Slash and Burn ...

Discussion in 'Walt Disney World News, Rumors and General Disc' started by See Post, Dec 14, 2008.

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    Originally Posted By Spirit of 74

    Those should be the nicknames of Jay Rasulo and Tom Staggs ... because I've recently heard some very disheartening news.

    I am trying to piece it all together and see what it exactly means, but the big picture apparently is this: after Idol opens next month EVERY/ALL WDI projects at WDI are on indefinite hold or off the table entirely.

    EVERYTHING.

    I'm trying to see how this affects things like HoP, Space Mountain and Star Tours 2.0 but if I am understanding it correctly those projects may all be on hold for now as well.

    But nothing new is getting done at WDW at all. Nothing. Nada. Zero. Zilch.

    And there will be layoffs both at WDW and WDI come early 2009, take it to the bank.

    There are two big 'names' at WDI who may be on the way out ... one who would be a HUGE blow to WDW if he goes.

    The sad thing is these things are NOT needed to keep the lights on at WDW. This is just how Rasulo and Staggs and their top-flight WDW 'leadership' team chooses to operate.

    That's why while Busch and Universal continue to put over a billion dollars into Orlando projects, Disney (with much greater resources and stock that has somehow been able to stay in the mid 20s) cuts prime rib off its buffets ... stops a freaking torch lighting at the Poly ... cuts decorations property-wide ... removes foamheads from meals ... and quietly cuts CMs.

    This is only the start, btw.

    When at WDW next year look for attractions to become 'seasonal' ... you like things like CoP and the Swiss Family Treehouse and the Liberty Belle? I'd enjoy em in the next few weeks myself.

    Remember when World Showcase opened at noon after 9/11? Right now, they're looking at 11:30 a.m. but noon is on the table.

    You think 9-5 is a short day at DAK? What if most of Africa and Asia didn't open until 10 and closed at 4 (except for Everest)? Yeah, on the table.

    And don't be surprised at all if one resort gets mothballed for a while. At the very least, expect large chunks of the huge value and moderate resorts to be mothballed.

    I am so disgusted by the news that the quickee WDW holiday trip I was considering just got changed ... I think I'll still be able to get prime rib at Las Vegas buffets!

    Again, none of these things have to happen. This is simply the slash and burn mentality of Rasulo, Staggs and Co. and the way they choose to bleed the WDW Resort dry.

    It's really all about timeshares at this point, but one must really wonder what kind of market there is ... especially when Marriott and Hilton are offering higher quality products for less money.

    It's time to remember the magic because at this rate it will likely be many, many years before Disney offers any new magic in Florida.

    Sorry, but this is reality.
     
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    Originally Posted By dshyates

    This sounds like the big correction Disney has needed for a while. With what they have been putting out for a while, I'm not so sure tabling everything, and re-evaluating their goals is such a bad idea. Maybe they will decide they need to get back in the theme park business.
     
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    Originally Posted By avromark

    Well the DVC and resorts are overboard imho. Lets say I want to open a whole bunch of hotels on Columbus without anything there why would people stay there?

    Let's take a look at the Taurus as an analogy. For many years it was considered cutting edge and was the best selling car. Then Ford let it stagnate. Someone else took over. If you don't constantly improve you lose your spot. Even in a down market. But what the heck as long as the suits and stockholders are happy this quarter.
     
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    Originally Posted By bobbelee9

    How happy will us stockholders be when the stock gets even worse because people can't afford to go to the Parks, or only go for a day or two? I'm not a DVC fan, but I understand more than a few people love them, fine, offer them, but why are they glutting the market with DVCs? Someone needs to wake up, and get back on track about what the Disney Guest really wants. More than just a place to lay my head.
     
