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Old 01-23-2013, 08:15 AM   #121
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Originally Posted by DVC-Landbaron View Post
First you have to decide what youre selling. Are you selling a hotel room? Or are you selling a Disney experience?

If it is a hotel room then we are so far apart on this issue that I really dont know if we could ever reach common ground. BUT!! If it is a Disney experience were selling then we have to buy into Walts business philosophy. And simply put that philosophy says that it is unique. It is different. It is something that you CANNOT get anywhere else in the world!

The next question you have to answer is can this experience be weighed. By that I mean can it be less if you charge less and more if you pay more? Or is a Disney Experience simply that. One definition. One standard. And to make it less, even though you charge less, diminishes the experience and it becomes something other than Disney?

Heres an example. Way back in 1972 theme parks charged by the ride. It was the standard model. You paid a pittance to get into the park and then every ride was a la carte. So you have Pirates charging .90 cents for a ride. Well, could you conceive of a lesser version, way in the back of the park, without AA figures, maybe cardboard cutouts instead, and maybe two less rooms? But it would be OK because youd only charge .40 cents for that version of Disney Magic. Crazy, isnt it?

By using Walts Disney philosophy the current resorts fall into that same craziness! You simply CANNOT have a tiered system of resorts!! The lower end will cease to be Disney. And theres a good chance that the upper end also ceases to be Disney! Remember, the resorts were to be an extension of the theme park. A unique experience. THAT is the Disney Experience! Anything less than that is NOT Disney! It is simply a decorated hotel room.
There is a vast difference between charging different amounts for different 'versions' of rides than charging different amounts for different hotel rooms. The first makes 0 business sense and no park would ever create two rides and call them the same thing. Back in the day, as we young people like to say, when you would pick and choose which rides you paid for you didn't have to go on a certain ride if you didn't want to and if you wanted to go on a ride multiple times? Why you just buy more tickets for that ride! How is buying more tickets for a ride any different than paying more for a 'better' resort?

I keep going back to the fact that there are thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people who enjoy the theme of the Value resorts and are glad that they have that option available to them instead of being forced into moderate and deluxe resorts just to stay on property. Just because the theme isn't deep enough, or doesn't connect with you doesn't mean that others don't 'get it'. Not to mention, most of the people who visit the value resorts aren't going to be spending much time there anyway and they know this! Why should I have to pay more for more theme when I know 70-80% of my time will be spent at a park or DTD anyway?

Finally, and this will be my last try at making this argument. Financially it makes no sense to build giant resorts with an in depth theme and not be able to charge money for it. You fiscally cannot sink $$$$$$$$$ into a resort without having a way to make that investment back. Just look at the new AoA resort. Sure it's a 'Value' resort and it's very well themed, but there is no way they could put that at the price point the other Values are set at and I had no expectations of them to either.

It's amazing to me how you laud Apple for how great their corporate structure is, yet they are regarded throughout the industry and the country as 'price gougers'.

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Old 01-23-2013, 08:26 AM   #122
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Originally Posted by golf4miami View Post

It's amazing to me how you laud Apple for how great their corporate structure is, yet they are regarded throughout the industry and the country as 'price gougers'.

Just to be clear (and maybe I missed his references): I think I'm the one on the Apple bandwagon. I'm not sure The Baron has heaped any praise on them.

And they are price gougers...who know their market.

But that speaks more to business model (and brilliant demographic analysis) than corporate culture.
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:40 AM   #123
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Just to be clear (and maybe I missed his references): I think I'm the one on the Apple bandwagon. I'm not sure The Baron has heaped any praise on them.

And they are price gougers...who know their market.

But that speaks more to business model (and brilliant demographic analysis) than corporate culture.

Then I apologize to DVC for putting that on him.
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:01 AM   #124
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Hmm....should I add more to this discussion, or should I just watch?

I don't want to get more of a headache than I already have.

Maybe this "corporate" stuff is way over my head.

I can't follow one thing though, do posters on this thread like or dislike WDW now?
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:11 AM   #125
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"Eisner saved the name, which is arguably the most significant aspect of a corporate entity"

If you actually believe that, I'm afraid we're at "agree to disagree" time. Thank you for a civilized conversation.

