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Sep 5, 2010
...getting all the money. If you read around the forums here, there are ton of references to how Entertainment lacks a budget to do good things during the regular season because of all the money they're pouring into HOS. If these assumptions are true, I'm over it.

Howl-O-Scream, which I enjoy, is nonetheless a special event. To me, the park itself and general operating season have to come first...special events come second. I know the argument is that HOS makes money for the park...but what does it matter if all they're going to do is turn around and dump that money back into Halloween and the rest of the park operation sees no benefit?

Illuminights is dwindling, shows have been disappearing and the extra BG touches have been missing. I'm sick of seeing that stuff sacrificed for six weeks in October (if that is, in fact, where the money is going).
What sense does it make to buoy the off-season special events and let the park's main season sink?

And even if it's food and wine, still -- it's a special event.

I really do get that you're trying to bolster attendance during slow periods, and they've done an amazing job (their fall period has gone from slow to fastest). But I've got to imagine that the main bulk of park revenue still comes from plain jain vanilla summer visitors. If you neglect them, they will stop coming.

Anecdotal, of course, but I know several people who have decreased the frequency of visits for lack of stuff to do. People who used to go 3 or 4 times a summer now go only once or twice. They can't be alone. I myself don't feel an urgency to visit like I once did...and it's because when I think about what there is to do anymore, I'm underwhelmed.
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Is the budget really affecting the main season though? The only non-special event related change that I've talked about publicly has been the cancellation of Celtic Dyne. While it's a shame that it was cut, I'm pretty sure Celtic Dyne is as far from a core main season show product as you can get. The vast majority of the cuts that I've heard about have been special event related and most of them have been centered around IllumiNights- clearly the park's least popular and most hated event.
Like I said, if it's not HoS's fault, then you know, no problem. But it seems like there's been a lot unofficially pinned on the HoS (and CT) budget...even the HoS and CT setups, too.

Scenery and shows removed, not replaced...that sort of stuff.

Am I wrong about this, maybe?
I fully support dropping Illuminights all together for more money on Howl-o-Scream. HoS attracts more people by far and is clearly the park's most successful special event.
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CoolDrMoney said:
Scenery and shows removed, not replaced...that sort of stuff.

There are areas that have been horrendously neglected (namely Festa which is just in shambles at this point) but with the amount of money they've clearly invested into turning Aquitaine into one of the best looking and most detailed areas in the park, I'd have a hard time criticizing the park on the scenery front this year. Also, We may have lost a few shows if we look from 4 or 5 years ago, but if you just look at the year-to-year transition, we actually gained a show this season (This is Oktoberfest) and got a 100% revamped Entwined out of it as well. Quite honestly, I see more Ent-related investment into the park's main season this year than I have since Celtic Fyre debuted back in 2009. I'm guessing that Entertainment's budget was mainly dumped into Aquitaine, Entwined, and Food & Wine and it's causing issues for IllumiNights. While that was likely a result of bad planning on their part, with my general dislike of IllumiNights, I can't complain too much.
Alright. You know, there was some suggestion that the park was suffering because of the building of Verbolten, now that that's installed, money is flowing a little more freely, maybe. And then the money gets swallowed up in this revamp or that....

Of course, then I wonder, how is the money management handled such that they can only ever concentrate it on one or two things at a time?
Pretzel Kaiser said:
I fully support dropping Illuminights all together for more money on Howl-o-Scream. HoS attracts more people by far and is clearly the park's most successful special event.

The summer needs some kind of night cap performance. Whether it's Illuminights specifically or, you know, one blow off show in the RPT, a summer finale show adds a lot to a day at the park (not to mention keeps guests in the park spending money all day).

Also, I don't think most guests share the prevailing sentiment of these boards that the world revolves around Howl-O-Scream. It is popular (with a certain segment of the audience), and it does get packed. But it's also only 3 weeks long (counted day-for-day) so everyone who's interested in going has to pile in on one of 20-or-so days. Meanwhile, the main season (counted as when the park is open 7 days a week) is over 100 days long, and it can get quite crowded on many of those, too.
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That really seems like fuzzy math. Just like Tampa, if the park was opened year round then HoS would be open those days as well. The park is also never at capacity during the summer as well. I fully realize that HoS isn't for everybody, but numbers don't lie, it's a very popular event.

I'm fine with fireworks during the summer. It's just that the park has a beauty in itself that we don't get that much time to experience between Illuminights, HoS, and CT. Do fireworks and a RPT show nightly, but leave the glow decorations for CT.
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I don't at all believe that HoS would be filled to capacity 7 days a week if it ran throughout the entire month of October. There're not enough people to support that kind of operation. If there were, they'd be open. Tampa is a different world.

Look at it this way: because the summer season has 5x the operating days that the fall season has, attendance on every operating day throughout the entire summer could be 1/5 what it is on operating days in the fall, and the attendance figures for both seasons would be equal. That being said, summer attendance is much more than 1/5 HoS attendance, on any given day, and especially weekends. Summer, I'd wager, is still where the park makes its money.
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I know it wouldn't hit capacity every day, I was just pointing out that it's not ecru day simply because of the location. My point being that the summer should be normal operation aside from a small hook to stay. Leave the special events to actual holidays and let us enjoy the natural beauty of the park.
CoolDrMoney said:
You don't need to treat the summer like a special event. It's not special. It's summer. No need for all the chintzy crap.

This exactly. The park doesn't have a chance to shine on its own anymore- it's always overlaid with something these days. Make a 45 minute Entwined Version 4, move it to the Royal Palace Theater, and use that as the big evening show. Take all the money the park would save on decorations and all the little shows around the park and put that towards street performers and a larger focus on main-season theming. If they really wanted to, they could even keep the fireworks going on the weekends- I just don't see a reason to light money on fire and shoot it into the sky every day of the week during the summer. Let Spring have the Food & Wine Festival, Fall have Howl-O-Scream, and Winter have Christmas Town. Let the park be the park during the summer.
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