Relevant Distribution Factors Opening up Disneyland would not be difficult to achieve. The more populous northern part of India would be the main locations for the park in Mumbai (Bombay). With larger populations in the northern area of India, the park would be a tourist attraction for those visiting Mumbai. Placing Disneyland India close to the city but not in it while providing easy access for the citizens would help foster the idea of an amusement park in Mumbai. The transportation system is a main issue concerning availability to come to the park. The train system is popular and inexpensive way of travel for Indians. Direct links to the parks would be very important throughout. An idea would be to create a specific train for Disneyland India that connects within Mumbai and the airport. These trains would constantly stop at the Disney location which would provide a solution to the problem of transportation for the Indians. Another solution to transportation would be to include the ticket price with the price of a train ticket. From entering the train early in the day then throughout the whole day at the park and eventually returning home would be a day’s experience.
Similarly in Disneyland Paris, an individual can take a train directly to Paris the city, or to Disneyland Paris, just outside the city. With the Hong Kong Disneyland site, rail and bus services are used by citizens and tourists to gain access to the parks. Comparable plans for Disneyland’s in India would definitely require a quality and efficient rail and bus service throughout Northern India.
The major cities in India include Mumbai (Bombay), Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata (Calcutta), and Chennai, where the populations are at least 3 million.37 It is vital for Disney to market in these large cities to families through television ads, transportation ads, and mobile advertisements. The Bollywood films are extremely popular, and because Disney has already placed itself in the communication environment, marketing a park would not be difficult. The challenge comes with the actual decisions of the Indian family to decide to vacation or visit a park.
Relevant Consumer Issues Consumers could purchase a ticket online at their computers, or PDAs. The ability for people to purchase tickets on their mobile phones would be vital because of the recent increase in mobile phone users. Ticket stands would be available at all entrances of the park. Advertisements on the train or in shopping centers and supermarkets such as the Crawford Market and the Mangaldas Market would have discount coupons for citizens to use. Also, through different travel organizations, Disneyland could be a destination for those who want a specific travel package. Online, on the phone, and in person ticket box offices would be scattered throughout the country. The use of television ads with ticket availability through a phone purchase would be needed. The overall price of the ticket entry to the parks in India would have to be cheaper compared to the price current parks accept. The Indian family does not make much per day, so the ticket prices would have to compare to an entry to museums or other attractions. Although this inexpensive ticket price may be hard to produce an actual income for the park, all need to be large enough to hold the amount of visitors per day to achieve somewhat of a profit.
Another issue would be effectiveness of products within the parks that visitors could purchase as souvenirs. The average family in India, not being able to use much more discretionary income after the purchase of a park ticket, makes souvenirs not affordable for the families. Any extra purchases could only have been reserved for those with extra income. With the entire family visiting the park, a bundle of souvenirs may appeal to the family compared to just one item. Unless solutions to the price of extra items are reduced, or the ticket price reduced even more, no purchases other than the entry fee would be taken by those that do not have that extra income.
Overall Assessment After analyzing many factors relevant to the country where we would like to take Disneyland, along with the product/service specific factors, there are some very important pros and cons of the analysis.
India is a very large and populous country, which will be very good for Disney looking to reach a large audience. Additionally, after examining the economy of India, significant growth and a rising upper and middle class helps make India look like an ideal location for Disney in the future. With the rapid growth in income earnings by many families in India, if Disney can penetrate the market before other theme park competitors, it could result in Disney owning a large percentage of the market share in amusement/theme parks for where Indians choose to go for visiting a theme park. Add to this the rising trend in recreation which looks to increase 11% over the next fifteen to twenty years, a theme park appears as if it will do well. Another positive from the analysis is how large the target market is in India. India is a very youthful country with a relatively large family size comparative to other countries. With the target market focused on kids and families, this demographic will help Disney.
