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Old September 13th, 2005, 05:44 AM   #261
hkskyline
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遊樂園神采飛揚 賞電影會米老鼠
曾慶紅體驗夢幻國度

13/09/2005
《太陽報電子報》





為迪士尼樂園主持揭幕的國家副主席曾慶紅,昨日在主持開幕儀式前四十五分鐘到達參觀。米奇等一眾卡通人物排排企,輪流與曾慶紅握手合照。在樂園走了一圈,曾慶紅未有機會試玩機動遊戲,只觀看「瘋帽子旋轉杯」,但抽空欣賞了一套四維影片《米奇幻想曲》,親身感受立體的卡通人物奇幻之旅。

結束三日緊湊訪港行程之前,曾慶紅到迪士尼樂園主持揭幕。雖然經過連日來的奔波勞累、又遇上昨日的悶熱天氣,但曾慶紅到達迪士尼樂園時仍顯得神采飛揚。財政司司長唐英年與迪士尼樂園集團行政總裁羅彬深負責講解樂園的背景,行政長官曾蔭權一直陪伴曾慶紅在樂園參觀。

港府樂園悉心安排
樂園高層及港府為曾慶紅悉心設計了一個濃縮節目,集中前往幻想世界,與迪士尼卡通人物見面。他們先參觀以鐘樓駝俠作設計的餐廳「笑匠歡宴坊」。

曾慶紅在迪士尼的第二站是參觀「瘋帽子旋轉杯」,這個咖啡杯遊戲不斷旋轉,就如進入了電影《愛麗絲夢遊仙境》的情節,不過,由於時間緊迫,曾慶紅只在「派對」外觀看,並沒有坐進旋轉杯。

在咖啡杯旁的是「夢想花園」,在花園內五名迪士尼卡通人物齊集向曾慶紅等賓客招手。曾慶紅在花園中親身感受這個夢幻國度。高飛狗搶先握手,但米奇始終深入民心,曾慶紅高興地與米奇打招呼。

五名卡通人物一同與嘉賓合照,米奇腰板挺直、與曾慶紅同樣英姿颯爽。愛搶鏡的米妮則搔首弄姿,左手輕輕掀短裙、右手不斷擺動,但站在旁邊的曾蔭權卻未被迷倒。曾蔭權旁邊還有雙手叉腰、顯得甚為醒神、英文名同為Donald的唐老鴨。

一行人之後前往欣賞四維電影《米奇幻想曲》,米奇、唐老鴨和一眾好友,演繹一場滿載驚喜的視覺表演。在該處逗留了十分鐘,曾慶紅即前往小熊維尼精品店。短暫的參觀行程就此結束,曾慶紅隨即步往睡公主城堡,主持開幕禮、為醒獅點睛。
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Old September 13th, 2005, 05:47 AM   #262
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Disneyland Opens!

Dazzling start to Disney carnival
Crowds enjoy a smooth ride as heat and pollution fail to take the gloss off theme park's big day

Dennis Eng and Ambrose Leung
13 September 2005
South China Morning Post

Local newspaper covers


Hailed as an "everlasting carnival" and a multibillion-dollar "strategic investment", Hong Kong Disneyland was finally inaugurated yesterday with few of the problems and complaints that plagued it during a month of teething troubles.

Amid the highest pollution levels of the year, dignitaries including Vice-President Zeng Qinghong and Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen gathered in front of the pink Sleeping Beauty Castle as lion dancers gave the occasion a local flavour before the familiar Disney characters poured out for a grand parade.

"The joyous Disneyland will become an everlasting carnival for the Hong Kong people," Mr Zeng said.

"It has been said Hong Kong is a playground for entrepreneurs and a shopper's paradise. I hope that, with the establishment of Hong Kong Disneyland and other cultural and entertainment facilities, Hong Kong will further become a major tourist destination."

