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Old February 8th, 2006, 09:40 AM   #341
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philip
If they had built the park bigger, they wouldn't have this problem. Hong Kong Disneyland filled to its capacity of 30,000 guests, with 1000 people denied entry on the Chinese New Year.

Disneyland in California has a capacity of 50,000, and Magic Kingdom in Disneyworld has a capacity of 55,000.

Hong Kong Disneyland, SOOOO SMALL !!!
again, it's only phase 1 of phase 1... meaning not only there's a phase 2 coming, phase 1 isn't complete by itself.

LA/OC has a lotta land to sprawl, but HK doesn't.
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Old February 8th, 2006, 09:47 AM   #342
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spicytimothy
again, it's only phase 1 of phase 1... meaning not only there's a phase 2 coming, phase 1 isn't complete by itself.

LA/OC has a lotta land to sprawl, but HK doesn't.
HK does if they do more reclamation and it's gonna be costly!
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Old February 8th, 2006, 07:48 PM   #343
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HK Disneyland has enough land to proceed with the next phases. I don't think there will be any more reclamation.
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Old February 9th, 2006, 03:14 AM   #344
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Only reclamation for the next park right?
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Old February 9th, 2006, 03:32 AM   #345
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They filled much more land than what the current Disney park occupies. There is a lot of room for expansion, and I say expansion is needed badly to quell local (HK) disappointment with the size of the park.
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Old February 9th, 2006, 03:37 AM   #346
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i thought Phase II has begun s.??
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Old February 10th, 2006, 12:38 AM   #347
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Hong Kong Disneyland gets lost in translation
Theme park hits snags in its effort to tap China market
By Geoffrey A. Fowler in Hong Kong and Merissa Marr in Los Angeles
9 February 2006
The Wall Street Journal Asia

FOURTEEN-YEAR-OLD Chinese tourist Li Zeng wandered Hong Kong Disneyland yesterday -- and left after two hours. Mr. Li isn't that familiar with Mickey Mouse and his companions, and he and his father didn't ride any rides, buy souvenirs or eat food. "We don't understand this park," said Mr. Li, waiting for his tour bus. "We gave up looking at the map."

Five months after Walt Disney Co. opened its Hong Kong theme park in a bid to tap the booming China market, the cultural divide that separates Mickey and Mr. Li is emerging as a major challenge. It is one that the company is now trying hard to bridge, though with mixed results.

The need to adapt was on full display here last week. After Disney underestimated the number of people who would visit during mainland China's week-long Lunar New Year holiday, vacationing crowds poured in, filling the park to its maximum capacity. Disney officials ordered the gates shut, and hundreds of angry Disneyland guests from China who held valid tickets found themselves unable to enter. Some engaged in shouting matches with park staff and at least one excluded family tried to pass a child over the park's wrought-iron fence.

Before last week, Disney's bigger problem wasn't too many visitors, but too few. It drew public rebuke over low attendance from local politicians, who questioned the wisdom of the Hong Kong government's 57% stake in the park. Local retailers said they didn't get the sales boost they were expecting from the new tourists Disneyland had promised to draw.

While Disney maintains that the park is overwhelmingly popular with most visitors, some travel agencies report confusion. "Many customers complain they do not know how to enjoy Disneyland," says Chen Mei, the international tours manager of the Ju Cheng agency, which brings groups to the park from the city of Zhongshan in southern China.

Some tourists show up at the park only to wander aimlessly around Main Street U.S.A., snap a few photos with Marie the Cat -- a character from the 1970s film "The Aristocats" -- and then leave. Marie is familiar to some from the movie's repeat showings in southern China, and also happens to look like another Asian favorite, Hello Kitty. However, Disney officials say their research indicates that in Asia, "the mouse beats the cat."

