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  • #61
    Re: Tom Staggs comments on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

    Originally posted by lazyboy97O View Post
    You should do some more reading up on your history of Disney parks and resorts. Back in the 1960s there was even a National Geographic article on Disneyland that ended with the joke, "Maybe one day they will make a Disneyland for kids." Walt Disney World opened with many adult oriented activities, from shopping and dining to recreation. EPCOT Center has been widely recognized as focussing even more adults. Pleasure Island in 1989. In 1994 the Magic Kingdom even got a psychological thriller in the ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter. The focus on families with young children has been the bread, butter and focus of DisneyParks
    You answered your own question. Of the things that you listed, NONE of them either still exist or exist in their original form. EPCOT has been COMPLETELY retooled since it's opening and it's focus on edu-tainment and the other two are LONG gone.

    I will take the time in this reply to reply to everyone else that had a problem with this comment. I'm not implying that Disney doesn't want the Harry Potter audience or that the Harry Potter audience doesn't go to WDW. But my point was Disney doesn't cater to that audience. Disney, Universal, Cedar Fair, Six Flags, Legoland and Sea World/Busch all have different audiences that they cater to. That doesn't mean that they don't have some overlap nor does it mean that they cater EXCLUSIVELY to those audiences.

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    • #62
      Re: Tom Staggs comments on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

      Originally posted by StevenW View Post
      Since Star Wars and Indiana Jones are Disneyland's signature attractions, why not use them in more attractions? Star Wars deserves a bigger representation in the park. It's not as if Disney won't make money off the merchandise even if they have to pay a royalty. That's like leaving money on the table. Many companies make deals to get a cut of the action. So you're saying Disney gets nothing because they don't want to share. Okay.
      Because hyping those properties does NOTHING for Disney. Disney doesn't get ANY of the benefit from it. If a kid gets excited about Star Wars while at WDW and goes home and watches Star Wars the Clone Wars, Disney gets NOTHING.
      Plus Star Wars and Indiana Jones were built and/or conceived when Disney had a long streak of failed film properties. Disney brought them in because they had no other choice AT THE TIME.
      Again, I love both of these properties and Disney has in some sense been tied to them as well, but it is NOT in Disney's best interest to focus on intelluctal properties that it doesn't own.

      Comment


      • #63
        Re: Tom Staggs comments on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

        Originally posted by Coheteboy View Post
        And you can't really blame them. They read what's in the paper and it was mostly negative.
        What was in the news was nothing compared to what was experienced for years by thousands of Disney employees and management. It's an industry town. People talked.

        And still do.
        "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

        Comment


        • #64
          Re: Tom Staggs comments on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

          Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
          Tell that to the Disney Channel's and Marvel's teen-demographic marketeers.
          To be more precise, I should have said Disney Parks and Resorts and not necessarily the Walt Disney Company.
          However, you are wrong in thinking that Disney Channel has a TEEN demographic. Their demographic is AT BEST pre-teen. Which is probably the beginning of the Harry Potter demographic.
          As to Marvel, there is a reason that it is called Marvel comics and NOT Disney Marvel comics. (almost every other purchase was fully intergrated into the Disney family. Club Penguin, Pixar, etc)And that is the same reason why you will NEVER see Marvel characters in the Magic Kingdom style parks. Marvel skews MUCH older than Disney's normal demo and that is precisely why Disney has kept Marvel separate. And why will we probably not see the Marvel Studios movies distributed with the Disney name.

          Comment


          • #65
            Re: Tom Staggs comments on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

            Originally posted by disneyfann121 View Post
            I think it's a little simplistic (and even unfair) to say that Disney is run today the same way as in "the Eisner years". Which Eisner years? Are you talking about the years before Frank Wells died, and the company was being revived from the near dead? Or the post-Wells years when Eisner decided to milk the parks for every dollar, and put the dreaded Pressler in charge of Disneyland? Those two periods were both under Eisner, but were both very different.