Mr Tsang, who marked the occasion by wearing a Donald Duck bow tie, said the government's much-criticised $23 billion injection into the park was a "strategic investment" that would enable the city to "capitalise on the drawing power of the Disney brand to complement our renowned strengths in dining and shopping, and as a city that perfectly blends east and west".

With the park filled to only about half its capacity and many problems ironed out, the chaotic scenes that plagued the month-long rehearsal period were not repeated yesterday and any complaints were mostly about the 30-plus temperatures and the pollution. But the real test will be today, the first official day of business, when a capacity crowd of about 30,000 is expected.

Some of the longest queues yesterday were at the shops and one unofficial estimate put total spending by the 16,000 visitors at more than $20 million. The park is projected to generate $148 billion of economic benefits to the city over the next 40 years and has already created 5,000 jobs.

Disney's fifth park, and its third outside the US, was inaugurated soon after the air pollution index at nearby Tung Chung hit the dangerous level of 105 at 10am. By early evening, the index had fallen to 85, which is still considered high.

"The air is filthy. My eyes were stinging," one visitor complained.

Secretary for Environment, Transport, and Works Sarah Liao Sau-tung acknowledged the threat to Hong Kong's image from the poor air quality on a day when the world's eyes were on the city.

"Air pollution is a long-term battle and we will strive to improve it as it is related to the city's international image," she said.

Exco member Bernard Chan complained: "It's way too hot."

Ocean Park chief Allan Zeman, his white shirt translucent with sweat, welcomed the rival park's opening, but said he would give it more time to "get its feet wet and understand the market and customers" before gauging its success.

Vice-President Zeng used his speech to renew his call for social harmony in Hong Kong.

"Time has proved that only with harmony can there be stability and prosperity. I wholeheartedly wish compatriots in Hong Kong will treasure and cherish the present good situation of economic development and investment atmosphere together, and work hard to build a more harmonious and prosperous Hong Kong," he said.

Mr Tsang said the park would "provide thousands of direct and indirect jobs and, over the long term, bring billions of dollars of economic benefit to our economy".

Outgoing Walt Disney Company chief executive Michael Eisner called the theme park a "breathtaking achievement", while his successor, Robert Iger, applauded the partnership between the US entertainment giant and Hong Kong. Both Disney officials greeted the audience in English, Cantonese and Putonghua.

Most of today's tickets had been sold by last night, although the park said visitors could "try their luck" at the gates when they open at 10am.

The park opened at 1pm and was to have closed at 10pm, an hour later than the regular time. But at almost 11 pm, guests still lingered.
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Old September 13th, 2005, 05:52 AM   #263
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Mainland tourists gave Hong Kong Disneyland two thumbs up on its debut
Winnie Chong and Mimi Lau
13 September 2005
Hong Kong Standard

Chen Suiseng, 63, from Dongguan, joined a day tour for 478 yuan (HK$458), which he said was good value as it included meals, transport and a ticket into the theme park.

As a man who rarely travels, Chen said Hong Kong Disneyland is a good place for him as it is convenient and cheap.

"Disneyland is a famous international park. If I traveled to Disneyland in Japan, it would cost a few thousand yuan, which we can hardly afford," Chen said.

Lin Fuchuan, 36, from Fujian, joined a five-day tour of Hong Kong, Macau and Zhuhai for 2,500 yuan. He was staying a whole day at the park and a night in Hong Kong.

He said he liked the Disney characters and plans to come back again with friends.

A middle-aged man named Ng from Dongguan got tickets from a friend for a day trip to Disneyland.

"It's a brand new park and I'm so happy I have a chance to visit on its opening day," Ng said.

About a third of Monday's 16,000 visitors were mainlanders, according to television news reports, with some 1,600 reportedly from Guangzhou. News reports said that hundreds arrived in dozens of buses via Lok Ma Chau.

It was a smooth process which took mere minutes for more than 1,000 visitors to cross the border.

One man from Guangzhou said: "It only took 30 minutes for about 1,000 people to get through customs. We queued for 20 minutes only at the entrance gate."

