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Old 08-05-2012, 09:21 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by pilferk View Post

Because half day parks fit into their "plan" for their guests. Half day parks means you're either going to Downtown Disney to spend money, you're buying admission to a water park, or you're heading out to a fancy dinner (likely on property). The "we always have to be doing something" mentality of MOST WDW vacationers means Disney can spend less on the 1/2 day parks...and push guests to higher profit areas before/after that visit.

There are people that are going to KILL me, now, because I'm ruining the magic and being mercenary. But, just like your local grocery store is set up for a very specific reason (milk and bread as far from the front doors as possible, high profit (either directly or via "shelf place" kickbacks) items on eye level shelves, etc), Disney does things for specific reasons. We might not know what they are...because we don't have their data...but I promise you there are people in a room discussing the effect of moving DHS from a 1/2 day to full (or 3/4) day park. And they're discussing minutae that most of us wouldn't even consider.

All of which I know (or at least strongly suspect) that you know...but still.
LOL...i post this - almost verbatim - on one thread or another on a weekly basis.
Are you sneaking into my head when i'm not watching?

But the reality is this - and we have it on this thread - when we get the "cars land..or whatever...is DEFINITELY coming to WDW"...they are missing the fundamental truth. And that is that neither MGM, nor AK are meant to entertain for the day - they are meant to redirect/ funnel.

There's no economic reason to put 500 million bucks into DHS...and that's why its not gonna happen. sorry, folks.

AK...however...I believe...was cut and slashed to become a funnel. I don't think that was the original intent or what they had planned. Mainly because animals are WAY too expensive to be justified as a funnel on the ledger sheet.
AK was the first in the eisnerian budget cut disasters that highlighted his exit form TWDC. Cut it and get it open, try to trump another opening across town, say "that's good enough"

If you look at it objectively, Disney built exactly one full concept park in Eisner's entire tenure - and it was the legendary Eurodisney.
Eurodisney is a fantastic park - it really is - probably my favorite "magic kingdom"...but all the bad press was too much for eisner's ego. So he never did it again. That, combined with the "Disney's America" debacle...was enough for him. It became strict cost accounting/ revenue stream generation from there on out...and we saw four bad parks built (excluding DisneySea...but the reality is that they didn't pay for it...it was like imagineers playing roller coaster tycoon in sandbox mode...free money)


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Originally Posted by pilferk View Post
would give my I teeth to get a hold of the data showing how many of AK's and DHS's guests are on one day park tickets (so actually paying full gate price), as opposed to multi-day passes (because when it works out to paying $35-ish per day...the value quotient jumps dramatically). I have a strong suspicion which one is (by far) the most used.
Ak and DHS have always been "it's there...so we might as go" for many travelers...but because they're on park hoppers doesn't mean they are getting ripped off.
The problem is that they are on vacation...and their brains didn't make it through the airport scanners most of the time.
BUT...big but...the costs of those tickets and associated costs are increasing very rapidly when framed against the economic realities of the world/ united states.
Its no secret that the majority of ...americans at least...have not seen a raise and actually lost money from their pockets for over 30 years...so as they feel crunched with their stagnant earnings...does it then become necessary to start to gripe at the sacred vacation temple for not earning your money?

For the first time? Finally?

It used to be that whatever disney did was good enough and there was no question...but the world is changing, theres more out there and more people can do "cool" things outside of WDI...

When does the scale tip? Ten years ago i didn't think it was possible that it could...now...well...i'm not so sure.
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:56 AM   #62
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Yeah, count me in the group that puts Cars Land in DHS as all but a guaranteed lock, but I'm thinking 2017.

I understand why people want all the parks to be different, but I would love to see data on how many people go to more than "their" parks. I want to do Cars Land at DCA and Transformers: The Ride at Universal Hollywood as much as anyone, but I sure as heck am not going to book a trip to California to do it when there is DisneyWorld and Universal Florida much closer. Just as I'm probably never going to visit Tokyo Disney Sea no matter how amazing it seems.

