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  • [Chat] Today's Argument-Starter

    Well, after my most recent thread went down in such a spectacular meteoric fireball, I couldn't help seeing if I could outdo myself by producing one that burns longer, brighter, hotter, and smellier. So I'm going to propose a purely hypothetical scenario for you, and I would be very interested to get your input.

    Warning: Any semblance of realism stops here.

    For the purposes of this discussion, you - yes, you - are the entire theme parks division of the Walt Disney Company. You control everything that happens in the parks, both creatively and financially. And you have devised a procedure that allows you to gauge the opinions of the entire public with utmost accuracy. When you evaluate what the population wants with this method, no one argues with the flawless results. You can think of this as a type of focus group, a poll, telepathy, whatever you want. The point is that you, the WDC, can now somehow know exactly what every human being in the planet would be most willing to pay money to experience.

    Now, there are exactly two types of attractions. There are yellow attractions, and there are purple attractions. (Or red and green, or warm gray and electric blue cross-hatched with fluorescent paint...the specific colors don't matter.) Every attraction falls into either one category or the other. Both are comparable in terms of cost to build and operate, and neither gives rise to any concerns about safety, ethics, or the environment.

    Because you have your magical surveying method, it follows that you know exactly who likes yellow attractions and who likes purple attractions. As it turns out, the world's population is quite split, although not along the lines of geographical location, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, education, social class, or what have you - it's purely random. A rather large majority adores one of the colors, and will happily pay big bucks to ride anything sporting that hue, while shunning anything else. Then the small remainder of the population is in love with any and all attractions that are painted with the other color, but won't even look at the other kind as they pass by. The exact numbers aren't important, but let's say this split is pretty uneven and pretty well-defined.

    Now for the question. You, as Disney, are sitting down to decide what color attractions will be built for the next 10-20 years. Knowing what you know about who likes what, how many attractions of each color do you build?

    I do have my own opinions on the matter, and I may share them later, but I'd really rather hear your responses. And of course, in spite of the title, I would of course prefer that those responses be civil.


  • #2
    Re: Today's Argument-Starter

    Can you repeat the question please?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Today's Argument-Starter

      Most people like one kind of attraction. A few people like another kind. Which do you build?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Today's Argument-Starter

        Interesting, um, oversimplification of a complex issues.

        But given such a hypothetical, the obvious solution is equally simple: I build purple attractions and yellow attractions in the same proportions as their fans exist in the population. That way, not only do the parks have something to offer both types of people, but the lines for both types of attractions will run about the same length, all else being equal (which, I take, it we are supposing it is). Intuitively, this seems like the optimal way to go.
        Like this post? Read more like it at The Disneyland Dilettante!

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        • #5
          Re: Today's Argument-Starter

          Originally posted by Mojave View Post
          Can you repeat the question please?
          :lol:

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Today's Argument-Starter

            Originally posted by Karalora View Post
            Interesting, um, oversimplification of a complex issues.

            But given such a hypothetical, the obvious solution is equally simple: I build purple attractions and yellow attractions in the same proportions as their fans exist in the population. That way, not only do the parks have something to offer both types of people, but the lines for both types of attractions will run about the same length, all else being equal (which, I take, it we are supposing it is). Intuitively, this seems like the optimal way to go.
            This, but also build a few other new types. Maybe some from both groups would be fans of a 3rd type, but it just hasn't been invented yet
            "The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing" -Walt Disney

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            • #7
              Re: Today's Argument-Starter

              What should be done is the two categories should be combined. When that happens you come up with attractions like the Matterhorn. Unfortunately today's imagineers or perhaps their management only thinks in two separate categories as you have described. And that is the conundrum.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Today's Argument-Starter

                I believe that in reality, a precise divide between the majority "average" Disneyland visitor and the minority "fan" Disneyland visitor - which is what I think you're getting at - does not exist. It's more of a spectrum. I also think that it is actually the executives who favor one kind over another (film-based), because they want a "guaranteed hit" regardless the actual attraction quality, and because they think the only way to justify building a non-revenue generating thing like an attraction is to make it an advertisement. The general public probably makes no particular distinction between one kind or the other. If they like an attraction, they ride it. Many factors go into that.

                But for the purposes of this very interesting question, let's say the color that the majority liked was yellow. I would also build some purple attractions, because making everything yellow would make the place look like Urinetown. Even the yellow lovers would get sick of yellow if everything was yellow. Perhaps the visitors like the yellow attractions that much better when the color is complimented by the purple ones. I would remember that the yellow attractions that Walt used to build also had some purple trim. And I would also build some attractions that are hot pink with turquoise polka dots, because even though I psychically know that the majority of the public already likes one color of attractions, you never said whether or not I could predict what they are going to like next.

