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Mike Martus
08-01-2001, 07:31 PM
At the team forum in Michigan it was hinted that there needs to be a plan to limit teams at the nationals this year. We are maxed out at 320 teams. Disney will not support any more. There is no more space.

Many ideas were bounced around. Many felt that limits would hurt teams no matter how the selection was made.

Any other takes on this subject.

A true and realistic problem for sure.

How important is Disney?

mike o'leary
08-01-2001, 08:23 PM
i went with the 'want a better solution then limits' option even thouhg i dont quite know what it means. i do know that im opposed to limiting nats in almost all circumstances, thouhg not all (i.e. first come first serve or something). and i dont know if im ready to dump disney...

Joel J
08-01-2001, 08:54 PM
It would be a shame to leave disney simply because it can no longer expand to meet the ever increasing number of teams that attend the nationals: They provided the space for the FIRST event from day one and that has to count for something.

I do agree that something has to be done about the "maximum capacity" limit that has been encountered. One solution to this problem would be to span the national competition over two disney parking lots, rather than one (thank you DDR), rotating the location of the Einstein stage every other year (only one main stage, not two).

The solution above might not be the best one, but I am sure that there is something that can be done to solve this problem. Leaving disney for a larger venue should only be instituted as a last resort and limiting the number of teams should never be done at all.

Carolyn Duncan
08-02-2001, 05:00 PM
This topic got much attention when the new forums came up. My personal oppinion is hold Disney to its word. Andy Baker's post reminded me that Disney had said they would build if we came. Well, we are and have been there. I am very opposed to limiting nats in most cases. It would be a shame to dump Disney after all that they've done for us but look what we've done for them. Every year we go, spend money there, some of our families go to watch, many teams buy multiday park hopper passes, we fill their hotels, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. All of this puts money into their pockets that might have goten there without us but not in so little time, leaving more time to put more money into their pockets. With all of the land that Disney owns, that is not developed yet, I'm sure ther is something they could do to build a place for us ALL to go. If not I think we should move on to a place that can accomodate us all. Who knows, with a regional in Canada we may be able to find something up north. My suggestion to Disney, take some undeveloped land, buils a place to hold nats that can be expanded and also build a "museum" of FIRST for Disney patrons to visit and learn. Maybe have interractive exhibits.It could bring even more business and help publicize FIRST and Disney as partners. This is my very humble opinion.

ColleenShaver
08-02-2001, 05:09 PM
This was a hot topic at the NH Forum as well. I have to agree with what seemed to be the unanimous consensus of our group: you can't limit participation in Nationals.

At it's base perspective, it's not within the mission of FIRST to 'limit' any one from doing anything, but rather the complete opposite.

Plus, a major problem with making it eliminatory is for making reservations. If teams didn't know until March that they needed to make it to Nationals for April, costs of airfare alone would skyrocket.

Some answers were that Disney can expand- that parking lot is MUCH bigger than we use. It seemed that FIRST and Disney had come to terms with the fact that anymore than the 320ish would be too much. FIRST can't really staff any more fields and the cost of those fields is probably through the roof for Disney.

So like i said in the post on the GenForum: it was suggested that there be multiple 'nationals' or 'pre-nationals'... one for each coast. Then FIRST can pay (or yes, teams could pay) for the winners only to attend a 'final match' somewhere (Hey- maybe we should start going back to the White House with the winners.. they have a nice lawn to setup a field on ;-))

In any case- I think once regionals get expanded more and get to be the 'focus' of the competition, nationals can be eliminatory and downsized for Disney (back to the 70 or so teams and bring it back inside the parks... who remembers 1995-1996??).. thus reducing costs across the board. Then Nationals could prolly occur later in the year (june-ish?) when it's more convienent for Disney.

Just ideas... but I don't think limiting is ready to happen yet.

Carolyn Duncan
08-02-2001, 05:51 PM
It seemed that FIRST and Disney had come to terms with the fact that anymore than the 320ish would be too much. FIRST can't really staff any more fields and the cost of those fields is probably through the roof for Disney.
So like i said in the post on the GenForum: it was suggested that there be multiple 'nationals' or 'pre-nationals'... one for each coast. Then FIRST can pay (or yes, teams could pay) for the winners only to attend a 'final match' somewhere (Hey- maybe we should start going back to the White House with the winners.. they have a nice lawn to setup a field on ;-))


It seems to me that this is a contradiction. If FIRST can't staff the fields and Disney can't afford to have all the feilds how would this work? In order for Woody and Dean to be at both finals they would have to either have to be on different weekends or at times with enough interval for travel. This travel would cost money, thus an increase to FIRST. Also, this would still cost Disney as the fields would be greater in number and still be on Disney property. As for staffing the fields, volunteers are great. Find a college in the area with a comunity service club or engineering students guild and approach them to volunteer. The White House idea isn't that great due to security and the size of the robots now. Things could really get out of hand. I don't mean to sound pessimistic so please correct me if I'm wrong.

