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Old 08-30-2012, 07:44 AM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChipnDale79 View Post
Your right, its not true..Walt wanted a park on the East Coast, because they found very little people were coming from east of the Mississippi, hence the reason why he almost built a park in Kansas City. We have a resort in FL because the KC deal fell through.
Look, there is documentation aplenty as to why and what Walt had planned for Florida.. Walts own words, for Mickey's sake, tell you the above is not true.

I suggest you take a look at it.

An MK style park was not, originally, part of Walts plan. And WDW does NOT exist because "Walt wanted an MK park on the East Coast".

That's not conjecture. That's fact.

Quote:
By keeping Carsland in Cali you are asking the majority of the country, those east of the Mississippi to fly cross country, i dont see it happening. It's too expensive for most people to do on top of a Disney vacation.
No, they're not.

Because their goal is not for "everyone" to experience it. What they expect is for Cars Land to drive attendance, hotel occupancy rates, and guest spending at DLR.
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Old 08-30-2012, 07:50 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by Sweettears View Post
Whatever. Read his bio. Page 332. If not you PP stated that it was Roy that came up with the concept of MK and Walt either had no knowledge or wasn't involved in its inception.
I didn't say he didn't know or wasn't involved.

I said it wasn't his idea.

It wasn't. Walt wanted EPCOT.

He ultimately agreed to MK because Roy "needed it" to raise funding and get the Florida State Legislature to agree to give them broad authority.

I didn't think I needed to provide the entire chain of events, since it's pretty widely known how the project started and what happened.
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Old 08-30-2012, 07:58 AM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pilferk View Post
Look, there is documentation aplenty as to why and what Walt had planned for Florida.. Walts own words, for Mickey's sake, tell you the above is not true.

I suggest you take a look at it.

An MK style park was not, originally, part of Walts plan. And WDW does NOT exist because "Walt wanted an MK park on the East Coast".

That's not conjecture. That's fact.



No, they're not.

Because their goal is not for "everyone" to experience it. What they expect is for Cars Land to drive attendance, hotel occupancy rates, and guest spending at DLR.
This is directly from Walt Disney World's Wiki page.

Quote:
In 1959, Walt Disney Productions began looking for land for a second park to supplement Disneyland, which opened in Anaheim, California, in 1955. Market surveys revealed that only 5% of Disneyland's visitors came from east of the Mississippi River, where 75 percent of the population of the United States lived. Additionally, Walt Disney disliked the businesses that had sprung up around Disneyland and wanted control of a much larger area of land for the new project.[1]
I'm not so naive to believe that was the only reason why Walt wanted to come to FL, I know that EPCOT was a major reason, but so was this. Disney knew that in order to make more money they would have to open an East Coast location. Flordia also was NOT Walt's first choice, if Auggie Busch had not said the following words:
Quote:
"Any man who thinks he can design an attraction that is going to be a success in this city and not serve beer or liquor ought to have his head examined".
We may not even have a FL Resort, we may just have a resort in CA and St. Louis. This tells me that the main driving force was in fact building a park East of the Mississippi more so than building EPCOT.
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Old 08-30-2012, 08:06 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by ChipnDale79 View Post
Sure Disney has got us at WDW, most of us plan at least a 7 day vacation to WDW and stay there the entire time. However, that doesn't mean they need to stop adding things to their resort, if don't invest in WDW then what happens? It runs the risk of getting stale.
Yes.

FLE (300 million).

Avatarland coming (400 million).

1 or 2 attraction refreshes.

NOT 750 million investments to have little to no effect on attendance or guest spending. That makes no sense.

Quote:
Now is not the time for Disney to sit back and do nothing, reports are hotel occupancy at WDW are down along with Magical Express ridership. On top of that, another resort right down the street just added a major area of a theme park that is extremely successful. The other said resort is in the process of building another section of Harry Potter in it's other park and is getting ready to build a Transformers attraction. Disney can't just sit on their hands.
Yes, actually, they can.

I don't know where you get your occupancy and ME stats from (I've not seen them) so can't address that piece of your point unless you can share them.

However:

IOA saw a 30% bump in attendance in 2011.

Guess how much of an effect that had on the 5 disney parks attendance?

Zero. Zip. Nada. They saw NO decrease (and actually saw increases) in park attendance. And they actually saw an INCREASE in per capita guest spending/revenue for their parks. They saw an INCREASE in profit coming from the WDW resort (attendance numbers are courtesy TEA, revenue and profit numbers are from Disney's own Filings).

Disney's reactionary. They are not the "Eisner bully pulpit" company they were 15 to 20 years ago. They aren't going to build things until they start to see a quantifiable reason to do so.

