Tag Archives: hotels

Disney Plans Themed Hotels for Major U.S. Cities

8 Feb

The Orlando Sentinel reports, Disney plans themed hotels for major U.S. cities:

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts is considering putting Disney-themed hotels and nightlife districts into downtown areas of major cities that don’t currently have Disney properties.

This is an interesting idea. John Frost points out in The Disney Blog that they could, for example, build in New York City, to service guests visiting their Broadway shows. And I do think the Disney brand is strong enough to attract a reasonable number of travelers, especially if they’re able to keep prices competitive with the other major hotel chains.

I’m a bit more skeptical about setting up the “nightlife districts,” a la Downtown Disney. The shopping part of Downtown Disney would probably go over well in most cities, given the mall-ification of America. But the nightlife, Pleasure Island, entertainment component might not fare so well. Most cities’ clubgoers are fairly fickle in their nightclub tastes, meaning that clubs have to change names/styles/je-ne-sais-quoi on a regular basis to keep the crowd jumping.

Of course, none of my skepticism is going to stop me from hoping they set up shop in Boston. It’s cold up here, and I need a Disney fix! Warm me up with a themed hotel with associated shopping and nightlife; be sure to include a DisneyQuest-style arcade with Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for Buccaneer Gold and CyberSpace Mountain. After all, wasn’t part of the DisneyQuest concept the ability to replicate rides cost-effectively in a large number of cities?

Never mind that DisneyQuest Chicago failed. I’m not thinking about Disney’s bottom line here . . . these are my needs we’re talking about!

(As a small tangent here. . . Boston actually has a company trying to fill a theme park-ish, interactive entertainment niche: 5WITS, presenting Tomb. It’s a bit overpriced, and as I don’t know many people that have been there I suspect they may not be drawing the crowds they’d hoped for. But I had fun there, so I figured I’d give them a little plug. I’ll go back fer sure when they put in a new show, preferably one with pirates. Or the ability to shoot down some aliens. Hey, I’m not picky.)

[Update: More on this from Orlando Sentinel: “Disney also is contemplating small, immersive “niche theme parks” and water parks in other cities, Rasulo said.”

I would have loved to be a fly on the wall in the “Lessons Learned” meeting when DisneyQuest Chicago closed; I hope they review those PowerPoints before they make their next move.]

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