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  • [Question] Are we on the verge of a WDW Renaissance?

    With the latest numbers released out of Orlando, it seems that the boards (everywhere) are filled with discussions of the problems at WDW and it's lackluster performance of late. WDW Management has recently announced a long-coming replacement for Pleasure Island, and the first real results of the Fantasyland extreme makeover have been unveiled (Winnie the Pooh queue) to positive reviews...BUT, rumors are flying everywhere about future theme park enhancements, but no "official" announcements yet. With the "Potter" addition to IoA obviously starting to siphon off some of the mouse's dollars, and a general "been there, done that" mentality towards the Kingdom and it's sibling parks, do you think that we're on the edge of a true Renaissance at WDW? Maybe an overthrow of the management team altogether? Will Iger step up and issue some marching orders? Or will it be Staggs that does the dirty work? If the storm arrives (and I hope it does), when the dust settles, what would you like to see happen to what was once the most incredible themed resort on the planet? Can it regain its rightly place on top, or is it past it's prime? What do you all think (now that's a loaded question)?
    WDW-'73,'76,'77,'78,'79,'80,'81,'82,'86,'91,'95,'96,'9 7,'99,'00,'01,'02,'03,'05,'06,'07,
    Jan'08,Feb'08,Sept'09,'10x3,'11x5,'12x4,'13x4,'14x 2
    DL-
    '79,'81,'84,'91,'05,'07,'10,'14

  • #2
    Re: Are we on the edge of a WDW Renaissance?

    I truly hope we are. I think that WDW is on the tipping point right now. I think that they are walking a razor thin line of cost vs. perceived value, with people looking at the competition with fresh eyes.

    I think that any announcement that will be made will be made at the very last moment possible, so that people feel that "call to action" to visit.

    We are at a wait and see point with WDW. Sadly a lot of land has been earmarked for development so we will have to see what is left in 10 years.
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    • #3
      Re: Are we on the edge of a WDW Renaissance?

      It's too soon to tell, IMO. The Fantasyland Expansion is having its own series of troubles while the planned updates to Epcot are just in rumor status only.

      I'm not trying to be negative about the situation. I think what would make a great WDW Renaissance is if WDW was doing an "expansion project" involving all four parks. Note that the two parks which are considered "half-day" parks continue to be overlooked. I would love for DHS and DAK to get their little special expansions as well.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Are we on the edge of a WDW Renaissance?

        Just for clarification....the title of this post should have said "verge" not edge. It's driving me crazy (and can't be changed), so I just had to say something. Guess I'm a little anal.
        WDW-'73,'76,'77,'78,'79,'80,'81,'82,'86,'91,'95,'96,'9 7,'99,'00,'01,'02,'03,'05,'06,'07,
        Jan'08,Feb'08,Sept'09,'10x3,'11x5,'12x4,'13x4,'14x 2
        DL-
        '79,'81,'84,'91,'05,'07,'10,'14

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Are we on the edge of a WDW Renaissance?

          Interesting topic. I certainly hope that things can improve at WDW. How that can be achieved though is no easy answer.

          And it won't be cheap either.
          sigpic

          "We're not trying to entertain the critics ... I'll take my chances with the public." -
          Walt Disney

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Are we on the edge of a WDW Renaissance?

            I just don't know how it can. WDW's profit was 312 million dollars. E:E cost 150 million dollars. How on earth in it's current form can we really expect Disney to drop more capital expenses into a resort that is operating on a 11% margin.
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            • #7
              Re: Are we on the edge of a WDW Renaissance?

              Originally posted by KingEric View Post
              I just don't know how it can. WDW's profit was 312 million dollars. E:E cost 150 million dollars. How on earth in it's current form can we really expect Disney to drop more capital expenses into a resort that is operating on a 11% margin.
              It goes back to the old statement of you have to spend money to make money! It is time for Disney to do a major overhaul and yes that will mean spending more money then it makes for a few years but the return to that investment will be huge IMO if they do it right!
              BGood! It's not just my motto its my name!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Are we on the verge of a WDW Renaissance?

                ORWEN: Well, I think it's time that there was a new dark ride created for every single princess in Fantasyland. That's the best place to start. I just LOVE all the Disney girls. I refuse to throw away any of my crayon's that I'd bought especially for Princess Aurora's former meet and greet. (I've been using them at the Rapunzel meet and greet at least.)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Are we on the verge of a WDW Renaissance?

