Disney Parks, Experiences and Products

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Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
Subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company
IndustryTheme Parks
Key people
Thomas O. Staggs, Chairman
ProductsTheme Parks
OwnerThe Walt Disney Company
DivisionsDisneyland Resort
Walt Disney World Resort
Tokyo Disney Resort
Disneyland Paris
Hong Kong Disneyland Resort
Shanghai Disney Resort
Disney Cruise Line
Disney Vacation Club
Adventures by Disney
Disney Regional Entertainment
Walt Disney Imagineering
Walt Disney Creative Entertainment
WebsiteThe Walt Disney Company

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts is the segment of The Walt Disney Company that conceives, builds, and manages the company's theme parks and holiday resorts, as well as a variety of additional family-oriented leisure enterprises. It is one of four major business segments of the company, the other three being Consumer Products, Media Networks, and Studio Entertainment.

The Parks and Resorts division was founded in 1971 as Walt Disney Attractions when Disney's second theme park, the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, opened, joining the original Disneyland in California. The chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts is Thomas O. Staggs, formerly the Senior Executive Vice President and CFO. Staggs reports to Disney CEO Robert Iger.

In 2009, the company's theme parks hosted approximately 119.1 million guests, making Disney Parks the world's most visited theme park company,[1] ahead of the second most visited, British rival Merlin Entertainments.

Disney Resorts

Disneyland Resort

Disneyland Resort logo

Disneyland was dedicated as a single park by Walt Disney on July 17, 1955. Disneyland Park opened to the public on July 18, 1955 in Anaheim, California. Disneyland Hotel opened to the public on October 5, 1955.

In 2001 the site expanded significantly and was renamed the Disneyland Resort with the opening of Disney California Adventure Park on February 8, 2001; Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa on January 2, 2001; Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel on December 15, 2000; and Downtown Disney on January 12, 2001. Disneyland was rebranded Disneyland Park to distinguish it from the larger resort complex. The resort is mostly about Mickey Mouse and other Disney characters. The resort occupies 500 acres (2.0 km2), and consists of:


Shopping, Dining and Entertainment Complex:

Resort Hotels:

Walt Disney World Resort

File:Walt Disney World Logo.jpg
Walt Disney World Resort logo

The Walt Disney World Resort opened October 1, 1971 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, with the Magic Kingdom theme park and three resort hotels. The resort expanded with the opening of Epcot in 1983, Disney-MGM Studios (now Disney's Hollywood Studios) and Disney's Typhoon Lagoon in 1989, Disney's Blizzard Beach in 1995, Disney's Animal Kingdom in 1998, Downtown Disney retail, dining, and entertainment complex, 8 golf courses, and 18 new resort hotels. Today it is the largest (by area) and most-visited vacation resort in the world, with four theme parks, two water parks, a shopping, dining and entertainment complex, 21 resort hotels, eight golf courses and several additional recreational activities.

Theme parks:

Water parks:

Other parks:

Shopping, dining and entertainment complex:

Resort hotels:

Tokyo Disney Resort

File:Tokyo Disney Resort logo.png
Tokyo Disney Resort logo

Tokyo Disney Resort, located in Urayasu, Chiba, Japan, opened April 15, 1983. On September 4, 2001, the resort expanded with Tokyo DisneySea. There are several resort hotels on site, but only three are actually owned by the resort, which boasts the largest parking structure in the world. Tokyo Disney Resort is fully owned and operated by The Oriental Land Company and is licensed by the Walt Disney Company. The resort was built by Walt Disney Imagineering, and Disney maintains a degree of control; Nick Franklin leads the Walt Disney Attractions Japan team at the Walt Disney Company, which communicates with the Oriental Land Company over all aspects of the Resort, and assigns Imagineers to the Resort. Its properties, listed below, are divided into parks, shopping centers, and lodging.


Shopping, dining and entertainment complex:

Resort hotels:

Disneyland Paris

File:Disneyland Paris.svg
Disneyland Paris logo

Disneyland Paris, Disney's second resort complex outside the United States, opened on April 12, 1992, as the Euro Disney Resort. Located in Marne-la-Vallée in the suburbs of Paris, France, it features two theme parks, a golf course, an entertainment complex and six Disney resort hotels. It is maintained and managed by Euro Disney S.C.A., a company partially owned by the Walt Disney Company whose stock is traded on Euronext. Its properties sit on 4,940 acres (20.0 km2), listed below, and are divided into parks, shopping centers, and lodging:


Other parks:

Shopping, dining and entertainment complex:

Resort hotels:

Hong Kong Disneyland Resort

Hong Kong Disneyland Resort logo

Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, Disney's fifth resort and its second in Asia, opened September 12, 2005. The resort is located in Penny's Bay, Lantau Island, Hong Kong. Currently, the resort consists of one theme park and two hotels, with land reserved for future expansion. It is owned and operated by Hong Kong International Theme Parks, an incorporated company jointly owned by The Walt Disney Company and the Government of Hong Kong. The first phase of Hong Kong Disneyland Resort occupies 320 acres (1.3 km2).


