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Wazza1 last won the day on June 4 2013

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  1. I can't talk with hard facts for the period prior to 1995, (only word of mouth discussions with people) but from people I know it is a general consensus that Wonderland NEVER made a profit. Onto harder facts. I know for a fact that in the financial year 1996/97 (just prior to Sunway purchasing the park) Wonderland made a loss of exactly $4.429 Million. The old consortium obviously put together a crazy 5 year plan to show how profitable Wonderland could become with a bit of work, (I guess in order to make it look more attractive to a potential buyer.) Their budget plan showed that by 2000/01, Wonderland would welcome over 2,000,000 guests through the gates, and as a resut they would reaslise a profit of $15 million. (lol) But of course this didn't happen, and while the losses were minimised under the stewardship of Sunway, the place still consistantly lost money. Don't take my word for it, here are Sunway's words "Given the persistent drain on the Group’s resources,the Wonderland Sydney Theme Park will be closed by the 1st half of 2004." This quote is taken directly from Sunway's 2003 annual report.
  2. I have been there many times (last time there was about 3 weeks ago) and I know I few people who work there. First of all if you want a comparison between it and California, I would say it's 'Disneyland Lite'. They take most of the bits and pieces that make Disneyland, Disneyland (but not everything) then distill it down into an essence and inject it into the Paris countryside.(I guess you could call it a Disney franchise) A lot of the rides and theming are the same (if not better like Space Mountain Mission 2) but there is a certain something missing which is difficult to put your finger on. Some of that is the relative apathy on display by ride operators and other workers there, (especially when compared to California) and some of it is the simple fact that not everything was ported over from California. (Have a look at a park map of the two and you will see what didn't make it) If you have never been to Disneyland California, then you'll probably think Disneyland Paris is awesome, but if you have been to the original, then you will think the Paris one is a slightly poor imitation. But it's still definitely worth a visit, and is actually pretty cool, but only in comparison to California does it look a bit weak. Disneyland Paris does suffer from a ridiculously overburdened beauracracy in the way the business is structured (which is the problem with a lot of French companies) and a relative amount of inflexibility with regards to undertaking massive cost cutting to make the business more efficient and streamlined. This last point is a combination of French culture (resistance to change) as well as French labour laws (which make it difficult to fire or re-allocate staff) Unions are pretty strong in France, and I know there have been ongoing wage and conditions issues with workers at Disneyland Paris. Lastly, Disneyland Paris has ridiculously high rates of staff turnover, which is extremely costly for any business and this doesn't help their bottom line either.
  3. The biggest problem is that when they built it they borrwed a lot of money. ALOT! The holding company which runs Disneyland Paris (only 40% owned by Disney) currently owes around 1.9bn Euros. The yearly interest payments alone on this amount really adds up. They make a modest operating profit most years, (I was told they made around 12 million Euros in 2010) but because they are struggling to pay off their 1.9bn euro loan the interest charges alone send them well into the red financially every year. Hence the 89.1 million euro net loss in the six months to March quoted in the article.
  4. I am going in a couple of months. Will post pics (of course)
  5. Don't speak so soon about it not opening again. Read this today New Orleans authorities have revealed that eight bids have been received for the site of the shuttered Six Flags New Orleans theme park. Reports suggest that a five-person committee will rank the bids, with five set to move forward to the next stage of negotiations. The plans put forward for the site vary wildly, from several proposed theme park developments through to an electric power plant. The eight proposals for the former Six Flags New Orleans site are: [*]Dag Development and Provident - would build an outlet mall with an attached boardwalk entertainment district. [*]JWM Ventures - plans a resort incorporating a theme park, water park and sports complex. [*]Louisiana Heritage Resort BP - would build a 200-acre resort with nine themed lands and an attached TV and movie production studio. [*]Packaert LLC - would convert the site into an electric power plant. [*]The Paida Company - would build a production studio, backlot and water park. [*]Powell Commodity Inc - would build retail and entertainment facilities alongside a theme park. [*]RCS Entertainment Inc. - hopes to build a “green” theme park dubbed Crescent City Amusement Park. [*]Coalition headed by Al Philips - would construct an “eco park” that would highlight green construction techniques and water usage.
  6. About 45 mns, it's on the other side of town near the airport. It's going to be a crazy coaster. Look at these pics here http://sanglierrotix.babaorum.info/t3-Inverted-B-M-et-nouvelle-zone-pour-2012.htm?start=250
  7. Drove past this park yesterday and the B&M appears to have been finished being built. (But not open to the public yet) I did a little digging around the internet it looks like someone has uploaded a video of it on some test run from the weekend just past. It looks pretty awesome. Will be going on it the moment it opens.
  8. My biggest surprise about this article is that it quotes "Operations Park Supervisor" Cameron McKay. Don't they have PR people to respond to something like this? A staff member of that level I would have thought shouldn't be giving quotes to the media.
  9. This is my home park at the moment, so I thought I had better post it. They don't seem to have a lot of luck with their Thunder Mountin rides around the world. 5 people were injured but thankfully no one died http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/25/france-eurodisney-idUSLDE73O0GJ20110425 If anyone understands French here is a video on Youtube, (I couldn't find one in English)
  10. Actually I do agree with you. I think it will be a sucess, as Village would have to have done plenty of homework to make sure that the place is going to be viable. I think its location will be difficult but I am sure that overcoming transport issues is something they would have looked at as part of their decision to build. I am not saying that their sole reason to build is the ability to cross-market into other areas. But this would have been one of the factors they would have looked at in coming to their decision to build. The demograpics of those who are likely to be repeat customers of WnW would be particularly tasty to a marketer in the entertainment industry and it would be naive to think that Village would not be looking at tapping this.