Jessica Boucher
08-02-2001, 06:41 PM
mid-June? thats in the middle of Peak Season for Disney. I dont know, but it would be cheaper to have it in off-peak times.

Carolyn Duncan
08-02-2001, 07:02 PM
Originally posted by Jessica Boucher
mid-June? thats in the middle of Peak Season for Disney. I dont know, but it would be cheaper to have it in off-peak times.
Me thinks an idea has brewed! Kick off in November and Nationals in February/March? Might help with space, limits, and everything else. It's even a down time for airlines. hmmmm...

David Kelly
08-02-2001, 07:05 PM
Originally posted by Carolyn Duncan

Me thinks an idea has brewed! Kick off in November and Nationals in February/March? Might help with space, limits, and everything else. It's even a down time for airlines. hmmmm...


that would be awfuly hard for everbody to work during christmas. a lot of people have family stuff going on.

Carolyn Duncan
08-02-2001, 07:15 PM
Set the schedule so that construction would be finished a week before Christmas. Then everyone would go on break, come back and get ready to compete. Then exams wouldn't get interrupted either.

David Kelly
08-02-2001, 07:27 PM
Originally posted by Carolyn Duncan
Set the schedule so that construction would be finished a week before Christmas. Then everyone would go on break, come back and get ready to compete. Then exams wouldn't get interrupted either.

our school just changed the school schedule so that we would finish finals before christmas. It will be a lot easier now to concentrate on finals and robotics cause they are separated. It doesn't really matter when the season is, there would be teams that would have finals that would get into the way.

Carolyn Duncan
08-02-2001, 08:00 PM
Silence! Your not helping. Im' trying to do something good here and you keep ruining it.
*points to avatar and calls you the next victim*
I'm j/k it's good that you're thinking about it too.

mike o'leary
08-02-2001, 08:42 PM
i like the white house idea...but somehow i doubt that would fly. adn somehow im sure that there would be a lot of stories for the dirty laundry thread coming out of it

A. Leese
08-04-2001, 07:52 PM
Originally posted by Jessica Boucher
mid-June? thats in the middle of Peak Season for Disney. I dont know, but it would be cheaper to have it in off-peak times.

yea, Jessica's right about when Disney's peak time is..mid-June is when about half of the school groups that exist in Brazil invade central Florida (not to mention all of you northerners). it would be cheaper to have it in the off-peak times, yes..but the off-peak time is late October/early November..doesn't jive too well with most school calendars. April is the lower season, so it works slightly better than having it in the summer..just some info

About limiting nats..I think that it should be done for the sake of having way too many people there, but I think it would be too drastic of a change if it was done all at once..if that makes any sense..you would sort of have to phase in limited nats, not totally take away half of the people there or something..

~Angela who has only gone to Disney during the peak season once and has regretted it since

Spooks180
08-05-2001, 04:22 PM
If Disney expands, wouldn't the costs inflate? In which you'd lose teams going anyway due to lack of funding and money that each team has. And then if it stays at Disney, and people do limit it, you're going to lose teams, as well. So anyway one goes, one might lose teams going to Nats. So they should pick what is the better choice. If they limit it for only a year, and get things settled and find a new place maybe, then the next year, it won't have be limited. I dunno... just thoughts....

Carolyn Duncan
08-05-2001, 04:35 PM
If Disney expands and the price goes up it will only be for one year anyway. If they build a museum type thing for people to visit and an interactive exhibit they could recoop building expenses so the price for us would go back down. They could also have Disney visitors observing nationals if they're there. The bottom line is that Disney will profit rom us being there. Besides, how many of us don't spend any money while we're on Disney grounds? Not many, Disney has a good thing going with FIRST, they'd really fel the difference if they lost out on hosting nationals.

