Disney Parks Internationally

September 7, 2020, 1:39 PM

Disney has parks all over the globe. They have parks and resorts in France, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, and of course, the United States. Disney parks are in North America, Europe, Asia, and Europe. I’m curious as to why Disney never expanded to Australia, and South America?

I know Australian’s tend to travel to California to visit Disneyland. However, it’s not around the corner. It’s a 15 hour flight. They can also travel to Disney’s parks in Asia, but those are between 9 and 10 hour flights as well. Why don’t they have Disney parks on their continent?

Some countries in South America, are close enough to Florida. In the Northern part of South America, it’s not far for people to travel to Orlando. However, other countries are much further from the United States. Why doesn’t South America have any Disney parks? Maybe in Chile, or possibly Brazil?

Would Europe ever consider building another Disney Resort? Possibly in either Italy, or Spain? The weather is similar to that of Florida, and California, in which the weather is mild year round. It can get cold in France during the winter months. I know that would mean two Disney resorts would be in close proximity to one another. Florida and California are 3,000 miles apart. So it’s different having two Disney Resorts in the United States. I’m curious if they would ever build another European Disney Resort?

Replies (9)

September 7, 2020, 2:31 PM

There have been rumors for years of Disney building in other places like Australia and Dubai, but when it comes to Australia, the problem is that many people around the world don’t travel to Australia due to it being a very long flight and a very expensive place to go to. Tokyo, Hong Kong and Paris are places many people visit for vacation, so they can spend a day at Disney while still being in the city they are visiting. When it comes to Europe, I don’t really see Disney building another park there due to how Paris was a failure out the gate, but it’s also important to remember that the transportation systems in Europe are easily accessible and people can easily travel from their country to Paris with only a train ride. South America is a possibility, but it all depends on which country and how their economy is. If Disney ever does build another international park, I’d bet on them doing Dubai.

Edited: September 7, 2020, 6:44 PM

Pre-pandemic, the small number of rumors I'd heard with any legitimacy to them seemed to indicate that Disney wasn't considering any resort projects outside of Asia. Supposedly India was among the top contenders due to the huge population there and I could see South Korea being another potentially good fit, but I don't know how far along any project for a seventh resort really was. So far, Disney has opened one resort per decade, so it's reasonable to assume tentative plans for another resort to open in the 2020s were at work, but the pandemic has essentially shelved all future projects for the foreseeable future.

Why not Australia? While this may have been a location under consideration at one time, it doesn't really mesh with the direction the company is going now. Disney is looking for places where they can build a destination resort that will attract visitors for anywhere from a weekend to a full week. That doesn't work so well in Australia, as anyone likely to travel there probably has a much easier Disney resort they can access that is bigger than anything likely to be built there. Australia requires quite a commitment for travel, and if you're going to go there, you're probably not going for something you can visit back home. You could argue that a park for Australians would be worthwhile, but there isn't sufficient population or demand. Australia is only home to about 25 million, which is about the same as southern California or the city of Shanghai, but spread over a much larger area. Disney wouldn't be able to turn enough of a profit in Australia to make a resort worthwhile.

Why mot South America? Here, you've got the issues of economics and politics. Most of the countries in this region are not wealthy enough to support a Disney park, and those that are lack the population to make it viable. Chile, for example, only has a population of 17 million, which is even less than Australia, plus it is much poorer. Brazil would be the only country that might make sense, but Brazil isn't a particularly wealthy country, and if international travel is required to reach Disney people are far more likely to go to Walt Disney World. Additionally, many places in South America are politically volatile, making it an undesirable place for tourism and even less desirable for building a multi-billion dollar tourist resort.

Why not Europe? Because Disneyland Paris performs worse than any of the other resorts (except Hong Kong) despite being centrally located and easy to access from almost anywhere in western Europe. Given the poor performance here, it is unlikely another resort elsewhere in Europe would be successful, especially if it were built on a smaller scale. Instead, you'd wind up cannibalizing from Disneyland Paris, as locals to the new resort would go there instead. However, those not local would just opt for the larger resort in Paris. It's similar to the reason there probably will never be a third US resort...Disney's not really interested in catering just to a regional audience anymore, and once you have to hop on a plane you're most likely opting for Florida.

