Typically a theme park is a fun place to go and Walt Disney World has really mastered the art of offering the magic to wave upon wave of long term fans and first timers alike.
Once you’ve been, they know you will want to return, again and again.
Sure the competition is hotting up in Orlando and Disney appear to be making plenty of progress in profit and attendance terms, while some, such as SeaWorld are experiencing opposing fortunes, and hopefully a temporary basis!
Just by being in Orlando, just isn’t enough to guarantee the visitor dollars. It’s got to be right, it’s got to be current and it’s got to be exciting.
So what on earth is going on with Disney’s Hollywood Studios lately is still an ongoing mystery.
After many a year as a kind of cool, half day park, with a distinct lack of direction (I was thinking movie industry terms there 😉 ), Hollywood Studios definitely seems to be in the PR wilderness right now.
I’m sure it’s only going to be a short to mid term issue, and I’m sure that there will be something amazing there, at some point, but the questions of ‘what and when’ do appear to be two very, very tiresome questions of our time.
The HS ‘zeitgeist’ isn’t very kind at the moment. In fact it is beginning to stink a little more than a well worn character costume.
Universal Parks often themselves play a ‘game of secrecy’, but usually it lasts 12 to 18 months or so, much of that time, with construction walls and steelwork offering a firm clue of what lies beyond.
Disney however, who are arguably one of the world’s most successful marketing machines, offers little more than just annoyance to eager fans.
HS has lost a lot of features and attractions over the last year. Sure it gained, and was perhaps rescued by some fairly lame ‘Frozen’ events.
But what are guests to make of a visit to ‘half of a half day park’?
Worse still, many are only assuming that the much anticipated announcement at D23 2013 didn’t arrive for the same reason that this year’s D23 announcement possibly won’t arrive; Disney aren’t yet sure themselves, what’s happening!
If that sounds crazy, think back to Avatar. Disney took years just thrashing out the detail before anything happens for guests in the parks. The result being a 6 year gap between Disney first discussing the project with James Cameron and construction beginning in 2014.
The area won’t open until at least 2017.
If Disney take as long at HS, the construction boards could be up until 2021!
Slow work in comparison to Universal’s stellar performance at delivering largescale and innovative projects in very quick timescales!
Now that is a PR success story all of its own!