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When are all these cutbacks not about COVID anymore?

Stitch826

Well-Known Member
Chicken and egg, though. Attendance and guest spending would likely be higher if Disney was offering more for guests to do. I just cannot fathom going when the park closes at 6 p.m. each day, for example. I would imagine the Christmas party would have brought a lot of people in.
With the attendance numbers restricted to some number under 20% of capacity and rarely even hitting those low caps, the money does not exist to do any of those things. With tens of thousands of cast members still on furlough because people are not visiting, this is about survival. Don’t let the ’crowded’ parks from this weekend fool you; people are not returning and visiting the parks.
Of course the parks aren’t hitting their reduced capacities. Why would they? Would you spend the same amount of money on a Disney vacation this year that you spent last year, while receiving 50% of the experience? No park hopping, no fast passes, no single rider lines, greatly reduced park hours, no parades or fireworks shows, no waterparks open, limited dining options with greatly reduced menus, and the list goes on and on and on. And this is on top of the mask requirement. Disney’s attendance won’t rise until they either start restoring their cuts or greatly discount vacation packages.
 

MansionButler84

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
Of course the parks aren’t hitting their reduced capacities. Why would they? Would you spend the same amount of money on a Disney vacation this year that you spent last year, while receiving 50% of the experience? No park hopping, no fast passes, no single rider lines, greatly reduced park hours, no parades or fireworks shows, no waterparks open, limited dining options with greatly reduced menus, and the list goes on and on and on. And this is on top of the mask requirement. Disney’s attendance won’t rise until they either start restoring their cuts or greatly discount vacation packages.
Nah. Nostalgia is big for Disney. People WANT to travel and Disney is a favorite destination. People need to be able to afford it (look at unemployment) and feel safe (vaccine). So Disney must maintain its financial standing until such a time. They DO care about the guests still visiting, which is why they are still celebrating the holidays.

I will say this, when my family went last month, we thought we got tremendous value due to the short lines and lack of necessary planning due to Fastpass being gone. My wife said it was the most relaxing WDW vacation she’s ever been on. We literally swam at the pool one morning before leisurely walking into Epcot at 11 am to walk onto Test Track then Frozen then Soarin by noon. It. Was. Lovely. Then we ate and ate and ate at Food and Wine. And those cavalcades were really cute. We preferred them over traffic-snarling parades or tedious Meet & Greets, but that is just us. Is it for everyone? Of course not. Plenty of people love the stuff that is missing. They should wait. But, we had a great time and it was clear Disney was paying a FORTUNE to keep the parks open and safe. So I understand the lack of a gingerbread house. When you see a ride like Splash Mountain using as many CMs as it would use on NYE to put far fewer guests on or when you see buses run like the parks are slammed even though each bus only has 2 or 3 groups (but groups are not being allowed to build at bus stops to meet social distancing guidelines), you realize Disney is doing an incredible job trying to maintain the magic. But, yes, they simply will not pay for the usual Christmas entertainment package. No rational person would expect them to. I expect them to keep the parks safe, run everyone’s favorite attractions, and sprinkle in some holiday magic to remind November and December guests that Disney appreciates them visiting during the holidays.
 

MisterPenguin

Fully Pfizered!
Premium Member
Im actually not...and there are a LOT of Disney apologists here

Better than being a reality denier.

When a business only gets in 20% (or even less than the usually holiday crowds) of their income from guests because they must cut back on attendance because of COVID -- which is a real thing -- then they don't have as much money to spend.

So, yes, Disney is cutting back and saving money. And yes, it is because of COVID. And yes, it is because Disney is a business. And yes, they'll continue to do so as long as COVID is an issue.

This isn't rocket science.