That's the way they operate. So far...nothing seems to show there's been one.

Quote:
Something will happen at DHS, mark my words. I like the idea of Cars Land, I think its a great idea, however I would be just as happy if it was something else that is equally as good as Cars Land in DCA.
"Something" is pretty broad, especially when you're not giving much of a time frame.

"Something" might very well happen...I'm not sure what, but I'd guess the scope will be considerably less than a 750 million investment. They could certainly expand Pixar Place into the backlot area for a lot less money.

And Iger has said they are scaling back on significant captial investments in the domestic parks.

Quote:
The United States is large enough to support two Disney Resorts, I personally think its extremely short sighted to believe that people from the East Coast are going to fly all the way over the the West Coast simply because of a DCA remake. An average flight per person from Charlotte, NC to LA nonstop, runs about $400, so for a family of 4, that's $1,600, not including baggage fees. No thanks, with all the fees associated with flying, it adds up to almost what a week at an All Star Resort cost. I'll spend less than a quarter of that on gas and drive the 8 hours to WDW.
See..but the east coast isn't the whole country.

And the point is: Where and how are they getting the most bang for those 750 million bucks? And how do you maximize that bang?
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Old 08-30-2012, 08:12 AM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChipnDale79 View Post
Sure Disney has got us at WDW, most of us plan at least a 7 day vacation to WDW and stay there the entire time. However, that doesn't mean they need to stop adding things to their resort, if don't invest in WDW then what happens? It runs the risk of getting stale.

Now is not the time for Disney to sit back and do nothing, reports are hotel occupancy at WDW are down along with Magical Express ridership. On top of that, another resort right down the street just added a major area of a theme park that is extremely successful. The other said resort is in the process of building another section of Harry Potter in it's other park and is getting ready to build a Transformers attraction. Disney can't just sit on their hands.

Something will happen at DHS, mark my words. I like the idea of Cars Land, I think its a great idea, however I would be just as happy if it was something else that is equally as good as Cars Land in DCA.
I don't disagree with any of this. If some Internet stories are to be believed, Disney execs are not happy with current advance booking numbers and are scrambling to figure out how to make the greatest splash with additional investment.

I'm all for spending several hundred million at DHS. What I object to is the idea that the best approach is to copy something from another park which is easily accessible to most of the US.

Quote:
The United States is large enough to support two Disney Resorts, I personally think its extremely short sighted to believe that people from the East Coast are going to fly all the way over the the West Coast simply because of a DCA remake. An average flight per person from Charlotte, NC to LA nonstop, runs about $400, so for a family of 4, that's $1,600, not including baggage fees. No thanks, with all the fees associated with flying, it adds up to almost what a week at an All Star Resort cost. I'll spend less than a quarter of that on gas and drive the 8 hours to WDW.
But with all due respect, that's YOU. Obviously people in the southeastern US are going to find WDW more accessible than DL.

Once you get further north of NC, most people are flying to WDW instead of driving. Great for you to be able to jump in the car and be at WDW by dinner time. I can't, and have been paying for plane tickets for years now.

Typical RT from DTW to MCO is $200-250 per person. In summer 2011 we flew to LA round trip for $150 per person. This summer it was around $275.

In some cases it may cost a bit more to fly to CA from PA, MI, IL, OH, WI, NY, NJ, MA and others but the difference is not dramatic. And not every family is paying for 4 plane tickets.

Then we move into the central states where travel costs are nearly identical but folks are currently more likely to choose WDW over DL for any variety of reasons. If Cars Land at DCA is enough to make this group finally realize "hey, maybe I should give Disneyland a look one of these days"...mission accomplished!
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Old 08-30-2012, 08:23 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by ChipnDale79 View Post
This is directly from Walt Disney World's Wiki page.



I'm not so naive to believe that was the only reason why Walt wanted to come to FL, I know that EPCOT was a major reason, but so was this. Disney knew that in order to make more money they would have to open an East Coast location. Flordia also was NOT Walt's first choice, if Auggie Busch had not said the following words:

We may not even have a FL Resort, we may just have a resort in CA and St. Louis. This tells me that the main driving force was in fact building a park East of the Mississippi more so than building EPCOT.
The source of the first quote you provided (the real source, not wiki...which is bad enough) is "Married to the Mouse" by Richard Fogelsong.

Have you read it?

I have.

The quote isn't all that compelling in the way of evidence.

