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Will Disney exploit this downturn to expand their land holdings?

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  • Will Disney exploit this downturn to expand their land holdings?

    I know Disney is chomping at the bit and doing everything in their power to get the park back open but are they also exploiting the fact that if things stay closed long enough they would be able to swoop in on neighboring properties that historically wouldn't sell to them? Some of those family owned hotels that weren't socking away all the cash they made over the years might be in dire straights and now willing to talk to Disney about a sale. Do you think Disney is secretly salivating at this almost once in a lifetime opportunity?
    Last edited by Starcade; 10-21-2020, 03:35 PM.

  • #2
    It wouldn't surprise me, though Disney is not going to be in the best of financial circumstances by any means either. Some of the smaller land owners may be sold but anything larger might carry a price tag that is currently too rich for Disney's current state of affairs. I still stand by my opinion that Disney owning most of the properties around the resort would be horrible for the consumer, it effectively prices out many families more so than it already does...that and it's in Disney's financial interest to have you spend more for a shorter stay. Meaning they would find a sweet spot where people would struggle to come to their "value" hotels but not be able to stay for as lengthy a time as they would be able to at the current rack rates of some of the cheaper alternatives.

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    • #3
      I seem to recall some years ago Disney passing on the opportunity to purchase GardenWalk. I would assume they aren’t too enthusiastic to take over these properties as well.

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      • #4
        I do not see Disney buying properties...for long time........IMO
        Soaring like an EAGLE !

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Starcade View Post
          I know Disney is chomping at the bit and doing everything in their power to get the park back open but are they also exploiting the fact that if things stay closed long enough they would be able to swoop in on neighboring properties that historically wouldn't sell to them? Some of those family owned hotels that weren't socking away all the cash they made over the years might be in dire straights and now willing to talk to Disney about a sale. Do you think Disney is secretly salivating at this almost once in a lifetime opportunity?
          The only properties I could conceivably see them buying are the ones on Harbor Blvd directly across from the park. Those businesses scuttled Disney's plans to build a new parking garage over there, along with a new security screening area and pedestrian bridge. I'm guessing Disney still wants to do that project, if for no other reason than to be able to move the security screening area away from the crowded Esplanade and the park itself.

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          • #6
            I always wonder why Disney never took the property on the NWC of Harbor and katella where the 7-11 is and the two hotels. Would have been a great spot for another land/park expansion.
            "And yes, we implore EVERYBODY to follow the park rules. Having off-ride footage is great, but any still photo's or video's taken ON the coasters at SFMM are strictly against the rules. They are there for your (and everybody's) safety." "Six Flags doesn't allow ANY loose articles on their coasters, and they don't allow video taping on their coasters. " BUT, "​ This is not true. Six Flags does not allow ANY On-Ride video or pictures on the rides. The ONLY way is if you get explicit permission from Park Management." ???

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            • #7
              I could see the Walt Disney corporation quietly buying property in Nevada or Texas for the future.

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              • #8
                Is Disney in that bad of shape where they couldn't buy the properties if/when they were offered. I'm assuming here, that Disney is in a much better position to weather the storm than all of the Harbor properties in question including the NWC of Katella and Harbor *combined*. Sure Disney is hurting as compared to how they were doing, but they have so much power, control, and money worldwide that a prolonged closure of the DLR is just a painful inconvenience to the company (the devastating parts are for the countless CMs and other non Disney staff that rely on the now closed parks in California and cruise lines).
                As part of a Public Service Announcement...
                Guardians Of The Galaxy
                Mission: Breakout
                ...is abbreviated like this
                GOTG M:B
                The colon is placed after the "M", not before it.
                That is all. 😉

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Eagleman View Post
                  I do not see Disney buying properties...for long time........IMO
                  Agreed, I think it will be some time, unless they can score a major deal. However the tourism industry will be depressed for some number of years.

                  I would suspect that they wont be doing much expansion for quite some time.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Golden Zephyr View Post

                    Agreed, I think it will be some time, unless they can score a major deal. However the tourism industry will be depressed for some number of years.

