Usually once a week, my daughter and I go for a train ride at a nearby shopping mall. It’s our hometown version of the Walt Disney World Railroad (or the Disneyland Railroad). It’s definitely not a substitute, but it helps us satisfy our train fix between Disney vacations.
After we take a couple of laps on the train, we usually trek through the mall so we can get a little exercise and see if there’s anything interesting in the stores. With over 2 million square feet in that mall, that’s a very tall order!
During our last visit, I started to pay attention to all the places in the mall where Disney’s presence could be found. Here are a few that easily popped out at me:
1) The Disney Store – That’s an easy one!
2) AMC Theaters – Another easy one. There’s usually at least one movie running from either Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar, Touchstone Pictures, or any of the other affiliated production companies. This time, it was “John Carter.”
3) The Apple Store – My daughter likes to poke around on the iMacs that are setup on kid-friendly tables. They have a “Disney Digital Books” interactive menu loaded on them so children can read from a huge assortment of Disney books.
4) TGI Friday’s – The TGI Friday’s in our mall isn’t enclosed, so it spills out into the mall. Not only could we smell the food, but we could also see and hear the wall of TVs that were playing ESPN’s coverage of the NCAA basketball tournament.
5) The Verizon Wireless Store – I saw a sign featuring the Disney Parks Mobile Magic app for the iPhone and the Android phones.
Clearly, it’s very easy to stumble upon Disney in your travels as a consumer. However, my list above is especially interesting if you read the official description of Disney’s business in it’s 2011 Annual Report. (Click here to see it in its entirety.)
Upon reading the annual report, you’ll see that they describe the company as, “a diversified worldwide entertainment company” with five main business units: (1) Consumer Products; (2) Studio Entertainment; (3) Interactive Media; (4) Media Networks; and (5) Parks and Resorts.
Now do you see why my list is so interesting?
1) The Disney Store connected me with their “Consumer Products” business unit by offering various Disney-branded products.
2) AMC Theaters connected me with their “Studio Entertainment” business unit by showing “John Carter.”
3) The Apple Store connected me (and my daughter) with their “Interactive Media” business unit by featuring the Disney Digital Books at their children’s iMac station.
4) TGI Friday’s connected me with their “Media Networks” business unit by having the various ESPN networks playing on their TVs.
5) The Verizon Wireless store connected me with their “Parks and Resorts” business unit by featuring their Disney Parks Mobile Magic app, which made me excited for my upcoming Disney World vacation!!
As a Disney shareholder, I read the 2011 annual report after it came out. However, when I read it at the time I was almost overwhelmed by the breadth of Disney’s business. A routine visit to the mall made me realize that despite that breadth, they can easily contain it all under one roof.
Contributed by Derek Hoffman (NDD #243). Derek is the creator of DisneyMBA.com and writes business-themed posts for The Disney Driven Life.