Wednesday, June 11, 2008

State Of Flux...


Ok, ok...

I've seen alot of talk out there, not to mention having quite a few e-mails showing up in my box all asking the same thing:

"I've heard that because of the economy all projects for DCA are on hold or canceled."

Well, my sources tell me that this is bunk. Absolutely not true. Simple rumors that have been started around the Net by Disney fans own version of the "sewing circle". This isn't to say that there won't or couldn't be problems, but unless the economy takes a disastrous nosedive and attendance at the parks plummets(it hasn't, btw) the walls will go up again this fall.

All companies have contingency plans for worst-case scenarios, but for this to be true it would have to be known by a very, very few people inside Burbank. So don't go screaming the sky has fallen...

Until it's fallen.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

I see it as a wise business model to invest like crazy in the parks during an economic downturn. The economy will grow again. Imagine the possitive impact on the bottom line if a more vibrant economy is welcomed by new shows and attractions? Considering the incredible transformation coming to DCA, the double whammy of a strong economic upswing met with grand and beautiful new attractions for the park...well, the potential couldn't be greater.

Anonymous said...

Also, it simply makes sense to invest more into the parks when the economy gets sluggish in order to draw more people into them in the first place. Iger is right, Disney is in a good place to hold fast during tough times, because its product is always on demand, whether that be movies, or family vacations. People still want to be entertained in a recession; especially in a recession! Now its up to Disney to make the product accessible.

Having a whole new set of attractions ready and waiting for them may be all the incentive needed to get that family out there. And the best part, once they are there (at the Disney resorts) they have a one stop shop for their entire family vacation needs!

Anonymous said...

"This isn't to say that there won't or couldn't be problems, but unless the economy takes a disastrous nosedive and attendance at the parks plummets(it hasn't, btw) the walls will go up again this fall."

Attendance always lags, because people plan and book their summer vacations six months in advance or more. The attendance problems will surface after the summer peak, starting around August.

Some insiders from Disney's reservation offices claim that phone calls are way down for this time of year, compared to previous years. One long-term WDW CM posted that bookings for the fall haven't been this low since 9/11. That speaks volumes about the future of attendance right there. But the real acid test will come over the weekend, when DCA hosts the media event for the grand opening of Toy Story Midway Mania.

Announcements for DCA's future direction were scheduled for the event, months ago. But there are rumors now circulating that those announcements either won't happen, or will be scaled back significantly. If that happens, don't bet on those construction walls going up in the fall.

Anonymous said...

"People still want to be entertained in a recession; especially in a recession!"

That's right. They stay home and spend a few hundred going to the movies and renting/buying DVDs. They don't spend thousands traveling to overpriced theme parks and resorts.

Ironically, WALL*E will probably do even better than expected, with families cancelling their trips due to the high cost of travel.

Anonymous said...

Yeah a recession will hit Disney, but it wont hit them as hard as some scare mongers are saying, These things happen, they managed to keep WDW ticking over after 9/11 (and I think thats a great achievement BTW). One of the reasons why I think we aint seen allot of new stuff at WDW is becuase the parks have been so busy, Disney has been saying they were breaking attendance records last year. I think drop off is good for the company and us. They will have to work to get us to come.

Anonymous said...

Read this article for a different perspective

http://miceage.micechat.com/kevinyee/ky061008a.htm

Anonymous said...

No comment just advertising huh? Sheesh.

Georgeofgungul said...

Kevin Yee's article talks about what "might" happen should the economic situation worsen. It's not a "different perspective". He doesn't say this is what is happening. He says this is what could happen. There's a difference. Honor didn't say that bad things couldn't happened, he simply stated that as of now the expansion is still on. Kevin Yee's article also was about WDW while Honor was talking about DCA.

How's that for a different perspective?

Anonymous said...

While investing like crazy during a downturn is extremely wise, Disney hasn’t been very willing to follow. The last time the economy tanked, Disney shut down their “Disney Decade”. While their management has changed, I don’t know if their attitudes have.

Unfortunately, Disney tends to focus on appeasing stockholder’s short-term desires. That prevents them from looking at the long-term improvements the company needs (at a temporary drop in short-term returns) for long-term health over the short term quick returns stockholders want.

Spokker said...

Don't worry, Disneyland will just ramp up the annual passholder program even more and all those churro-eating know-it-alls will save the day.

socalkdg said...

DLR and WDW are two different animals indeed.

WDW will get hit by a recession as less people take long vacations.

DLR has 15 million people within 90 minutes of driving. With APs approaching a million, expect crowds to remain strong as long and new offerings are available.

It becomes a vacation alternative to people that normally went out of state on vacation (Las Vegas, Hawaii, Mexico, etc.)

KINGCRAB said...

Unfortunately, Disney tends to focus on appeasing stockholder’s short-term desires. That prevents them from looking at the long-term improvements the company needs (at a temporary drop in short-term returns) for long-term health over the short term quick returns stockholders want.

It's that kind of pessimistic attitude that folks like me ever so despise!

While their management has changed, I don’t know if their attitudes have.

Oh, I think their attitudes most certainly have changed, especially with people like Eisner no longer running the show.

Anonymous said...

"Unfortunately, Disney tends to focus on appeasing stockholder’s short-term desires. That prevents them from looking at the long-term improvements the company needs (at a temporary drop in short-term returns) for long-term health over the short term quick returns stockholders want."

It's that kind of pessimistic attitude that folks like me ever so despise!

YOU despise the attitude? Just think of what the poor Imagineers must feel having to deal with the company attitudes and politics.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't get too excited about any future plans at this point.

People have compared what could happen with DCA (and Disney park plans in general, especially WDW) if the US economy continues its dive toward recession with the Disney Decade, which as we know was much hype over renderings for future coffee table books and little else.

This worries me a whole lot more because this time Disney has little control over the forces that could stop some of these grandiose plans dead in their tracks.

I keep hearing from my own 'spirits' inside Disney that many projects have taken on a 'creep mode' status. Nothing's been cancelled or postponed. But things are moving so slowly that you just get the feeling the beancounters are waiting for another shoe to drop ($5 gas, a major airline tanking, more massive layoffs from large companies etc ...)

Look at this weekend's media event in Anaheim. Look at what is said. And more importantly what isn't.

I guess the best thing we can hope for us for things to improve for our country ... because if that happens then things are likely to be rosey for our company. If not, well, don't be so sure that giant hubcap is going anywhere for a while.

Anonymous said...

"YOU despise the attitude? Just think of what the poor Imagineers must feel having to deal with the company attitudes and politics."

Allot of that comes from within the Imagineering Dept. Its been well documented that Imagineering is/was a poisonous place to work.

Anonymous said...

^^^^

That's true. But there is ALSO a lot of baggage at the Parks & Resorts and corporate levels.

As for WDI, along with their own climate, Imagineering gets hit from above AND from the parks, which feel that they know better than WDI as to what is creative.