Robert's interview with MiceAge's Al Lutz
Published: October 22, 2007 at 8:13 AM
Lutz talks about breaking the news on DCA, as well as other stories over the years.
It didn't make the cut for the OJR interview, but Lutz shared his take on why Disney didn't make the deal to get Harry Potter at Walt Disney World, leaving the deal for Universal Orlando to make. Lutz said that the deal, as proposed to Disney, was a 15 year license, with H.P. author J.K. Rowling given the exclusive right to opt out after those 15 years. If she did, that would have left Disney in position where it had to either tear down or entirely retheme its Potter development.
Presumably, Universal's in the same boat now. But I still think the deal makes sense for Universal.
As the market leader, Disney probably would not have been able to bring in enough additional visitors to make a Potter development to both pay for itself and provide the same sort of return on investment that Disney could get spending the money elsewhere. Heck, Disney World's parks are often maxed out on visitors as it is.
But Universal lags Disney significantly in attendance. Simply, Potter would have far more "bang for the buck" in those parks than they would in Disney's. So it is more likely that Universal would be able to get the necessary return on investment with Potter in just 15 years.
Anyway, there's more good stuff over on OJR, so I hope you take a look.