So just how worried are the $ people about the very slow start at DCA? It was beyond wonderful to have the place to ourselves the first 4 days but empty is not good. The rain this week won't help either. How many people do the expect this weekend? :rolleyes:
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Thread: How worried is Disney?
02-12-2001 02:32 PM #1
- Join Date
- Nov 2000
- Tustin, CA
How worried is Disney?As long as there is a parking place, we are THERE!
02-12-2001 03:04 PM #2
- Join Date
- Nov 2000
- Kissimmee FL
The CM's I spoke with at Grand Californian said they were surprised at the low turnout, but they expect Spring break to be the first mad rush. After all Disney knew it was the middle of the week and February.
It's exactly like how they did the preview days, it helped train CM's with slower crowds then what will be expected later.
Personally I think it's great, we got the park to ourselves, and CM's continuue to get more training in. I know Disney wishes they had a larger turnout for opening day, but I doubt they are worried. The big test is the summer season to come.Darren
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02-13-2001 06:28 AM #3
- Join Date
- Nov 2000
- san diego, ca
I think it may have to do with the pricetag. I know I know this has been brought up before but seriously. People who know about the park, know that it's not as grand as Disneyland, nor as big as Knotts or Magic Mountain. So why $43 they ask. I understand Disney's thinking behind the pricing but it is overpricing no matter how you look at it. Thats not to say that I'm not going to go mind you. Equal pay for equal parks. Equal park for equal pay. But I guess thats utopia.booya cashah!
02-13-2001 07:27 AM #4
- Join Date
- Jul 1999
- San Diego, CA
It's hard to say...we are in winter still, school is in session, and it has been down right cold!
But, the AP Preview days were busy...we are trying to visit as much as possible right now, because we know the low attendance days are not going to last.
02-13-2001 12:19 PM #5
- Join Date
- Feb 2001
- UC Santa Cruz / Anaheim Hills, CA
They shouldn't be worried. Come summer the place is gonna be swamped. So everyone come out and enjoy the park while you still can.DCA Foods (former) CM. Opening Team!!
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02-13-2001 07:07 PM #6
I actually was able to visit the park (my third visit) during my lunch hour. I hopped on to Soaring, then the Sun Wheel and It's Tough To Be A Bug! on my way out. It was great. Granted it was rainy and cold, but I know once the storm passes things are going to change...
02-14-2001 06:15 AM #7
New theme park gets wet reception
Weather hits attendance at new 'California Adventure'
By Russ Britt & Deborah Adamson, CBS.MarketWatch.com
Last Update: 6:26 PM ET Feb 12, 2001
ANAHEIM, Calif. (CBS.MW) - The skies clouded over the grand opening of Walt Disney Co.'s newest theme park over the weekend, cutting into attendance and dampening its premiere.
Disney's "California Adventure" opened Thursday to less-than-expected attendance for its first day, and it appears that interest was down throughout much of the weekend.
"We had two-thirds of the attendance we expected," on opening day, said Ray Gomez, spokesman for Disneyland Resorts.
Officials at Disney (DIS: news, msgs) would not comment on how many showed up in subsequent days. Initially, the company said attendance at California Adventure met its projections and that officials were pleased.
Disney shares were up 56 cents to $32.51 Monday.
But it appears attendance Friday, Saturday and Sunday was roughly one-third to two-thirds of the park's 30,000-person capacity. Park workers said California Adventures was one-third full on Saturday, a day in which the park was hit by constant rainfall.
On Sunday, attendance was similar. Rain hit much of Southern California that day although the skies were relatively dry around the park. Lines for even the most major attractions were roughly 15 minutes long on Sunday, short by Disneyland comparisons.
While Gomez won't disclose how California Adventure did over the weekend, saying only it was within expectations, he mentioned that attendance will increase as the weather improves. Gomez expects attendance at the new theme park to ramp up during spring break and the summer season.
Analysts attributed the lackluster attendance to rainy weather and the decision by Disney to hold off promoting it until late in the game.
"The weather was terrible. It was horrible," said David Miller, Sutro & Co. analyst who was at the park on Saturday. Miller also said attendance might have been hurt by pre-opening hype that could have scared off those who feared large crowds.
Miller pointed out that bookings at the new Grand Californian hotel adjacent to California Adventure were high - exceeding 90 percent.
"It's too early to make an assumption," Miller said.
Laura Martin, analyst with Credit Suisse First Boston, said it could have been hurt by weather, but there are a number of things to watch. For one, the park has less than half the rides as Disneyland, but admission is the same for each: $43.
Disney also didn't want to take attendance away from Disneyland prior to the opening, so it waited until just before the opening to start promoting it, she added. There also is a question of whether the entire park's theme - a tour of the Golden State Disney-style - will resonate with park goers.
"The theme may not be appealing to people," Martin said. "You do have to watch to make sure the numbers go up."
