Disney theme park boss crafting new strategy as profit slides 42%

Posted Friday, January 31, 2003 3:52 AM | Contributed by Jeff

While Disney theme parks had an improved fourth quarter and attendance and revenue was up, the company as a whole reported a 42% decline in profit for the quarter over last year. Disney's new theme park president, Jay Rasulo, who took the position late last year, says a combination of innovative marketing, attractions and business intelligence will lead to continued recovery of the their theme park business.

Read more about Rasulo's strategy from The Orlando Sentinel, and more about Disney's financial results from AP via The Florida Times-Union.

Friday, January 31, 2003 5:17 AM
Didn't Jay Rasulo come from Disneyland Paris, and not The Gap? Wasn't it Paul Pressler who left his position at Disney as theme park president to go to The Gap? Maybe I misunderstood the article.*** This post was edited by HW Knoebel 1/31/2003 10:18:03 AM ***
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Friday, January 31, 2003 6:22 AM
Yes, Jay Rasulo came from DLP, where he was the head of the resort there. I think he's on the right track, however hyping that awful Aladdin show too much isn't the greatest of ideas... ;) Of course, it's his job to do that, so there you have it.

I just hope that Rasulo can reinvigorate the parks and the company a little. Everything has become rather stale there, and hopefully we'll see a turnaround soon.

Justin

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Friday, January 31, 2003 9:28 AM
Jay Rasulo did come from DLP and replaced Paul Pressler who went to the GAP. The caption above is incorrect. I agree though that he is on the right track. It's just a shame that the parks are paying for other areas of the company that are poorly run. ABC is going to take WDW into the toilet at this rate but hopefully things turn around soon.
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Friday, January 31, 2003 9:29 AM
Yes, you're right... I changed the article. Funny thing is I knew what meant to say, I just said something else.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com - Sillynonsense.com
"The world rotates to The Ultra-Heavy Beat!" - KMFDM

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Friday, January 31, 2003 10:07 AM
Thanks for the corrections! I agree with you all. Hopefully Jay Rasulo will do his best to make the parks more attractive again.

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"Theme Park Critic Extreme"

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Friday, January 31, 2003 11:05 AM
I hate when that happens :) Thanks for the fix....So far, I think Jay is already having somewhat of an impact from a morale point of view but they have a long way to go. They need to rid of that feeling of being in one giant Disney store when you go to the parks. We have Pressler to thank for that.
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Saturday, February 1, 2003 12:01 PM
More shows. Less new rides. I don't like the strategy at all, though I'll confess that I'm also not the type to line up an hour early for the parades. I realize some folks respond to that but I think Jay would be best served by throwing a few E-tickets into Animal Kingdom to make it a full-day park rather than trying to see where he can wedge in Broadwayesque shows.

As for morale, yes, the shows probably help. The entertainment staff has seen some sharp cuts over the years and this should help.

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Sunday, February 2, 2003 9:47 AM
It makes perfect sense that they would try to promote their Broadway-style shows more than rides. Lately, The Lion King has been the only thing turning out any real profit. The movies aren't doing good at the box office, the parks aren't doing well (obviously), and The Lion King was one of the biggest Broadway hits of the 90s and continues to do well. Of course they're going to go that route.

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At the turn of the Millennium, there were signs.*** This post was edited by eggs 2/2/2003 3:41:41 PM ***

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Tuesday, February 4, 2003 7:41 AM
Shouldn't "webmaster of a certain site" rip on Disney for this like he did on Six Flags when they took a slip last year, when Cedar Fair didn't? Well, I'll say it for the hypocrite, Disney sucks (no, not really)... and they can't blame the weather!

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It's Giant, it's Inverted, it's a Boomerang, Beeyatch!

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Tuesday, February 4, 2003 8:19 AM
What are you talking about? I'm going to assume you mean me but don't have the balls to come out and say it.

Disney is a diversified media company. Six Flags is tiny by comparison. One did a billion in revnue the other did 25 times that. These are two companies you can't even compare.

Not only that, but if you'd actually read the articles, you'd see that their theme park business is actually up, not down.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com - Sillynonsense.com
"The world rotates to The Ultra-Heavy Beat!" - KMFDM

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Tuesday, February 4, 2003 6:01 PM
I had to say it :) I'm just happy Strong Bad didn't do what he does best to my posts...

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It's Giant, it's Inverted, it's a Boomerang, Beeyatch!

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Monday, March 24, 2003 9:38 PM
I just hope this guy doesn't turn Disneyland (or the Magic Kingdom, Paris, Hong Kong, Tokyo for that matter) into another Six Flags or Great America type tacky theme park.

Disney has always had the "magic" that NO other park can compete with. Even before having my son (who's 6) I preferred Disneyland over any of the others and went at least every 2 years. No, the rides aren't monstrosities, but they're still fun, there's ambiance, and 99.9% of the people there are wonderful. Can't say that from any recent visits I've had to Great America or Marine World, which sadly, has been taken over by Six Flags and is completely run down. Not so many animals, and the rides are just out of control. Nothing I felf safe taking my son on, and the crowds there were more "rough" than family types. Walt had the right formula, the right idea, and as long as they stick w/ his vision and only tamper a little, they'll be just fine when the others are closing down.

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