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July 11, 2023

Attendance at Disney Parks Hits Lowest Level in a Decade

From the WSJ, but quoted at Hot Air:

Travel analysts and advisers say traffic to Disney's U.S. parks, and some rival parks, has slowed this summer. Data from a travel company that tracks line-waiting time at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., shows that the Independence Day weekend was one of the slowest in nearly a decade. ...

Travel advisers and industry analysts say the slowdown is the latest sign that Disney's recent price hikes and changes to park operations have soured some families on visiting the Most Magical Place on Earth.

Well, no. At least part of the big increase in park ticket prices was imposed to make up for the fact that attendance was down.

And of course, attendance is down because Disney decided to abandon the entire selling point of its brand -- that parents could trust it implicitly, and let their kids watch Disney programming without worrying about anything objectionable appearing in it -- in order to pursue Disney's Not-So-Secret Gay Agenda, as one Woke Advisor in Disney's Woke "Reimagine Tomorrow' propaganda unit called it.

Jim Geraghty also says that Disney made a conscious decision to kiss-off middle class families to pitch itself as a resort for wealthy families.

And not just wealthy families, of course: Wealthy leftwing families.


The current ticket prices for Walt Disney World and its related theme parks are as follows:

Disney's Animal Kingdom: $109-$159
Disney's Hollywood Studios: $124-$179
EPCOT: $114-$179
Magic Kingdom: $124-$189

By comparison, in 2013, a ticket to the Magic Kingdom was $95. Adjusted for inflation, that is the equivalent of $125.46 today. (Inflation-adjusted prices were generated using the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator.)

In 2003, a ticket to the Magic Kingdom was $52. Adjusted for inflation, that is the equivalent of $87.04 today.

In 1993, a ticket to the Magic Kingdom was $35. Adjusted for inflation, that is the equivalent of $74.65 today.


In 1983, a ticket to the Magic Kingdom was $17. Adjusted for inflation, that is the equivalent of $52.86 today.

In other words, it's not just your imagination and it's not just inflation; a ticket to Disney World has grown considerably more expensive.

A wild overestimation of how much customers were willing to spend was probably a big factor in the surprise closure of the Star Wars-themed "Galactic Starcruiser" attraction at the Epcot Resort Area.


At some point, Disney leadership embraced a strategy of attracting a smaller but wealthier clientele when it comes to the company's theme parks. That's their right as a business, but as we see above, eventually you run out of fabulously wealthy families.

The world only has so many parents willing to spend $4,800 to $6,000 to hang around with Star Wars characters for two days. Just how often did Disney think these families would come back and spend another $6,000 or so to have the same experience again?

Disney built its image on family friendly entertainment, and for years, a middle-class family could save up for a trip to Disney World. Now, a day at the park for a family of 4 costs, at minimum, just under $500. That's just to get in the door -- no meals, lodging, souvenirs.

Corporations generally have become disdainful of the middle class. The upper eschelons of the corporate class are, for all intents and purposes, an insular aristocracy, with shared backgrounds, educations, tastes, and mores.

And these narcissistic idiots have decided that they will make their products only for their fellow aristocrats -- even when their product has always been made for the middle or working classes.

Geraghty sees the same connection:

Disney was never cheap, but it also wasn't considered a luxury brand, reserved for the wealthy. It wasn't Ralph Lauren, Tiffany, Brooks Brothers, or Cadillac. Its brand was middle-class middle America, literally naming the entrance, "Main Street USA."

While Disney's movies, television shows, and ubiquitous merchandise are purchased by customers from all walks of life, you can make a strong case that the theme-park aspect of Disney is indeed now a luxury brand.

The Disney theme parks just aren't as interested in attracting middle-class America to come through the doors.

I cannot help but suspect that Disney's theme parks evolving into a luxury company catering to the world's wealthiest clienteles is intertwined with the company's evolution into an institution with an increasingly outspoken progressive cultural agenda.

The weird thing is: Progressives aren't wealthier than conservatives.