Also, from examination of the other theme parks that Disney has opened overseas, analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of those expansions can help with making a Disney in India a successful operation. Since this could be Disney’s fourth overseas expansion in the theme park industry, hopefully from looking at the previous three international locations can help fix any problems that occurred in those openings. Additionally from this analysis, we can see how important it will be for Disney to get its name out in India’s marketplace via TV shows, movies, and also through advertising and marketing.
From looking at the relevant consumer issues, we can see that India is moving towards a more high tech state and future innovations with ticket sales to reach more individuals will be beneficial for the company. Also, after looking at the relative industry factors, and seeing that there are over 150 theme and recreational parks similar to Disney that have brought 50 million people into their locations annually, India is a market that enjoys recreation. There is a market for a bigger, and better, theme park than what is currently in India. Lastly, from analyzing the legal and political issues, there would be less governmental control over the involvement and discrepancy with Disney coming to India than in previous years thanks to less governmental control in the business sector. When Disney went to Hong Kong they had difficulty negotiating with the government. In India, it appears as if less trouble would result.
There are a few negatives from the analysis. For one, the culture of India is significantly different from the United States. The religion, language, food and beverage, and way of life will need to be specifically taken into consideration when building and operating a theme park in India. Individuals will need an outlet to worship for their Hindu or Muslim beliefs, bi-lingual considerations will need to be mandatory in the park, and a wide variety of food options will also need to be imported. Disney has not done traditionally well with taking into account the cultural considerations of the country, and doing so in India will mean not only adapting their brand to the country, but also to the many different target markets that could visit Disney. Bordering countries, such as Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bhutan, will need to feel equally welcome and make sure that their cultural considerations are also met when visiting the park.
Besides the cultural considerations, Disney will also need to monitor the Foreign Trade Act of 1992 and the EXIM policy to make sure they pass regulations and are able to open and operate a theme park based on national rules and guidelines. As with taking any company overseas, specific considerations for laws and regulatory means will need to be met. Lastly, from this analysis, Disney will need to meet the Indian Association of Amusement Parks and Industries (IAAPI) and make sure that they work in cooperation with them to promote a successful brand image in the country.
There are very few holes in our analysis of the market of India for opening up a Disneyland there. Exploring more in depth the culture of India will be a key focus, as this has traditionally been the boom or bust for Disney’s successfulness of their resorts overseas. Additionally, analysis into how transportation is in India could be vital in our analysis. Does Disney need to look into providing bus routes and trains to get to their theme park, or with the growing economy, will most customers be able to get to the Disneyland location driving their own cars or a similar means of transportation? Will foreigners be able to reach the location of a Disneyland easier via flying or taking a train with minimal time in transit? A last hole with our analysis will be the geography and weather conditions for opening an outdoor theme park in India. Looking at the climate, rainfall, and makeup of the land plays a huge role in the theme park industry. Finding a location that provides adequate weather year round, with minimal rainfall to keep customers coming daily, needs to be looked at as well.
Our recommendation for Disney is to open a theme park in India. It is the second most populous country in the world, with a rapidly growing economy. The country is stable politically and the unique culture is something Disney can rebrand to. There are only a handful of competitors in the country. Indians in the next fifteen to twenty years are going to be looking for more forms of leisure and recreation and Disney will be a great addition to the country that will not only be profitable, but also successful.
Relevant Company Information
Walt and Roy Disney founded the Walt Disney Company on October 16, 1923 as they began creating Alice in Wonderland cartoons in their California studio.38 They continued to produce cartoons and five years later, in 1928, Mickey Mouse was introduced to the world and became instantly popular. The popularity of Mickey let to more cartoons and the creation of characters to accompany him in his adventures. In 1930, the company began producing Mickey Mouse licensed merchandise including books, figurines, and dolls.39 The first full length film Walt Disney Studios produced was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937, which was a huge success. The income from this film led to the production of many more feature films over the next few years, including Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo, and Bambi. Disney expanded to television in the 1950’s with shows like “Davy Crockett” and “The Mickey Mouse Club.”