Disney trumpeted attempts to accommodate Chinese culture, some of which later drew fire. Conservationists attacked the company for planning to serve environmentally unfriendly shark's fin soup at banquets, and Disney later decided to forgo the practice. Efforts to woo local celebrities backfired when some complained of mistreatment by American Disney executives. Disney designed the park for Chinese tourists, who the company said preferred photo opportunities over roller coasters, yet many visitors now criticize the park for being too small.

The company is "still learning" about Chinese culture, said the park's managing director Bill Ernest on Saturday during an emotional public apology for last week's ticket fiasco. Said Jay Rasulo, the head of Disney's theme park division: "Part of the way we make people happy is that we listen, learn and adjust as necessary."

These lessons are crucial for Disney as Chief Executive Robert Iger holds what he calls "ongoing negotiations" to open a third Asian park in Shanghai and seeks to build the company's consumer products, movie and television business in China.

To help confused visitors like Mr. Li, since November Disney has started producing special "one-day trip guides" in Chinese, beyond the basic maps, to explain in clear terms exactly why to do -- and what to do inside -- Disneyland. "You can get together with family to relax and improve communication and relationships with the people you love," reads the guide. Disney hands out the fliers inside the park, and at other Hong Kong tourist attractions.

Mr. Rasulo says the guest experiences at the park are "some of the best in the world," with more than 90% of guests Disney interviewed last week saying they had a positive experience.

Making sure the Chinese travel industry is satisfied, too, remains a cultural challenge. When the Ju Cheng agency publicly threatened to sue over last week's ticket problem, Disney offered a conciliatory tone -- and refunds for people who couldn't come back on another day.

Even before last week's incident, Disney was changing the way it does business at the park. Disney has given VIP treatment to a new group of Chinese celebrities at its park to help woo fans. It cut the cost of tickets for local residents during a low period for tourists, and added a local promotion, snow, to Hong Kong's subtropical climate. Disney also now produces marketing that includes the testimonials of people who have visited the park, instead of slick studio shots.

Perhaps most significantly, Hong Kong Disneyland is changing the way it works with Chinese travel agents, some of whom have been reluctant to sell tickets. Zhang Jian, communications director of Jiangsu Overseas Travel Agency, complains that selling Disneyland tickets doesn't earn her company any money, "and when there are problems, we have to eat the cost and other troubles."

Most mainland Chinese still take vacations through package tours, and they currently make up about 50% of the Chinese visitors to the park. The guides who direct these tours frequently select hotels, restaurants, shopping stops and even tour destinations based on where they share in the profits. Because of lucrative deals with tour operators, one Hong Kong transvestite cabaret brags that its five-times-a-day $20 show draws more Chinese tourists on a regular basis than Disneyland.

Mr. Ernest says Disney, which doesn't have much experience with those sorts of financial arrangements, now realizes changing something as simple as how it offers dinners can make a big difference to the local travel industry. Currently, Hong Kong Disneyland doesn't offer tour packages for visitors from China that include pre-arranged dinners, standard fare for China. Without group dinner deals and considerable commissions, Disney wasn't offering guides much financial incentive to funnel tourists into the park. "We just weren't competitive," Mr. Ernest says, compared to the commissions and deals offered the industry at other attractions in Hong Kong.

Now Mr. Ernest says he is considering starting a "dining with Disney" program. That would be a good way, he says, to entertain guests after the nightly fireworks. Special group breakfasts with Disney characters are another option, he says.

To build relationships, Disney is also giving Chinese travel agents a 50% personal discount if they come visit its park and hotels. Disney also beefed up incentives for tour operators to build a Disneyland visit into packages by increasing the margin it offered them to about US$2.50 per adult ticket. It also changed its sales packages to include open-ended instead of just fixed-date tickets so that operators wouldn't have to eat the cost of returned tickets. It was that ticketing system combined with unexpected crowds, says Disney's Mr. Ernest, which created the problems last week.

Disney declines to release specific attendance figures. When Hong Kong legislators demanded some public accountability in late November, two months after the park's mid-September opening, Disney said that it had hosted more than one million guests. While that on average looked set to put the park behind its 5.6 million forecast for the opening year, Mr. Rasulo says the park still expects to reach that level.

