Disney knows better than anyone how to control crowds, and how to give guests the best experience possible. The queueless queue for Dumbo and many new interactive queues show that Disney wants giests to be engaged and entertained, even while waiting for attractions, and not treated like cattle.
My guess is that the new Fantasyland will bring in larger crowds for sure, but Disney will be proud that you won't see the huge throng of guests in endless lines.
The only line almost as long at Universal were the customer relations lines full of irate customers. For Universal, the endless lines WERE the ultimate goal. But by pissing off so many guests, they took short term gains at the expense of long term losses from the guests vowing never to return.
No matter what Disney builds, be it a "lame" Dumbo or the best thrill ride out there, they will organize the park and the attraction queue so that their guests don't have to suffer through endless lines and frustration.
Lame? That's something to call Universal's planning, not Dumbo.
As much as I am not a fan of the books or movies, there is no denying that Universal was able to capitalize on the Harry Potter phenominon. Disney is able to build their company on heritage that they were able to build. Some of their newer non-Pixar projects flopped, so they try to implement these films into the parks, only to remove them very quickly (good luck trying to find Tiana's Jubilee on the Rivers of America any time soon). People are not going to line up in throngs at the gates to ride Dumbo. We both know that. Yes, Universal made their space too small to accommodate the crowds that showed up to see their new area. I wonder how many people went on opening day weren't expecting ridiculous crowds, or were SO disappointed at the response and Universal's lack of crowd control that they weren't excited enough to go back when crowds were lighter? Fact is, Universal was able to one-up Disney on attractions. Two Dumbos and a second kiddie roller coaster isn't going to match it. And I don't see an overflowing parking lot to race in to see Avatar, so that isn't going to match it. What next?
Irate opening weekend crowds for HP are long-since forgotten. No one could honestly say that ticked-off crowds from a year ago are keeping people from visiting Universal IoA in the long-term. I've been there several times since HP-land opened, the last time on a TUESDAY... in early October... and it was still mobbed, even when the rest of the park was relatively empty.
Anecdotal, I know, but in my observation the appeal of this "land" / property is still absolutely gangbusters. Insanely so. HP plays across all demographics and is internationally ginormous (the international grosses on the movies are usually 3X what they make in the USA... and here they make a ton of dough.)
Of course, Disney doesn't "need" Harry Potter. They don't "need" Avatar either, IMO. They have enough original content and imagination to build their own magic out of thin air. But at least the competition has forced Disney to up their game. :thumbs:
Thanks for backing up my points. No one went to HP, got turned away because of massive crowds and said, "This place must be awful, I'm never coming back." I would think it to be to the contrary.
And no, Disney does NOT need HP or Avatar. They have Disney-fied enough Grimms tales and come up with enough of their own stories (plus, the addition of Pixar to help the struggling films division) to look inside for new lands.
Still, back to the original point of this thread, they are going to need to do SOMETHING to boost their entertainment division. After three straight box office disappointments (Princess & the Frog, Tangled, and Winnie the Pooh), plus the other misc. film projects that all tanked over the past decade or more (anyone remember Enchanted? Home on the Range? Anyone??), they need to stop looking outside and re-examine their own offerings. It used to be that the coming attractions for a Disney film included a preview for their next animated feature, even if it was still a year or two or more out from being released. These days, the trailers are full of everything BUT an upcoming Disney film. I was surprised that they decided to re-examine the old Touchstone division.
I give Kudos to the HP attraction. So the biggest fault is the HP attraction is way too popular? Disney would kill to have that problem.
While Universal was planning for HP Disney was debuting,Stitch's Supersonic Celebration.
HP continues to draw both in novels, movies and the attraction, all age demographics. I'm not willing to confidently say the new Fantasyland will continue to draw HP type of interest beyond guests initial visit.
I'm sure the Grand Opening will be crowded, how couldn't it, however, Fantasyland is going to open over several years, HP was opened completed, not mid construction so that will likely tamper the crowd levels for FL.
It's severely short sighted, as ideally you want people moving through your attractions seemlessly, not standing around waiting. If Disney had the same number of people coming to an area (and I'm not saying the new Fantasyland will do that), they would plan it for the guest experience, and not have you lining up for hours.
While there are long lines at some Disney attractions, Disney are doing their best to lessen the impact. A free fast pass system, interactive queues, and the new queueless queues in the new Fantasyland area shows that Disney thinks of the guest experience, and doesn't want them upset because they were forced to wait in endless boring switchback lines.
You'll see more and more attractions being renovated with new queue experiences in the near future, Big Thunder mountain being the first. It gives the guests a better experience, lessening their frustrations and increasing the chance of a return visit.
Nope. The best is yet to come for Disney. New technology will allow Disney to retool the parks over the 20 years or so and plus up the experiences. Disney will expand it's media presence just consider how many Disney apps are available on smart phones etc. Pixar will continue to wow the world with ther folms and the Disney studios will get back to form as they re-tool. Look at how good Prep and Landing was. Some work, some vision and Disney will increase the gap between the competition (they are still out fornt, the gap is just closing some). Disney is expanding overseas, the marketing folks will learn a lot form that. Disney is reversing the decline of the parks (investment in DCA, MK). Ups and downs are the way of any business, Disney is already starting to pull out of the decline.