I’m very curious by nature, which plays along nicely with my Disney fascination. As such, I occasionally run across things that I find interesting and I think, “hey, Disney should take a look at this“. Today, I found just such an idea. Take a look and see if you agree:
With the rain that central Florida gets almost every day in the summer time, this would be an incredible idea to do in the parks, at the resorts, around pools, etc. etc.
They already do something similar in the parks, in almost a reverse kind of way with soap and water. Disney artists, masquerading as custodians can be found on occasion drawing characters on the sidewalks (see video below). So, why not do this in more of a permanent kind of way. It would be just another of those “hidden magic” items you find at Disney, only these would “magically” appear when it rains.
You can see more about Rainworks at: http://rain.works/
The 2013 attendance estimates were recently released by TEA/AECOM at: http://www.teaconnect.org/pdf/TEAAECOM2013.pdf
Below are the top 12 U.S. Parks:
|1||Magic Kingdom, Lake Buena Vista, FL||+6.0%||18,588,000|
|2||Disneyland, Anaheim, CA||+1.5%||16,202,000|
|3||EPCOT, Lake Buena Vista, FL||+1.5%||11,229,000|
|4||Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Lake Buena Vista, FL||+2.0%||10,198,000|
|5||Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Lake Buena Vista, FL||+2.0%||10,110,000|
|6||Disney’s California Adventure, Anaheim, CA||+9.5%||8,514,000|
|7||Islands of Adventure, Orlando, FL||+2.0%||8,141,000|
|8||Universal Studios Orlando, Orlando, FL||+14.0%||7,062,000|
|9||Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal City, CA||+4.0%||6,148,000|
|10||Seaworld Florida, Orlando, FL||-5.0%||5,090,000|
|11||Seaworld California, San Diego, CA||-3.0%||4,311,000|
|12||Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Tampa, FL||-6.0%||4,087,000|
Disney parks topped out the top 6 this year, with California Adventure edging Universal’s Islands of Adventures, followed by the other two Universal parks in Florida and California respectively. Overall, Universal and Disney both had a good year, with the most significant gains at parks where new attractions have opened in the last year. Meanwhile, it was a rough year for Seaworld and Busch parks, with attendance slipping for all of the bottom 3 in the list.
Taking a deeper look at the last 4 years since the downturn in 2009, Universal Orlando has averaged an attendance growth rate over 10%, while Disney parks in the same market and time frame have managed just 1.35% average growth. In this 4 year period, Disney has grown just over 2.6 million in attendance, while Universal has almost doubled that with over 5 million. Mind you, Universal isn’t even close to unseating the WDW parks in the top 5, but they are making some significant gains in attendance with the attractions they’ve added in the last few years, leaving no doubt that they are serious about those parks. And, they should be, the Orlando market has grown steadily over the last 4 years at an average of 2.5%.
Just a quick update to post the attendance estimates published by TEA/AECOM today at: 2013 TEA/AECOM Theme Park and Museum Index – Global Attractions Attendance Report
Below are the top 10 U.S. Parks:
|1||Magic Kingdom, Lake Buena Vista, FL||17,536,000||+2.3%|
|2||Disneyland, Anaheim, CA||15,963,000||-1.1%|
|3||EPCOT, Lake Buena Vista, FL||11,063,000||+2.2%|
|4||Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Lake Buena Vista, FL||9,998,000||+2.2%|
|5||Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Lake Buena Vista, FL||9,912,000||+2.2%|
|6||Islands of Adventure, Orlando, FL||7,981,000||+4.0%|
|7||Disney’s California Adventure, Anaheim, CA||7,775,000||+22.6%|
|8||Universal Studios Orlando, Orlando, FL||6,195,000||+2.5%|
|9||Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal City, CA||5,912,000||+15.0%|
|10||Seaworld Florida, Orlando, FL||5,358,000||+3.0%|
The combined total for the top 10 U.S. Parks rose by almost 4 million to 97 million giving them an average increase of 5.49%, compared to last years’ 93 million. All parks showed at least 2% growth, with the exception of one, Disneyland. However, Disney’s California Adventure showed an increase of 1.4 million visitors, giving them a percentage increase of more than 22%, which brought the entire Disneyland resort up more than 5%.
Universal parks on both coasts showed continued growth, however, the Hollywood park was their big winner this past year, adding 15% and moving them up in ranking over Seaworld Florida, from number 10 last year, to number 9. Their parks in Florida also continue to show good increases and will likely do the same in the coming year with new additions opening throughout the year.
