Published: December 15, 2008 at 9:14 AMInteresting choice - I'd like to see a history of U.S. theme park construction in foreign markets. I understand that their economy is doing well, but any particular reason for choosing Malaysia?
Published: December 15, 2008 at 11:22 AMThere's definitely a market in non-U.S. and non-European markets for U.S. theme park brands to attach to commercial and tourist development projects. You see this in Dubai most notably, but also in China and now in Southeast Asia as well.
For the most part, these deals are easy money for theme park companies. The local developer pays for the project and, in some cases (though not this one), even for the parks' operation. The theme park company does the design and training, then cashes the checks.
Disney pioneered this model with the Oriental Land Company in Tokyo Disneyland.
Now, the question is... how many of these parks will end up being built? I've read plenty of skeptical comments about how many of the announced Dubai projects will ever see opening day. Don't know about the Malaysian situation however. I wonder what the percentage of announced projects that get built there is.