Or... you wouldn't happen to be a COVID denier and thinking that Disney and other businesses should just ignore COVID and the impact it has on their business?
 

nokahoma

Active Member
They’re not using the pandemic as an excuse. The pandemic has completely tanked the travel and tourism industry and it won’t recover until people feel safe again. No amount of nighttime shows or ginger bread houses will get people to travel when they’re justifiably worried about their health and safety.
 

dave&di

Well-Known Member
I think its ok to open WDW if it's being done safely, it's the publics choice to attend. I would rather Disney make cutbacks to try and recover financially so the parks will exist for many years to come rather than go all out to please visitors who want to visit a park during a pandemic.
 

Jon81uk

Well-Known Member
Disneyworld isn’t worth the full entry price without fireworks and parades.
Many people don’t feel safe enough to travel. Many people can’t travel to the USA as the Covid level is higher than home so their government has banned travel.
With fewer tourists businesses in Florida need to cut costs.

All of the things you mentioned are both Covid related and cost saving related.
 

nickys

Premium Member
How is not having Gingerbread houses in resorts under the auspices of "crowd control" not cheap?
The gingerbread starts being baked and assembled around about now, or a few weeks ago even. The staff involved are likely either still on furlough or working in food & beverage in one of the restaurants.

Yes it’s a cut, but they don’t have the money right now to do everything. It also has the added benefit of discouraging resort hopping, especially on the monorail to the GF. The only resorts worth going to see now really are WL and AKL (and the latter is questionable, since Jambo House to all intents and purposes isn’t open and won’t be for a while).
 

Gringrinngghost

Well-Known Member
No Christmas party, no snow, no Castle Lights, no Gingerbread houses at resorts....at what point does this not become about COVID and limiting crowds and about Disney becoming extremely cheap in everything that they do. Yes, precautions need to be taken, but its starting not to be about precautions. It's Disney beginning to use this as an excuse to cut every dollar imaginable. Its so sad....I love this place like home and it's turning into a penny pinching monster.

Part 1: "No Christmas party, no snow, no Castle Lights, no Gingerbread houses at resorts" They already have a hard time to even achieve social distancing compliance on the ferries to the point that CMs are yelling "We aren't moving until everyone is standing in the designated circle/sitting on the dot on the bench" and they are strictly enforcing this from what I've witnessed. I've always seen and experienced ABYSMAL crowd control at the castle for the Christmas Party, which Not So Scary has been much better crowd management. So they have to make these cuts, especially if they wanna remain open... and in their case, I am 100% certain that they want to keep having some domestic revenue since California is on track to not have DLR open until late 2020/early 2021.

Part 2: "It's Disney beginning to use this as an excuse to cut every dollar imaginable." Their primary goal is to make money, and to quote and amend to this: "You don't make money for stockholders, which [Bob Chapek] has a fiduciary responsibility to do." Secondly, they have to cut where they need to, and have to be careful. Now they could be a bit more spendthrift given the current situation, but for once they are being responsible. They we're at their height of spendthrift with the Fox Merger. Universal Orlando is the same way and years ago was very proud that they cost a family of four over $500 per day to be in the parks. Strategically speaking when it comes to Comcast, they are in a much better fiscal position that Disney since they have the utilities business that makes majority of their income. However, when and if Universal under NBCUniversal has a new round of layoffs (these murmurs have been happening for about a month now), it's going to be gigantic with one particular murmur indicating that one division that has had layoffs in the parks division already will see a further potential reduction by over 90%. Disney, SeaWorld and Universal, are burning money, and SeaWorld just did a round of Layoffs that has lead to rumors of them Unionizing while Universal had talks about Unionizing when they originally saw the two week closure in march as a swell idea to make all staff come in in wardrobe and clean for the two weeks, that is until the press reported on it and it was reversed within 24 hours.

Part 3: "...and it's turning into a penny pinching monster." Oh, my sweet summer child, didn't you see the Meg Crofton Era? The parks have been this way for a long time, and it's not just a Disney thing, over the past Labor Day weekend one of the other areas in Orlando, I heard horrifying commentary on the some of the parks. Some of which risked their ability to be open by possibly going over the legal amount of guests in the park to some ideas that were to save money for as much as an hour that was so risky and was in very ill comportment that the next step was hearing if the temporary cost cutting was brought forth and acted upon, I was already planning the next step which would have been tipping off a few strategic contacts of mine, the county and the state.

