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  • [Rumor] Carsland more successful than the suits imagined

    A lot of folks have been wondering about the lack of special merchandise in Carsland and BVS. No Oswald the Lucky Rabbit ears and an initially restricted supply of the tire hats.

    The rumor is that the suits are really surprised by how big of a hit Carsland and BVS turned out to be, and weren't prepared for the fan reaction.

    This is easy to understand as Carsland was John Lasseter's baby. During the development of Carsland, Lasseter really butted heads with executives in Burbank, and with Iger, who wanted to scale down Carsland's budget. Lasseter had to cash in a lot of favors, and then some, to get Carsland built how he wanted. During an opening ceremony, Lasseter profusely thanked Iger, who finally relented to Lasseter's request for building the detailed version of Carsland. The rivalry between Lasseter and company, and old hand Disney executives still exists, and because they didn't understand why Carsland would do blockbuster business, they didn't really start thinking about this area of DCA being as popular as Disneyland.

    Given that Lasseter's project proved to be much more successful than projected, Burbank is still digesting this success and pondering the direction of other expansion projects given that it is more than apparent that a Pixar film can be turned into a successful land, and that Lasseter apparently knows how to get it right.

    (You'd think that Avatarland is on track, but its sort of stalled in development hell. Given Pixar's track record, and the dinosaur film they are working on, it might just get eyed as a way to expand AK with a couple of new dinosaur related rides, without having to rely on James Cameron's Avatar, the second film which has also been delayed).

    One thing is certain, Lasseter's star is shining brighter than ever, and expect him to have more say in the parks in the coming years.
    Last edited by chesirecat; 06-25-2012, 09:25 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Carsland more successful than the suits imagined

    I thought we all felt that more Pixar was a bad thing especially when put in Frontierlans, Tomorrowland, and California where it doesn't belong. What I think they are realizing is that immersive lands no matter the content are a big hit with Disney fans! That and Disney fans like and spend money on land/ park specific merch as apposed to the crap in Curios which I don't see selling out ever! My hope is that Lasseter and WDI are given much more freedom to create immersive attractions then Execs have approved in the last 15 years. Seriously though how many rides over the last 15 years have been doomed since the day Eisner/ Iger and company dreamed about how much money they would make them? DCA 1.0 was completely doomed from day 1, Dinoland USA/ camp Minnie Mickey in Animal Kingdom , and the now worst Disney park in Paris Studios Park are just ridiculous attempts at cheapness! Hopefully Iger and his eventual successor see that quality = money. Cheap franchise tie ins = fail.
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    • #3
      Re: Carsland more successful than the suits imagined

      What I been saying since TDS was a huge sucess and DCA 1.0 failed: Build it (right) and they will come!

      Honestly, its not a surprise, they finally went Disney quality and people took notice! I think with RSR being a HUGE hit, a week later and still 3+ hour lines proves Lasseters point and if you give people more it will pay off in the end.

      Kind of funny with DCA 1.0 they OVERESTIMATED its sucess and everything from attendance, top restaurants and merchandise would be an instant hit but fell flat on its face. Looks like they underestimated 2.0 and people are craving more to the point stuff is selling out and the park is hitting attendance records! I think Disney likes that problem vs the former!

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      • #4
        Re: Carsland more successful than the suits imagined

        I think Disney knew it would be popular, but i'm not sure anyone truly anticipated it to be the potter swatter it is now.

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        • #5
          Re: Carsland more successful than the suits imagined

          Originally posted by Bronco21 View Post
          I thought we all felt that more Pixar was a bad thing especially when put in Frontierlans, Tomorrowland, and California where it doesn't belong. What I think they are realizing is that immersive lands no matter the content are a big hit with Disney fans! That and Disney fans like and spend money on land/ park specific merch as apposed to the crap in Curios which I don't see selling out ever! My hope is that Lasseter and WDI are given much more freedom to create immersive attractions then Execs have approved in the last 15 years. Seriously though how many rides over the last 15 years have been doomed since the day Eisner/ Iger and company dreamed about how much money they would make them? DCA 1.0 was completely doomed from day 1, Dinoland USA/ camp Minnie Mickey in Animal Kingdom , and the now worst Disney park in Paris Studios Park are just ridiculous attempts at cheapness! Hopefully Iger and his eventual successor see that quality = money. Cheap franchise tie ins = fail.
          Building quality show environments for the parks is certainly a lesson here. And who knows which direction Burbank will go, but a lot of the failed rides didn't have a Disney or Pixar connection.