Before I go, I will say that I think the mention of Apple was a valid point in this context. They have not let "globalization" or any of the other "realities" you speak of affect their approach to design and build quality. As a direct result of that focus, they are now the most profitable cell phone maker in the world, and the largest technology company in the world, with profit margins that are the envy of the industry. This despite a period of financial crisis that was at least as critical as Disney's.

You can talk yourself into "they had to do it, everybody else was doing it, the name is the only important thing," but that's crap. That's multi-billionaires feeding you lines to justify their own personal greed.
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:12 AM   #126
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Originally Posted by disneyworld1977 View Post
Hmm....should I add more to this discussion, or should I just watch?

I don't want to get more of a headache than I already have.

Maybe this "corporate" stuff is way over my head.

I can't follow one thing though, do posters on this thread like or dislike WDW now?
I have no problem sort of disassociating the 2 things.

I enjoy WDW when I'm on site, and on vacation.

When here, I also have no problem talking about the way the company has taken care of, and expanded, those parks, either.
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:20 AM   #127
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Originally Posted by Walt's Frozen Head View Post
"Eisner saved the name, which is arguably the most significant aspect of a corporate entity"

If you actually believe that, I'm afraid we're at "agree to disagree" time. Thank you for a civilized conversation.

Before I go, I will say that I think the mention of Apple was a valid point in this context. They have not let "globalization" or any of the other "realities" you speak of affect their approach to design and build quality. As a direct result of that focus, they are now the most profitable cell phone maker in the world, and the largest technology company in the world, with profit margins that are the envy of the industry. This despite a period of financial crisis that was at least as critical as Disney's.

You can talk yourself into "they had to do it, everybody else was doing it, the name is the only important thing," but that's crap. That's multi-billionaires feeding you lines to justify their own personal greed.
The one thing I want to point out, though, is this:

Largely, it's NOT the multi-billionaires that are the problem. I mean...they can be. But the bigger influence is large institutional investors and the investment houses that are controlling a big % of the money in the markets because they're controlling the investment "funds".

You can, to some extent, reason with those multi-billionaires on a one to one basis. If they are your largest shareholders you can appeal to all sorts of different factors of their humanity to get them to go along with what you think is best for your company. Vanity, humility, sense of legacy, etc. It takes a special kind of CEO/Chairman to do it...but you can do it. It's like dealing with a venture capitalist..it's all in the pitch.

Not so much with the institutions who are solely, only, completely worried about return on a relatively short term basis (because they need to justify those admin fees!). You can't make pitches to those entites unless they begin, middle, and end with how you're going to increase shareholder value TOMORROW and pay dividends (or stock splits) by the end of the year. That's ALL they care about. There's no "humanity" to appeal to or ability to pitch a kind of risky "big idea".

And THAT is much more of a factor than the individual "whale" type investors.

But, other than that very small nitpick, I think you're making a very valid point.
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:22 PM   #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt's Frozen Head View Post
"Eisner saved the name, which is arguably the most significant aspect of a corporate entity"

If you actually believe that, I'm afraid we're at "agree to disagree" time. Thank you for a civilized conversation.

Before I go, I will say that I think the mention of Apple was a valid point in this context. They have not let "globalization" or any of the other "realities" you speak of affect their approach to design and build quality. As a direct result of that focus, they are now the most profitable cell phone maker in the world, and the largest technology company in the world, with profit margins that are the envy of the industry. This despite a period of financial crisis that was at least as critical as Disney's.

You can talk yourself into "they had to do it, everybody else was doing it, the name is the only important thing," but that's crap. That's multi-billionaires feeding you lines to justify their own personal greed.
~I am so confused. I made no mention of Apple, I don't know how or why Apple became part of this discussion, it's odd. But, Apple is another example of an American brand that profits in globalization -- the phones are manufactured and assembled overseas. I was asking for an American corporation that doesn't engage in this practice on some level.

