Does Disney need to make changes in how they run the parks?


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Apr 12, 2012
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#1
I'm not a huge Disney fan, at all. I think the parks right now have some really big issues that need to be fixed. Below is my list of issues.

1: Disney needs to cater to different groups of people besides families. I know that Some young adults enjoy it too, but as of now,the vast majority of visitor's are families with small children. The demographic of a theme park has to have families as the center piece because they spend the most money. Disney needs to have a real, scary Halloween event at either Hollywood studious or Epcot, I have a feeling that Disney could -pull off an amazing event to rival HOS and HHN. You cold also still keep not so scary at MK for the kids, so their is something for everyone.

2:their are 18 dark rides spread throughout the four parks. to me that is too much. I know they are good at them, but dark rides do not appeal to a lot of adults from what I see, so If you want to bring in an older crowd. cut down on the dark rides.

3: When Disney does build coasters, they seem to all be very similar, they all have sort of a mine coaster feel. I wish Disney would add one more intense coaster to their lineup besides rock n roll. I would love to see a Alpengeist style ride at Epcot, it needs a coaster.

4: Disney seems to be spending more money on their hotels then they are on the parks themselves. Disney has about 20 Hotels owned by them on property. Am i the only one who thinks that is too many? The park should be focusing on a new ride every year instead of a new idea for a hotel every year.
 
Sep 5, 2010
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#2
Let me start off by saying this: Disney is not an amusement park. It is a theme park, in the pure sense of the words. The point of design at Disney is to move guests along through a story or show that is presented in 3D space. There are rides, yes, but the point of the rides is for people to have something to do while they are at the park...this is the opposite of the mindset at most other "theme" parks, where people are supposed to come to the park so they can ride the rides. In other words, at Disney, the rides are the in-between time, while the park is the main attraction. Most everywhere else, the park is the in-between time, while the rides are the main attractions. For what it's worth, I used to feel like Busch Gardens emulated the Disney approach quite well until very recently.

As to the points:

1 - There is no way Disney will do an "adult" horror event. Families vacation for a week at the Disney resort, and expect full use of all facilities while they are there. There's a reason they took their family to Disney World, and not Universal studios. Disney will not tarnish that brand ID.

2 - Dark rides offer a much better opportunity to tell stories, which is the point of rides at Disney parks. The intention of the entire place (besides making money, lol) is to provide activities for families to participate in together, and feel better for the having had those experiences. Adults like the rides just fine....granted those adults are in the correct target demographic. The park doesn't want a bunch of single 20-somethings running around the grounds ruining the family experience others have paid to come have and distorting the brand-ID.

3 - Again, the point of all rides at Disney is to provide family-oriented story telling. If there are thrills, that's great, but my guess is that you're not going to see a big steel-structured train-an-track coaster at a Disney park. The closest you're going to get is Everest or Rock'n Roller Coaster.

4 - Again...it's not rides. The Disney resort is an attraction in itself. The hotels, golf courses, restaurants, flowers, lampposts...they're all equal parts of the system. Besides this, most people going to Disney aren't going year-after-year...they only come around once every 5 or so years (or even once in a lifetime). It is much more important for Disney to develop and maintain iconic attractions that people can remember and identify with than it is for them to put out a new ride every year. For a place like KD, where 90% of the visitors are locals who certainly don't see the park as anything more than a place to go ride rides, putting in a new roller coaster every two years is almost a must. For Disney, it would be a mistake.

Disney is something altogether different from an amusement park. I'd actually like to see Busch Gardens go MORE in Disney's direction. But, you know, probably they'll just build another roller coaster.
 
Apr 12, 2012
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#3
Disney is just getting way too kiddy. Their at the point where they close an entire attraction for a meet and greet with princesses, which is not OK
 
Likes: Youhow2
Sep 5, 2010
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#5
People paid thousands of dollars to bring their kids from Germany to see those princesses, though...they didn't pay that money to climb aboard Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.

Seriously...why would they change it to suit a demographic they have no reason to target?

I can see if they built the legendary 5th gate and it was a thrill park, in its entirety. I can see that. But changing any of the existing parks to be more single-adult/childless-adult friendly? What for and why?

I will give you this -- I wish they'd stop co-branding all of their attractions to the movies. I mean, Jungle Cruise opened as just Jungle Cruise. If it had been built two years ago, it'd be Timon & Pumba's Circle of Life Adventure Tour. I understand why they do it...but I will admit that even I don't like that.
 
May 14, 2011
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#6
They're serving alcohol in Magic Kingdom for the first time ever when the Fantasyland expansion is finished, that's as far as the other demographics needs to go.
 

netdvn

Team Instinct
Jan 12, 2012
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#9
No...

