Wed 2/6/2013 12:17a
|Al Lutz has some interesting things to say this week concerning WDW. Including:|
That guest satisfaction surveys about the Fantasyland expansions are falling flat and not translating into any increase in attendance.
That WDW resort reservations continue to be flat and there is concern.
That Carsland will be built at the DHS with few changes from the DCA version with the exception of Luigi's Tires which will not be built there.
To expect white collar layoffs on both coasts in the park with the brunt of it on the WDW end.
I always take Al in stride. Just found it an interesting read.
Wed 2/6/2013 3:51a
|>>That guest satisfaction surveys about the Fantasyland expansions are falling flat and not translating into any increase in attendance.<<|
When one looks at the overall picture to the renovated land .. the best it has to offer is 1 large scale attraction - Little Mermaid. With another one that won't be showing up till 2014. They gutted Snow White in favor of a meet and greet. A simple spinner is moved over .. with double capacity and a few "blingy" details to enjoy.
What did they expect?
They got "flat" responses .. from a "flat" renovation.
If they want a HUGE response ... they know what they have to do!
It's called going back to the "Walt" days when entertaining meant EXCEEDING guest expectation. Not - just barely meeting them.
Wed 2/6/2013 4:45a
|I wonder if the response to the surveys is hindered by the fact that the area still looks like it is very much under construction. Yes, the Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast areas are open, but they butt up against a huge construction project; one that blocke the view of the actual attractions from the rest of FL. And the construction also physically separates that area from Storybook Circus, making it tough to just wander through the area, unless you make a concerted effort to do so. I imagine the whole area will be quite nice once it's complete, but right now it's just a mess. The new stuff is nice, but the area is anything but finished.|
Wed 2/6/2013 9:55a
|I think part of the problem is the hype doesn't match up with the reality. It really isn't a new Fantasyland which is what the ads say but one attraction, a meet and greet, a very busy restaurant and a small store and snack bar. With the exception of the Little Mermaid, the hourly capacity at everything else is low. And while it looks pretty it really doesn't deliver as well as it could. Even the Little Mermaid which I thought was cute, hasn't really impressed anyone I know who has seen it. Most everyone says the same thing I do...it's cute.|
Wed 2/6/2013 10:18a
|It has only been a few weeks since that area has been open. And that entire area is still a construction zone. I would be more intrested in what the surveys had to say. Isn't this WDW slow season? Don't things start picking up after Valentine's Day? As for filling resort rooms, a lot of people are feeling the pinch. Everyone is nervous about spending any money especially on potentially expensive vacations. I wonder if the free Disney Dining Plan is available right now. Certainly schools are in session. All factors which effect filling resort rooms. Personally, I think it is too early to tell what impact the new Fantasyland expansion will untimately have. I would think some folks are waiting till the entire thing is finished.|
Wed 2/6/2013 11:01a
|Yea...what Tom said! |
Wed 2/6/2013 11:16a
|>>If they want a HUGE response ... they know what they have to do!<<|
But that costs money, and the mantra in Corporate America these days is to cut costs.
Wed 2/6/2013 11:27a
|<<That guest satisfaction surveys about the Fantasyland expansions are falling flat and not translating into any increase in attendance.>>|
This is where Mr Lutz's contacts let him down - he should stick to the left coast.
There has been no formal assessment of FLE's satisfaction amongst guests as the view has always been that it needs to be completed before that can be done reliably.
Also FLE was never solely about increasing attendance - it was actually about increasing park capacity and improving guest satisfaction scores. WDW Co. is focusing on improving financial KPIs - guest spend, revPAR etc. Any increase in attendance is a happy by-product - however WDW Co. believes that they are close to saturation in terms of attendance and that the most important thing is to drive up margins and profitability - especially in the resorts that are still languishing in pre-9/11 numbers.
Wed 2/6/2013 1:03p
|<<I think part of the problem is the hype doesn't match up with the reality. It really isn't a new Fantasyland which is what the ads say but one attraction, a meet and greet, a very busy restaurant and a small store and snack bar. With the exception of the Little Mermaid, the hourly capacity at everything else is low. And while it looks pretty it really doesn't deliver as well as it could. Even the Little Mermaid which I thought was cute, hasn't really impressed anyone I know who has seen it. Most everyone says the same thing I do...it's cute.>>|
All which is probably true. BUT..... it is in my opinion better than what is has replaced. I know some folks are distressed to loose Mickey and Minnie's homes, but the new area looks ( in the pictures anyway ) a lot better now. The expanded train station with bathrooms was a nice plus. I always thought that area of the park was dark and scary at night. Haven't set foot in the MK to see if that is still true. But, I do think overall it works better with the rest of the MK with the plastic like buildings gone.
Wed 2/6/2013 2:49p
|My point is that the there is a disconnect between what Disney is promoting and what is actually there. Is it a nice addition. Yeah it is, but it isn't a new Fantasyland. It is a new attraction, a meet and greet, a store (which is small), a snack bar and a restaurant.|
I agree with leemac that the point of the expansion was never to bring more guests into the park, but to increase capacity. The Little Mermaid is a people eater but the rest are not. Be Our Guest has long lines to get in. The Belle meet and Greet is 45-60 min wait everyday and the line moves very slowly. I am not surprised that the surveys are coming back the way they are. Be Our Guest is getting great reviews but Little Mermaid is mostly a shrug from people. It is a cute attraction but that is about it. Even my friends in mgmt in the MK say the attraction is just ok.
I am more interested in the idea of a Carsland at the DHS and the rumor that there are white collar layoffs coming to the parks. The last time that happened it was pretty ugly.
If in fact hotel occupancy is soft and a cause of concern to mgmt, it will be interesting to see how they decide to deal with that issue. Is it because of the economy? Not sure, the parks seem busy all the time. Is it that Disney is getting too pricey?
Again, I take Al with a grain of salt. Just thought it was a fun read.