Saturday, January 08, 2011

A Disney Park In Israel?

OK, even *I* can't put too much credibility in such a rumor, because I simply can't believe that the Walt Disney Company (and Bob Iger in particular) is dumb enough to build such a thing. But yet, there is this rumor going around of such a possibility.

The 20-acre theme park, slated to be located in the Northern Israel city of Haifa near the Carmel tunnel, will cover approximately 20 acres. The entertainment complex will include a 25-screen cinema, plus shops and other facilities. The anticipated cost of the project is more than £107 million.

However, another source,, reports that the project is being spearheaded by a “Disney-affiliated investment firm” called Shamrock Holdings, which has ties to the late Roy E. Disney – and that the development isn’t necessarily a Disney project.

Let's get this out of the way. After the lessons learned at Hong Kong Disneyland, Disney would be foolish to build a theme park on an area THAT small! It is a ridiculous idea. However, the news report continued with a very flimsy argument:

With such a small area on which to build, the project may be little more than a giant movie complex. But small Disney parks do have some precedent. Disney’s California Adventure takes up only 55 acres. DisneyQuest in Orlando, which is a virtual, interactive playground, covers even less ground.

This is stupid.

(i) DCA is small, but it also had problems because of its size. Disney is now trying to correct that mistake. Something that small requires, as Disney has learned, a lot of things to attract guests. Furthermore, it is within the Disneyland Resort, with Disneyland theme park right next to it. It isn't a stand-alone theme park.

(ii) DisneyQuest is NOT a good poster child to argue for a theme park. Stand-alone DisneyQuest all over the US have been closed due to low popularity. So if anything, DisneyQuest is an EXAMPLE of NOT to open theme parks that small. It is not an argument for it!


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