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Old January 23rd, 2011, 06:02 PM   #81
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We've lost trust in the big number projections
22 January 2011
South China Morning Post

The numbers for Disneyland are finally looking up. Visitor figures rose a respectable 13 per cent last year to 5.2 million, 100,000 more than rival attraction Ocean Park. Earnings before deductions for the first time ended in the black, although net revenue was still deep in negative territory. When, or if, the theme park breaks even remains guesswork, but there is at least a better feeling now about a project that the government brazenly oversold when foisting it on us.

At the heart of its efforts to convince were projections made when work began in 1999. They were glowing and optimistic, telling us that the HK$23 billion that would be taken from the public purse to build Disneyland in partnership with Walt Disney Company would be the soundest of investments. Returns of 10 per cent would start flowing from the first year of operation in 2005, based on 5.2 million visitors, later adjusted up to 5.6 million. Attendance would grow annually by 4.7 per cent for 16 years, eventually levelling off at 10.5 million. Over 40 years, we would reap HK$148 billion from the first phase alone.

They are impressive numbers, but ones that have turned out to be vastly exaggerated. Losses so far amount to more than HK$5 billion and attendance figures are 25 per cent down on original estimates. A lack of transparency meant that until an agreement between Disney and the government a year ago, we did not have an idea what was happening with a project in which we are 57 per cent shareholders - and that is despite putting up 80 per cent of the cost.

The possibility of profits is looking better with the latest figures, and perhaps more so with three new themed areas opening between the end of this year and 2014. But the launch of Shanghai Disneyland in three years could put paid to that. There is reason for scepticism. Since Hong Kong Disneyland was announced, our government has a record of getting projections wrong. The HK$35 billion Airport Express carries 29,000 passengers a day, one-third less than original estimates. All manner of bullish figures were thrown about over the Mandatory Provident Fund but, a decade after its launch, most of us have little to show for our contributions.

The worst miscalculation surely has to be the budget. In 2007-08, a surplus of HK$25.4 billion was forecast, which by the end of the financial year had jumped to HK$123.6 billion. It is happening again for 2010-11, with the anticipated deficit of HK$25.2 billion being far removed from the HK$70 billion surplus that accountancy firms say is in the offing.

Projections are a tricky business. They are based on a belief that trends will continue, even though they rarely do. Shocks and surprises abound, as we found during Sars and the global financial crisis. Regardless, many of our best and brightest are in the civil service. We should expect a smaller gap between predictions and reality, especially with those that are made year-on-year.

Some projections, such as those by the Census and Statistics Department, are reasonably accurate. But we have lost trust in those put forward by authorities to justify big infrastructure projects, like the HK$65.2 billion rail line to suburban Guangzhou and the bridge to Zhuhai and Macau. Both were pushed through with limited public debate and consultation. Such was the case with Disneyland.

Projections are essential for policy forecasting and planning. Getting them wildly wrong could be perceived as poor management, not understanding needs or favouring vested interests. If the government has proposals that dip deep into public funds, the public should be heavily involved in determining their worth.
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Old February 13th, 2011, 04:33 PM   #82
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Now you can be officially madly in love with a Disney marriage proposal certificate
12 February 2011
South China Morning Post

Nothing, they say, is certain except death and taxes. Now add to the list the success rate of marriage proposals at Hong Kong Disneyland - a remarkable 100 per cent, or so it's claimed.

The number of proposals made there is rising faster than our property prices, having almost tripled in one year from 86 proposals in 2009 to 216 last year.

So, what's so special about this magical kingdom?

Nervous suitors are not alone when it comes to popping that all-important question. They can ease their worries in the knowledge that plenty of assistance is at hand.

"In recent years, more and more people want to propose in the romantic setting of Disney Resort and are enlisting our help," says guest service manager Kenneth Lai.

Disney offers tailor-made services to help guests make their dreams come true. Planning and rehearsals are done weeks in advance and you can even invite Mickey and Minnie as guests of honour.

Once the proposal has been accepted, the happy couple will be "certified" to be officially madly in love by being given a "Disney Marriage Proposal Certificate".

But as that fine-print investment advice always says: "Past performance is no guarantee of future results."
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Old February 15th, 2011, 03:57 PM   #83
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Crowd 'control' pays off
The Standard
Monday, February 14, 2011

Disneyland attracted a near-record high of more than 30,000 visitors a day over the Lunar New Year holiday thanks to a deliberate strategy of aiming for visitor comfort.

"We can accommodate up to 36,000 visitors a day and still comply with government safety rules," Andrew Kam Min-ho, managing director of Hong Kong Disneyland, told The Standard. "However, out of consideration for the quality of guest experiences, we won't reach the full capacity."

In 2006, the park hosted the largest number of visitors during a new year that turned into chaos.

Visitors queued for hours for attractions, and Disneyland was forced to turn away hundreds of people and reimburse their tickets.