          Dinoland/Camp Mickey and Minnie in AK was built on the cheap by Eisner by using off-the-shelf rides, instead of the expansive E-ticket that was planned, sound familiar?

          While some may deride Pixar, they are consistently producing some of the most successful family movies on a yearly basis. Maybe Buzz Lightyear doesn't thematically fit in Tomorrowland of yesteryear, but it is a wildly popular ride, as is Nemo, despite fans misgivings about the removal of old favorites.

          Given Pixar's track record, and frankly great films, I won't feel bad if the Dinoland area of AK is torn out and replaced with an E-Ticket based off of Pixar's dinosaur film, or even if Brave makes it into the parks.

          Everything seems to be in flux right now, and people are wondering how much they need James Cameron's Pandora.

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          • #6
            Re: Carsland more successful than the suits imagined

            "Quality is the best business model." --John Lasseter. Indeed.

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            • #7
              Re: Carsland more successful than the suits imagined

              Honestly, I really dont think it matters eitherway about movie tie ins in terms of sucess or failure. CL was smart since obviously a lot of people know about the movie and its popular with kids. That said, they couldve built Rt 66 with probably the same quality and detail and it wouldve still been a hit. But I guess thats easier said than done.

              Eitherway, it seems to get exaggerated that movie tie ins is Disney downfall when there hasnt been one real hard evidence of that OR that they are more popular when the most popular rides in the resort: SM, POTC, Splash, HM, Soarin, BTM, Screamin, etc has zero to do with movie tie ins. I always hear both arguments and neither seem to bare out to be honest.

              Again though, there must be a bunch of surveys or audience feedback that is telling Disney the movie stuff is just relatable and why they keep building it. I dont know and frankly I dont care eitherway, I just want great quality stuff and CL proves they can do that, fine! Same time you got BVS which is more about real history to a real place and guess what, that seem to be a hit too, so like I said, I dont think it TRULY matters regardless, its about quality and how well they sell their story at the end of the day.

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              • #8
                Re: Carsland more successful than the suits imagined

                I'm happy to see it as such a big success. Part of me likes DCA more than Disneyland, and this new land solidifies that idea.

                I honestly didn't know how things would turn out being is how the land only has three real rides. It goes to show that people can be just as entertained in an immersive environment as they can on an attraction.

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                • #9
                  Re: Carsland more successful than the suits imagined

                  Critter Country (Splash, Canoes, Pooh), New Orleans Square (Railroad, Pirates, Mansion), Grizzly Peak, Buena Vista Street, and Condor Flats all technically have three rides or less.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Carsland more successful than the suits imagined

                    I'm not against Pixar in the parks but I think seeing how well an immersive land works regardless of the theme is showing Disney how successful it can be. That is my point basically that Disney is learning that high quality brings in bucks and cheap additions do not. How many people go to Disneyland and say "I'm so excited to ride Winnie the Pooh", "I just can't wait for Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters", ect. My point against Pixar was that until recently they had been thrown in the parks in cheap ways.

                    TSMM and Cars Land are the first incarnations of Disney putting a large budget into new experiences surrounded around the idea of Pixar films and characters. Amazingly both are extremely popular and both continue to exceed expectations. I actually enjoy BLAB, Finding Nemo Subs, and Turtle Talk with Crush (the cheapest addition by far of all the new attractions, as well as the worst thematic offender). I just dont get off these rides and say wow that was fun lets go ride it again like I do with Pirates, Haunted Mansion, TSMM, ect. Disney hopefully is realizing that quality experiences are the only way to go!

                    (Chesirecat I would love it if Dinoland USA got an attention at all! That land sucks and the Dinosaur overlay is stupid!)
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                    • #11
                      Re: Carsland more successful than the suits imagined

                      There's an old adage: You gotta spend money to make money.

                      And I think this one is outdated: If you build it, they will come.

                      I think it needs to be rephrased to: If you build it right, they will come.



