Sun 11/4/2012 5:35p
|I remember reading many years ago that Disney were thinking of building Disneyland Australia in the Gold Coast, Queensland. But the Queensland Government didn't want to spend $$ millions on the infrastructure and the park went to Hong Kong instead.|
I was wondering if anyone had any further information about Disneyland Australia and whether this story was true. Thanks.
Sun 11/4/2012 6:38p
|This is as close to any Disney presence in Australia:|
Sun 11/4/2012 7:10p
|I doubt there is enough of a population base to support a Disney theme park in Australia.|
Mon 11/5/2012 5:59a
|<<I was wondering if anyone had any further information about Disneyland Australia and whether this story was true.>>|
No - the federal and local government were actively seeking tourism products. Disney will always look at government proposal but this one went nowhere fast. Australia could never support a Disneyland theme park - not enough residents or tourists.
The White Bay project was a debacle. The hotel and waterpark were fully scoped out and designed before the project manager discovered there were access issues to the site. It was a complete waste of money.
White Bay is a shallow port location in West Sydney - it isn't a particularly attractive part of the city so I could never comprehend why we spent any time looking at it whatsoever. I guess nothing else has happened to that particular site either.
Mon 11/5/2012 7:40a
I'm sorry for being off topic, but didn't Disney plan a new hotel somewhere in near Washington? I have seen plans for that a few years ago. What happened to that?
Mon 11/5/2012 8:13a
|<<I'm sorry for being off topic, but didn't Disney plan a new hotel somewhere in near Washington? I have seen plans for that a few years ago. What happened to that?>>|
The Peterson family have a large-scale development called National Harbor that is just south of the Beltway on the Potomac. The mixed used project has RDE, office and timeshare in the same development. In addition it has c.2700 hotel rooms (mainly through the Gaylord which is nearly 3/4 of that inventory count).
We bought the plot of land back in '09 from Peterson Co. It is a currently undeveloped 15 acre plot that sits at the back of the property (I'll find a map to post). I think we were the only developer that was sold land in the development as Peterson control the entire site.
The site would have taken a 500-room deluxe hotel called The National. It would have been a very large square block - with a lot of height. It was a nice design and would have been the first hotel to be seamlessly inserted into the Adventures by Disney program (we had plans to create a National Treasure-branded Washington DC tour package).
We sold the plot back to Peterson in September.
National Harbor has a lot of problems. The RDE is doing okay but the site has a lot of unsold condos and hotel occupancy isn't great. It is trying to steal convention business from DC's main convention center but that isn't our business.
The main problem I had with the site was the lack of public transportation. There is no Metro service to that area and the bus service is very poor. There has been talk of extending the green line down to the site but nothing even close to getting approved. If we were to market the National as a tourist destination then it would need to be on a location near to the Metro. National Harbor doesn't have that.
I really liked the hotel and the concept. DC needs more deluxe hotels - particularly those tourist locations. Maybe it will come back but I think this one is dead and buried.
Mon 11/5/2012 8:17a
|The National would have been here:|
The Porte Cochere would have been an extension of American Way and the plot went back to Oxon Hill Road.
You can see how much more of National Harbor is undeveloped at the moment. I don't think the Petersons will be able to expand much beyond the current structures.
Mon 11/5/2012 8:18a
|Thank you very much for the informations. |
The National Treasure tour sounds great. I love both movies and still hope a third one will come in the near future.
Mon 11/5/2012 8:21a
|Ugh - can't seem to get Google Maps to hold still:|
Then zoom in where it says National Harbor.
Mon 11/5/2012 8:35a
|<<Thank you very much for the informations. |
The National Treasure tour sounds great. I love both movies and still hope a third one will come in the near future>>
One of the real challenges of developing Disney hotels outside a theme park resort environment is how to make the Disney Difference (read: premium) apply. People are willing to pay Ritz-Carlton/Four Seasons prices at all of the resort for a less than 5-star experience because the hotel is usually at the park gates (or close by). Once you strip away the theme park the hotel needs to stand on its own two feet - which is difficult as Disney hotels aren't cheap to build or operate and the operating margins are higher inside the resorts (which is why a lot of folks think WDP&R should stick to the 6 theme park resorts instead).
Aulani doesn't quite achieve it. The hotel was budgeted at $800m and then oil prices started to spike and freighting in construction supplies went through the roof. In order to keep the budget down a lot of the Disney elements from the original plans were dropped. I don't think many guests will feel they get value for money at Aulani - especially compared to the JW Marriott next door. Time will tell if Jeff Stone is able to build out the rest of the coves - he hasn't been able to as of yet.