Disney+Asia=Unfair?

Discussion in 'Tokyo Disneyland' started by Anubis7, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. Anubis7

    Anubis7 Earning My Ears

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    Hi Disers!
    After a long break I decided to post something, about a thing which concernes me, since a lot of time. Now that Shanghai Disney Resort has been announced, I have the feeling that Disney concentrates more on Asia and not the totally nice way. Probably a lot of you won't agree with this, but these are just feelings, so I am happy to hear all your comments. So I think, that three parks on a continent are a bit too much. I mean "OK. Asia's the biggest continent. But having one in Japan and two in China, and all those are in the same area of Asia. Russia I could have understood, but twice China?" And then all these exclusive things: Tokyo DisneySea, Mystic Point, Grizzly Gulch (don't really care since it's going to be like Frontierland), biggest castle of all, Chinese-only attractions. And also the quality doesn't seem to be as good. Shanghai and Hong Kong only have/had 4 lands. And I think it's really strange that Disney doesn't seem to care if they own the parks or not. Tokyo 0%, Shanghai and Hong Kong 47%. I can understand that after Paris' initial problems they are careful, but today it's the 4th most theme park in the world and the most visited sight in Europe. And it is strange, that they own less than 50%. Shouldn't companies always at least have 51% of something? And I think that they are a bit exaggerating: DisneySea is still okay, it may be that in 10 years a DisneySea could also be in Paris or Orlando or Anaheim, but Mystic Point which is surely going to be successful with a lot of cool rides I can barely imagine (maybe even a Nightmare before Christmas one) and a lot of unique attractions. I can understand that each park can't be identical, I love seeing all these changes in DL and DLP and sure each has some unique attractions, but so many?! And the thing that hurts me most, is the castle. The idea is great, but I don't quite like it being bigger than Cinderella Castle. I mean CC has still been designed by Walt Disney and here comes Shanghai Resort, which has nothing to do with Walt himself and says, "We have the biggest castle" Now even if it hurts a bit it is fine, but what if in 10 years the official logo will have the Shanghai castle on it and CC will be the small castle designed by some old guy? Like I said above, you will probably disagree and I hope to see some helping critical comments. But it is really hard for me to criticize Disney, because I love it, I love the books, I love the films, I love the parks, I love the cruises and constantly try to make a big Disney vacation with my family and now I have the feeling, I have been punched in the face and beginning to see Disney as only one of those companies, which tries to make money.
    I hope some of you will have some really good explanations, because this really hurts me. I really want Disney to be about fun and Walt's ideas and not about making more money. I hope that some of you will share some comments about what I am thinking.
    If this theme doesn't fit in here, I am sorry and ask a mod to switch it to another theme.
    Also I am sorry about any grammar/punctuation errors, you are going to find. I am German and live in LA since two months, but still have to get used to the punctuation, also I am writing this very fast, because I don't want to criticize Disney too much and want to get over with it.
    So have a nice day.
    Greetings,
    Anubis7
     
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  3. lcj19

    lcj19 Mouseketeer

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    While I agree it kinda sucks about the major differences in the parks (ie: DisneySea) which I would really love to see...I think that is kind of the point. I want to see DisneySea so I want to travel to Japan (and will). Walt himself enjoyed traveling and seeing what other cultures/countries had to offer. You see tourist groups from other countries at the US parks and at the European park, why not the other way around as well. Sorry I don't have an answer to the business end of things.
     
  4. ChrisFL

    ChrisFL Disney/Universal Fan and MALE

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    There are several things involved in this.

    First, I understand your concerns, however it isn't like Disney is ignoring the American market completely. There's 2 massive expansions underway right now and another one on the way soon (Pandora).

    Second, People often confuse these things but Shanghai and Hong Kong are almost entirely different countries, although they're both technically China now.

    Hong Kong has an entirely different currency, language and culture.

    Third, over 90% of the visitors to the Tokyo Disney parks are from Japan, not from other countries. Its almost entirely Japan-based in marketing, etc. without marketing to other countries.

    You also must realize that when the agreement was made with OLC, back in the early 80's for Tokyo, Disney was not in great financial shape. They were pouring billions into EPCOT Center and they decided that having OLC build Tokyo Disney would be a great help to them in establishing a market for Disney stuff in that massively growing economy. (Not to mention that OLC runs their parks a lot better than Disney themselves these days)

    ....which leads to my fourth point. The USA and Europe are "mature" markets. Everyone knows about all of the Disney characters and movies, etc. but China...another massively growing market isn't yet there. They are a relatively new market with 1.3 billion potential customers (and India is next).

