Analysts say Disney park attendance will be low for years

Posted Tuesday, December 18, 2001 6:13 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Analysts from Merrill Lynch say that Disney's theme park division will see sustained decreases in revenue over the next few years due to recession and the war on terrorism. They draw parallels with the trends surrounding the Persian Gulf War a decade earlier, where the parks had several slow quarters.

Read more from AP via the Gainesville Sun.

Tuesday, December 18, 2001 6:14 AM
I'm not sold on that theory at all. I think the analysts don't understand the amusement industry, or people's completely irrational need to go someplace like Disney World. Hell, I'm unemployed and seriously considering going in January.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com, Sillynonsense.com
"As far as I can tell it doesn't matter who you are. If you can believe, there's something worth fighting for..." - Garbage, "Parade"

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Tuesday, December 18, 2001 7:11 AM
Why would it be just Disney parks that would be affected by this? But I do agree with you, I don't think it will have as big as affect that they make it out to be.  Plus, isn't the recession supposed to end in like a year anyway?
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Tuesday, December 18, 2001 7:18 AM
This whole country is just starting to panic...and panic leads to layoffs.

Did you know that the retail sales were higher this year for November than last year? But the stock market falls since these companies "didn't meet their expectaions"

This info in the article is just not well researched. the parks in the orlando are twice of what they were back in 91, and each one plays its part in increasing visitors. theres more to see and do and people stay down there longer and spend more cash.

However, i wonder if he analized the fact that visitors from other countries may be a little more cautious before flying over here.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2001 7:28 AM
It's all about escapism baby! We need to get away from it all. Amusement parks are a cheap alternative. I think we can expect a boost in attendence. Perhaps folks will not spend as much on tchotchkes...but they'll come.
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"I'll bet that thing hits 5 Gs going through that loop.....faaar ooouut!"
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Tuesday, December 18, 2001 8:10 AM
I would hardly call parks, Especially Disney parks cheap. I have been preparing a trip to the FLA parks in January, and cannot believe how much it is going to cost me.  Right now room rates are at a low.  I could not even begin to think about going if I had to pay full prices.

I am befuddled at the cost of a single day admission at any park these days.  Why, CP, SFWOA and PKI are all $42 this year (see other post on buzz regarding this.)  That is astronimical.

When PKI opened in 1972, admission was $6.  That means in 30 years the admission price hasincreased to 6 times the original cost!  Using that logic, in 2032 admission could potentially be $252.00 per person!

Yikes!

Shaggy

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Shaggy
A.K.A. John K. *** This post was edited by Shaggy on 12/18/2001. ***

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Tuesday, December 18, 2001 9:22 AM
How much did a loaf of bread cost back in 1972??

In 2032, folks like me will say things like "I remember with Disney's California Adventure opened - it only cost $48! Then again, they only had a third of the rides..."

Let me rephrase...relatively cheap. Compared to going to Hawaii or the Bahamas. I think folks will be doing a lot more "domestic" vacationing now...which turns tourism dollars inwards...towards places like Disney World or Disneyland...and especially towards local parks

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"I'll bet that thing hits 5 Gs going through that loop.....faaar ooouut!"

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Tuesday, December 18, 2001 9:33 AM
The cost of entertainment is expensive...not just amusement parks.  Look at what you pay for other forms of fun.

Movies - $8.00 each.  Family of four - $32.00.  (2 hours of fun)

NFL - $30 each (probably low).  Family of four - $120.00.  (3 hours of fun...unless your from Cleveland)

U2 Concert - $65 each.  Family of four - $260.00.  (2-3 hours of fun.

Cedar Point - $42 each.  Family of four - $168.00.  (12 hours of fun)

Still a good deal compared to other types of entertainment out there.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2001 9:45 AM

NFL - $30 each (probably low). Family of four - $120.00. (3 hours of fun...unless your from Cleveland)

Unless you are from Green Bay where it is $250 a person, family of four, $1000 and 3 hours of fun not including the 4 hours out in the parking lot getting drunk, eating brats and freezing your butt off.  That is if you can get tix from a broker 'cause you aint getting them from the box office.

Some things also not factored into the above comment though for amusement parks is the expensive parking, the expensive food, and if it is Cedar Point, the fact that they charge you a buck if you want a plastic bag at one of the shops<G>

Cheers,

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Bob Hansen

"Excuse me while I kick the sky!"
kickthesky@hotmail.com

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Tuesday, December 18, 2001 10:22 AM
Who cares Disney has enough money anyways and they are selfish with it. I know from experience of going there with my school band every year. They had some shady ways of trying to keep a buck or toand thats was before the recession, and thats all I got to say.
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Tuesday, December 18, 2001 10:22 AM
Denver: Disney parks are different because they're year-round destination parks. Their attendance is insanely high because people come from all over the world to visit them. Compare that to a local Six Flags or independent park that might get 2 million visits or less per year. Those places are a good alternative for people who don't want or need to travel.

