Disney theme parks at a crossroads

Posted Monday, May 2, 2005 1:56 AM | Contributed by supermandl

With no current plans for another theme park in Central Florida, Disney is looking at other ways to grow business.

Read more from The Sun-Sentinel.

Monday, May 2, 2005 9:34 AM
This is an interesting story. My interpretation is that Disney might have to take a page from the little boys. The Cedar Fairs and Paramounts don't add new parks regularly but they see growth in the Per Cap.

Frankly, I would rather see Disney reinvest in the declining parks than build new ones. Magic Kingdom, MGM and Epcot could all use a facelift, new attractions, etc. There problem is that if they start replacing attractions then there is a firestorm from devoted fans. Imagine, for a moment, if Cedar Point was going to build a new ride but decided to dismantle Magnum to do it.

At MGM you've got an old stunt show in Indy, closed Animation building, closed Superstar Theatre, closed Hunchback theatre, poor "backlot tour"...just to name a few.

At Epcot you have a closed "Wonders of Life", outdated attractions in World Showcase.

At the Kingdom there is a lot of signs of wear and tear.

I want to have a reason to go back to these parks...but I'm waiting.

Monday, May 2, 2005 1:39 PM
Exactly. Myself and others have pipe dreams that Disney would build a real copy of DIsney Sea in Orlando...but that's just a 4.5 billion dollar pipe dream. Imagine what would happen if money were poured into the existing parks, which is exactly what needs to happen.

Expidition Everest and Mission Space are a good start, but Disney 's trend is towards quick thrills that probably won't stand the test of time, unlike the audio animatronic classics. The AA shows take lots of money and manpower to upkeep, but they are timeless. What are the three most popular rides at the two parks? Haunted Mansion and Pirates, which are 36 years old, followed by Splash Mountain. The attractions aren't too thrilling from a ride standpoint, but are loved because they are high tech, totally immersive, story driven animatronic E ticket attractions. (THAT was a mouthfull, but you know what I mean) They are timeless, unlike the stuff Disney builds now. Anyway...

Magic Kingwom hasn't gotten an E ticket ride since 1993. And it's still the most popular ride in the park. They've lost 20k Leagues, Carosuel of Progress and TImekeeper rarely operate, and the AMAZING Alien Encounter has been replaced by a god awful Stitch Show that has garnered more guesat complaints than any attraction in their history

The other parks aren't much better off.....while new attractions like EE and Space are opening up, it doesn't help the sad and crumbling great rides like SPaceship Earth, The Great Movie Ride, etc.

Wahoo Skipper...your point about the fans and replacing attractions is very true, but it's already been happening, and they all get replaced with crappier things. 20k leagues/Pooh Play Area, ALien encounter/Stitch crap, Journey into Imagination/crappy replacement. . Imagine if instead of a 30 million dollar Pooh makeover of Mr. Toad, they would have gone all out and built the E-Ticket Pooh's Hunny hunt that Tokyo did. It's the greatest ride I've ever ridden, and it had a 4+ hour wait while I was there! I doubt too many fans would complain Edit - Good God that was a long post I just made!!*** This post was edited by Peabody 5/2/2005 1:46:00 PM ***

Monday, May 2, 2005 2:54 PM
The Mole's avatar I've always have stood behind the idea that 2 day parks pull in more and are better than multiple 1 or 1/2 day parks. It's much cheaper to build 5 new rides in pre-existing parks than 5 new rides in a new park.

Also Orlando has hit the market saturation point in terms of parks, atleast in WDW, the people don't stay longer, they just visit each park less per visit.

Tuesday, May 3, 2005 7:50 PM
jkpark's avatar I agree with most of the comments posted here. Disney should really focus on the existing parks. Especially EPCOT and MGM.

Wahoo Skipper hit the nail on the head. That backlot tour at MGM is pretty much like driving thru an amusement park bone yard.

Tuesday, May 3, 2005 9:54 PM
I've been on Soarin at EPCOT this past week. It's a great ride and a good start for Disney. With EE on it's way to Animal Kingdom, there may be hope yet for Disney.
Wednesday, May 4, 2005 8:41 PM
Actually Buzz Lightyear is one of the top attractions at the MK...

They are constantly wokring on Stitch (for the better IMO)
Mission Space=kinda gave me a headache but it was fun...not too family oriented as it should be...considering Walt wante da park where familes can go on everything together.

If you come to disney RIDE COP!!! (carousel of progress) Its a classic and there is always people watching the show!

I think Disney will be fine...the magic is still there.
Most of the Cast Members possess the DIsney quality which makes the parks enjoyable. (I love making guests happy)


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