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  • Subject area(s): Marketing
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  • Published on: 14th September 2019
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Disney is a company and brand that has made a remarkable impact on the lives of many. The components of Disney vary in a variety of ways. For example, Disney has a total of seven theme parks throughout the world and would like to increase that number in the sense of providing an experience for many to enjoy. Disneyland is always looking to expand their parks and plan on doing so in the near future. Disneyland Resort will be seeing some updates within the year 2018. For example, “Pixar Pier will feature a brand-new look for the area now known as Paradise Pier, as some of your favorite characters come to life on the seaside waterfront.” (Savers, 2017). Their brand and products are distributed in ways that include; toys, movies, attractions, theme parks, etc. They are in many different markets that attract a variety of people and have done successfully so many years.Disney, it consists of the following divisions; Motion Pictures, Miramax Films, Theatrical, Animation, Parks and Resorts, Media Network, Other Business Ventures like Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Hollywood Pictures, etc. (Askalany, 2016). Disney distributes their products through a variety of distribution channels including selling licensing rights, theme parks, and other ways. Disney's pricing strategy depends on the specific product they are selling, but they have always been known to be marketing to the middle class. However, they want to have the appropriate price that can appeal to everyone.While few difficulties occurred when Disney first entered Europe, they have been able to adapt to the French and European culture with few adjustments. Since the Disneyland Paris

opened its doors in 1992, it has become one of the top attractions in Europe. Despite that, Disneyland Paris has been hit by the financial crisis more than its competitors. Disneyland Paris has not only been affected by Europe's debt crisis, but it has struggled with huge debts and weak attendance. One area where Disney's executives were wrong was labor costs. They had estimated Euro Disney's labor costs to be 13 percent of the revenues, when in fact the true figure was 24 percent in 1992 and rose to 40 percent by 1993. The unexpected costs only increased Euro Disney's debt (Pozzebon S. 2014.).Disney was underestimating the impacts of the recession, which was looming in Europe in the early 1990s. They refused to postpone the opening of the Disneyland Paris, soon to notice that the recession was highly impacting consumer spending. Their customers were reluctantly buying Disney merchandise, and spending on restaurants and hotels.  After many rocky years, in October 2014, Disney revealed a $ 1.25 billion bailout plan for its theme parks in Paris, which were still struggling with weak attendance rates. At the time of the announcement, Disney owned only 40 percent of Disneyland Paris. Rumors were told that Disney was intending to buy remaining equity of Disneyland Paris and take it private. (Littleton C. 2014.)The way Euro Disney started its marketing was not appealing enough to French. The assumption was "...a complete vacation destination that offers enough to keep a family happily occupied for a week," which was made in the American-style appeal. Some Europeans were furthermore insulted with the American-style approach, while they were depicting Disneyland

Paris as large and extravagance theme park and ignoring emotional aspect of the park such as “extraordinary family experience.” Disney also ignored some important cultural and environmental factors such as weather impacts. France has much colder weather than locations of U.S. Disney parks, so off-season tickets needed to be discounted in order to get even some attendance to Disneyland during winter season.Disney had also difficulties realizing the European way to eat lunch at the same time every day because Americans were used to wandering in the parks and eating their lunch at the same time. This caused that the lines at Disneyland Paris' restaurants were very long during lunch hours. There was no alcohol served at first because of the Disney policy, but they changed it after much of consideration. Now Disneyland Paris is the only Disney park where you can order alcohol with your meal, which comes from that French traditionally to enjoy a glass of wine with lunch.The Disneyland Resorts and Parks were designed to be similar to each other. The castle is cast to be their main center point and entry; which goes through “Main Street.” This concept stems from an American style and theme. However, Disneyland Paris and other Disney parks in the United States have slight differences.Disney parks outside the U.S. have a slightly different offering of food, drinks, and rides.For instance, there is no Tom Sawyer's Island in Disneyland Paris, which is a well-known sight in the U.S Disney parks. Instead of it, Disneyland Paris has Discoveryland with attractions

