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New Oil Crisis? (part 1)

There’s been a lot of chatter about rising fuel prices spelling Walt Disney World’s doom of late on Disney fan sites – some reporting that if gas continues its increase and crude oil tops $160 a barrel (it’s currently at $133), it would be practical for Disney to sell off Walt Disney World and take liscencing fees.

Others talk of parks closing down during different weekdays, plans of DCA being shelved until something stablizes, etc. Personally, I don’t think anyone would buy all of WDW even if Disney wanted to part with it, but that’s just me.

Regardless, I wanted to take a series of articles and discuss this. Particularly, how it relates to the early years of the Resort, when the Oil crisis of the ’70s was happening. EPCOT was being planned, as were new resorts and attractions for the Magic Kingdom. Some of my favorite WDW ideas were shelved permanently during this time, including Thunder Mesa, The Venetian, Asian, and Arabian hotels (all pictured in this overview provided by Jim Hill media and copywrited 1969 Walt Disney Productions). What happened last time? What will happen this time?

stay tuned.

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2 comments to New Oil Crisis? (part 1)

  • This “$160-a-barrel-oil, then Disney sells” idea sounds, well, preposterous on its face. If it isn’t profitable for Disney to run the parks at that price, why would it be profitable for anyone else to run them either, given that they’d -also- be saddled with licensing fees to pay to Disney?

    What am I missing here?

  • Agreed – we were talking the other day about this and it was pointed out that who besides Disney would want to or be able to buy the property? Perhaps some huge venture capital interest, but why would they want it if there was no profit upside?

    Of course, in previous economic crises under less bold corporate leadership there were a number of ideas like this, not to mention a rash of overtly-cautious decision making that cost the company in the long-run, and this is what I think the author is going to address in future installments.

    As for those who are promoting this as an actual possibility that we’re in risk of, I’d agree that it sounds a bit dodgy.

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