            While some of Eisner's cronies are still in place, and while I agree that the parks all need greater care and re-investment from the company, you can't say that we are in a replay of Eisner's later years. The parks are getting some TLC and new attractions, and upkeep and maintenance standards are quite high. There is a lot of room for improvement, but this is definitely not like the Pressler era.
            I agree completely. There are ALOT of good people that came out of the Eisner era. All the current "good guys" are LONG time Disney cast members. Plus there is a BIG difference to be an underling in someone else's "administration" and to be the boss. Bob Iger was accused of being an Eisner stooge by Roy E Disney himself since he was one of Eisner's "underlings", but I think we can all agree that Mr Iger has done a good job (Roy E Disney certainly changed his mind about Iger).

            Comment


            • #66
              Re: Tom Staggs comments on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

              Originally posted by jedited View Post
              Because hyping those properties does NOTHING for Disney. Disney doesn't get ANY of the benefit from it. If a kid gets excited about Star Wars while at WDW and goes home and watches Star Wars the Clone Wars, Disney gets NOTHING.
              Plus Star Wars and Indiana Jones were built and/or conceived when Disney had a long streak of failed film properties. Disney brought them in because they had no other choice AT THE TIME.
              Again, I love both of these properties and Disney has in some sense been tied to them as well, but it is NOT in Disney's best interest to focus on intelluctal properties that it doesn't own.
              Getting people into the park is a benefit as well as selling merchandise in the park.

              You forgot to mention Twilight Zone. A popular attraction that gets people into the park.

              Disney isn't exactly converting their own live action movies into park attractions (Tron?) They seem to be interested in making films from existing park attractions. I don't care which one came first, but Disney isn't doing much in this department either. How about a second Pirates or Haunted Mansion attraction?

              Yeah, there's nothing to counter Harry Potter. Disney hasn't made anything to counter it. It missed the boat with Fellowship of the Rings, Narnia, and Tron.

              You can say Pirates could be equal to Harry Potter at some level, but they can't get the guests "to behave" around the walking characters.

              Comment


              • #67
                Re: Tom Staggs comments on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

                Originally posted by jedited View Post
                You answered your own question. Of the things that you listed, NONE of them either still exist or exist in their original form. EPCOT has been COMPLETELY retooled since it's opening and it's focus on edu-tainment and the other two are LONG gone.
                EPCOT's education reputation is NOT gone. Perhaps its best described as deemphasized, but most rides there, despite best intentions, still have an educational perspective.

                Test Track and Space instruct about cars and space travel. It isn't heavy handed, but its there in the queue and ride itself. It's the same story throughout the park.

                Comment


                • #68
                  Re: Tom Staggs comments on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

                  Originally posted by jedited View Post
                  Because hyping those properties does NOTHING for Disney. Disney doesn't get ANY of the benefit from it. If a kid gets excited about Star Wars while at WDW and goes home and watches Star Wars the Clone Wars, Disney gets NOTHING.
                  Plus Star Wars and Indiana Jones were built and/or conceived when Disney had a long streak of failed film properties. Disney brought them in because they had no other choice AT THE TIME.
                  Again, I love both of these properties and Disney has in some sense been tied to them as well, but it is NOT in Disney's best interest to focus on intelluctal properties that it doesn't own.


                  Does NOTHING for Disney? On the contrary. A Disney park is the only place in the world you can get a Star Wars or Indiana Jones experience. Most likely a kid doesn't become a Star Wars fan from going to a Disney park - they're a Star Wars fan first and go to a Disney Park to live it out.

                  WHILE at a Disney park, they can experience many other things and hopefully (and probably) will love those too. They become fans of the Disney theme park.

                  So all of this talk about "not Disney's best interest" is a bunch of hullaballoo. If Star Wars did NOTHING for them, they wouldn't touch it. But it does. It sells a ton of merchandise for them and raises awareness for those who may not have been interested otherwise.

                  Same for Harry Potter and Universal. It raised their profile significantly and though they don't own Harry Potter, they're richer from it. Same goes for Disney and its Lucasfilm properties.


