Blizzard Beach: Cold War Competition

Blizzard Beach: Cold War Competition

This is Part III of our coverage of the Disney Water Park Wars.  In the last two months, we were on hand with a Facebook Live Event at Miss Adventure Falls. You can see our first post here. We also did a Facebook Live Event at Crush ‘n’ Gusher. You can see a replay of that here. Today we are at the top of Blizzard Beach. You can see that Facebook Live Event here. Today we address not only water parks, but Disney competition that was across the entire Central Florida hospitality industry.

We spoke of how the 90s was a focus on competing against other parks and hotels in the Central Florida area. Among the many additions, the 90s would bring:

Blizzard Beach–a direct response to Water Mania’s addition of a Wipe Out attraction. It opened on April 1, 1995.

Disney Competition
Gondolas take guests to the top of Summit Plummet. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Disney Vacation Club opened in 1992 to directly compete to a host of timeshare markets in the Orlando area.

Disney Competition
A quiet moment at Disney’s Old Key West, the first of a string of DVC properties. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort was a direct response in 1997 to the mid-market conference/convention facilities–particularly at the Hyatt Hotel, one of the nearest hotels outside the gates of Walt Disney World.

Disney Competition
Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, now adding an additional tower and conference space. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Disney’s All Star Resorts were a competition to the hotels and motels along 192. Both All Star Sports and All Star Movies ironically have 1,920 rooms apiece (Music is smaller and has 1,604).

Disney Competition
Disney’s All Star Resorts provides low cost accommodations. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Disney’s Wide World of Sports–the ESPN Wide World of Sports opened in 1997, and was a response to both baseball Spring training camps in the area, as well as the amateur sports tournament market.

Disney Competition
The entrance to ESPN Wide World of Sports. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Disney Cruise Line starts up in 1998 with two ships, the Disney Magic and the Disney Wonder. Along with a new Cape Canaveral terminal and a private island, it sets out to dominate the cruise ship market.

Disney Competition
Disney’s cruise ship original, The Disney Magic, docked at Castaway Cay. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Opening in 1998, Disney’s Animal Kingdom was a response to guests traveling to Tampa to visit Busch Gardens.

Disney Competition
Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

The massive amount of construction during the 1990s paved the way for Disney to dominate the marketplace for the next decade and a half. But it’s now 2017 and new Disney competition has emerged–and it comes from Universal Studios Florida. First it was the double hitter of Harry Potter in not one, but two of its parks. Now it’s Volcano Bay, opening at the same time Pandora: World of Avatar opens at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Disney at Work Take Home Souvenirs

Disney competition can teach us a lot about how we view our competitors. And those can be souvenirs you can take back to your own business. Consider the following:

  1. Do you have competition? How do they compare to you?
  2. What do they do better than you do? What you do better than them?
  3. How do you keep competition at bay or from keeping up with you?
  4. How do you use technology to stay ahead of the competition?

We’ll have more about Disney competition in the weeks to come, so be sure to be sure to “Like” our Facebook page. Also, sign up to follow Disney at Work on Twitter. And look for an upcoming Facebook Live Event when we broadcast from the opening of Volcano Bay at Universal Studios Florida on Wednesday morning!

Meanwhile, you can obtain a complete guide to Pandora: The World of Avatar by subscribing today to Disney at Work. This complimentary membership will assure you of newsletters, insights, and special editions that only come through your subscription. Sign up today to join, and learn all the details about this fascinating new land coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

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