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 ...view middle of the document...
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 needed to purchase more land to make the Disney theme park bigger. When guests think of going to a Disney theme park they know they will be overwhelmed by the grandeur of the park as well as being more than satisfied with a long fun-filled day. When they opened HKD the park was much smaller than all of the Disney theme parks having only 22 attractions and that is 18 fewer than other parks (Phatak, Bhagat, & Kashlak, 2009). The HKD Park is only 55 acres compared to Epcot at 300 acres (The Walt Disney Company, 2012). Guests expected Disney greatness and what they got was a small version of that greatness that did not satisfy.
Hong Kong Disney
After viewing the different aerial maps of the HKD Park I realized the park could have been much larger as you can see demonstrated above. There are hills or possibly mountain ranges on either side of the Disney Park that could have been utilized. Yes, this venture would have been more costly initially, and the...