The experience in France did not help Disney to avoid some of the problems in Hong Kong since the business environment is different between Euro and China. In 2007, the visitors of Hong Kong Disneyland dropped nearly 30 percent. Customers complained about the size of Hong Kong Disneyland and they are unfamiliar with Disney’s characters.
First of all, the reason of low acceptance of Disney in China is different from that in France. When the Disneyland opened in France, it was not welcomed by the local people; they saw it as an invading of American culture. However, the investment in China faced another problem. Since the Disney characters were banned for nearly 40 years in the Mainland China, Chinese tourists do not familiar with them. They do not have the chance to acknowledge the stories behind the characters. Disney characters absented from their knowledge. The above issue reduced the attractiveness of the Hong Kong Disneyland to the Chinese tourists. This problem did not occur in France as Disney characters’ stories are well-known in Euro. Therefore, the dissatisfaction of French towards Disneyland Paris was based on their rejection of American culture in France; on the other hand, the Chinese were lack of knowledge about Disney. The problem of the two places is not based on the same reason. Therefore, it is hard to use the experience in France to reduce the uncertainty in Hong Kong.
Also, the geographic environment between France and Hong Kong is different. The Disneyland Paris is much bigger than Hong Kong Disneyland. Thus, Disneyland Paris includes more rides and attractions. It is impossible for Hong Kong Disneyland to build larger because of the limitation of land. In fact, there are only 16 attractions and one classic Disney thrill ride, Space Mountain, compared with 52 rides at Disneyland Paris in 2006. The selling point of Disney is the rides and fairy tales. Visitors want to enjoy being in a fairy tale and forget about the world. However, Hong Kong Disneyland is too small for the customers. Unlike the Disneyland in France, the rides in Hong Kong Disneyland is only enough to play for one day. Thus, it reduces the attractiveness for them to visit the park again. Disney has to think about the land used in Hong Kong. The uses of land in Hong Kong are different from Disneyland Pairs; hence enlargement is needed and more rides are needed to introduce in Hong Kong Disneyland.
In addition, the low check-in rate of the hotel in Hong Kong Disneyland and Disneyland Pairs is not based on the same reason. People do not want to stay in the hotel in Disney Paris because of the high pricing. A family of four can spend $600 if they visit the park and stay overnight at a nearby hotel. On the other hand, Chinese tourists have other reason of not staying in the hotel of Hong Kong Disneyland. Many of them travel to Hong Kong by bus and they would arrive at Disneyland in the mid-day. They would like to enjoy the Disneyland by one day and leave. To sum up, the problem of the low check-in rate of the hotel in the two places in caused by different factors. It does not exist in France and it turns up in Hong Kong Disneyland.
Besides, the society between France and China is different. Chinese government limits most of the couple who can only have one child, but such policy does not exist in France. Hence, the promotional requirements are not the same. The target customers in China are the families with children. Therefore, the advertisement should be designed to attract these families. However, the early advertising of Disney in China was performed by two children and two parents. It was not effective in China because of ‘One-child policy’. For the way of advertising, it cannot promote in the same way as France.
To conclude, the problems of Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland are initiated by different reasons. Therefore, some other strategies are needed to be taken when it entered to the Chinese market.