MIGHTY MICKEY; HONG KONG DEAL SHOWS DISNEY'S MUSCLE.Byline: Dave McNary Staff Writer
Maybe The Walt Disney Noun 1. Walt Disney - United States film maker who pioneered animated cartoons and created such characters as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck; founded Disneyland (1901-1966)
Disney, Walter Elias Disney Co. can't straighten out ABC ABC
in full American Broadcasting Co.
Major U.S. television network. It began when the expanding national radio network NBC split into the separate Red and Blue networks in 1928. , maybe its Disney Stores are getting stale and apparently its Club Disney Club Disney was a failed regional children's play center concept operated by Disney Regional Entertainment. Club Disney was billed as "imagination-powered playsite". The first Club Disney opened in Thousand Oaks, California. concept wasn't popular enough to expand nationally.
But when it comes to Disney's two core businesses - amusement parks This page contains a list of amusement parks by
``This deal certainly speaks highly to the power of the Disney brand,'' said Peter Chernack, president of a Burbank-based theme-park design firm. ``The fact that Disney is a global brand and the fact that they have the ability to work out an agreement with the Chinese government Ever since Republic of China founded in January 1st, 1912, China has had several regional and national governments. List
Industry observers noted Monday, in the hours before the official announcement late Monday of a deal between Disney and Hong Kong officials to open a park in 2005, that building a Hong Kong version of Disneyland makes sense.
``I do believe that it's important from a long-term outlook for Disney to get a foothold in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, region of Asia (1990 est. pop. 442,500,000), c.1,740,000 sq mi (4,506,600 sq km), bounded roughly by the Indian subcontinent on the west, China on the north, and the Pacific Ocean on the east. as the standard of living goes up,'' said Linda Bannister, an entertainment analyst with Edward Jones Edward, Eddie, or Ed Jones is the name of:
Analysts and consultants agree that Hong Kong's battered economy is not ready for a theme park at this point but could be in another six to 10 years.
``It's all about getting ahead of the curve,'' said Dennis Speigel, chief of International Theme Park Services. ``This is a `plant our flag and run it up the flagpole' approach. I think Disney will take its time because this market is not going to be ready to support a theme park for another 10 years.''
Going into Hong Kong has been under active consideration for several years and chairman Michael Eisner Michael Dammann Eisner (born March 7, 1942) was CEO of The Walt Disney Company from September 22, 1984 to September 30, 2005. Early life
Michael Eisner was born to a wealthy family in Mt. Kisco, New York, and raised on Park Avenue in Manhattan. indicated in his message to shareholders in early 1999 that there would eventually be a Disney theme park in China.
``I'm sure that Disney looked at a lot of options,'' said theme-park consultant Harrison Price. ``It doesn't defy common sense that this is the step they're taking. They have done very well in Japan, so in some ways this is just a geographic expansion.''
Green-lighting the Hong Kong project also comes at a time when Disney has been cost-cutting in other operations in response to intense pressure to improve financial performance and lift its stock price. But the theme-parks segment of the corporation has continued to generate better results in recent years than Disney's creative content and broadcasting divisions.
``Committing to Hong Kong is not a contradiction of its corporate strategy,'' Bannister said. ``They have been cutting in areas where they do not see good returns but this area has a lot of long-term potential.''
Bannister noted that analysts generally support Disney's investments in the Internet for similar reasons. ``There is not a lot of money to be made right now but that should change down the road,'' she added.
The Hong Kong park
Speigel, who has advised a variety of theme-park builders on projects in mainland China, stressed Disney should avoid cutting corners in the new project. ``Only the highest level of quality will do,'' he added. ``People in Hong Kong are very sophisticated and always up on the latest developments.''
The work of designing the new theme park will most likely be performed under the direction of Glendale-based Walt Disney Imagineering, which recently announced plans for an ambitious makeover of its headquarters into a ``creative campus'' that would also see its first new buildings in 2005.
Photo: (Color) A traditional Disney castle will be the signature element at Walt Disney Co.'s proposed theme park in Hong Kong.