Jenna Maffei



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This thesis analyzes the foreign direct investment in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region by the Walt Disney Company. Utilizing a unique cooperative partnership between the Walt Disney Company and Hong Kong Government, Hong Kong Disneyland represents a large service investment of the company in an attempt to penetrate the Chinese market. The case study of Hong Kong Disneyland as “greenfield” investment will evaluate the costs and benefits of introducing a large service product—initially produced in the home market (the USA) into the host market (Hong Kong SAR, PRC). Hong Kong Disneyland faced many challenges in penetrating the ‘amusement park’ market in Hong Kong, including tailoring the experience to a multi-lingual audience. But the larger challenge was adapting the product to the tastes and preferences of (predominantly) Asian customers. The thesis looks at the many aspects of this investment including the historical context of the host nation in order to evaluate it as a recipient of the unique American product; Disney had only invested this product in two countries prior to entering the Hong Kong market. Disney had to ‘go big or stay home’ and success was not and is not assured. The very metric—success—has to be evaluated from multiple perspectives: that of the firm, Disney; the home nation (the USA), and the host country (Hong Kong, PRC).

Publication Date


Project Designation

Honors Thesis

Primary Advisor

Barbara John, Christopher Agnew

Primary Advisor's Department

International Business, Economics and Finance, History


Stander Symposium project


Arts and Humanities | Business | Education | Engineering | Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences | Physical Sciences and Mathematics | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Disney's Adventure in Foreign Direct Investment: A Case Study of Hong Kong