I'd really like to know say, if the Magic Kingdom has 20M guests in a year and DisneyLand has 15M guests, how many people are included on both numbers? My guess would be a number significantly less than 1%. And if that's true, than if game changer like Cars Land comes along, it should be ported to other parks. IMO
Respectfully, i think you need to look closer at what the definition of "game changer" might be in the theme park sense.

Carsland was not a "game changer"...It was built as a game "saver"...
As in a bullpen pitcher who gets called in in the fourth to stop the bleeding and stabilize the game. It give them a shot at winning...not the winning run.

That's doesn't mean you're gonna win the game.

Cali Adventure had the rare and dubious distinction of the only disney park that has suffered a "significant" drop in annual attendance after the park's shake down and it got to its standard attendance level. (Animal kingdom has limped along...but not suffered 5-10% annual decreases at DCA did). Disney parks have always gone up (or maintained their standard levels)...even if its just a general rise in population or change in the travel culture...just the way it is. The numbers bare that out.

the same with potter over at IOA. they've enjoyed huge "gains" over the last two years...but after they had suffered huge losses and got wrecked by the faux real estate bubble.

In a lot of ways, both DCA and URO are getting the same kinda cred when the reality is that there was no where to go but up.

And i'm not saying what they both built wasn't great...but the reality is that they were on the ground level at the time of their construction and it would be harder not to go up in that situation. The jury is still out.

The praise for Carsland is already out of control and not framed properly - my opinion.

Not only that...but Cars are - as had been commented - not great pixar movies. Cars 2 was terrible...first and only time that word has been put in a sentence with "pixar"...
AND...big and...are we sure the cars thing is gonna hold longterm? Far from certain. When you build something based on jokes from larry the cable guy - you are not exactly shooting for the stars. (sorry...thats just the way it is)

But for arguments sake...i'll say this:

IF the magic kingdom expansion floods the park to uncontrollable level and particularly makes it a girl-centric crowd...and that is sustained...
Then perhaps the cars offset at studios would make sense from the bean counter perspective.

But that would mean they would have to publicly acknowledge that they are catering to one part of the demographic...not the populace.
And that is fundamental WED/ Disney tenant that they swore they would never deviate from.

So it is possible...but not because everyone is dying for cars on the east coast or its gonna slam-dunk profits outta DHS...not at all.
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Old 08-05-2012, 10:03 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by derekburgan View Post
I want to do Cars Land at DCA and Transformers: The Ride at Universal Hollywood as much as anyone, but I sure as heck am not going to book a trip to California to do it when there is DisneyWorld and Universal Florida much closer. Just as I'm probably never going to visit Tokyo Disney Sea no matter how amazing it seems.
Of course, you represent a sample size of exactly one. Whether or not that philosophy is mirrored by the masses remains to be seen.

IMO, Cars Land can only help Disneyland's draw across the US. Comparing to Tokyo is meaningless. No matter where you live in the continental US, Disneyland is a 5 hour flight away. Tokyo is obviously much further and presents its own set of challenges (language barrier, currency, culture, etc.)

Disneyland is twice as far from my home in the midwest as WDW but Cars Land will help keep me coming back. Given a choice right now, I'd happily visit Disneyland over Walt Disney World. The hotels are better run, property is more compact and accessible and DL's two parks offer as much entertainment as any 3 at WDW.

Honestly I struggle to understand why Disney fans blindly keep returning to WDW or DL instead of visiting the other. It makes sense for locals who don't view their backyard park as a real vacation destination. But if you're willing to spend $150 for a relatively close flight to Orlando, why not $300 on a trip to Anaheim when it offers so many unique experiences???

Personally I will be very surprised if Cars Land is added to WDW. DCA was a failure by most measures and always offered the greatest growth opportunities. In spending that $1B on DCA, Disney surely hopes to draw a couple million more guests per year. The same would never happen at DHS or any other Florida park.

Having recently visited Cars Land myself, I can honestly say that it exceeded all of my expectations. I am no great lover of the Cars films, but the theme park expansion does such a wonderful job of capturing those characters and environments.
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Old 08-05-2012, 10:33 AM   #64
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Honestly I struggle to understand why Disney fans blindly keep returning to WDW or DL instead of visiting the other. It makes sense for locals who don't view their backyard park as a real vacation destination. But if you're willing to spend $150 for a relatively close flight to Orlando, why not $300 on a trip to Anaheim when it offers so many unique experiences???

