Written by Russell Meyer
Published: October 21, 2004 at 12:17 PM
In a bit of a strange development, Disney has been able to negotiate a lucrative deal with The Children’s Place Retail Stores Inc. of Secaucus, NJ to take ownership of their failing Disney Store retail chain. In the deal, Disney still maintains licensing and royalties of existing and future merchandise sold in the chain, and the stores will still bear the Disney name for at least 15 years. While Disney does not get a lump-sum payment in the deal, they basically eliminate a “white elephant” and still maintain their market presence without having to take any further financial hits. Now if only Disney could peddle ABC and ABC Family off to some unsuspecting third world entertainment conglomerate.
Oversaturation in Orlando?
Orlando Business Journal, October 15, 2004
While competition is the source of all capitalistic success, it’s also the source of failure when a market is oversaturated. The $18.3 million Mercado Village Shopping Plaza on International Drive has been placed on the auction block, and its future is uncertain. Many shopping centers come and go, especially when there are vacancies in many other higher profile areas, but Mercado was once one of the most desirable shopping centers in the area, and once housed the Hard Rock Vault. Could Orlando development finally be reaching a breaking point, and equilibrating? I doubt it, but perhaps this is the sign that developers should take a deep breath and learn two very important words, “Smart Growth.”
The first story is a bit of a development with a construction crane hovering over Walt Disney Studios Paris, reportedly preparing to begin construction of another Tower of Terror. The attraction has been rumored for the park for some time now, and considering the financial state of things, it’s a bit of a surprise to see Disney jumping full force to add what will probably be a $80-$100 million E-ticket attraction. Maybe Disney can install a Tower of Terror in my back yard so I can feel like I’m in France!
The second story is somewhat sketchy since the source refers to a website that is rather cryptic, and possibly fake. RideRita.com may be a legitimate Alton Towers-created site hinting at a launching coaster coming to Ug Land in the near future. 0-100(kph) in 2.8 seconds sounds like an Intamin Rocket Coaster, especially since the design is proliferating around the U.S. However, fake websites are a part of the world we live in, so take this tidbit with a grain of salt.
Michael Vick Roller Coaster?
Broadband users should get a kick out of this recent Nike commercial. I meant to include it in my last BLOG FLUME, but it didn’t fit very well. For those who haven’t seen it, the commercial previews the newest in theme park technology, as riders live the Michael Vick Experience (MVE). MVE will be housed in a large domed building containing one of the most exciting amusement park attractions conceived. The inverted roller coaster, which appears to have a capacity of about 100 people per hour, puts guests into Michael Vick’s shoes. It hurls riders down the infamous Georgia Dome turf at break-neck speeds, dodging menacing linebackers, strafing ominous safeties, and flipping head-over-cornerback into the end zone for a touchdown. While Falcons owner Arthur Blank has not announced a completion date for the attraction, Nike hopes that every football fan will line up for shoes and wait to ride this one-of-a-kind, bone-shattering attraction. This may not be in Disney’s playbook, but it should be.