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Why does it take 3 years to build a ride?

Master Yoda

Pro Star Wars geek.
Premium Member
It's interesting the Universal broke this pattern with the Nintendo partnership.
I can not remember if they announced the replacement at the same time, but Universal did announce the closure of Kongfrontation to passholders in advance back in 2002. They even had a bit of a going away party.
 

Dutch Inn '76

Well-Known Member
It doesn't take 3 or 4 years to build an attraction. It might take approaching that long to brainstorm, design, plan, build and install - but the big question in my mind is why do they announce so early, knowing that it's still a ways off?

Perhaps they think that people enjoy the anticipation, or that it pays them somehow in people's advance planning.
 

danlb_2000

Premium Member
It doesn't take 3 or 4 years to build an attraction. It might take approaching that long to brainstorm, design, plan, build and install - but the big question in my mind is why do they announce so early, knowing that it's still a ways off?

Perhaps they think that people enjoy the anticipation, or that it pays them somehow in people's advance planning.

Avatarland took 3.5 years, Galaxy's Edge is going to come out around 3.5 years, Expedition Everest was almost 3 years.
 

Dutch Inn '76

Well-Known Member
Tron opens June 2021. They began land clearing a few months ago.

I make that 3 1/2 years.

Of course that's true - but I doubt there will not be 3 1/2 years of continuous work happening. That's what I mean. Like someone earlier said, they built the Empire State Building in about 14 months. They were on site working every day. The Mouse ain't doing that.

I'm not complaining. Frankly, I don't care at all - but I do wonder why they do things the way they do.
 

ford91exploder

Resident Curmudgeon
Of course that's true - but I doubt there will not be 3 1/2 years of continuous work happening. That's what I mean. Like someone earlier said, they built the Empire State Building in about 14 months. They were on site working every day. The Mouse ain't doing that.

I'm not complaining. Frankly, I don't care at all - but I do wonder why they do things the way they do.

To limit the cash burn in any given quarter.
 

NormC

Well-Known Member
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Disney construction......................Still Going!........................just like the Energizer bunny.............................and this thread.
 

MisterPenguin

🐧🐧Pfizer x2 🐧🐧🐧Moderna 2+bi🐧
Premium Member
At this point, does it matter if it takes 3 years if they have something new opening every year?

Once you get into a habit of starting something new every year, then starting three years later, you'll experience something new opening every year.
 

phillip9698

Well-Known Member
You're not wrong about Toy Story land being a franchise and personally I think it is a terrible decision by Disney to base a huge area of a theme park on a movie franchise that for all intents and purposes comes out with a new movie every 10 years. Had the new trilogy of Star Wars not started, I probably would have made the same comment about Star Wars land, but it looks like we'll be getting new Star Wars movies for at least the next 5 or 6 years. I don't follow the animated series but I hear that is going strong as well which gives them additional ways to continue to grow the fan base. Marvel is the cash cow king for movies and that won't slow down for probably another decade so there are plenty of ways to grow engagement. My point in my original post was that Universal chose a movie franchise which is already at the tail end of it's life where expansions are going to be difficult. Disney on the other hand has done similar but they are doing it for franchises that are near the peak of their popularity and will be relevant for the next decade. I hope after Star Wars land, Disney goes back to the concepts of themes (fantasyland) instead of movie franchises (avatar, TS, Star Wars) when designing areas.

At the end of the day, I really don't care if Universal is able to use HP to gather more people in the parks. I do however want Universal to continue to challenge Disney both in the short and long term because that's how we get the best experience as the end consumer. To that end, I don't think it's wrong or misguided to analyze how either company reacts and provide commentary on it.

Harry Potter expansions would not be difficult at all. There are so many areas of the movies and books that would easily make for a world class attraction or themed area. From 7 fantastic mainline books and 9 total decent to good movies they have a lot to draw on and in the case of the books will have a method of drawing in new fans every year. It's a safer bet than basing an area on let's say Cars, which had one decent and two bad movies, yet the Cars area seems to have no problem drawing fans due to the quality of its theming and rides and very few people are saying that area is a misguided mistake.
 

t0cableguy

New Member
The EPCOT Building Code is not even the most restrictive code in Florida. Disney does have to comply with two building codes, the EPCOT Building Code and the Florida Building Code. The more restrictive code must be followed and while it is generally EPCOT, there are instances where Florida is more restrictive.