Lastly, you must not forget that Disney is an American creation, and its level of prominence in different countries is likely far less than it is here. Anywhere that the brand is not recognized by a large sector of the population would benefit Disney very little were they to invest there.

September 7, 2020, 6:41 PM

"Why doesn’t South America have any Disney parks?"
Political and economic instability.

"Would Europe ever consider building another Disney Resort?"
No. They built it next to Paris for a reason, its easy to get to from anywhere in Europe, and Spain is right next to France so there would be no point in building another one in Spain. You can take a quick flight from Madrid or Barcelona to Paris for $30. Also Disney just bought Disneyland Paris and is finally starting to invest serious money into it to make it the international destination they originally wanted it to be.

September 9, 2020, 5:08 PM

Geographically, it makes sense that Disney built a resort in Paris. Yes, it’s relatively easy to get to from other countries. All airlines fly to and from Paris. All railways do the same. It’s a central location. But I’m curious why they decided against Spain or Italy? The climate is temperate, and similar to Florida, and California. I understand why they chose France, due to its central location. Also, the fact that Disneyland Paris is a train ride away from Paris. But France gets much colder in the winter, as compared to Spain.

As far as Australia, I understand why they never built a Disney Resort. It requires a lot of traveling, and commitment. It would make sense for Australians, since they wouldn’t have to travel so far to visit a Disney park. But...I also understand that Disney wants to build a resort that would attract people from other locations.

Dubai could make a possible location for a Disney park. Dubai is safe. It’s among the safest places in the Middle East. It’s a rich city as well. It’s also popular among tourists.

AJ alluded to India, and South Korea, as possible locations for a Disney park. Would Disney consider building a theme park outside of Asia someday? If so, where could they potentially build one?

September 10, 2020, 12:28 AM

In Michael Eisner's autobiography he says while many people in the company wanted to build in Spain because of the climate, it was his decision to put it in Paris for the following reasons:
-The ease of access that we already covered
-He thought the climate wouldn't be a big deal because in New York (where he grew up) people didn't let cold/wet weather deter them from activity.
-Telephone infrastructure wasn't good in Spain
-His own personal bias towards a romanticized vision of Paris and he enjoyed visiting when he was younger

"Euro Disney" was a kind of pet project for him that he was obsessed with, even to the point where before they signed the contract he rode the trains around Paris to the proposed site (or at least the stop before, before the DLP station was built) and timed it. The fact that it bombed was likely a major contributor to later parks, including HKDL, being under invested in.

September 10, 2020, 10:27 AM

Spain, depending on the location, is hot as hell in summer. Nice for a water park, not for a theme park. Although I come from a tropical country, I prefer Paris in winter than Spain in summer (for visiting a theme park).

About South America, political and economical stabilities are a problem, but that didn't prevent Brazil of having 13 foreign automakers producing cars there plus other 5 having just assembling lines. The real problem is the low average income and the bad distribution of wealth. That is why a Disney theme park is not economically viable there. That said, although a theme park is out of question, Disney could build some resorts in South America, like the one in Hawaii. Perhaps with a water park. Peru, Brazilian northeast coast and Brazilian Amazon would be some perfect spots. Disney would rise the standards there and attract people from all over the world. Brazil did not find a way to effectively explore tourism in Amazon. Perhaps Disney could find it. Also, Disney could bring their cruise lines to South America.

September 11, 2020, 3:49 PM

@Flavio de Souza, Florida is hot as hell too during the summer. It’s hot and humid. The humidity is oppressive there. I’ve visited Disney World many times during the summer months...it’s extremely hot! Everyday, you hope it rains. It’s no different then Spain. California, on the hand, isn’t as oppressive. It does get warm during the summer months. However, you don’t have the same humidity as you do in Florida.

Disney could possibly build some type of resort in Brazil, as they have in Hawaii. In addition, they could also have a water park. The Brazilian Amazon would certainly be quite interesting.

September 16, 2020, 1:24 AM

@the_man: Eisner has been up front on mistakes with the recent Imagineering series admitting things like overloading on hotels "was a dumb move." So he may regret not trying it in Spain after all.

September 16, 2020, 1:24 AM

@the_man: Eisner has been up front on mistakes with the recent Imagineering series admitting things like overloading on hotels "was a dumb move." So he may regret not trying it in Spain after all.

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