Additional Commentary 1: "Everything else that is being implemented....cutting costs....what frustrates me is they're making these cuts in the name of safety, which is not the case for a large majority of things." If everything was in the name of safety, I guess the employees whom we're notified that their furloughs are expected to be longer than 6 months is in the guise of safety... that is if I follow your logic. Many understand, even on this forum that they have to make cuts where they can because the of fiscal uncertainty. This has been since Day 1 a very fluid situation and things have been all over the place. Now to comment specifically to the lack of gingerbread displays under the name of safety. Let's break down the Disney Parks Blog statement on it: "One thing to keep in mind is that our gingerbread displays will not return to the Resort hotels this year. While we know they are a favorite of people taking in the holiday décor, we’re not able to include those displays due to physical distancing guidelines." Let's be honest, people like to get close up looks at the displays and unless you have a CM there watching over it, you cannot adequately ensure that guests are far apart and that goes back to the fact that I am 100% certain that they want to keep having some domestic revenue since California is on track to not have DLR open until late 2020/early 2021.

Additional Commentary 2: "That's not true...travel to Florida is increasing...Universal and Disney park attendance has risen considerably every week for the past month and will continue to as Florida counts go down. Flights from Northeast to Orlando were up 200% over the past 2 weeks" If only you could see the numbers especially the projected ones, the next time they are expected to see major increases in attendance will be Thanksgiving and Christmas, that is if Labor Day wasn't a super spreader event but we will have to wait and see about 2 weeks for that to start, and considering that Sturgis looks to have some spreading with a study linking it to possibly 260,000 cases while South Dakota is only saying that within their borders less than 200 cases are linked to Sturgis while 12 states also have linked to Sturgis about a week ago. To quote the 1997 film, Titanic on if there will be any increases tied to Labor Day weekend, "It is a mathematical certainty." And that's excluding schools which three are now closed in Central Florida due to outbreaks and Polk County doing another phone call Monday night on another round of positives. To add further, the bulk of the Florida parks are the international tourists, which as of this time, it's hard to fly into the United States from another country, and the fact that many countries aren't allowing their citizens to fly over. A lot of people also want a vaccine and with a consortium of CEOs saying their companies won't release a vaccine even with emergency use authorization from the FDA, until they conclude trials means that we won't have any likely vaccine until early 2021, even as the time of this posting with AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford halting a Phase 3 study testing a Covid-19 vaccine after a suspected serious adverse reaction in a participant in the United Kingdom.

Additional Commentary 3: "Why is it that diehard Disney fans (and I consider myself one) cannot criticize this company even when it is blatantly obvious what is going on? If this is the case....Disney should not be open " You know, alot of us have been asking why they are even open since they are burning money, mind you that's just been the discussions I've had with my friends who work in the Orlando parks.

Additional Commentary 4: "Would you spend the same amount of money on a Disney vacation this year that you spent last year, while receiving 50% of the experience? No park hopping, no fast passes, no single rider lines, greatly reduced park hours, no parades or fireworks shows, no waterparks open, limited dining options with greatly reduced menus, and the list goes on and on and on. And this is on top of the mask requirement." Maybe just maybe given the current economical downtrend and the fact they really don't want tourists is partly the reason...and more specifically I would have to ask how dense one would be if they had the gall to openly say that they spent money on a Disney Vacation during a pandemic to complain about not having the ability to park hop, get fast passes, not have the ability to enjoy single rider lines, all while having reduced park hours with no parades or fireworks shows. The Water parks are no big loss, and supply lines have been constrained. Just to also note, Disney can be shut down for failure to not have guests wear masks, SeaWorld already had had a surprise strike team visit, plus when they opened, they were under scheduled inspections until the county changed it to random inspections.

