The Walt Disney Company was founded in 1923. The main goal of Disney was to deliver quality entertainment for all ages. The first resort that Disney opened was in Anaheim, California, in July 1955. The success of the first park caused disney to open its second park in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, in 1971. The continued success of these two parks in the United States caused Disney to seek out international success. Disney anticipated that there would be continued success by “bringing the original disneyland model to new territories, and then, if feasible, adding a specialty them park.” (5)
Disney began the venture of internationalizing its theme park operations with the opening of Tokyo Disneyland in 1983. This park is regarded as one of the most successful amusement parks not only in the Disney operating parks but in the world. Disney’s highly successful operation in Tokyo meant that there could be international success outside the United States. Disney attempted expansion in France which was the largest consumer of Disney products outside of the United States. In 1992, Disney opened Disneyland Resort Paris. However, the park was much less successful than its counterpart in Japan. This case explores Disney's efforts to open its third park outside the United States; Hong Kong Disneyland.
The case outlines the experiences of Tokyo and Paris Disneylands. The case provides details of the ups and downs with the opening of Hong Kong Disneyland. including the finances of the deal, and how the operations, human resources management and marketing were incorporated to complement the Chinese cultural environment. The case also discusses the tourism industry in Hong Kong and some problems that were encountered during the first year of operations.
On December 10, 1999, the Hong Kong government officially signed a contract with Disney to build a Disney theme park, resort hotel, retail, dining, and entertainment facilities. The new facilities were scheduled to open in 2005. The co-operation took the form of a joint venture between the Hong Kong government and Disney in a 57% to 43% equity structure. The joint venture company called the Hong Kong International Theme Parks Ltd was incorporated to manage the development and operation of the park. This case analysis will provide evidence and support why the construction years and the first year of operations were a Disney disaster.
The SWOT analysis provides a great deal of insight of how Disney capitalized on the strengths in growing the business in Hong Kong. A major strength was the Disney appeal to the Chinese culture. “Chinese consumers wanted to connect with the global popular culture and distance themselves from their previous collective poverty and communist dictate.” Disney thought it would be great to expand into Hong Kong because of the high demand from the Chinese people and the growing economy in that part of the world. Disney did there homework before expanding into this area. Hong Kong provided a gateway into China because of the reputation as an international financial center and a world-class infrastructure.
Disney learned from their previous experiences in developing and opening a park in other countries by catering to the Chinese culture. This was one of Disney major strengths in expanding into Hong Kong. Disney used Feng Shui Masters as a consulting firm to ensure all the cultural values were maintained in proving the best experience to its customers. Hong Kong Disney characters and staff spoke in three different languages to provide an experience to all visitors. The languages were English, Cantonese and Mandarin. Disney also went further into cultural history by having good luck ceremonies on new construction projects, constructing the main ballrooms to be 888 square feet because of the significance of eight representing good fortune. Some other examples were skipping the fourth floor in hotel construction because four is associated with bad luck, selling...
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