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Case-lesson "Disneyland. What is more important - earnings or entertainment?"
Case-lesson "Disneyland. What is more important - earnings or entertainment?"

Category: Economics and Wealthynomics

The level (grade): 8+

Subject: Successful business

Objective: To learn about the uniqueness and effectiveness of Disneyland Park

What information is waiting for me here?

  • Is it profitable to create a unique park?
  • What is more important: fame or profit?
  • What is the secret of "live" Disneyland attractions?
  • How can Disneyland fireworks be "painted" in different colors?
  • Why there are so few Disneylands in the world?
6 scans of the subjects, phenomena and practices:

All Disneyland visitors are met by phrase: «To all who come to this happy place — welcome!». Indeed, visitors are immersed in another fantastic country that envelops them.

Disneyland – is a family fun park and a theatrical performance simultaneously. No wonder, that workers call themselves “actors”, their offices - "scenes." And just like the audience in the theater, visitors don’t see backstage. But Disneyland is man-made fairy tale. And to learn its secrets, we must understand how does Disneyland backstage work.

In particular, why tickets prices are raising, and some sponsors refuse to take care of this wonderful park, despite the fact that attendance is growing?


And what lies ahead? What will happen to the park later in terms of profitability and efficiency?

"Space Mountain Mission" is absolutely incredible attraction and according to some data, it is the most popular in Paris Disneyland.

The bottom line is simple: you are put in the trolley at an angle of 32 degrees and "catapulted" in space at a speed of about 14 meters per second. At the time of the launch man sitting in a wheelchair, feels about overloading 1,3G (per person the force of gravity is 1.3 times higher than standard) for 1.8 seconds. Overloading, lasting more than 1 s, is considered "long".

This overload affects the external breathing, gas exchange between the human body and the environment, including oxygen uptake and release of carbon dioxide. And transport of these gases change in the circulatory system.

In such circumstances, pulmonary ventilation and hemodynamics (blood flow) are disturbed. We call this effect "breathtaking". Biochemical process side contributes to it: the adrenaline also intensifies the circulation process, affecting the saturation of oxygen, i.e. breathing.

Then you have 34 seconds of "swirl" in all possible directions at speeds reaching 70 km/h and a successful land on the ground.


Movement in this attraction is described by patterns "body thrown at an angle to the horizon." Complete the trajectory in this case would have the shape of a parabola:



What would be the speed of the trolley after 2 seconds at an initial speed of 15 m/s and 45-degree corner?


Disneyland is known for its incredible, fantastic fireworks.

New technology of fireworks launching was first applied at a Disneyland. Compressed air instead of gunpowder was used there. Charges in the air were disrupted by electronic timers. It made possible to synchronize fireworks with music, achieve the highest coordination between flash and sound.


The system that doesn’t contain dust makes much less smoke and smell of burning. This system of fireworks launching is ecological. Disneyland has left this technology "opened". Other companies can use it too. Fireworks at Disneyland are not just dynamic; they are also "color". What substance «paints» them in different colors?


But it is impossible just to add substance to the fireworks. These compounds are highly unstable. So how does this colored fireworks launch?


Substances which paint flashes of fireworks are in rapid combustion reaction. Item (sodium, barium, etc.) and special compounds (rubber, chlorates) are added. There is released chlorine at high temperatures. This chlorine reacts with the element. The result is necessary substance that gives color fireworks.


How much do fireworks cost? Fireworks value is:


But firework is not only beauty, but also danger. The reason is incorrect violation of the rules of use and storage. What is the rule about?

Kids should never play with fireworks. Things like firecrackers, rockets, and sparklers are just too dangerous. If you give kids sparklers, make sure they keep them outside and away from the face, clothing, and hair. Sparklers can reach 1,800°F (982°C) — hot enough to melt gold.

Buy only legal fireworks (legal fireworks have a label with the manufacturer's name and directions; illegal ones are unlabeled), and store them in a cool, dry place.

Never try to make your own fireworks.

Always use fireworks outside and have a bucket of water and a hose nearby in case of accidents.

Steer clear of others — fireworks have been known to backfire or shoot off in the wrong direction. Never throw or point fireworks at someone, even in jest.

Don't hold fireworks in your hand or have any part of your body over them while lighting. Wear some sort of eye protection, and avoid carrying fireworks in your pocket — the friction could set them off.

Point fireworks away from homes, and keep away from brush and leaves and flammable substances. The National Fire Protection Association estimates that local fire departments respond to more 50,000 fires caused by fireworks each year.

Light one firework at a time (not in glass or metal containers), and never relight a dud.