~Virtue doesn't necessarily translate into profit, which is why Eisner was sought after in the first place. And, "quality" is subjective. After all, Michael Graves referred to Yacht and the Beach Club as the "servants quarters", for his Swan & Dolphin.

~Prior to Eisner, Disney was faced with the constant threat of one hostile takeover after the next. At some point, if you can't beat them you have to join them. Any business that had any chance of survival would have done the same. Disney's revenue and profit margins don't reflect these "objections" to "quality."

~Disney is flexible and can market "magic" to whomever fits the demographic. When the US dollar weakened, foreign visitors siezed the opportunity to experience Disney, filling the rooms and theme parks. The demographic evolved from domestic to international, so much to where policies were put in place in order to relax some of the restrictions that limit access for these guests.

~Anyway, I thought we were exchanging back and forth on Iger versus Eisner. I was very clear in my posts, that I am not suggesting "quality" has to suffer! But, everything has changed, from the food we consume to the way we travel. It's not just a "Disney" thing. Again, I was not engaged in any part of Baron's discussion regarding the value resorts or anything else. I agree that it's definitely time to "agree to disagree," because nothing is making sense now, as I was not engaged in the other debate(s). But remember, *you* are the one who blatantly stated, "Eisner saved the brand." I totally agree!

~I definitely see a decline in quality in relation to the theme parks and resorts, but that's under Iger's leadership not Eisner! Eisner did all the work, the only thing that was needed was a little TLC and Walt's sound practice of plussing the parks.
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:38 PM   #129
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The next question you have to answer is can this ‘experience’ be weighed. By that I mean can it be less if you charge less and more if you pay more? Or is a “Disney Experience” simply that. One definition. One standard. And to make it less, even though you charge less, diminishes the experience and it becomes something other than “Disney”?

Here’s an example. Way back in 1972 theme parks charged ‘by the ride’. It was the standard model. You paid a pittance to get into the park and then every ride was a la carte. So you have Pirates charging .90 cents for a ride. Well, could you conceive of a lesser version, way in the back of the park, without AA figures, maybe cardboard cutouts instead, and maybe two less rooms? But it would be OK because you’d only charge .40 cents for that version of Disney Magic. Crazy, isn’t it?

By using Walt’s “Disney” philosophy the current resorts fall into that same craziness! You simply CANNOT have a tiered system of resorts!! The lower end will cease to be “Disney”. And there’s a good chance that the upper end also ceases to be “Disney”! Remember, the resorts were to be an extension of the theme park. A unique experience. THAT is the Disney Experience! Anything less than that is NOT Disney! It is simply a decorated hotel room.
First- YAY!!! The art of the discussion is back!
Secondly, I can't believe I'm about to question Baron...

but, um, weren't the A-E tickets sold individually at different price points because they offered different levels of "experience"?

that in mind, is there then, truly NO way to offer A- thru E-ticket resorts?
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:48 PM   #130
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First- YAY!!! The art of the discussion is back!
Secondly, I can't believe I'm about to question Baron...

but, um, weren't the A-E tickets sold individually at different price points because they offered different levels of "experience"?

that in mind, is there then, truly NO way to offer A- thru E-ticket resorts?
Yes, this! This is what I was trying to get at with my posts and ramblings about the value resorts and such.

Thank you for putting it in a much simpler and eloquent way than I.
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:10 PM   #131
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RELAX BARON!
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I like most of us have a life outside this board. Yes I did read everything and I disagree on some points.
Which points? Because in your first post I couldn’t see if you read anything! You came in with a simple statement that was pretty unrelated to anything that was on the table at the time. I believe you said something to the effect of… OH! NUTS!! I don’t want to get it wrong so I will have to go look it up!!! Be right back!







OK! Here it is!
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Agreed. Wells was the man behind the tangible experience. Eisner was behind the intangible. Awesome team. Forever grateful for both. Unfortunately today i spend more time remembering how great the 90's were in the parks than enjoying today.
Some great discussions were taking place at the time you wrote this. And most of the were bashing the heck out of Ei$ner & company! Yet you didn’t respond, even generally, to any of that. Instead you laid out that you thought they were an “Awesome team” and you were “Forever grateful”. I was very confused to say the least. To me, and I was really hoping I was wrong, you sounded like some “Pixie Duster” from the community board, blinders firmly in place, praising the great Saint Michael, and not even bothering to read anything that hinted that he may have been… well… ah… BAD!!

