Monday, November 24, 2008

The Competitors: Atlantis, Dubai...

Those of you that read a few months ago, "The Competitors" post I did might want to click over to the Disney and More Blog and have a look at Alain's two part post(Part One, Part Two) on the Atlantis Resort grand opening on the Palm in Dubai. It shows you that the Mouse doesn't have a monopoly on creativity and just how hard WDI has to go to not just keep up, but show everyone that they're the top of the heap.

The bee's knees, so to speak...


Anonymous said...

I'm so jealous. It looks awesome.


Spokker said...

Man, it's amazing what you can build with oil money and no labor laws.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Port Disney suffered from all the environmental red tape they were having to go though. They were actually going to create a nice wetlands preserve far larger than the resort in exchange for the use of the land fill, but the Coastal Commission and environmental groups wouldn't have it.

It's ironic that Japan let their park be built, they're very environmentally conscious but the environmentalist don't have their fingers so deep into the politicians there.

Anonymous said...

"Man, it's amazing what you can build with oil money and no labor laws."

that made my day.

Capt. Tomorrow said...

I'm sure WDI could build amazing things as well. If they had access to tens of billions of dollars.

Anonymous said...

Disney seems low rent when compared with the competition. It's been obvious for years. Disney allowed their brand to sink with DCA and Paris Studios as the low point. The quality of the vacation experience is pretty bad in WDW as well.

Spokker said...

Yeah, Dubai looks snazzy, but I'm going to stick with Disneyland or even Walt Disney World. At least if I get gang raped there I won't be jailed for committing homosexuality.

A comment from someone I know of who has been to Dubai:

"Here's my experience in Dubai:

Hi, I'm walking down a road dwarfed by vast structures of glass and titanium, tall Arab businessmen step smartly down the road, chattering on cellphones. I turn the corner and go down the alley.

I'm somewhere else, not Dubai... but Dubai. The road is now a gravel path. A rat skitters by. A young child stoops and takes a sh*t in the drainage curb and runs back into his house, throwing aside the cheap carpet that hangs in place of a front door.

When you're in the money section its nice. When you're in the slums you're in the SLUUUUUUUMMMMMSSS."

Another massive resort in a third world hell hole. I would never take my money to Dubai. It won't get to the right places.

In the study of economic development there is a distinction made between growth and development. Growth is the increase in indices such as GDP, per capita income, etc. But those measures alone can hide income disparities, civil rights violations, and a whole host of other problems.

Development is the well, development, of things like health, education, and civil rights. You can have growth without development. Many countries grow without developing.

That's precisely what's going on in countries in the Middle East. These are nations rich from oil but still have a long way to go when it comes to things like human rights.

Dubai as competition to Disneyland? Maybe for some wealthy executive types, but not the rest of us. I couldn't care less about tourism in Dubai.

Spokker said...

Come to beautiful Dubai!

Matt said...

I prefer the original Atlantis resort in the Caribbean... If I had the money, I'd go back there in an instant.

That's what cements WDW and DLR as industry leaders for years to come: though the parks are a bit pricey, it is still considerably cheaper than these "super-rich" resorts.

IncrediBill said...

The projects in Dubai are jaw-dropping in their beauty, but they seem to lack depth of character.

On the other hand, when I step into Disney World, independent of its decade-long progression of flaws, I feel a sense of place, time, and hope: a reflection of Walt's vision that recognizes our connectivity to the past, future and to each other, taking on form in physical spaces, architecture, music and story that we can relate to in personally meaningful ways.

That's why if I were to invest my heart or money in Disney or Dubai, I'd choose Disney because ideals endure, but beauty without them fades. While Disney World and the company seem to have disconnected, in quite a few ways, from Walt's vision, the company's momentum is based too much on it to be forgotten or set aside forever.

In economically challenging times like these, I would imagine there will be a whole lot more soul searching on the part of executives, creatives and guests that will drive the company to reconcile with Walt's principles, dovetailing into the prologue Lasseter and others have already ushered in. It seems a testament to the idea that ideals craft our future, while without them beauty and money disappear. That's why I feel Disney - with concerted effort driven by vision, not next quarter earnings - will stay closer to people's hearts, drive more passion, and outlast others both in business and as part of the human story, regardless of relative size or cash reserves.