dedicated to visionaries of Europe, such as the Orbitron, Nautilus, which is submarine featured in one of Jules Verne's novel. Disneyland Paris opened a ride with a restaurant attached to it for a Disney cartoon Ratatouille, which is a story about a French rat, whose dream is to be a chef.In spite of all the difficulties Disney endured in France, they are continuously growing. Disney changed their strategies to accommodate the European lifestyle. In 1994, the company changed their name from Euro Disney Resort to Disneyland Resort Paris in order to strengthen the park's individual identity. Disney worked effortlessly to overcome the adverse publicity that trailed the beginning of Euro Disney. In 2002, the Michael Eisner noted, “As Americans, the word 'Euro' is believed to mean glamorous or exciting. For Europeans, it turned out to be a term they associated with business, currency, and commerce. Renaming the park 'Disneyland Paris' was a way of identifying it with one of the most romantic and exciting cities in the world.” (Kerzner, 2017). This was a smart move because the French capital and the associations that come from it, may provide additional marketing dollars to the Disney brand.Disney made their efforts in changing the food and style offerings to align with the European lifestyle. The prices for a day ticket and hotel rooms were reduced almost half. Attendance has gone from 8.8 million in 1994 to 13.4 million in 2016 (Euro Disney S.C.A., 2016). However, in recent terrorism events, Disneyland Paris' attendance dropped by almost 14 percent in the last year. Due to its high population in an enclosed area, people fear potential attacks at the park. France has also experienced extreme rainfall, resulting in the highest water

levels in decades. These various external factors caused Paris' tourism market to decrease 65 percent from 2015 to 2016. Disneyland Paris has their challenges for raising attendance rates and revenues, but there is no doubt it's possible.Walt Disney's bailout plan was initiated to rescue the debt-burdened amusement park. Until June 2017, Disney held the majority of the stakes in the resort. In 2017, The Walt Disney Company bought out 9 percent more of the company from Kingdom Holding, bringing the Disney Company's takeover and ownership to 85.7 percent. The company plans to invest an additional 1.5 billion euro in order to strengthen the company.The European fans are excited about this because it would bring more Disney-esque changes to the resort. Since Disney has acquired the Marvel Entertainment, the plans for incorporating the market into the park is strong. The Rock ‘n' Roller Coaster and the New York Hotel is renovating their theme to feature the Avengers, Iron Man, and more of the Marvel superheroes. New York Hotel will include themed rooms honoring these characters beginning October 2018.There is a development of three new thematic areas that are dedicated to Frozen, Marvel, and Star Wars, beginning in 2021. These new themes will expand into the Walt Disney Studios Park and showcase new sets, attractions, and shows. Walt Disney Studios will be launching a Marvel special season called “Super Heroes Summer,” that will celebrate Disneyland Paris' 25-

year anniversary. This will include a live show, “Marvel: The Alliance of Super-Heroes,” with special effects and characters such as Captain America, Thor, Doctor Strange, and Spider-Man.Due to the popularity of these comics, if executed correctly, Disneyland Paris will profit well from these endeavors. The Walt Disney Company is implementing similar strategies among all of their parks and resorts. From the marketing mistakes Disney has endured in Europe, they are using those lessons to build strong markets in Japan and China. In 2005, Disney's fifth resort opened in Hong Kong. They built three hotels and reserved land for future expansions.The most recent theme park opened in Shanghai in 2016. The president and CEO of Disney, Robert Iger, states that “China is one of the most dynamic, exciting and important countries in the world and this approval marks a very significant milestone for Walt Disney Co in mainland China.” (Staff, 2009). The resorts in Asia have exceeded Disney's expectations of attendance. In the first year of Shanghai Disneyland, the visitors topped over 11 million in its first year. The parks are ever changing and ever growing. It will be very interesting to see what direction Disney will take in the near future.According to Forbes, there are three areas that Disney can improve on for in the future. First thing, creating innovations to attract visitors to its theme parks. All of Disney theme parks should give consumers the same experience. There were reviews on TripAdvisor complaining that not all of Disney theme parks have the same exact layout; Disney Paris seems to be a little

smaller inside compared to Disneyland in California and there are fewer rides at Disney Paris as well (TripAdvisor, 2018). Disney can also find a solution to improving the duration of time wait in line.  Secondly, driving revenues for its resorts; while Disney is doing great at promoting themselves and attracts consumers to want to enjoy “The Happiest Place on Earth” experience. Disney is also well known for bringing family time together, but there are few things Disney can do to increase their revenue. Disneyland market themselves as the happiest place on earth, which is completely true, but going to Disney can be a hassle. There is a lot of planning into the trip before getting there.In the near future, Disney should come up with an app or site that will plan everything for their guests and even when rides have shorter lines. In every advertisement, Disney made it so consumers would want to take a trip there, which is true for me every time. Lastly, increasing viewership and subscription fees for ESPN and streaming services (Forbes, 2018). Because Disney has been spending a great amount of money into program rights which had led an increase in bundle prices which had made subscribers to leave the network. If Disney can work out the details and decrease the price of this program, they can definitely gain more revenues.Disney is working on a new streaming service in the U.K. called Disney Life where it streams movies, TV series, and books at the price of 9.99 Euro per month. If Disney takes on

expanding into other European countries like Spain, Italy, and Germany since online streaming is gaining the majority viewers so expanding to these countries will be the future for Disney growth (Forbes, 2018)

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