I know the "story" of the St. Louis project (taken from the same source, FYI). It was NOT an MK style park they were proposing. It was River Front Square...interestingly part of ANOTHER city redevelopment project. Also interestingly enough...land purchases in Florida had already begun. So it sure looks like Disney's consideration was to do BOTH, at one point.

Here's an article that basically poo-poos THAT story from Married to the Mouse, too:

http://www.theledger.com/article/200...ISTS/808030319
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Old 08-30-2012, 08:53 AM   #67
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Let me clarify a bit:

I'm not saying Walt Disney, and Disney the company, did not want a presence on the east coast.

They did. That was, likely, part of their reasoning for Florida (and the initial work done on an attraction..Riverfront Square... in St. Louis).

But they did not set out to build a Disneyland CLONE on the east coast. Walt did not decide to persue the Florida project, at the outset, in order to "bring Disneyland to the east coast". Ultimately, that's what was decided in order to procure funding and get the concessions from Florida government. But that was further into the development and deal making process.

But it was NOT the original plan.
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Old 08-30-2012, 09:42 AM   #68
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I don't disagree with any of this. If some Internet stories are to be believed, Disney execs are not happy with current advance booking numbers and are scrambling to figure out how to make the greatest splash with additional investment.
Were I Disney, I'd be worried about the value resort the US folks are building, and their potential pricing on those units...especially compared to the widely panned AOA pricing structure.

THAT, as much as anything else, would be my greatest fear as a WDW exec. Because if they manage to pull a significant number of guests off WDW property...then Disney is going to feel some pain.

MAYBE DHS investment somehow convinces more guests to stay on property....I don't know. But I wouldn't be surprised to see Disney start offering more "benefits" to it's on property guests (like some of the rumored next-gen Fastpass benefits) to try to accomplish the same sort of thing. They'll need to, to provide some impetus, because we all know they're not going to lower their prices...

Fortunately for Disney, US has decided NOT to extend the Express Pass benefit to guests staying at their new value property. That's likely a function of logistics (with only 2 parks, it's hard to spread that many Express Pass holders out and still have the benefit actually "work").
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Old 08-30-2012, 09:58 AM   #69
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Well anyone who's watched the Florida Film knows that Walt knew full well that a park was being built. Whether it was Roy's idea to convince Walt it was needed to help fund EPCOT, I have no idea.
From my reading and the various media (including the Florida Film, press from the Florida papers, etc) accounts, it seems like Roy proposed the idea pretty early on, because of "feedback" he was getting from the banks (and investors) they were getting financing from. The money men REALLY wanted a DL style park included in the development..and indicated their wallets would be a lot more "open" if it were.

Walt was luke warm on it,at best. It wasn't part of his original vision (EPCOT) but, as with most things to do with financing, he could eventually be convinced.

Then, they got into negotiations with the Florida State Legislature and the Florida Governor. They all but insisted on a DL style park, as a condition of the creation and empowerment of Reedy Creek. The government wanted the tax dollars from increased employment and they wanted their cut of the boatload of tourist dollars they knew would be coming in. Part of it was mercenary, part was that they knew there was going to need to be significant infrastructure investment necessary OUTSIDE of the boundries of WDW, and they knew they were going to need a way to finance it short of saddling the voters with the expense. ESPECIALLY considering the plans presented to them for EPCOT. All of that happend WELL before the famous press leaks or the announcements were made.

And it pretty much ended ANY "discussion".

So Walt went along with it. He knew about it. He was involved in it.

But his original vision for the Florida project was something completely unique (just as it had been for Mineral Springs and River Front Square and some of the other rumored projects). It wasn't to duplicate what they'd already done.

I mean..that seemed to be Walt in a nutshell, to me. He NEVER seemed to want to do the same thing twice. He'd lose interest. Every project was a puzzle/challenge...and he didn't seem much interested in solving the same puzzle, twice.
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Old 08-30-2012, 11:54 AM   #70
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I was at at Art
Of Animation over the weekend...

I was "taken aback" by the pricing when it came out - after seeing it I'm downright appalled.

The cars area - in particular - was nice...the nemo pool was cool (but not this "astounding" pool I heard about)...

But overall I was shocked that it looked almost less imaginative/ themed than POP...and I never even liked the idea of POP (which turned out to be such a great idea that they dumped half the theme for AOA)

It's ridiculous for the price.

So I would like nothing more than universal to undercut the Disney "values"...because as with any greedy jerk- they're ruining it
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Old 08-30-2012, 12:00 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by lockedoutlogic View Post
I was at at Art
Of Animation over the weekend...

I was "taken aback" by the pricing when it came out - after seeing it I'm downright appalled.

