Posted Wednesday, July 11, 2007 3:15 PM | Contributed by Jeff
Motley Fool columnist Rick Munarriz makes a case for Disney buying Cedar Fair, even though he doubts it would ever happen. His reasons include built-in licensing opportunities and a proven resort business.
If this were to happen, the Snoopy vs. Nick debate would finally be settled, as the Mouse would be in. Also, CP's lack of theming would certainly turn around. :)
Certainly it would be interesting if Disney did buy them. Would they continue to build big coasters? Would they sell Knott's or make into another part of Disneyland, albeit a little farther away? How would Disney handle regional parks? Oh the possibilities.
If that happened, there'd be an extra large lump in my Huggies. The 2 companies are so different. Cedar Fair parks always make me feel welcome and appreciated. Disney parks make me feel like I need a few more chains attached to my wallet.
Wouldn't this scenario dilute the Disney brand? Part of the attraction of Disney parks is that there's so few of them, and as a result, people are willing to spend thousands and thousands of dollars every couple of years to take a vacation they know will be extraordinary. If Disney buys Cedar Fair, then practically everyone will have a Disney park in their backyard. Since the mouse would be obligated to bring the CF parks up to a higher standard, people might end up thinking that these small trips alleviate the need to go down to Florida or California, where the big money is for the company.
I'm sorry, but Disney's way too childish for Cedar Fair. If Disney would have owned Cedar Fair already, the parks would probably be the most boring happiest places on Earth. Really, if Disney can't build cool roller coasters like Patriot, BORG or Maverick at their own parks, how would they do it at Cedar Fair's? Sure, Disney's theming is elaborate, but it seems Cedar Fair is in the thrill-seeking business. And I don't believe Disney would be up to that.
While I admit this is far fetched, I could see Disney buying these parks and not "mouseifying" them. Disney is an entertainment company, and these are entertainment venues. While Disney certainly has a vested interest in keeping people coming to CA / FL, there are a lot of people who go to these regional parks as well, and there is money to be made. Look at the Disney buyout of ABC a few years ago.
The only thing worse than CF theming (the 'fyooture', robots, the 'Old West,' and are ya ready? Fyooturistic robot cowboys) is the all-in-your-face-and-down-your throat, overpowering EVERYWHEREness of Disney's It's-A-Long-Hurl style.
At least CF has plenty of hypers to hoist disembodied Mickey Mouse arms over. *Gags*
I think there'd be a better chance of Busch buying them than Disney. PhantomsTails hit the nail on the head with his post.
"Wouldn't this scenario dilute the Disney brand? Part of the attraction of Disney parks is that there's so few of them, and as a result, people are willing to spend thousands and thousands of dollars every couple of years to take a vacation they know will be extraordinary. If Disney buys Cedar Fair, then practically everyone will have a Disney park in their backyard. Since the mouse would be obligated to bring the CF parks up to a higher standard, people might end up thinking that these small trips alleviate the need to go down to Florida or California, where the big money is for the company. "
"Well at least some of it's parks :(" ^First you're in love with MiAdv and want to have its babies, now you're downing it? Make up your mind. Of course if Disney buys CF, they'll move everything to MiAdv, you know that already...
Anyway, it would shake things up quite a bit but as stated before, I don't really see it happening. I wouldn't really want Busch buying them either since it would in a way dilute their brand too. There also isn't enough continents to go around :P
*** This post was edited by P18 7/11/2007 8:13:37 PM ***
I really hope Disney would never buy them out. I was happy when Cedar fair bought the Paramount parks because Paramount and Disney are more about being corporate whores and not as much about making great parks.
There is only one problem: CF's operating margins are already higher than Disney's. I don't see much in the way of a compelling argument in the article to squeeze more profit out of these parks, and that's what it would take.
In many of these markets, there doesn't seem to be more discretaionary income to squeeze..
I do think that Disney would be a good buyer...the thing is, that for most people Disney is only Disneyland, Mickey Mouse and Cinderella......Disney is a corporation, and a BIG corporation.
I'm pretty sure some people thought imposible the idea of Disney buying ESPN, ABC or Miramax films...for instance. I mean, they could really do great things to this parks and most of the people wouldn't even know that Disney owns them. Like I remember one time at the Disneyana shop at DL and an annoying lady strangely disturbed about why would Disneyland sell the complete seasons of Desperate Housewives and Lost.