You are absolutely right Robert. Such is an example of the juggling act Disney will have to perform. Balancing cost effectiveness with product integrity isn't something they've had to do much of lately. Their problem...they can't afford to maintain their operations as they have in the past, yet they can't afford to sacrifice that "Disney magic", lest it loses it's luster with the fans.
The question...will Disney maintain it's product integrity with sensible decisions that consider business and entertainment? or will it slowly start clinging to the bottom line and sacrifice that quality of experience?
You probably won't see any new $80 million dollar attractions over the next few years (DCA excepted, of course - all the "new attraction money" is going to that park for now). Instead Disney will maintain/improve their current attractions and continue to "make memories" by offering an immersive, customer-focused visitor experience.
Something Six Flags has learned the hard way: Hyper coasters are expensive, providing great customer service is not.
Hmmm...there's a book title in there somewhere....
Anyway, point well taken Robert! I want a WDW or DL sweatshirt, not so much a neutral one, but Disney does use the same stuff and its theme parks often such as plush etc.
From the Disney Store end, we are starting to carry less and less adult stuff :(
I work for a company that has 8 divisions all with distinct branding and for the most part operate in a similar model with centralized IT, HR, Finance, and such. It can be done but does require a heightened level of communication and planning. Both of which are a challenge in any medium to large company. But Disney isn't new at this so I think they'll figure it out. And with the marketing machine they run, they won't be cutting corners on anything that could turn them a dollar such as $40 sweatshirts.
That just makes me think of generic packaging, like going into a grocery and seeing a row of white cans stamped with "Beer" in black letters. Ugh.
Consolidated back office operations makes generic, cross-property branding logistically possible, but I hope that's one opportunity enabled by this change that Disney choose to leave on the table.
If they are cutting back the programs along with their management, that's fine, but trying to save everything they offer at the expense of their employees isn't wise, because the brand will suffer if they do that. Streamlining their warehouses, IT, and other things related to the cost of doing business will only take them so far if attendance and guest spending drops.
Think of it in governmental terms. They can either raise taxes (ie cost to the consumer), or they can cut spending. They've already given big discounts with hotel rooms. Trying to maintain everything they have while cutting taxes is not going to work...plain and simple. We as a country may find out the hard way just how much it won't work, but Disney has a chance now to prevent potentially bigger problems in the future.
I am very concerned...