Personally, I don't think that Orlando trips are all that expensive. The key is that you don't pay gate for anything. There are too many packages and deals out there to do that. Try any travel agent, or even online at a place like www.swavacations.com. I did my IAAPA trip for less than $500, including airfare, hotel and rental car, for three nights.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com, Sillynonsense.com
"As far as I can tell it doesn't matter who you are. If you can believe, there's something worth fighting for..." - Garbage, "Parade"

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Tuesday, December 18, 2001 10:40 AM
Bob,

You are right.  I did not take into account parking, food, and miscellaneous expenses.  But, how much do you pay for parking at a concert, stadium, etc?  How much is a box of popcorn (stale I might add) at your local theater?

In Miami, it is $20 to park your car at a Dolphins game.  A beer at any stadium would set you back at least $4.25.  To get a shopping bag at Sawgrass Mills mall, you'll pay $1.00. 

The average price of a gallon of gas down here is probably about $1.16.  On the turnpike the other day it was $1.29.  You can drink free water at just about any amusement park, fast food chain, etc but it you want bottled water, it will cost you. 

What I am saying is it is easy to point to the parks and say they overcharge but if you sit back and take an objective look at the entertainment industry as a whole...I think you will find that the parks are in line and in some ways cheaper than other common forms of entertainment.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2001 10:57 AM
has anybody seen the travel channel at MK?  There were like 6 people on Main Street for the 100th birthday parade. 
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HurricaneGeauga- Just in case
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Tuesday, December 18, 2001 12:11 PM
This doesn't phase me a bit. Disney will always be around, and I will always support them whether it's through the work I do or the products I buy. The Disney name alone represents everything we could possibly imagine and do as humans. It is a place where people all over the world can share in the most diverse arrangement of entertainment, and it will continue to prosper thanks to the most innovative and creative magic that can be found throughout every inch of the property.
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DON'T....LOOK....BACK! The Headless Horseman awaits you in 2002!
Model coasters and rides: www.angelfire.com/oh4/tk173
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Tuesday, December 18, 2001 4:47 PM
I echo the same sentiment as Arrow Guy. Disney isn't going anywhere, and this year may be one of the BEST TIMES to go. Why is the economy in a slump? Becasue the Fed's say it is and we belive everything they say. We need to do as "Dubyah" said. Go on vacation, see America. Do exactly what the terrorists don't want us to do. It makes them mad. So SCREW EM'!  I will be at Disney in April! Recession or not!
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Welcome to Six Flags Great America. The land where we work on the non- working coasters!
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Tuesday, December 18, 2001 7:47 PM
STRONG>ONT face=Verdana color=#ffffff size=2>Attn:  john peck - Re: the November retail sales...the retail sales figures for November were greatly influenced by the sales of new cars at zero interest.  If these figures are taken out, then the figures are a bit more bleak.  Being an owner of several retail stores, I can tell you first hand that the retail sector is being hit by the recent events, and this will surely lead to effects in all aspects of the economy.  While this will certainly not kill Disney, it could hit smaller parks in much deeper ways./STRONG>
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Wednesday, December 19, 2001 4:25 AM
FYI $6 in 1972 is equivalent to $24.72 in 2000 dollars (using the Consumer Price Index).

It seems to me Disney anticipated this months ago and has already responded with layoffs & some service consolidation. I think all destination-type amusement parks will be hard pressed to match attendance numbers from the past few seasons.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2001 5:21 AM
I'm lovin' reports like these....I'm planning to haul the family to USF in March and hoping to wedge in (another) discount or two.

But the fact remains that admission to the Florida parks are OBSCENE.  For the price of getting the family in USF for 3-4 days, I could run to a SF park (other than SFGAM) for season passes and still have enough left over to hit PCW for another family season pass--thanks to the exchange rate.  That's just sick.

-'Playa *** This post was edited by CoastaPlaya on 12/19/2001. ***

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Wednesday, December 19, 2001 5:49 AM
Look at how crowded the Fla parks are (of course, the recession isn't a true indicator).  Now, imagine if you will the parks charged $10 or $20 less for admission.  What would the crowds be like then?

The parks won't admit this but during orientation at Disney we had a heated debate about park prices (and this was in 1992).  The Disney trainer said straight out that the prices are high because there are some people who they don't want coming into the parks.  It might ruin the family atmosphere.  Now I don't know if he was referring to races, youths, or what not but the point was clear.  Needless to say, tempers started to flare a bit amongst some of the more opinonated college kids and they finally had to cut off the debate.

If the parks draw enough guests at the admission prices they charge, then they must be satisfied.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2001 8:04 AM
I imagine that they also charge more to pay for all those cool rides. Do we get more value out of Disneyland/World than we did in '72? Probably twice as much...maybe...I don't know...perhaps. ;)
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"I'll bet that thing hits 5 Gs going through that loop.....faaar ooouut!"
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