Disney’s Global Practices And Obstacles In Expanding Its Business To Different Regions

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Globalization is a position in which available goods and services, or social and cultural influences, gradually become similar in all parts of the world. It is the expansion of a domestic company to an international one. When economies become more connected to each other, opportunities increase so as competitions. To secure their positions, they need to give a positive image; The Walt Disney Company is an example, though it also has negative impacts.

The Walt Disney Company was formed on October 16, 1923, in the United States. The founders were Walter Elias Disney and Roy Disney. The Disney Company is a well-known diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with the following business segments: Media Networks; Parks, Experiences and Products; Studio Entertainment; and Direct-to-Consumer and International.

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Disney started its global expansion in Tokyo in 1983 opening Tokyo Disney Resort and Tokyo Disneyland. Due to the success, Disney later expanded to Europe introducing Euro Disney, which is near France, in 1992. The formation of Euro Disney faced disturbance entering the market. This is because France is a place where they value their language and culture. The French feared that Disney characters with American culture will replace the French classic characters in the mind of French citizens. Therefore, Disney made little changes building Euro Disney; for example, the main language at the park was French and the Disney tales were based on European fairytales. However, the French press claimed that this showed a startup that American companies and culture are taking over the world.

The place in which Disney chose to build Euro Disney also caused a disturbance. Marne-la Vallee was the small town that Disney chose to build. The small town was destroyed and the people’s living style there was also disrupted. Moreover, 2/3 Disney employees were living there, and the French press complained that many of the procedures for employment were not changed to contain French culture. For example, the personal hygiene and conduct, the company’s expectations, and the dress code are all different from the standard employment practices of the French. The Anti-American feared that their national identity will be threatened by America’s culture, economic, and political dominance. Furthermore, the French press conceived a negative image to Euro Disney. However, they never tell any positive outcomes that had brought by Disney like more jobs were created and Disney park attracted consumers from all over Europe. Although the French press gave a negative image of Euro Disney, Euro Disney still became very successful. Since most of the consumers are the French. Thus, Disney’s decision made by keeping its American ways proved to be wealthy in Europe and its future expansion around the world.

The third-place Disney chose to build its global theme park is in Hong Kong in 2005. Disney planned to spread American culture and allowed Chinese citizens to participate in global consumption and a sense of international travel which had restricted them in their state. Disney faced negotiations with the Hong Kong government at that time because the Hong Kong government want Disney to combine Chinese culture into the park; however, Disney argued that visitors should have a pure Disney experience. Same as the French press, the Hong Kong press was not happy with Disney building its park there. The reason is the small scale of the park and whether the government and Disney are counted as partnerships. Even though Disney faced many challenges, the park still shows a successful result. Disney’s aim, allowing mainlanders to have global experience without going overseas, has reached as the Chinese travelers have experienced the different cultures between America and China.

Over the years, Disney has opened its fourth theme park in Shanghai in 2016. To expand its business, Disney chooses countries with high Disney awareness, a large population with stable economic and consumers who have leisure time to spend their disposable income. Besides theme parks, Disney also progressed in creating the Disney Cruise; the first cruise line started in 1998. Both theme parks and cruise lines created a unique experience for consumers and also shows family experience which makes parents feel that they have the obligation to bring their kids there and spend a wonderful time together. These processes have been a huge part of Disney’s globalization.

The global division of labor is another way in which Disney participates in globalization. From the article written by James Tracy, Disney used international labor, especially women and people living in developing countries, to produce its products and to gain its profits. The employees were paid in low wages and they have no control over their working environment. This shows economic imperialism since the industrialized nation has all the power and control. However, in some places like Indonesia, they welcome this kind of business. This is because women could have the chance to be employed and they are used to do what they are told. These international practices showed contrasts with their domestic one. In the United States, Disney gained a reputation for the socially liberal company, but, in international, it was less attractive. The Disney Company is huge as they control a large amount of popular culture which influences our daily lives. Moreover, since the economy becomes more globalized, most of the industries will also take action in the internal division of labor. Not to mention, Disney will also continue to use this advantage.

From the above information, Disney seems to be a villain like disrupting the French and Chinese culture and citizens lives there and using international division of labor. However, Disney still has some positive image in globalization. For example, incorporation of different ethnicities like The Lion King, Mulan, Aladdin and so on, helps the world notice that different ethnicities and cultures are unified. Moreover, Disney always shows a positive image to the world. It has many amazing quotes that influenced people around the world to have beliefs on themselves. One of my favorite quotes from Walt is “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

To conclude, Disney faced obstacles in expanding its business to different regions. There is both a positive and negative impact. No matter what, in the end, they always succeed and earned a lot. We may not all agree with Disney’s global practices, but we can all agree on the influential global power which Disney has.


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