Voters disapprove Disney plan for rail line, authority chair father of Disney lobbyist

Posted Friday, January 10, 2003 4:11 AM | Contributed by Jeff

A survey of Florida voters says that only 2% approve of the proposed high-speed rail line stopping only at Walt Disney World from the airport before going on to Tampa. About 91% said that there should also be a stop at the convention center on International Drive, which is in closer proximity to Disney's competitors. Disney has said they will not allow a station on their property if they are not the only stop in the Orlando area, a demand that puts the rail authority in a tough spot because they need the Disney traffic to help fund the operation.

Read more from AP via The Naples News.

Meanwhile, the chair of the rail authority is the father of a man who lobbies for Disney, putting conflict of interest issues on his plate.

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.

Friday, January 10, 2003 4:58 AM

Greedy bastards. I didn't know Bill Gates owned Disney too. This is worse than MSN 8.

From what I see it doesn't sound like Disney even has to pay for the rail service. Or am I wrong? Eh, anyway, this is prime example of a company attempting to gain monopoly over the market.

Friday, January 10, 2003 5:08 AM
Ok, first off, Florida voters are idiots as we have seen proven in the past couple of years. They voted to but this high speed rail in the Constitution (ridiculous) without having any idea how it was going to be paid for.

On an unrelated matter, they also voted to decrease class size without a shred of evidence as to how it would be paid for and it, too, went into the Constitution. How much do you think it is going to cost to build all those extra classrooms and hire all those extra teachers? Billions?

Second, the survey was conducted by a non-profit organization representing the Convention Center and I-Drive businesses. The validity of the survey is in question immediately.

Third, they only asked 600 people.

Finally, the I-Drive captive audience was figured at 530,000 people per year raising an estimated $6.4 million dollars. The Disney captive audience would raise approximately $26.3 million dollars.

I think Disney, for better or worse, has the upper hand here. *** This post was edited by wahoo skipper on 1/10/2003. ***

Friday, January 10, 2003 8:37 AM

Florida voters might be stupid, but I don't think they're that stupid. It's in Orlando's best interest to have that stop on I-Drive, because that part of town, like it or not, is a huge part of the tourism business. Hundreds of businesses reside in that area.

Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - -

Friday, January 10, 2003 9:11 AM
I don't disagree Jeff. My point is this. Disney has the upper hand. If the Mouse says NO to a stop then the whole project is going to be out millions of dollars that was being counted on. As it is, I don't know how they are going to fund this project statewide so Disney's money may have put a big dent in it.

If Florida voters were asked, "would you favor a stop solely at Disney OR a state income tax?" (which we don't currently have) I would bet you 100 to 1 that the voters would say give Disney what they want. *** This post was edited by wahoo skipper on 1/10/2003. ***

Friday, January 10, 2003 9:53 AM

True enough wahoo, but I STILL haven't received MY lifetime pass to the *Mouse-House*, so I sure don't want my tax dollars (even though it's not income tax) going to a single-beneficiary project of THIS magnitude. If the Mouse says "Mickey or everyone else", I hope we end up with everyone else. Corporate greed and corporate welfare has to stop at home...and that means us!

IF Mickey wants to pay for the WHOLE project, then sure, he can have the ONLY always, YMMV...;)

Friday, January 10, 2003 10:34 AM
I can't remember the last time I paid to get into Disney. If you go often you need to make some friends. Offer to take a ride op out for drinks after work. Those folks at Disney don't get paid real well but the perks aren't too bad.
Friday, January 10, 2003 11:00 AM
Disney has the kind of clout to throw their weight around and get what they want. And why not take advantage of it?

Thats the way American business runs. We all think of Disney as pure, good, and not bad in any way. But nevertheless, it IS a business and needs to be run as such. If they didn't, they would have been gone long ago.

The Tranisit Commission doesn't understand why Disney wants direct route connection with no stops? WDW strives to keep their visitors "on property" all the time. Hence the inter-park/resort bus transport, eliminating the need for a car.

"We don't sit on your dining room table, so please don't sit on our silver handrails" *** This post was edited by spacemountain551 on 1/10/2003. ***

Friday, January 10, 2003 11:36 AM
I don't understand why they don't just build the thing across the street from Disney. Keep it off of, but adjacent to, their property and there's not a thing they can do about it.

If you could just see the beauty... these things I could never describe. Pleasures and wayward distraction; is this my wonderful prize? --Joy Division

Friday, January 10, 2003 2:16 PM

Is it just me, or is WDW much more greedy than DLR? I mean this, the concierge people aren't allowed to give directions to USF or Sea World, there are no "good neighbor hotels" i think, they charge about 10% more for admission than The DLR (no sales tax at DLR, and So. Cal residents get a ticket to DL and a Ticket to DCA for the price of one). They must be getting pissed of at USF for adding IOA, which was an obvious blow to WDW. Think of all the orlando visitors who only visit USF now, and a time or two to the Busch Parks.

Over in southern california Sea World, The San Diego zoological society's 2 parks, knotts, and disneyland (and USH at a later date most likely) are actually going to start a partnership that will essentially sell each other park's tickets (its actually a package of tickets to all the parks) at their ticket booths. knotts even offers a shuttle a Disneyland, and in Return DL will tell you how to take the Orange county transportation authority busses to Knotts when you want to go to the park or a waterpark, and its only a 15 minute ride, on just one bus. knotts even sells Disney merchandise! all that even when the spoofs on disney during haunt are vicious. "Osama Bin laden is safe in California adventure, no one goes there!", fantasmic, and the bead bodies with disneyland name tags are prevalent during haunt.