With these changes, Disney officials say overall attendance is "ramping up," particularly among mainland Chinese tourists, whose attendance during the Lunar New Year period more than doubled compared to another week-long Chinese holiday in October.

Understanding the peaks and troughs of attendance is another thing Disney concedes it has yet to master. On last week's overload, Mr. Rasulo noted that Disney had a similar experience with the EuroDisney park based in Paris: after the first summer, the park was inundated in September with locals who had been putting off their trips to avoid the early wave of tourists.

Juying Qin in Hong Kong contributed to this article.
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Old February 10th, 2006, 04:55 AM   #348
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Disney will do better, says Tang
Wendy Leung
Hong Kong Standard
Friday, February 10, 2006

Financial Secretary Henry Tang said Thursday he is confident the Disneyland management will improve operational arrangements to avoid a repetition of the chaos that occurred during the Lunar New Year when hundreds of ticket holders were denied entry.

Tang made the comments after a four-hour meeting with the theme park's management at Central Government Offices. He said the government had expressed concern over the incident and the effect it would have on the tourism industry.

"Disney promised to learn from that incident and said it will adopt measures to improve admission arrangements during holidays and to communicate with the local and mainland travel industries," Tang said.

Disney managing director Bill Ernest said both sides had agreed to hold regular meetings since Hong Kong Disneyland was a joint project between Disney and the government.

"We talked specifically about the peak seasons, such as Christmas and Chinese New Year, and we talked about the ongoing success of Hong Kong Disneyland. We had a great meeting," Ernest said.

Meanwhile, Disney's public relations and sales team held a separate meeting with the travel industry in a bid to seek solutions to problems.

Hong Kong Association of Travel Agents chairman Michael Wu said Disney had promised to set up a hotline for travel agencies with regard to park admission arrangements.

"There's also to be a notification mechanism as well as arrangements enabling us to book in advance specific dates for our tours," Wu said.

Hong Kong Inbound Travel Association chairman Paul Leung confirmed the discussions but did not elaborate.

However, he said those who had pre- booked tickets and had not been able to enter the theme park could ask travel agencies for refunds.
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Old February 10th, 2006, 05:29 PM   #349
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Disney's Mobbed Kingdom
Besieged by would-be patrons, Hong Kong Disneyland had to turn many away. A PR debacle, it also has execs eyeing a second park in Shanghai
Bruce Einhorn
6 February 2006
BusinessWeek Online

The folks at Hong Kong Disneyland can't seem to catch a break. For months, the problem was that there were too few visitors at the new theme park, Disney's (DIS) first in Asia outside of Japan. Now there are too many. With China on a week-long holiday to celebrate Chinese New Year, tens of thousands of visitors from mainland China have descended on Hong Kong for a "Golden Week" of eating, shopping, and getting their picture taken with Mickey, Goofy, and the rest of the Disney gang.

The Hong Kong park, which opened in September, measures just 100 acres, making it Disney's smallest. But local officials -- the park is joint venture between the Hong Kong government and Disney -- hope that it will eventually grow to rival that of the original Magic Kingdom in Anaheim, Calif.

SELF-INFLICTED TROUBLES. To keep crowds from spilling out of Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Adventureland, and Main Street USA, Disneyland officials have set a maximum capacity of 30,000 visitors for the Hong Kong park. Until recently, that wasn't much of a problem. But during the Chinese New Year "Golden Week," the park has maxed out after just a few hours.

That's turned into a public relations disaster for Disney, as furious tourists denounce the Mouse. The top official of the park tried to control the damage on Saturday. "Unfortunately, because of the high demand, we were not able to accommodate everyone who came to the park," Bill Ernest, executive vice president and managing director of Hong Kong Disneyland, told a news conference. "No one is more disappointed about this than we are. And we apologize to those who have been inconvenienced."