                      Merchandise sales and quality themed lands and attractions go hand in hand. What worked with Universal's execution of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and merchandise sales going through the roof is also in effect at the new DCA 2.0.

                      People are having fun, they're impressed, they're blown away. This makes people HAPPY and they want to take home a souvenir because of it. Happier guests spend more money. Be it with souvenirs or food and drink.

                      I think somewhere over the Eisner regime, they forgot all about the guest experience and instead focused on the bottom line.


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                      • #12
                        Re: Carsland more successful than the suits imagined

                        Originally posted by Sir.Mouse View Post
                        I think Disney knew it would be popular, but i'm not sure anyone truly anticipated it to be the potter swatter it is now.
                        Carsland is in no way beating out Harry Potter. Wizarding World is still holding number one, due to its massive fan base. When Potter comes to Hollywood in a few years, I think we will see Disney sweatin' again in the competition. Interesting to see if they will respond...
                        "If you can dream it, you can do it" - Walt Disney

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                        • #13
                          Re: Carsland more successful than the suits imagined

                          Originally posted by DreamsofColor View Post
                          Carsland is in no way beating out Harry Potter. Wizarding World is still holding number one, due to its massive fan base. When Potter comes to Hollywood in a few years, I think we will see Disney sweatin' again in the competition. Interesting to see if they will respond...
                          Well considering the two are on opposite sides of the country at this point, duh! When it comes, Disney will be sweating but I highl doubt it will affect Disneyland as much as it did WDW (even though WDW didn't really lose any guests they stayed even but USO had massive increases). Both additions are vastly increasing their parks attendance and drawing in more tourists than previously. I would call both successful, both immersive, and both highly themed. I dont think either have any effect on the other until HP opens in USH. If HP makes Disney really sweat, then we will just get a better Tomorrowland and I will be happy . I don't care for HP but if it means I get a new Tomorrowland than I'm more than pleased!

                          ---------- Post added 06-25-2012 at 11:54 PM ----------

                          And technically Magic Kingdom in WDW is Number 1 so DCA and IOA both lose...
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                          • #14
                            Re: Carsland more successful than the suits imagined

                            Time will tell if it was a success or not. Most folks are still using their current passes. It will be interesting to see if all this gets people to renew at the higher prices over the next year (and continue to do so)...
                            L + L = R

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                            • #15
                              Re: Carsland more successful than the suits imagined

                              Nice!! I hope this is finally the kick in the butt they need to realize that quality brings in the numbers!! And I have found that 99% of guests don't care whether or not an attraction is movie based or not. I have not heard anyone at the park who isn't a purist complain about it. In fact I hear a bit of the opposite: "Wow! Jack looks soo cool and real!" "There's alice...there's cinderella!!" "Disney should theme ride X to movie Y" The guests are enjoying themselves and I've learned to do the same. You start to appreciate things like this when you try to think like a tourist and just go with it.
                              In the quest for quality, I have no problem with the characters footing the bill.

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                              • #16
                                Re: Carsland more successful than the suits imagined

                                I do remember one comment by a woman as she was pushing her daughter in CL this weekend litterally say, "Its just like being in the movie!" and I think overall thats what really sells it for so many people! And for the people who hasnt seen the movie or dont care about it, it still works because you just walked into one of the most well crafted lands ever devised by Disney and I say this being both a huge DAK and TDS fan! Its well done, its beyound well done because you actually can forget you are anywhere else but in that town and thats what the best Disney areas do, ie, transport you to another time and place!

                                CL does that in spades, if you seen the movie or not!

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                                • #17
                                  Re: Carsland more successful than the suits imagined

                                  I think that a big part of the success is that in the age on the internet people are well informed about the projects and had a good sense that Disney was sparing no expense and doing their best work at DCA. This was also aided by this unusually long process of transformation that the park has undergone. I think this may make a major phase 2 happen because they're going to see that more improvements will pay off and by slowly offering teaser advertising it over a long period of time they can really drive interest. This is something Walt understood and finally the Disney Parks Blog has gotten pretty good at releasing information to get fans excited.

