The gimmicks seem to work and boost attendance. There may be a large group of regularly attending locals, but Disneyland also needs the out-of-towners who pay $60+ a pop to get in, stay in the hotels, buy those souvenirs the locals already own, etc.
The lack of new attractions is definately appalling however, and no amount of gimmicks or new parades excuses that.
because YOAMD was Rasulo's baby, that's why. Sadly, he thinks people want free mouse ears more than a big E-ticket that everyone can enjoy. Luckily the Year of A Million Yawns will be over this year, and we can concentrate on the DCA expansion and 55th, something worth celebrating.
I think we're really dealing with two separate, not-entirely-related issues here: the efficacy (or lack thereof) of marketing campaigns, and the quantity and quality of new attractions in the parks. The first issue...well, I don't have the numbers on it, but I can't imagine the YOAMD has boosted attendance by that much. Most people don't know anything about it, and if they come to the park because of a YOAMD billboard or commercial, it's probably because they saw a Disneyland billboard or commercial; the campaign wouldn't have all that much meaning to them. Furthermore, the campaign is repugnant because of the visual intrusions it's made in the park, the worst of which are the DreamClouds above Disneyland's entrance.
The attractions issue is tricky. Building a ride costs a LOT of money, so I can't exactly blame Disney for not building a new E-ticket once every couple of years. With a couple of exceptions in DL's history, that's never been the way to do it. Look at the dates of some of the park's best attractions' openings:
Pirates of the Caribbean: 1967
Haunted Mansion: 1969
Space Mountain: 1977
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad: 1979
Star Tours: 1987
Splash Mountain: 1989
Indiana Jones Adventure: 1995
Actually, looking at the trend, I'd say we were due for a big new E-ticket last year...but the good news is, we're due for another one next year, too. Anyway, my point is, you typically only get a couple of great E-tickets per decade. Indy was expensive and it was the Pressler era, so there's the 90s for you. IMO, Indy itself is practically worth two E-tickets anyway. Now we've got a very large investment happening at DCA, so it would be quite hard to finance the construction of another E-ticket in Disneyland.
Luckily the Year of A Million Yawns will be over this year
Are you sure? Maybe we'll "luck out" and get another.
I recall hearing the next promotion (which will be next year ) is going to be "Magical Celebrations." Basically the YoaMD, but you'll have to pay for some of the prizes. And it will be about celebrating your important events (birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, etc.), at Disneyland. From the get-go this sounds more comprehensible than the YoaMD.
But, no, I do not think Disneyland needs a promotion every year. I would rather see them more infrequently, than they are now.
A movie has legs. THe theatre stays the same and you move the merchandise in, show the flick until the audiences start coming, move in a new movie and continue to make some cash.
Not so with an theme park. Especially in SoCal, where local visitors create the bulk of guests in the park. Now, where do you go repeatedly? Stores, because you have to. You don't have to go to a theme park again and again. You've been there once, you're pretty much done.
As was mentioned, rides cost a LOT of cash. So how do you get the locals to come back? You dress it up with possible prizes. A gimmick? Yep. But I can think of little other changes you could make--other then make more rides which may or may not be hits.
Now us? We're addicted, so we're going to go anyways. But what about our friends up the street? What's going to make them take at least one trip annually?
Most likely gimmicky advertisting that makes it seem like everything is fresh and new.
We all know better, that's obvious. But the gimmicks are a bit more necessary then we might think.
The attractions issue is tricky. Building a ride costs a LOT of money, so I can't exactly blame Disney for not building a new E-ticket once every couple of years.
You are right, great new rides do take time to make and money to build. The problem is that current management insists that somehow new rides promote other divisions of the company, like movies or merchandise. A truly great ride comes from a great idea and carried out in a grand way. Sadly, current management seems only intent on opening up the purse to build attractions that promote DVD or movie ticket sales. Often that money is wasted in some frenzy to promote the movie, but th attraction is left in the park devoid of support or maintenance.
Jiminy Cricket Fan
Good points, Roo. (I do want to say, however, that I don't think the "bulk" of the guests in the park are locals. They constitute a rather large percentage when compared to the other parks, yes, but I don't think they're the majority.)
Originally posted by JiminyCricketFan
The problem is that current management insists that somehow new rides promote other divisions of the company, like movies or merchandise. A truly great ride comes from a great idea and carried out in a grand way. Sadly, current management seems only intent on opening up the purse to build attractions that promote DVD or movie ticket sales. Often that money is wasted in some frenzy to promote the movie, but th attraction is left in the park devoid of support or maintenance.
Yes I'm old...but I liked the 35th anniversary when they gave away a prize to every person who came through the gates...most got a popscicle bar or a pin, but then there were a couple of big prizes each day...
That was exciting...and I'm sure expensive...something like that would be great every 5 years!
In over 10 years Disneyland has opened only 1 E ticket and 2 "Dark Rides".
There just isn't any more room for a "New" E-Ticket attraction at DL without removing something first. Personally, I'm OK with plussing existing attractions at DL as an alternative to replacing them with something completly different. To expect a new ride at DL every couple years would mean loosing a ride every couple years as well. In 20 years time, a good chunk of what we think of as DL would be gone.
Although they have re-done a few rides like Space, Pirates and the Island, but most people just think these are the same rides so who's going to pay 60 bucks to go so they can hear the new music and see Johnny Depp robots!
For the people that visit only every couple years or so (Like me ), part of the fun is revisiting your favorite attractions from times past and if there are a couple new suprises on one of your favorite rides, that allows it to be both reminicant and new at the same time.
So I ask does Disneyland really need a gimmick, or should they just stick to doing what they do best...building great NEW attractions!
DCA is where most of the new attractions will be going in the forseeable future and that's fine with me.
I liked the original subs better, both for the immersive and not like watching TV technology AND the adventerous and scientific theme.
Disney does have room for more rides without removing any current non-pathetic attraction. New attractions which could be shown in the background of classy Disneyland advertisements.
Honey I shrunk the audience (literally)
Cascade Peak and Big Thunder Ranch could be a new land
Toon Town area
Fantasyland Theater/Princess should be in downtown Disney
Castle Walk through (should lead to an underground Dragon!)
Buzz Lightyear (now redundant with Midway Mania)
Star Tours (replaced by Star Tours 2?)
People Mover Tracks
Pizza Port use to be a ride
As you can see, Disneyland could have a major new ride every year for the next decade and not lose a single real ride!
I'd also add back some C & D tickets like a skyway and keel boats.