Investment News Analysis

The Disney – Philippine connection

Despite the false claims that the Philippines would have its very own Disney theme park by 2018 (Mickey Mouse coverage of Philippine Disneyland), Walt Disney International (WDI), has not ruled out making further investments in the country.

WDI, a London-based subsidiary of American mass-media and entertainment conglomerate, The Walt Disney Company (WDC), charged with coordinating the implementation of projects around the world. Its CEO, Andy Bird, is scheduled to pay a visit to the Philippines later this year, but other than wanting to “tap into the robust talent pool of creative Filipinos” – as Secretary of the Presidential Communications Operations Office, Herminio Coloma Jr. stated in a recent press release – what he will be looking at specifically has not been disclosed.

WDI has a number of commercial tie-ups with companies in the Philippines – among them SM Prime Holdings, the country’s largest mall operator, and Globe Telecom, the its biggest telco provider.

In March, The Walt Disney Company Southeast Asia and Globe Telecom launched the region’s first Disney Mobile smartphone. Last year, Globe entered into a collaboration agreement with Disney to gain access to brand properties of Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars.

Last December, WDC Southeast Asia formed a joint venture with the SM Group, with which it has shared interests for a number of years, to exclusively market Disney merchandise through its network of malls, supermarkets, cinemas and department and toy stores.

WDC Southeast Asia was formed in 1995 when Disney Channel first launched in Malaysia. Today it has operations in four other Asean states – Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore, where its headquarters are based. It employs around 280 permanent staff.

WDC’s Philippine operations include: manufacturing, engineering, IT, quality control, finance, site operations, human resources, and supply-chain management. Working with the Philippine Export Zone Authority (or, PEZA), the company’s relationship with the Philippines goes back to 1994.

The Philippines has many theme parks right across the country. To give you an idea, here’s just some of them: Ocean Adventure (Subic Bay Freeport Zone), Ace Water Spa (Pasig), Enchanted Kingdom (Santa Rosa, Laguna), Star City (Pasay), The Mall of Asia Bay Area Amusement Park (Pasay), Mountain View Nature s Park (Cebu City), Zoobic Safari (Subic Bay Freeport Zone), Gloria’s Fantasyland (Dapitan City), Maxima Aqua Fun (Davao City), Dinosaurs Island Baguio (Baguio), Aquaria Water Park (Calatagan), Sand Box (Porac), Dinosaurs Island (Angeles City), Rainforest Park (Pasig), Isdaan Village (Tarlac), Davao Zorb Park (Davao City), Club Manila East (Taytay), Mystery Manila (Boracay), Sky Ranch San Fernando Pampanga (San Fernando), White Rock Waterpark and Beach Resort (Subic Bay Freeport Zone), BlueJaz Water Park (Davao City), RR Family Spring Resort Pool (Valencia City), Riverview Water Park (Baguio), Bato Springs (San Pablo City), Amana Waterpark (Pandi), Rizal Amusement Park (Laoag), Island Cove Resort (Kawit), Rainforest Park Cebu (Cebu City), LazerXtreme (Muntinlupa).

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