Other park:

Resort hotels:

Shanghai Disney Resort

File:Shanghai Disney Logo.png
Shanghai Disney Resort logo

In November 2009, Disney received approval from the central government of China to build a Disney theme park in the Pudong district of Shanghai. "China is one of the most dynamic, exciting and important countries in the world and this approval marks a very significant milestone for Walt Disney Co in mainland China," said Robert Iger, president and CEO of Disney.[2] The resort is expected to open in 2016. A groundbreaking ceremony took place on April 7, 2011.[3]


Disney Cruise Line

File:Disney Cruise Line logo.png
Disney Cruise Line logo

Disney Cruise Line was formed in 1995. Its fleet is currently composed of three ships, with another coming soon. The Disney Magic began operation in 1998, the Disney Wonder in 1999, and the Disney Dream in 2011. An additional ship, the Disney Fantasy, will begin operation in March 2012. Each of the ships were designed in collaboration with Walt Disney Imagineering.

Disney Cruise Line offers three, four and five-night cruises in the Bahamas; seven-night Alaskan cruises; seven-night Mexican Riviera cruises; and seven-night Caribbean cruises. The Bahamas and Caribbean itineraries include a stop at Disney's private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay. In 2012, Disney Cruises will depart from Port Canaveral, Los Angeles, Seattle, Galveston and New York.



Disney Regional Entertainment

Disney Regional Entertainment was the division of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts which developed and operated unique concepts. It previously operated the Club Disney, DisneyQuest and ESPN Zone concepts. The only remaining DisneyQuest in Downtown Disney at the Walt Disney World Resort is now operated directly by the resort. The only two remaining ESPN Zone restaurants in Los Angeles and Downtown Disney at the Disneyland Resort are operated by third parties.


  • ESPN Zone, a chain of sports-themed restaurants.
  • Club Disney, a now-closed chain of children's entertainment centers.
  • DisneyQuest, an indoor arcade with traditional and virtual reality experiences.

Other ventures

Abandoned concepts

Disney had plans to build Walt Disney's Riverfront Square in St.Louis. In July 1965, Disney cancelled the project.

Disney reportedly had plans to build a park named Disney's America. The park was to have been located in Haymarket, Virginia, but local opposition to the idea persuaded Disney to abandon the idea in 1994. On September 28, 1994, Michael Eisner announced that Disney was cancelling its plans to build Disney's America after a bruising national media fight with Protect Historic America and aggressive local opposition in Virginia from Protect Prince William and other citizen groups.

Future projects

Asian and European projects

Both Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and Disneyland Paris have room for future expansion.[4]

In November 2009, Disney received approval from the Chinese government to build a Disneyland resort in the Pudong district of Shanghai.[5] The resort is expected to open in 2016.[3]

In early January 2011, conflicting reports emerged regarding Disney's involvement in a proposed entertainment complex in Haifa, Israel, whose plans include a small (30,000 square meter) amusement park scheduled to open in 2013. The project will be partially funded by Shamrock Holdings, a Disney-affiliated investment firm. In the wake of reports from Israeli business newspaper Globes and industry newswire Amusement Management that Disney itself would be involved in the project's development, a spokesperson for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts clarified to Fast Company that Disney did not have any plans to involve itself in the building of the park.[6]

Hong Kong Disneyland expansion

Rita Lau, the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development for Hong Kong, announced that the expansion of Hong Kong Disneyland had been approved by the Executive Council on June 30, 2009, and also approved by the Legislative Council of Hong Kong on July 10, 2009. The park will receive three new lands; Grizzly Trail, Mystic Point and Toy Story Land. Construction began in late 2009 and will take 5 years to complete. The park will feature a total of seven themed lands after the completion of all the new additions.

American projects

Disney has made no announcements regarding plans for another American theme park and CEO Robert Iger frequently has cited international expansion as one of the company's three strategic priorities.[7]

In October 2007, Disney announced plans to build a resort at Ko Olina Resort & Marina in Kapolei, Hawaii, featuring both a hotel and Disney Vacation Club timeshare units. Scheduled to open in 2011, the 800-unit property to be named Aulani will join the other resorts not associated with a theme park, such as Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort in South Carolina.[8]

In September 2011, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts announced plans to partner with filmmaker James Cameron and his Lightstorm Entertainment production company, along with 20th Century Fox, to develop theme park attractions based on Cameron's Avatar film franchise, with the first installation planned for Disney's Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World, in the form of an Avatar-based section of the park. While no specific plans or attractions were announced, construction on the new area is expected to begin by 2013.[9] Disney also secured exclusive global theme parks rights to the Avatar franchise.[10]