For him, it was important to witness the first Disneyland to open on Chinese soil and he brought HK$2,000 to mark the occasion with a shopping spree for souvenirs.

Many came with children dressed as Snow White while parents wore Mickey Mouse ears.

"It's worth waiting up to two hours, this is such a happy day," said a man queuing outside the entrance gate.
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Old September 13th, 2005, 06:47 AM   #264
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To build 2nd China park, Disney wants more TV access
Keith Bradsher
12 September 2005
International Herald Tribune

Even as Hong Kong Disneyland prepares to open on Monday, Disney is holding off building a similar theme park in mainland China, according to Robert Iger, president of the company, until it has been assured that it will be able to air Disney shows on Chinese television.

Disney's firm stance underlines the unhappiness of many Western media companies at the Chinese government's issuance on Aug. 1 of a new and stricter interpretation of the country's media ownership regulations.

Presented by culture and propaganda officials as a way to preserve Chinese culture and limit foreign influence, the rules essentially bar foreign television channels like the Disney Channel. They also make it harder for foreign companies to produce movies and TV shows in China even if they find local partners.

Shanghai has been actively seeking a Disney theme park for several years, with strong support from Beijing's leaders. Discussions between Disney executives and Shanghai officials have caused considerable alarm in Hong Kong, which has invested $2.9 billion of taxpayers' money in helping to build a park here, mainly to reclaim land from the sea for the park and to lay roads and a subway line to it.

Hong Kong Disneyland would face strong competition if a similar theme park opened in Shanghai. But Iger, who will succeed Michael Eisner as chief executive on Oct. 1, said that before building another park in Shanghai, the company needed assurances that it would be able to introduce Disney characters to Chinese audiences through television.

"In order for us to even consider a park there, we need to be sure we have access to television," Iger said in an interview Friday at the new, oceanfront Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel.

Disney's ABC division, which Iger used to run, recently sold its "Desperate Housewives" show to Chinese television companies. But Iger said that Disney's goal was to start the Disney Channel in at least some Chinese cities, especially Shanghai.

"The restrictions in general do thwart our efforts to grow television in that marketplace," he said, while adding that he remained confident that, "over time, we'll gain access to the market."

Iger said other countries have demanded that television channels include at least some local productions, and that this was a possibility for China. He voiced confidence that the company would not run into censorship problems, saying, "It's rare that there are content issues for our product."

Disney does not necessarily need a majority stake in local productions in China either, Iger said, pointing out that Disney has only a 43 percent stake in the new Hong Kong theme park; the Hong Kong government owns the rest.

"We're more than willing to have a partner" for television productions in China, he said, adding that it would be "safe to conclude we are in discussions" on TV deals. Copyright violations and other thefts of intellectual property have been a chronic problem for many companies in China. But Iger said that he did not believe that taking on local partners would make matters worse in this regard.

"If we don't do anything, Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse are going to end up there anyway, and we're not going to get anything," he said.

Iger said that after the Hong Kong Disneyland opening ceremony on Monday, he planned to fly on to Beijing "to discuss Disney business initiatives in China in general." But the trip is not intended primarily as a lobbying effort for the lifting of the restrictions, he added.

If Iger wants to lobby, however, he could have an opportunity much sooner. Vice President Zeng Qinghong of China, a Politburo member with particular responsibility for propaganda, culture and Hong Kong issues, is scheduled to join Iger and Eisner for the brief opening ceremony. Beijing's new media rules and the possibility of a delay in setting up a Disney theme park in Shanghai are likely to cement Hong Kong's role as a media hub for China in particular and for Asia over all. Tighter restrictions on the mainland also make the success or failure of Hong Kong Disneyland even more important to the company's long-term performance in Asia.

Some visitors have complained of crowding during 17 testing days, when thousands of local residents were invited to the park, prompting questions about whether visitors, fearing overcrowding, might shun the park at first.

