Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Far East Outposts...


There's an interesting article in Variety's Asia edition that focuses on the Mouse in the Far East. It talks mainly about Bill Ernest being promoted to "President and Managing Director, Asia", the small nugget that will perk up Disney Geeks/Fans is the quote from Toshio Kagami, chairman of the Oriental Land Company where he mentioned the OLC wanting to operate a park outside Japan. And stating that South East Asia was a top priority for the company. When pressed, a OLC spokesman said:

"We're celebrating our 25th anniversary and Mr. Kagami was speaking about new challenges for our next 25 years. A park outside Japan is one possible challenge, though nothing has been decided yet."


Hmmm...

This in interesting because it wasn't stated that the park outside Japan would be a "Disney" park. If this were to be a "franchised park" of the Mouse then the Oriental Land Company would have to renegotiate its contract with the Walt Disney Company. OLC is prohibited from even promoting the Tokyo Disney Resort outside of Japan so it is in all likely hood they're talking about a non-Disney themed park.

Time will tell...

Don't fear for Japan though, there will be another resort in Japan, just not in Tokyo. Word I'm hearing is that it could be somewhere in northern Japan. This will be a new kind of Disney park for the OLC, not necessarily the same as Tokyo Disneyland or Tokyo DisneySEA. The new resort will take the Disney brand in Japan and try something new. Something different. This is that Urban Entertainment Center(UEC) concept we've talked a little about before. Expect to hear something about it by then end of 2008/early 2009. It's going to be interesting to see the final concept that they choose. Notice that this project is scheduled to be done around 2011...

There's that year again.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Please stop saying "there's that year again" unless you're going to elaborate. If I've missed something (other than it's WDW's 40th), someone please direct me to where I can understand what the heck Honor is talking about...

Anonymous said...

how about blue sky updates for hong kong and paris? i want to plan trips there, but would want to wait for something new to open at those resorts... be nice to have a "heads-up" as far as timetables are concerned. thank you.

Anonymous said...

it just means a whole of happenings are going on at the mouse house that year........

aracuanbird said...

From the "Believe It or Don't" files...a decade ago I was working with a former WDI concept artist who--after he had left the Mouse--had apparently been hired by the OLC directly to generate concepts for Tokyo's second gate after the Japanese guys had grown weary of Eisner's unyielding efforts to force a second Disney-MGM Studios on the OLC. The goal, as I understood it, was to demonstrate to WDI the scope and tone that OLC wanted in this new park.

Funny thing, this concept married things like a volcano and a fantasy-future seaport and an old New York town.

My point here: if this guy's story is true, the OLC has confidence that extends beyond this Disney IP it licenses. Given the talent on the market today, they don't need the Mouse to make something stellar. But given Honky Tonk Disneyland's success (or lack thereof) maybe Disney needs OLC.