Sean_330
08-05-2001, 06:36 PM
What about hosting two national championships? One at Disney World in FL, and one at Disneyland in CA? That way, there could still be national championships at Disney. They could determine what teams go where by geographical location or by and even/odd number system that rotates years. Anyway, that is just my opinion about how to deal with the ever-increasing number of teams. Finally, as for space at Disneyland there are dizens of hotels only across the street from both of the Disney parks in CA and there is always a lot of room at hotels only a couple of miles from Disneyland. LAX, (Los Angeles International Airport) which is only 25 miles away, has hundreds of flights a day so teams would have no trouble getting flights in providing they can get to one of the major hub airports. Anyway, that's just my humble opinion of how to deal with the crowding problem.

Sean

Matt Leese
08-06-2001, 07:42 AM
I still like my idea about using multiple parks at Disney World to run different divisions and then just bring everyone back together for the final championship. That'd solve a lot of problems. And as far as FIRST not having enough staff, I think it's fairly clear to everyone that FIRST needs to hire some more people regardless of the situation at nationals. I don't think FIRST liked my idea as the moderator at the forum in NH responded with "See this pen? Shove it in my eye."

Matt

patrickrd
08-06-2001, 02:38 PM
Since the team forum I have been wondering why Disney would want to limit the number of teams that go to nationals. After all, the more teams they let in, the more paying customers they have. Setting up another tent isn't a big deal for them -- they've got plenty of parking lot, and Disney likely isn't the one paying to rent the tents and big stadium... Most of that probably comes from FIRST and its sponsors.

FIRST made it clear at the team forum that Disney is the bottleneck. Disney is the reason FIRST is being pressured to set a limit.

The only reason I can think why Disney would want to limit more teams is because if they bring in any more teams, Disney simply cannot get the profits from these additional teams. After a certain number of teams come, Disney hotels fill and teams look off-property for better deals. Disney does not get this money. Their only other source of money would be with park tickets -- but the majority of FIRST teams that go off-site don't buy many tickets anyway. I'd like to believe this isn't the reason Disney is pressuring us not to bring more people, but I see no other possible reasons.

The next year is a crucial time period for FIRST and its philosophy. FIRST can stick with it's philosophy and do one of two things. They can use the 30000 people they bring to nats as leverage to pressure Disney to expand for us, or if Disney won't, then we can go somewhere else. Or, FIRST can fold to Disney, limit nationals, and exclude teams... Which the NH team forum crowd unanomously was against... and counterproductive to FIRST's philosophy.

Carolyn Duncan
08-06-2001, 10:17 PM
I think putting the squezze on Disney is a good way to go. One year without nationals would cure them of anything. They may lose some money from teams staying off site but that's not as big as loseing nationals all together. My team last year didn't stay on site because of funding and lack of space. We still rode the Disney shuttles and went to the different parks. If I'm not mistaken, it was said by Disney that they would expand to meet our needs. It's time to put their money where their mouth is, it's time to build.

Having the different fields at different parks is the same as limiting nationals in the respect that interaction between teams would be limited to those on your field. For the champions of each field, it would be harder to know what you're coming up against. It would also eliminate each teams one chance to play on Einstein.This would be the same reason I would give to keep nationals from being at two different Disney parks.

All in all I think Disney is trying to test how much say they have in FIRST. If FIRST buckles now it would be disasterous in the future. I'm not pushing for FIRST to leave Disney, but if they can't accomodate us why should we waste our time with them? I'm sure other places can be found to hold nationals. I bet a NASA facility or somewhere in Texas may be good places to start.


edit
"See this pen? Shove it in my eye."
I'm not quite sure what this is supposed to mean but I'm sure it's something.

Tom Fairchild
08-06-2001, 10:50 PM
Hmmm..... I don't think that Disney is testing FIRST or putting the screws on them or anything of that sort. They like having FIRST around and wouldn't want to damage that relationship. I don't think you guys realize how much they are of a sponsor as well as a host. FIRST isn't a real cash crop for them. In fact, we test their resources as is. Think about this - suppose we have 30,000 (a pretty conservative guess) people at nationals but split up the divisions to the different parks. Now tell me for the finals how exactly are you going to get all that many people to the stage to watch? And how are you going to decide which division gets to compete on the big stage?

When you get into groups as large as FIRST is, logistics get to be VERY complicated. It also tends to be an exponential problem too - with twice as many people they are four times as hard to deal with. Disney's hurting already, they're just trying to control the damage.