Personally I will be very surprised if Cars Land is added to WDW. DCA was a failure by most measures and always offered the greatest growth opportunities. In spending that $1B on DCA, Disney surely hopes to draw a couple million more guests per year. The same would never happen at DHS or any other Florida park.

Having recently visited Cars Land myself, I can honestly say that it exceeded all of my expectations. I am no great lover of the Cars films, but the theme park expansion does such a wonderful job of capturing those characters and environments.
I agree (as usual) with most of what you say...

But just to shed light on the whole WDW repeat phenomena...

Its a lot because of perception and the atlantic ocean...
a third of the US population is still hugging the eastern seaboard...as i do...and we are just trained that "florida" is the easiest, most exotic place to go to. you can drive there in a day or less...every flight takes 2 hours or less...and wdw is just "ours".

It's of course bigger too...which is a draw for people to like to feel like they're big anyway (that is the truth...there's no sense denying it or griping about it)

I grew up closer to you in da Burgh...and it is geographically due north of orlando florida...WDW just covers the area better...it seems. you don't have to fly over a mountain range to get to it...it just works. Brilliant placement.

That and the grandma effect...as for 30 years people retired to florida and the coastal south in droves from the upper east coast and midwest...which means wdw is a convenient meeting spot/ sidebar for that reason as well. That will change...as retirement as we know it has ended or will be significantly altered moving forward.

But part is perception too...
many midwesterners, southerners, westerners don't want to deal with NYC, Boston, Philadlephia, DC because they have the reputation of being pushy and arrogant (deservedly so in far too many cases)...so they are likely to not travel there for recreation.

The same thing can be said for the los angeles area...it has a reputation for being a tangled mess of highways and cars and not convenient to operate around or particularly relaxing (in some way deservedly so).

california is great...but it IS big and crowded. and somewhere the word go out...

so that does drive people from the east away from the concept of disneyland. whether it makes sense or not...it doesn't matter. it is what it is.

the prospect of flying to california is also not appetizing for the east coast populace also....
the difference between a 2-3 hour flight (esp. with kids) and a 4-6 hour flight is HUGE. As is the difference between a 12-20 drive and a 3-4 day odyssey by car also can't be underestimated.

just my experience.
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Old 08-05-2012, 11:33 AM   #65
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Of course, you represent a sample size of exactly one. Whether or not that philosophy is mirrored by the masses remains to be seen.
That's why I said I'd like to see the numbers on how many people actually go to both parks. You say I'm a sample size of one, but I believe I represent a vast majority, to the point where the minority is statistically insignificant. I could be wrong on that, but I would love to see the breakdown of the people who come to WDW, the people who go to DL, and how many cross over. Maybe they have a million Premier Passport holders. I doubt it, but who knows. The fact that Disney puts many of the E-ticket or popular rides on both coasts leads me to believe their data tells them people are going to one or the other, not both.

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Honestly I struggle to understand why Disney fans blindly keep returning to WDW or DL instead of visiting the other. It makes sense for locals who don't view their backyard park as a real vacation destination. But if you're willing to spend $150 for a relatively close flight to Orlando, why not $300 on a trip to Anaheim when it offers so many unique experiences???
I think the biggest barrier to this is that there is just more to do in California than theme parks. I've been, or have had friends and family make three trips to California in the last few years. All of us enjoy theme parks and have been to WDW and Universal in Orlando. My friends took a trip to San Francisco. My girlfriend and I went to Coronado/San Diego, and her parents took a trip to Napa Valley. You mentioned unique experiences, but I think the average non-Dis Boarder would consider seeing the Golden Gate Bridge, or the Muir Woods, or Big Sur, or Alcatraz, or any number of California attractions more unique than say, riding the Matterhorn or the Nemo subs.
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Old 08-05-2012, 11:51 AM   #66
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That's why I said I'd like to see the numbers on how many people actually go to both parks.
We will never see those numbers, of course. But I suspect Disneyland could benefit by drawing more guests from middle America.