It's partly a problem of Disney's own making. In early January, the Hong Kong park introduced a new ticketing system that gives a ticket holder the opportunity to visit for one day within a six-month period rather than on a specific day.

This move away from date-stamping tickets was in response to concerns from local travel agents and others that selling tickets that were limited to a set day wasn't flexible enough for Chinese tourists. Since admission is on a first-come, first-serve basis, if the park fills up quickly, many people who purchased their tickets in advance find themselves stuck outside with tearful children and nowhere to go.

OVER THE TOP. On Feb. 2, some irate ticketholders took matters into their own hands, scaling the fence surrounding the park. Newspapers quoted angry visitors denouncing Disney and Hong Kong. With visitors from China playing such an important role in Hong Kong's tourist and retail industry, the Hong Kong government has been quick to try to show the mainlanders that it cares about their gripes.

Following the fence-scaling on Thursday, the Hong Kong government issued a statement calling for Disneyland executives to do a better job. "We are concerned that this advance sales arrangement has caused a lot of inconvenience to guests who could not enter," read the statement. "We consider that there are areas for improvement such as the ticketing and guest-entry arrangements. We have reflected these concerns to the senior management of the theme park and requested them to make improvements."

The good news for Disney: people want to get in, which is a nice change from a few months ago. The park got off to an inauspicious start in late summer, when Hong Kong was in the grips of a heat-and-smog wave that made visibility poor and locals grumpy [see BW Online, 9/13/05, "Disney's Not-Do-Magic Kingdom"].

HITTING ITS NUMBERS. The launch was accompanied by some major public-relations problems, involving everything from serious overcrowding during the pre-launch test runs to the alleged mistreatment of stray dogs captured at the site. "It was a mess," says Allan Zeman, chairman of Ocean Park, the other government-owned theme park in Hong Kong. Adds Zeman: Many of the problems "were things that somebody who did their homework should have realized and understood."

Disneyland hasn't released attendance numbers, but Jay Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, says that the park is on course to hit its first-year target of 5.6 million visitors. In early January, there was a shakeup of top management, with managing director Don Robinson leaving the company. He was replaced by Bill Ernest, a Disney veteran who had served, among other positions, as vice-president of resort operations at Walt Disney World in Orlando.

While the Hong Kong part is certainly smaller than what visitors familiar with other Disney parks might expect, Rasulo says the plan is to eventually double its capacity. And, he adds, Disney is still talking with the Chinese government about opening a second Chinese Disney park. Despite a recent report in the South China Morning Post that the Beijing government was interested in hosting a Disney park, Rasulo says that Disney is eyeing another metropolis. "Shanghai is one of the most appealing places to us," he says.

"MIDCOURSE CORRECTIONS." A Shanghai park would still be many years off, though. The focus right now is on making Disney's Hong Kong offering work. The park will be adding several new attractions this year, including the Autopia car-driving ride in Tomorrowland. Rasulo also stresses that Disney is working more closely with travel agents specializing in arranging visits from mainland Chinese. "We've shifted a little," he says, "but these are not out-of-the-ordinary midcourse corrections."

If the crowds this week are any indication, the Chinese certainly seem to be interested in hanging out with Mickey and friends. Still, as the Golden Week problems demonstrate all too well, Disney has some work to do in order to make sure its first foray into China is a success.
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Old February 11th, 2006, 06:40 PM   #350
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Disneyland Photo Thread
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Old February 19th, 2006, 01:28 AM   #351
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By "GeForce3" from a Hong Kong photography forum :

#1


#2


#3


#4


#5


#6


#7


#8


#9


#10
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Old February 28th, 2006, 03:04 AM   #352
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Disneyland additions raise mixed reactions
Wendy Leung
Hong Kong Standard
Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Hong Kong Disneyland has aroused mixed reactions from the travel industry after announcing it will expand to include three new attractions by the summer.

