Disney Parks & Resorts, home of the Disneyland business, is now the parent group's second biggest division by both revenues and profits. The economic downturn took a little shine of performance in 2009, but the business has gathered considerable momentum ever since - though Covid-impacted 2020 was a notable exception. The original Disneyland in California was the world's first theme park, an immersive entertainment concept subsequently copied by numerous other companies, all with less success. It celebrated its 65th anniversary in 2020. As if proof were needed of the Disney brand's power, the vast Walt Disney World resort in Florida - which houses a number of separate units including water parks, Disney-MGM Studios, the Animal Kingdom zoo park, and no fewer than 18 hotels and vacation clubs - is the world's single most popular tourist destination. DisneyQuest and ESPN Zone are smaller-scale entertainment centres operated regionally in the US. The domestic parks and resorts contribute three-quarters of divisional revenues. The international Disney Resorts division is much smaller but no less significant. Disneyland Paris and Tokyo Disneyland are respectively the #1 tourist attractions in Europe and Asia. Hong Kong Disneyland opened on reclaimed land in 2005, followed by Disneyland Shanghai in 2016. All the parks are conceived and designed by in-house division Walt Disney Imagineering. However, Tokyo Disneyland and sister park DisneySea are operated under license by local owner Oriental Land; Disney has a 47% stake in the Hong Kong park, 43% in Shanghai, and 81% of Disneyland Paris. The Parks & Resorts arm also houses the Disney Cruise line and the Disney Vacation Club and Disney Destinations travel agencies. In 2019, the Parks & Resorts division was merged with Disney Consumer Products as Parks, Experiences & Products, under the management of divisional chairman Bob Chapek. Revenues for the period to Sept 2019 reached a new high of $26.2bn, while operating income reached $6.8bn, also a best-ever performance. Early the following year, Chapek was elevated to group CEO, taking over from Bob Iger. He was succeeded by Josh D'Amaro. However, D'Amaro's first year was immensely challenging: the Covid pandemic hit Disney Parks harder than any other division, forcing widespread closures for much of the year. Revenues plunged by more than a third to $16.5bn for ye 2020, and profits were wiped out altogether. The division reported a net operating loss of $81m.
Capsule checked 17th June 2021
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Historical profile information for Walt Disney Company
Adbrands Daily Update 13th Mar 2020: With coronavirus fears impacting global financial markets and virtually all companies worldwide, news that Disney will shutter all its theme parks worldwide came as little surprise. Parks including Disneyland in California, Disneyworld in Florida and Disneyland Paris, will all close this weekend until at least the end of the month, though some Disney-operated hotels will remain open. Disney Cruise Lines are also suspended. The company's parks in China have already been closed for several weeks. (Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea - which are owned independently under license - remain open for the time being). Disney cited "an abundance of caution and... the best interest of our guests and employees." Though Disneyworld has been closed several times because of hurricanes, Disneyland in California has suffered unscheduled closures only twice since its opening in 1955: for a national day of mourning in 1963 following the assassination of President Kennedy, and after the 9/11 attacks.
Adbrands Daily Update 15th Oct 2019: Omnicom Media Group retained the bulk of the business of Disney's North Amerian media channels following a major global review worth over $2bn in billings. That includes the Disney, Fox, Pixar, Marvel and other movie studios as well as ABC, ESPN and other broadcast and cable strands. A new dedicated agency, OMG23, is being created to manage the business. However, Publicis Media has been awarded all international entertainment assets as well as the soon-to-launch Disney+ streaming service worldwide and Disney's global Parks & Resorts division, previously held by Carat. It's an important counter to the Groupe's poor Q3 results, unveiled earlier than expected last week. (Was the timing arranged to get the bad news out of the way in time for this week's good news?) WPP is reported to have retained Disney's business in India.
Adbrands Social Media 8th Jan 2019: "The Little Duck". The latest spot from BETC Paris for Disneyland Paris is saccharine, soppy... and completely adorable! I'll have to confess that Donald Duck has never been my favourite Disney character, but this charming little fable is just perfect. A brilliant and heart-warming idea, brought to life with outstanding digital animation and true to the Disney brand in every way. It's ads like this that show why BETC has the creative reputation it does.
Adbrands Social Media 26th Feb 2014: "Still A Child At Heart". Here's another nice French spot, this time from BETC Paris for Disneyland Paris. It's aimed not at little kids but younger teens unsure whether Disney has stopped being cool for them. Nice idea. There's an English voiceover version as well but we prefer the French.
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