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                  • #69
                    Re: Tom Staggs comments on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

                    I still think Disney is in a good position. I haven't visited the Harry Potter area yet, but what Universal has is an incredibly themed area with one new attraction, along with the atmosphere. The other two rides are just repurposed attractions. Universal also has two parks and 3 expensive resorts. Unless you have people on a long weekend, they're likely to visit Universal and then go to Disney. So Disney is still going to get those visitors.

                    So in that respect, there's no problem that Disney didn't have anything to directly compete with Universal. They were still getting visitors that were hitting Universal. Now this year and moving forward, they have the revamped Star Tours and the upgraded Fantasyland, so next year, when Universal has nothing major new to offer, Disney can get the tourists back from Universal. I think Disney World will be just fine.

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Re: Tom Staggs comments on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

                      ^ As with WDFA vs. Pixar in a previous decade, Disney's problem isn't what the current competition has vs. what Disney doesn't have. It's the process by which the competition and Disney arrived in their current positions. If you think this is just about a ride or a land or a franchise, you're as much in denial as Michael was in thinking that the problem with WDFA's flops was its directors.

                      Hint: Disney hasn't done theme park innovation for over a decade and a half. It's not in their mindset, their business model or their blood. They don't build in-house depth and brilliance, they don't invest in R&D for the long haul, and they don't take creative risks. Instead, they buy the competition and market its franchise brands, as inexpensively and efficiently as possible.

                      Universal's on a roll. Disney's in denial. It will be interesting to see how they buy-and-market their way around this one.
                      Last edited by Mr Wiggins; 02-10-2011, 02:40 PM.
                      "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

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Re: Tom Staggs comments on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

                        I personally know three people who went to Orlando with families last month to visit the parks. Two of the families split their time between Universal and Disney. One family decided to just visit Universal and decided against Disney. I don't think Harry Potter is bringing customers Disney's way so much as Disney's customers are going Universal's way to see Harry Potter.
                        http://twitter.com/wdwprince

                        http://youtube.com/wdwprince

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                        • #72
                          Re: Tom Staggs comments on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

                          Originally posted by jedited View Post
                          Because hyping those properties does NOTHING for Disney. Disney doesn't get ANY of the benefit from it. If a kid gets excited about Star Wars while at WDW and goes home and watches Star Wars the Clone Wars, Disney gets NOTHING.
                          Plus Star Wars and Indiana Jones were built and/or conceived when Disney had a long streak of failed film properties. Disney brought them in because they had no other choice AT THE TIME.
                          Again, I love both of these properties and Disney has in some sense been tied to them as well, but it is NOT in Disney's best interest to focus on intelluctal properties that it doesn't own.
                          You have obviously never attended Star Wars Weekends.

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            Re: Tom Staggs comments on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

                            Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
                            True. As can be seen in what's happening with WDW vs. what's happening with WWoHP, this definitely is the Iger/Staggs era.

                            For those familiar with the Company's internal denial and external groupspeak when WDFA was beginning its decline and Pixar beginning its ascendancy, the similarities between then and now are riotously comical -- in a sadly ironic way.

                            As are the partisan reactions, then and now, of the fans.
                            Mr. Wiggins, we have often agreed in the past, but not now (assuming that I understood your post correctly). Even if WWOHP has outshone anything at WDW, that doesn't mean that the Orlando parks are being neglected like Disneyland under Pressler. They are adding new attractions (new Fantasyland and Star Tours II coming up), the parks are not falling apart, and there haven't been any fatal accidents (not on rides, anyway).

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              Re: Tom Staggs comments on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

                              Originally posted by disneyfann121 View Post
                              MEven if WWOHP has outshone anything at WDW, that doesn't mean that the Orlando parks are being neglected like Disneyland under Pressler. They are adding new attractions (new Fantasyland and Star Tours II coming up), the parks are not falling apart, and there haven't been any fatal accidents (not on rides, anyway).
                              I agree. The problem facing Bob, Tom and the Company, however, isn't that WDW is in better shape than DL was under Pressler (it would be difficult to have a theme park in worse shape than DL was under Pressler!). Nor is the problem the amount of money the Company is spending, the number of rides it is building, or the profits it is reporting.

