The purpose of this paper is to analyze the Walt Disney Company and their expansion into Hong Kong with the theme park Hong Kong Disneyland (HKD). The Walt Disney Company was founded in 1923 by Walt Disney. It was a company founded upon as an entertainment experience for people of all ages starting out with short films and then moving into full length motion pictures. Since its inception the Disney Company has grown into a worldwide organization and is made up of four major areas. Those areas are studio entertainment, consumer products, media networks, and parks and resorts. As of 2005 only two of these four areas were profitable, those being media networks and parks and resorts. Up until the opening of HKD, Disney had only four other theme parks throughout the world. The original park, Disneyland Resort, opened in 1955 in Anaheim, CA. The second park opened nearly twenty years later in Lake Buena Vista, FL and was called Walt Disney World Resort. In 1983 Disney went international opening up a park in Tokyo called Tokyo Disney Resort. This park was very successful and brought about the opening of Disney’s second international park in Paris called Disneyland Resort Paris, which opened in 1992 (Phatak p. 149-150). Disney Resort Paris was the least successful of the four parks for many different reasons, which leads us into the opening of Hong Kong Disneyland, which took place in 2005. Disney’s Strengths and Weaknesses
As with any other company Disney has a long list of strengths along with weaknesses. The strengths that Disney possessed in terms of the Hong Kong park is that it is the second the established park in Asia, the government is the largest stakeholder, potential for neighboring countries to fly in and visit park, has the lowest ticket price of all parks, the staff speaks English, Chinese, and Cantonese, and they took into account the Chinese beliefs and traditions (Phatak 152-156). The last strength listed, taking into account the beliefs and traditions of the Chinese is a huge factor in the success of this park. This is one area where Disney fell short in when it came to the park in Paris.
The major weaknesses that took away from the initial success of the park were the amount of visitors were below the initial target, the park was built in a small space which led to overcrowding, lack of rides and attractions (only 22- 18 fewer than any other park), the food poisoning case, and the debacle with the lunar new year (Phatak p. 155-158). During the lunar New Year HKD failed to take into account that the two days following this holiday were public holidays in mainland China therefore there was an influx of visitors on these days that the park could not handle. They were forced to literally close the gates on thousands of people which caused a riot outside of the park. Disney’s Opportunities and Threats
There were a number of opportunities that Disney would be able to take advantage of with the opening of HKD. Those opportunities were the growing population in around the area of Hong Kong and China in general, it would be a place that people in China and all of Asia would visit over and over again, the interest that the park would gain from the large population of children, and the “wow” factor that it would bring to the people of China.
With these opportunities also come threats. The threats that HKD faced were the fall of the world economy, the negative reviews of the conservative Chinese people, and the other local attractions that were already very popular in Hong Kong. The biggest threat in terms of the already established local attractions was Ocean Park. Ocean park had been rated as one of the top ten amusement parks in the world by Forbes magazine and essentially held a monopoly in Hong Kong as the only amusement park in the area (Phatak p. 153). Analysis of Disney’s Corporate Strategy
Disney’s corporate strategy in regards to HKD was to provide a family oriented,...