The cars area - in particular - were nice...the nemo pool was cool (but not this "astounding" pool I heard about)...

But overall I was shocked that it looked almost less imaginative/ themed than POP...and I never even liked the idea of POP (which turned out to be such a great idea that they dumped half the theme for AOA)

It's ridiculous for the price.

So I would like nothing more than universal to undercut the Disney "values"...because any greeder jerk- they're ruining it
I (the consumer) would love it if US gave Disney some actual competition, esp when it comes to room rates.

As a Disney exec...I'd be worried they will do just that.

Incidentally, I agree: The AOA pricing, especially the pricing for the larger family options (that would be us..thank Mickey for DVC), is just...shocking. And nuts.

It'll be interesting to see how those rooms book after the novelty of the resorts wears off...and word of mouth gets around. Kevin Yee, from Miceage, seems to have a very similar opinion to yours, so far. And I've heard others ALSO say similar things.
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Old 08-30-2012, 12:07 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by pilferk View Post
WDW isn't much of a growth market. In other words...they've got your full vacation time accounted for. They've more or less maximized per capita guest spending. The only way they build something is if they think they can extend your stay, or increase per capita guest spending. I've yet to hear a plausible explanation as to how Cars Land at WDW would do either.

.
I'm not sure where you come up with the idea that WDW is not a growth market or has growth potential. Adding AoA, new DVC at GF, discussion of more DVC at W seem to counter that arguement. I doubt that the whole FLE is being done to better serve existing visitors. There are a large group of people that call DHS a 1/2 day visit or skip it entirely. Adding a popular E ticket to the park seems to make sense.
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Old 08-30-2012, 12:21 PM   #73
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I'm not sure where you come up with the idea that WDW is not a growth market or has growth potential. Adding AoA, new DVC at GF, discussion of more DVC at W seem to counter that arguement. I doubt that the whole FLE is being done to better serve existing visitors. There are a large group of people that call DHS a 1/2 day visit or skip it entirely. Adding a popular E ticket to the park seems to make sense.
Here is the short version. The average stay is around 7 days. Due to the meager vacation time allowances for most US workers...and limited personal finances...Disney has been unsuccessful in its attempts to extend that average stay to 8 or 9 days. Disney thought they could get guests to extend when they built Animal Kingdom but it didn't happen.

So with the 7 day stay basically being a hard cap, there is no great reason for Disney to invest in the parks. Even if Disney turns DHS from a 1/2 day park to a full day park, all they are doing is moving guests around the WDW resort complex. Even if guests decide to spend more time at DHS, they respond by simply spending less time at another park.

Put it this way: whatever your personal average stay might be, would Cars Land be enough to convince you to consistently add a day to your trips? For most (if not all) people, the answer is no. If they want to spend more time at DHS, they will cut-down their MK or Epcot visits by a half day.

At the end of the day, Disney doesn't stand to make any more money because of that 7 day hard cap. The average guest is staying on property for the same amount of time--at best all it does is alter how much time is spent in each park. And whether you eat lunch at Cosmic Ray's or Flo's V-8 cafe, Disney makes the same amount of money. Why bother building Flo's in the first place?

As for building new resorts, Disney's goal there is to steal business from off-site hotels. Only a fraction of Walt Disney World guests stay in Disney-owned hotels. Art of Animation and GF DVC aren't going to inspire the public to take more trips--the goal is to draw more people on-site instead of the Travelodge out on I-4.

The existence of new resort hotels doesn't put more bodies in the theme parks.

EDIT: I'll add that Disney DOES need to add to the parks. They cannot risk things growing stale such that the casual repeat business is lost. Not to mention locals who have many other options immediately at hand. However, there's nothing in Disney's recent modus operandi which suggests they are willing to put hundreds-of-millions into Fantasyland followed by hundreds-of-millions for Cars Land and hundreds-of-millions for Avatar. Look at park development over the past 5-7 years. It's been Toy Story Mania...and a lot of little stuff (Am Idol, Laugh Floor, Nemo show).

Perhaps execs are privy to numbers which paint a more dire picture. But over the last decade the pattern has been very modest enhancements. Harry Potter has been open for over 2 years now and WDW attendance is still cruising right along. The idea that Disney would invest over a billion combined in DHS and DAK over the next several years is very foreign for the current management team.
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Old 08-30-2012, 12:34 PM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweettears

I'm not sure where you come up with the idea that WDW is not a growth market or has growth potential. Adding AoA, new DVC at GF, discussion of more DVC at W seem to counter that arguement. I doubt that the whole FLE is being done to better serve existing visitors. There are a large group of people that call DHS a 1/2 day visit or skip it entirely. Adding a popular E ticket to the park seems to make sense.
Because it isn't a growth market...