                              The problem is that the Company has shifted its model from being a world class creative innovator in theme parks, to running its parks as a chain of marketing malls with rides -- essentially Disney stores on steroids. Which is, as you know, a variation on the Eisner/Pressler model.

                              Pre-Eisner, the business model was risk-taking innovation that created product aimed as much at the creators themselves as at the general audience. Under Iger and Staggs, the business model is research-driven, lifestyle-brand marketing aimed at specific (primarily juvenile) consumer demographics.

                              It was put perfectly in another thread:

                              Originally posted by mycroft16
                              What Disney seems to have forgotten is that Disney used to dictate what was cool. Now they send out surveys and do focus groups to find out what is cool.

                              So they went from setting the trend to following the trend.

                              From a purely selfish stand point, there is a lot more money to be made in setting the trend. It requires pure, unfettered creativity, risk and often times quite a bit of investment, so it can seem scary... but the payout can dwarf anything you put in. I.E. $17 million invested in Disneyland turning into a multi-billion dollar a year business with 11 theme parks world-wide and more on the way.

                              Unfortunately, Disney prefers to find "built-in" audiences and tailor their offerings to those niche audiences rather than creating something new and exciting that draws everyone in from all walks of life. Which was kind of the whole fundamental purpose of Disney... to offer things that appealed to everyone.
                              To which truth Bob and Tom and their team remain, as Michael was, in denial.
                              "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

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Re: Tom Staggs comments on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

                                At this point, I don't care if Disney can't compete with Potter. Just get some more rides into DAK and DHS and I will be content.

                                Comment


                                • #76
                                  Re: Tom Staggs comments on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

                                  Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
                                  I agree. The problem facing Bob, Tom and the Company, however, isn't that WDW is in better shape than DL was under Pressler (it would be difficult to have a theme park in worse shape than DL was under Pressler!). Nor is the problem the amount of money the Company is spending, the number of rides it is building, or the profits it is reporting.

                                  The problem is that the Company has shifted its model from being a world class creative innovator in theme parks, to running its parks as a chain of marketing malls with rides -- essentially Disney stores on steroids. Which is, as you know, a variation on the Eisner/Pressler model.

                                  Pre-Eisner, the business model was risk-taking innovation that created product aimed as much at the creators themselves as at the general audience. Under Iger and Staggs, the business model is research-driven, lifestyle-brand marketing aimed at specific (primarily juvenile) consumer demographics.

                                  It was put perfectly in another thread:



                                  To which truth Bob and Tom and their team remain, as Michael was, in denial.
                                  I agree that Disney doesn't do nearly enough innovative trail blazing and risk taking, and that they often follow rather than lead. And they would be a far richer company today if they had kept the Walt spirit and business model alive.

                                  However, to imply that the company is entirely devoid of innovation is unfair. They introduced the concept of interactive rides with Buzz Lightyear, and then advanced it with TSMM (the world's first interactive 3D/4D ride). They have steadily improved the art of AAs, with state of the art animatronics like Lincoln, Mr. Potato Head and the Yeti (when he was working, he was awesome indeed). DHS's TOT was innovative in many ways. WOC makes cutting edge use of projections. And so on.

                                  Granted, the company could be making more reinvestment and pushing a lot more boundaries, and they have dropped the ball in some cases. But if the situation was as bleak as Mr. Wiggins says, then the parks would hold very little interest for us anymore.

                                  That's clearly not the case, or we wouldn't even be on Micechat.

                                  Comment


                                  • #77
                                    Re: Tom Staggs comments on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

                                    Originally posted by disneyfann121 View Post
                                    But if the situation was as bleak as Mr. Wiggins says, then the parks would hold very little interest for us anymore.
                                    Not at all. Given the enormous number of customers who had little or no experience with Disney Parks in the decades before Eisner, the standard that "Disney is better than other theme parks" is sufficient to maintain their interest.



