rides. Yes, they are types of coasters. But very mild, "family" coasters. I don't think the college students going to Six Flags to ride the coasters are coming to Disney looking to get an adrenaline rush from Slinky Dog Dash.

3. At the moment, on a "slow day" in January, according to the My Disney Experience app, there is a 50 minute wait for an Anna and Else meet-and-greet. There is a 45 minute wait for The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. There is a 90 minute wait to meet Mickey and Minnie. There is a 50 minute wait for Frozen Ever After. Long wait times are not a function of people wanting more thrill rides. They are a function of very large crowds and not enough attractions in general, plus other ancillary factors such as the impact of FastPass+ on standby wait times.

To reiterate: Magic Kingdom is not just busy. It is not just popular. It is literally the single most popular theme park on the planet. And it has been so consistently for well over a decade. You don't get to be the most popular by disappointing an "awful lot" of your guests or not providing the experiences your guests are looking for.
Like I said, I don't have to prove myself. The evidence will be brought in the more new attractions WDW gets in. It's already evident what group they're trying to target with the upcoming attractions right now. But hey, you keep doing what you do. I'll be laughing every time a new thread on these forums starts complaining about the next "OMG another one of these?" and "Wow I can't believe they're replacing THAT with THIS!"...
 

WondersOfLife

Blink, blink. Breathe, breathe. Day in, day out.
For this discussion a thrill attraction uses restraints and posts a minimum height requirement, no?

Rat is not a thrill ride; it is very much like a Hunny Hunt or a Mystic Manor.
Nowadays, people consider things like Soarin' and Frozen a "thrill" even though they're laidback experiences. But also, my argument was for thrills and actual rides in general. (Looking at HS and Epcot as a main point) You can choose to read what I actually typed out, or you can pick and choose what you want to see. That's fine. Can't stop you.

As for rat, never done it. But it looks more thrilling than say, Living with the Land and Spaceship Earth. (As much as i love them.)
 

WondersOfLife

Blink, blink. Breathe, breathe. Day in, day out.
This is sad to hear, not because there are so many shows and less "thrill" rides. But because of the amount of people who do not do their due diligence BEFORE they arrive at WDW.
I agree.

Much like my arguments in the Impressions de France thread a while back, I'm going to clarify that I love almost everything at Disney from Living with the Land to Flight of Passage. But I'm also not turning a blind eye just because the community on these forums believe that classic Disney appeals to the majority as well, when in reality, if it did appeal to the majority, people wouldn't walk out of shows like Carousel of Progress or Tiki Room. If Tiki Room wasn't boring, Disney would have never attempted Under New Management. (With a central theme around the original show being boring. They had to have gotten that info from numerous AVERAGE GUEST REVIEWS to come up with that idea. You didn't see them coming up with IP integrations for things like Thunder Mountain or Haunted Mansion though.)
 

WondersOfLife

Blink, blink. Breathe, breathe. Day in, day out.
Please don't do that. Are you really telling us with a straight face Frozen is bona-fide, conspicuous thrill ride? For real?
No. I'm saying Epcot's lack of thrills results in Frozen being considered something as close as average park guests can get to a thrill.
 

Tom P.

Well-Known Member
Like I said, I don't have to prove myself. The evidence will be brought in the more new attractions WDW gets in. It's already evident what group they're trying to target with the upcoming attractions right now. But hey, you keep doing what you do. I'll be laughing every time a new thread on these forums starts complaining about the next "OMG another one of these?" and "Wow I can't believe they're replacing THAT with THIS!"...
Okey dokey then.
 

Demarke

Well-Known Member
You can tell how important pure thrill rides and screens are by just looking at how crowded Sea World is! They have great rollercoasters with low waits and a penguin screen ride basically like the Rat ride and a cheaper gate price!