Disney seems undeterred. Gomez said that Disney expects to get its permits for a third theme park in Anaheim in about a year or so. Disney owns some 80 acres of nearby land and also bought a farm close to the park. California Adventure and Disneyland are next to each other.
The third park is expected by 2010, he said.
02-14-2001 06:23 AM #8
California Adventure crowds still sparse
TOURISM: Disney cites rain and the off-season opening for the low attendance -- and says it is optimistic about the spring.
February 13, 2001
By DANIELLE HERUBIN
The Orange County Register
ANAHEIM - Even Mickey Mouse, dressed in California hiking garb, couldn't get crowds out to Disney's new theme park, California Adventure, over the weekend.
"It was deserted," said Al Lutz, a Disneyland expert who runs MousePlanet.com, a Web site devoted to Disney trivia, reviews and information.
Disney, the city of Anaheim and local traffic officials had warned the public for months that they expected big crowds after the park's opening. But attendance has been light since Thursday's debut.
Disney officials are downplaying the smaller-than-expected crowds. Spokesman Ray Gomez said rainy weather has been a factor. Also, Disney deliberately opened the park in the off-season to keep crowds manageable, he said.
"We anticipate attendance will ramp up significantly as we enter the spring-break season," Gomez said.
Disney had hoped for big crowds last weekend. Signs on the Santa Ana (I-5) Freeway routed people to Edison Field's parking lot, considered almost a last resort if Disney's 20,480 parking spaces are filled.
There was no need for the overflow parking.
Guests said lines for most rides were non-existent. Some visitors said they rode some of the most popular rides - such as Soarin' Over California and California Screamin' -- six to eight times in a row.
Disney does not release its park attendance figures. Capacity at California Adventure is about 30,000 people.
MousePlanet published these attendance estimates - based on park records, Lutz said -- for the opening weekend:
* Thursday: Expected attendance - 38,000 (some visitors would leave and new ones would enter); actual -- 14,000
* Friday: Expected - 38,000; actual - 11,000
* Saturday: Expected - 38,000; actual - 10,000
* Sunday: Expected - 38,000; actual - 10,000 to 15,000
02-14-2001 06:27 AM #9
Orange County Register
By Johathan Lansner
New park still a work in progess
February 13, 2001
The defining anecdote to California Adventure's "Lost Weekend" was prime dining hour Saturday night, seemingly a hot ticket at a food-centric amusement park. At the signature culinary spot, Wolfgang Puck's Avalon Cove, one could get served without a reservation. Heck, the lines for the McDonald's burgers around the boardwalk were longer.
So please forget how Disney officials try to spin the dreadful first weekend attendance. One thing is clear: California Adventure is, at best, a work in progress.
Sure, the weather stunk. Certainly, "Crowds Expected!" headlines scared away some. Yes, bunches of the Disneyland faithful already had seen the new park at numerous previews before Thursday's grand unveiling. In addition, with 20-20 hindsight, Disney parks have a long history of opening poorly.
Still, in a town that loves hype, how come the new park's hoopla flopped big time with the general public?
Thursday's small opening-
day crowds proved to be only a preview of a sad weekend. The new park, a celebration of the state's glory, mimicked a page from California's history as a ghost town. Park staffers who on Day One hoped that crowds were coming over the weekend, resorted to gallows humor about the sparse attendance come Sunday night.
Hey, Disney must now deal with some thorny issues. Making these hurdles trickier are that some challenges are out of their own control.
A most obvious concern is buzz that despite its $1.4 billion price tag, the new park is modest in scope and amusement. California Adventure weighs heavy on cutting-edge atmosphere and neon -- a stark contrast to the venerable sibling across the way.
So when the price tag is the same for both parks, well, we learn that tradition and value may rule. Let's be honest. Disneyland is a legend. A classic. Americana at its finest. The original formula has proven to be tough competition for outsiders to beat for decades.
If you saw the healthy and energetic crowd at the old park Sunday while neighboring California Adventure seemed quiet, you witnessed the odd competitive equation. It's an intriguing puzzle for Disney.
A solid marketing track record, though, doesn't inoculate Disney from mistakes in this town.
Just peek across Anaheim to the two sports arenas and there you'll find Disney's Ducks and Angels desperately struggling to keep their respective fan bases.
Plus, maybe California Adventure's timing is off step.
You know, there's been enough negative talk about the economy going around these days to worry even eternal optimists. Now we won't debate the veracity of this downturn chatter, just note it could influence wallets to shut tight -- especially for a $43 extravagance like a California Adventure ticket.
Yes, it's just one lousy weekend. Maybe a year or a decade from now, it'll be an amusing tidbit from what became a heady success story. Still, for now, the past weekend is a painful warning sign from Mickey & Co.
Whether it's the park or the economy or the marketing -- or a smorgasbord of each -- one can bet that Disney executives are scrambling to seek a final answer to a $1.4 billion question.
Copyright 2001 The Orange County Register
[ February 14, 2001: Message edited by: yensid ]
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