Theme Park Girl

New article 'this is where Disneyland Australia might be built'

62 posts in this topic

As we've all said before, Australia's population and tourism levels are not yet at the sustainable level for a Disney park. However, Melbourne, as most of the articles state, is lacking a prominent theme park that acts as a tourist drawcard. The iconic nature of Luna Park is not enough to lure visitors (except coaster enthusiasts) in any real way, it is more of an icon that attracts those already planning to visit Melbourne for other reasons.

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Well, I'll be moving near Melbourne in the next few months (currently in the UK).

As much as I'd love a new Disney park in the area - though the only one I'd think of would be Avalon - I don't think it'd happen. I think it'd be far more likely, if one were to happen, for it to be in the Gold Coast purely because it could feed off the number of people coming to the other parks.

That said, I'm unsure whether a Disney Australia could happen anyway. Let's face it, the only main places that'd use it would be Australia, New Zealand, and maybe some other small areas - other places have better access to other Disney parks, with parks in America, Europe, China and Japan.

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I don't think any Disney park would need to 'feed off' anybody. You could build it in Alice Springs and people would go. Disney parks are a destination unto themselves. Disney tries very hard to build something that means you never have to leave property.

We've done the "why Disney won't build in Australia" argument to death. We all know why. If you don't, search the forums for the countless Disney in Australia threads and read what many of us have said ad nauseum.

That said, one of my goals is for me to take my son to every Disney park in the world, and planning is already underway (he's 12 weeks old). Many people aim to visit each and every one, and Disney makes a big point of having a point of difference in every park they build - so there are unique things about each. It's not enough to go to Hong Kong, and then go "well we've been there, we don't need to go to Orlando now."

Sure, some people will only ever visit their local park, but the point of difference is meant to drive visitation. For that reason, i'd visit every park no matter where it was - Australia included. I think that would apply to others too. We do need a local population to support it, but if they built "Disney Lite", lower budgets, smaller scales, but still with Disney flair, i think it'd be great to get a Disney fix without a passport.

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8 minutes ago, AlexB said:

That said, one of my goals is for me to take my son to every Disney park in the world, and planning is already underway (he's 12 weeks old). Many people aim to visit each and every one, and Disney makes a big point of having a point of difference in every park they build - so there are unique things about each. It's not enough to go to Hong Kong, and then go "well we've been there, we don't need to go to Orlando now."

As someone who's never been to a Disney park, I'd just like to say he is one very lucky son and I'm super-jealous xD

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I visited my first when I was 14. My second didn't come until I was 27. I then revisited the first park when I was 31, and the second park again when I was 33, both with my wife for her first experience of both parks.

The tricky decision for us now has been to determine which park first? what age? what order? Do we want him to experience California first - Walt's only completed park? Or Orlando, being one neither of us have been to, but certainly the biggest and most costly trip? or Hong Kong, a place that is special for us? Shanghai, being brand new? Tokyo, being reasonably close, and one of my wife's favourite countries she's always wanted to visit? Or Paris... because... well... if it's going to be our goal to do all of them we'll have to do Paris at some stage... :P

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I'm flat out trying to save for a trip to the Whitsunday's for our 10th wedding anniversary in a year and a half and that is only costing us $4000...

Meanwhile I have friends who went a couple years ago, but then decided to go again on their honeymoon less than a year later...  (I don't really understand that bit)...

I would love to take my son but from doing a trip around Europe with family when I was 18 and my brothers were 14 and 10...  I remember it all and my parents and I talk about it a bit but neither of my brothers remember any of it even when looking through photos...

Why would I want to spend a lot of money on something my son will not remember?  Yeah sure the experience of watching his face light up when he sees Elsa, Rapunzel, Buzz, Woody, Lightning McQueen...  Actually those are the only Disney characters he is interested in...

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An industry colleague of mine is a Senior Disney Executive here in Australia, they have said that Disney have no intention of building a park in Australia in the near future. The population numbers don't justify the capex required for such an investment. They will continue to develop its theatre division (Aladdin opens in August following the success of The Lion King), and continue to promote their US Parks to an Australian audience.