~Tom~

EddieMcD
08-07-2001, 01:02 PM
All in all I think Disney is trying to test how much say they have in FIRST. If FIRST buckles now it would be disasterous in the future. I'm not pushing for FIRST to leave Disney, but if they can't accomodate us why should we waste our time with them? I'm sure other places can be found to hold nationals. I bet a NASA facility or somewhere in Texas may be good places to start.

Somewhere in Texas would solve the space issue, but it would lose a lot of the attraction that Disney provides.

Mike Martus
08-07-2001, 01:27 PM
I know for a fact that the Pontiac Silvedome is up for sale ......cheap as the Detroit Lions want out of their lease.

I heard rumors of 4 million to take it over. Hey, thats just 1 event at Disney and its paid for.

Plenty of helicopter space.

Matt Leese
08-07-2001, 02:34 PM
Originally posted by Mike Martus
I know for a fact that the Pontiac Silvedome is up for sale ......cheap as the Detroit Lions want out of their lease.

I heard rumors of 4 million to take it over. Hey, thats just 1 event at Disney and its paid for.

Plenty of helicopter space.

I can just imagine trying to recruit students next year by saying we're taking a trip to the lovely vacation spot of Pontiac, Michigan. ;) I hearby demand that nationals take place someplace warm after spending winter in the snowiest city in the US. :D

Matt

Madison
08-07-2001, 02:49 PM
Christina and I talked about this a bit last night. . .

Epcot can accomodate a growing National Championship. There's no question about it, as Epcot's parking lot is one of the largest on WDW property (if not the largest. . .I'm not sure.)

It's really just a matter of whether or not FIRST is worth Disney's effort. I don't mean to sound like a pessimist, but I'm afraid it's true. FIRST is not a blip on Disney's radar when it comes to the bottom line. You might think we bring in a lot of money, but when you consider the number of hotel rooms on Disney property (which is all that really matters to them) versus the amount occupied by FIRST'ers, it becomes insignificant. If there are 10,000 FIRST people going around, that's only a fraction of the capacity of a single theme park . . . It might be a boost for the weekend, or the month, but in the end, it's not a financial boon for Disney in any respect.

In the future, Nats will be limited only if Disney decides that it's not worth their while to bring forth the infrastructure to house a growing event. Pit and field tents are essentially free. The big costs, IMHO, are in the stadium and infrastructure (i.e. power drops). The stadium can be made a little more circular and that can house a few hundred more people. If we grow larger than that, the stadium won't suffice. Or, at the very least, it'll need to be an entire theater in the round scenario, and then the logistics of setting up the stage in the middle become a bit hairy.

Other possibilities?

Disney east coast and Disney west coast? Well, the thing is, space at Disneyland is at a premium. Since California Adventure ate up DL's parking lot, the only available pavement is the Timon Lot. All of the other lots have been replaced with the parking structure. Timon can house a competition, but it's not going to be around much longer. Once Disney management realizes that the only way to get attendance up at DCA is to add new attractions, the Timon lot will get razed.

Disney owns a plot of land a bit away from Disneyland, but it's undeveloped, and there's no infrastructure there.

Splitting up Nats in WDW?

In my opinion, it's not likely. Epcot's big. It's really, really big. People have suggested holding part of the competition in the Magic Kingdom (or nearby, in reality). The Magic Kingdom's parking lot is big, but it's also really isolated. Right now, FIRST benefits by being next to Epcot for a few reasons:

It's easy for the teams to go in and out of the park for the party or food.
It's got easy access to Walt Disney World Transportation.
It's located right near Epcot's entrance, making it possible for non-FIRST people to wander over and see what's going on.


The MK parking lot doesn't have these things. The only way to get to the MK is to take a tram to the Transportation and Ticket Center and then get on a boat or monorail. Bus transportation is available here also. But, it's a long walk to the TTC. The speedway isn't really substantial enough to house the competition, and it's usually a ghost town.

Being stuck in a parking lot in the middle of nowhere effectively means that nobody who doesn't already know about FIRST will come to see it. People might see the stadiums set up on their way to the Magic Kingdom, but little Suzie and Jimmy want to see Dumbo as quickly as possible. They don't want to wander around trying to figure out what's going on in the parking lot.

Finally, how do you handle finals? You can still hold them, and the team party, for that matter in Epcot. But, how do you get robots from the divisions at the MK over to Epcot? You sure can't put 'em on a monorail. FIRST could run shuttles, but what about tools, and machine shops and everything else? What about chaperoning the kids? It becomes very hard for a team to pick it's whole operation up and move to Epcot for some matches. . .

