Park of the Week: Islands of Adventure

Missed Opportunities.

July 7, 2021, 3:22 PM

This Thread will be for Missed Opportunities by a Theme Park and or Movie company.

As I was watching Men in Black International last week, there was a fight scene where Agent H (Chris Hemsworth\Thor) was in a fierce battle. During this battle there was a small looking Sledgehammer on the floor just out of his reach as he was being held back. As he reached out for it, all I could think of was that hammer jumping to his hand. Just like in Thor.

But nothing happened. All I could think of was what a missed opportunity. The hammer could have jumped into his hand, and he could have made some cheesy comment like ‘That was odd’ as he looked into the camera inquisitively. It could have been a great moment.

Next Miss: Disney’s Splash Mountain.

As you are probably aware Disney rethemed Splash Mountain from Song of the South to The Princess and the Frog. But did they miss a great Opportunity?

When I heard the ride would be rethemed fir first thing that jumped into me little brain was – Coco.. One of my all-time favorites. The music, songs and fluorescent colors would have been a perfect match for Splash Mountain.

Please feel free to add something that might have been a Missed Opportunity.

Replies (27)

Edited: July 7, 2021, 4:48 PM

I think the MIB International example was missed intentionally. They set up the obvious gag and passed, knowing that the audience would anticipate it anyway.

July 7, 2021, 4:53 PM

I'll play!

I have a vague memory of concept art of Universal Studios Florida. Tucked away in part of the drawing was the Delta house from 'Animal House' -- which I assume would've been a bar ... A very crowded bar, that would've had a gift shop that sold truckloads of shirts and stuff.

July 7, 2021, 11:38 PM

IMO the biggest missed opportunity in the history of the industry was in the late 90's/early 2000's when Michael Eisner decided to half ass a major expansion of DLR and build DCA instead of something better. That was a huge flop in a major market where whatever they built should have been an easy slam dunk, and considering how landlocked that property is that was like the one chance at a major expansion in a generation.

Another major missed opportunity was the Orlando Thrill Park. It was a project that was going to be like CP in Orlando (probably not as big or have as many coasters, but it had several record breakers planned). I don't remember who the developer was but things got pretty far before getting derailed by NIMBY, and now that Sea World/Universal are trying to capture that market share a project like this will never happen. I think a park like that would be a huge hit in Orlando particularly with international visitors

July 8, 2021, 2:09 AM

Another one I can think of is pretty much everything related to CGA especially after Cedar Fair bought the Paramount Parks. SFGAm has always been the cash cow of the two, opening the worlds tallest and fastest coasters several times as well as many prototypes, while CGA on the other hand basically went into hiding. Meanwhile the area its in became one of the wealthiest and most booming regions of anywhere in the world. Dick Kinzel had decided that the land was worth more as a football stadium and gave up trying to make the park good, I remember him saying in an interview that he didn't plan on keeping CGA as part of the Cedar Fair family, and this was while he was CEO still in charge of the park. I know CGA is historically has had worse neighbors than SFGAm but still if they could find a way to build an NFL stadium next to it, i'm sure if their execs in the past had some foresight, they could've made it into a great park.

July 8, 2021, 12:46 PM

The Imagineers series touches on scores of ones, the biggest being "WestCot" with Eisener all but openly admitting how bad he blew it. He also acknowledged problems of Disneyland Paris with too many resorts and such.

Also the "America" theme park which had some good stuff planned and such. Eisner says that under other circumstances, he'd have gone through but between Frank Wells dying, Katzenberg leaving, buying ABC and his own health issues, it didn't work out.

And of course, the miss of Disney passing on Harry Potter land.

July 8, 2021, 3:06 PM

Naaaaaah, Eisner did fine.

July 9, 2021, 1:30 AM

I agree either did good things such as opening up disney cruise line! And expanding disney into foreign countrys (bad then but it set up steps for the future)

July 9, 2021, 10:03 AM

I liked Eisner because he dramatically empowered Disney globally -- ending any chance another company could launch a hostile takeover or even really compete.

July 9, 2021, 11:33 AM

For all the slams Eisner gets (and much of it deserved), it can't be forgotten how bad Disney was when he took over. He pushed major developments for Florida and expanded overseas while helping establish the movie division. Sure, he made mistakes, what CEO doesn't but without him, not just Disney but the entire theme park industry looking a lot different today.

Edited: July 9, 2021, 1:16 PM

Quote : "...ending any chance another company could ... or even really compete." >> that sounds 100% as a broker ad.
..
From customers viewpoint :
What's wrong with (any) other company who would really compete ?
THAT would have sharpened Disney's attitude to be better. Especially, better in the quality of emersive storytelling. As that is, what they always claimed to be good in !??
A claim is not good enough. Disney itself walked away from it !!
Disney lowered itself to a panic reaction... of auto-Six-Flagisation.
Yes, under Eisner and not yet completely ended nowadays, with still more stupid NON-story telling (semi-)thrill rides popping up, non stop 1990-2020.

