I don’t know about you, but I’ve been a Disney Devotee since the early days of The Mickey Mouse Club (Annette Funicello), Davy Crockett, Spin and Marty, and Old Yeller!
Like so many others, Disney has been part of my life in so many ways over the years. Most people have no idea how successful this organization has been since animator Walt Disney and his brother Roy joined forces in California in 1923 to create what would become a global entertainment conglomerate.
Those who deny the Disney influence are simply uniformed. For instance:
Like movies? Disney has produced well over 750 classic films, cartoons, and animated shorts. It owns LucasFilm, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Worldwide (toys, comics, movies, TV and music), Touchstone Pictures, The Muppets Studio, and several other movie studios.
Like theme parks? Disney owns 5 major theme parks and 38 various resorts around the world.
Vacation? Disney currently owns 10 vacation clubs, 2 water parks, and 5 of the most beautiful, state-of-the-art cruise lines currently sailing the seas and several others on the drawing board.
Watch TV? Disney owns the ABC Television Network, ABC News, ABC Family Cable Channel, Lifetime Network, A&E Network, ABC Sports, 26 Divisions of ESPN, and dozens of television stations and Disney Channels worldwide.
As though this weren’t enough, consider a few of its other assets: real estate, financial services, magazine and book publishing, apartment properties, consumer toys and products, retail stores, investment companies, Disney Learning, Disney Mobile, 12 Disney websites, Disney on Ice, and its own corporate airline.
In short, it has been doing pretty well. So, why do I say “Mickey Needs Our Help”? It’s actually very basic. Although it pains me to say this, the current Disney leadership team has simply lost their minds. They’re obviously delusional and totally out of control. They’ve lost their ability to think rationally.
Let me give you a simple example.
Heralded by the kind of fanfare only Disney can muster, Walt Disney World recently debuted its largest Magic Kingdom expansion ever. The “New Fantasyland” is touted as the largest expansion in the 41-year history of the Magic Kingdom, doubling the size of original Fantasyland from 10 to 21 acres.
By adding multiple rides, restaurants and gift shops in one massive swoop, the project budget is headed toward $400 million! This addition will increase the capacity of Disney’s most popular park, which draws 17 million visitors a year, from 66,000 people a day to 80,000!
Disney is expanding on the west coast as well by creating a $1 billion addition to its California Adventure, which is anchored by the Pixar-inspired Cars Land. In addition, a multi-attraction corner of Disney’s Animal Kingdom is being designed as a tribute to the film Avatar.
Herein lies the problem.
- Disney obviously doesn’t realize that our economy is in dire straights!
- It doesn’t understand that millions of its “guests” (customers) have lost their jobs.
- It doesn’t seem to realize that families have less money to spend.
- It doesn’t seem concerned about its growing global competition.
- It seems to ignore the fact that prices are increasing everywhere.
- It fails to understand that families are vacationing less.
- The list goes on and on.
Instead of buckling down, playing it safe, and waiting for things to change for the better, Disney seems to have taken an opposite approach. For instance:
- It continues to expand, enhance, and promote every aspect of its many products and services while its competitors downsize, merge or close their businesses.
- It increases its creative and innovative efforts throughout the organization worldwide.
- It continues to train, educate and enlighten its “cast members” (employees) while tapping the potential they offer the organization.
- It continually invests in its people, properties, products and services to make certain it maintains its industry leadership.
- It continues to advertise and market at a time when all others have ceased this strategy in the spirit of saving money.
DOESN’T DISNEY REALIZE THAT THIS STRATEGY WILL SOON LEAD IT TO DEATH AND DESTRUCTION?
We must all join forces to make Disney aware that this current path will most certainly lead to its demise. Call or write Disney immediately in hopes of making it see the light.
By now, I’m pretty sure that the majority of those reading this article realize that I’m being totally facetious (not meant to be taken seriously or literally) about the demise of Disney.
In fact, its strategy is genius, and its current growth and success should be proof positive that its game plan can and will work for anyone with the courage and determination to execute it! This will work for any business, regardless of size. In fact, the smaller the business, the easier it is. Are YOU willing to make the effort? Examples such as this one exist from coast to coast. We simply must seek them out.
When you settle on a plan that you feel is right for you and your organization, analyze it, create a strategy, and then execute that strategy with focus and determination! Thanks, MICKEY!
By the way, I understand that Starbucks is now offering a $7 cup of coffee! The next time you stop in at one of its thousands of locations, tell them that this will never work in this horrendous economy! I’m certain they’ll take it off the menu immediately!
About Harry K. Jones
Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.