Oh, one other thing while I'm on it. Housing opportunities on Disney property will be much easier to find next year. . . By then, Disney's Pop Century resort ought to be up and running with an additional 5,000 hotel rooms, and it's in the same pricing bracket as the All-Star Resorts.

~ Michael, who's quite bored at work today.

Carolyn Duncan
08-07-2001, 04:03 PM
Originally posted by Mike Martus
I know for a fact that the Pontiac Silvedome is up for sale ......cheap as the Detroit Lions want out of their lease.
I heard rumors of 4 million to take it over. Hey, thats just 1 event at Disney and its paid for.
Plenty of helicopter space.
Though it's not Florida and not Disney, this may be a wise move for FIRST. The staduim could be bought and used to secure a larger place later. But until then there is probly plenty of hotel space due to fans coming to see the games, as well as parking and acces to facilities. The locker rooms could be used as game rooms, shops, and other entertainment/aide facilities. When you really think about this it is a good place to have FIRST comps, even though it's not as desirable as Disney. The functionality of the site must be thought of before you get into trivial things like Disney parks. In the summer it won't be cold there and it also wont have the down poors that occur in Florida (usually daily at about 2pm). I really have a hard time with the fact that FIRST is a financial burden on Disney. We pay for most of our stuff and , if I'm not mistaken, we pay for the team pary in Epcot. I'm sure part or most of the fee we pay goes to Disney. Then again I could be way off on everything I just said.

Shannon Maloney
08-07-2001, 05:39 PM
Lets see, Nats at Disney couldnít really happen at any other time except maybe November. Holidays donít really get in the way, I mean some do but itís not like Easter, a holiday that gets in the way now. If Nats was at Disney in mid November, it would be MUCH cheaper than it is now. Thatís defiantly the down time with more vacant rooms that could be filled with us, resulting in less teams staying off property. Either way, disneyís profit from us comes from all the souvenirs and food that guests buy, not hotels and park passes (come on, a bottle of water at a Disney park is like three bucks, can you see the huge profit???!) So, the season could start in august, even though many New England schools arenít in session yet, the teams would have to plan ahead and start before school, just like fall sports teams. Either way, Disney is less crowded and getting hotels for all of us would be easier and there would be even more of EPCOTís huge parking lot available (not that that is the problem anyway) Disney would have more guests spending money (more guest than theyíve had in past off seasons), and we would have more room

I know Disney has a lot of land in florida and while I did read the idea of them building a location for FIRST is really never gonna happen. Disney does have this little thing called the Wide World of Sports Complex. Now, a lot of people would say that FIRST isnít a ďtrueĒ sport like basketball and football and theyíre right, itís not. But itís still a competitive sport. If cheerleading can be considered a sport and can have there national competition at the Wide World of Sports, why canít we? the parking lot is working fine, so if you're gonna complain about Nats location, complain that we're not there.

I actually donít see where all these problems are coming from. Disney is huge and has plenty of space for all of us. New hotels appear all the time (the newest addition is the Pop Century one, which is similar in design and price to the All-Star resorts were many of the teams already stay). Anyway, Disney is built for crowds and knows how to deal with them. I think putting a max on the number of teams is ridiculous. 320 teams? Come on! Yea that would make things a lot easier because it's smaller and a little less complex (why not limit the number of pounds the robots can be to 50 lbs? it would be less complex!). But FIRST is expanding and Disney can deal with it.

Everyone wants more publicity and more recognition for FIRST. Well we must be getting it because itís defiantly getting bigger (in case you havenít noticed) more recognition and interest result in more teams. More teams means more teams at nationals. it's that simple

so i say we stay with disney (not that what i say has anything to do with it)

later!

~~Shannon~~
**Team 250**

Joe Ross
08-07-2001, 08:49 PM
Originally posted by Michael Krass
Epcot can accomodate a growing National Championship. There's no question about it, as Epcot's parking lot is one of the largest on WDW property (if not the largest. . .I'm not sure.)


Actually, I heard that Epcot's parking lot is the second largest in the world, and the largest is a parking structure.

This was quite a while ago, but it would be hard to find someplace as large as Epcot's parking lot ;)

Jessica Boucher
08-08-2001, 05:52 AM
Heres info on the Wide World of Sports Complex:


http://disney.go.com/disneymeetings/disneyworld/events/worldofsports.html

....Just mixing the water a bit ;)


Have a good one

Matt Leese
08-08-2001, 07:03 AM
Originally posted by Michael Krass
Christina and I talked about this a bit last night. . .

