The following Memo has the objective of addressing some of the issues that are currently affecting Disneyland Honk Kong.
In order to change its negative image, be more profitable and become a successful theme park, Hong Kong Disneyland needs to focus on rebuilding the customers experience and connect them to the original “Disney Magic”.
• The Walt Disney Co. (Disney) was founded in 1923, and was committed to delivering quality entertainment experiences for people of all ages.
• In 1983 Tokyo Disney Resort was opened as a result of the international expansion strategy. This strategy consisted of bringing the original Disneyland model to a new territory.
• In 1992 ...view middle of the document...
• Customers complained that HKD had fewer attractions in comparison to the rest of Disney parks around the world as well as too few Hong Kong-themed attractions. (Page 83)
The Disney Culture is an American treasure. One loved, embraced and admired by many. A culture that when shared correctly, can be a successful business endeavor practically anywhere in the world.
Because Chinese economy was booming, Disney Co. thought it would be a good time to open a new theme park in China. Unfortunately, although timing was good, HKD failed to make a good first impression on its visitors for different reasons.
The Disney Company failed to make a good impression in other places as well such as the Disneyland Resort Paris. This was the result of rushing the Disney experience into other cultures without the necessary cultural research. Starting with its President at the time, Francois Mitterand, the French public did not give a very warm welcome to the U.S. commercial institution that is the Disney Theme Parks. Cultural sensitivity and affinity for U.S brands is vital when considering international expansion.
Learning from the Paris experience, the HKD Management Team did its homework and this time took steps to be sensitive to the Chinese culture and customs. Some examples include the use of “feng shui” in the park’s construction process as well as taking into account many other Chinese beliefs. But when considering culture, an across-the-board and extensive research is needed. The Lunar New Year issue in Hong Kong Disneyland was a negative marketing episode for HKD. A well-known Chinese Holiday was not taken into consideration and the park’s capacity limit was reached before all the guests could enter the park. This resulted in protests and a terrible effect on HKD’s image and profit margins.
The original vs. The rushed Disney Experience
Although the Disney Paris issues were purely based on lack of sufficient French culture knowledge, the issues at HKD had a different root.
The Chinese public was seeking the original Disney theme park concept that Walt Disney had in mind in 1923, and the same that made the Disney parks in the U.S. and around the world so famous. However, instead of offering a positive unforgettable experience to every customer who visited the park, HKD offered a crowded, tiring and dissatisfying experience for its new visitors. Such was the case on September 4, 2005 when the park had approximately 29,000 visitors (very close to its full capacity) and the queuing time was 45 minutes at the restaurants and more than two hours for the rides. Despite the efforts and promotions campaigns, visitors did not...