1: Disney needs to cater to different groups of people besides families. I know that Some young adults enjoy it too, but as of now,the vast majority of visitor's are families with small children. The demographic of a theme park has to have families as the center piece because they spend the most money. Disney needs to have a real, scary Halloween event at either Hollywood studious or Epcot, I have a feeling that Disney could -pull off an amazing event to rival HOS and HHN. You cold also still keep not so scary at MK for the kids, so their is something for everyone.
Disney already caters to families and even a lot of adults to an extent. I'd love to see a HHN-style event where the villains take over a theme park (like Epcot, DCA, or MGM) Epcot already holds a wine festival and it already appeals to adults more than kids so it could work there. I don't think it's gonna happen any time soon though.

2:their are 18 dark rides spread throughout the four parks. to me that is too much. I know they are good at them, but dark rides do not appeal to a lot of adults from what I see, so If you want to bring in an older crowd. cut down on the dark rides.
The only dark ride adults can't stand (that I know of) is Small World. Adults seem to enjoy the other ones fine. Plus everyone here wants to see BGW build more dark rides. Why can't Disney?

3: When Disney does build coasters, they seem to all be very similar, they all have sort of a mine coaster feel. I wish Disney would add one more intense coaster to their lineup besides rock n roll. I would love to see a Alpengeist style ride at Epcot, it needs a coaster.
It would be cool to see a huge coaster come to Disney, but their coasters have to be oriented to families. Disney still has other huge E-ticket thrill rides (Tower, Mission Space, Everest). If they decide to add a more-intense thrill ride, it would at least have to have a low height requirement to appeal to a wide audience.

4: Disney seems to be spending more money on their hotels then they are on the parks themselves. Disney has about 20 Hotels owned by them on property. Am i the only one who thinks that is too many? The park should be focusing on a new ride every year instead of a new idea for a hotel every year.
Magic Kingdom is getting a huge multi-year expansion, DCA completed a huge multi-year expansion, Star Tours was recently upgraded, Hong Kong Disneyland added a new land with a new launch coaster, Paris is getting a major dark ride next year. Tokyo is already awesome. Shanghai is getting built. What more could you ask for? Did I mention Test Track and Indy are being upgraded?

Disney already makes enough money to build a major coaster every year for the next 20 years, but they don't. Nothing wrong with that. It doesn't affect the family that can only afford Disney once in a lifetime (which is usually the bulk of the families that visit the Disney parks). Yes I think Disney is opening up too many hotels and silly timeshares, but they already focus enough of their money on new rides and refurbs.
 
Likes: Joe
Apr 12, 2012
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#10
What I am trying to get at here is that Disney would be more popular if they catered to Adults just a little. They only have a few attractions that teens and adults enjoy, the rest is way too kiddy. Honestly I think Walt would be dissapointed in today's Disney because it is too oriented around children, not families like he intended for the original Disneyland. Another problem with Disney is that out side of Magic Kingdom, everything is spread way too thin. Animal kingdom,MGM,and Animal Kingdom all have only handful of rides. Even if they are all good, their's not really enough to make a day in one park. BTW, downtown Disney fails compared to Citywalk. At least put some adult entertainment their.

EDIT: look at what Hong Kong Disney has http://park.hongkongdisneyland.com/hkdl/html/Halloween/en_US/index.html#/product/mainstreet/gravesacademy
 

netdvn

Team Instinct
Jan 12, 2012
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#11
What I am trying to get at here is that Disney would be more popular if they catered to Adults just a little.
Magic Kingdom is the world's most visited theme park. For the longest time, Tokyo Disneyland was the most visited theme park in the world. If anything, they're already too popular for their own good.

Honestly I think Walt would be dissapointed in today's Disney because it is too oriented around children, not families like he intended for the original Disneyland.
Yes I'll admit there are aspects to the Disney parks that Walt would be disappointed in, but Disney parks ARE oriented towards families. Notice, most of the E-ticket rides/attractions are accessible to everyone. Not just children. Even the smaller rides can be ridden by anyone and still be enjoyed.

MGM,and Animal Kingdom all have only handful of rides. Even if they are all good, their's not really enough to make a day in one park
Busch Tampa literally has 4 coasters worth riding, 3 skippable coasters, 3 water rides, and 3 skippable flat rides. Sea World Orlando only has 3 rides worth riding. (4 counting Sky Tower).

BTW, downtown Disney fails compared to Citywalk.
Yet Universal still plays second-fiddle to Disney attendance-wise.

