What about the new princess area in Carnation Gardens? It doesn't look like a small project. Any timelines for its completion? Next summer so DL itself has something new as well?
Thanks for the update, glad to hear that Avatar won't be coming to DLR anytime soon. It's also hard to imagine a whole land themed to Avatar in a Magic Kingdom park like Shanghai is going to be. I guess we'll see how it turns out while crossing our fingers for the best...
Thanks for the update, Al! I always enjoy reading them.
I think it's fine for development at the parks to slow down for a few years. Of course, I'm not a local passholder, so I don't visit the parks but once a year or so, but I don't think TDA should feel compelled to put something new into the parks every single season. Attendance at DL is already high throughout most of the year! It's actually in my best interest as a once-in-a-while tourist for them NOT to put so many new things in the park all the time so that it won't be so crazy crowded when I come to visit!
The second prong of this AP cultivation program is coming later this year and is aimed at the opposite end of the spectrum; the super fans who use their pass to visit the park three or four times per month and often just swoop in for a few hours on Friday night or Sunday afternoon and rarely spend any money beyond a churro or a cocktail at elecTRONica. It’s that type of pass usage that can really tax the Resort infrastructure when so many people show up for short periods of time, often driving in alone or with just one other person and putting the Resort’s parking, transportation systems, main entrance complex, and surface streets all into crisis mode.
That's me! Even though I hardly doubt I tax the resorts' infrastructure coming in the late afternoon or evening, and only going Orangewood to Harbor.
It's darn interesting how George and Co. are working out these exclusive things. The concept of these after-hours parties seem neat, and Soundsational hasn't been played at night yet, it would be interesting to see that. I think the concept of inviting in the less frequent APers to see the new offerings is a great idea, and a way to encourage them to spend a little extra cash. As for the other exclusive parties, I want to see how much extra, and what kinds of extras will be there. The concept sounds neat, and Disney always has the showmanship to pull it off.
Living only 20 minutes away or so, I can't see these parties dialing down my use of the park. One of the reasons I drop $500 a year ($750 this year with Premier, eep!) is because of the great night entertainment that Disneyland offers. With offerings like ElecTronica, this only improved - given me more to do after hours. However, I can see these parties having an effect on those that aren't so close, pulling them out for the party nights rather than the rest of the month.
I think Mary's plan for DCA retraining is wonderful as well. Just about every CM has grown up with Disneyland, and gets a feel for what Disneyland really is - but that doesn't exist for DCA yet. I never really found the CMs at DCA to be "hip and edgy" (besides Electronica/Glow Fest), but this is exactly how they will invoke classic tones into this park.
" What is clear is that the recent Avatar expansion for Animal Kingdom has no current chance of ever landing in Anaheim’s two existing theme parks."
thats not what i heard, the new avatar land is not suppose to be open for another five year in WDW and yes they are looking at Tokyo and Shanghai but they are also eyeing a chunk of land for the possibility of it becoming home in Disneyland
I'm a bit disenchanted with Team Disney's attempts in managing the insane amount of AP holders. In June 2011, they raised the AP prices ridiculously. Now they want to entice former AP holders back by inviting them to park events? I am a pass holder and have been one for 5 years. I just renewed by pass 3 weeks ago, very reluctantly.
I think the next way Team Disney will minimize the number of pass holders will be to remove the monthly payment options.
Interesting how the TDA plan for dealing with the "AP issue" completely avoids dealing with the #1 AP issue: that having nearly a million locals with the potential ability to visit Disneyland for less than $2 a day results in the rest of Disneyland's visitors paying enormously higher ticket prices than they otherwise would.
Originally posted by Al Lutz
But you have to hand it to TDA for really thinking outside the box...