But corporations keep chasing the wealthy progressives and disdaining the middle class (and wealthy conservatives).


Bud Light just did this, insanely, despite being a downscale brand.

Movies keep doing this, despite movies having historically been a cheap entertainment for the masses (compared to live plays and concerts) which traditionally featured a populist, not elitist, ethos.

And we see this with TV channels. NBC made a decision in the 80s to court an "urban, sophisticated audience," and leave the Disgusting Normies for other channels. CNN also has pretensions of being the "upper class" highly partisan talking heads channels.

They keep pushing their AWFL (Affluent White Female Liberal) values in their advertising and products because they think the Disgusting Normies have no other choice but to keep on buying.

If actual luxury brands like Rolex don't see the need of appealing to well-heeled leftists through tasteless, tacky political messaging, why do non-luxury brands like Tranheuser-Busch and Disney?

It might be due to a very common human failing: Those who are not actually In the Club are the most desperate to show they should be In the Club.

Disney's top AWFL, Kathleen Kennedy, is at long last learning that it takes more to be In the Club then some sweaty, desperate Aristocracy Signaling.

Her latest disaster dropped 56% in its second weekend. That's not great when you already opened at a low level.

The long-awaited sequel Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is finally playing in theaters. Unfortunately, Disney's newly-released Indiana Jones continuation appears to have bombed at the box office.

In fact, the film only opened with $130 million worldwide, which is less than the $139 million that the box office bomb The Flash managed to earn. Furthermore, the Indiana Jones sequel is said to have cost more than $300 million to make with marketing costs, while The Flash was estimated at $250 million. Either way, both films appear to be box office bombs, with the fifth Indiana Jones film making even less at the box office so far.

Kathleen Kennedy -- who WDW_Pro calls "Kaffeine Kennedy," because her real job with Steven Spielberg and George Lucas was fetching coffee for the talent -- just saw an Indiana Jones movie lose its second weekend to the fifth installment of a mid-tier horror franchise.

Indiana Jones cost $322+ million.

Insidious: The Red Door cost... $16 million. Sixteen.

It's all hands on deck at Disney for Kaffeine Kennedy's latest bomb. They even pressured Harrison Ford to make a personal appeal for the movie, like Jim Caviezel made for The Sound of Freedom.

Except Caviezel's appeal was about exposing a great social evil.

Harrison Ford, who smokes more pot than JackStraw, is reduced to babbling that this movie was made "for the fans."



Not exactly the same as saying "see our movie to raise awareness of child trafficking."

I haven't enjoyed any of Harrison Ford's recent work:

harrisonfordlincolnproject.jpg

Director James Mangold took a page from the usual Disney Failure Playbook, which is to blame the failure of a woke Disney film on "divisive" fans.

Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Mangold was asked by Brian Davids, "Life is filled with peaks and valleys, and I appreciate when my fictional heroes, such as Indy, have their own ups and downs. So why does a segment of the audience seem to want these legacy characters to be infallible? I just can't figure out why anyone would want such little drama."

Um, why are the female self-inserts infallible?

Indiana Jones was never infallible. One of the best parts of the character was that he was competent, but not hypercompetent -- he was almost always over his head and just barely getting away with it.

No one is demanding he be "infallible."

What people are complaining about is 1, Indiana Jones movies have usually been feel-good optimistic popcorn rides, not dour, depressing dramas about 80-year-old men who will die alone and as failures, while meanwhile, 2, yet another Kaffeine Kennedy female self-insert is presented as infallible and once again Just Like the Male Hero, Except Better At Everything So You Should Like Her Even More Than the (Spit) Old White Male Hero, Misogynist Bigots.

Disney keeps doing the same thing. Even if we liked it the first time -- and we didn't -- we're entitled to be officially sick of it the fifth time it's done.

Mangold replied, "Well, there's a point where these characters become symbols more than characters, and so there becomes this anxiety that if you examine the humanity of a hero, you somehow weaken them."