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The fact that Disney puts many of the E-ticket or popular rides on both coasts leads me to believe their data tells them people are going to one or the other, not both.
That speaks more to economics than anything.

Tens-of-millions of dollars go into development alone on any given attraction. And when they can spread those costs over two theme park empires rather than one, it helps the budgets.

In other words, they would rather pay Imagineering to develop one attraction and place it in two parks rather than paying for design work on two unique attractions.

There is also money to be saved via fabrication costs, too. The purchase price for two Ariel audio-animatronics is less than 2x the cost of a single unit. Economies of scale.

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I think the biggest barrier to this is that there is just more to do in California than theme parks.
That's a different phenomenon, though. Sure there are many non-Disney sights to see in California. My comments were directed more toward those who would sooner take their 20th trip to Walt Disney World rather than their first trip to Disneyland. It may cost a little more to get to DL but given the uniqueness of so many experiences, it seems like a worthwhile premium to pay.

I agree with lockedoutlogic's comments...some of it is perception and some economics. Certainly for those living along the eastern seaboard and (in particular) FL / GA area, it's much easier to reach WDW than DL.

But in my opinion, most of middle America is really missing out if they keep returning to WDW again and again because they don't want to deal with SoCal traffic or 2 extra hours of flight time.
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Old 08-05-2012, 03:15 PM   #67
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I think you also have to factor in that DHS is wasting some big money on stunt show and the Backlot tour with very low guest participation. I was not overwhelmed with CL and think they could add something more spectacular or dynamic. I could have lived without riding the rides there if I did not have the FOL access I had this Current trip. But, this is happening, believe or not. I would prefer a George Lucas Land or Muppet World over CL but, the bean counters have their money on Carsland at DHS.
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Old 08-05-2012, 04:50 PM   #68
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I think you also have to factor in that DHS is wasting some big money on stunt show and the Backlot tour with very low guest participation.
Define "very low." Every time I have been to the stunt show the theater is full or darn close to it. Granted it only runs 2-3x per day but with a theater that holds 5000, it's still entertaining a large number of guests daily.

As for the backlot tour, I agree it's long in the tooth and a good candidate to be replaced. But it still draws a steady stream of guests. Again, every time I've been there the trams are running full.

Neither attraction is immensely popular with frequent guests because they don't have a lot of repeat value. But only a fraction of all WDW guests are the folks who visit with great regularity.

Also, can you think of another Disney attraction on the scale of Lights, Motors, Action which was removed from service after only 7 years?? These attractions are major capital investments which are amortized over decades...not casually wiped away when some better idea comes along.

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I would prefer a George Lucas Land or Muppet World over CL but, the bean counters have their money on Carsland at DHS.
Like I said, I will believe it when I see it. IMO, it doesn't sound like any sort of a decision that a bean counter would approve. Writing off LMA after just a few years and throwing $500-700 mil into another project with little potential for return doesn't strike me as a wise decision.

DCA needs the exclusivity to draw from more distant parts of the US. With annual crowds in the 5-6 million range, DCA has room for growth. Cars Land at DHS would barely register a bump in attendance, IMO. It would just be another pitstop for folks who already have park hoppers in-hand.
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Old 08-05-2012, 04:59 PM   #69
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As some have already said. I would prefer a general Pixar Place theme with a Monster's Inc coaster as the "show stopper" for lack of a better word. A Cars themed attraction or ride yes but a Cars Land clone NO
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Old 08-05-2012, 05:22 PM   #70
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Like I said, I will believe it when I see it. IMO, it doesn't sound like any sort of a decision that a bean counter would approve. Writing off LMA after just a few years and throwing $500-700 mil into another project with little potential for return doesn't strike me as a wise decision.
I don't understand what you mean by little potential for return. Even if attendance didn't go up at all, what would merchandise and food sales be at a DHS Cars Land compared to LMA? Outside of the parks the Cars brand is one of the most successful out there. There are reports inside Cars Land at DCA that they are having a hard time getting enough merchandise into the parks to sell to the guests, trying to have rush orders to keep up with demand. IMO Cars Land would become an instant destination for people coming to Florida, especially with how little "new" there is at EPCOT and Animal Kingdom. Fantasyland Forest is going to be awesome, but if you are a guest with no kids in your party, or young boys, do you think Cars Land or FantasyLand forest is more of a draw?