Speaking at the Legislative Council economic services panel meeting, the park's managing director, Bill Ernest, said Monday that Disneyland, built largely with public funds, will use its own operational revenue to pay for the new attractions.

This was the first time the park officially announced it will go ahead with the interactive show Stitch's Encounter, and UFO Cool Zone, a water-themed play area the park began building last December, according to a filing with the Buildings Department.

Even before opening last September, Disney said it would push ahead with the third attraction, the classic car ride Autopia, but Monday was the first time they put a firm timeline on it.

Predicting the attractions will boost ticket sales for the park by 20 percent this summer, Hong Kong Association of Travel Agents chairman Michael Wu said it will especially appeal to "visitors from overseas and the mainland."

But Inbound Tours Operators Association chairman Charles Ng played down the new attractions since they "are mostly just for kids."

Also at the panel meeting, Tourism Commissioner Eva Cheng said Disney and the government are reviewing the existing facilities, which were found to be inadequate for a chaotic few days during the Lunar New Year.

Ernest, who took charge shortly before the holiday anarchy, said during the meeting "we won't have the problem again," predicting the May "golden week" holiday will be successful.

But he would not commit on whether the park will extend the number of special days - when only dated tickets gain entry - during the holiday.

On the fourth and fifth days of the Lunar New Year, the park turned away a large number of visitors who had tickets, because those days were deemed "special," sparking criticism that the park lacked understanding of traditional Chinese culture.

He said to ensure this does not happen again, the park is working with travel trade partners and doing surveys in the mainland to decide how many special days to designate for the coming golden week.

Secretary for Economic Development and Labour Stephen Ip, who with Financial Secretary Henry Tang meets regularly with Disney officials, warned: "if [a similar chaotic episode] happens again, we will deal with it very strictly."
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Old February 28th, 2006, 04:01 AM   #353
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great firework pics!
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Old February 28th, 2006, 03:52 PM   #354
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What doesn't have HK? It's like a little world
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Old March 1st, 2006, 06:47 PM   #355
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Hong Kong Disneyland to adjust admission system to prevent chaos during holidays
By HELEN LUK
1 March 2006

HONG KONG (AP) - Hong Kong Disneyland announced Wednesday it has adjusted its admission system to prevent chaos that erupted during the Chinese New Year holiday when hundreds of visitors tried to storm the park after being denied entry.

The adjustment involves setting aside 11 extra days -- around Easter and China's Labor Day holidays -- when only visitors holding date-specific tickets can enter the park, Hong Kong Disneyland Managing Director Bill Ernest said during a telephone conference call.

The newly designated "special days" run from April 14-21 and May 4-6. The decision came following consultations with the tickets' wholesalers and travel industry representatives, Disney said.

Hong Kong Disneyland, which opened in September, now sells three types of tickets: "regular days," "peak days" and "special days." The first two types are valid for six months but do not guarantee entry on any given day, while only the third type is date-specific tickets for holidays when the greatest number of visitors is expected.

During the Chinese New Year in late January, the Hong Kong Disneyland shut its gates after hundreds of mainland Chinese and Taiwanese ticket-holders tried to force their way in after being turned away as the park was already full. Some clambered over the park's iron gate.

The embarrassing incident prompted a public apology from Ernest, who promised to improve the admission system. Hong Kong's leader Donald Tsang also publicly criticized the company.

On Wednesday, the executive said he believes the new measure will help prevent such incidents from occurring in future.

"We do not want to close the gate again," Ernest said. "That is not an experience we want to repeat."

"We do believe that with these new special date, it really adds a sense of order and a lot more predictability when it comes to numbers of our guests on any particular day," he said.

Earlier this week, Disney said it planned to add three new attractions to the theme park as part of its expansion plan.

The additions are the Autopia electric car ride, Stitch Encounter, an interactive theater show, and UFO Zone, made up of water-squirting robot, rocket ship and flying saucer.

The three attractions, located in the Tomorrowland section of the park, will be open to the public this summer.