Disney can NEVER compete on thrill, with the typical thrill-only oriented parks. Those other parks, can NEVER compete on pure story telling, with Disney in the first place, Universal 2nd, then selected independent theme parks spread over the world (90% mainly in Europe).
A REAL new competitor to Disney (into PURE storytelling) would have forced Disney to provide new quality in it's core business, without a childish escape to thrill and carnival rides.

The missed opportunity for Disney, is : occurence of real competition !
(Universal is just 50% such, as they still orient as 50% thrill rides park..)
This is a core customers viewpoint, NOT stockholders viewpoint, but most stockholders do not have any contentwise insight (99% of cases ?)... << most have mixed investments, and it does not interest them at all what companies are doing, they only look at average RoI.

In the meanwile, they DO understand the historic massive missed opportinity, with Disney. The legacy of the auto-Six-Flagisation is financially huge, and getting rid of lots of carnival ride sections in most of their parks, is not so easy to do, because those ALSO consumed investment capital money...
My best guess is, that Disney RE-reconversion to 100% real storytelling parks, will take another 20 years from now to complete.
The 1990-ies panic , will cost them 50 years of recovery...
FIFTY
Food for thought.

July 10, 2021, 6:59 AM

HD: "Food for thought."

Me: Or not.

July 10, 2021, 9:55 AM

I did not make that post to spark a debate about whether Michael Eisner was a good CEO for his entire time or not I just pointed our he messed up DLR's expansion. I think we all know he did a lot of things at first that modernized the company and saved it from being taken over by corporate raiders.

July 10, 2021, 10:24 AM

Again, why would it haven been bad, if the company had been taken over ?
Which specific 'raiders' do you have in mind ?
Just a new set of stakeholders, nothing else contentwise... ?
After all, the original company which was in the hands of the Disney family originally, already changed hands on corporate level by the 'inner business corporate raiders', killing OUT of the company, the Disney family... :-)
The one known 'raider' Comcast, wanted to buy in 2004 (and that's also under Iger as president !) and again, would that have been "so bad" ? ...

Edited: July 10, 2021, 1:17 PM

HD: "Again, why would it haven been bad, if the company had been taken over ? Which specific 'raiders' do you have in mind?"

Me: You need to learn a lot more about Disney history. The first serious raider was Saul Steinberg's effort back in 1984. At the time, his takeover model was to seize control of a company, attempt to earn some greenmail pay-off, or finish the acquisition and then break it up and sell the individual assets to different corporations. Imagine a Holiday Inn sign in front of the Contemporary. So yeah, it would have been bad.

HD: "The one known 'raider' Comcast, wanted to buy in 2004 (and that's also under Iger as president !)"

Me: I love the fact that you punctuated that post with an exclamation point to add emphasis to your incorrect statement.

Again, Steinberg 1984 -- twenty years ahead of Comcast's attempt.

Also Michael Eisner was in charge when Comcast made its run at Disney in 2004 -- not Iger.

CNN Money (02/18/2004): "Comcast Corp. made a surprise, unsolicited offer to buy Walt Disney Co. for $54 billion Wednesday, a deal that would create the world's biggest media company."

Disney's announcement that Iger would be promoted to CEO was made in March 2005.

BIG swing and a miss!

July 10, 2021, 4:27 PM

If Steinberg had succeeded in '84, Disney as we know it would not exist today and don't tell me "oh, then the world is a better place" given the ramifications across theme parks/movies, etc.

July 10, 2021, 4:53 PM

TH, you need to read the correct words, instead of making a fool of yourself (once again) > (and that's also under Iger as president !) consists of 7 words, all meaningfull, even the last one.
lol

Edited: July 10, 2021, 5:12 PM

@Mike W; Indeed. Too often it is believed that Disney reacts to its (for lack of a better word) competitor's expansions. I think it is reasonable to assert that its competitors expand because Disney's absolute DOMINANCE in themed entertainment leaves them no choice.

Edited: July 10, 2021, 5:17 PM

Herwig Delvaux you were wrong when you claimed Comcast was the first to attempt a takeover of Disney. You were wrong when you claimed that Iger was running Disney (Eisner was) when Comcast tried to take over Disney.

July 10, 2021, 8:30 PM

I missed an opportunity to visit Hard Rock Park. That will always haunt me.

July 10, 2021, 10:45 PM

I think it’s clear that Pandora and Galaxy’s Edge were reactions and influenced by the success of Hogsmede and Diagon Alley.

