Your Fandom Has A Price: The Art Of The Ticketed Event

Some weeks ago, Disney announced a $300 price tag to watch the magic of Pixar Pier a few days before normal guests. It includes meet & greets, riding the attractions, enjoying the scenery and some exclusive meals. This isn’t the first time that Disney does a ticketed event, but it is the first time in a while to make a prominent event out of a park expansion.

In the past years, ticketed events around the parks have started to pick up more steam. From villains, to Star Wars, to an event that is just about visiting the Magic Kingdom at night, the experimentation keeps on going. After all, these are easily justified by management when you already have the resources to pull out these kind of activities without much of an investment.

For Pixar Pier, the $300 price tag on your eagerness to be the first to enjoy the reimagined space is a bit too far. The land only has one new-ish attraction with few things to enjoy. But as always, these kind of events are only beta testing future options for management.

With the rising costs of park expansions, Disney needs to think about which options do they have to make that return of investment in less time. Ticketed events might be the answer. Imagine a $300 event next year on Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge, much like Galactic Nights, but for the first three months of the land’s opening. It would give an option to the many Star Wars fans that will be attracted to the park, giving different experiences from normal guests, enjoying the attractions with shorter wait times, delivering exquisite Alderaanian food and unique meet & greets from more obscure characters that the normal theme park goer wouldn’t appreciate. Now that is an irresistible event for many fans that want to enjoy this land during its first year.

Doing the math with 2000 guests per night, this hypothetical Star Wars event would bring $600.000 per night, $18 million per month, $54 million for 90 days. These numbers look good even if the event lasts one month prior and during the opening of Galaxy’s Edge.

This is the reason that more ticketed events are part of the Disney experience. It is just a way to bring more income without doing that much of a complicated planning process. Once Galaxy’s Edge winds down, they could keep doing Galactic Nights at select days during special events, like film releases or TV series launches. The Pixar Pier event is just a proof of concept: if people are willing to pay that much for such a small expansion, they will quickly open their wallets once Galaxy’s Edge opens.

The ticketed events is a balancing act, were parks management sees something the hardcore fans want out of their park experience and they give it to you with a hefty price tag. And that’s ok as they deliver good experiences for those people who pay for that. What worries me about this event driven strategy is the boundaries between the benefits of the full day park goer vs. the hardcore time paying twice as much for a 3 hour or 6 hour ticketed event.

The Incredibles 2 Trailer Expands Takes Superpowers To Another Level

As a Disney fan, you’ve probably watched The Incredibles 2 trailer. If not, here it is for you to enjoy:

As I was watching the trailer, I couldn’t stop think about how bigger the world of the family looks. Every single character had slightly different design, much more detailed compared to the first movie. This isn’t a surprise, as the rendering technology from Pixar has evolved immensely. It is instantly noticeable between the films of Toy Story or even comparing Finding Nemo to Finding Dory.

The second aspect that I noticed is that the superpowers shown in the trailer from Jack Jack are out of this world. With an intense super hero driven box office these days, you need strong powers that are delightful to new audiences. At the same time, it was shown very little fighting or even small hints about a final battle. Yes, there are scenes in the beginning of the film, but it is thrown as an example rather than the big climax of the film. The sequel seems to be much more centered about the struggles the family keeps having to balance between saving lives and having a normal life.

Even though I’ve been worried about the sequels at Pixar, The Incredibles is the one film I always wanted a second story to be developed. A decade later, here it is, and it is ready to surprise us on June 15.

If The Main Street Theatre Gets Cancelled, It’s Because Something Bigger Is Coming Up

In 2017’s D23, Bob Chapek announced a 2,000 seat theatre located in Main Street U.S.A., in a new area that is backstage. There was no word on which show would be shown on stage, but it sure would be of the same quality as Frozen and Aladdin in Disney’s California Adventure. This theatre that was just announced a few months ago may never see the green light.

There have been many rumors surrounding the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World, with some of them confirmed in D23. The new theatre was a surprise for many, but it was well received as the park needs offerings that could handle the crowds that just get bigger every year in the Magic Kingdom.

This is why the rumor of this project been canceled appears to be odd, as it seems such a great addition to the park. This would expand Main Street U.S.A. and add some live entertainment that has been missing from the park surrounding Cinderella’s Castle. Maybe there’s a better reason to cancel the project or even postpone it. As many attractions are still being shuffled at Walt Disney Imagineering, we can expect more changes coming to the parks.

Better Cancel It When There’s No Commitment To Theming

Even though the theatre could be great to bring new life to Main Street U.S.A., many people were worried at how generic it looked. If you see the concept art, it just looks like a big building. Not only that, but the theatre would have been added to a completely new street, with its own challenges to theme it just as charming as Main Street U.S.A. is. Even though the backstage areas that would house the theater have been used as a way to handle crowds during peak season, it is nowhere near themed to any area of the actual Main Street U.S.A.

Maybe Disney figured out that in order to make the project valuable they had to commit fully to theme a whole new street. That could be a challenge in itself. Depending on how many showings they could get of a live show, the commitment could be worth it.

A Tomorrowland Expansion Could Be Closer Than Ever

Many insiders noticed how much space the theater needed from Tomorrowland in order to be accommodated in the already odd location. With the neglect of Tomorrowland, they might be reconsidering that decision.

There are many attractions on the table. Some suggest that the Tron coaster could dictate the redesign of most of Tomorrowland’s exterior, updating it to a similar look introduced to the Magic Kingdom in 1971. As Stitch’s Great Escape draws to its extinction, a future attraction should be in the works. Here comes the long-rumored Wreck-It Ralph attraction, themed to a racing simulation within the work of Vanellope and friends. As the sequel to this character relates to the internet, it isn’t far-fetched to see this intellectual property in Tomorrowland.

Another rumor relates to an updated Carrousel Of Progress, with a whole new final act. This may require new animatronics, which Disney seems to be less interested in. To complete the rumor circuit, it is now been said that the Tomorrowland Speedway could get a Tron facelift as it could blend well with the coaster.

Fantasyland Refurbishments?

During the 60th anniversary of Disneyland, some Fantasyland attractions got newly updated special effects and scenes. With the ongoing popularity of many rides in Walt Disney World, the focus on updates could be a reason to get rid of the Main Street Theatre for a while.

Peter Pan’s Flight could be the easiest to update, as they already did in California, but there could be also some focus on It’s A Small World or even Pooh. Both of these rides deserve some updates. It’s A Small World could include new Disney characters within the different themed scenes and Pooh can get Audio-Animatronics or even projected effects (or just tearing it up because we all want the Tokyo Disneyland version).

It’s Too Early To Speculate

Even if the Main Street Theater cancellation becomes true, it is way too far from the 50th anniversary of the park to be speculating. What probably is more concrete of a project is the Tomorrowland redesign, as a facelift to this area could go a long way for the upcoming years. With the Tron coaster coming to the land, its architecture could dictate where the aesthetics go.

Even though live entertainment is still needed in the park, maybe its better, for now, to focus on a newer attraction or just updating. Then, eventually, the Main Street Theatre could come over to bring new life to Main Street. Unless Disney forgets it altogether and moves on to the future projects of Epcot and Disney’s Cinemagine Park (let’s get used to it).