One of the questions I get asked most when I mention to people that I’m a Disney Parks fan is the age old question for Aussie Disney fans;
Do you think they will open a Disneyland Australia?
Here’s my answer;
Would I like them to?
That’s a harder question.
First, let me explain why I don’t think we will ever get a Disneyland park in Australia.
The main reason we will never have one is population.
For a Disney Park to be profitable, you need a minimum of 5 million visitors per year. Now you might think “that’s not too many! Disneyland gets 14 million a year!”. Yes but let me remind you that the state of California has a higher population than the entire country of Australia. Yup that’s right. Australia only has a population of just under 24 million.
So that means you would require over 1/5 of the entire country to visit every single year.
As a comparison Warner Bros. Movie World has an attendance of around 1 million guests per year. So you would need to increase Australia’s theme parks attendance by 5 times.
Now you might say “But tourists will also go!” Ok true. But where do majority of our tourists come from? Asia. How many Disney parks are there in Asia? Four in three locations so why would they travel to Australia?
What about American Disney fans, they will travel right? Probably not. Would you go on a 14 hour flight and pay thousands of dollars to visit something that is a copy of an original you have in your backyard? Probably not.
For these reasons we will never get our own park.
Now would I like one?
Yes of course but I think having one here would take away a bit of the unique experience I get traveling to the states to visit the parks.
Now just because I don’t think we will ever get a park doesn’t mean we won’t have a Disney presence down here in the future.
We will most likely get Disney Cruise Line sailing out of Sydney at some point. I think when Disney expands their fleet and adds more ships they will run itineries in our waters.
But the thing I think we will get that is closest to the parks is an Aulani style resort somewhere in Queensland. Maybe Port Douglas or Hamilton Island.
To the average Australian, a high quality beach resort is more appealing than a theme park holiday. It also costs far less to run so our low population will not be an issue.
I think this is the closest we will ever get and even then I don’t see it happening in the next 10 years.
Sadly I think we are all going to remain Disney Detached for quite some time.