A Bob Iger Come and Get Me Plea….

I have often suspected the senior leadership team at Disney sit poised to read my weekly blog. Having just last Sunday laid out my own personal gripes in great details about the FastPass tiers, specifically at Hollywood Studios, I was pleased, but not too surprised to see them take my thoughts to heart and change things up.

Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway has been added to the top tier of FastPasses at Hollywood Studios. Coincidence? I think not. There may come a point when I need to start invoicing them for my consultancy services.

With three rides now in that tier that can only help to spread the demand out and make it even easier for us to fail in getting one for the two we really now want and begrudgingly settle for one for Slinky Dog.

In terms of career aspirations, I don’t harbour too many any more other than for a better commute and enough money to fund further trips to WDW, but if I could be one of those folks you see wandering around the parks in slacks, a remarkably non-sweaty shirt and an earpiece, then yes a position somewhere within Disney management would appeal. Imagine going to work every day to do something you are truly passionate about. The downside would be that if we did live in Florida I would need to be winched out of my front room within 12 months of our arrival as the smorgasbord of culinary delights on offer would see me behave like some sort of adult Augustus Gloop in a place where everything is seemingly is edible and either covered in Cinnamon or double Cinnamon.

This new railway ride opens in March. Demonstrating once again why this isn’t a blog you should rely on for up to the minute Disney news, I have no clue what this ride is. There are no height restrictions which is good for a party like ours with a Freddie in tow, so it won’t be rivalling Rock n Rollercoaster for thrills, but these family “everyone can join in” rides are for me, really important for WDW. I believe that the whole idea for the parks came from Walt having to sit and watch his daughter’s go on fairground rides without him. There are times when you do want a G force laden thrill a minute ride, but there is equal joy, perhaps more, in watching the face of the younger members of your party experience rides that everyone can do together.

On better Disney blogs than this one I’m also seeing rumours of Disney abolishing free FastPasses and the ability to book them ahead of time. That, to me sounds like a very bad idea. Not only do I not want to pay more for what I now get for free, but Disney must surely realise that the complex planning that a lot of WDW visitors do months in advance is very much part of the trip. The rumour is that you would only be able to buy FastPass privileges on the day and then I guess see what you can get.

That way carnage lies. A trip to WDW is already VERY expensive and no doubt by the time we get back there it’ll be costing somewhere close to $100 to park for the day, so charging for FastPasses as Universal does for off-site guests would be a very unpopular move in my view. Hopefully, it holds as much water as most WDW related rumours do and this never comes to pass.

Knowing as I do that all the top Disney execs read this, here’s my advice –

  • Leave the FastPass system alone
  • Stop increasing parking costs every few weeks
  • You need to either build a fifth park or undertake some major expansion to one or two of the others.

I say the last point as the continual addition of new resorts and rooms means they are pumping more and more guests into parks that have a finite capacity. Sure, there are new rides and lands, but the real estate they are in is pretty much what it always was. There are no longer any real quiet periods at WDW now, with Disney doing a fantastic job of inventing seemingly endless events and festivals to get people in.

This is good, as it gives them higher revenues which to their credit they then re-invest into the parks, but we’re coming to a point now where people will stay away if the very crowded scenes that happen at peak times continue. There’s little to no fun in that scenario.

Now, I do know that in December 2019 Disney bought 235 acres of land just west of Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course.

In January 2019, Disney also bought 1,575 acres for $11 million in Osceola County and before that, it bought 965 acres for $23 million from nearby B-K Ranch in December 2018.

Disney has made no announcements about potential uses for the land, but it is located near other Disney golf courses. It would be an anti-climax if all that land was for golf, as much as I do like a round of that in Florida.

With Universal launching a new park in, I think 2023, it is usual for Disney to respond so I’m hopeful we get that long-awaited “fifth gate”. For as long as I can remember, a Villains Park has been rumoured. I think to be honest that rumour has just been a product of internet speculation and it may be more likely that another land is added to Magic Kingdom in that theme, as that to me would work well.

The worst-case scenario could be that they just use this newly purchased land to build more resorts. That would just compound the issues in the parks now. It’s almost as if I’m suggesting that some idiot from Bolton knows more about the workings of an organisation than those who run it.

So Bob Iger and the lovely Disney execs. I am available for consultancy and/or full-time employment at competitive rates and will take partial payment in food.

Till the next time…..

5 thoughts on “A Bob Iger Come and Get Me Plea….

  1. We have just returned from being there for the last 17 nights of January. A period we have visited in in the past and they parks have been virtually deserted with shows like Indy only being a third full.
    Now the parks are rammed. We had a couple of days where there were no available fastpasses left by midday and nothing had less than a 75 minute wait. Even tough to be a bug was a two show cycle to get in. FOP was at 240 minutes.
    There were some quieter days and we had 9 nights onsite and the evening EMH’S were much better.
    My brother and sister-in-law did a paid for after hours event in MK and said that it was well worth it and when they return they will seriously consider only doing these events and not buying regular tickets.
    Time to wake up to what your customers are saying Disney.

  2. Couldn’t agree more. Its getting more and more expensive and becoming less enjoyable due to such large crowds. I don’t feel like you get much value for the cost these days due to how busy it gets. When is parking going to be capped? Its getting a little ridiculous.

  3. Completely agree with you! Our first visits were in the Easter holidays and of course the parks were busy. We no longer have to go in the school holidays but the parks at ‘quiet’ times now seem busier than they were on our first trips at Easter!! They really need to extend existing/ build a new park rather than more resorts. If they get rid of fast passes as they are now in favour of a paid one then I think that it will be the ‘After Hours’ events for us. I had already thought about doing a couple of those on our next trip at the end of April, but we are now taking my Auntie with us who is a first timer so have gone for 14 day tickets

  4. u can be here everyday- well, more so. if ur every thought of the place was turned into *one word, u’d have t o m e s. u have the rarity of imagination (and cleverness of expression). impossible to jumpstart or manufacture imag – and as u’ve seen, maaaaany of us would be lost without someone else’s imag. to lean on/enjoy. theme park life (not specifically the *actual DW!!) & music being 2 of ur passions make u fortunate to have ready/eager audiences as they’re popular/familiar to so many. you have the theme park knowledge & bug, the addition of musician-life knowledge, and affinity for writing. i wouldn’t point out this obviousness to a complete stranger but for the absolute d e m a n d for the material by sooooo many. (and self interest! 😄) glaring lack in the market 😫 & u spend so much head space happily “here” anyway👌🏻 write it down, & add imagination to enhance. ideally💯

  5. ”Imagine going to work every day to do something you are truly passionate about.”

    ~ perhaps triggered by the word choice 😆

    no, many of us can’t *imagine it, but u can & should share.

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