18 posts in this topic

Hey!

(I'm only imagining how many eye rolls that this title would have received... 😂)

So I know this is a 'cliche' topic and has been discussed several times, but I just want to know peoples thoughts to the following;

Many say that Australia can't accomodate a Universal Studios park due to the small population that Australia has, yet Singapore has only got a population of 5 million?

As well as that, Universal Studios Singapore only has about 20 attractions - in comparison to Movie World that has 24 - and it's size isn't ALL that big (It literally surrounds a lagoon).

 

I can understand why a Disney park wouldn't work in Australia, but I feel like a Universal Studios park has potential?

 

Anyway, I'm a curious person and just want to see/hear what other people think about this.

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Singapore is also a gateway to essentially the rest of the world (something it shares with Abu Dhabi, and for the rest of Australia, Brisbane airport.), but at the very least Asia. So with a country like that gaining more and more traction as a tourist hotspot, it makes sense. Just like with AD gaining traction, they scored Ferrari World and WBAD.

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Firstly, I’d love to see either Universal or Disney come to Australia but sadly, I think it’s a non starter.  I was reading recently that the Disney Parks make all of their profit from Florida, Anaheim & Tokyo.  Paris and HK barely break even and Shanghai is a bit quiet about how their doing.   Now when Eurodisney opened in 1992, the French Government not only gave them the land outside Paris for free, but also threw millions of Francs at them to get the gig.  At the time, Paris was at the centre of Europe (Europe stopped at the Berlin Wall), it was within 4 hours drive X million guests, 30 mins from CDG airport and right on the Freeway.  Also, the French extended the RER A rail line to go to the front door of the theme park.  Yet DLP continually struggles.  Nearly one third of the visitors come from the UK and only 38% from France.

Now coming back to Universal or Disney coming to Aus, I’m guessing there would have to be a lot of political/govt goodwill to even get the thing off the ground.  Free land, a new access road/freeway, a ton a start up grants, etc.  Then would the thing even break even?  Let’s say the NSW govt were really keen on the idea and just for argument is offered Universal free land near the new West Sydney airport with a new freeway and railway connecting the park to central Sydney.  I’m guessing just that bit would go into a couple of billion dollars.

Then the initial outlay of building a resort that people will actually want to visit.  Again another couple of billion ( I don’t have a specific breakdown but Space mountain at DLP cost $au 200 million on its own). So the directors of Aussie banks plc would need convincing that Disney Paris and HK wouldn’t happen in Australia.  

Finally, we’re a long way from the rest of the world.  While a number of Aussies may support such a project, there’s a lot a competition for foreign tourist to visit clone parks that are closer to where they live.  The only starter I can see is if Ardent sell Dreamworld off on the cheap and federal money gets pumped in to create Universal Gold Coast.    But sadly, I just think the numbers don’t add up.

Edited by Adam C
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It’s not the size of the local population that matters, it’s the accessibility for tourists and the visiting population. 

Australia is literally in the middle of “no where” in terms of global travel from the Americas & Europe, whereas Singapore is a major stopover destination. 

Our population could increase to 40m and it still wouldn’t necessarily make us a more viable destination, as it’s not locals that sustain those parks, it’s tourists 

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Considering that Dreamworld already has a good working relationship with Dreamworks, and that Dreamworks is now virtually part of Universal Studios, I'm a bit surprised if Ardent haven't been talking to them about a possible sale or partial sale.

That way potentially Dreamworld could get some serious investment and ultimately become Universal Studios Australia. 

They could really go head to head with VRTP and we'd have two global theme park companies competing on an equal footing, rather than the poor little Ardent struggling to try to keep up with the mighty Village Roadshow! 

Ardent could potentially retain an interest too if both parties deem it favourable. Possibly Ardent could take responsibility for developing and managing new tourist facilities  (hotels etc) adjacent to the park, with Universal taking over running the park itself. 

Seems like they've sort of already made a good start on rebranding at the main entrance!  😃

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Edited by pushbutton
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Universal Singapore - 2017 Attendance - 4.22 million

Village Roadshow Theme Parks Gold Coast - Combined 2017 Attendance - 4.96 million.

See the difference? a park like Movieworld still only has roughly half the attendance of Universal in Singapore.

Edited by Levithian

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3 minutes ago, Levithian said:

Universal Singapore - 2017 Attendance - 4.22 million

Village Roadshow Theme Parks Gold Coast - Combined 2017 Attendance - 4.96 million.

See the difference? a park like Movieworld still only has roughly half the attendance of Universal in Singapore.

Am I reading that right? 

You say both had roughly 4 to 5 million visitors  (which allowing for seasonal fluctuations is near enough the same).

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Except VTP is total attendance across FOUR properties....

I don’t see DW ever being the type of park Universal would even entertain the idea of picking up and rebranding, the style of park, layout etc is about as far removed from a Universal park as possible. MW is a closer fit it it was to be any Australian park, but the reality is IF (and it’s as unlikely an IF as any imo...) Universal was to open in Australia in the future it would be a greenfield development, not an acquisition and re-brand

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Here's an idea to add to my earlier post about Dreamworld and Universal. 

