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  • [Chat] New Fantasyland - Not Getting the Numbers They Expected

    According to Al's article today the "New Fantasyland" at WDW isn't drawing in the numbers or good guest comments that TDO expected so now they're scrambling trying to assess what went wrong and what they can do about this. On the upside, Cars Land may come to DHS in expedited fashion as a result. While that may sound good, WDW already has Test Track and I'd like to see them do something unique. But then again, this is WDW I'm talking about - their only unique concepts any more are interactive games and prison monitoring bands.

    At the end of the days it's all about getting the heads in the beds and pushing up hotel bookings. Now it seems these bookings are tapering off at an alarming rate especially considering a major new area opened at the park and others have also told me that panic is setting in for Summer.

    WDW, however, has made the "product" so complicated to enjoy (e.g. packages, free dining offers dangled in your face, variable rates for weekends over weekdays, etc.) people are now in a staring contest with Mickey waiting for the next best offer to come around. No offer, no advance ooking - no pre-bookings, Mickey gets a rumbly in his tumbly (not Pooh's kind either). Mickey will probably balk and an "offer" will materialize. If not, you just might be able to walk into Beast's castle for lunch without much a wait in the Summer and easily secure one of those $495 Beach Club rooms without much advance planning (they'll be plenty of vacant ones to choose from ).

    Honestly, though, what did Disney expect? Did they really expect that creating a cloned omni-mover attraction based on Ariel nearly 24 years after her movie debut would be that compelling to guests that people would flock to the place????

    While Ariel is a great character, if she was 15 when her movie was made she'd be a 39 year old woman now - a soccer mom. Sigh. How much merchandise does Ariel really sell these days - not a material amount I surmise - nobody knows who she even is.

    From the new Fantasyland we got the following:

    - A clone of a DCA attraction that gives West Coast guests no incentive to visit as they've already rode at DCA
    - Two "priceless" princess meet and greets (because one, or a centralized one just isn't enough - and another is on the way - yippeee)
    - A roller coaster construction zone that obscures all sight lines
    - A mediocre (Dining Plan influenced) restaurant that looks interesting from the outside but if you don't have a reservation you'll never be allowed to even peak inside
    - A gift shop with a painting of a Narcissistic Park President as its focal point

    Yes, WDW, "where Magic lives"!

    I mean how could the public not just eat this up? I guess we American's have become too good for our britches these days.
    Last edited by disneytom; 02-05-2013, 10:50 AM.

  • #2
    Re: New Fantasyland - Not Getting the Numbers They Expected

    Have you been there?

    I'm not sure it's having problems other than it's not done. It's attracting guests, and an eyesore.

    The regular guest, doesn't know that Free Dining is seasonal. They just know if they got it last visit, they might get it again. Or if they never got it, they don't know what they are missing.

    The minority of guests are educated and know the ins and out of seasons and what come with the seasons.
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    • #3
      Re: New Fantasyland - Not Getting the Numbers They Expected

      Yes I've been there. And, again, nothing truly compelling for me and certainly not for a repeatability perspective - (except Dumbo for the kids - they did a good job with that "refurbishment").

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      • #4
        Re: New Fantasyland - Not Getting the Numbers They Expected

        ive heard that NFL was meant to help with capacity.......
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        • #5
          Re: New Fantasyland - Not Getting the Numbers They Expected

          Originally posted by disneytom View Post

          From the new Fantasyland we got the following:

          - A clone of a DCA attraction that gives West Coast guests no incentive to visit as they've already rode at DCA
          - Two "priceless" princess meet and greets (because one, or a centralized one just isn't enough - and another is on the way - yippeee)
          - A roller coaster construction zone that obscures all sight lines
          - A mediocre (Dining Plan influenced) restaurant that looks interesting from the outside but if you don't have a reservation you'll never be allowed to even peak inside
          - A gift shop with a painting of a Narcissistic Park President as its focal point

          Yes, WDW, "where Magic lives"!

          I mean how could the public not just eat this up? I guess we American's have become too good for our britches these days.
          I do think that this just about sums it up. WDW got very little bang for their bucks. Really there is nothing here that makes me say I have to get to WDW soon.
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          • #6
            Re: New Fantasyland - Not Getting the Numbers They Expected

            Originally posted by mratigan View Post
            ive heard that NFL was meant to help with capacity.......
            Quarterback Joe Flacco is supposed to be there!!! Go Ravens!!!

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            • #7
              Re: New Fantasyland - Not Getting the Numbers They Expected

              Well according to Al's article there's also "nothing under construction at Walt Disney World" which makes me question the credibility of the source.