Recalling that time, Kam said: "Recently, we had only 200 people fewer than the record high we had five years ago." But he did not reveal the exact figure.

Rival Ocean Park, which recently opened its Aqua City aquarium complex, also received more than 30,000 visitors a day over the Lunar New Year. The park was forced to stop selling tickets in the mornings for the February 5-7 period.

At Disneyland, a survey shows each visitor on average spends six hours in the park, visiting six attractions or games on normal days. Visitors spend 30 minutes more in the park on peak days.

"A crowded feeling and very long queues are what we want to avoid," said Kam. "We hope visitors have more or less the same experience on both peak days and normal days."

Kam revealed his "industry engineering" tactics in managing people flow in the park.

First, annual pass holders are prohibited from visiting during the Lunar New Year as most are locals who may well travel outside the SAR.

Second, since about half of the visitors are mainlanders who travel under the individual visit scheme, which the park cannot control, it collaborates with travel agencies by assigning visiting times for groups.

Third, visitors are asked to fill up all the spaces on amusement rides. There are also more attractions to divide people's attention so they do not throng at the same place.

For instance, a new parade that can draw 16,000 watchers has been launched. And acrobats and games between staff and visitors - like holding a cardboard picture frame for picture taking - can draw 100 watchers.

Meanwhile, to keep staff smiling, all park workers get pay rises of 1-5 percent this month. They also collect a bonus of 30 percent of monthly salary. The park employs 400 staff for its two hotels, 1,000 performers, 2,000 frontline employees and 1,000 people in head office.

Operational costs reached HK$2.79 billion in 2010, only 7 percent more than HK$2.61 billion in 2009.

Kam is confident the business can break even in 2014. It continued to record a net loss last year, though the amount narrowed to HK$720 million from HK$1.3 billion.

A record 5.2 million visitors were welcomed last year, up 13 percent, and the two hotels in the park have an occupancy rate of 99 percent.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 03:28 PM   #84
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It really looks nice, I Like It
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Old February 21st, 2011, 03:36 PM   #85
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What's new at HK Disneyland
13 February 2011
Philippine Daily Inquirer

When a famous theme park turns five, there's nothing to do but just party

IT'S THE middle of winter in Hong Kong at the moment, but the weather is just right to enjoy the sights, sounds and rides of a much-loved theme park, Hong Kong Disneyland.

Being five years old, it is the youngest yet one of the fastest-growing of the Disney theme parks. Having attracted 25 million visitors, and the Philippines being one of the Top 5 nations who visit the park every year, it is no surprise we Filipinos play a huge part in making Hong Kong Disneyland a very big success.

Quoting a famous line from Walt Disney, “Disneyland will never be completed. It will always be growing and adding new things; new ways of having fun and sharing the many exciting adventures which may be experienced here in the company of friends and family.” Perhaps with the help of a little bit of pixie dust Hong Kong Disneyland has added a number of new attractions and things to see and will be introducing more in years to come.

Tinkerbell's Castle

“Celebration in the Air” is the theme for the park's fifth-year celebration and it also marks Tinker Bell's introduction to the park. Every evening, guests will be treated with a dazzling illumination show lighting up the iconic Disneyland Castle.

Flights of Fantasy Parade

The Disney theme parks are known for having such great detail on everything, from the buildings, to the rides and also the parades. Their new Flights of Fantasy parade is another showcase of Disney's expert craftsmanship. The float designs are like moving canvases which depict your favorite Disney movies, plus the performers are hoisted 40 feet up in the air for jaw-dropping stunts.

Toy Story Land

Another thing to look forward to in Hong Kong Disneyland is the opening of new attractions like Toy Story Land, which will open by late 2011. Guests will get to enjoy exploring life-size toys, a drop-style parachute attraction plunging from a 25-meter-tall tower, and a shuttle coaster.

Two additional areas will also be built which will only be unique in Hong Kong Disneyland: Mystic Point and Grizzly Gulch, set to be finished by 2014.

The shopping

For the “older” kids who want to buy Disney stuff with a touch of designer, explore the new Center Street Boutique, filled with graphic shirts, designer bags, sequined clutches—giving that whole “Mickey cool.”
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Old April 16th, 2011, 06:56 PM   #86
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Hong Kong Disneyland To Complete Expansion Plan Ahead Of Schedule
8 April 2011

HONG KONG - (Dow Jones) - Hong Kong Disneyland will complete the first phase of its expansion plan in 2013, one year ahead of schedule, and is considering further enlarging the theme park, the theme park's Managing Director said Friday.

"The next round of site expansion is necessary," Andrew Kam told reporters on a conference call, adding it has sufficient land for further expansion. He said he hasn't started discussions with the government about the next round of expansion.

