Published: December 30, 2010 at 10:24 AMI agree with the economy.
It is interesting to see the guests at Disneyland vs Disney World and the way "things go". I found us to be a novelty when cast members at DL asked where we were from (probably because we were from outside of LA and east of the Mississippi).
It is a bit strange to see Universal and Disney really not in competition with each other in CA. They seemed to have found their own nitche in the market and actually support each other. Thats very different from FL!
Published: December 30, 2010 at 12:43 PMGlad to see parks having a good holiday season. Unfortunately the fact that they become ridiculously busy during this time of year is what already keeps me away from them. There just aren't enough high capacity "people movers" in most of these parks to keep the lines moving very quickly.
Good for Universal Florida too. People criticized them during the worst of the recession for not heavily discounting and for budging very little on ticket prices and deals. They took their lumps in attendance, but stayed strong, kept their revenue up, and built great attractions instead of puckering up. As I predicted would happen during that crisis, Universal has managed to take a chunk out of Disney this year because Disney had a hard time seeing past the panic. I read that Islands of Adventure has been filled to capacity the past few days...the point where they could let nobody else in. As much as I loathe Harry Potter, there's no denying that Universal did it up right, and there's no denying that there are still a lot of people out there that love him. Long term success for Harry...we'll see, but for now he's king of Orlando.
Published: December 30, 2010 at 4:11 PMIt has been the most crowded I have ever seen the parks. Those who have never been are not getting the true feel of what the parks can offer, and I worry that they will get a bad taste and not want to experience the parks again.
Published: December 30, 2010 at 4:13 PMInteresting comment from Derek. When Actually Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure was a "well kept secret" as you could often purchase an annual pass for the price of a "length" of stay pass (7 days for the price of 2 full days). We purchased annual passes for $100/pp/year.
The year that Harry Potter opened, their rates doubled across the board. What use to be a less expensive alternative to Disney, basically for families on a budget, to now direct competition with Disney on price. Personally, we were sadden by their greed and now have passes to Disney World. It will be a while before we head back to US/IOA.
Glad the area is doing well, it's been hard hit for the past 3 years and it shows in the appearance of the parks. Even at Disney, things that normally would have been repaired within hours were still not fixed by the time we left. Sad... Hopefully 2011 will bring not only some reliable attendance, but some much needed funds to keep all the parks looking great.
Admittedly, Sea World always looks great, but they don't even try to pretend they are Disney or US/IOA. They do their own thing and it serves them well...
Published: December 30, 2010 at 4:42 PMI agree with your six reasons. I'll add one more, Disneyland, USF/IOA and Seaworld are great products. Quality always wills out.
Thanks for the good post!
Published: December 30, 2010 at 8:16 PMI hadn't considered the Mexican connection, but that's a very good point, Robert. I think some judicious discounting is also helping to bring folks in and keeping them there thru the holidays. I've received holiday period offers from three of the biggies this year, and I expect that until consumer confidence climbs back up, that will continue.
Published: December 31, 2010 at 6:25 AMVery good reasons Robert.
I also think another 2 reasons are:
-since the economy was bad for some time people weren't going on vacation either so maybe now it was time already to go back on vacation, and spend some of the money they didn't spend the last couple of years. (saying yeeze things are bad I don't think we're going on vacation this year!)
-after all is Disney! (...Universal/Seaworld) The point being, parks are going to be awful this time a year, but I'm guessing for a lot of people that is still better than no Disney in 2010. Having to wait until next year's Christmas to go on vacation again. Plus even if awfully crowded I'm willing to bet it is better to say "Hey George, what did you did on Christmas?" - Me and the family went to Disney World... v.s. Ahhg nothing we stay at home and did nothing...
Published: December 31, 2010 at 9:17 AMHum, a theme park close to home is cheaper than a longer trip, even with Disney/Universal prices. But a trip to a major theme park is not cheaper than skiing and much more expensive than a sun and beach or a city holiday.
Published: December 31, 2010 at 10:33 AMAt what ski resort can you get a cheaper hotel room than you can find in Orlando? As for tickets, a five-day adult lift ticket at Vail/Beaver Creek costs $385, compared with a five-day Walt Disney World ticket at just $237 ($291 if you add the park-hopper option). Plus, at Vail, you also would need to add the costs of equipment rental and ski school - with no equivalent cost for vacationing at Disney World, since you don't need special equipment or training to go to a theme park.
Sorry, the data shows that skiing is waaay more expensive than visiting theme parks.