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  • [Question] Is Disneyland suffering due to the Walt Disney Company?

    During this whole lockdown fiasco, I was thinking about Disneyland and its questionable near-term recovery. Obviously this whole COVID thing is not going to be permanent and eventually it will be relegated to how we deal with the annual flu.

    If Disneyland was operating today as they were prior to the 1994 ABC acquisition, I think they would stand a better chance of getting back on their feet and back to normal. However, because WDC has diversified into so many markets, all of which (other than merchandise and online streaming) are not conducive to a healthy recovery in this environment. Most of the markets Disney is in cannot be started up like turning on a switch. It is going to take considerable time to ramp up the various divisions and markets – all of which will be vying for funding. That's going to translate to a lot more belt tightening.

    I think Disneyland is going to suffer for it and in turn, the Guest experience will suffer. I believe the people in charge do not take Disneyland that serious. The WDC's pet is Film and Television with WDW following. You can be sure that when the internal battles between divisions start, Disneyland is going to be looking for scraps.

    That's where I think Disneyland would benefit more if it were not tethered to such a huge conglomerate that The Walt Disney Company has become. I would rather have the Theme Parks and WDI unhinged from the mothership and let them do what they do best. I think it would foster more creativity since you won't have corporate foisting IPs onto the Parks. Imagineers will have to learn to be creative again instead of being spoon-fed ideas based on what IP Marketing wants to push.

    Of course, for that to work, you would need people in charge who have a passion for the Parks and what they stand for. That would mean Chapek would have to go and the creative people would have to call the shots.

    Anyway, that's how I see things. In all honesty, I really think Disney is too big and needs to be broken up a bit. Like the old saying, "Jack of all trades, but a master of none." That's where I see The WDC today.

    What do you think?
    “Not the least hard thing to bear when they go from us, these quiet friends, is that they carry away with them
    so many years of our own lives.”


    DL Trips: '58, '59, '61, '65, '66, '67, '68x2, '69x2, '70x2, '71x2, '73x2, '74x2, '75x2, '76x2, '77, '78,x2, '79x2, '80x2, '81, '82, '83, '88, '89x3, '90x2, '91, '93, '94, '95x2, '96, '97, '98x4, '99, '00, '01, '02, '03, '04, '05, '06, '07x2, '08, '09x2, '10, '11, '13
    WDW Trips: '81
    EPCOT Trips: '93
    Tokyo DL Trips: '86

  • #2
    Originally posted by stovk View Post
    ...What do you think?
    I think I couldn't agree more with your analysis of where Disneyland is and where it's headed. For decades, Disney has perceived Disneyland not as its own entertainment brand, but as an opportunistic platform for promoting its other brands. That perception is part of the corporate DNA; executives who lack it are automatically off the list of potential CEOs. I've long thought that the only way Disneyland could return to its position as a flagship of theme park innovation and creativity is under the management of another company -- specifically, OLC -- with Disney retaining the income stream from licensing.
    "Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because
    it combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning,
    together with every variety of recreation and fun,
    designed to appeal to everyone."

    - Walt Disney

    "Disneyland is all about turning movies into rides."
    - Michael Eisner

    "It's very symbiotic."
    - Bob Chapek

    Comment


    • #3
      It's sad to think of but it's somewhat normal too. When a company is heralded and led by one visionary creative that drives the company's ideals and projects, there can be an intense fiery passion to push things in directions most in charge would not have wanted to go to. But when that visionary lead is gone there is a slow slide towards corporatization where decisions are not made based upon a passionate central ideal, but rather based on what is a financially sound venture that is bound to return profits. Not saying that the Disney company when helmed under Walt Disney wasn't money driven, profits drive projects with people like Roy Disney handling the more financial decisions of the company, but there was definitively more consideration put certain ideals and ideas when the one in charge fully believes in those ideals and ideas.

      Always remember what Michael Eisner, ex-CEO of the Disney company, had to say about how he was running Disney:

      “We have no obligation to make Art. We have no obligation to make history. ... But to make money, it is often important to make history, art, a statement, or all three.”

      - Michael Eisner, 2005
      Its those decisions of trying to squeeze every single penny out of the customer whilst paying as little for the experience as possible is what drives us to where we are today, from the top to the bottom. It is true that there are people within the company that still hold to the ideals of providing an experience for the customers, but it's obvious that most of those in charge put money down first as a big priority to the point that most financial burdens squeeze out the other decisions.

      Total Tender Rides: 20
      Total Lilly Belle Rides: 9
      Total Dapper Days Attended: 2
      Total Mark Twain Wheelhouse Rides: 5

      Comment


      • #4
        Near as I can tell, Walt saw DL as a way to express his creativity and he made a ton of $$$ in the process.

        Present management sees DL as nothing more than a cash cow that makes a ton of $$$.

