This week you join me in Orlando, Florida, home of the Magic Kingdom, located at the very north of Walt Disney World. Designed and partially built by Walt Disney himself, who unfortunately did not make it to see the final opening day product. The idea behind Disney World was to avoid the constraints of the the older original Anaheim Disneyland, to expand, to enlarge, to lead. The response to the original was so great, it required another, more capable of being the largest tourist attraction worldwide.
Disneyland Paris, an expansion arm of this Disney masterpiece, designed on the heals of a successful expansion into Tokyo. No expense spared, Disney World already has a huge visitor count from Europe, it is only logical that one closer to home, within two hours of travel for 300 million people would boom.
We’re going to explore some themes over the next few weeks from the trips this year to Disneyland Paris (January+June), Disneyland Resort Anaheim (May), Disney World Orlando (September). We should have a new article up every two or three days.
We start with a conflict. Euro Disney was originally conceived to be the Disney World of Europe, huge swaths of prime real estate snapped up, hotels vastly overbuilt, grand standing buildings, and unique design implement throughout. It has bus ways, train stations, vast parking lots and brilliant connectivity to the main arterial roads. It didn’t happen though, they built it, the crowds didn’t come, not to projection anyway. Paris followed its own strategy for years, it had its ups and downs. Sometime in the late 2000’s it changed course. It changed from the ideology it would be a Walt Disney World contender, to becoming a more successful regional Disney, it works everywhere else.
Disney took its most successful regional venture as the Parisian mentor. Anaheim, California. We shall soon explore how things are slowly falling into line but first lets look at the team as it current shapes up and some of their past postings of note.
Phillipe Gas (2000) – CEO (Previously worked in California for TWDCs HQ and on the Asian projects)
Claire Bilby – SVP Sales and Marketing (Opened California Adventure, MGM Studios, Animal Kingdom, Hong Kong Disneyland and DLP!)
Daniel Delcourt – SVP + COO (2007 Paris hotel strategist, 2012 Disneyland Resort California Resort Hotels+Downtown Disney, 2014 back to DLP)
The top tier of people working at Disneyland Paris have a seemingly common background, working for the Disney company not on the flagship Disney World, but instead for the regional arms. Disneyland Paris has two big issues that it needs to address. The first being its second park, Walt Disney Studio’s, not holding its own and the hotels and village not delivering enough to the bottom line.
So what’s next?