Roy Disney: DCA is "half a park"

Posted Thursday, December 4, 2003 9:47 AM | Contributed by Jeff

After resigning from Disney's board, Roy Disney continues to tear down Eisner. He said Eisner had built "half a park" but charged full-park prices at Disney's California Adventure. He hopes that his resignation will build support from investors that will put pressure on Eisner to resign.

Read more from Reuters via ABCnews.com.

Thursday, December 4, 2003 11:35 AM
What is so bad about DCA? I have never been their personally but it gets scrutinized alot on sites, and in the media (i.e. the simpsons). What makes it so bad? Is the theme just not disney material?
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Thursday, December 4, 2003 11:50 AM
Roy is taking easy shots. Animal Kingdom is 1/3 of a park and gets the same admission fee. MGM was 1/4 of a park when it opened.
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Thursday, December 4, 2003 12:11 PM
janfrederick's avatar The only thing bad about DCA is that it is a bit small. It needs to expand into the SE corner. How about a tribute to the California deserts? ;)

It is a bit small for the price though. I think it should be included in admission to Disneyland.*** This post was edited by janfrederick 12/4/2003 12:13:53 PM ***

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Thursday, December 4, 2003 12:24 PM
coasterqueenTRN's avatar I agree about the pricing also.

I liked DCA the one and only time I was there (especially Cali Screamin and the *Bug* show) but I also think it has a lot of potential.

Looks like the mudslinging is going to go on at Disney for a while. :-/

-Tina

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Thursday, December 4, 2003 12:43 PM
rentzy,Roy is trying to get Eisner to leave so he can go back. It's kind of like the kid who owns the ball taking it home because he doesn't like one of the other kids, except Roy doesn't actually own the ball.Ultimately the problem with DCA isn't that it's small, it's that it was built to appeal to out-of-towners when Disneyland's attendance was being increasingly made up of locals. People accepted MGM and AK because they were ALREADY staying 4 or 5 days at the resort since EPCOT had opened, so it was one more thing to do. Plus, MGM and AK were pretty much free to these folks because they had multi day park hoppers which included admission to the new parks. So it didn't cost them any more to go to MGM or AK, they were already staying several days anyway, so it didn't matter that they didn't spend a full day at the new parks.DCA was built to try and GET people to spend mutiple days at Disneyland, which they weren't already doing. If you were planning a trip to California you'd say 'Let's go to Disneyland one day! Yay!' Now Disney wanted people to say 'Let's go to the Disneyland Resort for Vacation! Yay!' and came up with the theme that would supposedly convince people they didn't really need to see the rest of the state. But you see, people weren't already staying several days like they were in Florida, so they had to first change people's idea of a Disneyland vacation and then get them used to the idea of paying a lot more for it (Remember, MGM and AK were practically free to people... DCA required them to suddenly buy a multi-day pass to Disneyland, which very very few people did before DCA... and of course very few do even now) As any marketing person will tell you, changing people's habits and charging them more is a tough double pill for the GP to swallow.
*** This post was edited by ThemeDesigner 12/4/2003 12:45:32 PM ***
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Thursday, December 4, 2003 12:54 PM
still kina confused too... so roy has no posistions with disney at all?
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Thursday, December 4, 2003 1:01 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar Actually this whole Disney turmoil is quite deeper than Roy whining. There's a ton of political corporate stuff going down behind the scenes.

Here's three articles that explain a lot (read them in order)

First - Second - Third

They're a bit tedious if you're not interested in Disney, corporate politics or both, but they have some very interesting info/ideas on the whole situation - including the motivation behind Roy Disney and Stanley Gold resigning, Eisner's future, wall street's opinion and how Pixar and Henson Productions may just hold the trump cards in ousting Eisner.

There's a lot more going on then Roy being a big baby.

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Thursday, December 4, 2003 1:02 PM
Fafolguy's avatar I liked DCA a lot, actually. The only thing I noticed was that it seemed to be missing that "Magic" that the rest of the Disney Parks I've been to have. The staff was great, very friendly and courteous, but I just didn't feel that special thing that you feel at the other parks. During my trip to DCA, I met people from all over - including Florida - that had stopped in as part of their larger LA vacation.
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Thursday, December 4, 2003 1:28 PM
Silly question it may be, but I'll ask anyway:

If Roy Disney has such an interest in the company, and genuinely feels that it should be Eisner, and not himself, that is leaving the company, then why did he lobby to get Eisner back in the early eighties? I know that he felt that he would make a good leader for the company, but why did Roy Disney not push to get himself put in the CEO position? I would think that a "Disney" CEO would have made more sense to people back then than an outsider such as Eisner?

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Thursday, December 4, 2003 1:34 PM
From experience DCA is a ripoff and "half a park." It opened 1/3 the size of Disneyland for the same price and our entire family finished EVERYTHING in the park in less than four hours and that included wait times. The attendance figures for that park its first and second season does prove its low value. This park is one good example that quantity actually is in need more than quality. It's a very well dressed up park, I will admit, just not worth it's entry price. I'd say for what there is to do in that park as of now including the new Twighlight Zone Tower of Terror, a $28 or maybe even $30 admission is what's reasonable to charge.
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Thursday, December 4, 2003 1:50 PM
There can be a big difference in what you see in an "interview" versus what you get in "real life". I have hired people, who in the interview stage, "look good" but when they are hired, there is a difference, that if it was noted during interviews they would not have been hired.

I am not saying this is completely analogous to the Disney/Eisner issue, but it has to be true in some sense.

Eiser was good for a while but then his ego outgrew him and from what I understand he tried micromanaging everything. THAT is what has made him "hated". He has virtually destroyed working relationships with many companies, one of which being Pixar, as well as destroying morale in different groups within Dinsey in general.