Ernest said July and August are already designated as peak months -- when ticket prices are 19 percent higher -- and the company has no immediate plan to set aside "special days" during those months.

Hong Kong Disneyland is a joint venture between The Walt Disney Co. and the Hong Kong government, which shouldered the bulk of the construction fee.
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Old March 8th, 2006, 06:23 PM   #356
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Hong Kong Disneyland too crowded: Chinese official
8 March 2006

HONG KONG (AP) - Hong Kong Disneyland is too crowded, a senior Chinese tourism official said Wednesday, hinting that another Disney park is necessary to accommodate demand from China's huge population.

The comments by Shao Qiwei, director of China's State Administration of Tourism, came a day after Shanghai's mayor Han Zheng said the city was preparing to build China's second Disney theme park.

"China has a very large population. We now have 1.3 billion people. The market is very large. As far as I know, Hong Kong Disneyland is now very crowded," said Shao, whose comments were broadcast on Hong Kong's Cable TV.

The Hong Kong theme park, which opened in September, was widely criticized in January when it turned away hundreds of Lunar New Year holiday makers from mainland China because the park was full. Chaos erupted when angry crowds tried to force their way into the park.

The embarrassing incident prompted a public apology from Hong Kong Disneyland Managing Director Bill Ernest and a dressing down from Hong Kong's leader Donald Tsang.

Authorities are carefully studying the issue of overcrowding in preparation for the possible building of the Disney park in Shanghai, Shao said.

The official Xinhua News Agency reported Tuesday that no agreement has been reached on the park in Shanghai, quoting senior vice president of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Leslie Goodman.

Hong Kong Disneyland is a joint venture between The Walt Disney Co. and the local government, which shouldered the bulk of the park's construction fees.
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Old March 16th, 2006, 06:53 AM   #357
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HK sees no threat in Shanghai's plan for Disney park
14 March 2006
Xinhua's China Economic Information Service

HONG KONG, March 14 (CEIS) -- Hong Kong tourism's competitiveness will not be threatened by Shanghai's proposal to build a new Disney theme park, Hong Kong economic development chief said on March 14.

There is no worry about Hong Kong Disneyland's attractiveness to tourists, even a new theme park is opened in Shanghai as proposed, said Stephen Ip, secretary for Economic Development and Labor of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).

The HKSAR government has long heard of Shanghai's plan to builda Disney theme park, though an agreement has yet been reached between the city authorities and Walt Disney Company, Ip told the Legislative Council (LegCo).

On the other hand, Hong Kong Disneyland still has an edge to attract visitors, for it has been in operation for less than one year and would project more new games in the future, said Ip.

Last week, during the annual session of the National People's Congress, Mayor of Shanghai Han Zheng confirmed that the city is making preparations to build a Disney theme park and waiting for the permission from the State Council.

The news has raised Hong Kong media's attention, though Han stressed that the two cities have long benefited and will continueto reap interests from cooperation rather than competition.

Since it opened seven months ago, Hong Kong Disneyland has attracted large number of visitors, many of whom from China's mainland, despite a series of public relations crisis.

During the Chinese New Year holidays in February, the park had to close its gate to hundreds of visitors holding pre-purchased tickets for it reached the maximum accommodation capability soon after opening.
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Old March 16th, 2006, 09:02 AM   #358
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With all the people in China a new park in Shanghai would be a huge benefit. At this point you can't have too much Disney entertainment to go around.
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Old March 26th, 2006, 08:59 AM   #359
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Disney offer criticised for failing to give tourists what they want
21 March 2006
South China Morning Post

Disneyland is offering free photographs, meals and souvenirs to lure more mainland and overseas visitors. It is also offering Hong Kong residents two visits for the price of one.

Tour operators, however, say the theme park has yet to catch up with what tourists really want.

From now until September 30, mainland or overseas guests buying tickets through a travel agent will get a souvenir, a "buy one, get one free" main-course meal, or a free photo on Space Mountain or from "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh" feature.