To further my confusion you used a quote that was wrong!! And you said you agreed with it!! It claimed that Wells was the creative guy. Anyone who knows anything about the recent Disney past knows that Wells was really the ‘sharp pencil guy’. But his saving grace was that he understood Disney’s business model. One of QUALITY!! So he took a hands-off approach and let, for the most part, the Disney worker bees do their magic! VERY SMART!! And something Ei$ner could never quite grasp!

One more bit for my confusion. You also said:
Quote:
Wells was the man behind the tangible experience. Eisner was behind the intangible. Awesome team. Forever grateful for both.
And I still don’t quite understand what that means, especially since you say you agreed that Wells was the creative one!

Now. I could have just ignored your post. But I was really curious as to the motivations behind it. It seemed as though there were three possibilities.

First: You were some troll, casting your line in the water hoping either Mr. Head or I would bite.

Second: You were some Pixie Dusted poster that just had to defend Ei$ner & crew and really didn’t know how.

Third: You really did read everything and still thought like did, (i.e. They were awesome, Forever grateful). If that were the case, I really wanted to talk to you!!

So I laid it out the way I did. Surely to catch a troll if #1 was true. Being ignored, or called an “ANTI-DISNEY” name if #2 were true. And finally, hoping that I wouldn’t offend you and maybe get you talking if #3 were true.

Sadly I failed!! I do apologize. I NEVER want to stop the conversation! Please, join in. Now that I know where you’re coming from, I will never be dismissive.

But I still have to answer some other scathing words that were written…
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I feel bad for you that you could get so upset about my post that you'd write that.
You see. That is simply WRONG!! I NEVER get upset about anything that is written here. I get a frustrated at times, but never, NEVER upset. In your case I was just plain old CURIOUS!
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You know nothing about me.
That’s true. That’s why I posted the way I did.
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Perhaps had you opened the conversation up you could have found another friend to talk about these things with.
I don’t mean to be rude, and I am clearly NOT upset, but the knife cuts both ways.
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I had a lot of respect or your knowledge on the topic. Still do.
Thanks. Then why not engage in some sort of conversation instead of an assertion of a fairly unpopular (at least in this thread) view. I mean, you could have “opened the conversation” just a tad bit better, don’t you think? If you don't have time to write a War and Peace epic, bullet points are just fine. Phrases. Anything more than a simple declarative statement, that runs pretty contrary to the arguments presented in this thread. What do think? Want to start over?
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But guys like you…
You know nothing about me. (Hmmmm. Where did I hear those words before?)
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But guys like you obviously have more friends than you need and since you clearly know what's best for everyone, I accept my place in your world.
OUCH!! WOW!! OUCH AGAIN!! (smiley face so you know I'm not upset!!)
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thank you for setting me straight.
I really do apologize. I didn’t mean to “set you straight”. I meant to get you talking! I failed.
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I'm off to add value to the "real" world now.
Me too!! (As I said, you know nothing about me!!)

Hope to talk to you soon!!
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:09 PM   #132
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OK....there is one thing that needs to be pointed out, here:

Many of Walt's movies were based on Fairy Tales/myths. Sure, there were some modifcations done to change things up slightly...but at their core, they WERE someone else's work.

I think that's evidence enough that Walt would have used other people's ideas or purchased other IP's and incorporated them into his parks. Because, largely...he did just that. Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White.

And then you have Winnie the Pooh, Alice in Wonderland, Mary Poppins, Jungle Book...other literary figures/works that were licensed/used by Walt.

I won't disagree with the point that Walt was largely about story (and, really, finding new and interesting ways to tell it). I think his larger impetus was delivering a quality product (which meant focusing on story, which, to his mind, enhanced quality more than most/any other facet of the show). But lets not "wonder" too much if Walt would have used other people's ideas in his parks...because he did just that.
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I was done with this rehash...But...

