Saturday, June 1, 2013
PI Update: How the Closing Of Pleasure Island Has Cost Disney $Millions!
Of course Disney knew that by closing Pleasure Island that they would lose most of the evening entertainment dollars of their adult guests. They decided that they were willing to give that up. And they even knew that most of those lost entertainment dollars would be going to their biggest competitor, Universal's CityWalk. And they were still willing to do that. But their analysis was flawed. It was a decision that has ended up costing them far more millions of dollars than they ever anticipated!
If there was any doubt about whether Universal CityWalk would go after Disney's adult guests, that doubt was erased on August 8, 2008 when CityWalk included advertising stickers in the Orlando Sentinel that could be redeemed for a free CityWalk Party Pass. Uni was going after locals with this offer because it was only included in home delivery editions of the paper, not in newstand editions. They repeated the stickers on August 15th and September 5th. And things got even wilder when Universal announced, just 3 days before Pleasure Island's "final night", that they would honor Pleasure Island Annual Passes through March 31, 2009. "Bring us your PI AP and we'll give you a CityWalk AP!"
Pleasure Island and CityWalk were / are similar beasts. Both had / have shops, restaurants.....and multiple dance clubs. Both drew / draw similar crowds at night. One can argue about which was better but that's not the point. Anyone thinking PI was a money-loser would have to think CW was a money-loser too. Of course neither were money-losers. Both were profitable and with PI closed, CityWalk began raking it in! I can remember asking management at CityWalk what it was like not having any competition from Disney. He never answered my question but the huge shit-eating grin he gave me answered it anyway. CityWalk was not only more profitable than ever, they were rolling in money!
And that is how Disney has lost more millions of dollars than they ever expected. They knew and were willing to give up Pleasure Island's revenue. They knew and were willing to give up Pleasure Island's profits. But what they didn't anticipate was by freely giving all that money to their arch rival, that the arch rival would use the money to fund something so fantastic that it's caused many Disney guests to spend 1-2 days of their 7-day vacation at Universal instead of at Disney! And that is the $Millions that Disney has lost forever and continues to lose. All because they closed Pleasure Island!