The thing is, a couple of thrill rides can be great, a ton of people want to do them and spend the rest of the day doing (fill in the blank). Whether you fill that blank with dark rides, or shows, or dining experiences, or meet and greets, practically everyone has some other aspect they like just as much or more as the thrill rides. I might plan my day around getting on mine train out of necessity, but there are probably 10+ other attractions in MK I would favor over it if one had to go. If the park focuses too much on the lowest common denominator it loses its strength and becomes just another Six Flags. Just because a few Six Flags fan types walk out of shows occasionally does not mean that Disney needs to emulate the competitors they’ve been crushing for decades by being different.

Mine Train is fun, but I can get a thrill 300 miles closer to my house, Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Pirates, Jungle Cruise, Small World, CoP, Pan, Tiki, and others are what keep me coming back. That list is I’m sure different guest to guest, but while thrills aren’t bad, the reason Disney has like 9 of the top 10 parks worldwide in attendance is because people are more coming for the theming and immersion of the Disney experience.
 

Trackmaster

Well-Known Member
To add to the discussion:

  • People highly prioritize theming, visuals, audio, and story. But those are the parts of the ride that are hardest to pull off and most expensive. Six Flags and Cedar Fair would love to have better theming, but they don't have the money for it, and they're trying to keep the gate prices and season pass prices down to not price themselves out of their market.
  • People also prioritize the Monsters of the Midway -- but theming is also icing on the cake for them ("Roller coasters" if you guys didn't get the nickname). They're always going to be the premier attractions at the amusement parks, but even at Disney the coasters (except for Barnstormer that's a small kiddie coaster) every single coaster is a tough FP+ to get. The only non-coaster ride that even competes with them is Flight of Passage. Don't send a non-coaster in to do a coaster's job.
  • While the Disney rides are great, I think that Disney's brand is what pulls people in. There are great rides at other parks that don't pull people in. Its all about marketing and branding.
  • To add onto that, Disney has the best IP's in the world, and they keep growing. If they really wanted to lap the competition, they'd start really getting aggressive with the MCU.
  • I think I may have mentioned the "forced perspective" and slight of hand that Disney does before. The moderate rides ARE thrilling when you've been riding little rides all day. When you are a mine train, and all of the sudden drop in the dark and go into the helices, that's thrilling, despite the fact that you may consider it to be nothing after a day of riding 200'+ coasters all day.
 

larryz

Can't 'Member Anything
Premium Member
  • While the Disney rides are great, I think that Disney's brand is what pulls people in. There are great rides at other parks that don't pull people in. Its all about marketing and branding.
Still, the average in the non-Disney amusement parks is longer coaster rides (2 - 3 minutes), while Disney seems to think riders will be content with a 1 minute ride wedged into 15-30 minutes of pre- and post-shows... With all the money they have, I'd like to see Disney approach a 5-minute launch-to-brake coaster experience!
 

Trackmaster

Well-Known Member
Still, the average in the non-Disney amusement parks is longer coaster rides (2 - 3 minutes), while Disney seems to think riders will be content with a 1 minute ride wedged into 15-30 minutes of pre- and post-shows... With all the money they have, I'd like to see Disney approach a 5-minute launch-to-brake coaster experience!
Well, friction is a b----. That's why its hard to have extremely long coasters without multiple lift hills or launches. Multiple lift hills kind of defeats the purpose of a "long coaster" and takes a lot of people out of the experience. It can work if there's a theming purpose for it (like mine trains) but from a design stand-point its usually avoided. We've seen more multi-launch approaches now with Maverick and Full Throttle, but as they're launched coasters, the ride time is still pretty short.

I think that you'll find that if you had 10 minute long coasters, people would get bored and wonder what's the point? They would get bored with being dragged along at 4 MPG by flywheels and with the excessive lift hills. And going back to my first point, friction hits you a lot harder than you would think. Its tough to complete over 5,000 feet without a 75 MPH+ top speed without grinding to a halt in the end. And if you want a mid-course block for 3+ train ops, its going to make the train even slower coming into the final brake run.
 

larryz

Can't 'Member Anything
Premium Member
Well, friction is a b----. That's why its hard to have extremely long coasters without multiple lift hills or launches. Multiple lift hills kind of defeats the purpose of a "long coaster" and takes a lot of people out of the experience. It can work if there's a theming purpose for it (like mine trains) but from a design stand-point its usually avoided. We've seen more multi-launch approaches now with Maverick and Full Throttle, but as they're launched coasters, the ride time is still pretty short.