1950s and 1960s

1970s and 1980s


2000s and 2010s

Executive management

  • Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts - Thomas O. Staggs
    • President of Worldwide Operations, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts - Al Weiss
      • President, Of Disneyland Resort - George Kalogridis
        • Senior Vice President of Operations, Disneyland Resort - Michael O'Grattan
          • Vice President, Disneyland Park - Jon Storbeck
          • Vice President, Disney California Adventure Park - Mary Niven
          • Vice President, Downtown Disney and Disneyland Resort Hotels - Tony Bruno
      • President, Walt Disney World Resort - Meg Crofton
        • Senior Vice President of Operations and Next Generation Experiences, Walt Disney World Resort - Jim MacPhee
        • Senior Vice President of Operations, Walt Disney World Resort - George Aguel
          • Vice President, Magic Kingdom - Phil Holmes'
          • Vice President, Epcot - Dan Cockerell
          • Vice President, Disney's Hollywood Studios - Rilous Carter
          • Vice President, Disney's Animal Kingdom - Michael Colglazier
          • Vice President, Downtown Disney - Keith Bradford
          • Vice President, Resort Operations - Kevin Myers
          • Vice President, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and Disney Water Parks - Ken Potrock
          • Vice President, Transportation Operations and Maintenance - Jim Vendur
          • Vice President, Global Promotions, Disney Destinations LLC.– Greg Albrecht
      • Chairman and CEO, Disneyland Paris (Euro Disney SCA) - Philippe Gas
        • Senior Vice President of Operations, Disneyland Paris - Joe Schott
      • President and Managing Director, Asia, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts - Bill Ernest
        • Managing Director, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort - Andrew Kam
          • Vice President, Park Operations - Noble Coker
          • Vice President, Hotel Operations - Peter Lowe
          • Vice President, Marketing - Maple Lee
          • Vice President, Sales and Travel Trade Marketing - Aliana Ho
        • Chairman and CEO, Tokyo Disney Resort (Oriental Land Company) - Toshio Kagami
          • President and Chief Operations Officer, Tokyo Disney Resort (Oriental Land Company) - Kyoichiro Uenishi
          • President of Walt Disney Attractions Japan - Nick Franklin
            • Vice President and Executive Managing Director, Walt Disney Attractions Japan - Dave Vermeulen
      • President, Disney Cruise Line and New Vacation Operations - Karl Holz
        • Senior Vice President of Operations, Disney Cruise Line - Tom Wolber
      • President, Disney Vacation Club - Claire Bilby
      • Senior Vice President, Adventures by Disney - Ed Baklor
    • Chief Creative Executive, Walt Disney Imagineering - Bruce Vaughn
    • Chief Design and Project Delivery Executive, Walt Disney Imagineering - Craig Russell
    • Senior Vice President of Operations Integration/line of Business - Erin Wallace
    • Senior Vice President, Conservation & Environmental Sustainability - Jerry Montgomery
    • Senior Vice President of Global Sports Enterprises - Ken Potrock
    • Senior Vice President, Corporate Responsibility - Kerry Chandler
    • Senior Vice President of Worldwide Travel Operations - Kevin Lansberry
    • Executive Vice President, Human Resources, Diversity & Inclusion - Jayne Parker
    • Executive Vice President, Public Affairs - Kristin Nolt Wingard
    • Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer - Jim Hunt
    • Executive Vice President, Global Marketing - Leslie Ferraro
    • Executive Vice President, International Development - Mike Crawford
    • Executive Vice President, New Business Development and Next Generation Experiences - Nick Franklin


  1. ^ "TEA/ERA Theme Park Attendance Report 2009" (PDF). www.themeit.com. 2010-04-26. Retrieved 2010-04-27.
  2. ^ "UPDATE 4-Disney takes China stride as Shanghai park gets nod". Reuters. November 4, 2009.
  3. ^ a b "Disney To Bring Magic Kingdom To Shanghai". Sky News. 2010-11-05. Retrieved 2010-11-05.
  4. ^ "Disney in talks to open theme park in Shanghai - report". AFX News Limited. 2006-02-07. Retrieved 2007-11-15.
  5. ^ http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v5/newsworld.php?id=452465
  6. ^ Ungerleider, Neal. "Disney to Open Theme Park in Israel?" Fast Company. January 5, 2011.
  7. ^ Portfolio.com, Top Executive Profiles, Robert A. Iger http://www.portfolio.com/resources/executive-profiles/39787
  8. ^ Schaefers, Allison (2007-10-04). "Aloha, Disney". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved 2007-10-06.
  9. ^ http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2011/09/avatar-coming-to-disney-parks/
  10. ^ http://www.wesh.com/themeparks/29244652/detail.html

External links