Don't allow kids to pick up pieces of fireworks after an event. Some may still be ignited and can explode at any time.

Soak all fireworks in a bucket of water before throwing them in the trash can.

Think about your pet. Animals have sensitive ears and can be extremely frightened or stressed on the Fourth of July. Keep pets indoors to reduce the risk that they'll run loose or get injured.


What substance was used to "paint" those fireworks you see? Do you think fireworks value depends on the color flashes?

Do you think that matters were "painted" those fireworks you see? Do you think, how does fireworks value depend on the color flashes?


Disneyland has inspired the development of the entire industry - animatronics.


Enchanted Tiki Room was the first attraction of Disney animatronics.

What is animatronics? This method is used in film, animation and computer modeling to create special effects. It is helpful when the single-frame shooting some object is impossible.

Animatronic doll (sometimes is also called animatronic hero or character) was developed from skeleton and ending with the smallest details of decoration. After all, every detail has to "play" - to create the effect of a real person. For example, it was very important to Disney to make correct "revival" of two-dimensional cartoon characters in the three-dimensional real space. Therefore, the engineering team chose to their animatronics heroes these poses and facial expressions that made them cute and friendly.

For example, singing dolls from Disneyland.

Developers carefully made doing skin and hair (or fur, feathers, claws) for dolls. They used only special paints that can "stretch" in all dolls movements.

Earlier animatronic dolls movements were ensured due to the electric motors (usually reciprocal). Disneyland workers replaced engines by linear actuators managed computers. Therefore, animatronic dolls movements look different, smooth and realistic.


Here is Remy - the rat chef from the cartoon "Ratatouille." It is the smallest and also the most difficult Disney animatronics.

Following the Disney company, not only amusement parks but also museums, network cafes, restaurants and shops began to use animatronics.

The cost of an animatronic doll, which is used for amusement parks or promotional purposes, is an average of $ 2,000. How is it formed? At each stage of the doll work specialists who receive fees or salaries. They use the supplies and equipment. Materials and equipment are used at the stage of technical implementation, which should also be taken into account the cost of electricity. Some of the animatronics are made by individual firms (factories), so the cost of transportation is added too. All these items cost impact on the final cost of animatronic character.



Have you encountered examples of animatronics? Where and what?

Personalities / History

History of Disneyland has become a modern legend.


When Walt Disney walked with his daughters, he had a vision. It was a vision of a place where children and parents could have fun together. The more Walt dreamed of a “magical park,” the more imaginative and elaborate it became.

Construction for Disneyland began on July 21, 1954, a meager 12 months before the park was scheduled to open. From that day forward Walt Disney’s life would never be the same. Then it were opened a network of such parks.


Modern Disney Company, in addition to the production of cartoons and construction of parks, also includes a cruise company.

Cinderella's Castle met first visitors of Disneyland in 1955. Today it meets visitors of the park.


It is considered to be a masterpiece of world architecture. Its height is just 55, but it seems to be much higher. The secret is in optical illusions: the second floor of it is little smaller than the first; third - less than the second and so on.

Before the construction of the first Disneyland, Walt Disney asked Stanford Research Institute for help in designing and miscalculation of "live" amusement park. Stanford Experts have concluded that such a project is almost to the limits of contemporary technology. Then Walt Disney decided to assemble his team of engineers - "dream creators". He called them "engineers of Dreams". Now Disneyland cooperates with many institutions, including the California Institute of Naval Research and NASA.


Disneyland stays to be the technology flagship. In 2016 plans to be opened a Disneyland in Shanghai. It will become the most technological park in the world. Firstly, thanks to 3D printing and "augmented reality." Some buildings and scenery of the park will be printed on special 3D-printers, which will save time. For example, "printing" of castle takes 8 hours.


Glass concrete, gypsum plaster and special print finishing details are used for this printer as a "refueling". During the printing process materials are plastic, and then they quickly harden and become strong and durable, which is important for the park.

What is the economic sense to use this technology? It lies in the speed and accuracy of construction of complex building forms that are good for the unique park.


Architects in the design of the park and in the construction process, used the technology of "augmented reality." With the help of special glasses, they could "transport" inside objects, evaluate them from different angles, and consider only the planned and not the real elements of buildings.


All Disneyland parks (opened, and those who only plans to be opened) have something in common - they are built in such a way that all the "extra" noise and "species" were not seen. There remain only those that create an atmosphere of fairy tale in reality.

Disneyland employees call "backstage" area, closed to visitors, office space. By "scenes" are also includes shops and restaurants. Office workers are called "roles". It is forbidden to take photograph of "backstage", but it is more interesting to discover its mysteries.


