Al Lutz reports...
While the local Anaheim folks try to beef up Jay Rasulo's new campaign and inject some California style into it, Rasulo and his planners have their eyes on a bigger prize. We've been very open with our criticism of Rasulo, and most of that stems from his complete disinterest, some even say dislike, for the actual operation of the theme parks he is responsible for. This is a man who never goes to a Disney theme park unless it's part of a scripted media event, and even then the strategic annual visit is measured in minutes and captured by official photographers at every turn just to prove he was there. Rasulo simply has no real interest in the product he represents.
But what Rasulo has been good at is the strategic planning and future growth of the theme parks and resorts. Rasulo may have no desire to go on the rides, but he does have a knack for putting together a plan to get people to his properties. His latest rumored project involves exploratory interest in the Anheuser-Busch parks, specifically the two SeaWorld parks in Orlando and San Diego. And believe it or not, the San Diego park is the one that is of most interest.
Why isn't Orlando's SeaWorld the main focus? Because the big Disney cruise ships on order and headed to the West Coast in a few years can dock in San Diego, and all those Disney Cruise Line passengers could burn up an additional day of their itinerary visiting Disney's SeaWorld. With the situation in some Mexican port cities looking more and more uncertain, and certainly not very safe for tourists, Disney would now like to make the most of what Southern California has to offer for cruise line passengers and minimize the time they are in Mexico. This is all still in its infancy, but it's an idea being tossed around lately in Burbank.
Interesting read, also read the rest of the article on improvements to Disneyland, DCA, and other such things.
What do you guys think?
I'm all for Disney owning Sea World. However, if they were to rebrand it, they would need to dump a lot more into the park than just for sign changes. I think they would have to re-tool Journey to Atlantis at the very least.
Not much new regarding the improvements. But the scope of the Little Mermaid sounds impressive. I can't wait to check out the new preview center myself. I'll probably head up on the 26th.
As for "Jouny," remeber Disney DID do an Atlantis flick.
The connection between Disney and Sea World goes way back to Walt when he was a quiet consultant on the San Diego project. Both parks make sense to me. And, I understand the Texas park might be the best of the three. With no presence yet in Texas that might make a good fit for Disney. And, a possible final resting place for Disney's America as well?
Playing this out, if Disney were to buy the Sea World parks I wonder if they would then drop their objections to the Florida high speed rail project. One sticking point was whether or not the train would make a stop on I-Drive in addition to one on Disney property. Disney pulled support of the project when developers couldn't commit to avoiding I-Drive. But, Disney may indeed want a stop near Sea World AND on Disney property if this all were to happen.
Interesting times indeed.
I wonder how they would do the Florida one as they have done a good job of keeping everything on their range of property and keeping people roped in on that property. It kind of goes against their whole marketing philosophy to this point.
That said, of the potential buyers for the Busch Properties, Disney would be one that I would not mind, especially for the Sea World Parks.
They have plenty of land... they could always move it on to their property. It'd be expensive, but this is Disney we're talking about.
Where is the Little Mermaid attraction going to be located at DCA, by the way?
Golden Dreams and to the west and north.
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