As for Roy, AFAIK he never wanted to be CEO.

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Thursday, December 4, 2003 1:53 PM
Did anybody else actually really enjoy their visit to DCA, or am I just really easy to please?

Seriously, we spent the greater part of a full day there, and then went back for part of our third-day-hopper to do Millionaire and Cal Screamin' again. And lines weren't bad, either. Now, I realize we spent in excess of 3 hours doing just the Millionaire game, but there was plenty to keep us busy, and even attractions we didn't have time to do, like Maliboomer and several of the shows.

I'll admit DCA isn't the most attraction-heavy park in the world, but I wouldn't call it a rip-off, and additions like the Tower of Terror show that this park has lots of potential, and should have plenty of attractions in a few years. And I couldn't ask for better theming!*** This post was edited by MooreOn 12/4/2003 1:54:47 PM ***

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Thursday, December 4, 2003 1:56 PM
Rob, I think you are confused with what happened in the 80's. Roy and Stanley brought Eisner in to "save" the company in the early 80's. He did just that (and did it VERY well). However, he didn't bring him back as he wasn't there yet. Things were going great until the unfortunate death of Frank Well's (also brought in by Disney and Gold). He kept Eiser focused and things have all gone down hill since the mid-90's when Frank passed.

Btw- DCA is not a Disney park or a "destination" park. That is the problem with it. People go to a Disney park because they expect a certain value. DCA simply doesn't have that value. That's not to say it's a bad park.

Also, they aren't whining. They are trying to save the company from ultimate destruction. The long-term affects of Eisner's rule have yet to be realized. IMO, they waited WAY to long to do this.

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Thursday, December 4, 2003 2:11 PM
matt.'s avatar More power to Roy, as far as I'm concerned.

What you guys have to understand is that as soon as Epcot was built, the SoCal people were sure they were going to be getting their "Westcot" and Disney did nothing to dispute the rumors that that sort of thing was going to happen. In the meantime, Anaheim turned into an actual town, and property prices soared.

So what did you get? A park that was originally budgeted at close to $3 billion getting cut to nearly half of that. This is also a park built by a company with a reputation for breaking new ground technologically with their attractions, but the only major technology innovation present is Soarin' Over California. While you're average park goer from Orange county isn't going to realize this, there has been a lot of negative word of mouth about a lot the rides in the Paradise Pier area clearly being mediocre, off the shelf rides that have been souped up Disney style.

It really doesn't matter what a few CBuzzer's think about their isolated stops at DCA, the bottom line is that in its current state, DCA just isn't bringing the people in. Tower of Terror is going to help a lot (seeing as its in the top tier of rides in Disney's arsenal) but its still going to take years for DCA to really find an identity of its own, seeing as unfortunately, it wasn't born with one. The attractions themselves at DCA are great for the most part, but they don't add up to a greater whole.

Its time for Eisner to go. As far as I can tell, DCA's woes should be the least of his worries. Getting something worth watching on ABC might be a good start. ;)

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Thursday, December 4, 2003 2:46 PM
Roy and Stanley Gold were both instrumental in bringing Eisner to the company in '84. And, Eisner had great success up until the mid-90's (with Frank Wells and Jeffrey Katzenberg as huge assets.)

But, people on this board...more than anyone...should understand the concept of "What have you done for me lately." You guys aren't content if a park skips a year putting in a coaster. There are many Disney stockholders not content with the performance of the company for the past 7 years.

Roy said it himself. $1,000 worth of stock purchased in 1997 would still be worth $1,000 today. In other words, the company is not growing finacially.

DCA was a half-assed park. There is no denying it. However, they are making improvements (including Tower of Terror) that should help the image. MGM was a "small" park when it first opened and it has seen tremendous growth. Animal Kingdom is doing the same. I think Roy is being a bit too critical because he knows there is a plan to improve out in California.

The parks aren't nearly the problems that other divisions in the company are. There are ZERO traditional animation projects beyond Home on the Range and the relationship with Pixar is shaky at best. The heart of the Disney Company is animation and the program is in turmoil. ABC is #3 of the biggies and not looking like it is going anywhere.

No doubt, Disney has some problems.

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Thursday, December 4, 2003 3:27 PM
I am wondering why the actual idea of how big a park needs to be is based on opinions on here and other sites. How can anyone say that a park is 1/4 or a 1/2 a park?? Based on what?? Most of you weren't around when DL was even built. FYI, DCA is bigger than DL was when it opened. Somewhere it gets lost that ANY park, not just Disney parks, can't open to full scale immediately. there's just not enough capital. This said, I agree that maybe pricing should have been scaled back a bit, but that's a moot point now. DCA is a fun park, and yes, it will expand, but even that is a finite thought as they are eventually going to be landlocked. DAK is the biggest park in the whole chain if I am not mistaken, based on overall size. This too will expand with time (as seen already with Everest). People want too much too soon and have no clue what it takes financially to do what you expect, aside from the fact that most people on this site seem to want nothing but "thrill rides" which you should all know by now is not what Disney is, or ever will be about. It's about families & fanatasies.

Go Roy......Eisner's time is over, time to get new blood, new ideas and a lot less of a slefish person in there. ME had a good run, but then he let it all go to his head.

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Thursday, December 4, 2003 4:00 PM
RTCneedsTLC: I didn't mean that Disney brought Eisner back to the company, I meant that Disney brought in Eisner back in the early eighties. I understand that Eisner was never with the company prior to that- he came from Paramount, did he not?
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Thursday, December 4, 2003 4:59 PM
Ah, my bad ;) Not sure which studio he was from It was either Paramount or the WB. Good question that I'm sure somebody on here knows.
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Thursday, December 4, 2003 5:38 PM
janfrederick's avatar Ya know what'd be cool? A sailboat ride in the lagoon. ;)
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