                  One way to turn it around is to start running it like a resort again, and not a business.

                  (If that makes sense! )
                  sigpic

                  "We're not trying to entertain the critics ... I'll take my chances with the public." -
                  Walt Disney

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Are we on the verge of a WDW Renaissance?

                    If one is coming I hope that it's more of a Disney Sea type of renaissance than a Carsland one. Though, if I was a betting man, I'd put my money on the latter.

                    To answer your question of what I'd like to see, my list is as follows:
                    • A transportation system not dependent on buses. There are at least 4 more fun and creative ways to get around. Here's a hint, The Magic Kingdom has three of them, and Epcot has the other.
                    • Maintenance keeps things from falling apart and looking like crap.
                    • One or two new lands in the Animal Kingdom. The logo still has a dragon on it, it's time for the park to reflect that. Temporary lands shouldn't last 15 years.
                    • Dropping the studios from Disney Hollywood Studios. The movie theme shouldn't be taken so literally, Soundstages make for some really ugly scenery. Just make rides based on movies and lose the whole hot set thing. Then, if you didn't have rides based on movies in every other park, this one could actually be unique. Like one giant Fantasyland.
                    • A true attraction in every World Showcase pavilion.
                    • The future back in Future World and something sot seasonal or special event oriented in The Wonders of Life and The Odyssey.
                    Last edited by Dapper Dan; 12-02-2010, 12:41 PM.
                    It bothers me when people selectively edit quotes to support whatever point they are trying to prove.
                    sigpic

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Are we on the verge of a WDW Renaissance?

                      ^Sounds like a great plan to me.
                      sigpic

                      "We're not trying to entertain the critics ... I'll take my chances with the public." -
                      Walt Disney

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Are we on the verge of a WDW Renaissance?

                        Originally posted by steve2wdw View Post
                        do you think that we're on the edge of a true Renaissance at WDW?
                        Simply, no.
                        Marquis d'Bod of the RCMC... always and forever

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Are we on the verge of a WDW Renaissance?

                          Here's my opinion of what I think needs to be fixed first:

                          - Add capacity and a new land to Disney's Animal Kingdom. A new e-ticket would be nice, but smaller C and D tickets are needed throughout the park. Perhaps a Skyway ride would also be worth investing in, since a common complaint from the park is the amount of walking.
                          - Invest in new monorail infrastructure. The infrastructure from the '70's wasn't meant to last forever. The WDW Transportation system is simply overwhelmed, and adding more buses is only a band-aid. For the long term, investing in expanding the monorail to other destinations may actually be less expensive, plus it could help ease the strain. Perhaps if people were more encouraged to use watercraft (and more watercraft were added), it would help more.
                          - Add a thrill ride to the Magic Kingdom, before the Magic Kingdom becomes a kiddie ride park. Perhaps a hybrid Indy ride for Adventureland, or something for Tomorrowland.
                          - Keep more restaurants open at the Magic Kingdom. At mealtime, the western side of the Magic Kingdom only really has Pecos Bill's, Columbia Harbor House, and a few fruit stands open.
                          - Refurbish JIYI, it just seems to be a dead weight.
                          - Put the Monsters ride in DHS, and add a smaller C-ticket somewhere. (I'd love a Seinfeld dark ride. )

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Are we on the verge of a WDW Renaissance?

                            Doubt it. Would love for it to happen. But doubt it.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Are we on the verge of a WDW Renaissance?

                              Originally posted by Maverick View Post
                              Simply, no.

                              agreed 100%.

                              I would LOVE if it did. WDW is a big fat cat too satisfied and completely happy to just rest on it's tradition and heritage. Its milks its former greatness to 9th degree, seemingly fooling most everyone still. Sad.


                              But the reality is.......... no one at Team Disney Orlando is really all that concerned. WWoHP was expected to boost Universal attendance. Universal Attendance had taken double digit nose dives, if WWOHP did not produce a double digit increase to reverse prior damage, and thats eactly what it did, Universal would be dead. But the plan worked and Reverse years of declining attendance, at least for now. While at the same time the fact that WDW attendance remained flat and not significantly down, with absolutly nothing to open directly against WWoHP, is a testimate to the strenght of and size of the WDW market share in Orlando.