I know i'm resurrecting something I said last week... but I suppose I should clarify... Strictly Enforced. I've worked at a lot of places that the codes are in place but they are all but enforced. On property they are enforced pretty strictly. Hell I'll even say I've done some pretty absurd stuff in the name of their codes.

The rest of this isn't towards you lazyboy97o

I could ask why does it take 3 years to build a combustion turbine generator? They've been built a couple thousand times at this point.. yet the timeline is still 3 years+ from groundbreaking to first fire. I'd set the complexity of a roller-coaster inside a building at the same level, except you're only generating frights and smiles instead of electricity. They are both potentially dangerous. I'd even say you have more of a potential to kill someone on a roller coaster than you do at a power plant these days.... at least the opportunity to kill more people......,. They are both complex machines built for a single purpose, and have an immense number of IO points and air lines, valves, motors, and various control systems... that all have to work in unison or it all dies. And most rollercoasters are one off constructions. No templates to make the process faster.. just the CAD drawings that get changed on a monthly basis for the entirety of the construction.

Oh and gosh darn it I LOVE PIPELINES. Without pipelines I wouldn't have power, water, gasoline, ammonia, fertilizer, concrete, sand, or anything industrial in scale. If you don't love pipelines go live in a forest and cut down your own trees and eat the food you raise yourself and PLEASE get off the internet, because without pipelines you couldn't power the servers to run the computers you use to access the internet.. Sure you could run your own computer at home.. but good luck getting online with only servers that are powered by green energy sources (and you better not include power created through natural gas! lol).
 
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t0cableguy

New Member
Construction time frame has absolutely zero to do with safety.
I would venture a guess and say Disney is not solely exclusive to high safety standards.
It was and continues to be OSHA (Federal Agency) who lay down the law on safety but Disney contractors who have to follow the rules for their own liabilty's sake.
And environmentally, Disney's original wastewater treatment plant had violated a few rules and Florida DEP came down on them.
I believe it was redesigned and rebuilt-check GoogleEarth, it's just to the south and west of the old Richard Petty Race Track.

So, yeah, they've been "environmentally concerned" since then.

And lost not forget RDIC - Reedy Creek Improvement District https://www.rcid.org/

And again I ressurect..


The environmental issue was really a minor thing.. An overflow from the effluent outflow (treated chlorinated water) would get dumped into the wetland during EXTREME events or failures of power. They capped the overflow pipe and put extensive backup systems to prevent loss of power to those pumps. Environmental issues are extensive but for this particular project its on a fairly developed piece of property well within the developed Epcot property, so those issues are going to be minimal.

Wastewater treatment gets expanded and improved constantly so things change and get built up more over time.

Construction time frames are much more focused on safety than ever before.. On some job-sites I get to work at 7 and the first tool isn't lifted up until 9am. I think its crazy! but some businesses focus extensively on safety, and some just allow employers to focus on safety. As I have said before Disney FORCES you to cross your t's and dot your i's so that they can be absolved of the mistakes you make on property. This adds TIME to a construction project that translates in to months if not years of man hours left standing instead of moving forward. More employees just exacerbates the problem, and you can only stack so many bodies on a jobsite before it becomes gridlock. While I think this is CRAZY its still more important for every employee to leave Disney property alive with all their parts no worse than they came on the property. Its to cover disney's rear as much as it is to prevent people from getting hurt for the rest of their lives.
 

Nubs70

Well-Known Member
I know i'm resurrecting something I said last week... but I suppose I should clarify... Strictly Enforced. I've worked at a lot of places that the codes are in place but they are all but enforced. On property they are enforced pretty strictly. Hell I'll even say I've done some pretty absurd stuff in the name of their codes.