Like WWOHP for Universal, Cars Land is a cash cow and has all the retail opportunities that LMA and Avatar don't. IF the numbers show that having it exclusive at DCA showed that a tremendous amount of people who would normally go to WDW go to DL/DCA instead, I can maybe see the point. I personally don't think that's happening or going to happen. Instead they are just losing potential sales by not having it in Florida.
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Old 08-05-2012, 10:04 PM   #71
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Like WWOHP for Universal, Cars Land is a cash cow and has all the retail opportunities that LMA and Avatar don't.
Six weeks after opening it's a little early to make that call.

I'm not sure that Cars Land to WWoHP is a valid comparison. To the best of my knowledge, you can't walk into any WalMart / Toys R Us / Target / Meijer / K-Mart in the U.S. and buy a Harry Potter wand or a pint of Butterbeer (?)

I just returned from a week at Disneyland. Going into the trip one of the items I had heard was a hot seller were these hats which look like a tire from Luigi's. During my stay I saw exactly two guests wearing them. Every story you've read about "hot" items begs the question: Do the items have any staying power or were SoCal passholders just gobbling up stuff to be the first among their friends to own a Cars Land trinket?

Yes the "Cars" franchise has been very profitable for TWDC. But I'm not sure you can automatically assume that the numbers will climb to new heights thanks to a second Cars Land. Most of the revenue from Cars seems to be toy sales and I didn't see any toy items exclusive to Cars Land. The kiddie-centric shop (Sarge's) was selling the same die cast vehicle sets and LEGO kits you can get at hundreds of locations across the country.

I will say this: The unique Cars Land shirts and other trinkets are very nicely done. But Disney could make similarly nice items themed to other parks & attractions if they see the value.

You really have to separate the early hype for any attraction of this sort from the long term patterns which will ultimately emerge. On opening week there were reportedly hour-long lines just to buy a snack at one of the Cozy Cone stands. We never waited more than 2 people back in line.

None of that is meant to say that Cars Land is a failure. Personally I was lukewarm on the first film and have no desire to ever see #2 again. But the theme park land itself is marvelously done. I'm just not convinced that TWDC thinks it's worth 3/4 of a BILLION dollars to replicate it at Walt Disney World...or that they would want to cannibalize their left coast crown jewel so quickly.

Yes, they certainly would sell more Cars merch than they do for Lights, Motors, Action. But at face value, I don't see those merchandise sales being reason enough to bulldoze two functional attractions and spend $700 M to build brand new ones. Disney refuses to green light the Monsters Inc coaster which would cost a fraction of that price tag, and probably sell a few Mike Wazowski coffee mugs.

DCA needed a showpiece like this and it has room to grow its attendance. Nothing I have seen from WDW in the last 7-8 years suggests they are ready to make this sort of an investment.
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Old 08-05-2012, 10:31 PM   #72
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Define "very low." Every time I have been to the stunt show the theater is full or darn close to it. Granted it only runs 2-3x per day but with a theater that holds 5000, it's still entertaining a large number of guests daily.
The last 4x's I have seen it, the crowd only filled 1/3rd of the stand capacity. 2 of those were a Christmas time and 2 during the summer.

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As for the backlot tour, I agree it's long in the tooth and a good candidate to be replaced. But it still draws a steady stream of guests. Again, every time I've been there the trams are running full.

Neither attraction is immensely popular with frequent guests because they don't have a lot of repeat value. But only a fraction of all WDW guests are the folks who visit with great regularity.


Also, can you think of another Disney attraction on the scale of Lights, Motors, Action which was removed from service after only 7 years?? These attractions are major capital investments which are amortized over decades...not casually wiped away when some better idea comes along.


Like I said, I will believe it when I see it. IMO, it doesn't sound like any sort of a decision that a bean counter would approve. Writing off LMA after just a few years and throwing $500-700 mil into another project with little potential for return doesn't strike me as a wise decision.

