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Does It Matter Which Season An Attraction Opens In Anymore?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Universal' started by GAcoaster, Apr 25, 2019.

  1. GAcoaster

    GAcoaster Veteran Member

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    Just read through the debates about the opening of the JP coaster and the T2 replacement and when they would be opening, and while I was doing it there was a story on TV about how OIA is busier than ever and they are recommending travelers get there earlier for screening, specifically mentioning "there is no off season anymore".

    Does it really matter if an attraction at Universal or Disney opens at the start of the peak summer season? Or would it be just as effective to open in the fall or March or some other time of year? Yes, summer is still the peak season for all the parks, but if you open something in the fall people will still come.

    I keep thinking that the idea that JP could open in late 2020 or early 2021 is really inconsequential. Whenever Bourne opens, it opens. The parks are busy all year, and people will come no matter what. I think the opening of Star Wars Land will prove that the time of year something opens really doesn't matter, and in some ways there may be advantages to opening a big new attraction in an off peak time to help smooth the growing pains in time for the crazy times of Christmas and summer.

    For regional parks like SeaWorld and Busch Gardens it still makes sense to try and get new capital open in time for peak season since they rely on the "summer crowds", but for destination parks like Disney and Universal it really shouldn't make much difference.
     
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  2. Nick

    Nick Staff Member Moderator

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    I agree that it really doesn’t matter anymore. Hasn’t for quite awhile, imo. Just think back all the way to when the FLE/TT2.0 opened - it was December.

    That said, a Summer timeframe is still always going to be the most common timeframe for attraction openings.
     
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  3. fryoj

    fryoj Premium Member

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    Opening during a dead time always made more sense to me. Peak times are going to be peak times regardless. Having the extra capacity is nice during those times. But if you have a ride that is legit going to draw people to the park for it's opening, do it at a time the park is slower so it helps those slower days.
     
  4. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Premium Member

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    Yes, I've always echoed your sentiment. Summer no longer dominates attendance as it once did. Open an attraction when it's ready, regardless of season.
     
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  5. Joe

    Joe aka TestTrack321 Staff Member Moderator

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    It’s never mattered in orlando unless it’s a water ride.
     
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  6. Jamesh22

    Jamesh22 Premium Member

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    I think it's a similar situation to blockbuster movies now - you can open a big movie almost anytime of year and still make summer movie season $$$. The same is now absolutely true for theme parks, especially with how far in advance most people book vacations.

    There is also an arguement for getting an attraction open and working without shut downs before hitting peak season.
     
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  7. TommyJK

    TommyJK Rookie

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    A prophetic statement
     
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  8. Nick

    Nick Staff Member Moderator

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    I wanted to backtrack on my statement earlier in this thread saying it doesn't really matter. TDO had a miserable quarter and Easter fell in it. It might be hard to believe, but this Summer was the first one since 2015 where WDW hasn't had a new ride open in time for or in the early/mid part of Summer. Sure SW:GE will technically open in Summer, but it's late summer and the damage was already done and evident in the recent quarterly report.

    Starting with 2014, here's what Disney's PR team has had to work with each of the past six Summers (defining "summer as in opened before end of quarterly earnings period):

    2014 -
    Ride: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
    Other: Frozen Summer Fun/24 Hour Disney Day

    2015 -
    Ride: None
    Other: Frozen Summer Fun

    2016 -
    Rides: Frozen Ever After, Soarin' Around the World
    Other: Disney Springs finished construction

    2017 -
    Land: Pandora - The World of Avatar, featuring two new rides
    Other: Happily Ever After, Rivers of Light, Mission: Space Update, Miss Adventure Falls

    2018 -
    Land: Toy Story Land, featuring two new rides
    Other: UP! A Great Bird Adventure

    2019 -
    Ride: None
    Other: Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy

    2015 was just about rock bottom for WDW when you put into context where Universal was at having just celebrated Diagon's opening the year prior and Comcast really starting to see the full potential as hotels were being built at a rapid pace and this was also the year when work on the ground began for Volcano Bay. Not so coincidentally, Disney also had a poor Summer in 2015 and this has since prompted a high amount of money being poured across ALL parks, even their water parks. Now of course Universal didn't open a ride in 2015 either, but if I remember correctly, they still had a solid enough summer.

    So considering two of Disney's recent weak summers were when they didn't open a ride or have anything much at all (that's actually open) to push, I actually do feel like Spring/Summer is still when rides should aim to open in Orlando. Here's the thing: Theme parks are getting EXTREMELY expensive and Orlando isn't the most fun place to be in the Summer months. You have to give people a reason to be there. There's also only one major holiday travel week all summer and i'll include Memorial Day weekend as a major travel time (I know not part of Summer technically, but it's part of "theme park summer"). So the parks are good during that time, but the rest of the summer, you gotta give people a reason to spend their money in a miserable climate when there are so many other travel alternatives in this world.
     
  9. shiekra38

    shiekra38 Veteran Member

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    So basically you're saying new offerings are necessary to get people to come in summer? I could get behind that statement as it is unbearable in the summer months...and I don't think I would have gone to Universal this summer had it not been for Hagrid haha
     
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  10. OrlLover

    OrlLover Member

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    Also “miserable climate” doesn’t stop people from coming evidently either so that statement was odd.
     
  11. Nick

    Nick Staff Member Moderator

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    This past quarter, the only saving grace for the Parks division was (surprisingly) Disneyland Paris. It was all bad news for the Domestic parks, however. So there's actually nothing backing up what you're saying since there was a decline in attendance during a quarter that INCLUDED Easter week. Do I think it's a big deciding factor? no. But like I said, if there's no new rides, why would you want to spend time in Orlando rather than traveling to somewhere like Hawaii for roughly the same pricepoint for a family of four?
     

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