Even though Seaworld Florida dropped to number 10 this year, percentage wise, they still grew more than any of the 4 Disney Orlando parks individually. Not that they have a bad park or didn’t make some worthy changes this past year themselves, but it would probably be safe to say that some of this growth credit could be indirectly related to Disney and Universal’s latest additions.
If you want to see more historical detail, be sure to check out a couple of spreadsheets I’ve been maintaining for a while that show more breakdowns for the U.S. parks.
The first is a view of the top 12 U.S. theme parks and their historical attendance estimates: U.S. Theme Park Attendance Estimates
The second is a specific breakdown of Walt Disney World historical attendance estimates.
Disneyland is rumored to be launching a new parade in 2011 that is very music focused and will be called Soundsational. I say it’s about time! It’s about time they have something that highlights the magic of their music and the many hits they’ve had over the years.
Disney music is almost as magical as their movies. In fact, without the music, some of the movies might be pretty boring and lifeless. It’s a shame really that they haven’t explored or exploited their music library more than they have in the parks. They’re not shy about using some of their classic hits from movies in parades and fireworks shows, but what about an attraction whose sole focus would be to recollect and highlight their music catalog and the magic of music? It could be a historical type ride or movie that took guests thru the music catalog, or just a mix of the various hits and successes they’ve had over the years.
Think about it, their have been many many musical hits from the movies, TV, parks and other outlets. Below are just a few of the many memorable hits Disney has had over the years:
Some Day My Prince Will Come [From Snow White]
When You Wish Upon a Star [From Pinocchio]
Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah [From Song of the South
Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes [From Cinderella]
Whole New World [From Aladdin]
Beauty and the Beast [From Beauty and the Beast]
Be Our Guest [From Beauty and the Beast]
Under the Sea [From the Little Mermaid]
Part of Your World [From the Little Mermaid]
Poor Unfortunate Souls [From the Little Mermaid]
I Just Can’t Wait to Be King [From The Lion King]
Hakuna Matata [From The Lion King]
Can You Feel the Love Tonight? [From The Lion King]
Circle of Life [From The Lion King]
Chim Chim Cher-Ee [From Mary Poppins]
Spoonful of Sugar [From Mary Poppins]
Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious [From Mary Poppins]
Spectrum Song [From Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color]
Bare Necessities [From The Jungle Book]
You Can Fly! You Can Fly! You Can Fly! [From Peter Pan]
Second Star to the Right [From Peter Pan]
Cruella De Vil [From 101 Dalmations]
Main Street Electrical Parade [From Disneyland][Medley]
Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room [From Disneyland]
Best of Friends [From the Fox and the Hound]
It’s a Small World (After All) [From New York World’s Fair]
Mickey Mouse Club March [From the Mickey Mouse Club]
The emotions conveyed in these songs run the gamut of happiness/joy, sorrow/pain, fear/scary, fun/party/festive. Many who have heard these songs and seen the movies have strong and fond memories of them, the kind of memories they enjoy and would most likely enjoy on an attraction. Something that highlighted these and/or other songs would most likely appeal to a huge audience repeatedly, if done well.
A couple of thoughts on how and where to do this. First would be the obvious, replace Sounds Dangerous with Drew Carey and just put in a movie montage of some of these and/or other songs and call it The Magic of Music. Another thought would be to replace/update The Great Movie Ride and call it The Great Movie Music Ride. Call it whatever, put it wherever, but this is an attraction that almost demands to be done at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and desperately needs to be built to honor all of the magical music that Disney artists have created over the years.
While I was in the process of researching and writing this post, I ran across Disney’s Sing It series of console video games specifically dedicated to bringing the magic of Disney music home and giving people the opportunity to sing along. Which leads me to question whether a console based video game could make the jump into the theme parks as an attraction? There have been several TV shows that have done it, most recently with Who Wants to be a Millionaire and American Idol. But, could a video game be the next media format to make an appearance in the parks? We’re already seeing more interactive, video game-like attractions such as Buzz Lightyear and Toy Story Midway Mania (TSMM). And of course, with TSMM, it’s jumped from the parks to the console. So, it just seems the next logical jump would be the opposite. Today’s youth, and adults too, are more “wired” thanks to the Internet and Apple’s latest products. It might be argued that the upcoming generation will expect more from their amusement entertainment options.