    Plus Disney has to also take out the copy-cats who keep making knock-offs of their products, theme parks and characters in China
     
  5. MrsSparrow..

    MrsSparrow.. DIS Veteran

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    But two resorts in North America is ok ;)? Of-course Disney is going to expand, it wants to be seen as a global brand.

    I'm pretty sure the ownership thing is because countries don't want Disney coming into their country, exploiting their land and labour force whilst the home economy doesn't see too much of a benefit. Also by pairing up with a national company, the brand is more likely to be accepted and less of an 'american invasion'. There was SO much resistance in France to Disney coming in, I think it is a good thing.

    The quality of the Disney parks in Asia are supposed to be amazing and something I want to see. And Disney will always try to out-do itself by creating bigger and better things.

    Arguably Disney don't need to try and amaze at American markets anymore. People will flock to the parks in US regardless, its all about nostalgia. The US parks aren't exactly going to decrease in attendance because of China looking at the passport ownership rate and the large percentage of the population that won't fly. Any decrease in attendance can be usually explained by that damn recession going on.
     
  6. nytimez

    nytimez Nihilist

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    That ship sailed on December 15, 1966.

    It IS about making more money, has been for decades, will be for the future. All our money is going to China, so Disney wants to be there to receive some of it.

    It's a smart business move and I actually don't mind them building parks in other countries. The better they build overseas the more I hope people here will stand up and demand better.
     
  7. Anubis7

    Anubis7 Earning My Ears

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    Hi, thank you all for clearing this up. I feel a lot better. But I think you misunderstood me, nytimez. I don't mind having more parks around the world. This is Disney. Having only six parks and resorts isn't too good. I am also hoping for Disneyland Resort Venice, but I think, that they could have build a park in Australia now with a lot of Disers coming from there. But I can understand, that they want more money out of China. My only fear is the castle. I really hope that it won't become the new logo.
    Thank you all for answering and helping me.
    Greetings,
    Anubis7
     
  8. nytimez

    nytimez Nihilist

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    I'm not sure I understand the "fear" of the castle, to be honest. They are building a castle for their theme park. Looks nice. Nothing to fear.

    Also no sure why "only six parks and resorts" isn't too good.

    As for Australia and Venice, they build where they have access to populations of people who would come to a park... where land is available for relative cheap... and, these days, where they have a willing partner who can share the financial risk -- such as the Chinese government.
     
  9. Anubis7

    Anubis7 Earning My Ears

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    Hi nytimez! I am sorry that I didn't answer sooner, but in the last time, there was a lot of homework to do, so I didn't get to the computer. Also I am sorry that I didn't write my post clearly. With "only six parks and resorts" I meant, that I understand that Disney wants to have more parks over the world and six is only the beginning.
    And I know, it doesn't make any sense, but with "fear of the castle" I meant, that I don't want it to get the new show-off castle and replace Cinderella Castle. Maybe in a few years I will be there, enjoy the castle and think, how stupid it was to think about something like it, but it is like the feeling, when you think, that you forgot something and don't know why. (I am sorry for my punctuation; I know it is terrible.)
    But you and the others helped me get along with it, so I can only thank you all!:thumbsup2
    I hope I made my post clear. :)
    Greetings,
    Anubis7
     
  10. skiingfast

    skiingfast <font color=teal>Has had no bacon<br><font color=b

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    For Asia, Disney could never have owned the majority of those parks.

    Japan at the time had very stirct limits on foreign investment and as outlined above because of the development of Epcot, Disney bascially sold rides to TDL to help fund buidling Epcot.

    In China Disney has had the money, but been limited by the local laws on foriegn investment.

    In France it was more about the risk, and Disney was forced to sell shares to make the monetary risk acceptable. Without doing so, it's almost sure that the park would of gone bankrupt and sold off anyway. It also as noted above met a lot of local opposition.

    What really has made the foreign parks different is the culture in which they lie, the technology available when they were built, and how much money was accepted to be spent.

    Disney has a much more reliable cashflow now than when it built TDL and DLP. While it could of gone alone for HKDL and SDL, it just isn't allowed to do so.
     
