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Bring back the events

There's no doubt that the most attention any Disney Park gets is when a new attraction is announced. As veteran Disney World fans, we get excited when there's something new to experience. But when it comes to Hollywood Studios I feel that if the park was going to invest in something new these days, I think the Studios could benefit more from reversing a recent trend than building a new ride.

Over the past two to three years, we've seen Hollywood Studios say goodbye to a number of annual events and it's a trend that needs to stop. If you cant remember all the events that have been axed recently, here's a quick rundown.

Why so many events have been cancelled or left the Studios is up for speculation on a different day, but you can't argue that the Studios has lost a lot of events and it's something that needs to change.

Annual events are a fun way to breathe new life into a park temporarily. It's a way that the parks give guests more reasons to come visit again as well as lure new guests in for the first time. As guests, we love to look forward to our favorite events and plan with family and friends for the next time. It's a win-win for everyone involved.

So why aren't we seeing new events to replace the old ones? Disney views these events as risks in terms of how much return on investment they can make. We all know how much importance Disney places on making money and breaking even isn't good enough; they need money makers. The classic example of Disney realizing they've made a bad investment in an event was Mickey's Pirate and Princess Party. It only lasted two years and was so sparsely attended that Disney ended the event after just two years, never to mention it again.

With Hollywood Studios, any new event will have to be a sure enough bet as possible, especially in this economy. Compounding the hurdle for a new event at the Studios is how Disney markets its parks. Or rather, how they don't. Disney markets Walt Disney World as, "The Magic Kingdom...and 3 other parks that are also there." Basically there's so much emphasis on the Magic Kingdom that the average guest is unaware of anything happening in the other parks. With that reality, a new event will require a marketing blitz to make work.

When the managers behind Hollywood Studios are planning their 2012 or even 2013 plans, let's hope they consider adding some new events to the Studios to help generate some attention for the park and give guests a reason to mark their calendars to come check out what's happening in the Studios.

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About this column

A regular look into Disney's Hollywood Studios, both past and present, with commentary and analysis from Matt Hochberg.


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Posted: Wednesday, October 05, 2011 by