Cultual Lens Case Essays

7230 Words Nov 3rd, 2015 29 Pages
Module 10 . LearningAcross
Disneyland. theMore on Ml0-25

DisneyGoesto Tokyo
Crossingthe Pacific

In the mid-I970s, the Oriental Land Company, a
]apanese development company that owned a large tract oflandfill east ofTokyo zoned for pubIic leisure activities, approached Disney with the idea of building a Disneyland in lapan. Six hundred acreswere set asidefor the project. But, in an era of conservative (caretaking) management at
Walt Disney Productions, senior executivesat Disney were hesitant. After all, lapan was far away, quite distant in terms of culture, and Tokyo not only had much colder winters than California or
Florida but endured a lengthy rainy seasonin lune and July. Yet, after exploring
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\44-rois to say that Mickey Mouse is not Japanese,they claimed, since he was perhaps more familiar to local youngsters than the mythical charactersof national folklore. The lapanese carried the day for they were, after all, the owners of the park.
Tolcyo Disneyland opened in April 1983. The weather was cold and raw Opening day drew fewer people than anticipated. But in August it

drew 93,000 people in a single day, higher than the record one-day attendancerecords in the U.S. parks (Brannen and Wilson, 1996). By the late l980s, it was drawing more than I5 million people a year) more at that time than either of the U.S. parks. The park was so popular that occasionally the admission gates were closed by mid-day to avoid overcrowding. By 1993, ten years after opening, Tokyo Disneyland had welcomed 125 million visitors, a number, as Brannen and Wilson pointed out, roughly equal to the population of
Japan. By 2003, Tokyo Disneyland sat next to a second gate-Tolyo
Disney Seas (opening in
2001). The attendancedraw from the two parks is now nearing 25 million visitors per year and the employee count comes close to 20,000 (75 percent of whom are entry-level, part-time workers).
Critical to the business side of the organization, nine out of ten cllstomers on

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