        But for how long?

        There's a good chance that with the present pandemic, a fair number of people will realize that DL is not what they once held it to be and may very well rethink the way the spend $$$.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by micromind View Post


          There's a good chance that with the present pandemic, a fair number of people will realize that DL is not what they once held it to be and may very well rethink the way the spend $$$.
          I think there going be lot more people realize
          There More to Life than Disney !
          imo
          Soaring like an EAGLE !

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by micromind View Post
            Near as I can tell, Walt saw DL as a way to express his creativity and he made a ton of $$$ in the process.

            Present management sees DL as nothing more than a cash cow that makes a ton of $$$.

            But for how long?

            There's a good chance that with the present pandemic, a fair number of people will realize that DL is not what they once held it to be and may very well rethink the way the spend $$$.
            You could be right. However, I wouldn't be surprised if WDC changed their business plan for Disneyland and exclusively marketed it to the very affluent. I wouldn't put it past them if they turned the entire Park into "Club 33"...of course they could have a "coupon day".
            We need another Walt...and fast!

            "It's always more difficult to recover than it is to do the right thing at the beginning" - Tony Baxter,
            The Imagineering Story, Episode 4 "Hit or Miss"

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Laugh-O-Grams View Post

              You could be right. However, I wouldn't be surprised if WDC changed their business plan for Disneyland and exclusively marketed it to the very affluent. I wouldn't put it past them if they turned the entire Park into "Club 33"...of course they could have a "coupon day".
              I could very easily see this becoming reality......Disney has always catered to rich folks more than the average everyday person.

              While this would cut back on crowds, it would also introduce a more serious problem; rich folks are accustom to having things their way and when they don't get their way, their behavior makes a 2 year-old seem quite mature.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by micromind View Post

                I could very easily see this becoming reality......Disney has always catered to rich folks more than the average everyday person.

                While this would cut back on crowds, it would also introduce a more serious problem; rich folks are accustom to having things their way and when they don't get their way, their behavior makes a 2 year-old seem quite mature.
                "That the Truth" -with some -not all !
                still "AMAZING"
                Soaring like an EAGLE !

                Comment


                • #9
                  "Obviously this whole COVID thing is not going to be permanent and eventually it will be relegated to how we deal with the annual flu."
                  Yes, just like the Black Death.

                  All of Entertainment is in the same leaky boat. That which has already been produced, or which can be (not very convincingly) produced in the living room, will continue. Everything else, mediated or in person, is dying on the vine. How long will this continue, and to what end? Real questions of life and death loom large now. And not just for the obvious victims.

                  Of course entertainment parks will die. They are tenuous propositions at best and will be sacrificed to real estate piranhas before the core IP is endangered. At the same time, the barons of virtuality will extol their substitutes for human connection and try to convince us that tiny LCD/OLED screens are even better than the real thing. I fear for our future.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Yohohoho View Post
                    "Obviously this whole COVID thing is not going to be permanent and eventually it will be relegated to how we deal with the annual flu."
                    Yes, just like the Black Death.

                    All of Entertainment is in the same leaky boat. That which has already been produced, or which can be (not very convincingly) produced in the living room, will continue. Everything else, mediated or in person, is dying on the vine. How long will this continue, and to what end? Real questions of life and death loom large now. And not just for the obvious victims.

                    Of course entertainment parks will die. They are tenuous propositions at best and will be sacrificed to real estate piranhas before the core IP is endangered. At the same time, the barons of virtuality will extol their substitutes for human connection and try to convince us that tiny LCD/OLED screens are even better than the real thing. I fear for our future.
                    "Black Death"? "...entertainment parks will die."? "...barons of virtuality..."?

                    Let's not get overly dramatic.
                    * Statistics is the art of never having to say you’re wrong.

                    * 99.9% of people involved in auto accidents ate carrots within 60-days before the accident.


                    * Among people born in 1839 who later dined on carrots, there has been a 100% mortality rate.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jar.Jar.Abrams View Post

                      "Black Death"? "...entertainment parks will die."? "...barons of virtuality..."?

                      Let's not get overly dramatic.
                      Art imitates life.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by stovk View Post
                        If Disneyland was operating today as they were prior to the 1994 ABC acquisition, I think they would stand a better chance of getting back on their feet and back to normal.
                        Disneyland has often been the sugar daddy for TWDC. That means that if any part of Disney suffered, Disneyland would pay for it instead of that money earned by Disneyland being reinvested into Disneyland.

                        That's not unusual in business, but this was taken to extremes. Disneyland would make metric tons of money but the park would be left in shambles so that money could go to the studios or anywhere else other than Disneyland.

                        So no, I don't think Disneyland would stand a better chance pre-ABC. The park would be left to rot to prop up other areas of Disney.

                        Disney figures people will come and spend money regardless, so why invest?