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@OceanGirl I'm with AlexB on this one.  It's time you set out a plan and put it into action.  The idea might seem out of reach but I encourage you to do some research.  With some good planning it is very cost effective.  I payed for 2 adults and 3 kids last year and it cost me $12000.00.  You might think $12000.00 a lot of money and it is but when you put it into context you see how cheap it works out to be.  I was in the USA for 4 weeks.  I spent 1.5 weeks in LA.  From LA we hired a van and did the whole ocean road trip up to Seattle.  We stayed 3 days in San Francisco and drove up to Portland/Seattle.  Going back to LA we went inland via Sacramento. The last few days we spent near Hollywood.  You just have to be smart with your planning and it can be done. 

Examples of Skeet being smart is.  Stopping off at Gold Beach Animal Park for $3.00 per person.  (Gold Beach Animal Park you get to play/feed with the tigers for free). And we had good luck with this because we got to play and feed 4 cubs which were like 6 weeks old).  

Example of Skeet not being so smart is doing the all you can eat breakfast at Knott’s Berry Farm before the park opens.  The not so smart part was free champagne was include so Skeet was pissed before Knott’s even opened up.

 All comes down to saving.  I also never do what I wouldn’t do at home.  I don’t spend $50.00 on a meal at home so I don’t do it while on holidays.  I also always pucker up on accommodation.  If I’m at Disney from 8.am to midnight I don’t care what my accommodation looks like.  As long as it has a bed and no Bed Bugs then I am happy.  Even the cheapest hotels give you free breakfast to charge up for the day.  First thing I do when I arrive is buy a cheap ass esky.  I fill it up with the free ice that all the hotels have and pack it full of the drinks that I purchase from a grocery stall. 

 

I sure a lot of people can give you tips on saving $ while still having a great time.

DON"T EVER NOT GET TRAVEL INSURANCE.  My son got food poisoning and ended up spending 9 hours in hospital.  When I arrived home I had a $17000.00 bill in my mail box.  Lucky for Skeet he had paid $100.00 for travel insurance and he just forwarded the bill onto them.

Edited by skeetafly

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I was 6 when I first visited Disneyland, and then 16 the second visit. Now at 31 I am planning on when to take my son, who is currently 3 & 1/2. 

I have very limited memories of my trip at 6, snapshots in my mind, but we have countless photos and dodgy video footage to recount those memories, and that was in 1991. With the advancements in tech these days/social media etc, a 4 or 5 year old can relive that trip the rest of their lives. Hoping to visit in June/July 2017, if financially viable, if not definitely in 2018. 

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My advice for @Brad2912 is do your trip before but leading into the USA summer break.  Disneyland starts it extended trading hours a couple of weeks before the holidays but the parks are not full yet.  Airfares, accommodation are always cheaper too at that time.  My last day at DL was the last day of school in the USA.   If you ever want to see what 1000 yellow buses look like at once this is the night to go.  DL opens it gates to seniors students from midnight for free on this day.  Walking back to the hotel with hundreds of yellows buses driving past.  Kids head, legs and arms hanging out of windows, all screaming like they just won the lotto.

Edited by skeetafly

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2 hours ago, AlexB said:

In my view, the Whitsundays are incredibly expensive for what they are. You could potentially finance a trip to Hong Kong for less.

I get industry rates and being an ex staff member still in touch there I am getting a very large amount of things included in that pricing.  14 nights, beachside villa, reef trips, sailing trips, helicopter scenic flights, day trips to other islands, rather large room credit, all meals included...

If you were staying on Hamilton Island yes it is very expensive but that is not where we will stay...

Edited by Wyncenuros

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5 hours ago, OceanGirl said:

Ditto! I've yet to step foot out of the country, never even owned a passport ?

Ah that must suck. I've only been overseas a few times but still better than none.

I've wanted to do a massive theme park tour of the US except I have the following issues:
- I don't have a job or any way to make money, any money I do get goes straight to uni and stuff
- It's hard to find a time to go that avoids the crowds, is outside of uni semester, and isn't in the middle of winter
- I have no friends or family that are interested in theme parks and I'm not old enough to go by myself (that said, if I went with friends, it would be at least two years, if not more, before my parents would even let me do that).