Dick Yang, manager of the Guangdong Nanhu International Travel Agency in Guangzhou, 160 kilometers, or 100 miles, up the Pearl River from Hong Kong, said his agency had expected to sell 1,200 tickets to Hong Kong Disneyland for September but had sold only 400. Potential patrons are leery of the possible crowds and are unhappy that many Hong Kong hotels have raised prices by 20 percent in anticipation of an influx of park-goers, he said.

But Yang noted that demand was brisk for the so-called golden week in early October, a weeklong national holiday.

Instead of letting most people choose when to take vacations, the Chinese government schedules three "golden weeks" each year, national holidays during which most economic activity stops. That heavy concentration of tourism into three short spasms of travel poses a dilemma for Disney, which needs to keep the park fairly full all year long to cover investment costs.

Disney is charging lower prices on weekdays, which it has never done at its other parks. Jay Rasulo, chairman of the theme parks and resorts division, said the company was confident that through various techniques, like promoting the park at various times of year in different Asian countries, it could even out considerably the number of visitors coming to the park each day.
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Old September 14th, 2005, 05:50 AM   #265
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A view of Disneyland in Hong Kong during a gala evening prior to the official public opening of the giant theme park(AFP/Andrew Ross)



An elderly tourist has his picture taken with Mickey and Minnie Mouse at Hong kong Disneyland in Hong Kong as the park opens to the public(AFP/Ted Aljibe)



A family poses during a parade at Hong kong Disneyland in Hong Kong as the amusement park opens its dorrs to the public(AFP/Ted Aljibe)



Walt Disney characters Mickey and Minnie Mouse wave at the opening of Hong Kong Disneyland. Mickey Mouse has thrown open the doors to Disney's latest theme park, a three billion US dollar resort in Hong Kong which marked the company's first step into the growing Chinese market.(AFP/Ted Aljibe)



A child plays at Hong Kong Disneyland as celebrating the grand opening in Hong Kong Monday, Sept. 12, 2005. It is Disney's first-ever vacation resort in China. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)



Fireworks and special effects explode over the Sleeping Beauty Castle at Hong Kong Disneyland as celebrating the grand opening in Hong Kong Monday, Sept. 12, 2005. It is Disney's first-ever vacation resort in China. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)



Fireworks and special effects explode over the Sleeping Beauty Castle in Hong Kong's Disneyland after the grand opening of the theme Park Hong Kong Disneyland Monday, Sept. 12, 2005, It is Disney's first-ever vacation resort in China. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)



Fireworks and special effects explode over the Sleeping Beauty Castle in Hong Kong's Disneyland after the grand opening of the theme Park Hong Kong Disneyland Monday, Sept. 12, 2005, It is Disney's first-ever vacation resort in China. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)



Fireworks explode over the Sleeping Beauty Castle at Hong Kong Disneyland on the first day of its official opening September 12, 2005. Disney officially opens its new Hong Kong theme park on Monday, bringing a slice of the Magic Kingdom to the Middle Kingdom with a careful blend of American showmanship and Chinese characteristics. REUTERS/Bobby Yip



Fireworks and special effects expose over the Sleeping Beauty Castle in Hong Kong's Disneyland after the grand opening of the theme Park Hong Kong Disneyland Monday, Sept. 12, 2005, It is Disney's first-ever vacation resort in China. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
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Old September 14th, 2005, 07:12 AM   #266
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Wow must go
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Old September 14th, 2005, 07:14 AM   #267
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Does anyone know how many rides are actually operational. I seem to have heard on TV that they were only operating 13 attractions. Is this correct? If yes when are the rest coming on line.
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Old September 24th, 2005, 03:08 AM   #268
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Hong Kong Disneyland Prefers No Union
By MIN LEE, Associated Press Writer
Fri Sep 23, 8:51 AM ET

HONG KONG - The newly opened Hong Kong Disneyland said Friday it prefers that its 5,000 workers not unionize as activists described tough work conditions at the park such as long hours, harsh turnarounds and lack of breaks.