  11. Anubis7

    Anubis7 Earning My Ears

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    Hi skiingfast!
    First: I am really sorry that I didn't answer sooner, but with a lot of things going on in the last time I had no time.
    Then: Thank you for clearing the rest. I didn't know a lot of Disney in Asia. I didn't know that Epcot was that expensive and I could understand that having a park without paying anything and getting money isn't really a bad idea. :) Also I didn't know that Disney had to own it in a partnership, I only thought that this could be a reason. And I know that DLP had a lot of problems because of France's culture. It really is a pitty, it's such a nice park and could've become a really huge complex. Well we'll have to wait and see. I still think they're exaggerating a bit in Shanghai with all those new attractions and having not many international things, but that's only my opinion.
    I hope you'll have a wonderful new year. :)
    Greetings,
    Anubis7
     
  12. AMVmom

    AMVmom Mouseketeer

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    Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't Sleeping Beauty's castle the first castle built by Disney? It's definitely overshadowed now by Cinderella's castle in WDW. I really am not certain of my Disney history so please let me know if I am wrong or not.

    I agree that yes, this is a corporation. They want to sell merchandise, movies, timeshares and although I still love the magic of Disney I know that it is a business (my dh likes to remind me of that ALL THE TIME).

    I know my relatives in HK absolutely love all things Disney, and this was before HKDL was opened or the plans were ever in the works to have one there. I remember hearing that it was filled to capacity on Chinese New Year and people were climbing over the walls to try to get in. I think that being that Japan was such an expensive country, HKDL was more affordable for people to go for vacation. It makes sense that they would put one in Shanghai as it is in mainland China and it was a large trading port so maybe more accessible.

    I think their next move would probably be looking back at Europe again. I've always wished that they would build something closer to me in the northeast so I wouldn't have to travel so far ;).

    No matter what happens in the future I will always remember my childhood experiences at WDW with my family and the memories I am making with my own family now; no "bigger and better" castle will change that for me and I wouldn't let that worry you. I'll always remember the rides that are now gone (20,000 leagues under the sea, tiki room before they introduced Iago, the skyway scary as it was, the peoplemover before it got a name change, etc) and no new improved bigger better can take that away from me :)
     
  13. nytimez

    nytimez Nihilist

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    FWIW, Iago has been kicked out of the Tiki Room and the Peoplemover is now called the Peoplemover again (The Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover, but Peoplemover nonetheless).
     
  14. AMVmom

    AMVmom Mouseketeer

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    Thank God they kicked him out, it'll be so much better now!
     
  15. BrizMarc

    BrizMarc YOUR AD HERE!

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    Disney have 2 resorts with 6 parks and 2 water parks just in the USA alone. Why is it a problem for China to have 2 when they are in totaly different areas with a countrys population of over a billion alone? Japan has its ow resort with 2 parks in a market that is massive for Disney. Trust me when I say mickey mouse is probably bigger in the modern world in Japan than he is in the USA where most kids think of Disney as Toystory and the Lion King etc.

    As for getting things that not in the usa, you could look the other way and say that people in Asia dont get alot of things that are in the USA. WDW is still king of resorts and nowhere in the world will ever be like it.

    The Asian market is the biggest financialy in the world and where the future economys of the world lay. Disney is a buisness first and foremost and somehow still do a great job of caring about the people that follow its product. End of the day they excist to make money.

    Universal Studios also have 2 parks in Asian. One in Japan and one in Singapore. Its just the way things are. No bother getting upset about it. You have great parks in the USA and they are getting ALOT of attention at the moment with new lands and rides being built.
     
  16. ChrisFL

    ChrisFL Disney/Universal Fan and MALE

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    Universal is (was?) also building a park in South Korea
     
  17. Anubis7

    Anubis7 Earning My Ears

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    Hi BrizMarc!
    I just wanted to say that you're right. I just thought that Shanghai gets too man new things. But probably those are just rumours and at the end it will open as a normal Disneyland with some unique attractions like every park ultimately does.
    And you and AVMom also have a point: Even if at the moment parks are focused on Asia, WDW will stay unique and how the new tagline of Disney Parks says: Let the memories begin! So it's just about memories and not about newer better attractions.
    My only remaining fear is Disneyland Paris. They already have some problems with their finances, I hope Shanghai won't give DLP the rest.
    Greetings,
    Anubis7
     
  18. Carrie_Cat

    Carrie_Cat I'm a Rive Gauche person Moderator

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    Hello :) Can you expand on that please ? Why would Shanghai be giving anything to DLP...