I think I'd probably be right saying Universal Studios parks don't have animals in them. Dreamworld has a very large area dedicated to animals, and a lot of very experienced and passionate staff who care for the animals. There's also Dreamworld Wildlife Foundation which does a lot of very valuable work. They're actually very good at running that section. Just pretty hopeless at running the theme park! 

What if the park were split into two parts. The Coroberree section remained managed by Ardent and was essentially a wildlife park, whilst the rest would be gradually redeveloped into Universal Studios Gold Coast. 

Obviously the two parks would still be adjacent each other, and the two companies could offer visitors the option to get passes to both parks.

There'd also need to be a new separate entry to the Wildlife Park ("Coroberree" would be as good a name as any), and the waterpark could either remain part of Universal Studios or part of Coroberree. 

If the waterpark was part of Coroberree that would make that section a much more compelling offer to visitors, and the remaining area of the theme park  (Dreamworld minus Coroberree and Whitewater World) is perhaps not all that different to the size of Movie World or other Universal Studios parks. 

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Except why would anyone visit Corroboree if it was stand alone? It would basically be a poor mans Currumbin Sanctuary. You’ve then got the problem of Tiger Island - it doesn’t fit in with an Australiana theme, nor is it geographically near that area, yet would be the only real drawcard if separated. 

WWW didn’t get enough unique visitors in its own right to the point they removed a separate gate, so they are not going to go back to that model, unless they charge $10 a head and $50 for an annual pass, no one would go... and at those rates it wouldn’t warrant operation. 

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21 hours ago, BringADecentParkToSydney said:

As well as that, Universal Studios Singapore only has about 20 attractions - in comparison to Movie World that has 24 - and it's size isn't ALL that big (It literally surrounds a lagoon).

I see you’ve used Movie World’s loose definition of attractions, then excluded the same type from USS’s count. 

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But they are planning an expansion of the waterpark as it is, and in my hypothetical model they'd have loads of funds from the theme park sale so they could invest even more. 

Edited by pushbutton

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1 hour ago, westical said:

I see you’ve used Movie World’s loose definition of attractions, then excluded the same type from USS’s count. 

https://movieworld.com.au/attractions

https://www.rwsentosa.com/en/attractions/universal-studios-singapore/things-to-do/rides

https://www.rwsentosa.com/en/attractions/universal-studios-singapore/things-to-do/shows

Oh.. I counted up these and  compared but if I'm wrong then show me haha. 

 

Regardless of how many rides though - Can't Universal just opt for a smaller 'layout'?

 

I mean look at it this way; Every Disney Park (maybe not so much Shanghai) has that 'classic' Disney park layout with a Town Square, Mainstreet, Hub, Castle and then the themed lands around it. Universal, however, doesn't really have a set layout. I mean, just compare all their parks. They don't really match in terms of layout - nor do they completely in rides (e.g. No HP land at USS).

 

With that said, couldn't Universal just make a smaller park with only enough rides to keep the guests happy?

 

I understand that we don't have the tourism aspect for it - but MW is able to survive (or at least has been able to in the past), and if the other parks are still making profits, then is it EXTREMELY detrimental if one of them isn't exceeding their expectations entirely? (Such as Paris and HK not matching Disney's expectations).

 

Anyway, I personally don't see Universal coming here anytime soon, but it's still fun to contemplate the possibilities. 

 

Edit: Adding onto this - I read somewhere that in relation to Disney; they're somehow able to have parks (Paris, HK) not turn a profit but yet still survive with just Shanghai (apparently it's doing really well?), so couldn't the same be said for Universal?

I can't remember for the life of me on where I read that though ^

Edited by BringADecentParkToSydney

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28 minutes ago, BringADecentParkToSydney said:

Edit: Adding onto this - I read somewhere that in relation to Disney; they're somehow able to have parks (Paris, HK) not turn a profit but yet still survive with just Shanghai (apparently it's doing really well?), so couldn't the same be said for Universal?

I can't remember for the life of me on where I read that though ^

Just Shanghai...? 

Someone’s losing money somewhere. That usually means cutting budgets elsewhere.

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Lets also look at the budget for most of Universals Attractions lets forget about anything to do with HP. Jurassic Park is around the 100million mark, Transformers is 120million, Revenge of the Mummy is 20-30million plus all of there attractions are all large scale investments compared to our parks. So even a small Universal park will still cost over the 500million-1 billion USD to build at LEAST! 

Considering Australia's most expensive attraction to date is DC Rivals at 30million I do not see this all feasible at this point in time or for a while. Plus once the park is built they would still need to continue to invest. A park needs to keep building new attractions or something new year after year or people get bored and don't come back.

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On 14/10/2018 at 6:49 PM, Brad2912 said:

Except VTP is total attendance across FOUR properties....

I don’t see DW ever being the type of park Universal would even entertain the idea of picking up and rebranding, the style of park, layout etc is about as far removed from a Universal park as possible. MW is a closer fit it it was to be any Australian park, but the reality is IF (and it’s as unlikely an IF as any imo...) Universal was to open in Australia in the future it would be a greenfield development, not an acquisition and re-brand

100% agree that Universal is not a good fit for purchasing Dreamworld. Slightly off topic , but which operator could get the best out of Dreamworld and who would be the best fit? Merlin? Cedar Fair?  Six Flags? Parques Reunidos ( whic I think is the most likely..)

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