Even Disney knows that the low-attendance, high-price attraction is the future of the industry. ;)
Interesting stuff, although Lance at Screamscape tends to disagree on what the Night Kingdom actually is.
Either way, it's not cheap.
Then, as if on cue, Jim Hill posts another article this week about Disney trying to lure guests with deeper pockets talking about how per caps are slipping (specifically when it comes to merchandise) in part because of Disney advertising to the budget crowd for so long and about how much merch sales mean to the Disney parks.
Interesting stuff given all the pricing conversations we've had around here over the past couple of years.
The thing I've noticed about Disney is how many high priced and high margin things there are to do around the resort, and how willing people are to pay for them. Mind you, in every case you do get what you pay for.
They've been experimenting with this for years by way of exclusive tours and special dining experiences.
That said, they're catering to the long tail because they can. All of these smaller niche experiences ultimately add up for steady growth. They can do it in Florida too because they essentially have no limit to the land they can use.
Maybe, just maybe people aren't spending on merchandise like they used to is due to the fact that admission has gotten so high that people are saving there money just to come back there. What does Disney expect? Look at the very high prices. It looks cheap at $40 a day for 10 days (Estimate), but $400 is a lot of money for one person with families of 4 or 5. Families need to cut back somewhere.
Disney keeps on raising prices year after year. To make more money, Disney is shutting the gates early, and bringing more people in the park after the other people leave. On the other flip side of things, they don't have a good Big Thunder Mountain, good Space Mountain t-shirt, Snow White on a t-shirt (is hard to find with other characters), and so on.
I've been waiting for this for a long time. Disney is infamous for watching competitors develop new markets in Central Florida, and then grabbing the market for themselves with their captive-audience abilities:
Busch Gardens: Animal Kingdom. Universal (announced first): Disney Studios (opened first). Wet-n-Wild: Typhoon Lagoon/Blizzard Beach. High-end timeshares: DVC. Low-end hotels: the Value resorts. Church Street: Pleasure Island
And now, Discovery Cove: TBA.
Busch demonstrated that Central Florida can support a high-end, individualized, superior-service attraction---they established the market. If this rumor is to be believed, Disney will now, true to form, try to capture the market. *** Edited 2/21/2008 7:30:40 PM UTC by Brian Noble***
That's the thing. It doesn't need to interest many people at all. There are 30,000 Disney-owned hotel rooms---each with a capacity of 2-4 guests. Those rooms run at 90% occupancy, (and most aren't likely to be single business travelers) so perhaps figure 50,000 guests per night. If this is really the plan, Disney needs less than 5% of those people to want to come to this park on any given night.
I figure that Jim Hill is reporting it at least third-hand, and he's not the most compelling writer on the planet. I'll wait until I see some actual details (presuming this will really happen.)
I vaguely recall reading somewhere that Joe Rohde is the presenter in the little film that folks see before taking the Night Kingdom survey. If Joe is in charge, it'll be freakin' awesome, and I'll want to do it. I'm not usually an Imagineering fanboy, but I think Animal Kingdom, and especially Asia, is just wonderful---from Everest on down to the bubble fountain.
Consider me among the underwhelmed. It's too much to pay for an 'extreme action' park version of Animal Kingdom, as described by Jim Hill. Obviously the jury's out till we hear more, but nothing mentioned so far gets my interest up a bit (unlike Discovery Cove, which I'm dying to get to someday). And I think Lance is wrong in his assessment, as he seems to misunderstand one of Jim's basic points about the story. Lance seems to think the current Adventurer's Club will be the 'gateway' to the park, while what Jim's REALLY saying is that the club is going to be REBUILT as the gate to the new park.
Peabody said: That's an excellent point and I'm sure that's a consideration made when building such a park. But, anyone else have that same "M'eh" reaction as me?
Me too. I'd rather see the money invested in something I'd be interested in. But that might not work here in Southern California where I take day trips instead of staying in a hotel. 1 trip = 1 park. Why make it more difficult for me to choose?
Now with DCA, I can see taking adavntage of the SoCal 2 parks for one deal. So that works. But a third park? Might not work as well for locals. But if it attracts more out of towners....
Waitaminnit. We jump all over people for complaining about coasters under construction that folks actually know the layouts of but haven't ridden, yet we're going to "meh" some new park because Jim Hill described the whispered rumors that he's heard?
Pot. Kettle. You know the rest.
Now, I'm not saying this is going to be great, or even good. But that's 'cuase, realistically, I don't know nuthin'.
^Maybe that's because we're interested in coasters, not sticking our head inside a hippo's mouth (and paying 3 Franklins for the privilege). :) Maybe people really into Disney or looking for something different will go for it, but personally, a park like this wouldn't be near the top of my list of places to visit.
So will part of the admission fee go toward buying gazelles and antelopes so people can watch the nocturnal hunting habits of lions and hyenas?