Look on the plus side, with the extended closure of Disneyland, they should be back to profitability by 2030 when it all reopens, even though it's already been brought up that it would be more around 2025, that is without the extended closure added to it.

Lastly: "...and there are a LOT of Disney apologists here"
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Before I forget, Welcome to WDWMagic.
 

DoleWhipDrea

Well-Known Member
Having the gingerbread houses this year at the resort would absolutely be a problem in regards to social distancing. Heck, guests staying on property are encouraged to just go straight to their hotel room, all confirmed and unlocked by your phone or magicband. If you want to talk to a CM, you won’t find a full staff at the front desk like you used to.

COVID has seriously hurt the travel and leisure industry, Disney obviously no exception, and analysts are saying that it’s going to take 5 years for the industry to come back to what it once was. Should Disney be offering more discounts? Should a day ticket be cheaper? Absolutely, but who they offer those discounts to and under what parameters even becomes tricky. They’re limiting discounts to locals so they’re not simply encouraging widespread travel during a pandemic. The changes they have made are naturally going to bum people out, but they’re also working very hard to toe the line between making sure guests feel safe while making sure they continue to stay open.

Disney has already cheapened out on the guest experience significantly over time, decades in the making. That doesn’t make more cheap decisions less unfortunate, but right now I just appreciate the efforts that they’ve gone to in this weird time. They’re doing more than most, and are trying to set an example. I’m thankful that they’re putting in the effort.

If you want to truly be mad about something, look to how clearly they had no real plans in place to celebrate the 50th prior to COVID. Anything that had originally been talked about was being stalled, pushed back, or ignored. COVID was the final nail in the coffin.
 

matt9112

Well-Known Member
I think the elephant in the room is why they are not leaning on locals harder...why are rooms still tourist priced? Electricity and water and staffing is sort of fixed (per room) correct? So if you fill the contemporary at 300 a night isn't the better than say half or a quarter at 500 a night? Besides the two day ticket offer for 130 bucks or something i haven't seen them really try to entice locals to fill the void. I think they are putting brand integrity and status above attendance. If they cut prices it would be hard for them to go right back to where they were post covid not to mention the perception of a cheaper Disney. I mean the pop is still over 100 bucks a night...for a motel...no thanks. This coupled with all the cuts to hours and such and the value seems awful.
 

Kamikaze

Well-Known Member
That's not true...travel to Florida is increasing...Universal and Disney park attendance has risen considerably every week for the past month and will continue to as Florida counts go down. Flights from Northeast to Orlando were up 200% over the past 2 weeks

edited for language

yeah because the northeast was on a quarantine list until then.
 
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nickys

Premium Member
Disney park attendance has risen considerably every week for the past month

Do you have a source for that?

The last I saw from our insiders was that DHS is the only park hitting capacity (with the possible exception of the holiday weekend). As far as I know the capacity at each of the parks hasn’t increased either. So I’m not sure how attendance can have been rising “considerably” each week.
 

marni1971

WDW History nut
Premium Member
That's not true...travel to Florida is increasing...Universal and Disney park attendance has risen considerably every week for the past month and will continue to as Florida counts go down. Flights from Northeast to Orlando were up 200% over the past 2 weeks
Any increases are minuscule. International travel is still banned. Numbers are still low. Caps are still low. Attendance is anticipated to drop again. Meaningful recovery is not expected in the short to medium term.

I’m far from a company apologist.
 
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Monorail_Orange

Well-Known Member
Castle Dreamlights being cancelled this year actually makes sense to me. Magic Kingdom, at least through the third week of November, will only be open until 6pm. That means they'd only be on for guests to view for a short period of time at the end of the day before park close. Also, it may be a temptation for guests to then stay longer after park close, something they undoubtedly want to discourage as much as possible right now, so they don't have to continue staffing the park waiting for it to empty.
 

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