We all know the London side hinged on whether Hogsmeade drew in crowds and generated revenue. I think it took them all of about six months to put the Gringotts ride and Hogwarts Express from paper to reality while figuring out how to fit it all in the sister park.
It would be like visiting in 2014 and only the Express and shops are open with "Gringotts Dark Ride coming in 2017" signs all over the place.
Too bad Disney doesn't move with the swiftness of Universal when it comes to construction. They managed to put up Transformers in record time while working on everything else, including the New Simpsons area and the Cabana Bay.
I Respond: Why? I mean ... what's the rush?
TPI (11/7/13): "Disney reported that theme park revenue increased 9% during the year, to $14.1 billion. The company reported that both Walt Disney World and the Disneyland Resort hit record attendance numbers for the year..."
To paraphrase: We will open Disneyland in phases forever....
As for New Fantasyland... the awkwardness of phases seemed to be due to the late addition of the coaster more than anything else. If James Cameron's World of Avatar is planned better and phased better, it won't matter one bit.
As for comparisons to the Wizarding World, both New Fantasyland and the upcoming Avatar areas were/are entirely new expansions, while Potter was a retheme + one new ride. Sort of an apples and oranges comparison, imho.
Disney can divert attention from this a little better than USF/IOA because Disney has more going on to choose from, but regardless, if I was going to spend some fat stacks bringing my family here for a vacation and loved Avatar, I might put it off until the whole attraction is complete.
That's a dangerous game for any theme park resort because when people wait to spend money, life can suddenly get in the way and that disposable income is gone.
Just my opinion.
I consider the opening of Fantasyland to be 2014, not when its first parts opened. I wouldn't take the time to visit the Magic Kingdom until all of it is there. I can't imagine having visited Cars Land without Radiator Springs Racers completed, even though its at the back of the new section.
Seriously, I think the whole thing is a matter of approach and appearance. If Disney hadn't announced that Avatar would come in phases, and built a fully-realized entrance and nice first ride, I don't think anyone would have a problem. But going into KNOWING it's not complete is going to make some people wonder "why bother 'til it's done?". And Heaven help them if they do the same thing they did with Fantasy Land and leave a giant construction hole in the middle of the thing for 3 years, 'cause that would completely lift you out of the magic.
Second, I'm assuming this means certain phases will open before 2017. If they're talking about opening in phases with dates like 2017, 2018, and 2019, that is not good. Why is Disney so slow? Part of me thinks they dragged out the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train to have something big that opened the same year as Harry Potter in 2014.
So for me, with my set of circumstances, despite the construction going on with the seven dwarves mine cart ride, and it not looking magical, better to see my wife's eyes sparkle as we ate our lunch in the ballroom of the Be Our Guest Cafe etc., than having to wait years to experience that.
The theme park goer can't plan for these things. Thus, I suppose that's why Disney fans aren't waiting for these projects. Maybe that's why you don't see any effect on park attendance. Either you care, or you don't. Neither will affect whether you will go.
The phased opening of Avatar will just drive me to wait longer for a vacation. The decision to go is driven by the overall increase in rides and attractions than a mere one or two new additions. I supposed Disney's goals with WDW is the tourist market where year to year changes mean little to a tourist.
What's the rush? Well, in my opinion, it is opening a land while the movie you based it on is still relevant. What if the next couple Avatar movies are terrible?
Always some sort of defense for Disney's decisions....
I Respond: "Expect?" Where does do these expectations exist? (Insert Seinfeld voice) Who are these "people"?
NB writes: "What's the rush? Well, in my opinion, it is opening a land while the movie you based it on is still relevant."
I Respond: Assuming the success of the finished work is dependent on the relevancy of the film and not the quality of the work (attractions, area developments, etc.) itself.
NB writes: "What if the next couple Avatar movies are terrible?"
I Respond: What if they're not?
NB writes: "Always some sort of defense for Disney's decisions...."
I Respond: Asking questions constitutes a "defense?" Um ... okay.
Phases are fine.
(Edit) I feel like I should explain myself...
Basically, because Disney has a massive fan base and the bank accounts are stocked with cash, they can deliver new projects on whatever time table they feel is appropriate because the people will show up in droves anyways. I guess "They will get it when they get it" is good enough.
I honestly think the fans are last thing on their minds... That is why I'm such a fan of Universal. I like their "Let's get this done in record time regardless of the costs" attitude.
Sorry, I guess I expect a lot more from the company I have poured thousands upon thousands into every year. Which is why we keep coming back.
I agree that it would have made more sense with the New Fantasyland to have the mine train done first and maybe had the outer edge attractions open later if they wanted to do it in phases.... I wonder if the reason Disney did it that way in this example though.... was because originally the Seven Dwarfs mine train was not expected to be part of the expansion.... but actually something they came back with when they realized their first set of plans released were not impressive enough for fans and they needed the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train to really make the expansion be something to get excited about for many fans.