I think that you'll find that if you had 10 minute long coasters, people would get bored and wonder what's the point? They would get bored with being dragged along at 4 MPG by flywheels and with the excessive lift hills. And going back to my first point, friction hits you a lot harder than you would think. Its tough to complete over 5,000 feet without a 75 MPH+ top speed without grinding to a halt in the end. And if you want a mid-course block for 3+ train ops, its going to make the train even slower coming into the final brake run.
The technology is there today. I wonder how long the ride portion of GotG will time out to be...
I'd be happy with a 5 minute ride (think the Beast) as long as I still have my kidney and liver at the end of it.
Mummy was where I was introduced to the "show coaster" concept... and done properly, could easily hit 10 minutes with a mix of show scenes and track maneuvers without boring people to death.
 

Trackmaster

Well-Known Member
The technology is there today. I wonder how long the ride portion of GotG will time out to be...
I'd be happy with a 5 minute ride (think the Beast) as long as I still have my kidney and liver at the end of it.
Mummy was where I was introduced to the "show coaster" concept... and done properly, could easily hit 10 minutes with a mix of show scenes and track maneuvers without boring people to death.
I was talking one of the guys managing the construction project the other day at a bar and he was disappointed with how short the ride will be, and how low capacity it will be. He thinks it will bring a ton of people to the park, but will do very little to push guests through. Said the onride audio system should be awesome though.
 

jaklgreen

Well-Known Member
You can tell how important pure thrill rides and screens are by just looking at how crowded Sea World is! They have great rollercoasters with low waits and a penguin screen ride basically like the Rat ride and a cheaper gate price!

The thing is, a couple of thrill rides can be great, a ton of people want to do them and spend the rest of the day doing (fill in the blank). Whether you fill that blank with dark rides, or shows, or dining experiences, or meet and greets, practically everyone has some other aspect they like just as much or more as the thrill rides. I might plan my day around getting on mine train out of necessity, but there are probably 10+ other attractions in MK I would favor over it if one had to go. If the park focuses too much on the lowest common denominator it loses its strength and becomes just another Six Flags. Just because a few Six Flags fan types walk out of shows occasionally does not mean that Disney needs to emulate the competitors they’ve been crushing for decades by being different.

Mine Train is fun, but I can get a thrill 300 miles closer to my house, Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Pirates, Jungle Cruise, Small World, CoP, Pan, Tiki, and others are what keep me coming back. That list is I’m sure different guest to guest, but while thrills aren’t bad, the reason Disney has like 9 of the top 10 parks worldwide in attendance is because people are more coming for the theming and immersion of the Disney experience.
This is exactly right. Disney has never been in the thrill ride industry, but has always been a family park. If what the majority of consumers wanted where thrill rides then Disney and Universal would be switched, with US having 4 parks and 25 resorts and 2 water parks, etc and Disney being the smaller of the 2. The consumers have spoken and they want some thrill rides, but mostly they want entertainment for the whole family.
 

Club Cooloholic

Well-Known Member
Pathetic story and themes?!?!
Any chance you can elaborate a bit on that?

And very few outdoor thrill attractions? Do you know about: Dr Doom, Hulk, Storm Force, Dudley, Bluto, River Adventure, the recently removed Dragon Challenge/Dueling but soon to open forest Hagrid coaster, Rip Rocket. And another bona-fide fully themed out raptor coaster coming aound.
Furthermore why is outdoor important to you enough to call Universal out on it? Indoor attractions are way better positioned anyway.
I have to agree it could use a few more outdoor rides or at least ones that are less screen based but it has plenty of story. Both Harry Potter sections honestly beat anything WDW has going(though maybe Pandora is different, I will see it this spring!) in terms of story and immersion into a land, at least in my opinion. DL's Car's land would be right with it but that is in Cali.
 