I'm not sure saying APs result in "the rest of Disneyland's visitors paying enormously higher ticket prices than they otherwise would" is accurate. I don't hold any delusions that APs or not, DL will keep ticket prices maximized as high as possible. There probably would be no difference or perhaps even an increase if they stopped selling APs tomorrow. (which they probably should)
Team Disney proves its brilliance once again! They keep raising prices even as the economy shows it may be about to collapse again and now they want to charge their "best" guests even MORE money to have the kind of experiences Disneyland should be providing to EVERYONE. Stupid move. If I get an invitation it will go in the trash. Maybe if Disneyland would remove about 70% of its ODV carts so they could improve traffic flow and stop being so in your face about their CA$H GRABS I might feel better. But Disney doesn't even UNDERSTAND its average SoCal AP holder despite all of those incessent surveys. It's not about charging us more for less it's about giving us the kind of experiences we've come to expect from Disney. Every year I debate whether to renew the pass and the only reason I do is frankly to use Disneyland as a cheap weekend activity where I don't have to spend very much money. If that's the kind of guest they wanted to create I guess they succeeded.
I'm not sure I'm happy with the idea of "Invite only" parties. Just create the events and let folks either buy tickets or use a lottery type system. The big brother approach is just too creepy and will make a lot of folks feel left out and perhaps bitter toward the company that they weren't invited. I can see big problems ahead if that is how they actually handle the parties.
Better for them to put tickets on sale far in advance. Then judge the demand and do them over several nights to accommodate as many folks as possible.
Please, no Avatar for Disneyland. But if they wanted to do a movie based park (for the 3rd park) with Avatar as a land, I wouldn't mind at all. I think the film holds a lot of potential for attractions and atmosphere.
MiceChat 101: Be NICE! If you don't play well with others, you are in the wrong sandbox.
Where, exactly, would Avatar go in Disneyland? What land would seem appropriate? And please, do NOT say Fantasyland!
"In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations, the new needs friends." - Anton Ego
And how about a Tomorrowland update? It's great that the new Star Tours seems to be so successful, but the rest of the land is languishing - is Honda still taking Autopia hopefully to new green heights? What about that empty Peoplemover track? And wasn't there talk of a Frontierland expansion? If attention to Disneyland relies on the success of the new DCA, here's keeping fingers crossed...
Interesting read, Al. Of course, you are always good for that, no matter the subject.
I still believe you are misreading the DL AP situation and have been for years. Disney isn't looking to cull the herd. They're looking to grow it and maximize its revenue potential. That's all these 'parties' really are. Does Disney/TDA like the somewhat wacky crowd patterns that the APers have brought about over the past decade? No, but all they'd like is a better way to manage them and prepare for them -- and spread them out.
If you are correct in your reasoning for the parties in October and who will be invited, I think Georgie K's little CM with iPad brigade should be asking one very key question of these people (or two really): why did you buy said AP and why are you opting to not return and use it?
It costs you (as old man Disney himself was fond of saying) a helluva lot more to get a customer back then it did to get them the first time.
I spent parts of 5-6 days at DLR earlier this month (my first visit in a year to a resort I held an AP for a decade until 2008) and didn't notice the AP situation (or crowding) to be any worse than in 2008 or 2005 or 2003 etc. And part of my visit was over a holiday weekend.
I too, though, wonder what will happen when 'select APers' get invites. It sounds, in this social media age of constant Tweets and websites popping up with folks living a 'Disney Lifestyle', that this could be a minefield of problems.
As to Avatar ... well, that is a subject I have lots of thoughts on. But rather than bash the incredibly lavish, but incredibly boring piece of filmmaking or question Disney's rationale (I am not sure whose ego is larger, Iger's or Cameron's, and I have seen the latter show it personally) to basically say 'we missed the boat on Potter, have no faith in our stable of IP, or Pixar's, or Henson's, or Lucas's, or Marvel's, so we went out and made this deal, I'll just say that Shanghai right now is not on the map to go blue. They'd like very much to do something at DSP (to make it a real Disney park) and HKDL with the property. Doesn't fit at DAK, but will be forced in much like Disney has done at all its parks since the 90s.
A bigger question and one I'd be asking my sources (I already have) would be why Disney won't be starting any construction at DAK whatsoever until well into FY'13 (likely as late as the third quarter). That's where the real Spirited story is in this blue-hued mess of a deal.
Oh, and one other thing ... they really are thinking of bringing back the MSEP yet again? That's just pathetic. Someone shoot the thing and put Old Yeller out of its misery.