Hong Kong Disney: the good and the bad
Disney was founded on October 16, 1923, by Walt and Roy Disney as the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio, and established itself as a leader in the American animation industry before diversifying into live-action film production, television, travel, and theme parks (The Walt Disney Company, 2012). Disney went on to construct theme parks in California, Florida, Tokyo, Paris, and Hong Kong. Today Disney is the largest media conglomerate of the world and their theme parks alone generate almost $13 billion reported in 2012 in annual gross revenues (The Walt Disney Company, 2012). The Disney parks in the United States had been very successful and that is why Disney expanded into Tokyo. This was a wonderful idea, because Asian love fantasy and Disney is all about fantasy; moreover Asians were excited about the Disney Park. Disney Tokyo was constructed and opened with much success; however, Disney did not own the Tokyo location and they only received royalties from that location, but they soon realized the possibilities that could come with expansion. Disney decided to spread their wings again since Tokyo had been very successful, but they chose the wrong location for the next undertaking; Disney Paris. Who in their right mind would choose Paris as a site for a huge American themed park? Parisians hate Americans, this is a very well known fact. They hate us when we visit their city and they hate the way we live, so this venture in Paris was doomed to fail from the start, and that is the ultimate problem in Paris; moreover this will never change. Disney Paris opened and surprisingly enough it did not do well for basically the reasons I stated, but they did reinvent it and worked out the quirks, and it improved overtime, but I do not think it will ever be looked at as a success. Hong Kong Disneyland
Hong Kong Disneyland (HKD) is among five such theme parks located on a reclaimed area in Penny’s Bay, Lantau Island. It was opened on September 12, 2005, considered a good date by Chinese calendar for opening a new business (Phatak, Bhagat, & Kashlak, 2009). Hong Kong Disneyland was built and operated by a new-joint venture company, the Hong Kong International Theme Parks Ltd (HKITP), as formed by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government which owned 57% and the Walt Disney Company owning 43% (Phatak, Bhagat, & Kashlak, 2009). Although Disney invested $314 million and the Hong Kong government invested 416 million, Disney has no ownership of the land (Phatak, Bhagat, & Kashlak, 2009). In this paper I will discuss the obstacles, mistakes, and successes of the Hong Kong Disney venture, as well as how these obstacles or mistakes could have been avoided and what they should do in the future. Avoiding the Culture Clash
Disney tried to avoid the culture clash that was experienced when Disneyland Resort Paris was opened in France by incorporating local cultural elements in HKD. Because the prime target customer was the growing group of affluent Mainland Chinese tourists, feng shui masters were consulted for advice on the park layout and design (Phatak, Bhagat, & Kashlak, 2009). Also, the Disney team incorporated the Chinese culture by having good luck ceremonies when new construction began by carving out a suckling pig, the main ballroom was constructed to be 888 square meters since 8 was an auspicious number in Chinese culture, and hotels deliberately skipped the fourth floor because the Chinese associated the number 4 to have bad luck. It was clear that the Disney team was not going to make the same mistakes they made with Disney Paris; they were just going to make all new ones. However, the HKD venture was successful in meeting with cultural barriers to entry they faced. The Strategy Pursued: Strategically Right and Wrong
Strategically Hong Kong Disneyland was placed in the right location to be received well by tourists, but they...
References: Kuckoo_MienTay. (2012). Hong Kong Disney Image. Retrieved from http://wikimapia.org/1398/Hong-Kong-Disneyland
Phatak, A. V., Bhagat, R. S., & Kashlak, R. J. (2009). International Management. New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
The Walt Disney Company. (2012). Retrieved from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Walt_Disney_Company#1955.E2.80.931965:_Disneyland
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