Edited: July 11, 2021, 4:16 AM

TH, you are a master in turning around words in the mouth of somemone else ; words that NEVER have been written.
You do that always again and again and again.
WHERE have I written that Comcast was "the first" ? Nowhere. (For all people on earth that can read.)
Where have I claimed that Iger was CEO at that moment (You turn around your own words now with using 'running' instead of 'CEO', another word I myself wrote nowhere at all, it will not save your irritant trolling intentions.
Iger was Disney President 2000-2012, he was CEO 2005-2005, he was COO 2000-2005, and again Chairman 2012-'now'. There is more then ONE top-function at the Disney co, and important final decisions are nessessarily made in concord. Eisner was CEO from 1984-2005, he never was president, but he was also Chairman 1984-2004. In the period Eisner was CEO het met 3 different presidents (Wells, Ovitz and Iger). All those guys just move from one seat to another and overlap each other most of the time. NO-ONE can be whitewashed from top-decisionmaking in favour of another one (unless they disapear totally from the company).

July 12, 2021, 2:53 PM

A couple of thoughts...

I'm not sure what TH and Herwig are arguing about, and I even broke out my secret decoder ring to see if either of them were sending encrypted messages, but I got nothing. So in the spirit of cooperation, I suggest that they settle this argument over a couple of beers at Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar the next time Herwig is at WDW. Of course they'd probably start arguing over who has better beer - North America or Europe, but at least they'd be in Disney Springs - the best non-theme park, theme park IN THE WORLD!

And for the record, I'm nominating Herwig as the TPI member whose name is most likely to get used in a future J.K. Rowling book. If Mrs. Rowling ever peruses this website, Herwig is certain to get major character status at the very least.

And getting this thread back on track, I'd say that all of the major park chains have missed a major opportunity by not getting the theme park rights to the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. This may have more to do with a certain descendant of Tolkien than the theme park chains, but for whatever reason, this is the biggest missed opportunity in the theme park world today.

August 5, 2021, 3:25 AM

I certainly note down the name of that Springs' JLH Bar.
However, I recommend "Gouden Carolus Classic" , to Tim Hillman. It is a beer. :-) No theme park in the world does have it on the catering offerings. Biggest missed opportunity ever :-) :-) :-) ...
Back to the Springs' JLH Bar, from the menu : " Stella Artois Lager - Belgium
$11.00" It's the most basic lager over here. Common price for 25cc : 1.8 à 2.2 € .. haha. What does it make special, overseas ? (Mystery...)

August 5, 2021, 5:52 AM

Back on track: I agree with TH that Animal House would be great. A bar and a shop, but it does not have to be a missed opportunity. There is plenty of space for Universal Orlando to stick it over by the Mummy. I once joked that in the new theme park they should build a billion dollar ride through Delta House dark ride like Forbidden Journey. The finale could be ‘ramming speed’ then give you a beer as you exit. To me Universal has the need to dig into their IP, and their Monsters films have been somewhat untapped except for the House of Horrors, which, to this day, has been the single most fun attraction I have ever experienced at a theme park, bar none. It seems like they are doing this at the new park.

Missed opportunities for Disney? I would have to say Star Wars to a certain extent. I will have to explain. First of all it started with having to corporate control the films. I actually loved the Last Jedi, but they let the vocal minority of complainers affect the choices in the next film, which felt like a design by committee instead of a satisfactory conclusion; therefore, some of the overall Star Wars super nerds were disappointed. These would be the people that would pony up for the scam that is the $6000 hotel room. I also thought they went too small for the land. Now, anyone could say, hold on, they spent a ridiculous amount, and that is true, but what they needed was three or four attractions and an all-out assault on immersion. What they have is the best theme park attraction made, but you can only do it once, plus a D ticket and some shops. They needed to out do Potter, and, I am sorry to say, they they did not.

The Disney parks used to focus on providing the best guest experience possible in order to make the most money for them. Now it is how to make the most money possible by trying to provide the best guest experience. The distinction is important. Before it was to provide such an incredible customer service platform that families return every year. Now it is something akin to, “Let’s just get them here for a once in a lifetime trip, get as much money as possible, and we don’t care if they return.” That is also a huge missed opportunity. I can list off incidents from 20-12 years ago where an employee did something at Disney that was unbelievable during our trip. Subsequent visits from 12 year to present nothing similar occurred, and we even noticed rudeness by cast members. Nothing that would detract from enjoyment mind you, but certainly a shift in overall management. Universal has been the exact opposite. Of course my most recent spur-of-the-moment trip was cancelled due to this little bug that is going around, but I will get to both coasts within 18 months.

Finally, I will say I know I have been harsh, and what they are doing with Epcot looks great. I cannot wait to get back to the world showcase and see the new coaster.

August 9, 2021, 12:00 AM

I love to watch someone gaslight... themselves. Can't wait to hear how Epic Universe will have no effect on Disney's attendance or bottom line.

August 9, 2021, 12:21 AM

I believe that Epic Universe will help Disney increase or sustain attendance and will have a positive impact on Disney's bottom line.

But then, we really don't have much to go on. We don't know what attractions will be featured at UEU. We don't know when it will open (2025 or 2026). We don't know how it will open (phased or all at once).

There are a lot of unanswered questions about UEU.

August 9, 2021, 8:44 AM

A theme park built right next to a sewage treatment plant and the acronym for the park sounds like Ewww!

Is this reality or an episode of the Simpsons or South Park?

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