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A Spirited Perfect Ten

ford91exploder

Resident Curmudgeon
What protects Disney is China's goal of being the framer of global structures and stability. That is why there has been a crackdown on graft and displays of extravagance. Disney planned a huge display of extravagance when the political climate is against such displays. There is NOTHING gained by taking the park and kicking Disney out.
There are BILLIONS of reasons to to do this, Xi is currently in the process of doing a Mao style crackdown where the power of the STATE is emphasized, China is spending it's foreign exchange on weapons not expanding their middle class.

By making an example out of Disney, China is telling the rest of the western businesses to 'Get with the program'.
 

Rasvar

Well-Known Member
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I had planned on getting this out last week, but issues with timing, translation (of parts) and the general sense in the fan community that this isn't as important as the new MK Hub or Chef Mickey's new brunch (hint: it's a $40 breakfast with a few 'extra' items!) made me wonder if it just wasn't more valuable to me than it was to 'WDW1974' and the MAGICal community.

We all know what happened when Bob Iger and Tom Staggs went to China in terms of anything public ... or nothing public as it turned out. This here is what was supposed to/scheduled to happen.

You know, as other members here have pointed out, Bob Iger is a very shy and humble man who stays far away from the spotlight. He isn't someone who is apt to be found in ... I dunno ... the cab of a DLR monorail attempting to emulate Walt right down to the cardigan, seated next to one of the world's power couples. Nah, you'd never see that.

Simply put, even if no one in what's left of journalism ever writes about it (hey, Brooks, did you really almost run over D-I-C-K Van D-Y-K-E --absurd filters here, guys, this isn't a children's forum and they know all about dicks and dykes! -- because you were texting and driving at the same time after whoring around DL's 60th kickoff? I bet all your pals back in the circus are so proud of you!), Bob and Tom's Shanghai Surprise couldn't have gone worse. And, no, it doesn't bode well for the future for the company over there at all.

With my commentary down, enjoy the read:



19 May, Shanghai Disney Resort


Agreed for Shanghai Disneyland site//

A "cavalcade of characters" will be transported to SHDLR with official logo "hardhats". The Walt Disney Company storyboard, as previously reviewed, will be filmed for Disney's archives and possible future promotional use. As presented and visualized, Disney Chairman and CEO Robert Iger and Disney COO Tom Staggs will join the cast, both the characters and preselected members of the design and construction team, for filming.
Before site exteriors are filmed, as approved, interior filming of executives and dignitaries "studiously reviewing" plans will occur. Castle finial will be hoisted for placement with assembled cast joined by workers, dragons and Shanghai dignitaries to be photographed for internal use and media distribution. With partners and the cavalcade of characters looking on from the temporary stage, the topping off ceremony will conclude with workers positioning peony on structure.

***Fireworks remain in notes and not indicated as artistic flourish in the storyboard.***

Approved for on-site "appearance" lists only Iger and Staggs. (Cheung, Kang and Candland not included.)
Emphasis on, "Authentically Disney, Distinctly Chinese."

Topping off ceremony will remain under the direction of local authorities.
20 May, Disney Store Shanghai Opening

Agreed for the Disney Store in Lujiazui (within the footprint in the shadow of the Pearl Tower)//

9,257 sq ft interior with a lease of approximately 54,000 sq ft.

Official "launch" of Shanghai Disney Resort with kickoff celebration led by Disney Chairman and CEO Robert A. Iger marking Disney's first location in the Chinese mainland utilizing the store as the brand's jumping off point to begin the buildup to the opening of Shanghai Disneyland. Executives in attendance and to be acknowledged include Thomas Staggs, COO of Disney, Luke Kang, MD TWDC Greater China and Stanley Cheung, Chairman of TWDC Greater China.

Onstage the celebration will include a "cavalcade of Disney characters." Included in the welcoming ceremony will be Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars. The characters will embrace Robert Iger and select Shanghai dignitaries who remain for the "turning of the key." Twin dragons will mark the celebration and be pictured in the landmark opening with Mr Iger and Shanghai's senior most official in attendance.

Media presence described as "significant" and consistent with a "momentous partnership" between the government and TWDC.

Disney Chairman and CEO to welcome "first family" of Shanghai's Disney Store and "invite all" to come inside and experience the magic of Disney. The Disney Store "will promote" unique products and being "culturally harmonious" in its offerings and location at the Pearl Tower.

Emphasis on, "Authentically Disney, Distinctly Chinese."

The Disney Store Shanghai opening will remain under the direction of local authorities.