                        It was joked that Michael Eisner's ultimate goal for Disneyland was just to put a cardboard box on Harbor Blvd and people would drive by and toss money into it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Lighthope View Post

                          It was joked that Michael Eisner's ultimate goal for Disneyland was just to put a cardboard box on Harbor Blvd and people would drive by and toss money into it.
                          Yep-good point-
                          Just have the Logo of Disneyland on the cardboard box-
                          people would drive by and toss money into it.

                          Soaring like an EAGLE !

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Lighthope View Post

                            Disneyland has often been the sugar daddy for TWDC.
                            This is a terrible analogy.

                            A sugar daddy has plenty to cover his own needs and the needs of his baby. He never suffers as a result of footing their bills.



                            In all seriousness, I am endlessly frustrated by the fact that Disneyland rarely gets to enjoy the fruits of its own success. It really does seem like TWDC doesn't care about its original park. WDW is treated as the "main" resort, pop culture is full of jokes about the Hall of Presidents and other Orlando-only curiosities, but never anything unique to Anaheim.
                            Last edited by Karalora; 07-27-2020, 07:23 AM.
                            Like this post? Read more like it at The Disneyland Dilettante!

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                            • #15
                              It's hard...I know we all think Disney would just do well with Corporate people but I think basically without selling stuff you just can't fund these parks. It's just a dream, hell basically all rides and shops int he beginning were sposndered or Ads. I think some people just ignore the realty of the parks because Walt was soooo good at talking about his dream...but like everything Disney did it needed money and people willing to pay to make it happen
                              Happy Halloween!!!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I think the position of CEO retains a significant creative role in DL, whether that be positive or negative. Eisner's tenure was about global expansion. Iger' tenure focused on 'character' in the parks, both literal and figurative. Chapek's tenure is... more shopping?

                                That said, the 'IPs are ruining the parks' arguement is, in my opinion, a paradox. Any new thing is either an existing IP or will eventually become an IP. Even 'original' ideas are technically IPs by default (Pirates, Haunted Mansion, Tiki Room, Space Mountain). Basically, if there is merchandise for it, its an IP.

                                Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
                                I've long thought that the only way Disneyland could return to its position as a flagship of theme park innovation and creativity is under the management of another company -- specifically, OLC -- with Disney retaining the income stream from licensing.
                                OLC has shown no interest in property outside of Japan, which is currently where all of their ventures are located at.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Spongeocto4 View Post
                                  OLC has shown no interest in property outside of Japan, which is currently where all of their ventures are located at.
                                  True. Then again, DLR is a unique property. That's not saying OLC necessarily would be interested -- but if Disney were forced to divest itself of DLR, the normal rule book wouldn't apply.
                                  "Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because
                                  it combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning,
                                  together with every variety of recreation and fun,
                                  designed to appeal to everyone."

                                  - Walt Disney

                                  "Disneyland is all about turning movies into rides."
                                  - Michael Eisner

                                  "It's very symbiotic."
                                  - Bob Chapek

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I guess divesting could be inevitable...OLC could be the place to seek out some investors for the Disneyland Resort...
                                    I am old. But still love Disneyland.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Spongeocto4 View Post
                                      That said, the 'IPs are ruining the parks' arguement is, in my opinion, a paradox. Any new thing is either an existing IP or will eventually become an IP. Even 'original' ideas are technically IPs by default (Pirates, Haunted Mansion, Tiki Room, Space Mountain). Basically, if there is merchandise for it, its an IP.
                                      This is technically true, but I think we all know what we mean when we say IPs are ruining the parks. We are referring to brands that began as film (or sometimes television) properties being developed for attractions without regard to whether they suit the theme of an area or the "feel" of the park overall. Worse is when a standalone attraction is heavily altered or outright removed in favor of such branding. The notion that an idea must stem from a popular movie before it is considered worthy of inclusion in a theme park is the problem.
                                      Like this post? Read more like it at The Disneyland Dilettante!

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Karalora View Post
                                        This is technically true, but I think we all know what we mean when we say IPs are ruining the parks. We are referring to brands that began as film (or sometimes television) properties being developed for attractions without regard to whether they suit the theme of an area or the "feel" of the park overall. Worse is when a standalone attraction is heavily altered or outright removed in favor of such branding. The notion that an idea must stem from a popular movie before it is considered worthy of inclusion in a theme park is the problem.
                                        Exactly. And that notion stems from the Eisner-era business philosophy that views Disneyland as a combination brand-promotion platform and retail shopping mall.

                                        "Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because
                                        it combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning,
                                        together with every variety of recreation and fun,
                                        designed to appeal to everyone."

                                        - Walt Disney

                                        "Disneyland is all about turning movies into rides."
                                        - Michael Eisner

                                        "It's very symbiotic."
                                        - Bob Chapek

                                        Comment

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