Disneyland, which opened two weeks ago, said in a statement it respects the right of workers to seek union representation, but that it thinks it's more effective for labor and management to "work and communicate directly with each other."

The statement came as activists detailed strenuous work conditions at the park and an organizer said it's exploring the option of setting up a union with park workers.

Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions Organizing Secretary Elaine Hui said the park was unresponsive to workers and that they need the leverage of a union to protect themselves.

"In the long run, if they want to discuss their treatment with the company, they need to rely on the power of a union to get the right to dialogue under equal circumstances," she said, noting Disneyland parks in the U.S. and France have unions.

However, Hui said a stumbling block to unionizing is concern that the park may retaliate against workers who join the union.

As the union dilemma is debated, activists said Disneyland workers complain they work up to 13 hours a day and must make quick turnarounds, with some leaving work late in the evening and due back early in the morning the next day.

The long hours are aggravated by the long travel time to and from the park, which is located on Hong Kong's outlying Lantau island, the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions and Disney Hunter, a Disneyland watchdog group, said in a statement issued Thursday.

The activists urged Disneyland, which opened Sept. 12, to arrange bus services covering more areas.

They also said the workers' 45-minute lunch break should be lengthened to an hour and that 15-minute breaks every four hours aren't enforced because of staff shortages.

"Disney's goal is to pursue dreams and bring happiness to the masses, but its labor policy is entirely opposite to such a goal, disappointing its eager workers and the masses," the activists said in their statement.

Hong Kong Disneyland spokeswoman Esther Wong said Friday the park won't comment on the allegations in detail, but that some of them are inaccurate.

Wong said labor-management relations are good and that staff retention has been strong.

But she said the park, owned by The Walt Disney Co. of Burbank, Calif., will listen to worker feedback.

"Our cast members are a very important component," she said, using Disney's terminology for its workers.
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Old September 24th, 2005, 03:32 AM   #269
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Just out of curiosity but how is HK Disneyland doing in terms of business? Are there still a lot of people going to the park or are there less and less?

BTW, any plans on Phase II or expansion of the Magic Kingdom park?
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Old September 24th, 2005, 12:23 PM   #270
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i think the real concern is two years from now. The "freshness" of this park will start to fade, IF there are now upgrades or expansion. But the current plan is to add at least 1 more game in the park each year.
So far, i think the business is doing okay.
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Old September 26th, 2005, 05:36 PM   #271
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Disney adapts its park to Asia
Hong Kong employees learn Disney way from Anaheim team

Michele Himmelberg
25 September 2005
The Seattle Times

Root beer and cherry flavors are associated with medicine in China. Scratch those from the beverage list at Hong Kong Disneyland.

Meals in Hong Kong are a social event that can last for hours, even at a theme park.

Students in Asia revere their teachers, and any compliments are returned tenfold.

Those are a few examples of the teaching and learning that have transpired in the past year as 89 people from Anaheim, Calif.'s Disneyland Resort trekked to Hong Kong to help train employees of Disney's first theme park in China.

Hong Kong Disneyland opened Sept. 12 with 5,000 employees, a Main Street that's the spitting image of the one in Anaheim and high hopes that a new culture will embrace Disney's entertainment.

"The basic spine of the park was replicated from Disneyland," said Tom Morris, an executive from Walt Disney Imagineering. "Everyone from Southern California walks in, and it strikes them right away -- the train station, Main Street, the Castle, even the music are the same as in Anaheim. ... Then there's this beautiful mountain range right behind the castle. That's when you quickly realize you're in the South China Sea."

Morris directed the creative development of Hong Kong Disneyland, and builders have hammered for more than two years to get every board in place at Disney's 11th theme park.

The final phase of preparation -- the phase that makes it a uniquely Disney park -- is teaching local employees how to deliver the personal service the company calls "magic." Members of the Anaheim task force were chosen because of their expertise in a particular field, but also because of their devotion to the Disney product. Four shared their experiences from China, the fastest- growing tourism market in the world.