I am excited about the new Fantasyland regardless of the roll out order though..... but I do think the idea of working toward the outer edges instead of starting with them and working inward works better. I myself though, chose to wait until the whole land was completed to visit. So I really have yet to see New Fantasyland.
I think New Fantasyland is a bit different in that the first phase was essentially a moving and reimagining of existing attractions (Storybook Circus), while the second phase brought the real meat and potatoes of the expansion (Little Mermaid, Be Our Guest, etc...) with the E-ticket (Seven Dwarves Mine Train) coming last.
With the case of Avatar, I really don't understand the need to phase it in....The area is conceivably taking space in the park that will be completely closed off, so it really doesn't make much sense to open it up unless it's mostly done. Now if one of the attractions is not quite ready when the "grand opening" happens, I don't think that's such a big deal (I seem to recall that IOA opened before Spiderman was finished). However, if you're walking into a brand new land with just a couple of things open and a bunch of construction walls up, I think that's a huge mistake and is a big middle finger to guests who can't swing a trip to Orlando every year.
However, if they have a true "second phase" of development planned for Avatar (meaning a second e-ticket, or multiple smaller attractions in a seperate area beyond the existing footprint of Camp Minnie Mickey), then it's not such a big deal.
Theme parks are always evolving, and if guests are always waiting for the newest stuff to open, they will never visit or at least never satisfied with their trip. However, to open a land with just a few things or one or two attractions just to open it; or to say "Avatar Phase 1 is open" so the marketers can spread the "newness" over multiple years, that does a huge disservice to the theme park guest, and could ultimately lead to dissatisfaction and guests not wanting to come back to see phase 2 or 3 or beyond. Avatar is a land that is unrelatable to the rest of DAK, unlike New Fantasyland, so it must have a complete narative in order to make sense. Opening it one piece or attraction at a time just isn't going to cut it. Now if Phase 1 is the forests of Pandora with the rumored "Soarin'-style" e-ticket, boat ride, and other smaller attractions and Phase 2 is the oceans of Pandora or some completely other envisioning complete with its own e-ticket and other related attractions, then Disney will be just fine with this phased opening plan.
It is quite a bit of an annoyance. We happened to visit last October, right between the "soft" open and the cast member previews, so we didn't get a chance to see Phase 2 of New Fantasyland. Phase 1 was very nice, and an obvious improvement over the backside of Fantasyland from before. However, the giant construction zone right smack dab in the middle of the area was, and continues to be, quite an eyesore.
We deliberately chose not to go again this fall since the land still wouldn't be completely open, and are instead planning a trip next fall (also well after the debut of Diagon Alley) to experience the whole of New Fantasyland. Personally, I think if you should always work from the inside out, but in this case, since the former Dumbo area was so critical to the expansion plans that the ride had to be moved first and immediately reopened because of the ride's significance, the reasoning behind the phase opening makes sense. Disney has some explaining to do if the phased opening of Avatar is not two distinct sub-lands.
Avater is also build in a place that can be locked of from the main park. It would make sense for Disney to open their night time show around the tree of life first, companioning it with the "shine a flashlight in the face of animals" thing they planned to open.For Avatar they should open it all at once. It got only 2 simple rides and their building is part of the theme so people visiting should get the whole experience and I thing the land needs it to win the many non fans of the movie over. Disney has an enormous amount of cash so their is no need to smear this out of many years. And if the coming Avatar movies are successful they can start putting up construction walls to add some more rides for a park that need more then 2 rides added.
I Respond: There's a first time for everything.
Nothing wrong with a little debating on TPI. That is what I love about this site. No knuckleheads calling each other vile names, just a civil difference of opinions.
I'm sure you and I will get along great when we finally met up for a cocktail some day. I'm buying... doubles.... Oh, and it has to be at Universal. I'll have your parking validated.
I Respond: The only "opinion" I have posted on this thread is "Truth be told, the construction site in the middle of Fantasyland is unsightly. But whether or not Pandora is opened in phases is less important than how it is opened. If the construction does not impede site lines then ... meh."
And you disagree with that?
Your constant need to get in the last word on any debate and quote people with "I respond" is hilarious to me.... now I just do it so see what you will come up with next.
Oh and while I have your attention, it's weak sauce when a theme park resort in Orlando charges hotel guests to park.
I Respond: That is your opinion stated as fact, and I happen to disagree.
Or, they could just tack on $20 a night to the room rates, like Disney does and call it "free". Recently leaked internal memos from Disney prove my case....
Just having some fun.... Don't take these threads too seriously. TH obviously isn't buying the fake leaked Disney memo story I decided to make up to annoy him...
Thank you everyone ... Good night!