I'd love to see Hong Kong Disney's Halloween event come to the states. That would be pretty awesome.
 
Likes: Joe
Sep 5, 2010
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#12
netdvn said:
BTW, downtown Disney fails compared to Citywalk.
Yet Universal still plays second-fiddle to Disney attendance-wise.
This is something that I see all the time, and I'm glad you addressed it.

I'm not saying that Disney, or any park at all, couldn't be more popular. Of course it could. It could also be better. But so often people propose changes where option A tries to be more like option B, even though option B is already being done and is less popular.

Maybe CityWalk is better as a stand alone operation. Maybe it isn't. I don't have the numbers in front of me. But both "downtown" corridors are part of a larger enterprises...they aren't stand alone things. And there's a huge difference between saying "I would like Disney better if they did [x,y,z]" and saying "Disney would be better if they did [x,y,z]."

Disney isn't perfect. And I agree that there's a lot Walt Disney himself would not like about the current Disney Parks enterprise. But I think that 9 times out of 10 Disney gets it right, and in the scheme of things, there's a reason why they are the industry leader in money making, themeing, story, the minds of customers and potential customers, etc., etc., etc.

I don't want it to seem like I'm just shutting down everything you're saying Smitty, because obviously, it's about your particular opinions on Disney, and I myself don't think Disney is doing everything right. But as to your prescriptions for success...I just respectfully disagree :p
 
Jul 22, 2010
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#13
Hong Kong is a vastly different culture; nothing like the mamsie pansie complain and sue about everything here, cry if little johnnie gets scared. WDW has had a haunt considered for DHS a few times over the past decade. Not happening now, didn't happen then, prob not happening in the future.

Disney cater to adults? I know several adults on several boards without kids that love it. On my trips I always see adults whom are enjoying it (next one being two weeks from now). Just because there is no steel jungle being constructed does not mean it is strictly kids.


Excuse me while I clean the water off my computer from laughing so hard.
 
Apr 12, 2012
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#14
Doc Dollars said:
I will give you this -- I wish they'd stop co-branding all of their attractions to the movies. I mean, Jungle Cruise opened as just Jungle Cruise. If it had been built two years ago, it'd be Timon & Pumba's Circle of Life Adventure Tour. I understand why they do it...but I will admit that even I don't like that.
A perfect example of this is that the Swiss family Robinson treehouse is now Tarzan treehouse at Disneyland.
 
Jul 22, 2010
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#15
Smitty said:
A perfect example of this is that the Swiss family Robinson treehouse is now Tarzan treehouse at Disneyland.
Have you been through Swiss and Tarzan to compare the two firsthand? I am doubting you have. That is one of the character involvement cases that is very welcome.
 
Sep 5, 2010
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#16
Well, it's not to say that sometimes character changes don't bring with them some welcome changes, but generally, I think you can boost the theming on an attraction without having to slap a Disney Jr. character all over it.

I mean, does the Haunted Mansion get better if it's the "Wizards of Waverly Place Haunted House of Fun"?

I don't think it does, anyway.
 
Jul 22, 2010
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#17
Doc Dollars said:
Well, it's not to say that sometimes character changes don't bring with them some welcome changes, but generally, I think you can boost the theming on an attraction without having to slap a Disney Jr. character all over it.

I mean, does the Haunted Mansion get better if it's the "Wizards of Waverly Place Haunted House of Fun"?

I don't think it does, anyway.
It is all circumstantial. HM go with characters? No way, never will. Do not forget the Nightmare layover at DLR for HalloNights though.

Jack Sparrow in PoC? Most like it but some rebel on it. It is a great fit without changing the tone of the ride. If anything it enhanced the battle scene.

Playhouse Disney in DHS? It is tucked away in the dead corner of Animation Courtyard.

Saying character involvement is there with everything new or rehabbed is absurd. BTMRR just had a six month overhaul with no characters added, KJS is undergoing one now with no additional character involvement, TT is not having additional character involvement with its large overhaul, and Hannah Montana was not put in RnR.

Thinking characters are being instilled in every aspect is a bit bogus in the grand scheme. I think the overhauls without character involvement are higher in number than those previously without but added.
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BTW, this thread title reads "Change the parks to where theme takes second to rides to fulfill the needs of those basic individuals with no appreciation for intricacy."
 
Jul 22, 2010
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#19
Which is why it is always walk right up with no one around unless it is New Year's Eve or 4th of July. Both times I am regularly there for. On my four/five visits per year it is dead and a waste of space at this point. Swiss holds no regard to the majority of visitors regardless of how well designed it is it does not draw its immersion like the other well rounded immersible (not steel jungle) offerings.
 
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