During the low season, from now until June, a special "Double the Magic" offer also entitles Hong Kong residents who buy a one-day ticket to visit the park a second visit free of charge. The second visit should be the same ticket type as the original and must be made by the same person.

The offer is not applicable to "special days", which include April 14 to 21, April 30 and May 1 to 6.

Senior vice-president of marketing Roy Tan Hardy said the special offers were based on tourists' needs. But Hong Kong Inbound Travel Association chairman Paul Leung Yiu-lam said the new arrangements were not very attractive to travel agents or visitors to Hong Kong.

"I don't think more people will go there just to get a free photo or a free meal," Mr Leung said. "Also, in most of the mainland cities, Ocean Park is still the icon of Hong Kong.

"Disneyland should work closely with travel agents on how to make the park a valuable part of the travelling experience in Hong Kong. People don't come to Hong Kong just because of Disneyland.

"Travel agents are not employees of Disneyland, and we have no responsibility to promote the park unless it can benefit the industry as a whole."

Legislator Fred Li Wah-ming welcomed the new incentives, but said the park should give more special offers to the disadvantaged.

"It makes sense to me to let more local people enjoy the park during low season," Mr Li said. "I wish the park would consider offering free or cheap tickets to low-income families, disabled people and senior citizens as well, because Hong Kong people have all invested in the park."
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Old April 5th, 2006, 05:17 AM   #360
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Disney a poor communicator: survey
Wendy Leung
Hong Kong Standard
Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Local residents generally still strongly support Hong Kong Disneyland, but most believe the company could communicate better with the public, a tourism academic said.

And while most Hong Kongers recognize the theme park's contribution to the economy and tourism industry, many are still concerned about the fairness of the deal to attract Disney to Hong Kong, the company's accountability, and the park's impact on the environment, said John Ap, an associate professor at Polytechnic University's School of Tourism and Hotel Management.

A survey conducted by the university last month and released Tuesday found mixed opinions about the park.

Of the 524 respondents, 86 percent expressed "continued and strong support" of Hong Kong Disneyland, with only 5 percent strongly opposed.

This is the highest figure recorded among similar surveys conducted by the university. The same number of people also welcomed the increase in tourists the park has been attracting to Hong Kong.

Nearly two thirds said "the benefits outweigh the costs" - compared with 76 percent who thought so when the last survey was conducted in 2004.

And regarding the administration's HK$13.6 billion deal to provide reclamation and infrastructure to attract Disney to Hong Kong, only 27 percent thought it was fair while 56 percent thought it was not.

Of the theme park's impacts on Hong Kong, respondents were most supportive of benefits such as employment and the economic contribution, but most critical of environmental issues such as noise and air pollution from nightly fireworks displays, and the effect on Chinese pink dolphins. Some 70 percent agreed that "opinions toward Hong Kong Disneyland have become more negative due to problems ... since opening."

Sixty-one percent said media coverage of the park was negative, while 11 percent said it was positive.

However, 46 percent said the coverage was fair while 29 percent believed it was not. But 71 percent claimed media reports had "no influence in shaping their opinions."

The theme park needs to address its governance, respondents said. Only 28 percent agreed that "Hong Kong Disneyland is a socially responsible company" while 47 percent disagreed.

Ninety-three percent agreed that "as a publicly funded project, the management of Hong Kong Disneyland should be accountable to the Hong Kong public," and 95 percent agreed that communication with the public should be improved.

Just under a third of respondents had visited the park, of whom 56 percent were satisfied with the experience while 22 percent were not.

Two thirds believed Disneyland would "complement rather than compete with Ocean Park" and 80 percent said both parks would offer comparable enjoyment.

"The interview opinions are more negative compared with previous survey results," Ap said.

"Knowing how the the community perceives the benefits and costs of a major tourism attraction such as Hong Kong Disneyland is essential to the development, viability and sustainability of this joint venture."
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