The BLOG FLUME - Good Days, Bad Days, Gay Days...

Pleasure Island may have found a new method of operation, the Disney Stores a new operator, Universal a new method of advertising and Gay Days a new homebase. But Eisner is still on the same old lost cause...

Written by Kevin Baxter
Published: June 5, 2004 at 1:15 PM

MousePlanet - Jun 4

Apparently Pleasure Island's new open-door policy is doing well for WDW. Bars located outside the clubs are reportedly doing swift traffic. Of course, what is good for Disney isn't necessarily good for the paying guests, as usual, since long lines are reported for all the clubs. It seems you have to scan your admission ticket to get in. Why couldn't they just go to a two-color bracelet system? One color for Over-21 and one for Paid Admission? Duh.

Orlando Sentinel - Jun 4

Disney is very close to selling off almost all its failing Disney Stores. The new company, a children's clothing chain, looks like it will continue with the stores as they are, which doesn't have many analysts impressed. They believe there are still way too many of them out there. Maybe if the buyer combined the stores?

Anyhow, the Stores are expected to fetch $500M or so, which doesn't seem like much of a return on investment, but Disney will continue to earn licensing fees, so all is well as long as this company isn't as incompetent as the previous owner. Honestly, Paul Pressler was doing a bang-up job here when he was tapped to head the theme parks. So TWO strong Disney businesses failed because of one pisspoor career move. Good going, Eisner!

Orlando Sentinel - Jun 4

Orlando's Gay Days were back this week and they were expected to be the biggest ever. 125,000 guests (or so) came and threw their "disposable income" all over the Orlando area.

The funny thing is the Sentinel talks about how this may be the most beneficial group (for local businesses) to hit Orlando, but then claims the group tends to never leave WDW property. It also claims SeaWorld and Universal have done little to court these crowds. From past events, I would have to say that is untrue, as some official "Days" switched over to the two parks and IOA even held an after-hours party in Marvel Super Hero Island. BUT apart from parties at the Hard Rock, mostly everything seems to be happening away from the I-Drive parks.

Maybe Disney is courting them secretly? Entirely possible, since there seem to be far more PI nights than in years past, not to mention the "non-sponsored" events happening at Disney-owned restaurants and the like. Then again, the Wyndham Resort in Downtown Disney appears to be a host hotel, with a zillion different events, so maybe they are just trying to keep things a little more centralized. I can't imagine thousands of people happy with having to spend an entire day at Animal Kingdom!

Orlando Sentinel - Jun 3

Eisner seems to be trying a different tack every week when it comes to Pixar. This week seems to be "I would love to continue our working relationship" week. Eisner is such an "eternal optimist" that he still believes a deal is not only possible, but in "Pixar's best interests" to make one.

Yeah, right. Recent box office tells a different story. Disney seems completely unable to open a film big on the domestic market. Raising Helen won't even see the end of June, and it was supposed to be the film that made everyone forget about Disney's last two duds, Home on the Range and The Alamo. Instead, it just made everyone remember them even more! Make a deal with them on the sequels, and maybe foreign distribution, but make a deal with a competent domestic distributor. Which would be everybody BUT Disney! Though I am still holding out for Universal!

Orlando Sentinel - Jun 4

Apparently Universal has some ads out there which aren't Universal ads. At least at first. Commercials have aired recently for the website, which has little games like punching your boss and humorous articles. Eventually you click on something and up comes the Universal website.

Burger King's similar approach - inappropriate acts with a guy in a chicken suit! - has gotten more than 230 million hits. Almost as many as my columns! So these things get attention. But do they result in actual customers? While I don't think a Burger King site will necessarily make people hungry, a vacation site does put that suggestion in people's minds and can possibly sway those who haven't decided on a summer vacation destination yet.

Then again, there are those who will eventually figure out the whole thing is just a commercial and might save a little ire for the little theme parks that could...

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