Matt Holding, who has run attractions for nearly 15 years, patiently taught driving fundamentals to people who rarely drive anything. Hong Kong relies heavily on public transportation, and few people own cars.

"We started with forward and reverse," said Holding, who showed them how to maneuver river rafts.

His biggest job was helping the new staffers understand the legacy of Walt Disney.

"You don't work at Disneyland because it's just a job," he said. "It was a lifelong ambition for me. I told them they are not just a host or a cast member, they are a Jungle Cruise skipper. We're teaching them that this is something very special."

Holding's new friends taught him that Americans move too fast.

"One day they said, 'Let's go to lunch.' It was an hour and a half. I eat lunch on the go half the time. For them, it's a time to socialize. When I go home to Anaheim, I am going to start taking a lunch break."

Belinda Butt, a human-resources specialist from Laguna Hills, Calif., has trained staff members for most of her 20 years at Disneyland. She went to Hong Kong because the park's scale of operations is similar to Anaheim's. She knows how to implement Disney's scheduling system and set up a way of moving 5,000 people through orientation.

"You have to think of things like, if you have 12 classes at the same time, don't have them all break at the same time or your bathrooms are slammed," she said.

What she learned during five months was the power and grace of humility.

"When you pay them a compliment, they bring it right back to you," she said. "They say, 'Oh, it's because you are such a good teacher.' They're very appreciative."

Karlos Siqueiros took his 20 years of food-and-beverage expertise to Hong Kong.

"The passion we all have for Disney is what brought us here," Siqueiros said. "We brought the importance of the story to them. It's not just a park or a restaurant.

"In Anaheim, we say keep the story alive right down to the last bite. When you go into New Orleans Square and the world of pirates, you don't want to have a commercial at lunchtime. You want to still be in Louisiana."

Siqueiros also elevated Disney's approach to celebrating birthdays in Hong Kong.

"In China, where many people have just one child, birthdays are like our weddings. They go on and on. ... Tastes and flavors here are different, too. We tend to like sugar; they like the savory flavors. We had to adjust."

Siqueiros introduced the concept of kids' menus -- already a big hit -- and he will bring home a new idea from the Hong Kong park's menu: a char siew (barbecue pork) burger.
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Old October 1st, 2005, 11:43 AM   #272
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I've been Tokyo / Paris Disneyland, I felt tokyo is better in size and amusement ficilities. If Disneyland's amusement ficilties just for 1 day or few hours as current HK Disneyland. Visitors will not interest to it so much and visit it again and again.
Why does Disneyland should be built as bigger as well? Because majority of visitor who want to find the non-stop playing feeling once they enter the park. A park just for a day or few hours, non-stop playing feeling will be
disappeared totally.
Therefore, Disneyland shold provide enough games, amusment ficities etc
for visitor beyond 1 day as well. Expanding work must be start ASAP.
Why does HK people complain the size of HK Disneyland?
They lost the "Non-stop playing feeling" is the main reason as I thought.
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Old October 3rd, 2005, 10:06 AM   #273
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannykylaw
I've been Tokyo / Paris Disneyland, I felt tokyo is better in size and amusement ficilities. If Disneyland's amusement ficilties just for 1 day or few hours as current HK Disneyland. Visitors will not interest to it so much and visit it again and again.
Why does Disneyland should be built as bigger as well? Because majority of visitor who want to find the non-stop playing feeling once they enter the park. A park just for a day or few hours, non-stop playing feeling will be
disappeared totally.
Therefore, Disneyland shold provide enough games, amusment ficities etc
for visitor beyond 1 day as well. Expanding work must be start ASAP.
Why does HK people complain the size of HK Disneyland?
They lost the "Non-stop playing feeling" is the main reason as I thought.
Exactly
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Old October 3rd, 2005, 11:35 AM   #274
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannykylaw
I've been Tokyo / Paris Disneyland, I felt tokyo is better in size and amusement ficilities. If Disneyland's amusement ficilties just for 1 day or few hours as current HK Disneyland. Visitors will not interest to it so much and visit it again and again.
Why does Disneyland should be built as bigger as well? Because majority of visitor who want to find the non-stop playing feeling once they enter the park. A park just for a day or few hours, non-stop playing feeling will be
disappeared totally.
Therefore, Disneyland shold provide enough games, amusment ficities etc
for visitor beyond 1 day as well. Expanding work must be start ASAP.
Why does HK people complain the size of HK Disneyland?
They lost the "Non-stop playing feeling" is the main reason as I thought.

