Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Admit One...


I've been hearing all this chatter about the D23 Expo...

You know, the talk about tickets not selling and the Mouse is worried that it's going to be a failure. Blah, blah, blah. Sometimes people really need to relax and not listen to all the nattering nabobs of negativity. But fear not, everything is just fine and reality isn't quite as bad as some would have you believe.

Here's a little secret between me and you... ticket sales are actually ABOVE projections. Hard to believe, huh? Ticket vendors tend to sell 40 to 50% of the tickets for an event at the door. Right now, D23 Expo tickets are approaching that number. The high forties, actually. And there is still two weeks to go so that's not bad at all.

The Suits up in Burbank, though, they want it all sold out so they've bought a specific number of tickets to give to the employees to make sure it's full. They want it to look like something out of Comic-Con, which in the first year is not really a realistic thing, but hey, they're Suits. Originally the plan was to have employees get one day for $5 dollars, but when Cast Member tickets were a little slow at first they changed their minds and let them get all four days at $5 dollar a piece. Not a bad deal if you work for the Mouse.

But those tickets are in addition to the sales to the general public and the D23 community. So since sales are going briskly there, that means the crowds are going to be pretty good. This won't be like Comic-Con, but then again, Comic-Con wasn't like it is today on its first year. It took time to grow and gather word of mouth. And the D23 Expo will need the same. It's not like a theme park like Tokyo DisneySEA that can be built great on opening day. Of course, it's not like DCA either, which was the exact opposite.

Fear not...

32 comments:

Hrundi V. Bakshi said...

As a side note, the Studios traditional Company picnic (which for years was held at Calimigos Ranch near Malibu; last year on the in-filed of Santa Anita Race Track) has been cancelled and the D23 Expo has been touted as our "replacement".

Since there isn't an "Employee Only" day - and it's close to 50 miles one way from Burbank area to Anaheim - it will be very interesting to hear Studio cast member opinions and attendance afterwards.

I'll be going 3 of the 4 days, taking Friday off as a vacation day.

Zeitzeuge said...

We'll be going all 4 days. Although Thursday is the only day we'll spend the entire day there. The remaining 3 days, we're hopping back and forth between the Expo and the parks depending on what we want to see or hear.

Anonymous said...

I'll be going for all 4 days. I got the tickets at the discounted member rate.

The line-up is very exciting.

SamLand said...

Yes, hard to believe.

Are you suggesting that a very large percentage of the crowd will be Disney CMs attending at a very reduced rate?

My expectation has always been that different departments are going to help stuff the seats for the Iger presentation so that it makes for a nice photo op. This post suggests the entire event will be maniuplated to look more successful than it may really be. Got to love show business!

Anonymous said...

/\ Well, not necessarily the ENTIRE event.

No doubt there will be plenty of enthusiast non-employee fans.

Anonymous said...

In other news Apple is the best company ever that can do no wrong. Oh wait...

http://tech.yahoo.com/news/afp/20090826/tc_afp/franceusitinternettelecomapplecompany

Anonymous said...

"Are you suggesting that a very large percentage of the crowd will be Disney CMs attending at a very reduced rate?"

That's not what he said at all.


"...But those tickets are in addition to the sales to the general public and the D23 community. So since *sales are going briskly there*, that means the crowds are going to be pretty good."

FANnoGO said...

I would go if priced at $5 for the whole event, or even at $5 per day. General public prices are way too high. I'd rather spend my money in the parks like get the real thing than a preview of attractions. I'm a big Disney fan, but sorry, somehow Disney's marketing machine turned me off, as well as their ridiculous admission prices. The event is designed for high spenders than enthusiasts.

Anonymous said...

/\ Yes, the general admission price is pretty steep.
That's why I'm glad that I got the discounted member rate.

And indecently, for a Disney fan, being a D23 member is not bad at all. Besides the quarterly publication, there is always a cool gift from the archives that comes with each issue.

They really try to treat members well.

SamLand said...

What a fine edge sword. To small of a crowd and it looks embarrassing to the big bosses. To large of a crowd, especially one inflate with CMs and it might lead to a poor (paying) guest experience.

If you were D23 which way to go?

FANnoGO said...

CM inflation should be considered an embarrassment to the event. Come on... employees should already be considered their greatest fans. Heck, their livelihood depends on it. Disney is stacking the deck. The discount CMs get sends a bad message to the typical fan including myself who is a former employee. CMs already get generous benefits to the parks. Disney does not need to invent a fan base. This event should be considered a terrific opportunity for fans to get together to enjoy a topic they love. Yet it turned into an elitist event of small membership: high spenders and tight employees.

jedited said...

I have my 4 day ticket and yes it is a little expensive, but just like when people complain about the price of DL or WDW, it's what you get for the price of admission. I think that for what it is, it CERTAINLY sounds like it will be worth the price.

Also, for the user that said that Disney's castmembers should already be enthusiasts, has not met very many cast members. ALOT of Disney cast members (at the studios, in corporate, at parks and resorts, etc, etc) are NOT Disney enthusiasts (see Jay Rasulo).

On another note, does anyone know what their expected tickets sales are? What I mean is if they have sold 40-50% of the tickets. 50% of what number?

Riceball said...

I don't recall how much tickets were for all 4 days but I was interested until I saw the prices. For around the same money (or less even) you could go to all 4 days of ComicCon which, in my opinion, gives a whole lot more bang for your buck.

Dysitopic Enuciator said...