Walt Disney Co. (DIS) and its Chinese government-owned business partners broke ground at Shanghai Disneyland Friday morning. Kam said he doesn't foresee competition with Shanghai Disneyland, as the two theme parks have their own characteristics.

"We have no much overlapping market with Shanghai Disneyland," Kam said, as China is a growing market with a huge population that is large enough to accommodate more than one Disney resort.

Hong Kong Disneyland, which is 53%-owned by the Hong Kong government and 47%-owned by Walt Disney Co., has suffered from weak attendance and net losses since it opened in September 2005.

Critics have pointed to its size--it is the smallest of Disney's theme parks--and a lack of attractions that appeal to its key target market of mainland Chinese tourists, who are often unfamiliar with Disney stories and characters.

In hopes of boosting attendance, the Hong Kong government and Walt Disney Co. reached an agreement in 2009 to expand Hong Kong Disneyland by adding three new themed lands to a total of seven by the end of an expansion project in 2014.
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Old May 11th, 2011, 07:55 PM   #87
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Market 'big enough for both of us'
9 April 2011
SCMP

The China market is big enough for two Disneylands, the local theme park's chief said yesterday.

As Shanghai started work on its own Disneyland, the managing director of Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, Andrew Kam Min-ho, said the two parks would attract tourists from different parts of the country. Both would benefit from a boom in the region's travel industry.

"Asia, including China, is a growing market with a population of several billion, large enough to welcome more than one Disney resort," he said.

Shanghai Disneyland will target those who live in the Yangtze River Delta area, while Hong Kong's visitors came from southern China and Southeast Asia, Kam said. "Not many" people from the Yangtze River Delta visited the HK park, he said, while refusing to give exact figures.

As to whether there would be a drop in numbers from overlapping markets, Kam said it would depend on the overall attractiveness of Hong Kong and Shanghai as tourist destinations.

The local park, which has yet to break even, aims to attract more visitors with an expansion. Three new attractions will be added by the end of 2013. Toy Story Land will open before Christmas, while Mystic Point and the Grizzly Gulch mining town with roller coaster will open in 2012 and 2013.

The two parks will have different attractions and Kam said he hoped tourists would go to both of them.

HK Disneyland last year welcomed 5.2 million guests, an increase of 13 per cent from 2009. But it still suffered a loss of HK$720 million. The mainland was the biggest source of visitors - providing 42 per cent of the total.

The government has a 53 per cent stake, with the Walt Disney Company owning the rest.

Hong Kong Association of Travel Agents chairman Paul Leung Yiu-lam said Hong Kong would stay competitive with its other attractions.

"Disneyland is not the only reason tourists come to Hong Kong," he said. "Shopping is still their number one priority. There is also Ocean Park, whose tickets are cheaper."

Tourism sector lawmaker Paul Tse Wai-chun said Hong Kong still trumped Shanghai in terms of people's ability to speak both English and Chinese. This made it appeal to Southeast Asian visitors, he said.
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Old July 18th, 2011, 06:09 PM   #88
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Disney fails to dispel costs hex
The Standard
Friday, July 08, 2011

Admission fees to Hong Kong Disneyland are expected to rise by 10 percent from August 1, with a formal announcement expected as early as today.

A source said the new prices will first apply to non-locals buying tickets on the spot. SAR residents will be spared until the end of this year. Group tickets booked by tour operators will also not be affected immediately.

One-day tickets for adults will rise from HK$350 to a level slightly below HK$400.

The park last increased the prices of annual passes by up to 40 percent in March.

The source said despite price increases for some types of tickets, the park will be offering sweeteners though details have not been released.

The theme park, the source said, has long maintained contact with stakeholders including tour agencies, which found the increase "acceptable."

A Disneyland spokesman said yesterday he had no news on the price hike plan.

The park's net loss fell 45 percent to HK$718 million for the year to October 2. It was HK$1.31 billion in 2009 and HK$1.57 billion in 2008.

It will add three themed areas by mid-2014, enlarging the size of the park by about 23 percent. Toy Story Land, the first, is slated to open year-end. The others are Grizzly Gulch and Mystic Point.
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Old August 19th, 2011, 06:56 AM   #89
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Hong Kong Kisneyland, with that empty area to the east, is going to easily reach its maximum buildout area. The land to the east is owned by some other entity or is the reclaimed land is specifically for the Hong Kong Disneyland?
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Old August 19th, 2011, 07:28 AM   #90
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I believe the entire reclamation is for Disneyland. The space on the other side of the entrance is for a future 2nd disney park, like CA Adventure in SoCal, or DisneySea in Tokyo.
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Old August 21st, 2011, 06:01 PM   #91
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Believe the whole reclamation is for future expansions of the park. I don't recall anyone else planning to build other things there.
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Old September 11th, 2011, 04:36 PM   #92
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Story of 1,000 more Disneyland jobs
The Standard
Friday, September 09, 2011

Hong Kong Disneyland is recruiting 1,000 staff for its biggest expansion since it opened in 2005, and this includes Asia's first Toy Story Land, which is scheduled to open in November.

