Saturday, August 02, 2014
Disneyland Gets Marvel-ous
My last trip to Disneyland was in April. I used to visit the Park twice a month; now it's more like twice a year. Part burnout, part philosophical, and part lack of anything new that interests me, it just seems like the Universe has been telling me to find something else. Expand my horizons.
The recent Club 34 debacle seemed like a clear sign telling me the same thing, and just yesterday, I received yet another blaring message. My sign came in the form of an email survey from Disneyland.
With the acquisition of Marvel by Disney back in 2009, many have waited to see if (and when) this would have an impact on Disneyland. Some were probably excited, and some were dreading the possible invasion of Marvel characters to their beloved park. It should be no surprise that I fall into the latter category.
The first real sign of the Marvel brand seeping in was at Innoventions. No real surprise, there. The company has used this once vibrant building (Carousel of Progress, America Sings) as little more than a corporate dump. With Disneyland facing maximum capacity almost daily and DCA finally pulling its weight, in order to increase profits, the Disney Corporation has three choices:
1. Continue to raise prices (already being done at a rapid rate, and very risky as it pisses off the customer who expects more if they pay more)
2. Physically expand each park to handle a higher capacity
3. Open a third gate.
Rumors of #2 & #3 have been swirling for years. Talks of Marvel being that 3rd gate are a very real possibility, but to complete a brand new Park would take years. What to do in the interim? The recent survey gives a few clues as to what the not-so-creative TDA has brewing in their Keurig. Thinking that maybe I was being contacted because of my Club 33 article, it didn't take long to see that I was (briefly) living in a land of delusion.
My first clue was this extremely helpful educational slide (add in sarcasm). NOW I can say I know the difference between Marvel Universe and the other Marvel characters.
Perhaps a backup plan or gauging interest to the next acquisition? Star Wars is already a done deal; the Disney Corporation can already check that one off the buyout list!
If you were thinking that a new Marvel attraction or something creative and elaborate might be coming down the pike, think again. Disney wants more profits NOW. And they don't want to spend a lot of money to make them. This is all about adding characters. People in costumes. People who aren't paid very much money. You might be thinking, "Dave, why so cynical? How could Disney possibly make money by adding characters to the park?"
Here's your answer. Merchandise. The main love of the Disney Corporation. Cheaply made overseas and quickly snapped up by guests. The Disney Corporation just can't offer you enough merchandise. Expect to see a Meet-and-Greet Marvel area in the near future, and expect to see it inside of Disneyland. Think of an area that is underutilized (Big Thunder Ranch perhaps? Innoventions?) and that is probably where this new M&G will go, along with a beautifully designed merchandise shop.
Mickey dressed as a Marvel character? If they want to do something with Marvel, they really need to open a 3rd gate and leave Disneyland alone. Those two brands have no business co-mingling.
Just when I think they couldn't sink any lower. The sinkhole has now opened wider.
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