Newsflash: If you're making an Indian Jones action-adventure movie and you think the appeal of the film should be "examining the humanity of a hero" -- deconstructing him -- tear up your first draft and start again.

...

Mangold then accused critics of his deconstruction of being divisive when it was his and Lucasfilm's choice to deconstruct Indiana Jones in the first place.

He said, "So, if people want to be divisive [in the age of social media], they can focus on where a character starts, as opposed to where they end, or they can focus on where they end, as opposed to where they start."

In other Indiana Jones movies, he started off a hero and ended up a hero. His moments of trying were due to the plot, the enemies opposing him, and the crazy circumstances in which he found himself. In this movie, he starts off as a broke-down loser and ends as a broke-down loser. In the middle he is tested by the obnoxious feminism of Phloebag.


Reportedly, Disney "Plus" just got overtaken by HBO's streaming service, "Max."

While the Disney Plus streaming service has been one of the dominant forces in the market since it landed, it was just bumped down in subscriber numbers by one of its biggest rivals, Max. The Warner Bros Discovery-owned streaming service formerly known as HBO Max has overtaken Disney Plus (per 9to5Mac) in market share, knocking it down to the fourth most-popular slot among major platforms.

Even more worryingly for the House of Mouse and its proprietary streaming service, not only did Warner Bros' Max actually gain market share in order to leap up the ranks and overtake them, but Disney Plus also simultaneously lost market share. Basically, it got beat in both directions on this one.


Meanwhile, Bob Iger -- the man who destroyed Disney buy spending almost $100 billion to buy Marvel, Lucasfilm, Pixar, and 20th Century Fox, and then destroyed them all by turning Disney into a propaganda outfit for the hard sexual left -- says that he wants a contract extension because he's just so critical for turning Disney around.

Some of the guys I listen to, like "Mexican Iron Man," point out that Norman Peltz only called off his proxy fight with Disney on the condition that 1, Iger would depart within 18 months, and 2, Disney would start paying dividends to shareholders instead of putting its cash in a vault, or being used for Iger's demented drive to buy every other movie studio.

Well, now Iger is saying he wants to stay another year, and there's no way Disney will be paying any dividends any time soon.

So, will Nelson Peltz re-mount his proxy fight?

By the way: Biden's/Merrick Garland's DOJ just decided that child trafficking was No Big Deal:

The Department of Justice erased content from its webpage on child sex trafficking that highlighted the plight of "international sex trafficking of minors" in late May.

The stunning revision comes amidst scrutiny of President Joe Biden's continued incitement of mass migration via America's porous southern border -- a prime avenue for child sex trafficking -- and also coincides with the recent release of the film "The Sound of Freedom."

The Department of Justice's (DOJ) webpage chronicling what constitutes child sex trafficking and how the department is combatting it underwent severe revisions on May 12th, 2023, including the erasure of the three sections: "International Sex Trafficking of Minors"; "Domestic Sex Trafficking of Minors," and "Child Victims of Prostitution."

Jewel complains of Hollywood politicizing child trafficking:

I now respect Jewell too much to point out that her breasts are like untamed mustangs thundering across the verdant plains. I'll just leave that implied.

Someone -- forget who -- pointed something out about The Sound of Freedom that Hollywood wouldn't like.

Minor spoiler here. Stop reading if you don't know about the main operation depicted in the movie and want to remain completely unspoiled.

In the movie, Ballard (Caviezel's character) gets the idea to set up a fake "sex club" so that traffickers will just deliver him the children he wants to save. He gets this idea from a newspaper article, which features some financier being arrested for setting up his own "sex club" involving underage children.

While the movie fictionalized that particular incident sex club headline, it has been pointed out that the real inspiration for the sting was... Jeffrey Epstein. Apparently the film avoided using that name because, well, I guess Hollywood doesn't want to talk about Jeffrey Epstein. They made up a similar financier who operated an illegal sex club.

Is it a coincidence that the sting in the movie takes place on... an island supposedly set up as a sex club?

digg this
posted by Ace at 03:55 PM

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