-- Upon wheels down in Shanghai, TWDC was informed the CCP's designated media/apparatus would control all appearances and access would be "as indicated" by hosts/escorts.

-- In keeping with China's previous and consistent position, no pictures would be allowed for release nor could the Disney characters be brought on-site "for purposes of propaganda" with security and safety issues cited.

-- Iger and Staggs were told they lacked "proper certification" to be allowed to walk the construction site or be present for the topping off from the park.

-- On May 19, Disney Chairman and CEO Robert Iger was given a tour of the Disney Store Shanghai. His escorts were told no photographs would be allowed aside from the government assigned team memorializing the visit [to China and not only the store], and this was told to Mr Iger.

-- Shortly after the visit to the store, it was learned through the hosts/escorts that Mr Iger has taken pictures and posed for "propaganda purposes" in the store. The photograph of Mr Iger holding the stormtrooper was viewed and "ordered to be destroyed." Later, hours prior to the scheduled opening of the store, the picture was leaked.

-- Disney assured its hosts the picture was not intentionally released and would not be used.

-- Shanghai officials in charge of the store opening determined on the morning of May 20 that no representatives of TWDC from Burbank would be allowed and Iger and Staggs "were held" at their hotel for just then scheduled "essential meetings" concerning "grave matters."

-- It was negotiated that no Disney presence would be "potentially alarming" to the business community and bode poorly for the future of the relationship between TWDC (Western businesses operating in China) and Greater China, so officials agreed to abbreviated terms. Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse would be allowed, no other characters. Paul Candland, just in from Tokyo, would be the only "named" executive of TWDC at the opening.

-- Less than 25 "official guests" were in attendance with Mr Candland being the sole representative of Disney. Comments indicating this was Disney's "arrival in the Chinese mainland" would be tempered and were edited by the local authorities assigned to the propaganda team for the SHDLR project (several of whom came from the official news agency, Xinhua).

-- Candland had some difficulty with the script which had only been presented to him immediately prior to the appearance. The focus on children, girls and young families was "problematic" for Candland as it was not consistent with Disney marketing or comments Disney would make.

-- The photograph of the twin dragons with the Disney Store in the background was deemed to be "the appropriate" photograph for circulation in China and elsewhere.

-- No distinction was made between Shanghai Disney Resort, a partnership, and the Disney Store in Shanghai, an entity owned entirely by TWDC.

-- Disney's Iger and Staggs were not on the manifest for the premiere of Tomorrowland, but they were expected. This was not a concern for the officials as it was seen as appropriate and desired for a Western studio head to appear on the red carpet for such an event and reinforced the import of China and the Chinese market to the West.

-- China made it known Disney's introduction to the Chinese mainland would be within the context of the resort and its foundational material (IP?) belonging to "the people of China." TWDC would not be allowed marketing control of the resort or its opening ceremonies and would have "limited administrative" input.

-- As of this visit, a plaque consistent with what appears in each Magic Kingdom will not be part of Shanghai Disneyland. Such a marker would "not be consistent" and "confuse and conflict" visitors who do not know of Walt Disney and will be invited in the state-directed propaganda to "their" park. Shanghai Disney Resort is not intended to be marketed as a destination except for the people of China.

END OF INFO/ITINERARY
The below is commentary from my sources in Asia, pieced together and parsed by me, but not my words (well, except for the final sentence. That's all me!) -- 74.

Relationship is not one of mutual respect and tolerance for Disney's leadership is nonexistent. Bob Weis, the leader of the SHDLR project, has not been a visible presence at the site in quite some time. Around August/September of 2014 something happened that indicated "a change in leadership" had occurred and Weis was not a part of that.

Everything heard is consistent with a complete breakdown between the corporate culture of Iger and Staggs and Disney's government partners (Shendi/CCP). The 'stalling' and eventual refusal to allow Disney to open the store was a shocking move highlighting the increasingly incendiary nature of the arrangement between "the iconic American company" and its partners in government. It was a bold move that broke with how these matters are traditionally handled, so much so that it was believed another business interest may have applied pressure to cause Disney to 'lose face' among the elite class. Another American businessman with substantial interests in Asia and an adversarial relationship with Disney is said to have "placed additional bumps in the road."

The CCP does not have to show "ownership" of the project. Disney does.
I have to say that there is little surprise to me in this. Very few in American business understand how China actually works. The ones that do know how to make the system work to make their competition look like fools. China is an amazing hybrid of capitalism that will befuddle many companies that don't take the time to learn that it isn't so much as how much money you have but how well you can play their game. I'm not sure it was as much a breakdown, since that assumes they were ever on the same page, as much as the fact that Disney doesn't have the proper people in place to grease the right cogs in China and never realized they were getting played from the start. It was niavity on the part of company leadership to think that Disney was going to be able to control their own IP in any manner in China like they would in other capitalist areas.
 

