Hong Kong Disneyland, the fifth theme park globally, was created to service the Hong Kong market, but more strategically to each the rapidly growing Chinese market. Hong Kong Disneyland is located on Landau Island, 10 minutes from the Hong Kong International airport and 30 minutes from the city via the subway (Holon 2005). The theme park is a joint venture between the Walt Disney Co. And the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HUSSAR) government (Landlers 2005). The theme park is Disney’s smallest at 745 hectares, but still consists four distinct entertainment arenas: Main Street I-SIS, Fantastical, Adventured and Tomorrows.
Hong Kong Disneyland is based on the Anaheim, California original (Landlers 2005). Hong Kong has been chosen as the steppingstone into the vast Chinese market as most Chinese have not grown up with Disney (Miller 2007). Another theme park in Shanghai is tentatively planned for 2010. Hong Kong, a capitalist economy where English is prevalent, maintains a sound legal and judiciary system and good corporate governance (Fond 1995). Thus Hong Kong has been an ideal choice for many corporations to launch into China. PricewaterhouseCoopers predicts a 25. % rise in Chinese entertainment and media spending through to 2009, making China the fastest growing market for entertainment in Asia (Land retch 2005). This can be attributed to the rapid growth of the middle class in China, compounded with the reinvestment of money by overseas Chinese in their now-flourishing country. MACKEY MOUSE GOES GLOBAL In 1 983, Tokyo Disneyland was launched in Japan with a huge success. This seemed to bode well for Disney because it cloned its American theme park and reproduced it in Tokyo.
Unfortunately, this proved to be a false sense of security for its overseas expansion. Disney next set its sights on a market and culture much closer to home. Its next project was Euro Disney, launched in Paris in 1992. Cultural sensitivity issues marred Redisplaying (now known as Disneyland Paris) from the first day. Disney was accused of ignoring French culture and criticized for exporting American imperialism in its European venture (Brenna 2004) The issues regarding language, alcohol consumption and pricing of tickets and merchandise damaged the Disney brand (Brenna 2004).
Euro Disney received negative publicity and headlines such as ‘Disney is cultural Coherency’ (the horns of a dilemma’, Economist, In order to reach a balance between Disney tradition and French culture, Stephen Burke, the then vice president in charge of park operations and marketing at Ruddiness made a number of changes to retain Disney’s image while still adapting to the French culture. First, the name Ruddiness was changed to a more nationalistic Paris Disneyland, so that the French would be more receptive to it (Anonymous 1998).
Burke’s strategies to retain Disney’s image included: ; focusing on hiring an outgoing and friendly Disney cast; ; increased training; ; the placement of additional Disney characters throughout the park. Burke’s strategies to adapt Disney to the French culture included: ; removing the ban on alcohol in the theme park; ; lowering the corporate Disney premium on admission, merchandise, hotels and food; ; relaxing Disney’s hierarchical management structure; DISNEY FOLLOWS MANUAL HOME Disney had one great success and one great failure in its international expansion.
Its next launch had to succeed at all costs. This time Disney was prepared for a long planning period. Disney now knew that it must consider the various cultural nuances and sensitivities of its host nation. The design of Hong Kong Disneyland took into account Chinese ultra aspects and planners went to great lengths to ensure that it was well received by the local Hong Kong population and their projected mainland Chinese visitors (Fowler and Mar 2005).
Hong Kong Disneyland focused on three core markets: Hong Kong residents, visitors from the southern part of China and visitors from South-East Asian markets (Moons 2001 Table 1 clearly shows the value of these three markets, but most importantly the rapid rise in visitors to Hong Kong from mainland China. Although people from Hong Kong live with cutting edge technology, superstition still plays a vital part in heir culture. Numbers and fen Shush are taken seriously in all aspects of everyday life and business.
FEN SHOJI, SUPERSTITION AND NUMEROLOGY Hobnobs (1994) discussed the influence of fen Shush on the Asian hospitality industry. It has been noted that the location, interior and exterior of the building are important factors to be considered. Rorschach (1984) stated that the Chinese see a link between humanity and the earth whereby everything is interconnected and needs to be in balance. Buildings and other structures need to blend into the landscape to ensure that there is a good flow of energy or ‘IQ’.