SWOT Analysis of Disneyland

For most children and even adults, the word Disneyland opens a whole world of magic and fairy-tale. Perhaps, there is no person who has never heard about Disneyland. But only a few know how it all began.


Everything began with a vision. The dream was about a magical place where children and their parents could have a great time together. A dreamer and creator, Walt Disney, had a clear vision of how it should look like. Unfortunately, he did not have anything except this idea. After several years spent searching for land, he finally found a perfect place. Outside California, in the former orange grove, the land was conveniently located. After a year since construction started, the open date was finally set. The idea of Disneyland could be a total disaster, but it turned into an amazing place of entertainment. Now, both children and adults from every country in the world are dreaming to get into Disneyland.

Mission Statement, Vision Statement, Strategic Goal

Although the construction of Disneyland was an expensive affair, Walt came up with an original idea of how to get financial support. He turned to the television, proposing viewers a glimpse into the magic world. Otherwise, he could never “convince the financiers that Disneyland was feasible because dreams offer too little collateral” (Disney as cited in Disneyland, n.d., para. 6). Now, almost 30 percent of Walt Disney Corporation’s revenue is made by Disneyland Park (Creative Development, 2014, para. 18). The success of the amusement park can be explained by the right choice of a mission statement. The customer-oriented mission of Disneyland defines the management’s target to meet the needs and demands of the consumer. It can be simply adapted to the computing environment. The vision statement of the park is to make people happy. Its strategic goal is to become the prominent leader among the rest. Thus, the analysis of the theme park showed the perfect meet of vision statement with the reality.

SWOT Analysis

SWOT is an acronym of four strategic components: Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. The SWOT analysis provides a useful tool for reviewing a strategic planning, position, or corporate direction. The primary target of analysis is revealing the potential danger for a company or the area of its superiority. Obviously, Disneyland was the first entertainment theme park of such size. Nevertheless, the competition in entertainment makes it somehow vulnerable.


Strengths are the features that distinguish the company from its competitors. It can be anything extraordinary: a technology, idea, place, or product. To determine strengths, a manager must answer some questions. For example, what are the main advantages of a company? Or what can be done better in order to outdo the competitors?

Analyzing Disneyland, the number of strengths should be mentioned. First of all, Disneyland is the world’s pioneer entertainment park in the world. Second of all, it is one of the most visited. Thirdly, the size of the land makes it one of the largest in the world. Fourthly, the huge variety and diversity of entertainment inside make it highly competitive.

Brand loyalty works as a beneficial attractor for both tourists and Americans. Furthermore, the Disney characters, presenting and advertising the park, provide an additional source of income. Disneyland was originally built close to California, which makes it an attractive destination for tourists traveling through America. During 2014, there were almost 17 million visitors to the amusement park (Statista, n.d.). Also, there are different employment possibilities. For example, “Heroes Work Here” gives a workplace to military members. This benefits not only the brand’s creativity but also its reputation. Analyzing the strengths of Disneyland, it is also worth noting that its customer-oriented strategy perfectly meets the desires of the young target group.


Weaknesses are the features that are possible to improve. Revealing the weaknesses of the company can be helpful in the profound analysis of all ineffective areas. Whether there is not enough production variety of knowledge in the specific aspect, all these can be improved. The weakness can be the high price or low quality of a product. At this stage, a manager should define what can be done better. If there are customer complaints, a company should find out the reason for a claim.

As to Disneyland, there are some weaknesses arising from its strengths. For example, the size of the park makes it difficult to explore and enjoy all the attractions. Considering that the target group is children, they are more vulnerable and getting tired much faster. Secondly, the variety of Disneyland’s entertainment requires a highly branched management network. It makes the control of the park extremely complicated. Moreover, the cost of staff and technical facilities for monitoring is incredibly high. Another problem is also caused by the size. The communication between the head and its line managers is very distant. Another weakness revealed inside the park is the lack of stores and places to eat.

Also, the company is losing opportunities because it does not have elaborated online services. Actually, all its presence is offline. In 2002, “the Walt Disney Company lost $790 million in write-offs with its failed Go Network Internet portal venture” (Blevins, 2002, p. 49). Finally, the target audience is narrowed to the children and their parents. Though the infants motivate the adults to attend the amusement park, they are not the revenue drivers. Obviously, Disneyland is limited with its audience.


Opportunities are external factors that give additional possibilities to the company. The list of possible opportunities is wide and includes the possibilities from every area. For instance, changes in legislation or government policy can lead to the reduction of tax. Changes in technology or new invention are another example of opportunities. A supplementary promotion can help in increasing sales.

Referring to Disneyland, the marketing campaigns can be more efficient due to the fame of the Disney brand. Disneyland is one of the most popular theme parks in the world. The company has great experience in managing it. Thus, the opportunity of entering new markets is the most accessible. An expansion into new territories, like India or China, will increase the brand’s fame and bring extra income. Moreover, “with the creation of the new Shanghai Disneyland park, Disney will have an influx of marketing opportunities” (Virginia’s Community, n.d.). Another way to access a new market is to buy a Disneyland in Paris. Although, the French theme park is not profitable now, under the management of an experienced American supervisor, soon it will be healed.

The creation of a digital market can be another good opportunity for Disneyland. Modern children prefer to stay online than go out even though it is an amusement park. The prototype of a park can be done in the form of a video game. In addition, the cost of such innovation is not as significant as a new Disneyland construction. Lastly, additional advertising both national and worldwide will engage more visitors.


The threat is anything that can harm a business. There are external and internal threats. External are the ones influencing from outside the company, for instance, new legislation or inflation. Internal threats include any infringements within the company. While identifying threats, the management primarily determines the area where the threat occurred. It can be a financial, technological, or environmental issue.

For Disneyland, the most essential threat is its competitors. Universal Studios, for instance, is gaining big popularity in recent years. If Disneyland will not open new attractions, the modern theme parks will surpass it. Another threat is its operating costs. Disneyland needs personnel to run a park of such size. The number of employees cannot be reduced as well as the cost for maintenance. Finally, an essential threat is its localization. People from outside America prefer to go to the European or Asian analog of Disneyland due to the location and migration obstacles. Singapore, Japan, India, China, and West Europe all these countries can propose an excellent alternative to the American Disneyland.

The SWOT analyzes of Californian Disneyland gave sufficient information for the conclusion. The major strengths are the size of the theme park and the brand’s fame. However, it has several threats and weaknesses, they can be easily balanced by expansion to the new markets. Entering the new territories both physically and digitally will increase the profit of a company and the brand recognition.


Statista. (n.d.). Attendance at the Disneyland theme park (Anaheim, California) from 2009 to 2014. Web.

Blevins, J. (2002). SWOT analysis: Disney considers acquisition of Yahoo! A case study assignment for a media management course. Feedback, 43(4), 48-50.

Creative development in the film industry: DisneyToons. (2014). Web.

Disneyland. (n.d.). Disneyland’s history. Web.

Virginia’s Community Colleges. (n.d.). Disney business portfolio SWOT analysis. Web.

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