Someone is wrong here but it isn't me. Walt was a freakin genius. He would use any tool available to him to get his point across. He didn't write Alice or snow white .. He borrowed them and made them his own as he would have done with Spidey, given the opportunity.

Regarding "storytelling" ... No, I do not believe that was his main motivation. I believe his main motivation was QUALITY. Game, set, match.

Ok Ok, Touche' Walt did in fact use others IP regulalry. I don't think he would have licensed an established cross promoted multimedia brand like Spidey or Star Wars, but who knows such things. I will modify my statement to suggest that the best of Walt's creations have always been unique IP. In paritcular in the parks. Less true in movies.
HOWEVER, the notion that his primary motivation was Quality is in a word ridiculous. Look, I'm a QA engineer, so I am all about Quality. But Quality isn't my focus. Creating products that people want to buy is my focus and ensuring quality is how I personally contribute to that goal. If Walt's ultimate focus was quality then why in the heck did he open an animation stuido? One might have thought his goal was to make Animated movies? And why did he open a theme park? One might have thought he intended to create attractions? And what does animation, movies and theme parks have in common? They are all entertainment and what is the root of all Human entertainment? Storytelling. We tell stories. We always have since our days painting on cave walls.
Walt was the ultimate Storyteller and that is the foundation of EVERY SINGLE THING HE EVER DID IN HIS CAREER!
He demanded quality so that he could tell the best stories. He didn't tell stories so he could get the best quality.

I mean for heaven's sake. Walt's focus was quality. What a dumb thing. I won't dignify it with a nicer turn of phrase and I don't mean that as a personal insult, but come on. Walt used Quality. His focus was storytelling.
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:14 PM   #133
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A note on Splash Mountain, because some have questioned why I rank it lower than others despite being so well done.

Imagine that Disney Attractions are Gymnasts at the Olympics. Haunted Mansion and Splash Mountain are competing in the same event. Both execute the event flawlessly.

However, because Haunted Mansion does not use existing movie tie ins and established story points. It's "routine" is harder than Splash Mountain's and therefore it has a higher possible perfect score. So HM wins and SM loses, because both were perfect, but HM did something more impressive.

This is also why, to me, Carsland, as wonderful as it is is simply not as impressive as Mainstreet or Adventureland etc. Carsland has the crutch of being a very literal interpretation of the movie. It is low hanging fruit compared to establishing place and mood using vague cues.
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:22 PM   #134
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An honest question to you:

Do you think, at times, the company suffers from the Story? Does every ride and attraction have to fit a well-scripted back-story (that few of us are let to see and understand?).

Disney does suffer from the story, but perhaps not for the reason you think. Disney suffers from the Story, because modern Disney doesn't actually understand Storytelling, in particular as it applies to Theme Park attractions.

Take an example, Pirates of the Caribbean has a well established fairly highly scripted and storyboarded story. It has a traditional plot and proceeds through it using narrative techniques translated to the stage with Audio Animatronic actors.


Haunted Mansion has not such story. Oh, don't give me Master Gracey. That junk was invented by the fandom and Disney brought it in, it was never ever part of the original development for the attraction. It's all retconned in and it's stupid.

The Original HM is storyboarded, but there is not traditional narrative or plot. It is all about evoking a series of emotions. From trepidation and fear to acceptance and fun with the party.

Modern Disney. Disney from Eisner on no longer understands how to tell stories except through the most basic of narratives. They've forgotten that a crude painting of a buffalo hunt on a cave wall can be as well told a story as War and Peace.

And that is why Disney has a story problem.
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:23 PM   #135
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Wonderful post YoHo!! And right on the money.
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This is also why, to me, Carsland, as wonderful as it is is simply not as impressive as Mainstreet or Adventureland etc. Carsland has the crutch of being a very literal interpretation of the movie. It is low hanging fruit compared to establishing place and mood using vague queues.
That same concept can be carried out throughout all of Disney theme parks, INCLUDING, the resorts. The Poly needs to be richer, deeper and more engrossing. A giant Buzz is hanging fruit so low, it is nearly touching the ground!!
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