                    I would suspect that they wont be doing much expansion for quite some time.
                    I can see Disney -selling some land at Walt Disney World in Florida
                    to have cash flow........it would be area / property, that they do not need or want.
                    But that still be a big ?
                    Soaring like an EAGLE !

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tarheelalum View Post
                      I could see the Walt Disney corporation quietly buying property in Nevada or Texas for the future.
                      I wish...I would love more Disney but they are not going to for yearsssssssssssss be building new things for people to travel to.
                      I also think while it would be a smart move to buy "cheap" land right now they won't in CA because that would in some way support the State that is screwing them
                      Happy Halloween!!!

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                      • #12
                        This forum topic is a great question. I agree that it was a little telling of Disney's recent intentions that they did not swoop up the garden walk. That makes me think that they did not have especially ambitious plans to expand to that side of the resort area. However, even with all of the pandemic complications, Disney is still sitting on 27 Billion free cash as of their last earnings call. Yes, they are still in substantial debt after the Fox acquisition, but money is cheap right now and they have maintained an adequate credit rating to borrow more or refi if needed.

                        In this context, I would not be at all surprised if Disney was already quietly putting out feelers on "once in a lifetime" property acquisitions in Anaheim. Especially since many small businesses probably lost the last bit of hope they had of Disney reopening soon with the latest guidelines update. The situation sucks for the small businesses, but if Disney intends to keep expanding in Anaheim, they would be foolish to pass on any reasonable opportunities that come their way in the next six months.

                        Interesting potential PR situation though...

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by xPhoenix View Post
                          This forum topic is a great question. I agree that it was a little telling of Disney's recent intentions that they did not swoop up the garden walk. That makes me think that they did not have especially ambitious plans to expand to that side of the resort area. However, even with all of the pandemic complications, Disney is still sitting on 27 Billion free cash as of their last earnings call. Yes, they are still in substantial debt after the Fox acquisition, but money is cheap right now and they have maintained an adequate credit rating to borrow more or refi if needed.

                          In this context, I would not be at all surprised if Disney was already quietly putting out feelers on "once in a lifetime" property acquisitions in Anaheim. Especially since many small businesses probably lost the last bit of hope they had of Disney reopening soon with the latest guidelines update. The situation sucks for the small businesses, but if Disney intends to keep expanding in Anaheim, they would be foolish to pass on any reasonable opportunities that come their way in the next six months.

                          Interesting potential PR situation though...
                          If Disney were foolish enough to exploit the pandemic by buying up dying small businesses -- after they have laid off tens of thousands of employees -- they would take a PR hit of astronomical proportions. The public would revile them as vultures.
                          "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


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post

                            If Disney were foolish enough to exploit the pandemic by buying up dying small businesses -- after they have laid off tens of thousands of employees -- they would take a PR hit of astronomical proportions. The public would revile them as vultures.
                            There are many different situations out there with many ways to do things to limit PR issues. For example, if Disney buys a strip mall from a real estate company that is leasing to businesses, they may keep the property "as is" until they are ready to repurpose the land at a later date. People want more Disney. As long as the "vultureing" isn't in their faces, they will likely choose to focus on the excitement of new Disney expansions instead. Not suggesting it is right or wrong, just suggesting it.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by xPhoenix View Post
                              There are many different situations out there with many ways to do things to limit PR issues. For example, if Disney buys a strip mall from a real estate company that is leasing to businesses, they may keep the property "as is" until they are ready to repurpose the land at a later date. People want more Disney. As long as the "vultureing" isn't in their faces, they will likely choose to focus on the excitement of new Disney expansions instead. Not suggesting it is right or wrong, just suggesting it.
                              I understand the business logic of what you're saying.

                              But the public wouldn't see it that way. They would see over 10,000 COVID deaths in Southern California, tens of thousands of Disney employees out of work, and Disney swooping down like vultures to buy up failed mom-and-pop motels and restaurants. There would be no way Disney could limit or spin the story -- it would be headline news.