The rest of this isn't towards you lazyboy97o

I could ask why does it take 3 years to build a combustion turbine generator? They've been built a couple thousand times at this point.. yet the timeline is still 3 years+ from groundbreaking to first fire. I'd set the complexity of a roller-coaster inside a building at the same level, except you're only generating frights and smiles instead of electricity. They are both potentially dangerous. I'd even say you have more of a potential to kill someone on a roller coaster than you do at a power plant these days.... at least the opportunity to kill more people......,. They are both complex machines built for a single purpose, and have an immense number of IO points and air lines, valves, motors, and various control systems... that all have to work in unison or it all dies. And most rollercoasters are one off constructions. No templates to make the process faster.. just the CAD drawings that get changed on a monthly basis for the entirety of the construction.

Oh and gosh darn it I LOVE PIPELINES. Without pipelines I wouldn't have power, water, gasoline, ammonia, fertilizer, concrete, sand, or anything industrial in scale. If you don't love pipelines go live in a forest and cut down your own trees and eat the food you raise yourself and PLEASE get off the internet, because without pipelines you couldn't power the servers to run the computers you use to access the internet.. Sure you could run your own computer at home.. but good luck getting online with only servers that are powered by green energy sources (and you better not include power created through natural gas! lol).
I have been part of teams that have built $500MM pulp mills. The mills have hundred of pumps, valves, etc up to 6000 IO points. At times, 900+ contractors on site at 1 time. Mill went from groundbreaking to acceptance in under 19 months and at full production in 2 weeks. All this was done with 1 LTI, a hernia a doctor attributed to work onsite.

Point being, with proper planning, any project can be completed safely in a timely fashion. Eccesive construction timeline does not increase safety. Safety in independent of construction timeline.
 

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
I know i'm resurrecting something I said last week... but I suppose I should clarify... Strictly Enforced. I've worked at a lot of places that the codes are in place but they are all but enforced. On property they are enforced pretty strictly. Hell I'll even say I've done some pretty absurd stuff in the name of their codes.

The rest of this isn't towards you lazyboy97o

I could ask why does it take 3 years to build a combustion turbine generator? They've been built a couple thousand times at this point.. yet the timeline is still 3 years+ from groundbreaking to first fire. I'd set the complexity of a roller-coaster inside a building at the same level, except you're only generating frights and smiles instead of electricity. They are both potentially dangerous. I'd even say you have more of a potential to kill someone on a roller coaster than you do at a power plant these days.... at least the opportunity to kill more people......,. They are both complex machines built for a single purpose, and have an immense number of IO points and air lines, valves, motors, and various control systems... that all have to work in unison or it all dies. And most rollercoasters are one off constructions. No templates to make the process faster.. just the CAD drawings that get changed on a monthly basis for the entirety of the construction.
Roller coasters routinely go from idea to open in 18 to 24 months, including ones from Vekoma. Steel coasters are often custom layouts but they arrive at the project site as a kit of parts that is assembled. They’re bolted together which is why they go up in a few short months around the world. Unlike other rides, they also have enough of a lead time that the ride layout gets rather solidly locked down before everything else.
 

t0cableguy

New Member
Then add in the traffic in Orlando, the fact that all of this has to be delivered in the off hours of the day, with only two viable access points to the location one of which absolutely can't be used during park hours.... I bet that pulp mill could take delivery whenever they needed to.
 

tampabrad

Active Member
There are a few reasons.

1. Money, disney likes to spread construction over financial quarters or years so the negative cost isn't reflected in one specific time period.

2. A warehouse to house the attraction can be built in months, but the facades are usually hand painted and brickwork is usually hand carved.

3. Ride vehicles and show scenes are custom made for or by disney.

4. We know more from the internet. Unless you were a true insider, most people wouldn't know anything until months before an attraction opens, now people follow construction almost daily.

5. Disney is all about the show and the guest experience 365 days a year. They can't have loud construction going on to distract a guest experience close by. Where as your local seasonal park will manufacture a ride off site and then install in during the off season.

6. Disney will announce an attraction years ahead of opening because it now takes the average family years to save and plan.

7. Disney can milk multiple visits out of people by spreading major attractions opening in multiple years.

Can't think of anything else right now.
 

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