"In addition to increasing our physical footprint by 23 percent, the new projects will increase overall park attractions, entertainment facilities and shows to more than 100," park managing director Andrew Kam Min-ho said.

With the new attraction, daily visitor arrivals are expected to rise from 38,000 to 40,000.

Visitors to Toy Story Land will feel dwarfed by the oversized characters of Slinky Dog, Toy Soldier Parachute Drop and RC Racer - characters from the movie Toy Story.

Kam said the whole expansion includes the development of three new theme areas and costs are within estimates. He declined to say how much but earlier reports put the figure at HK$3.6 billion.

The park has no plans to raise admission fees, currently HK$399, before two other areas - Grizzly Gulch and Mystic Point - are completed.

Kam does not see the planned Disneyland in Shanghai, which is expected to open in 2016, as a rival.

He believes the park on Lantau Island will remain a favorite with locals and mainlanders alike.

It saw its net loss narrow to HK$718 million last year, compared to HK$1.32 billion in 2009.
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Old September 12th, 2011, 02:18 PM   #93
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I found Ocean Park to be more fun. Besides, everyone I've talked to who've visited both Ocean Park and Hong Kong Disneyland agreed with me.
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Old November 26th, 2011, 04:34 PM   #94
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Time for Disney game changer
The Standard
Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Hong Kong Disneyland Resort invited guests from all walks of life to experience Toy Story Land ahead of the official opening of the themed area last week.

Managing director Andrew Kam Min-ho was on the job during the trial run, which helped get staff up to speed and iron out any kinks.

Other parts of the theme park were also bustling with visitors, and the lineup for games seemed to be longer than usual.

It has been said that Hong Kong Disneyland is somewhat cramped and smaller than most Disney theme parks in other parts of the world.

Nevertheless, the mere fact that visitor numbers have soared should be justification enough for an expansion of the theme park.

Toy Story Land, based on the Disney-Pixar film series, has only three attractions, which led some people to question why its management had not held back the opening until more facilities or even more thrilling adventures come onstream for a "grander" debut.

But seeing how packed the park is, it is clearly wiser to start new facilities as soon as they are ready.

During protracted negotiations with Disney on the terms of the Hong Kong setup, the government had insisted on being the majority shareholder.

An agreement was subsequently reached under which certain parts of the shareholder's loan, to be provided by Hong Kong, were converted to shares.

Such an arrangement lowered interest costs and let park construction move ahead without further delays, which could have damaged business prospects as well
as reputation.

The compromise has proven to be a sensible move by both parties.

After all, in a fast-growing market, it is always wiser to get the cake first, so to speak, than to engage in endless haggling over how to split it. Siu Sai-wo is chief editor of Sing Tao Daily
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Old November 28th, 2011, 10:08 AM   #95
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This one is exciting! This is wonderful to those people who are young at heart. I'm a big fan of Toy Story and I've heard that there will be a Toy Story land and two areas unique to Hong Kong Disneyland.
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Old December 12th, 2011, 09:33 AM   #96
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Toy-rific fun begins at Disney
The Standard
Friday, November 18, 2011

Kids waiting for the film Toy Story 4 have the next best thing: Toy Story Land.

It opens today at Disneyland, which now boasts more than 100 attractions, entertainment facilities and shows.

And with Christmas just around the corner, the park is also presenting a whimsical celebration called Santa Mickey's Toy-rific Street Party from today until January 2.

Toy Story Land has six attractions - Giant Slinky Dog Spin, RC Racer, Toy Soldier Parachute Drop, Toy Soldier Boot Camp, Barrel of Fun and Cubot.
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Old December 12th, 2011, 07:30 PM   #97
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I visited this place in September 2010 and had a good time. It turned out better than I thought it would be and it's the only Disney park I've been too.
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Old December 12th, 2011, 08:20 PM   #98
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With the new expansions, how much time (on average) do you think is needed to complete everything at HK Disneyland?

Or does the whole experience now require two days (i.e. like the Disney theme parks in America)?

P.S.
Personally, I was hoping that it can be done in a whole day (i.e. I personally find it a hassle to come back the following day).
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Old December 13th, 2011, 12:36 AM   #99
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I spent a day there and until the expansion is complete, there aren't enough attractions to merit more than several hours in the park.
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Old December 15th, 2011, 04:48 PM   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackraven View Post
With the new expansions, how much time (on average) do you think is needed to complete everything at HK Disneyland?

Or does the whole experience now require two days (i.e. like the Disney theme parks in America)?

P.S.
Personally, I was hoping that it can be done in a whole day (i.e. I personally find it a hassle to come back the following day).
It only added three more rides. You can still finish in one day.
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