Friday, January 04, 2013

Disney's motives for new Fantasyland

This article in the Orlando Sentinel talks about the new Fantasyland at WDW and the motives behind the project.  Apparently Disney began to get the message that overcrowding at Fantasyland is not a pleasant experience for many people.  The article refers to a survey in Oprah's magazine where two-thirds of respondents said WDW was the "toughest place to be" in the summer.  The new Fantasyland is viewed as a "routine capital investment", rather than a major project.
...the Fantasyland work is chiefly a defensive investment, designed to ensure that the Magic Kingdom — already the busiest theme park in the world, with 17 million annual visitors — does not choke on its own crowds.
By easing congestion and reducing wait times, Disney hopes to create a more pleasant experience inside its busiest theme park — and ensure that visitors will want to return for future visits. Ensuring a positive experience in the Magic Kingdom, the cornerstone of Disney's vacation empire, also makes it more likely that travelers will then visit the company's other parks, sail on its cruise ships and book its guided tours.
Interestingly, the article says that attendance at WDW has been slipping lately, although spending is up due to increased prices. 

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