How do you think, what the personal qualities allowed the Walt Disney Company to establish a successful network of parks? Can you believe that he is a personality who forms the history of the world?

Economics / Cinema

Disneyland is a special phenomenon in the economic world.

Every year Disneyland capitalization is increased by new attractions and increase attendance. But the park itself is not self-sustaining. Operating expenses excess profits from the sale of tickets. For example, European Disneyland ratio is:


Therefore, management has decided to not only raise the entrance fee and attract new sponsors, but diversification, redistribution and investment risks, expanding the list of goods and services, reach new activities.

To do this, given that the most profitable business in the world has become a cinema (especially the production of children's films and cartoons) and tourism, it was created own studio and your own cruise fleet.

Example cruise ship is Disney Dream. Its length is 340 meters. It is designed for 2,500 people and is a mini replica of Disneyland. There are movie theaters, and amusement and water park on a board.


The cost of cruise one day is an average of $ 150. Popular routes include a 5-day cruise. That is, the total fee for all passengers will be 1,875,000 dollars. Annual profit is 135 000 000 USD. The payback period of approximately is 10 years.

As another illustration the development of a tourist destination, we can show the following fact:


Sale of goods and souvenirs also brings profits. For example, in Disneyland stores in Orlando are sold 500,000 clocks with cartoon heroes.

Vintage clock from Disneyland

Each attraction is based on the cartoon, cash, popular, such as «have a face". Because a cartoon is an advertisement for attractions and the park. On the other hand, the money received through the attraction can be lead to new animations (movies). This is profit again, and a new "framework" for the attractions. And, of course, that is a new investment into new tehnologies.


One of the best examples is attraction "Finding Nemo." Made by the cartoon of the same name, it used the experience of the Institute of Marine Research (their research submarines were samples).


Online Disneyland describes the attraction: «Having made your way to deeper depths, a familiar sight suddenly comes into view: Nemo and his turtle pal Squirt—and as can be expected, Nemo's dad Marlin and forgetful friend Dory aren’t far behind. Thanks to special "sonar hydrophones" located inside the submarine, you can hear what everyone’s saying!»

An interesting fact is that the yellow submarine of the Institute of Marine Research not only inspired the creators of the attraction "Finding Nemo," but the group "The Beatles":


Here it is - the "yellow submarine" that inspires.

Another example of the connection of the park and the film industry is "Pirates of the Caribbean" - an attraction in Disneyland. It was opened 1967, and it is the latest attraction at the opening of which Walt Disney took part.

In 2003, the Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films released the movie "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" and three films. Their idea was based on this attraction. Films have become extremely successful and cash (22 in the ranking of the most profitable films in the US). Popularity films is a kind of advertising for attraction

Then attraction was updated, based on films, thereby that increased its popularity and profitability.



Walt Disney believed that each person has three "characters": dreamer, realist and critic. Based on this idea, he developed for the employees of the company three rooms: Dreamer room, Realist room and the room, which was quite small - Criticism room, where revised the cartoons and designs.

Dreamer room was exclusively for dreams. There were paintings, drawings, quotes on the walls. The whole atmosphere was to promote "building castles in the air." No criticism, only the ideas.

Realist had the room, like a modern workshop. Realists implement the ideas of a Dreamer.

Criticism was further room, where Disney personally viewed cartoons and designs. If the product was good, it came into the world and embodied in cartoon or Disneyland attraction.


This combination formula allows Disneyland not only to work and prosper, but surely "move to the future" with new attractions.

Lesson summary





As a result of Case Knowledge Hypermarket can add the following findings of students:



What are the 3 most significant sites help getting information?







To help the student and coach:








Where to take information of the Case:

















Locations of the lesson:

Case lesson takes place in the classroom. Carrying classes at the museum, park, library...



Teams of boys and girls.

The score was ....

The challenge for them:

• How fast will move trolley rides through 5 seconds at an initial speed of 10 m / s and corner - 30 degrees?

• What cartoons and movies of Disney you know (which team will call more correct choices)?


Task for home:

 Make 5 questions to the case lesson material (individual task).


Duration of Case:

90 minutes(double lesson). 


Ability to circuit classes with student-double for: 



The results produced and competence:

 The value of the individual in the modern world shaping.

The ability to find quickly the information you need to see it from a new angle.

Getting practical skills in applying the acquired information.

Obtaining specific knowledge in chemistry, mathematics and other sections (shown in the scan).





 Hrabovska Larisa L.


Took part in case apgrade:



The End

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