No sign of tough economic times at Orlando-area theme parks

Posted Wednesday, January 2, 2008 9:23 AM | Contributed by Jeff

The nation's economic jitters that contributed to lackluster holiday retail sales in December seemingly failed to make a serious dent in year-end travel to Central Florida as theme parks filled and hotels had few vacancies. Large hotels in Central Florida's core tourist areas say they had no problem filling rooms during the final two weeks of December. Theme park parking lots swelled past capacity, and pedestrian concourses at Walt Disney World, SeaWorld Orlando and Universal Orlando resembled Manhattan sidewalks during rush hour.

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008 10:25 AM
I'll say. You had to fight to get anywhere at the Magic Kingdom on Monday night. The line for popcorn was over a half hour!
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Wednesday, January 2, 2008 6:35 PM
Quite honestly, I think it's more a sign that the Seasonal parks are becomming less of a value to people than being able to take a multi day trip to FL or Cali and the packages certainly make that DO-ABLE

Chuck

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Thursday, January 3, 2008 1:00 AM
If you read the whole article it paints a clearer picture than the headline would lead a merry shareholder to believe - hotels drastically reducing prices to fill rooms and a larger tourist presence from outside US - our country's poor economic fate is an overseas tourists' fortune. It demonstrates how the Orlando amusement market is virtually recession proof thanks mainly to WDW and the strong international lure of their megaresort/small nation within Frorida (sorry, couldn't resist). What could really hurt them long term, however, is the rising cost of fuel for planes. Don't be surprised if they start their own airline and oil company to maintain control of their tourist flow - they've already started a major cruise line!
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Thursday, January 3, 2008 9:14 AM
Jeff's avatar The threat to the area isn't the economy, it's Disney. The more rooms they build, the less reason there is to not stay there.
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Thursday, January 3, 2008 12:55 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Rye.D.Ziner:
...hotels drastically reducing prices to fill rooms ...

That's a little misleading as well. The high-end places didn't miss a beat. It was crap properties like La Quinta that had to give away rooms to get people to stay.


Chuck:
I think it's more a sign that the Seasonal parks are becomming less of a value to people than being able to take a multi day trip to FL or Cali and the packages certainly make that DO-ABLE

Should be no surprise that I disagree. :)

I think it just shows how much people are really willing and able to spend for their entertainment. Why aren't people spending a couple hundred bucks at the local park? Because they're spending three or four times that in Orlando.

All this article says is the most expensive hotels in Orlando did fine and the most expensive parks in the USA were packed to capacity.

In a destination like Orlando I'm sure the weak dollar and foreign travellers helped, but they aren't filling the place alone.

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Friday, January 4, 2008 12:58 AM
Your right - it's also young families with kids from the US splurging on overpriced theme parks in Orlando, overspending during their vacations and subsequently foreclosing on their McMansions. Maybe this will result in people spending a couple of hundred at the local parks instead next year !
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