Published: April 11, 2010 at 11:48 PMI couldn't care less about more new hotels, but I am looking forward to the new attractions. That being said, WDW needs a lot more than just a revamped Star Tours and Fantasyland. They are good new projects, although badly overdue.
But Disney is still neglecting the majority of their parks. Animal Kingdom opened as a half day park (if that) and got only one E ticket since then. Downright stingy, not to mention that the yeti is still moribund. Epcot needs something -- not sure what, but something. I'm glad that DHS is getting ST II, although I'll never for the life of me understand why TDO had to be forced to move ahead with the new version -- did they REALLY think it was acceptable to keep the tired old Star Tours? Really?? Those 5-10 minute standby lines really impressed them?
Anyway, considering the glacial pace of new projects, I can only hope that the current ones will live up to expectations. Please please please, no more budget cuts!!
Published: April 12, 2010 at 4:35 AMTo be clear, the column above was making note of the sudden level of investment in Central Florida tourism (measured in billions of dollars) and how it serves as an indication of a bullish perspective on the industry's future.
I found it interesting that at a time of economic uncertainty major tourist industry leaders (Disney, Merlin, Belz [ Peabody], Hilton, Universal, Four Seasons, Blackstone, etc.) are still willing to invest substantial sums of capital in Central Florida.
That level of investment and the assessment of Mr. Rosen provide sound reasons for being very optimistic about the future of Central Florida tourism.
Published: April 12, 2010 at 8:18 AMTH has been revealed!!!!!!!!!!!
Of course, I knew it for years :)
But yeah, I think Orlando is hoping that people will be coming back to go on vacation in FL because they either saved/have money..
Also something that I have noticed is that the theme parks or Orlando have become more "adult friendly"' with conventioneers doing stuff at Disney and Universal Resorts who not only have great parks, but golfing, dancing, sports, and, especially, drinking!
Published: April 12, 2010 at 9:09 AMAttractions are great, and we're all big fans here. But hotels are where a local community makes its money. Major hotel investment provides a strong statement of faith in a tourism economy.
What I find most interesting about Orlando is its conversion from a low-end to mid- and high-end destination, as seen in the continuing struggle of low-end properties along 192, as new, higher-end hotels go up and prosper in other, now more-desireable areas of the community.
Published: April 12, 2010 at 11:01 AMIt should be noted that Blackstone also owns Hilton and 50% of Universal Orlando...so they are a big player in Orlando.
Published: April 12, 2010 at 11:13 AMGreat article, TH.
A sign of good things, for sure. Coincidentally enough, I just finished reading this article regarding the improving market, comparing Obama's economic strategy to Rubinomics.
I always find comparisons between Las Vegas and Orlando, which are surely (though don't quote me) the two most visited American tourist cities. Strangely, though, while Orlando seems to be preparing for a boom, Vegas seems to be preparing for a collapse, or at least a minor downfall. Flights to Vegas have gotten ridiculously cheap; hotels, too. One thing I always notice when exploring Vegas is new hotel construction. However, conversely to Orlando, these new hotels are not the result of expansion, but rather replacement of previous hotels and casinos that have failed.
Any thoughts regarding this?
Published: April 12, 2010 at 11:48 AMAren't the hotels along 192 more centrally located, i.e. closer to the major attractions and theme parks? That's what they have going for them, right?
Published: April 12, 2010 at 12:29 PMI found this piece interesting "Meanwhile Walt Disney World is now moving to complete its own Pop Century Resort"
I haven't heard anything on the completion of the legendary years in quite sometime. Did I miss a fairly recent announcement somewhere?
Published: April 12, 2010 at 12:56 PMGood article. On a related note, I wrote a similar piece about the attendance growth at WDW and how I think they're un-prepared for it. Attendance at WDW has increased on average, just over 3% annually, which means in 10 years, we could see over 63 milion visitors just at WDW, which which would put the daily average at 173,000 guests, or 44,000 more than than presently. That's a lot more people to feed, house and transport. See the full article here
Published: April 12, 2010 at 4:08 PMOur anonymous poster writes: "I found this piece interesting "Meanwhile Walt Disney World is now moving to complete its own Pop Century Resort." I haven't heard anything on the completion of the legendary years in quite sometime. Did I miss a fairly recent announcement somewhere?
I Respond: Several sites have made note that it's been renamed the Disney Animation Resort.
Construction/bid documents are being prepped for circulation in the very near future.
Published: April 12, 2010 at 4:52 PMThanks TH I that one must have somehow gotten by me. Can't wait to hear more details about it...
Too bad it will be a Value resort, WDW should really look into creating another moderate, it always seems like the mods are the first to fill up and anytime you are in an overbooked value they bump you to Saratoga or OKW and I am guessing the reason is a lower guest occupancy rate.