After so much success in the cartoon, film, and television industries, Walt Disney began his expansion into the theme park industry in 1955 when the Disneyland Resort was built in Anaheim, CA. This park was largely successful and as Disney Studios continued to produce more films, more attractions were added to the park as it continued to expand and increase in popularity. Before Walt’s death in 1966, he had purchased land in Florida that was seven times the size of the land in Anaheim with plans to build Walt Disney World.40 This park opened in 1971, and along with it the Parks and Resorts division of The Walt Disney Company was formed. International expansion began in 1983 when Tokyo Disneyland opened, and today the company operates 11 theme parks on three continents.
The key to Disney’s success in the theme park industry has been their commitment to making “Dreams Come True.” According to the official Disney website, the company “remain[s] dedicated to the promise that our Cast members turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. Making dreams come true every day is central to our global growth strategy.”41 Creating a one-of-a-kind experience in each theme park is essential to the success of the Disney parks and resorts. The company’s “commitment to produce unparalleled entertainment experiences based on the rich legacy of quality creative content and exceptional storytelling.” Any of the parks Disney opens either domestically or abroad are held to the high standards and the ideals upon which Walt Disney himself built the company so long ago.
A key member of the Disney Company in their International parks is Jay Rasulo, the chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Rasulo has worked for Disney for over 20 years and has experience in planning and development as well as overseeing the Euro Disney park in Paris.42 Now based in Los Angeles, Rasulo became the chairman in 2002 and was an integral player in the decision to build a park in Hong Kong. According to his official biography, “Jay is the architect of the long-term global growth strategy for Disney Parks and Resorts' business.”43 Rasulo will be an important component in the creation, development, and promotion of Disneyland India.
The biggest concept in marketing to the our target market in India deals with the relations with the family as a whole. The typical conservative family in India is one that is tightly knit together and as stated before, many members of families live together. In marketing to the family, it is important for us to also market specifically to the interests of the teenagers in the joint family. Teens in India want a product or service that relates to independence. Similar to the typical American teen, more Indian teens are beginning to do many things on their own; still involved in their families, but doing more self-sufficient events. We are planning to aim our target more at the younger teen generation because they are still connected with their family and just beginning to explore their independence.
Our product will appeal not only to children and the families as a whole, but through popular teen themes such as the trailer for High School Musical 2 in India known as All for One or Aaja Nachle. With our stake in UTV Communications we have a bigger target because of the Bollywood films produced. We will use those types of films and shows to support the Disney name in their age brackets. Presenting Disneyland India as a place where they can come to enjoy family and childhood memories may not be what a typical Indian teen desires, so adapting an older portion similar to California Adventure would increase teen attendance. Disney will be presented as a company that wants for an individual to experience a magical experience so using ideas that relate to the Indian teen will be used. The television shows and films will present to the Indian teen an experience that they can experience at Disneyland India. Overall, the major target includes the younger teen generation from about age 12 to 16 and the family as a whole.
Strategic Goals The strategic goals we would like to focus on as we introduce Disneyland to India are:
Create a park that is consistent with the Disney brand but also adapts to the local culture
Meet park attendance, ticket, and merchandise sales goals in order to make a profit on the incoming funds to the park over the daily operating costs.
Use the area’s resources in order to create an efficient supply chain and lower distribution costs, as well as boost the local economy.
Promote the Disney brand through characters and licensing, especially making use of mobile phone and Internet advertising, in order to increase favorability of the brand and the desire to attend Disneyland India.
Maximize leverage of the target market through continuous feedback from this demographic.
We explore these goals and our action plans to achieve them in depth in the following pages.
