The level of the investment also isolated them more in the case of a failure. They paid attention to the wrong details. Disney acted on American views of Europe rather than on native views, which could identify the important cultural differences. It appeared that the managers were too confident in their success to research the small details about European cultures.
In planning Euro Disney there were not any contingency plans put into place. The attitude towards customer habits was very complacent. They assumed that there would be so many customers every day, each staying an average number of nights spending an average amount of money. In America this would have worked because there is already a well established theme park culture. The European market proved to be a lot more unpredictable.
Up until now, Disney's venture into China has been anything but magical. The Hong Kong theme park, which opened in 2005, had a bumpy ride due to early missteps and competition during its first year. Attendance fell 400,000 short of an initial 5.6 million target. The next year, the number of visitors dropped to 4 million. And to add insult to injury, the company in 2007 found an amusement park near Beijing that was filled with knockoff Disney characters. Although theme parks are less than a third of Disney's total revenue, Shanghai Disneyland still figures to be a key addition to the business because it will increase the company's visibility in one of the world's fastest-growing markets.
Disney has also made several market miscalculations over the years. Analysts say the company; in trying not to make the same mistakes it did at its Paris resort by failing to tailor the Disney formula to local tastes, may have gone overboard in its efforts to adapt the Hong Kong venue to Chinese customers. The biggest knock against Hong Kong Disneyland, of which the Hong Kong government owns 57%, is a lack of attractions. Recently, Disney and the government moved to fix this problem by announcing that three new attractions would be added over the next five years.
The one drawback to the opening of Shanghai Disneyland is that the $3.5 billion Chinese facility will sprawl across about 1,000 acres which will dwarf Hong Kong Disneyland's 296 acre lot. Right now, mainland Chinese make up more than one third of the visitors to Hong Kong Disneyland, and once the Magic Kingdom sets up in the Middle Kingdom much of that business will go away.
Balfour, Frederik. 2009. "Disney Shanghai: Good for China, Bad for Hong Kong." 28 June,
2010. Business Week. Web.
Liu, Ling Woo. 2009. "Disneyland in Shanghai: A Second Try in China." 28 June, 2010. Time.
"The History of DisneyLand Paris." 2006. 28 June, 2010, Solarius. Web.