                              To Recap:

                              WDW attendance remained flat, Universal saw the biggest spike in attendance in their storied History, but in the in end, it doesn't matter to Disney. WDW didn't lose any sigificant business and are still #1 in attendance by Multi Millions. WDW still dominates the market.

                              No... Unfortunately this is not going to create any neo think corporate renaissance. You'll see Disney move slowly with an attraction here, or a show there... but don't anticipate any major changes.

                              Iger said capital spending would slow down after this current rush to expand our parks and build new cruise ships, and I don't think there was any thing in the performance of the IOA's WWoHP that was not already anticipated when he stated that. Certainly not enough of an impact to create a shift in strategy on the corporate level for WDW.

                              My guess is neither Burbank or Team Disney Orlando is going to wake up and suddenly say (wow, look at what WWoHP is doing to us". More then likely they are letting Univeral have its little lime light for now, and then planing on spending half as much as Universal Create did on WWoHP to reverse Univerals downward attendance trend, to insure WDW's continued Market Share dominance.

                              WDW will let Universal enjoy a couple of years of regained market share, and then once again pick away at it with business as usual at WDW. I have said it before, and I really wish I was wrong because I would love to see WDW truely step up its game, but WDW is NOT going to counter WWoHP. Its going to let it happen, and continue with business as ususal, letting its commanding lead do the work for itself and slowly retake any lost business back.

                              Remember, when IOA and it's Spiderman attraction first open, Disney was going to HAVE to counter? They let it happen, then put in measured response a few years later, spending a fraction of the cost of a new theme park and a cutting edge technology attraction to Market the Millinuem Celebration and in 18 months, Disney had completely taken back anything it lost to Universal and then some.

                              Then 9-11 happen, in the years following that Universal has revamps its own markering, added some attractions, invested heavily in HHN's, and it paid off with them being the Only theme parks to see an attendance increase.

                              Disney picked away at Universal with clever marketing, new ticket schemes, new services like Disney's magical Express and Resort Airline baggage and check in AND capped it all off when then pulled off the Happiest Celebration on Earth, totally reverseing and taking back any gains Universal had ever seen 2001-2005. From 05 Until now the opening of WWoHP, WDW attendance grew and Universals slide on a downward slide, a dangerous thing for them when they are already a distance number two is the market share race.

                              This is nothing more then tit for tat in a corporate game of Chess, and nothing that Disney didn't anticipate. Do not expect any Renaissance
                              Last edited by Kidgenie; 12-03-2010, 01:45 AM.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Re: Are we on the verge of a WDW Renaissance?

                                Originally posted by Kidgenie View Post
                                WDW is a big fat cat too satisfied and completely happy to just rest on it's tradition and heritage. Its milks its former greatness to 9th degree, seemingly fooling most everyone still. Sad.
                                You said it perfectly.
                                Originally posted by SeaCastle View Post
                                - Invest in new monorail infrastructure. The infrastructure from the '70's wasn't meant to last forever. The WDW Transportation system is simply overwhelmed, and adding more buses is only a band-aid. For the long term, investing in expanding the monorail to other destinations may actually be less expensive, plus it could help ease the strain. Perhaps if people were more encouraged to use watercraft (and more watercraft were added), it would help more.
                                Where are people getting these stats? Look at what it cost to build the monorail back in the 70's and at least double that for what it would cost today. As much as I would love to see the monorail expand it's just not going to happen. Unless Disney invests in some expanded river system that integrates boats more into transportation people are going to have to get used to the idea of buses becoming more prevalent.
                                Marquis d'Bod of the RCMC... always and forever

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Re: Are we on the verge of a WDW Renaissance?

                                  Well let's stop and look at what we know.

                                  DTD-Hyperion Wharf- Sure some of us may not like it but it is a vast improvement over what has been there for at least 2 years now. Along with it we shall see many new shoppes and restaurants and few other goodies.

                                  There are rumors of major shake-ups within the WestEnd that will change the whole feel of this area. We also know we're getting an expanded Lego store and a remodeled AMC.