Epcot can accomodate a growing National Championship. There's no question about it, as Epcot's parking lot is one of the largest on WDW property (if not the largest. . .I'm not sure.)

It's really just a matter of whether or not FIRST is worth Disney's effort. I don't mean to sound like a pessimist, but I'm afraid it's true. FIRST is not a blip on Disney's radar when it comes to the bottom line. You might think we bring in a lot of money, but when you consider the number of hotel rooms on Disney property (which is all that really matters to them) versus the amount occupied by FIRST'ers, it becomes insignificant. If there are 10,000 FIRST people going around, that's only a fraction of the capacity of a single theme park . . . It might be a boost for the weekend, or the month, but in the end, it's not a financial boon for Disney in any respect.

In the future, Nats will be limited only if Disney decides that it's not worth their while to bring forth the infrastructure to house a growing event. Pit and field tents are essentially free. The big costs, IMHO, are in the stadium and infrastructure (i.e. power drops). The stadium can be made a little more circular and that can house a few hundred more people. If we grow larger than that, the stadium won't suffice. Or, at the very least, it'll need to be an entire theater in the round scenario, and then the logistics of setting up the stage in the middle become a bit hairy.

Other possibilities?

Disney east coast and Disney west coast? Well, the thing is, space at Disneyland is at a premium. Since California Adventure ate up DL's parking lot, the only available pavement is the Timon Lot. All of the other lots have been replaced with the parking structure. Timon can house a competition, but it's not going to be around much longer. Once Disney management realizes that the only way to get attendance up at DCA is to add new attractions, the Timon lot will get razed.

Disney owns a plot of land a bit away from Disneyland, but it's undeveloped, and there's no infrastructure there.

Splitting up Nats in WDW?

In my opinion, it's not likely. Epcot's big. It's really, really big. People have suggested holding part of the competition in the Magic Kingdom (or nearby, in reality). The Magic Kingdom's parking lot is big, but it's also really isolated. Right now, FIRST benefits by being next to Epcot for a few reasons:

It's easy for the teams to go in and out of the park for the party or food.
It's got easy access to Walt Disney World Transportation.
It's located right near Epcot's entrance, making it possible for non-FIRST people to wander over and see what's going on.


The MK parking lot doesn't have these things. The only way to get to the MK is to take a tram to the Transportation and Ticket Center and then get on a boat or monorail. Bus transportation is available here also. But, it's a long walk to the TTC. The speedway isn't really substantial enough to house the competition, and it's usually a ghost town.

Being stuck in a parking lot in the middle of nowhere effectively means that nobody who doesn't already know about FIRST will come to see it. People might see the stadiums set up on their way to the Magic Kingdom, but little Suzie and Jimmy want to see Dumbo as quickly as possible. They don't want to wander around trying to figure out what's going on in the parking lot.

Finally, how do you handle finals? You can still hold them, and the team party, for that matter in Epcot. But, how do you get robots from the divisions at the MK over to Epcot? You sure can't put 'em on a monorail. FIRST could run shuttles, but what about tools, and machine shops and everything else? What about chaperoning the kids? It becomes very hard for a team to pick it's whole operation up and move to Epcot for some matches. . .

Oh, one other thing while I'm on it. Housing opportunities on Disney property will be much easier to find next year. . . By then, Disney's Pop Century resort ought to be up and running with an additional 5,000 hotel rooms, and it's in the same pricing bracket as the All-Star Resorts.

~ Michael, who's quite bored at work today.

As far as the idea of Nationals East and West, who says that Disney has to hold them in the west? There are probably many other facitilities out there that would be willing to donate some space for a competition.

As far as multiple venues at WDW: The main issue at Epcot that I can see (despite FIRST saying there was a need to limit teams and not people) is the sheer number of people showing up for nationals. Disney may be good at crowd control but 17,000 people in a relatively small space is pushing it. You divide the arenas in half and you solve that problem. As to moving the robots and tools, etc, have Disney do it. No big problem there. As to moving teams, only move the winning alliance. Everybody else should stay put and watch on the big screen. Much easier that way. As far as drawing people already visiting from Disney, it doesn't matter because I sincerely doubt we draw all that many people. People may stop and look for a minute but that's about it. It's a fact of life and getting stuck in the Magic Kingdom parking lot wouldn't really change the matter too much.