    I personally think it's great that they are expanding in Asia, it's a huge market, lots of potential and it will be so easier for many people to visit rather than having to go to the US or France
     
  19. Anubis7

    Anubis7 Earning My Ears

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    Hi Carrie-Cat!
    I am sorry that I confused you, it's a German expression, which means to destroy or something similar. I thought it existed in English as well.
    What I want to say with it is, that Paris has a lot of financial trouble. Walt Disney Studios isn't so popular, they can't have fireworks, no direct money from Disney. . . And my fear is that in a few more years when Shanghai opens, people will think:"Why go to that old never-changing DLP, if we can go to this completely new and exciting park?"
    Those are my worries; I really hope that DLP will soon come into its golden age and not go from one crisis to the next.
    Greetings,
    Anubis7
     
  20. Anaheim boy

    Anaheim boy Earning My Ears

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    Well, Disney hasn't had all fun in Asia. While it seems Tokyo Disney has done very well, Hong Kong has not had a good time. From what I could tell, Tokyo Disney is, as was mentioned above, very much marketed at the local Japanese market. I saw very few European or Amer tourists comparatively over the 2 times I've been there. Hong Kong has had low attendance problems since it opened. It doesn't seem like a real mainstay there. It was quite a bit out of the city (similar to Paris) but it just didn't have the same feeling about it. Our impression was that it was like Disney-lite. Very few rides, only a few lands and not very big. We went on Chinese New Years 2011 and it was nearly empty. We easily did the whole park in a day, and could've taken less. It's not the best Disney has done. The 2 Disney resorts I would never stay at because they are easily 30-45 min away from almost anything except Disneyland. There is nothing else around Disney at all, no other restaurants or other entertainment.
    While for me, Tokyo DisneySea has to be one of the most inventive and unique and well doen parks Disney has done, period!! It is amazing. The detail is outstanding and it's creative and unlike any other park Disney has done. This for me, rivals Anaheim Disney as my fav Disney park anywhere.
    But again, Hong Kong is still not exactly part of China. There is still a border crossing between the province of HK going into China. China is a huge country and apparently within the area of Shanghai Disney there are some 300 million people living within 2 hrs of the site. Estimates are that within the first year the attendance could rival Anaheim and Tokyo Disney (#2 and 3 respectively of all Disney's), bettering HK and Euro.
    Take this as you will, but it is all about money. It's a corp and what they're trying to do is immerse the Chinese culture into accepting Disney princesses and characters like they've done in the US. Up until now Chinese govt has been very restrictive of these things and this theme park will help them break in. As per article above, Disney has opened children's English language schools in Shanghai already. Anyway, just look at Princess Sofia if you're wondering about marketing and it being a business.
    I don't agree with the point of them opening in Australia. My view living down under (I KNOW, Kiwis and Aussies are different, but not as different as they like to seem) is that Disney isn't the same down here. The amount of people that asked us WHY in the world we did a Disney cruise for our honeymoon has been astounding. It's not accepted the same way here. While popular, I don't think the culture would get behind having an American theme park in their land. That is just my impression from living down this way for the past few years (in Aus and NZ).
    To me Disney has gotten better than what it was in the late 90s or so. Cal Adv was pretty blah when it opened. Almost shameful for Disney. But it's getting better I think, can't wait for Carsland. And as my wife points out, on the service side, that is one thing you can't fault them for. For the most part, Disney's service is impeccable. It is top notch and you know what to expect from them most of the time. And the memories most of us have of going to their parks, are what keep us going back. It does me. And I'll continue to go, no matter which continents.

    PS Can't post links to those articles as I'm still under 10 posts....think I have the posts now, here are the articles...
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/04/business/global/04disney.html
    http://www.travelchinaguide.com/attraction/shanghai/disneyland-park.htm
     
  21. Anubis7

    Anubis7 Earning My Ears

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    Hy Anaheim Boy!
    First, I have to apologize for not answering asap, it's only last week was quiet week, we were preparing for the finals this week.
    You gave some pretty good arguments and I didn't know about how Australinas think about Disney and thought that it would be clever to have one in Australia. Then, I'm not so excited about Asia anymore. Tokyo doesn't seem to get a new gate anytime soon and Hong Kong's Mystic Point sounds nice but they aren't as special as I thought about it.
    Then to Shanghai, I hope it will be a success, I think that they're exaggerating a bit with a whole new TL, a POTC film themed AL, no Main Street, and huge FL and that it soon could have three parks, but they thought the same for DLP but it didn't work out that way and at the time they'll have 3 gates, WDW sure will have at least six and with good luck DLP even 4, so it's OK. I just hope that DLP doesn't get kicked out of it's fourth most visited theme park in the world place, at least not as soon as Shanghai opens.
    I just hope that after Asia they'll look back at Europe, if it is for a new resort, placemaking at Walt Disney Studios Park, or new gate at DLP, everything's good for me.
    Greetings,
    Anubis7
     

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