                                  MK-An expanded Fantasyland with at least one new ride and rumors of a few more. We're also getting an amazing new restaurant and some nice Meet&Greets. If Winnie the Pooh is any hint at whats to come we will be getting one amazing Fantasyland.

                                  We're also seeing little enhancements throughout the park and this should continue for awhile. (I personally hope that the Speedway dies a quick death and is replaced by some of the much cooler attractions like the ones found in Tokyo)

                                  EPCOT-lots of rumors including new lands and rides. (My vote is for Saudi Arabia, Spain and Brazil.)
                                  I think the recent Shanghai Expo shows what countries are willing to do to showcase themselves. This needs to be where World Showcase needs to focus. Each of the countries pavilions at the Expo had multiple events, restaurants, and some even had rides (Switzerland by far had one of the most memorable pavilions) Why can't EPOCT have this also? I suspect that future countries will not only expect it but demand it.

                                  This year alone at EPCOT we got two great new restaurants that are highly themed and have quality chefs at the helm.

                                  DHS-Star Tours 2 is on the way and from the rumors it sounds pretty good. There are rumors of a Monsters, Inc. coaster on the way, along with CarsLand similar to what DCA. This would add at least 2 or 3 rides in itself. The Ratatouille ride may also be on the way (I personally would prefer to see this at EPCOT but the chances of that happening are pretty slim).

                                  There are also rumors of a remake to Great Movie Ride and Indiana Jones. I wouldn't be surprised to see a Tron ride come to the park, along with at least one other D ticket ride.

                                  AK-Lots of rumors, none which seem to be true. But within the next ten years I'm sure we'll see at least a few of them come true. Here we can expect whole new lands with multiple rides and attractions.

                                  Hotels- Art of Animation has been confirmed. Rumors of a new California themed one between Fort Wilderness and Wilderness Lodge. We just got the Bay Lake Tower.

                                  Other items-
                                  An expansion at the Wide World of Sports is about to get started.

                                  A amazing new pet Kennel just opened on the property, Golden Oaks is being built with the world class 4 Seasons at the heart of it.

                                  Flamingo Crossing seems to be on the back burner but is sure to open within the next ten years (and remember this is where Dixie Stampede is supposedly going).

                                  We also know of a new shopping area being built on 192 itself.

                                  Transportation-
                                  A huge new High Speed Rail station is on the way (as long as Scott keeps his hands off this project) that will give Disney a major I-4 presence.

                                  WDW also just hired Samuel Lau away from San Fransisco. Now let's think about this. Why would they hire one of the top transportation directors in the nation to run a bunch of buses. He is well known in the industry due to his numerous studies and projects involving everything from Bus Rapid Transit to Personal Rapid Transit. He is still figuring out the problems at WDW but he was hired for what he knows and thats light rail and BRTs. So I expect a major overhaul of the transit system within the next few years. This overhaul will include light rail connecting most of the resorts and parks, BRT lanes throughout the property, and hopefully an expanded boat service.

                                  So with all this happening I would definitely say YES we not only on the verge (or edge if you wish) of a WDW Renaissance we are in fact in the midst of it.

                                  As far as the management goes I expect some shake ups sooner than later, Burbank can't be happy about the contract negotiations, the complaints, and the flat attendance. Instead of an all one time overhaul they seem to be slowly and with little fanfare going through a replacing or at least waking up the east coast suits.

                                  By 2021 WDW will look entirely different!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Re: Are we on the verge of a WDW Renaissance?

                                    Originally posted by klstorey View Post
                                    Well let's stop and look at what we know.

                                    DTD-Hyperion Wharf- Sure some of us may not like it but it is a vast improvement over what has been there for at least 2 years now. Along with it we shall see many new shoppes and restaurants and few other goodies.

                                    There are rumors of major shake-ups within the WestEnd that will change the whole feel of this area. We also know we're getting an expanded Lego store and a remodeled AMC.

                                    MK-An expanded Fantasyland with at least one new ride and rumors of a few more. We're also getting an amazing new restaurant and some nice Meet&Greets. If Winnie the Pooh is any hint at whats to come we will be getting one amazing Fantasyland.