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You're in university, but not old enough to go by yourself, and another two years before your parents would let you?

Who are you? Doogie Howser? (although based on what you've said you probably are too young for that reference).

I don't mean to offend, i'm legitimately curious how a university age student would need parental consent to go overseas - I think american kids call it a Gap year. Snooty american kids call it a sabbatical... no doubt you could probably find others through Parkz, or TPR who would go on a trip - and if you look into it, TPR trips tend to be nice and easy.

Cost wise yes, still prohibitive, but where there is a will, there is a way... especially with HECS\HELP programs and the like... ;)

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1 hour ago, AlexB said:

You're in university, but not old enough to go by yourself, and another two years before your parents would let you?

Who are you? Doogie Howser? (although based on what you've said you probably are too young for that reference).

I don't mean to offend, i'm legitimately curious how a university age student would need parental consent to go overseas - I think american kids call it a Gap year. Snooty american kids call it a sabbatical... no doubt you could probably find others through Parkz, or TPR who would go on a trip - and if you look into it, TPR trips tend to be nice and easy.

 

Maybe it could be a bit of a maturity thing. Santa mentioned that he was "not old enough to go by himself", so it could just be his parents/guardians not being fully content with the idea of a young person travelling the world solo. 

Edited by Zanstabar

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Quite understandable that Disney wouldn't be interested in an Australia park in the near future. To be honest, I doubt the country will ever get one - though didn't the guy who's looking at building a park in the Gold Coast say that increasing population levels were making his more viable?

To add to the general Disney / trips abroad business, it seems that prices to get places are a lot cheaper from here in the UK than from Australia. We've been able to do a flight to Florida, hire car and villa for about £800 each (for two of us, for two weeks). We did a road trip a few years back, from Chicago to Williamsburg (so Six Flags Great America, Cedar Point, Six Flags Great Adventure, Six Flags America, Busch Gardens Williamsburg) for about £1000 each (which was flights, car hire, hotels). As someone said, we don't really care about the state of the hotel so long as it's clean enough.

I've been to three Disney "places" I guess - California years ago with my parents, Florida, and most recently Paris. I really don't understand the flack Paris gets as I thought it was a brilliant park - there's loads of little hidden places to explore (like the caves under the castle, which contains a huge animatronic dragon) which I've not seen in either of the other two parks. Plus the rides, in some cases, are better than the Florida counterparts in my opinion (Big Thunder Mountain, Pirates, Haunted Mansion / Phantom Manor).

I guess it's not the "all-singing, all-dancing" place that Florida is, but I think it's still pretty fun.

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1 hour ago, AlexB said:

You're in university, but not old enough to go by yourself, and another two years before your parents would let you?

Who are you? Doogie Howser? (although based on what you've said you probably are too young for that reference).

I don't mean to offend, i'm legitimately curious how a university age student would need parental consent to go overseas - I think american kids call it a Gap year. Snooty american kids call it a sabbatical... no doubt you could probably find others through Parkz, or TPR who would go on a trip - and if you look into it, TPR trips tend to be nice and easy.

Cost wise yes, still prohibitive, but where there is a will, there is a way... especially with HECS\HELP programs and the like... ;)

I'm younger than most uni students (I'm still 16 for a few months), so probably best to wait till I'm 18.

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5 minutes ago, Santa07 said:

I'm younger than most uni students (I'm still 16 for a few months), so probably best to wait till I'm 18.

That's super young, I was 18 before I began Uni in Melbourne. Can also confirm that the term 'gap year' is definitely prominent in Australia, Alex B. 

Is there anything stopping you from getting a job? Once you have completed your first year you are eligible to participate in the Disney International Program/J1 Cultural exchange in which you work for Walt Disney World for approximately 5-12 months. This is an alternative that pays you money and allows you to explore some of the best theme parks in the US, in fact I have my interview for the program on Monday :)

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