                I would also have my staff watch the episode of the Super Mario Bros. 3 cartoon where King Koopa painted half the Mushroom Kingdom citizens blue, and the other half red (including Mario and Luigi - Mario is ironically painted blue even though he's always wearing red) in order to divide and conquer the kingdom. In the end though, everyone realizes that the color divide is arbitrary and meaningless, and Mario and Luigi team up to defeat King Koopa .
                Last edited by animagusurreal; 11-14-2009, 03:07 PM.
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                Pratfall the albatross superheroine visits the Carthay Circle Theatre.

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                • #9
                  Re: Today's Argument-Starter

                  ^This habit of being beat to the punch by mere minutes is getting annoying. haha

                  Might i sport the guess that this has to do with the small group (us) who surround ourselves with the parks liking rides like POTC and HM that feature theming and story, while the large majority of people like rides like TSMM where stuff gets shot and they see their favorite characters?

                  I will argue though that that division exists strikingly. People asked why Jack wasnt in POTC while we asked why they would ever even think of putting him in there. Copy/paste that for IASM and others and you see the division.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Today's Argument-Starter

                    Originally posted by Karalora View Post
                    Interesting, um, oversimplification of a complex issues.
                    One of the keys to running a powerful scientific experiment is eliminating all confounding variables. You only test one variable at a time - otherwise, you won't know what caused the results of the experiment.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Today's Argument-Starter

                      Most people like purple attractions.

                      Some people like yellow attractions.

                      That's just the way it is.

                      Walt built gold attractions.

                      Think outside the berm.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Today's Argument-Starter

                        I would build burgundy attractions!

                        The trick is not to give them what they want...but something they didn't know they wanted.

                        ...did I just blow your mind?!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Today's Argument-Starter

                          Originally posted by Datameister View Post
                          One of the keys to running a powerful scientific experiment is eliminating all confounding variables. You only test one variable at a time - otherwise, you won't know what caused the results of the experiment.
                          And that's why successful businesses are rarely ran by scientists - they are started by entranpanuers, and advanced by innovative thinkers. Because the real business world isn't a simple science experiment and you can't eliminate all the variables. The complex dependencies are what makes planning, designing, and running a successful business something hard.

                          Your hypothetical left out many of the 'dirty realities' which would dominate your question

                          - where the revenue going to come from (the attractions or somewhere else)
                          - can you afford to operate purely based on the attraction's popularity, or do you need to subsidize it?
                          - what kind of constraints you have on the number of attractions you can have

                          etc, etc, etc.

                          Your postulation could be simplified to say 'if attractions cost nothing, would you build ones that were only for a specific audience, and how much would you dedicate to that'. Because by trying to simplify things to all cost the same, yet exclude any of the source of income and how the attractions chosen affect that... you are basically calling this an environment that has no costs and no revenues. So money doesn't exist.

                          Your postulation leaves out the important aspect of balancing between building what you want because you feel its the right thing, and building something that keeps the lights on.

                          This error is the root of countless business failures in all industries. From the guy that builds the tool that is useful, but you can't sell enough of them to make it affordable or sustainable to run a business on, to the guy who has the best restaurant on the planet, but builds it in the worst location and still fails.

                          It's stuff like this why even the business that is purely for love of the product or whatever... still have things like gift shops and ticket booths. Something has to keep the lights on.
                          Check out my blog - Coreplex: Rambling from inside the Grid


                          Am I evil? yes, I am
                          Am I evil? I am man, yes, I am

                          Originally posted by sleepyjeff
                          Disneyland was meant to be sipped not chug-a-lugged

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                          • #14
                            Re: Today's Argument-Starter

                            I don't have a clue how to answer your question, but the title of your thread did make me read this far. Now I shall sit back, and see how long indeed this does last.
                            BarbaraAnn

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Today's Argument-Starter

                              Originally posted by Bob Weaver View Post
                              Most people like purple attractions.

                              Some people like yellow attractions.

                              That's just the way it is.

                              Walt built gold attractions.

                              Think outside the berm.
                              Originally posted by timbabbcomedian View Post
                              I would build burgundy attractions!

                              The trick is not to give them what they want...but something they didn't know they wanted.

                              ...did I just blow your mind?!
                              This is simply summed up as leading your audience, not following it. Also a spin of this is 'be market driven, not customer driven'.

                              Walt simply believed he knew what worked and would build it even in the face of contemporary critics. He didn't redefine what people liked, he simply saw ahead of the customer.