I think their goal is for this to eventually grow into a "Disney" Comic-Con. Being as this is the first year, it's a really good offering. If it continues to grow and add stuff I could see it becoming a great tradition.

Willow said...

Very true. I remember the first Comicon event was actually in a basement for magazine vendors. And it actually had comics. Nonetheless, I have tickets for the weekend and I'm confident Disney won't disappoint.

FANnoGO said...

jedited: I'm not sure the point you're trying to make with your retort. I said Disney CMs should be "considered" their greatest fans. That many are not fans does not negate the fact that many ARE fans. It's a bit ridiculous for them to not have pride of their creations especially since their livelihoods depends on it.

Then to put that into perspective, the D23 ticket giveaway to CMs seems like a waste of money for Disney to encourage the participation of unenthusiastic CM guests. How ridiculous is that? jedited should explain why Disney corporate drones are encouraged to go. Perhaps D23 is just one long corporate meeting. What a wonderful way to catch some sleeptime on the weekends!!!! The CM evidently didn't enough sleep during their workweek!!!

I'm sure everyone who's going will notice how the significant presense of CMs dulls the spirit of the festivities.

SamLand said...

"jedited should explain why Disney corporate drones are encouraged to go."

Oh let me take a shot at that please?

It is simple. Big chunks of the audience for many presentations will be people within that division so their boss doesn't look bad. Regular paying fans will be squeezed to the back of the room.

And just for fun, watch how the D23 staff runs away from the fans who are still mad at how poorly all of the event tickets were distributed. The only picture of Steven Clark will be with him and the lucky fan who won the opportunity to meet him.

tjkraz said...

"somehow Disney's marketing machine turned me off, as well as their ridiculous admission prices. The event is designed for high spenders than enthusiasts."

I guess that depends on what you're looking to get from the experience. I have always been a fan of Imagineering and theme park design. There are at least a half-dozen sessions spread over the 3 days I will be attending that I would classify as "can't miss." And I'm not aware of another venue where I can spend $100 for similar experiences.

Spokker said...

I would go if it were free. After all, you are basically paying to be advertised to.

Spokker said...

"I have always been a fan of Imagineering and theme park design."

Which era? I doubt those who idolize Imagineers like John Hench over the Pixar boosters of today will find much to enjoy.

Honor Hunter said...

Welcome back Spokker...

I was beginning to wonder if you'd suddenly become happy. Glad to see you're the same, old glummy self.

There are beautiful things in life, you might have to get off your butt and find them though.

They don't just come to you...

Spokker said...

Disneyland is and was not my only hobby.

Anonymous said...

I guess Disneyland should be free according to you, Spokker?

After all, you are basically paying to be advertised to. Right?

Anonymous said...

"I was beginning to wonder if you'd suddenly become happy. Glad to see you're the same, old glummy self."

That comment was awesome Honor! :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Honor, Glad to hear you like to look on the bright side of life and not be negative like another blogger who's name rhymes with Sal Putz.
Anyone who loves Disney and does not go to this will be kicking themselves in the head when they hear, "oh man you missed it". don't be left off the Ark!

Anonymous said...

SamLand said...
“What a fine edge sword. To small of a crowd and it looks embarrassing to the big bosses. To large of a crowd, especially one inflate with CMs and it might lead to a poor (paying) guest experience.

If you were D23 which way to go?”


When Disney opened their Disney’s California Adventure, they initially blocked out all employee passes, assuming that they would be getting a huge response. A few months (or less) later, they removed the restrictions, hoping that they would help bolster the crowds.

It appears they are now assuming that there will be a lighter than expected turnout and they are again hoping that employee participation will boost the “look” of the attendance.

So, I seriously doubt that, as indicated in the post:

“... ticket sales are actually ABOVE projections. Hard to believe, huh? Ticket vendors tend to sell 40 to 50% of the tickets for an event at the door. Right now, D23 Expo tickets are approaching that number. The high forties, actually. And there is still two weeks to go so that's not bad at all.”

Of course, if those above projection “ticket sales” are due to the blocks that Disney management bought to provide employees, then I can accept their assertion of “brisk sales”. However, I really don’t feel that they are actually comfortable with the response they have been getting. We’ll see when the event takes place.

Anonymous said...

Dysitopic Enuciator said...
“I think their goal is for this to eventually grow into a "Disney" Comic-Con. Being as this is the first year, it's a really good offering. If it continues to grow and add stuff I could see it becoming a great tradition.”



Probably the biggest issue with Disney’s attempt to have the D23 Expo be their ComicCon is that ComicCon encompasses ALL aspects of every studio, publishing company and merchandiser that can tie themselves into the theme. With Disney’s D23 Expo, they are limited to JUST DISNEY. So there is no way that they will ever get their little convention to come close to the experience of ComicCon.

Spokker said...

Disneyland now charges you 99 cents if you want tomato on your burger.

Anonymous said...

Never underestimate die hard fans.

The Expo line-up is pretty impressive.

Certainly there will be some people who will NOT be attending all four days, but overall there should still be plenty of attendance each day.

In case anyone is interested, here is the current Expo schedule;
http://d23.disney.go.com/expo/expo-schedule.html

Anonymous said...

Where do they charge this? Not where I was the other day. The prices were the same as the last time I went, Spokker.

Anonymous said...

Here are the ticket prices if anyone is interested.
It shows both the discounted prices, and the general admission prices;

http://d23.disney.go.com/expo/book-your-trip.html

Spokker said...

http://ocresort.freedomblogging.com/2009/08/28/disney-charges-guests-99-cents-extra-for-burger-tomatoes/15861/