Rasvar

Well-Known Member
I'm on vacation (not Disney, but the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota), but I have to chime in and say that WDW1974's latest post is absolutely epic. It will be interesting to see how this saga plays out.

Now back to seeing some of the nation's most amazing parks, monuments, and wildlife.
Love the Black Hills. I haven't been there in about five years. I really miss seeing that whole part of the country.
 

mahnamahna101

Well-Known Member
No worries. FP+ has all those "unpopular" attractions sorted out. People churning hourly capacity or not... we're making everything have a line.
Yep... problems that could be solved simply by adding more and more things to do. Works wonders in DCA and DL ;) hence why their Soarin' and Toy Story Mania have 35-45 min waits during peak season instead of 90-180 minutes.
 

ford91exploder

Resident Curmudgeon
I have to say that there is little surprise to me in this. Very few in American business understand how China actually works. The ones that do know how to make the system work to make their competition look like fools. China is an amazing hybrid of capitalism that will befuddle many companies that don't take the time to learn that it isn't so much as how much money you have but how well you can play their game. I'm not sure it was as much a breakdown, since that assumes they were ever on the same page, as much as the fact that Disney doesn't have the proper people in place to grease the right cogs in China and never realized they were getting played from the start. It was niavity on the part of company leadership to think that Disney was going to be able to control their own IP in any manner in China like they would in other capitalist areas.
Agreed, Business in China is indeed a game and to play you MUST be a native speaker, I'm NOT a native speaker but I always work in concert with those who are and I let THEM do the talking, I know a few phrases of Chinese enough to get by with and please my hosts, But I ALWAYS let my chinese partner speak for me.
 

Cesar R M

Well-Known Member
Even Jesus people off.
Samuel_Johnson_by_Joshua_Reynolds.jpg

You know, there's a funny thing about evidence. You place it out when people argue for it. Then, they come up with reasons for why that evidence isn't really valid (to them, forget about the rest of the world).

You come up with intelligent, reasoned explanations (based on facts, history and perspective, some of it your own first-hand) and they (with NONE of the aforementioned items) dismiss that. Or they invoke Jesus (I don't know why because my lawn man is still MIA and I'm not a hillbilly like @Lee who mows his own lawn while dreaming of funnel cakes!)

I think if Jesus told some of these people what I'm saying they'd still choose to not believe it. Better to live in ignorance, then let the light of truth shine in, I suppose.

BTW, I am enjoying reading the responses, especially for one reason I haven't stated until now ... while I gave you much of what I was told, I left a bit on the side ... to cure or to leverage. For the few overzealous doubters, who swear they don't care at all -- except in protecting the virginal Weatherman's reputation, but before you step into a hole and fall all the way to China, I'd simply state that I have more information to follow. And you don't actually think that it won't back up everything I've been saying/posting about for months now do you?
At least they havent invoked Hitler.. oh whoops too late..
how about Disney is a Business?
oh wait.. that was 20+ pages ago already.
 

mahnamahna101

Well-Known Member
Soarin Will have 261 people per cycle after they build the third theater. Five minutes per cycle with 9 to 10 cycles per hour because you have a load unload time. So realistically, 2500 people per hour. Assuming it's open for 12 hours, you're looking at 25,000 people per day. Assuming of God daily attendance is 40,000 after frozen opens, that's using the 20% growth projection the Disney somehow was expecting… means two thirds of your audience can actually ride soarin.

My numbers for frozen were off yesterday. I was assuming it would be open for 12 hours a day, not the current 11 to 9 that world showcase is. As it currently stands at 900 guests per hour, 10 hours is only a mere 9000 guests per day or one quarter of the current audience.

If frozen stays at 900 guests per hour and if they get a 20% increase in guest traffic that would be somewhere in the vicinity of 42,000 guests per day if you use the 2013 numbers. That means more than three quarters of your audience will Not be able to ride the brand-new headliner attraction of frozenstrom.

Simple math says somebody in parks and resorts didn't do their due diligence.
A fourth theater would be ideal though. Because then the ride is essentially a people-eater. With four theaters coupled with new additions to Future World (not likely), Soarin' might be able to sustain 30-45 min waits during peak times/seasons. Possibly 55-60 min during Christmas and early July.

Frozenstrom is going to be horrid with capacity. Almost seems like TDO is making the ride low-capacity to force people to extend their vacations for a chance to ride it...
 