Wow, well said. If I go to a Disney park I'm expecting there to be a shitload of things to do so I can actually go back and discover more.
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Old October 3rd, 2005, 12:08 PM   #275
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HK's Disneyland looks quite small.Is it comparable to Tokyo's or Paris'???
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Old October 22nd, 2005, 11:43 PM   #276
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Disney seeks to seal blueprints
Magic Kingdom cites commercial reasons for trying to stop people viewing its HK theme park plans

23 October 2005
South China Morning Post

Disney has taken the rare step of trying to have the blueprints for the construction of its recently-opened Hong Kong theme park kept from the public. Permission from park bosses would be needed to see them.

Despite the fact that Hong Kong Disneyland's Phase I was funded with nearly $14 billion in taxpayers' money, the US company has asked the Building Department to restrict public access to its park blueprints.

The unusual application has prompted officials to seek legal advice before making a final decision.

One lawmaker criticised Disney's move as lacking transparency, and compared it with incidents last month in which food inspectors were barred from the park unless they dressed down.

The special request is being made to safeguard the unique copyrighted designs of Hong Kong Disneyland's rides and facilities from the prying eyes of commercial rivals and copycats, a Disney spokeswoman said.

It would require anyone seeking to see the plans for rides such as the Space Mountain roller coaster to obtain Disney's written permission.

Under the law, building plans submitted by developers to the government become public record upon completion of construction work.

People with legitimate reasons for viewing the blueprints - for maintenance work, or potential buyers - can normally see them and make copies without written permission from the owners.

A Disney spokeswoman said: "We made a request to the Buildings Department that the public's viewing and copying of any plans and documents related to Hong Kong Disneyland should get written authorisation from us.

"This proposed measure is to safeguard the proprietary and copyright considerations of the Hong Kong Disneyland project. Disney values its intellectual property. Protection of intellectual property rights is of paramount importance to any creative company and is vital to our business."

Democrat lawmaker Fred Li Wah-ming said it was Hong Kong people's right to view Disneyland's blueprint at will.

"[Disney] is not a transparent organisation and it's not very accountable to the public even though at least half of the whole [Disney] project is being funded by taxpayers' money," he added.

A Buildings Department spokesman said it was considering Disney's request.

It has asked for additional information to justify the application, including any further reasons for restricting access.

He said the department had received only a "few" similar requests in the past.

Disney's request comes after protests in July and earlier this month, when former workers claiming unfair dismissal defied park security to climb onto the top of the Space Mountain tower.

Security around the tower has since been stepped up, a park official said.

There are no special restrictions to viewing blueprints for Ocean Park, Hong Kong's other main theme park attraction.
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Old October 23rd, 2005, 12:52 AM   #277
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"[Disney] is not a transparent organisation and it's not very accountable to the public"


The chinese government isn't either. It seems these chinese newpapers are often critical of disney
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Old October 23rd, 2005, 05:40 AM   #278
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Disney has made a lot of mistakes in implementing the park and some have been downright outrageous, such as forcing food inspectors to remove their badges to inspect the park. In fact, Hong Kong newspapers are highly critical of these types of flaps, moreso than their American counterparts. The Chinese government is oftentimes the target of such criticism as well. One of the founders of the local newspapers was banned from entering China when he was still in control.
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Old October 23rd, 2005, 08:08 PM   #279
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A bit of East, a lot of West in Hong Kong Disneyland
Chinese warm to theme park

Paul Wiseman
21 October 2005
USA Today

HONG KONG -- Before opening its theme park here on the south China coast, Disney consulted a feng shui master, worked lucky Chinese numbers into the design and added dim sum and other regional dishes to its menus.