Product Strategy The principal goal for the Disneyland India park is to create a resort that represents all the fundamental values of Disney Parks and Resorts while adapting to the target market in India. Our plan is to create a park modeled after the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. The park will feature the same general design, starting with Main Street at the entrance leading down to a central hub with Cinderella’s Castle that serves as the entry to each of the separate themed lands, including Adventureland, Tomorrowland, and Fantasyland. The park will also feature experiences that are found at the original Disneyland, such as character meet-and-greets, parades, entertaining shows, and shops selling Disney merchandise. All employees of the park will be referred to as Cast Members and must be “passionate about maintaining the legacy of Walt’s dreams through creating magical memories for our Guests and Cast.”44 They must be committed to staying in character as long as they are wearing the costume specific to their position and work area. All of these considerations are to ensure guests receive a Disney experience that is consistent with the quality experience they would receive at any other Disney park around the world.
In addition to all the steps to ensure that the experience at Disneyland India is consistent with the other parks, we must consider the local culture and adapt this park accordingly. One of the primary adaptations at Disneyland India will be the food. Traditional Indian food is richly flavored and meals are an important part of Indian family life. It is also important to keep in mind the religious dietary restrictions including no beef for Hindus and no pork for Muslims.45 The most important way to adapt to the local food customs is to offer a wide variety of items throughout the park’s restaurants and food stands in order to satisfy the needs of all the guests who visit the park.
Another cultural adaptation is the traditional customs and dress of India. In addition to the traditional designs of both the live action and merchandise size characters, we would like to offer special Indian versions. This will include Mickey and Minnie Mouse characters dressed in traditional Indian wear such as saris and dhotis. Customized Indian versions of doll size characters will also be available. There are also ways to adapt the attractions to the local Indian culture. One attraction we would like to focus on is “It’s a Small World,” where we have a chance to really pay tribute to the local Indian culture. We would like to utilize traditional Indian architecture throughout the park, such as modeling the exterior of “It’s a Small World” after the Taj Mahal. The shops along Main Street will also be designed to look like a typical Indian city’s shopping area.
A very important aspect of Indian culture is Bollywood, a widely popular and highly successful portion of the Indian film industry. We would like to incorporate the success of Bollywood into the park, starting with a movie theater on Main Street that will pay tribute to Bollywood. The theater will feature programs highlighting popular Bollywood films and behind the scenes specials that will play throughout the day, allowing guests to stop in for viewings. The live shows at the park will also incorporate the popular attributes of Bollywood films, such as song and dance. An example one of the shows in the park will capitalize on the success of High School Musical through a live action version of the Indian style of the film.46 Popular Indian music will also be incorporated with Disney’s traditional music in parades and fireworks shows.
All of these adaptations depend on thorough research and development before the park opens including focus groups, audience testing, and surveys in order to get feedback and make necessary changes pre-opening. Once the park opens, we will continue to measure audience feedback while analyzing attendance flows at each attraction to determine popularity and make necessary adjustments. Our goal for the early years of the park is to maintain high attendance rates and high guest satisfaction. After about three years of success, we will start considering plans to open another park adjacent to Disneyland (in the style of all the other parks except Hong Kong). This park will most likely be dedicated to Bollywood in the style of the Walt Disney Studios parks in Florida and Paris. While planning will begin in the first five years, the park may not be built immediately, depending on the success of the initial Disneyland India park.
Product Action Steps:
Research local culture to develop food menus
Popularity of restaurants and sales numbers for food items once park opens
Research Bollywood to develop programs for the movie theater and live shows
Test audiences before opening, Attendance numbers at each show to determine popularity
Research cultures to find ways to adapt attractions to Indian culture
Imagineering and Development Dept.
Test audiences before opening, Track ride popularity through attendance
Develop Indian costumes for the Characters
R&D, Merchandising Departments
Focus groups before opening to test prototypes, sales numbers of merch.
Maintain guest satisfaction by adjusting attractions & merch. to guest’s preferences
Guest Relations, R&D Departments
Focus groups, surveys, Tracking attendance at each attraction/show
Expand the park by adding new attractions, keeping up with popular trends
Imagineering and Development Dept.
Tracking popular Disney characters/ films, testing concepts and proposed attractions
Begin researching the possibilities for another park
Research and Development
What Guests desire, What would work best in India – success of other parks