Bairstow

Well-Known Member
What protects Disney is China's goal of being the framer of global structures and stability. That is why there has been a crackdown on graft and displays of extravagance. Disney planned a huge display of extravagance when the political climate is against such displays. There is NOTHING gained by taking the park and kicking Disney out.
...except the park itself.
Shendi Group could have 100% of the profits, and more importantly the Party would have full control of the park's intellectual and ideological message. The better question is, if Shendi is still confident in the park's success, why wouldn't they take it?
 

Cesar R M

Well-Known Member
Wall Street would care if things were going badly over there. But, yeah I agree with your points. I mean can the average person even find China on a map? I'm scared to find out....
considered how many times they put "Iran" on Australia (theres even a video)
your fear is not unwarranted.
 

Cesar R M

Well-Known Member
In order for the DDP to work at all of the restaurants you have to look at all of the offerings at each restaurant. The steak may not have fit in the blanket pricing to justify the DDP at 50's PT but it does work at Sci Fi. Changes had to be made at numerous restaurants to make it more of an "even playing field" to absorb the discounts at each restaurant.

Each location is/was viewed as its on stand alone business unit. If 50's PT was taking a hit on six dishes (I do not know the number just using six as an example) and Sci Fi was taking a hit on three comparable dishes that would be effected then they spread it out by moving one (or more) from one restaurant to another. That way it lessens the negative impact of offering a discount at 50's PT because they are having to take a hit on more dishes.

Because of this they had to dumb down food or offer lower quality meals to offset the loss.
discounts? what discounts man?
 

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
...except the park itself.
Shendi Group could have 100% of the profits, and more importantly the Party would have full control of the park's intellectual and ideological message. The better question is, if Shendi is still confident in the park's success, why wouldn't they take it?
Because the state stealing intellectual property so openly undermines decades of work to improve the country's intellectual property regime.
 

Cesar R M

Well-Known Member
Would they, though?
No one was deterred by what happened to Fellowes and their shredders.

Even if people took notice, it's not as if people can afford to not to do business with China. The lesson learned from this would just to be more cautious and not to irritate your mainland counterparts.
Thats what plain greed does to you.
When the opportunity to "win" is there.. people love to GAMBLE.
would you gamble your company's future if you could raise your market by 30% and then be your way off (leave the company with your bonus) before it might explode?
 

CaptainAmerica

Premium Member
Ok, believe what you want. lol I guess they are paying GMs to sit there and look pretty. Is that how they did it when you worked there?
I've been very open about the fact that I was a professional in Orlando for three years and had (and continue to have) friends in various roles with Disney from finance to pricing to operations.

They still have to account for the discounts.
They do, just not at the individual restaurant level. The GMs have nothing to do with offering the discounts so they're not held accountable for them.
 

Rasvar

Well-Known Member
...except the park itself.
Shendi Group could have 100% of the profits, and more importantly the Party would have full control of the park's intellectual and ideological message. The better question is, if Shendi is still confident in the park's success, why wouldn't they take it?
Because if they just outright take it, they will have problems convincing other major companies to invest. Essentially, what they do is invite you in and make sure you play by their rules. At some point, they will take the ideas you have and figure out a way to use them in other places but it wouldn't be an outright seizure because that would upset foreign investment. This can be made to look like just a failure of communication.
 

hpyhnt 1000

Well-Known Member
Because the state stealing intellectual property so openly undermines decades of work to improve the country's intellectual property regime.
Not to mention the optics of basically kicking a major U.S. corporation and one of (the?) largest entertainment companies in the world out the door. That's not the image China wants to project.

If their long term goal is the elimination of Disney access/control from the Shanghai park, that plan is already known or is in progress. But guarenteed it would be designed to be out of the public record and behind the scenes as much as possible.
 

Bairstow

Well-Known Member
Because the state stealing intellectual property so openly undermines decades of work to improve the country's intellectual property regime.
It wouldn't be "open" theft.
Shendi would allege a lack of cooperation and breach of contract so that any transfer of ownership would be done under color of law. You can bet that Shendi's IP investment would be protected by the regime, but what incentive is there for China to defend Disney's?
 

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
It wouldn't be "open" theft.
Shendi would allege a lack of cooperation and breach of contract so that any transfer of ownership would be done under color of law. You can bet that Shendi's IP investment would be protected by the regime, but what incentive is there for China to defend Disney's?
Because the whole world is well aware of Disney's legal department. The city has spent 20 years working on and off with Disney on this project. Such an explosive end would not look good for Shanghai or China.
 
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