The average length of stay has been locked at just about 7 days since animal kingdom...

So don't confuse the two - because they are building more hotel rooms - that says nothing about the length of stay...it just means they're trying to get more raw numbers there on a given day of the calendar.

But that doesn't mean that they need new attractions...
I don't know if anybody stops to notice...but those four parks are rarely "crowded". The parks never get close to capacity...the lines are rarely "unmanageable"...and knowing this, why the hell would a board member or executive push for one dime in capital expenditure at this point?

They shouldn't...because on most days what they already have is "underutilized"

So what about when they can't accommodate the crowds effectively?
Good question...and they're on it. It's called "x-pass"...which is the ultimate way to take huge crowds and make them almost like every other day. Instead Of fighting lines and crowds to eat on 12/24...you're locked up in advance.

It's a thing of beauty...and you can make every day profitable/ manageable. People will be happier, spend more, and when things are "booked" up months in advance - the traveler will look for the "soft" spots on the calendar and start to gravitate to them...thereby filling out the need areas and placing "free dining" under master Gracie's tombstone permenantly...

Look...Disney is always going to "add", but it's calculated and according to a PR formula that they've come up with. It's like sabremetrics or trickle down economics ( except in Disney's case it works...the other two were shams for
Suckers).

But can we all accept that they neither "have to" nor will go at it like Eisner in the China Shop (the younger "oh yeah?...I'll show them!" that is sadly representative of Disney's modern high point ...well in the past)?

They will add on to or replace at WDW when they are good and ready too...and there's no benefit to rushing cars into DHS...there just isn't.

And as far as "1/2 day parks"...yes - there are two...and they are "funnels" which we've discussed many times.
And after returning from a week...I paid particular attention to this and they are working like a charm.

More capital investment right now is diluting the river of
Profits that they are sailing
On.
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Old 08-30-2012, 12:45 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by tjkraz View Post
Here is the short version. The average stay is around 7 days. Due to the meager vacation time allowances for most US workers...and limited personal finances...Disney has been unsuccessful in its attempts to extend that average stay to 8 or 9 days. Disney thought they could get guests to extend when they built Animal Kingdom but it didn't happen.

So with the 7 day stay basically being a hard cap, there is no great reason for Disney to invest in the parks. Even if Disney turns DHS from a 1/2 day park to a full day park, all they are doing is moving guests around the WDW resort complex. Even if guests decide to spend more time at DHS, they respond by simply spending less time at another park.

Put it this way: whatever your personal average stay might be, would Cars Land be enough to convince you to consistently add a day to your trips? For most (if not all) people, the answer is no. If they want to spend more time at DHS, they will cut-down their MK or Epcot visits by a half day.

At the end of the day, Disney doesn't stand to make any more money because of that 7 day hard cap. The average guest is staying on property for the same amount of time--at best all it does is alter how much time is spent in each park. And whether you eat lunch at Cosmic Ray's or Flo's V-8 cafe, Disney makes the same amount of money. Why bother building Flo's in the first place?

As for building new resorts, Disney's goal there is to steal business from off-site hotels. Only a fraction of Walt Disney World guests stay in Disney-owned hotels. Art of Animation and GF DVC aren't going to inspire the public to take more trips--the goal is to draw more people on-site instead of the Travelodge out on I-4.

The existence of new resort hotels doesn't put more bodies in the theme parks.

EDIT: I'll add that Disney DOES need to add to the parks. They cannot risk things growing stale such that the casual repeat business is lost. Not to mention locals who have many other options immediately at hand. However, there's nothing in Disney's recent modus operandi which suggests they are willing to put hundreds-of-millions into Fantasyland followed by hundreds-of-millions for Cars Land and hundreds-of-millions for Avatar. Look at park development over the past 5-7 years. It's been Toy Story Mania...and a lot of little stuff (Am Idol, Laugh Floor, Nemo show).

Perhaps execs are privy to numbers which paint a more dire picture. But over the last decade the pattern has been very modest enhancements. Harry Potter has been open for over 2 years now and WDW attendance is still cruising right along. The idea that Disney would invest over a billion combined in DHS and DAK over the next several years is very foreign for the current management team.
While the 7 day cap rule may apply, not everyone stays that long. Making AK and HS full day parks may induce folks to stay an extra day.

Moving off-site vistors to on-site defines revenue growth to me. Don't confuse attendance number with actual revenue. Disney could care less about attendance numbers if it doesn't translate to revenue growth.
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