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The Business of Disney

Business Disney

The world is full of Disney fans, Disney groups, Disney fanatics ~ people who live, breathe and just LOVE everything about Disney. Many of those people realize Disney is a business. Many of those people don’t. The ones that don’t are the ones that are almost cult-like in their following of everything Disney. Facebook and other social media outlets are full of those people that talk in Disney quotes – “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” “If you can dream it, you can do it.” “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” Admit it. You know you know several people who talk in Disney quotes and respond to every Facebook status of someone’s with another quote. As if using Disney quotes makes all things right. 

The ones that don’t admit and understand it’s a business are the ones that believe that everything Disney is filled with magic and pixie dust. Where do these beliefs come from? Good  marketing and great PR – a business. Over the years Disney has employed some of the most creative minds and people. People, not only full of imagination, but able to put that imagination and creativity into action.
 Business Disney

Those creative imaginations over the years have spun beliefs that are both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because of the wonderful memories created by thousands and thousands of families. A blessing because of the happiness that Disney brings to so many in times that are full of negativity. A curse because those creative and imaginative minds have created something that has people holding Disney to a higher standard than any other vacation destination in the world. A curse because those creative minds have many people believing that nothing will ever go wrong at Disney, that all the magic is run by a mouse and the seven dwarfs are toiling away to keep things going smoothly. In reality, the entire thing is run by people. People just like you and me. People who have bad days, family issues, sick children, money concerns and hectic lives.

I was amazed recently by the reaction of many when Disney announced they would be adding alcohol to restaurants in the Magic Kingdom. I am one that wasn’t thrilled with the decision but I am also one that understands it’s a business decision. Decisions in 2016 are not made based on “what would Walt want” as many like to quote on social media. Decisions are made based on what is best for business. I am continually amazed by the number of people who have a bad day at Disney and fully expect to be compensated by Disney for their bad day. No other vacation destination is held to that standard by visitors. This is Disney’s fault because for years they always offered to “make things right” and quite frankly for many years went overboard when it came to doing that.

The creative and imaginative minds have spun a product that requires very little cost for them to get their information out and about. There are hundreds of thousands of people that willingly share all news and information related to Disney without Disney spending a dime. Good business. I honestly believe that Disney is one of the few products in the world that has thousands of people doing their advertising for free. As a blog/site owner that makes a decent living from my website thanks to other destinations and products, Disney is the only product I promote for free. It’s a decision as a business that I have made because I believe in the product and the product has brought years of enjoyment to my family. I get nothing in return from Disney for promoting their product. There are thousands of “me” out there doing the same exact thing. 

As a blog/site owner that reports on many things Disney, I often have the opportunity to attend media events or apply for certain things Disney related. If I’m not invited to a specific event or Disney related group, although there is always an initial disappointment, I know that invitations or acceptance for that specific function are business decisions based on demographics and markets they are trying to reach at the time. There are thousands of “me” all fighting for one of the few spots on the invitation list (all for different reasons).

Those that only see pixie dust and magic far out number those that see the business. I’m not sure why. The only explanation is – good business. Years and years of good business practices that have a business looking as if it’s magic.

Disney – The Business

We all must remember – Disney is a business first. When changes are made, things are added or things are closed – those decisions are made based on business. Not on “what would Walt want.” The Walt Disney Company operates through four primary business units, which it calls “business segments”: Studio Entertainment, with the primary business unit The Walt Disney Studios, which includes the company’s film, music recording label, and theatrical divisions; Parks and Resorts, featuring the company’s theme parks, cruise line, and other travel-related assets; Media Networks, which includes the company’s television properties; and Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media, which produces toys, clothing, and other merchandising based upon Disney-owned properties, as well as including Disney’s Internet, mobile, social media, virtual worlds, and computer games operations.

The company’s main entertainment holdings include Walt Disney Studios, Disney Music Group, Disney Theatrical Group, Disney-ABC Television Group, Radio Disney, ESPN Inc., Disney Interactive, Disney Consumer Products, Disney India Ltd., The Muppets Studio, Pixar Animation Studios, , Marvel Studios, UTV Software Communications, Lucasfilm, and Maker Studios.

The company’s resorts and diversified related holdings include Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort, Tokyo Disney Resort, Disneyland Paris, Euro Disney S.C.A., Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, Shanghai Disney Resort, Disney Vacation Club, and Disney Cruise Line.

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Monday 2nd of January 2017

If Disney did business based on "What would Walt do?" there would be no Disney. Walt was a visionary, but he was not a good businessman. His brother Roy, the actual businessman of Disney, once had to send Walt out of the country in order to successfully resolve contract negotiations with Disney employees.