Matt

Madison
08-08-2001, 08:47 AM
Originally posted by Joe Ross


Actually, I heard that Epcot's parking lot is the second largest in the world, and the largest is a parking structure.

This was quite a while ago, but it would be hard to find someplace as large as Epcot's parking lot ;)

The last time I saw any information on this, Disneyland's new parking garage was the largest in the world, followed immediately by the twin parking garages on Universal Orlando's property.

Animal Kingdom's got to have a big parking lot too, since it's got more acreage than Epcot. But, Epcot's capacity is still higher.

Jessica Boucher
08-08-2001, 11:21 AM
Lowest Attendance:
January (except New Year's Day) until just prior to Presidents' week in February
The week following Labor Day until just prior to Thanksgiving week
The week following Thanksgiving until the week prior to Christmas

Moderate Attendance:
After Presidents' week in February through early March
Late April through early June (except Memorial Day weekend)
The first part of Thanksgiving week

Highest Attendance:
Presidents' week in February
Mid-March through Late April ("Spring Break")
Memorial Day weekend
Mid-June through Labor Day
Thanksgiving Day and weekend
Christmas week through New Year's Day



So, that answers that question.

patrickrd
08-09-2001, 07:02 AM
I heard this idea mentioned at the team forum, and after more thought, I think it may be the second best solution (next to allowing all teams to go to nationals). The basic idea was to split the teams up for nationals. Half would compete earlier in the week (e.g. mon-wed); the other half would compete later in the week (thurs-sat). For both Disney and FIRST, this would add a very small cost -- easily offset by the increased number of teams coming. This idea seemed to dismissed, perhaps without good reason. The reason for dismissing it was because it would be infeasible for the winners of the competition earlier in the week to stay and compete at the end of the week. Later on in the team forum, they raised the idea of having two separate nationals on opposite sides of the country -- and bring perhaps the winners of each together later on in the year to decide a [inter]national champion. This seemed like a favorable idea. This, however, would mean double cost to FIRST since it would need two separate events. Also, it would be a lot easier to take the winner of each of the half of a two-part Disney nationals (or perhaps divisional winners of each half), and bring them together a month or two later for a playoff in NH or another location. This cost for the final playoffs (a one-day event) could either be absorbed by teams, FIRST, or a third-party sponsor. Costs would be minimal because it would be: (a) smaller than a regional, (b) a one day event, and (c) perhaps located in NH where FIRST and Dean have places they could host it.

If we utilize Disney for both nationals that happen during the same weekh, we nearly cut the cost in half of what it would take to have two separate nationals. All FIRST & Disney would need to do is set up the tents a few days earlier.

This by far seems the most cost effective option that excludes zero teams. If we double again in size in a few years, we can split nationals into four parts over two weeks. This solution is flexible enough to work with much greater growth than we see today.

Patrick

Madison
08-09-2001, 02:01 PM
Originally posted by patrickrd
If we utilize Disney for both nationals that happen during the same weekh, we nearly cut the cost in half of what it would take to have two separate nationals. All FIRST & Disney would need to do is set up the tents a few days earlier.

This by far seems the most cost effective option that excludes zero teams. If we double again in size in a few years, we can split nationals into four parts over two weeks. This solution is flexible enough to work with much greater growth than we see today.

Patrick

But, how do you plan for that?

It's one thing to say to say it's not cost effective for the winning to team to hand around a few days for a competitor. . . but, how can a team plan for that prospect at all?

Would every team be expected to book an entire weeklong stay on the remote possibility that they may be competing in the final events? Since most teams won't ever get that far, how do you justify the expense? Additionally, how can you get everyone to agree that it's okay for a team to miss that much school on the slight chance they might compete.

Holding the finals at some later date would work, but it would absolutely destroy all interest and momentum created by Nationals. I don't want to watch everyone compete for three days and then have no resolution as to who wins. That sucks.

Now. . .something just occurred to me. . . what about satellite events around Epcot? It'll be effectively the same as splitting the competition up between the parks, but it'll make moving teams around a bit less cumbersome, I think..... at least, in some respects.

There's our main site, of course. The Millenium Pavilion is sitting dormant on the west (I think) side of World Showcase. I refused to go in during the Millenium Celebration in protest of its ugly cheesiness, but it's pretty big. The Oddysey Restaurant is empty, but it's go low ceilings, but it could be great for auxiliary uses.
We could also set up a bit in The Yacht and Beach Club parking lot. They're quite close to Epcot.