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Club Cooloholic

Well-Known Member
You can tell how important pure thrill rides and screens are by just looking at how crowded Sea World is! They have great rollercoasters with low waits and a penguin screen ride basically like the Rat ride and a cheaper gate price!

The thing is, a couple of thrill rides can be great, a ton of people want to do them and spend the rest of the day doing (fill in the blank). Whether you fill that blank with dark rides, or shows, or dining experiences, or meet and greets, practically everyone has some other aspect they like just as much or more as the thrill rides. I might plan my day around getting on mine train out of necessity, but there are probably 10+ other attractions in MK I would favor over it if one had to go. If the park focuses too much on the lowest common denominator it loses its strength and becomes just another Six Flags. Just because a few Six Flags fan types walk out of shows occasionally does not mean that Disney needs to emulate the competitors they’ve been crushing for decades by being different.

Mine Train is fun, but I can get a thrill 300 miles closer to my house, Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Pirates, Jungle Cruise, Small World, CoP, Pan, Tiki, and others are what keep me coming back. That list is I’m sure different guest to guest, but while thrills aren’t bad, the reason Disney has like 9 of the top 10 parks worldwide in attendance is because people are more coming for the theming and immersion of the Disney experience.
I was just saying this the other day when talking about Uni. My family loves it, but it is very hard to do the park together as so many rides are too intense for the younger ones. And that's ok, it's how they are built I just wish they would put a few more family rides in the mix. It's also why the park is 2 to 3 days visit vs a week needed at Disney.
 

Trackmaster

Well-Known Member
This is exactly right. Disney has never been in the thrill ride industry, but has always been a family park. If what the majority of consumers wanted where thrill rides then Disney and Universal would be switched, with US having 4 parks and 25 resorts and 2 water parks, etc and Disney being the smaller of the 2. The consumers have spoken and they want some thrill rides, but mostly they want entertainment for the whole family.
I hate to clue you, but every amusement park or theme park gets most of its business from families and they all try to sell out for families. Its a business, so they do what sells. There isn't really a park out there that really caters to young professionals and adults. If anything, Disney and Universal pretty much are the only parks that even attempt to cater to childless adults on the capacity that they do. So they're all family parks.

So its a misnomer to say "Disney isn't a thrill park, its a family park." Maybe a more accurate thing to say is, "Disney isn't a thrill park, it a... something else park."

And, this may come as shocking information to learn, but kids don't abhor thrill rides, and there's no reason that kids can't ride them if they reach the height requirements. If anything, kids can probably handle the more extreme elements more easily than adults can.
 

jaklgreen

Well-Known Member
I hate to clue you, but every amusement park or theme park gets most of its business from families and they all try to sell out for families. Its a business, so they do what sells. There isn't really a park out there that really caters to young professionals and adults. If anything, Disney and Universal pretty much are the only parks that even attempt to cater to childless adults on the capacity that they do. So they're all family parks.

So its a misnomer to say "Disney isn't a thrill park, its a family park." Maybe a more accurate thing to say is, "Disney isn't a thrill park, it a... something else park."

And, this may come as shocking information to learn, but kids don't abhor thrill rides, and there's no reason that kids can't ride them if they reach the height requirements. If anything, kids can probably handle the more extreme elements more easily than adults can.
You know that there are different styles of theme parks. Some promote their big thrill rides over family friendly rides. Of course most of them have stuff for the whole family. But they are not built around it as Disney is. If WDW shrunk it's family friendly rides and started just building thrill rides, they would loose business. I am not saying that there are no other family style parks, but maybe I should say no one does a family park as well as WDW. You have parks that are more all generation,family parks and you have more thrill ride parks. Universal is not trying to copy WDW with the family aspect. They have gone for the thrill ride aspect of amusement parks. And I am not saying that kids will not ride thrill rides. I am saying that Disney parks are built more around rides that all generations can ride together. Have you not been there?
 
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