Tuesday, October 21, 2008
The Competitors Transformed...
"'Transformers' will be a jewel in our collection of world-class rides based on great movies. - Tom Williams, Chairman and CEO, Universal Parks & Resorts
Competition is good...
It creates a situation where you have to rise above what you know are your limits and work to achieve something you didn't think you were capable of. Athletes deal with this all the time. Businesses deal with it on a daily basis. Disney deals with it too, although much more so now than a decade or two before... at least from the theme parks perspective. I'm not referring to the film division of the company here.
I'm talking about attractions. You've seen in "The Competitors" article that was posted a while ago that the Mouse has some serious competition around the world. Walt Disney has always been the standard bearer, the pinnacle for others to reach for. In theme park design, WDI has always been the big guy that you were competing against. Up until the late 80's/early 90's there wasn't a comparison between other design groups and WED/WDI. I'm not saying there wasn't any competition, I'm simply saying it wasn't competition that was a threat to Disney.
Universal Studios will be adding some competition over the next few years according to IESB. Shortly, well get that new land based on "Harry Potter" and then later, 2011 to be exact, they'll be opening up a new attraction based on the "Transformers" movie. First it'll come to Universal Studios Singapore and then Universal Studios Hollywood. I'm sure I'll be cloned(Hehe... sorry, couldn't help that) to the other parks in Dubai, Japan and Florida as well once a little time has passed.
It's going to be interesting to see what they come up with. I've seen and rode "The Simpsons" ride and it's a very good example of design work, but it's not on the scale as something like Harry Potter or Transformers... expect a much more, bigger experience. Please don't think of this as a negative for the Mouse. I want better designed attractions at Universal and every other park. It only increases the pressure on them(Disney Theme Parks/WDI/TWDC) to do better. And they will.
This is great news.
If you want to express yourself then be proactive. Send an e-mail to them(Disney). Buy some stock, even a small share and show up at the annual meetings to voice your opinion. Go to the parks and complain, respectfully of course, that you want more/better attractions. Don't be passive, but don't expect Disney to be either.
Competition is good. Very good.
UPDATE: More detail available in an article over at Dark Horizons.