                              For a preview of how Disney would be perceived, check out the history of American banks during the Great Depression: They foreclosed on failed family farms and earned themselves a reputation for cold-hearted corporate greed that they didn't have beforehand -- a reputation that has stuck with them nearly a century later. Given the "family friendly" aspect of the Disney brand, the PR backlash for Disney would be worse.
                              "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


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post

                                I understand the business logic of what you're saying.

                                But the public wouldn't see it that way. They would see over 10,000 COVID deaths in Southern California, tens of thousands of Disney employees out of work, and Disney swooping down like vultures to buy up failed mom-and-pop motels and restaurants. There would be no way Disney could limit or spin the story -- it would be headline news.

                                For a preview of how Disney would be perceived, check out the history of American banks during the Great Depression: They foreclosed on failed family farms and earned themselves a reputation for cold-hearted corporate greed that they didn't have beforehand -- a reputation that has stuck with them nearly a century later. Given the "family friendly" aspect of the Disney brand, the PR backlash for Disney would be worse.
                                If they waited long enough to swoop in they could be seen as the saviors of Anaheim and revitalize an area that is on it's way to a dire situation. Like any situations some will see them as vultures and others will see them as hero's.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by BillFraser29 View Post
                                  If they waited long enough to swoop in they could be seen as the saviors of Anaheim and revitalize an area that is on it's way to a dire situation. Like any situations some will see them as vultures and others will see them as hero's.
                                  Timing would definitely be important. Still, it will be years before the American economy recovers to its pre-pandemic levels. During that long recovery, it will be difficult for the highly-paid CEOs of a multi-billion-dollar corporation (one that is notorious for charging its customers high prices) to be viewed as "saviors." Especially when it will be obvious that they are expanding their empire.
                                  "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
                                    Originally posted by BillFraser29 View Post

                                    If they waited long enough to swoop in they could be seen as the saviors of Anaheim and revitalize an area that is on it's way to a dire situation. Like any situations some will see them as vultures and others will see them as hero's.
                                    Exactly this. They could buy the land, saying that they have no immediate plans to redevelop them, and that they are simply investing for the future and in the short-term trying to help local businesses survive the pandemic, because they respect the symbiotic relationship the park has with those businesses.

                                    They could totally manage to spin this to look like they are saving small businesses, while also making smart investments for the future.

                                    The cast-members and their supporters would be pissed, and that would need to be evaluated carefully. But the predatory buying aspect I think could definitely be managed to come out as a win for Disney.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post

                                      Timing would definitely be important. Still, it will be years before the American economy recovers to its pre-pandemic levels. During that long recovery, it will be difficult for the highly-paid CEOs of a multi-billion-dollar corporation (one that is notorious for charging its customers high prices) to be viewed as "saviors." Especially when it will be obvious that they are expanding their empire.
                                      If, and this is a big IF, Disney bought up any bankrupt motels/hotels in the surrounding area, AND, rather than develop the properties right away, they brought back any furlough’d or laid off employees (either their own or ones that previously worked at those properties) and kept them essentially as is (say the Tropicana stays the Tropicana, but is actually owned by Disney) then they would been seen in a good light I believe, and could ride that out for a while before considering any new projects.

                                      It’s a long shot that they’d go that route, but it is one that would be a PR boost rather than a negative.
                                      Mike_M

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Mike_M View Post
                                        If, and this is a big IF, Disney bought up any bankrupt motels/hotels in the surrounding area, AND, rather than develop the properties right away, they brought back any furlough’d or laid off employees (either their own or ones that previously worked at those properties) and kept them essentially as is (say the Tropicana stays the Tropicana, but is actually owned by Disney) then they would been seen in a good light I believe, and could ride that out for a while before considering any new projects.

                                        It’s a long shot that they’d go that route, but it is one that would be a PR boost rather than a negative.
                                        That could help. It might also help the backlash from Anaheim's government and citizens that Disney is dominating too much of the city. Many locals are already distrustful of Disney -- a "my way or the highway" corporation that repeatedly has acted like an arrogant 800-pound-gorilla-with-an-entitlement-complex-in-the-room.


                                        "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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