The Walt Disney Company was founded in 1923 by Walt Disney and his brother Roy Disney. It was originally called Disney Brothers Cartoon Studios and started out with cartoon animations and short films. They have expanded into theme parks, movies (cartoon and live-action), television shows (Disney Channel), books, and so much more. The most recognizable character that is associated with the company is Mickey Mouse, who was first introduced in the cartoon Steamboat Willie in 1928. Since then they have made numerous movies, television shows, and expanded their theme parks in the United States from coast to coast: California to Florida. Disney also has theme parks in Paris, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Tokyo. There are also different experiences and travel destinations with the Aulani Resort in Hawaii and the Disney Cruise Line. The Walt Disney Company is continuing to grow as they acquire other companies and are able to offer an even wider variety of products and experiences with guests of all ages.
Disney has expanded their parks into many different countries, and to do this they have to have some type of global business-to-business strategy to make sure their parks are tailored to the people that currently live there, and could potentially be customers. Disney’s first international park was Tokyo Disneyland in Japan, which opened in 1976. In the case, The Walt Disney Company: Mickey Mouse Visits Shanghai, the author said “DIS (Disney) structured TDL (Tokyo Disneyland) as a lower-risk partnership with Japanese Corporation Oriental Land Co., Ltd., whereby DIS earned royalties for licensing its intellectual property and designing the park but retained zero ownership of the venture.” Disney thought they had missed out on regaining profitability from not having financial ownership of the land surrounding the theme park. “TDL added $40 million to DIS’s profit in its first year.” Nonetheless, this park had brought them huge amounts of profit that would eventually grow over the years as it became more popular to locals and tourists, which is largely due to their partnership that was able to help them from the start.
The next venture for Disney was Euro Disneyland, which is now known as Disneyland Paris. The search team looked at many different sites, and were searching for specific details to take into consideration before settling on a site. The French government offered Disney many attractive deals that made it hard to turn down including a low acreage price and a reduced tax rate on ticket sales. According to the case, “[t]he official deal was approved on July 11, 1986 and the government gave Disney a $960 million, 20-year loan at a 7.85% interest rate and help secure $1.6 billion in floating-rate loans from a group of 45 banks, $1 billion in loans from Caisse des Dépôts, and $400 million from special partnerships to facilitate buying real estate and leasing it back. The French government would also provide $400 million for water, electricity, telephone, and other services.” This became Disney’s best partnership to start off their journey through the development phases of Euro Disneyland. The French Government was willing to give Disney aid through financial resources because they knew that the theme park opening would decrease the high rate of unemployment since it was projected that 10,000 or more jobs were going to be created.