              I don't know what people were expecting from the Little Mermaid ride, but Disney pretty much delivered exactly what it promised, a C-ticket omnimover based on the film. I think because the outside is so pretty people were expecting more than the traditional Fantasyland dark ride, but guess what, it's a Fantasyland dark ride and one of the better ones as those go. I find it most comparable to Disneyland's Alice in Wonderland ride. The story makes much less sense than the film, but at least the scenes are pretty interesting.

              The outside of the new area is beautiful and just what the park needed. The Dwarf Mine is both physically and thematically the centerpiece and I think its completion will tie together the new and old areas better. It's a bit premature to judge the area before it is complete. I think better things could have been done than the princess meet and greets, but there's always time for that later.

              Remember when Disneyland's Fantasyland got its big upgrade in 1983 that gave it exactly 1 new attraction but lost the pirate ship and skull rock? This is pretty much the same thing.
              It bothers me when people selectively edit quotes to support whatever point they are trying to prove.
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              • #8
                Re: New Fantasyland - Not Getting the Numbers They Expected

                Tough to speculate since it's not done. The mine coaster is still under construction.
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                • #9
                  Re: New Fantasyland - Not Getting the Numbers They Expected

                  As a potential visitor from CA who has never been to Orlando I can tell you I much rather want to spend my money visiting IOA and Universal Studios than WDW.
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                  • #10
                    Re: New Fantasyland - Not Getting the Numbers They Expected

                    New Fantasyland's ride roster went up by zero, and took up a lot of space to get there. Although it looks great, regular visitors, especially those of us from the West, have little incentive to check it out.

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                    • #11
                      Re: New Fantasyland - Not Getting the Numbers They Expected

                      Originally posted by ni_teach View Post
                      I do think that this just about sums it up. WDW got very little bang for their bucks. Really there is nothing here that makes me say I have to get to WDW soon.
                      Yet it still cost $500,000,000.00
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                      • #12
                        Re: New Fantasyland - Not Getting the Numbers They Expected

                        Tell me again how there's no money to fix things...

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                        • #13
                          Re: New Fantasyland - Not Getting the Numbers They Expected

                          Several factors could explain the low numbers.

                          Dead season and economic factors - After New Years, numbers are traditionally expected to drop to their lowest numbers which is different from premiering attractions in the summer when attendance only drops gradually until after labor day. Also with the fiscal cliff and other economic crisis's looming around the corner, perhaps there is low interest in wanting to take a vacation even during the value season.

                          Excessive advertising - technically it's not the New Fantasyland as little of the original FL is being refurbished while the other half is an expansion. Also doesn't help when you're not even finished building the whole thing. Also a bit unusual to throw money at a red carpet event for an incomplete land but we got a dragon outta the deal I guess.

                          Expecting Carsland numbers - two completely different projects. One is a full land (two lands if you count BVS). The other is a medium size land expansion. The former can grab more attendance due to premiering in summer and attracting more locals.

                          This doesn't make the new Fantasyland any less decent. It's a nice and close to decent expansion that was desperately needed but it would be silly if the suits really were expecting Carsland numbers.

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                          • #14
                            Re: New Fantasyland - Not Getting the Numbers They Expected

                            Except we are going on 4 years of record attendance in Orlando as a city

                            4th record year for visitor head count? - Orlando Sentinel

                            Visit Orlando, the area's main tourism-marketing agency, expects about 57.3 million people to visit the area this year on vacation or business, which would be 1 percent higher than its still-unofficial estimate for 2012 — and a fourth consecutive annual record. After falling to 46.6 million in 2009, the latter part of the Great Recession, Orlando's annual visitor count set records in 2010 and 2011 and is expected to do so a third time when the 2012 figure is confirmed.
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                            • #15
                              Re: New Fantasyland - Not Getting the Numbers They Expected

                              I love New Fantasyland...so far. I think it may have been a mistake to have it "open" before everything was actually done. It makes the area awkward to navigate and to look at, and it feels a little disappointing to visit and know that you are going to have to come back again to actually see everything. The land would have had more impact if everything had opened at once, but that would have paralyzed the most important area of the most popular park for far too long, I suppose.

                              For those who live on the west coast - true, New Fantasyland is probably not enough to entice you to fly across the country to visit WDW. If I lived very close to either park, it would probably take an entire new park to justify spending the money to go visit the other one. I'm sure that once Universal completes the Harry Potter addition to the CA park, you won't see too many west coasters making the trip to Universal Orlando anymore.

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