But the Asian touches aren't immediately apparent in the finished product: Hong Kong Disneyland is more Disney than Hong Kong.

Set aside the signs in Chinese (and English) and some Asian food offerings, and the park is basically a pint-sized version of what you get in Anaheim, Orlando, Tokyo and Paris. There's Main Street U.S.A., Space Mountain, Sleeping Beauty Castle and people walking around dressed as Disney characters such as Goofy and Alice in Wonderland.

"Just a lot of Chinese people, no Chinese culture," summarizes Phil Chen, 28, a salesman visiting Hong Kong Disneyland from the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou.

The $1.8 billion park opened Sept. 12 to considerable fanfare. Six years in the making, Hong Kong Disneyland is supposed to draw tourists from across Asia and compensate for a shortage of kid attractions in a city better known for designer shopping on neon- lit Nathan Road and hedonistic clubbing in Wan Chai and Lan Kwai Fong.

So the park, owned 57% by the Hong Kong government and 43% by Disney, went up on Lantau Island, a half-hour by train from downtown Hong Kong. Now, after disembarking from special trains outfitted with Mickey Mouse-shaped windows, the children of Hong Kong can line up to ride the Space Mountain roller coaster or to zap rogue robots in the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters game-and-ride.

"We had a really good time," says Teresa Chan, 42, as she leaves the park with her 3-year-old daughter, Shaylin. "It would be my dream if I were a kid." But she says the park is missing the "Chinese touch" and wishes the Disney designers had added a "Chinaland" to Adventureland, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland.

Then again, nurse Eunice Chu, 23, has no complaints: "We already have local culture in other places."

Disney portrays the park as an East-meets-West production. The entertainment goliath followed the advice of a feng shui specialist to improve the flow of qi, or natural energy, and put the park in harmony with its surroundings. Disney positioned the park's hotels to the northeast of the water, for instance, to "ensure prosperity." The main ballroom in the resort's convention center was designed to be 888 square meters (8 is a lucky number to the Chinese). By contrast, the resort hotels have no fourth floor; the numeral 4 signifies death.

Hong Kong Disneyland's eight restaurants offer a variety of Asian foods, including roast pork, dim sum and laksa, a curry noodle soup from Southeast Asia.

Disney expects to attract visitors from Hong Kong itself, mainland China and elsewhere in Asia. Spokeswoman Esther Wong characterizes attendance as "strong" but won't provide figures. On a recent weekday visit, the good-natured crowds are modest, and the lines for the attractions are short.

Hong Kong Disneyland has recruited staff members who can speak English, Cantonese (spoken in Hong Kong and southern China) and Mandarin (spoken elsewhere in China). Signs appear in English, in the traditional Chinese characters used in Hong Kong and Taiwan and in the simplified Chinese characters used in mainland China.

A trip to Disney is expensive, at least by the standards of mainland China, where the per-capita annual income for urban residents is less than $1,200. The park's entrance fee on weekends is $45 for adults and $32 for children.

But the most common complaint is the size of the park: At 310 acres, Hong Kong Disneyland is the smallest of Disney's five locations around the world. The next smallest, Tokyo Disney Resort, which opened in 1983 and has grown since then, covers 494 acres, including both Tokyo Disneyland Park and Tokyo Disney Sea.

Hong Kong Disneyland is scheduled to expand, too. Looking over the grounds, Teresa Chan declares: "It's a start."
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Old October 24th, 2005, 11:03 AM   #280
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They should actually build a mall with disney theming (eg, ikspiari in tokyo disney resort) Then people will stay there. When I was at japan's disneyland, I actually entered another world because it was a disney community by itself be it transport, malls, restaurants etc...
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