                                    Originally posted by disneyfann121 View Post
                                    They introduced the concept of interactive rides with Buzz Lightyear, and then advanced it with TSMM (the world's first interactive 3D/4D ride). They have steadily improved the art of AAs, with state of the art animatronics like Lincoln, Mr. Potato Head and the Yeti (when he was working, he was awesome indeed). DHS's TOT was innovative in many ways. WOC makes cutting edge use of projections. And so on.
                                    Those are good improvements and adaptations of available tech, but not innovation. Not the kind of innovation that took Disneyland from Rocket to the Moon to Pirates of the Caribbean in 12 years.

                                    WOC's Bellagio-on-steroids water show and TSMM's ride-thru video game, while good offerings, are not remotely comparable in groundbreaking theme park creativity, invention and innovation to that of Disneyland's first decades.



                                    Originally posted by disneyfann121 View Post
                                    However, to imply that the company is entirely devoid of innovation is unfair.
                                    You're right. Under the brilliant leadership of Tom Staggs, innovation abounds -- just look!
                                    Last edited by Mr Wiggins; 02-17-2011, 07:02 PM.
                                    "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

                                    Comment


                                    • #78
                                      Re: Tom Staggs comments on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

                                      But thats innovation just for the sake of innovation. The Disney of yesterland firmly believed in innovation for the sake of art. That is something that is lost in today's disney parks, but hey, we can't all be Universal.

                                      Comment


                                      • #79
                                        Re: Tom Staggs comments on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

                                        Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
                                        Not at all. Given the enormous number of customers who had little or no experience with Disney Parks in the decades before Eisner, the standard that "Disney is better than other theme parks" is sufficient to maintain their interest.
                                        Really? Then how do you explain all the micechatters who DO have a lot of experience and have sampled the competition, and are still interested in Disney's offerings? Yes we often criticize, because we know the company has the resources to do better, but we still visit their parks.

                                        Those are good improvements and adaptations of available tech, but not innovation. Not the kind of innovation that took Disneyland from Rocket to the Moon to Pirates of the Caribbean in 12 years.

                                        WOC's Bellagio-on-steroids water show and TSMM's ride-thru video game, while good offerings, are not remotely comparable in groundbreaking theme park creativity, invention and innovation to that of Disneyland's first decades.
                                        I used to go to Disneyland as a kid in the 70s, and nothing in the park was even remotely close in technology to what the company has introduced in the past few decades. Even if they don't push the boundaries as fast as Walt did, it doesn't mean that they haven't given us new kinds of theme park experiences. If Walt could see this stuff today, his jaw would drop to the floor.

                                        You argue that the company today adapts available technology for their own use in the theme parks. Well, of course they do. So does Universal (e.g., they bought the rights to the Kuka arm; they didn't invent it), and so did Walt. Just to give two examples: he used the robotics technology that was available at the time in order to develop AAs. He used the Pepper's Ghost illusion (invented in the late 1800s) in the Haunted Mansion.

                                        Again, I'm not trying to argue that the company is innovating as much as they should. I'm just trying to maintain some balance and fairness on these boards. We rake them over the coals when they fail; let's also give credit when credit is due.
                                        Last edited by disneyfann121; 02-18-2011, 07:14 AM.

                                        Comment


                                        • #80
                                          Re: Tom Staggs comments on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

                                          Originally posted by taagsmash View Post
                                          But thats innovation just for the sake of innovation. The Disney of yesterland firmly believed in innovation for the sake of art. That is something that is lost in today's disney parks, but hey, we can't all be Universal.
                                          We could argue artistic merit 'til we're blue in the face; art is in the eye of the beholder. To me, theme parks are about popular entertainment, and, more specifically, they are about experience. When Disney offers an experience that appeals to the majority of their theme park guests, then they've succeeded, whether or not it can be labelled highly innovative or artistic. When an attraction gets thumbs down from most guests, then they've failed.

                                          I don't believe that Disney innovates just for the sake of innovation. They use technology to create the experience that they envision. Sometimes the result has been an inferior attraction, and sometimes the result was great. The same can be said for Universal; no one bats .1000 (even if WWOHP is a bases-loaded home run).

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