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                                  • #18
                                    Re: Carsland more successful than the suits imagined

                                    Originally posted by Uncle Bob View Post
                                    I think that a big part of the success is that in the age on the internet people are well informed about the projects and had a good sense that Disney was sparing no expense and doing their best work at DCA. This was also aided by this unusually long process of transformation that the park has undergone. I think this may make a major phase 2 happen because they're going to see that more improvements will pay off and by slowly offering teaser advertising it over a long period of time they can really drive interest. This is something Walt understood and finally the Disney Parks Blog has gotten pretty good at releasing information to get fans excited.
                                    So agreed! I think Disney has done a great job slowly revealing info over the years and since they had a great product to go with it, it slowly build word of mouth for YEARS and got people really excited. I mean you want to know whats funny? Go back to 2007 and D 23 2009, basically they released 99% of everything about the project from the beginning! We maybe didnt know the smaller details, but we knew basically everything from the initial press release what was going into CL, but still saved enough to release littled tidbits here and there. And while yes, they didnt show anything of RSR in terms of models or glimpses of the show room like they did with TLM, the entire story of the ride, scene by scene was also released years ago now. Whats funny is I didnt take a single peek of the ride in terms of AP preview videos until I rode it opening day and I knew EXACTLY what was going to happen from beginning to end because I read it years ago. But seeing it in person really made it extra special and how it was executed.

                                    But yeah, thats the thing when something is percieved as 'good' word of mouth gets out VERY fast these days!

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                                    • #19
                                      Re: Carsland more successful than the suits imagined

                                      I was actually surprised how many people I saw walk into Lizzie's and ask why there was not much CARS merchandise. They requested ride specific items or movie items, luckily they were sent to one of the other stores. Seems like instead of them filling up Lizzie with pins they should have added more specific cars items. Also they do have this neat cars shelve in the shape of a car. Sadly it is not being displayed properly, when I saw them they looked like part of the display until further inspection I noticed the glass taped to the car piece and I turned it over and saw the price tag.

                                      Forgot to take a picture but if someone else goes the shelve for sell is right across from the entrance.

                                      ---------- Post added 06-25-2012 at 11:58 PM ----------

                                      Originally posted by WorldDisney View Post
                                      I do remember one comment by a woman as she was pushing her daughter in CL this weekend litterally say, "Its just like being in the movie!" and I think overall thats what really sells it for so many people! And for the people who hasnt seen the movie or dont care about it, it still works because you just walked into one of the most well crafted lands ever devised by Disney and I say this being both a huge DAK and TDS fan! Its well done, its beyound well done because you actually can forget you are anywhere else but in that town and thats what the best Disney areas do, ie, transport you to another time and place!

                                      CL does that in spades, if you seen the movie or not!
                                      This is so true, I aheard people say the same thing. Other peoples comments as they entered thru the wharf were oh my god this is insane, is that real rock?

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                                      • #20
                                        Re: Carsland more successful than the suits imagined

                                        Originally posted by Bronco21 View Post
                                        I'm not against Pixar in the parks but I think seeing how well an immersive land works regardless of the theme is showing Disney how successful it can be. I just dont get off these rides and say wow that was fun lets go ride it again like I do with Pirates, Haunted Mansion, TSMM, ect. Disney hopefully is realizing that quality experiences are the only way to go!

                                        (Chesirecat I would love it if Dinoland USA got an attention at all! That land sucks and the Dinosaur overlay is stupid!)
                                        That's an excellent point, HM and Pirates are my two top favorite rides I can not do without.

                                        Disney can make great immersive rides and lands without the Pixar/character tie-ins, just look at the Grizzly Gulch, Mystic Manor being built in Hong Kong Disneyland and Expedition Everest. These attractions are better than Bug's Land by far.

                                        I think that the two lessons Disney will learn from Carsland will be that lands/rides need to be done on an immersive detail-intensive fashion, AND that should the suits feel a need to have a character tie-in to a ride, they don't need to necessarily align with James Cameron.

                                        The suits are still scratching their heads trying to figure out why Potterland worked, they think that it was because the films are so popular, not necessarily that the land was built well, so they underestimate the value of building an immersive land over a hot film property.

                                        With the success of Carsland, I think they'll look more in-house for cinematic inspiration, should they choose to go this route.

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