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Disney Ramblings--2/28/98

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Disney Ramblings

Feb. 28, 1998

Well, here we are again...about six months later. A lot has happened in the amusement park industry since my last page, What I Would Do If I Ran Disney.
Now, we have Disney Reborn. Why reborn, you might ask. Well, lets look at what is happening right now
About one month ago, Premier Parks bought Six Flags, an acquisition which has a great impact on the amusement park industry. Disney has a lot of competition right now, and they are no longer number one (well, as far as Disney holding a monopoly on the Amusement park industry.) A lot of amusement parks are truly becoming Theme Parks, and some of them are doing it more successfully than Disney, for example, Busch Gardens Williamsburg. That is the most beautiful park I've ever been to, and it is successfully themed, and well laid out. Nothing at BGW is forced on you. Rather, you take the day as you want, forming your own schedule. Lets compare that with Epcot. Early in the morning, Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE goes to Spaceship Earth. Why? Because it is the first thing you see. It can't be missed, even from the highway. This is not a bad thing. But Disney World is not a theme park resort. Rather, this proves that it is a carefully structured experience, set up to maximize the level of fun one experiences. Its strange how people still consider many other parks Amusement Parks, while Disney World remains in a class by itself. We all know that Disney is in a class by itself. There is no doubt about it. So, when I say BGW is the most beautiful theme park I've ever been to, can I say that I'm also including Disney World in that category. Of course not, because once again, Disney World is carefully constructed to seem as beautiful as possible. Landscapers are out every morning planting new flowers trimming trees and bushes, all to make it seem as beautiful as possible. BGW has trees, all over the place. The difference is that you feel the trees in BGW are real, and you stop to notice them. At Disney World, you often miss some of the landscaping (I'm not saying everyone does). This is just becuase it is one part of a much larger experience, and it is that experience that makes it in a class all by itself.

So, where does that leave us. Well, we know that Disney is not nervous about the expansion of Universal, Sea World, or the merger of Premier and Six Flags. They don't have to be. You don't hear people saying they're going to Universal Studios often. Rather, you always hear people say that they're going to Disney World. But, is it possible, and just play along with me for a moment, that Islands of Adventure, Universal Studio's second park, could be an entirely new experience, outclassing anything Orlando's ever seen before. Attendance numbers at IOA are expected to be high simply because it will have real Roller Coasters (outdoor ones with Loops and all.)
What does Disney have to do? Well, I have my opinion, and I'm sure you also have yours. I'd like to hear from you.
Now, here's what I see. Disney has to come up with a completely new concept. Something that hasn't ever been done before. Disney's Wild Animal Kingdom has been done. Just take Busch Gardens Tampa. I know what you're thinking...regardless, Disney is going to whoop BGT's butt back into the stone age (well, maybe...maybe not) Regardless, you can't make a valid argument that its new.
How about WDW's own version of Disney Sea.... The park, currently being built in Tokyo Disneyland, is going to absolutely be Disney's Greatest park.
What about a park completely based on Disney's newest films. A park completely based on, say, Little Mermaid on up to Hercules. You could have all kinds of new rides and shows. Plus, you could build a new ride or show every year to generate new interest.
I'll have to think about this further. I will continue my ramblings later.