Friday, January 10, 2003 4:12 PM

Speaking of which...

Score one for Universal.

I like the Universal complex more than Disney... I mean, IOA is my favorite park in Orlando, and Disney's fine, but there's not enough to do at each place. Too spread out.

That said...

When I stayed at the Hard Rock, one of Universal's hotels on Universal's property, the concierge was more than happy to give us dining suggestions for when we transferred for a few nights over to Disney.

And about the joint ticket thing - Doesn't central Fl. have a deal like that? The Orlando Magic Flexi Pass or something? If I'm correct, it is pretty much a venture with every major park in the Orlando area (sans Disney) where they sell tickets good for any park any day (not unlike Disney's Park Hoppers.)

"Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation." - David St. Hubbins, Spinal Tap

Friday, January 10, 2003 5:46 PM
Yes, off-topic, but I stayed at Universal's new Royal Pacific in November, and when we go back, I doubt we'll ever leave the property except to go to Medieval Times.

Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - -
DELETED! *** This post was edited by Jeff on 1/10/2003. ***

Friday, January 10, 2003 6:37 PM

Yes, Busch and Universal have teamed up in the past, also over here in So. California. Sea World CA has also teamed up in the past before with the San Diego zoos (yes, there are 2, ones more like Disney's Animal Kingdom though).

I think Busch and Universal have teamed up to stand stronger against the mouse.

Friday, January 10, 2003 7:01 PM
Well Jeff I'll agree here on some points.

When me and my wife went and stayed at the Hard Rock hotel in october. We had a blast, IMHO Universal has diseny beat when it comes to better parks, and sometimes on clubs.

As for dining, The Rat blows universal away. Most of our dining was done off universal property. Thier only really good dining is Emril's, even though only about hald of the menu was desinged by the wrold famous chef.

In park food is well, in park food. Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville, has the best burger to be had, and the best margarita's, but that is about it. The Hard Rock Cafe, is the same run of mill substanderd crap you find at all other Hard Rock Cafe's with the same way to much for what you get, pricing. If I'm paying 25 bucks a head for an entree, salad, and drink, it better be good. Sadly the Hard Rock has always failed in this since day 1.

The Dining in most Disney resorts (or at least the good ones, and downtown Diseny). Are many notches higher, when it comes to almost every level, from service, food stock quality, menu diversity, and oringinality. They also have some clubs where are blast and can not be beat (Jellyroll's being the big one that comes to mind).

Sorry to be anel, but I'm a Kithen Manager and certified chef, but dining and quality of food is something I AM anel about, cuase being Anel about is what I do for a living.

Friday, January 10, 2003 8:23 PM
OK but if they built the station adjacent to Disney property, then what? How would visitors get to their hotels? Disney won't bus them, out of protest.

"We don't sit on your dining room table, so please don't sit on our silver handrails"

Saturday, January 11, 2003 5:57 AM
How about Disney extend the monorail to the off site station for easy transfer from the high speed rail service.

Favorite Wood: Viper at SFGAM,Shivering Timbers
Favorite Steel: Magnum and Raging Bull

Saturday, January 11, 2003 11:31 AM
Taxis, which would be a lot cheaper from there to the park than from the airport to their hotel, which would cost what, $8?
Saturday, January 11, 2003 3:27 PM
With regards to building the WDW station across the street and busing guests in,. Disney have already said that they will offer transport (via Mears) straight from MCO as part of their packaged vacation so people will not want to pay extra for transportation.

Taxis to WDW are quiet expensive but there are cheaper shuttle and towncar alternatives if you know where to look.

As far as Universal goes, I always stay Hard Rock and in September we stayed Royal Pacific so I agree with everyone else. I wouldnt leave except to make some side trips to FLorida Mall or SeaWorld or Belz. FOTL makes it all the more attractive. But I agree, Disney Dining wins hands down.

As far as SoCal co-operative goes, of course, its good business in these troubled tourist times. Disney dont run the theme park show in Cali or own the large number od hotel surrounding the park to justify a WDW-like stance.

However in FL, they put Orlando on the map, have 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, an after hours district in Downtown Disney, 18+ hotels. Hell, MCO was built for WDW for crying out loud! They'll get there way with the HRT because Dead Presidents speak a helluva lot louder than the Constituants of Florida ever will. Stupid or otherwise! *** This post was edited by The Legend on 1/11/2003. ***

Sunday, January 12, 2003 8:10 AM
I'm with Disney on this, because Orlando would be nothing if it wasnt for Disney. Before WDW was built what was Orlando? It certantly wasn't a city you ever heard of if you didnt live in florida. But then WDW was built and Orlando exploded with tourism because of who.... Disney. The city of Orlando owes alot to Disney. At a time back WDW was Orlando. Because of Walt Disney World orlando has become one of the biggest tourist destinations in the world!
Sunday, January 12, 2003 12:38 PM
Are you a tax payer? As someone who pays local, state, federal income tax, property tax for schools, parks, recreation, police, fire, library districts, plus gas and sales tax, there is no way in hell I would allow my hard earned dollar to benefit a single corporation. That's insane. Who cares if Disney "made" Orlando, they aren't the only player in town anymore. People cry and moan about huge companies like Microsoft dominating a particular market, but it's OK if the the company has mouse ears? I think not.

Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - -
DELETED! *** This post was edited by Jeff on 1/12/2003. ***


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