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    Originally Posted By avromark

    The problem with most executives is they don't quite understand that most people have multiple priorities. While they see the general public can't live without their product. Reality is otherwise. Let's say Typical Guest A makes 100,000 a year, and currently when all is said and done spends $10,000 a year on their Disney Vacation. The Executive looks at it and says well surely that person can afford 3 DVC weeks, they have the income for it. And look 10% of the population makes over 100,000. Why they'll all just buy 3 weeks of DVC. They'll also buy a Disney Princess DVD/TV while they're at it. They'll buy their girl all Disney clothes. Their boy all Disney Interactive titles. Sorry but that's not how the world works Mr. Executive. While you see the value in your product and mr consumer does as well. His life doesn't revolve just around your product. If he spends 10,000 now a year and can afford to double it. Doesn't mean he will. Maybe he's a history buff and spends the rest of his holidays in Williamsburg. Maybe he has a huge stamp collection that he won't give up.

    It's all well and fine to expand your offerings. But not at the expense of your core products. For Disney I would say that would be movies/TV and theme parks. Other items should be "icing" But that's not how the stockholders look at it is it? There is only so much room for expansion. Monopolies are frowned upon ok?
     
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    Originally Posted By DizneyFreek4ever

    Definately a worrying situation, visited wdw earlier this year for the first time in 3 years(i live in england and have family in singapore so have frequented paris and did a couple of days in hk in those 3 yrs) and i was disapointed to find that poor wdw had got a bit tired in places and that the whole dvc thing was recieving sooo much investment. Its epcots anniversary for gods sake and there was no special events to mark it at all really, i was totally gutted.
    However, wdw for me still has that magical feel and i loved every minute of my stay, wishes and fantasmic wonderous and illuminations just as heart renching as last time i visited but the whole place Does need some work, ESPECIALLY epcot and magic kingdom.
    I appreciate that the economy is bad and spending needs to be restricted to ensure we stay above water, but once its all over, focus MUST return to the florida parks...
     
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    Originally Posted By -em

    >>Sorry, but this is reality.<<

    Yup.

    sigh.
     
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    Originally Posted By Kennesaw Tom

    Not good news.
     
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    Originally Posted By vbdad55

    I understand the gloom and doom,I trulydo...but I am wondering what else they can do if the economy tanks further. You yourself said January bookings non existent.....where does the money come from ? Congressional bail out ?

    I could almost live with ( not be happy about ) - nothing new until the economy breaks. At least I understand it -- hours like 12 - 4 and 11 - 7 EPCOT however I believe will be met with more backlash.I am not traveling 1300 miles for 1/2 day ( at best ) days @ WDW. Just won't do it - I'll eat the points for the year ( DVC - or exchange them closer to home ).

    Some of the cost cutting I get. I live this world every day folks -- off shoring ,layoffs, expense cuts - having to let people I know go....it really sucks out there right now.

    I have seenmy budget for next year and planning has long since started.....I imagine cuts like this will be everywhere. I believe 2009 will be amust tougher year than 2008 in the US...
     
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    Originally Posted By CarolinaDisneyDad

    Wasn't it just a few weeks ago that Disney mgmt was hinting that they were recession proof? ....................................................................................... <<<Maybe he's a history buff and spends the rest of his holidays in Williamsburg. Maybe he has a huge stamp collection that he won't give up.>>>.................. Exactly, We vacation during the summer at the beach and while we do love our Disney trips we wouldn't give up those summer trips for another Disney trip. We can go to the beach for 5 weeks for what 1 Disney week costs.
     
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    Originally Posted By CarolinaDisneyDad

    >>>When at WDW next year look for attractions to become 'seasonal' ... you like things like CoP and the Swiss Family Treehouse and the Liberty Belle? I'd enjoy em in the next few weeks myself.<<<.......................................................... Our first trip was in 2002 and lots of things were closed as seasonal. Timekeeper, carousel of progress, living seas, body wars,,,, I was just getting used to everything being open! We didn't realize what we were missing at the time.
     
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    Originally Posted By Disney and beyond

    I still may be the only one who will gladly take what they give me. Its when they start taking away the things I actually love, like the rides. CoP going seasonal might upset me for awhile, but as long as it remains operational, I'm not devastated.. There will be a time when WDW is back on its feet and I will gladly accept that too.