                                    We're also seeing little enhancements throughout the park and this should continue for awhile. (I personally hope that the Speedway dies a quick death and is replaced by some of the much cooler attractions like the ones found in Tokyo)

                                    EPCOT-lots of rumors including new lands and rides. (My vote is for Saudi Arabia, Spain and Brazil.)
                                    I think the recent Shanghai Expo shows what countries are willing to do to showcase themselves. This needs to be where World Showcase needs to focus. Each of the countries pavilions at the Expo had multiple events, restaurants, and some even had rides (Switzerland by far had one of the most memorable pavilions) Why can't EPOCT have this also? I suspect that future countries will not only expect it but demand it.

                                    This year alone at EPCOT we got two great new restaurants that are highly themed and have quality chefs at the helm.

                                    DHS-Star Tours 2 is on the way and from the rumors it sounds pretty good. There are rumors of a Monsters, Inc. coaster on the way, along with CarsLand similar to what DCA. This would add at least 2 or 3 rides in itself. The Ratatouille ride may also be on the way (I personally would prefer to see this at EPCOT but the chances of that happening are pretty slim).

                                    There are also rumors of a remake to Great Movie Ride and Indiana Jones. I wouldn't be surprised to see a Tron ride come to the park, along with at least one other D ticket ride.

                                    AK-Lots of rumors, none which seem to be true. But within the next ten years I'm sure we'll see at least a few of them come true. Here we can expect whole new lands with multiple rides and attractions.

                                    Hotels- Art of Animation has been confirmed. Rumors of a new California themed one between Fort Wilderness and Wilderness Lodge. We just got the Bay Lake Tower.

                                    Other items-
                                    An expansion at the Wide World of Sports is about to get started.

                                    A amazing new pet Kennel just opened on the property, Golden Oaks is being built with the world class 4 Seasons at the heart of it.

                                    Flamingo Crossing seems to be on the back burner but is sure to open within the next ten years (and remember this is where Dixie Stampede is supposedly going).

                                    We also know of a new shopping area being built on 192 itself.

                                    Transportation-
                                    A huge new High Speed Rail station is on the way (as long as Scott keeps his hands off this project) that will give Disney a major I-4 presence.

                                    WDW also just hired Samuel Lau away from San Fransisco. Now let's think about this. Why would they hire one of the top transportation directors in the nation to run a bunch of buses. He is well known in the industry due to his numerous studies and projects involving everything from Bus Rapid Transit to Personal Rapid Transit. He is still figuring out the problems at WDW but he was hired for what he knows and thats light rail and BRTs. So I expect a major overhaul of the transit system within the next few years. This overhaul will include light rail connecting most of the resorts and parks, BRT lanes throughout the property, and hopefully an expanded boat service.

                                    So with all this happening I would definitely say YES we not only on the verge (or edge if you wish) of a WDW Renaissance we are in fact in the midst of it.

                                    As far as the management goes I expect some shake ups sooner than later, Burbank can't be happy about the contract negotiations, the complaints, and the flat attendance. Instead of an all one time overhaul they seem to be slowly and with little fanfare going through a replacing or at least waking up the east coast suits.

                                    By 2021 WDW will look entirely different!
                                    @klstorey welcome to MiceChat! lol
                                    Get the latest and greatest theme park news by

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Re: Are we on the verge of a WDW Renaissance?

                                      I hope we are. I've grown up with Disney in my life, and I can only hope that great things are still to come..

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Re: Are we on the verge of a WDW Renaissance?

                                        Simply Put Walt Disney World will enter a renaissance when management realizes the current development in place and trends that have brought WDW down over the past decade are wrong.
                                        When WDW and the walt disney company allows WDI to go in and fix whats wrong with Walt Disney World then we will see a true renaissance. Without getting into a Disneyland vs Disneyworld debate, I would say Disneyland resort is seeing more of a renaissance with the heavy investment in California adventure. I think it would be wise for Disneyworld to stop being so reactive to Universal etc and start being proactive . Perhaps I think 1.5 billion dollar plus expansion on the east coast would help and go along way to start revitalizing the parks in Florida and the resort as a whole.
                                        Sadly though I do not think with the current management in place at disneyworld we will see this happen..
                                        ITs a bit unfair but Lassiter , and george kalogridis seem to endlessly work hard to upkeep and maintain the disneyland resort. Disneyworld doesnt have anyone really in its corner pushing for expansion and update.. They just have the staus quo

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