Park admission is the biggest hurdle to that plan, but maybe FIRST could get to Disney to allow FIRST into Epcot during the competition hours (no use trying to get 'em out :) ), and regular admission media would be required for everything else.

Robots and things could be shuttled around backstage, as there's a road that wraps all the way around World Showcase.

patrickrd
08-09-2001, 02:38 PM
Originally posted by Michael Krass


But, how do you plan for that?

It's one thing to say to say it's not cost effective for the winning to team to hand around a few days for a competitor. . . but, how can a team plan for that prospect at all?


This could be a couple months later, so teams would have time to arrange for transportation. They would have time to do fundraisers. Optionally, FIRST could budget a portion of the entrance fee at nationals to help get these teams to this competition.. We're talking about 8 teams, and this event would hopefully be considered nothing more than a post-season competion -- an opportunity for some of the best robots to get together and see what they can do. Why is there even a need to declare a national champion? Is that more important than limiting teams from participating in nationals?

Now, switching subjects onto the option of placing a limit on the number of teams going to nationals, I think there is a problem. Personally, and I speak personally and not for my team, I would have a huge problem going to nationals with the knowledge that because my team is going, another is not. It's not my position to judge which group of students (my group or the team we'd be excluding) would be more influenced by a trip to nationals. I simply cannot imagine participating in nationals with the knowledge that another team, because of my team, is sitting at home watching the competition on NASA TV. Also, how could a national champion be declared when not all teams are even given a shot? Every team that has the desire and resources to go to nationals should be allowed to participate.

Patrick

Shannon Maloney
08-11-2001, 08:26 AM
Originally posted by Michael Krass


Now. . .something just occurred to me. . . what about satellite events around Epcot? It'll be effectively the same as splitting the competition up between the parks, but it'll make moving teams around a bit less cumbersome, I think..... at least, in some respects.

There's our main site, of course. The Millenium Pavilion is sitting dormant on the west (I think) side of World Showcase. I refused to go in during the Millenium Celebration in protest of its ugly cheesiness, but it's pretty big. The Oddysey Restaurant is empty, but it's go low ceilings, but it could be great for auxiliary uses.
We could also set up a bit in The Yacht and Beach Club parking lot. They're quite close to Epcot.

Park admission is the biggest hurdle to that plan, but maybe FIRST could get to Disney to allow FIRST into Epcot during the competition hours (no use trying to get 'em out :) ), and regular admission media would be required for everything else.

Robots and things could be shuttled around backstage, as there's a road that wraps all the way around World Showcase.

Well, that could be a good idea except the millenium village isn't there anymore because it's right next to the Yacht and Beach club and that is where they are putting the new yacht and beach club villas, part of the disney vacation club. the oddysey restaurant, while it is empty, it is used for many cast member only things and private events. and there couldn't be a pit it the yacht and beach club parking lot either because it's two lots for two seperate hotels and neither lot is big enough, espically with the new construction.

~~Shannon~~
**Team 250**

Madison
08-11-2001, 10:37 AM
Originally posted by Shannon Maloney


Well, that could be a good idea except the millenium village isn't there anymore because it's right next to the Yacht and Beach club and that is where they are putting the new yacht and beach club villas, part of the disney vacation club. the oddysey restaurant, while it is empty, it is used for many cast member only things and private events. and there couldn't be a pit it the yacht and beach club parking lot either because it's two lots for two seperate hotels and neither lot is big enough, espically with the new construction.

~~Shannon~~
**Team 250**

Well, it figures that the only way Disney would demolish that ugly thing would be to build something that'll bring in cash . . . It would be too kind of them to consider building another country or something. Nooo....leave it to Disney to add thousands of new hotel rooms in a down-turn economy, especially when occupancy rates are way below what they expected.

At any rate, it was just a suggestion. I was just trying to point out that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of place that Disney could house us. You, of all people, should know that :)

Maybe FIRST can just design a water-based game. . .I mean, it seems like everyone wants to see that, and the World Showcase Lagoon and Crescent Lake ought to provide more than enough space . . .

~ Michael, who wonders if Shannon remembers him, and if this conversation make any sense to anyone beside him, Christina, and Shannon.

Shannon Maloney
08-12-2001, 07:22 AM
World Showcase as the playing field, i like it!

~~Shannon, who yes, remembers Michael and Christina~~
**Team 250**