    I mean seriously, what can we do? Are we going to send a torch and pitchfork mob? There is nothing we can do about this, so just enjoy what you have.
     
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    Originally Posted By leobloom

    Not to hijack Spirit's thread, but here are some relevant observations from my quick trip to MK and Epcot last weekend.

    1. The majority of attractions we rode seemed to have minor to major malfunctions. We were stuck on SSE for about 10 minutes, so the descent video didn't have our faces (my non-Disney enthusiast wife thought the content of the video was stupid, btw). Angler fish in Nemo didn't move, and looked to be permanently stationary. Test Track went 101 and we were evac'd. One of the screens in Living with the Land's Barn Theater didn't work. Escalator broke in the Land. And over at MK, COP malfunctioned making us miss half of the third scene. Peoplemover's speedramp was broken, and later we got stuck for 15 minutes on Peoplemove. Space Mtn went down around 7:00 and stayed down the rest of the night, I suspect (at least until 11:00 when we left). And this was on a night when MK was packed.

    2. Haunted Mansion was nice except for the overflowing trashcan in the queue. Literally a pile of garbage encircling the trashcan. Hard to ignore that sort of thing, and sights like that certainly bring Disney down to the Six Flags level, and make it hard to feel good about buying $70+ park tickets.

    3. Holiday decorations in Future World seemed sparse. Seems like in years past there were more decorations (I especially noticed the Land's lack of decorations, but this may have been representative of other pavillions).

    We had a good time, but it made me forget any thoughts I had about getting an AP anytime soon. For my wife and me, gifted CM tickets will do just fine for now.

    -I do wonder how much Disney can cut park hours before people start to feel like they're being unforgivably overcharged.

    -And does anyone know if the Space Mtn refurb has been tabled? Even before reading Spirit's post, I had heard that it would not be happening in early 2009 (or maybe until 2010?).
     
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    Originally Posted By Disney and beyond

    The only problem I had when I went in August was the Peoplemover stoping for about 15 minutes. Then Again, That was before the resession. I'll have to check it out next time I'm down there (ESPN Weekend)
     
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    Originally Posted By fkurucz

    <<Disney has needed for a while. With what they have been putting out for a while, I'm not so sure tabling everything, and re-evaluating their goals is such a bad idea.>>

    You give Corporate America too much credit. This is being done for one reason alone: To keep profits up. Not to remain profitable, but to keep profits at the sky high levels where they have been for past few years.
     
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    Originally Posted By fkurucz

    <<How happy will us stockholders be when the stock gets even worse because people can't afford to go to the Parks, or only go for a day or two? >>

    Again, too much credit is being given to Corporate America here. They can't see beyond this quarter's numbers. They will cannibalize future sales, dillute the brand, anything to keep the profits up NOW! The future is someone else's problem.
     
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    Originally Posted By bobbelee9

    So that the execs can get their incentive bonuses.
     
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    Originally Posted By fkurucz

    <<I understand the gloom and doom,I trulydo...but I am wondering what else they can do if the economy tanks further. You yourself said January bookings non existent.....where does the money come from ? Congressional bail out ? >>

    Interesting parallels between Disney and the Big 3. The ones that stands out to me are exccess capacity and expecting people to flock to you because you are "Brand X"
     
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    Originally Posted By fkurucz

    <<I mean seriously, what can we do? Are we going to send a torch and pitchfork mob? There is nothing we can do about this, so just enjoy what you have.>>

    I disagree. Write a letter to Disney telling them why you won't be visiting anytime soon. If enough people do this and their sales tank they have two options:

    Business as usual, which probably would mean the end of the Disney theme park empire.

    Or do what the rest of us are constantly being lectured to do: Change, jump higher, offer more value, etc.

    But what do they care? The execs will collect their fat bonuses until they run the company into the ground.
     
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    Originally Posted By Disney and beyond

    Writing a letter will do nothing. I mean, sure, a alot of Hardcore fans will write in letters but what about (I'm taking a page out of the Nintendo Book) the casual fan? The non Disney superfan? They will hardly even notice. And the sad part is that that's a majority of the money right now.
     

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