  11. I must say I have enjoyed reading the discussion on this topic. (always enjoy reading the Wonderland conspiracy theories) So putting that aside, a lot of people here have put forth their ideas as to why/why not WnW Sydney will/will not reach their target of 900,000 guests annually. I think the number one thing that will work against the park will be location. Sadly location and the terrible lack of public transport worked strongly against Wonderland (lets face it Rooty Hill wasn't exactly the easiest place to get to) Imagine trying to get there if you were staying at a hotel in Bondi. Hopefully WnW Sydney can get some regular transport going from Blacktown station, (which serves a lot more express trains) but tourists are going to have to rely on public transport to get there, and if it is long and convoluted then people will not want to venture that far out of town. As Richard points out parks have pretty much given up on international tourists as a major source of income. They have focused on their growth domestically. The one positive thing for a park about International tourists is that they have a much higher in park spend than a domestic tourist, so they can be quite lucrative and more profitable if you can get them there. WnW Sydney would have done the maths and would have had to justify their figures in order to make the decision that WnW Sydney would actually be viable. Someone has pointed out that they are going to be opening the park in a couple of stages. So although the initial capital cost of building the park is going to be high, ongoing running costs will initially be quite low. One thing to keep in mind is that Village is a very big company with their fingers in many pies. Don't be suprised if they don't mind that the park runs at a loss, especially if it is part of a bigger picture that includes tie ins with some of their other business areas. ie movies, music and radio. The will use the park as a vehicle to drive profits in some other business units. Sydney is the largest city in Australia, and Village are probably trying to expand their presence in the city domestically. The ability for them to have a strong tie in with their radio, music & movie business at their old Sydney attractions is extremely low (they were mainly aimed at international guests) whereas WnW will no doubt be targeted domestically and probably be more integrated with other areas of the Village empire In saying all this I would love to see their breakdown of where/how they expect to get 900,000 people
  12. I am curious to know what has changed in the Sydney market (especially Western Sydney) that makes something like this viable. I really want to see their Sales & Marketing plan and where/how they are able to justify the visitor numbers and in park spend to make such a massive project viable. As a West Sydneysider myself I think it's fantastic that something like this is coming to town. But time and time again in Western Sydney we have seen things come and go. It will be 7 years next week since Wonderland (only 2 km down the road) shut it doors, which lets face it never attracted the numbers of guests that was envisioned. I read in the proposal for Wet & Wild they are expecting 10,000 guests per day in peak times and at least 1,500 in non peak times. If crowds at Wonderland were anything to go by they are well and truly going to have their work cut out for them. But I don't want to be too negative about it, Village are a big company, and no doubt have some very smart people on board and I am sure they have done their sums right to make something like this work.
  13. Yep it's 13.40euros return on RER Line A from Paris to Disneyland. The cheapest rooms at any of the Disneyland Hotels (2*)is minimum 300 euros a night (but that does include tickets to the parks and the extra 2 hours in the parks, however it is not the entire area of both that you are able to access during the magic hours.) Plus the other problem with staying at the park is it's a decent trip into Paris (45mins) if you want to do any other touristy things.
  14. It is a great place Paris, and I am not keen to come home to Australia just yet. Sadly the B&M at Parc Asterix is actually scheduled for opening in 2012, so you might miss it being here in June this year
  15. You will definitely enjoy Disney Paris (I am living in Paris and have a yearly pass there so I might be a little bit biased. Send me a PM if you want to know anything else to do in Paris or how to get there etc etc..) If you are going to do both parks in one day in Disney Studios park you should definitely hit up the Rock & Roll Rollercoaster, The Twighlight Zone Tower of Terror, and check out the new Toystory Playland especially the "RC Racer" skip the rest unless you have plenty of time (although if you are doing it in one day you may not) When we go to Disney, we always grab a fast pass for Thunder Mountain first thing, (it always has the longest queue) then head straight over Space Mountain. If there is time hit up Star Tours and Buzz Lightyears laser blast (good fun if you are with someone) Usually then its time for Thunder Mountain. After Thunder Mountian, we head over to Indiana Jones, and Pirates, then into Fantasyland for the Teacups. Then back to Space Mountain for a 2nd go. Usually then we will head over to the Studios for the three main rides there. In the studios if you are going to get a fastpass for a ride, I would generally go for the Tower of Terror over the Rock & Roll Rollercoaster. TOT has a much longer loading and cycle time and does not get through as many guests per hour as the Rock & Roll Rollercoaster, and also TOT usually has a decent sized queue. In June it should not be toooo busy although with the warmer weather it will start to bring out the crowds It shouldn't be as bad as July or August. Make sure you eat your lunch early (like 11:30 -12) DEFINITELY do not try to eat lunch between 1 and 2. French people ALWAYS eat lunch between 1 and 2 so the queues on the rides die down a bit during this time and the queues in the food outlets get ridiculously long. If you have a few days in Paris you should go to this park too http://www.parcasterix.fr/
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