                              Most customers can not break down their desires into the core elements that make up the attraction or desire for something. If you can't do that, all you do is copy what is already successful. If you truely understand the underlying concepts, you can use them to create new ideas and new directions. This is what Walt understood, and he had the motivation and confidence to actually carry through his ideas in the face of critics.
                              Check out my blog - Coreplex: Rambling from inside the Grid


                              Am I evil? yes, I am
                              Am I evil? I am man, yes, I am

                              Originally posted by sleepyjeff
                              Disneyland was meant to be sipped not chug-a-lugged

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Re: Today's Argument-Starter

                                For every red attraction u build, it must follow shortly after with a yellow..and be prepared financially to accomplish this for maximum hapiness from both groups of guests.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Re: Today's Argument-Starter

                                  It seemed like Disneyland was setting the trends in the 1960s and 1970s, but then started following trends. To me, Splash Mountain was a direct response to the Calico Log Ride at Knott's (now called Timber Mountain Log Ride). The first time I rode Splash Mountain I said to my friend, "did they just move the Knott's ride here and Disnefy it? Although it's bigger, it's essentially the same thing. I also think Big Thunder Mt. Railroad was a response to the trend towards roller coasters in the 1970s, not only Knott's but also the popularity of Magic Mountain at that time. Then the trend of using non-Disney sources such as Michael Jackson, Star Wars and Indiana Jones made it seem like Disney was abandoning its traditional role of setting trends and resigned itself to simply following market trends.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Re: Today's Argument-Starter

                                    Since all this "I'd do an option not spelled out in the equation" stuff isn't helping Datameister's attempts at science, in which is there are two, and only two, types of rides I could build. So I'm going to phrase my answer strictly within those confines, because that's what DM is looking for. And the question becomes a very simple study in economics.

                                    So let's say it's a 70/30 split of preference, for the sake of the hypothesis. The simplest way, without any other variable of any sort, would be 70% Purple and 30% Yellow, right? But hold on. If only 30% of your park is catering to a particular audience, what happens when someone builds a park that caters more strongly to Yellow fans? That's money you're losing out on. A 50/50 split would mean each audience gets equal time, but then you get Purple fans getting antsy with longer lines, leading them to be less satisfied with your park, and, again, more likely to find a competitor that satisfies them to a fuller extent. So the balancing act not only becomes building the rides people enjoy, but also making sure the balance keeps you competitive. Back to the 70/30 ratio, having rejeced both an exact representation, and a pure 50/50 split, I have to arrive, within the restraints of what's been posed to me, at 60/40. Even then there's risks of competitors, but then, that's the nature of the problem posed.
                                    Stuck in Western NY, and feeling so far away from the Magic.

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                                    • #19
                                      Re: Today's Argument-Starter

                                      Thank you, all, for your responses! This has been a very interesting read thus far.

                                      Originally posted by flynnibus View Post
                                      And that's why successful businesses are rarely ran by scientists - they are started by entranpanuers, and advanced by innovative thinkers. Because the real business world isn't a simple science experiment and you can't eliminate all the variables.
                                      I think I must have been unclear. I wasn't trying to suggest that this is how real businesses are run, or should be run. My reference to confounding variables was in relation to how I posed the question, not in relation to how Disney could or should or does or doesn't operate. I'm curious about how fellow Disney fans feel about a specific question, so I attempted to cut out a lot of the other questions that can contaminate the responses. If you think I've done an embarrassingly bad job of that, I'm very sorry to have made such a fool of myself, and welcome you to post your own version that blows mine out of the water. I won't be offended...the goal of getting others' input on this question will still be served.

                                      Your hypothetical left out many of the 'dirty realities' which would dominate your question
                                      Perhaps you should have read the fine - er, bold - print:

                                      Originally posted by Datameister
                                      Warning: Any semblance of realism stops here.
                                      In other words...yep, you're right, it did!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Re: Today's Argument-Starter

                                        well then it's simply who are you building the attractions for

                                        1) yourself and your ego
                                        or
                                        2) for your guests

                                        Your postulation states about the audience split...
                                        "The exact numbers aren't important, but let's say this split is pretty uneven and pretty well-defined"

                                        If it's well-defined, simply build the split of the attractions along that well-defined representation in the audience. You propose that there is no crossbleed between the audience groups.. so the most efficient way then of course is to build exactly based on the audience split.

                                        The real world isn't that simple, because 1) the groups aren't always exclusive and 2) you don't know them or it may change over time. But you've excluded those factors.. so just build what your audience wants.

                                        Else.. you are in case #1, and you're building the place for yourself first. So I'd answer... whatever you like for the split
                                        Check out my blog - Coreplex: Rambling from inside the Grid


                                        Am I evil? yes, I am
                                        Am I evil? I am man, yes, I am

                                        Originally posted by sleepyjeff
                                        Disneyland was meant to be sipped not chug-a-lugged

                                        Comment

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