DCA needs the exclusivity to draw from more distant parts of the US. With annual crowds in the 5-6 million range, DCA has room for growth. Cars Land at DHS would barely register a bump in attendance, IMO. It would just be another pitstop for folks who already have park hoppers in-hand.
I think we are seeing the Lassiter/Jobs influence on the parks and even though Steve Jobs has passed, these are things that were set in motion long ago. I can easily see them sinking that amount into the project. Once again, I think a better fit for that area would not be Cars Land but another themed "land." After my tour of WDI last week, I can say with some certainty that Cars Land in DHS is a real thing. Only time will tell.
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:20 AM   #73
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I'd really like to know say, if the Magic Kingdom has 20M guests in a year and DisneyLand has 15M guests, how many people are included on both numbers? My guess would be a number significantly less than 1%. And if that's true, than if game changer like Cars Land comes along, it should be ported to other parks. IMO
In a given year probably wouldn't tell you much...since, given the typical US vacation pattern, you're only going to choose one or the other in a given year.

HOWEVER, the true test would be to see how many day pass type tickets (ie: anything that's not an AP) is being used at DCA now vs prior to Cars Land.

DLR...meaning both parks...have a completely different type of guest than WDW. Largely, those two parks see a LOT of repeat local AP visitors while WDW sees a lot of more "tourist" traffic.

The goal, really, is to vastly increase DCA attendance without stealing too much from Disneyland. I'm not sure what saturation point they're at with the locals...but I'd assume their goal (since they've said it was their goal when DCA opened) is to turn DLR into a lot more of a destination and a little less of a locals hangout. To do that, they're going to need to lure people from both coasts, and overseas, to do that.

THAT'S what the DCA "fix" was all about. And I just can't see them giving away the one real big, high profile, exclusivity to WDW any time soon. It wouldn't surprise me to see blue sky planning by the Imagineers. Or to hear that there is some sort of contingency plan to bring it back east at some point in the somewhat distant future when the novelty has worn off on the west coast. But I suspect that's going to be longer than 5 years from now...largely because any announcement to that effect would stifle DCA's attractiveness to middle and east coast US (why pay to go to CA when you can just wait 2 years?).

We'll see.....
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:49 AM   #74
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Someone made the comment that they believe that less than 1% of people go to both WDW and DL the same year, I would tend to agree with that.

The average person isn't going to both theme parks, I'm not flying all the way out to CA when WDW is a 8 hour drive south.

How many people do you guys know that have a boys that love the movie Cars? How many times have you heard people say that Disney is full of princesses? IMO, this is a game changer for Disney, it'll lure those people to WDW.

IMO, something is going to happen soon in the backlot area. There's too much area that's currently being wasted in a park that many people say is an embarrassment for WDW. Whether is a Monster Inc Coaster or a Cars land area, mark my words, something will happen.

Last edited by ChipnDale79; 08-06-2012 at 07:57 AM.
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:52 AM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lockedoutlogic View Post
I grew up closer to you in da Burgh...and it is geographically due north of orlando florida...WDW just covers the area better...it seems. you don't have to fly over a mountain range to get to it...it just works. Brilliant placement.
You also don't have to deal with the 3 hour time difference...which can be a PITA. I do it, relatively routinely, for work travel. It sounds minor...but it's definitely a consideration.


Quote:
The same thing can be said for the los angeles area...it has a reputation for being a tangled mess of highways and cars and not convenient to operate around or particularly relaxing (in some way deservedly so).
In MANY ways, deservedly so.

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Quote:
california is great...but it IS big and crowded. and somewhere the word go out...
San Fran, San Diego, Anaheim.....all great areas. Not too crowded, not too hard to get around, beautiful, lots of stuff to do.

Not really close together, at all. San Fran is a LONG day's drive from LA, LA is at least a couple hours from Anaheim, which is a couple hours from San Fran. It is a BIG state. I had the pleasure of driving from San Fran to San Diego one summer. Coming from someone who lives in a state that you can drive through (north to south OR east to west) in a couple hours....it was an unexpectedly LONG (but, for the most part, beautiful) drive.

Anecdotally, we stick to WDW because it's closer. I've been to Disneyland (as has my wife), but we've not made the trek with the kids.

We will head out to DLR in a few years, when my youngest is 9. That makes the flights a little more bearable.
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