Disney World and the nightmare scenario for tourism
Kevin Yee offers an intriguing read over at MiceAge today. He's takes a look at a top-secret internal Disney study examing worst-case business scenarios
for Walt Disney World.
The study, Yee writes, was promopted by the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and the resulting collapse of the air travel market. This time, Disney's consultants are forecasting what could happen to the Central Florida resort when "peak oil" forces prices far beyond the current $80 a barrel.
Yee writes that the Disney study predicts that Disney World could stop making money for the Mouse House at an oil price as low as $160/barrel. That, in turn, is prompting Disney to outsource as much of the resort as it can -- hotels, restaurants, Yee even imagines Disney selling the parks themselves, a la an Oriental Land/Tokyo Disney deal.
Obviously, Disney World would not be the only property to suffer if oil prices make long-distance travel prohibitively expensive. All Orlando parks would tank, and parks that rely on regional visitors would suffer as well.
Yee's piece barely mentions the point, but oil price increases could actually help Disney on the west coast, as a massive Southern California audience would look to Disneyland for its vacation get-away, with Hawaii, Cabo and even Las Vegas becoming too expensive to get to. (Disneyland attendance, unlike the rest of the theme park industry, surged after 9/11, boosted by locals staying close to home.)
This is kinda …………..What’s the word I am looking for……..ummmm…………Dumb…
Yeah, but there is immense value to a corporation in knowing at *what* oil price their company becomes screwed. As always, the key to business is not knowing that you need to buy or sell, it is knowing the precise moment you need to buy or sell.
It’s all relative.
Personally, I wouldn't lose any sleep over these kind of changes within Disney. They have no problem licensing their product, and investors/operators may flock at the prospect of owning a piece of the mouse. It happens in the world everyday..a company hires another person or company to manage their business. I wonder how long the Disney brand would keep its shimmer under other management, but I wouldn't be surprised.
If that were the case, the entire tourism industry as we know it would crumble and Disney would just be a blip. I mean there goes Las Vegas and, ever worse, Hawaii since its an Island.
Great. Is there also a study about what they would do if six meteors simultaneously hit the parks? How about if Godzilla rose up out of the Seven Seas Lagoon? You know, some equally likely scenario.
Kind of an odd twist here, but have parks studied what will happen to their attendance once it costs a barrel of oil to get in the park? Prices have been going up pretty steadily at all parks and people keep coming back.
Unfortunately it is not as far fetched as you may think. Disney is very wise to conduct these studies. With Oil at its all time high and the world seemingly hitting peak oil in 2005, the cost of oil will continue to peg consistently higher over the coming years.
Disney is not going to sell Walt Disney World. Its a cash cow. If tourism dies down, Disney will just use cost saving measures.
I agree with Derek.
I dont want oil prices to keep going up and the economy to tank, which would affect tourism etc. Its not good for our country to go thru another reccession, though it will happen again some time as economies do ebb and flow.
Just to throw a spin on things.
Just a thought - maybe the powers that be should begin looking at more mass transit opportunities directly to their parks. Spur lines from airports, train stations, etc. And shuttles, light rail, whatever, between parks that are close. Cooperation and conservation are alternatives to panic.
Many parks have some form of transit to their front gates. Many hotels surrounding Disney have the shuttle service. The same goes for just about every other major park out there. Any major hotel offers a shuttle to the local park as part of their draw. Parks themselves rarely have passenger service because the cost outweighs the benefits for them...especially with every hotel offering some kind of shuttle and the tax help they get from parking fees.
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