What are your opinions on Disney's latest decisions in the parks? Good, bad, meh?
WARNING: I READ/RESPONDED TO THIS WHILE DRINKING COFFEE…
Good: Dumping lots and lots of money into the parks. In the late 90s/early 00s, the way the company tried to make stocks/shares go up was to close attractions, thereby lowering operating costs. Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter reminded Disney that adding great stuff to your theme parks is an EVEN BETTER way to make money, and now look at the number of ‘coming soon’ announcements coming out of Florida and CA.
Good: They are actively listening to the fans, incorporating some of their loves/ideas/weird collecting fetishes into the Parks’ merch and special events. Granted, the ‘fans’ that they are listening to are actually Disney employees who have risen up the ranks enough to have a voice in the boardrooms and backrooms, but hey – at least they are listening!
Good: The folks in charge now really LOVE Disney and the basic Disneyland tenets. Going back to those dreaded late 90s/early 00s, back then, most of the decisions were being made by a group of presidents and vice-presidents who REPEATEDLY said they were trying to make Disney feel “less Disney”…you know, “for adults.” Right now, the opposite is true. So even if I don’t love a lot of what they are coming up with, it at least feels like *they* think they’re doing it for right reasons.
Good: Star Wars Land…in Disney Hollywood Studios. GREAT IDEA! WONDERFUL FIT!
Bad: Star Wars Land…wedged awkwardly in the back of the otherwise perfectly-themed Disneyland. Why not over in California Adventure where it could be tied into the whole ‘Hollywood/making movies’ part? Oh, well. Too late.
Bad/Good: Changing Tower of Terror to Guardians of the Galaxy. The re-do is UGLY on the outside. Hopefully the inside will be better. That said, I’m glad they’re creating their Marvel Land (or whatever they are planning to call it) in DCA instead of trying to shove it into a back alley on Main Street.
Bad: Adding more movie characters to EPCOT. Yes, Epcot has some super boring stuff in it, but why not rework those things to make them interesting? People love learning/knowledge/fun facts. EPCOT used to be all about providing that. Now Disney seems scared that people won’t visit that park unless it features Finding Nemo, Frozen and Guardians of the Galaxy. What makes this all the more crazy is that EPCOT is the 3rd most visited theme park in the U.S. Folks clearly DON’T hate it!
Bad: Avatar. Who really cares about those characters or that world???
Meh: The not-so-secret services for the uber wealthy (the $1000 Tomorrowland ‘cabanas’, the $15,000 dinner, etc.). I mean, Disneyland has always had a few expensive perks – Club 33, getting a private tour guide, etc. – but now it seems like they’re announcing a new one every month, and they are never really all that ‘special.’ None of them come close to the magic of, say, a Club 33…even/especially Disney’s recently announced plan to put a Club 33 in EVERY park around the globe! All of that said, I’d gladly see a bunch more cheap-looking cabanas than have management begin closing classic rides with low people-counts.