Hong Kong Disneyland Resort

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Hong Kong Disneyland Resort
Hong Kong Disneyland Logo.svg
Traditional Chinese 香港迪士尼樂園度假區
Hong Kong Disneyland Resort (June 2011)

The Hong Kong Disneyland Resort (Chinese: 香港迪士尼樂園度假區) is a resort built by the Government of Hong Kong and The Walt Disney Company in Hong Kong on reclaimed land beside Penny's Bay, at the northeastern tip of Lantau Island, approximately two kilometres from Discovery Bay. Officially opened on 12 September 2005, the resort contains the Hong Kong Disneyland theme park, the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, Disney's Hollywood Hotel, and several retail, dining and entertainment facilities covering 1.3 square kilometres (320 acres) of the island.

The Hong Kong Disneyland Resort is the second extension into Asia after the opening of the Tokyo Disney Resort more than 20 years ago. Currently, the Resort is overseen by managing director Andrew Kam who reports to Bill Ernest, President and managing director, Disney Parks & Resorts, Asia.

History and development[edit]

Concept and background[edit]

A joint-venture company, Hong Kong International Theme Parks Limited (HKITP), was created in 1999 with Disney investing US$316 million for a 43% equity stake in the project. The Phase One build-out included a projected 10 million annual visitor Disneyland-style theme park, 2,100 hotel rooms, and an area for retail, dining and entertainment. The project was estimated to create 18,000 jobs at opening (both Disney and other employment) and up to 36,000 jobs over the following 20 years. The Hong Kong Government estimated that the first phase of the project will generate a present economic value of HK$ 148 billion (US$19 billion), or about 6% of gross domestic product (GDP) in benefits to Hong Kong over 40 years of operation.

Construction[edit]

Hong Kong Disneyland Resort under construction (October 2004)

The construction of the resort itself started in January 2003, and it opened on 12 September 2005. Inspiration Lake, an artificial lake of some 12 hectares, was also created to serve the resort's water irrigation needs.

In an effort to avoid cultural friction similar to what happened when Euro Disney Resort opened in France, Disney has taken efforts to make this new park reflect the local culture. Feng shui consultants have helped with the layout of the park and the grounds.[1] Incense was burned when the construction of each building was completed, and one of the main ballrooms is 888 square meters in size, as eight is an auspicious number in Chinese culture, signifying fortune. The hotels will skip the number four when numbering of their floors because four is considered bad luck. Hong Kong Disneyland Cast Members speak English, Cantonese, and Mandarin. Around 500 of the Grand Opening Team were trained at Walt Disney World Resort while their home park was being constructed.

Controversies[edit]

Shark fin soup controversy

Disney originally planned to serve shark fin soup, a traditional Chinese delicacy, at wedding banquets.[2] Animal rights groups protested in June 2005, citing the declining shark population in global waters and the cruel methods sometimes used of cutting the fin and discarding the live sharks back into the water.

At first, Disney removed shark fin soup from its menu but said it would still offer the soup if their clients insisted on having it served at their wedding. They said they would distribute leaflets about shark conservation to discourage the choice.[3]

However, after constant and continuous pressure from environmental groups and schoolchildren,[4] shareholders concerned about the company's image, Disney announced on 24 June 2005 that shark fin soup will not be served at all, because, according to their press release, "After careful consideration and a thorough review process, we were not able to identify an environmentally sustainable fishing source, leaving us no alternative except to remove shark's fin soup from our wedding banquet menu."[5]

Other controversies
  • Fish around Ma Wan died as a result of land reclamation.[6]
  • Health inspectors were asked to remove their caps and badges when coming to inspect the facility after several reports of food poisoning. Although two of the officers did so, the department has taken offence.[7]

Opening day[edit]

Park Promenade

On 12 September 2005, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and its theme park, Hong Kong Disneyland, officially opened. The park was projected to attract five to six million visitors in its opening year, mostly locals, tourists from mainland China and nearby Asian countries. Initially, the resort gained success during rehearsal stages; however, not long after the park officially opened, many locals criticised the size of the park and the attractiveness of the rides and attractions in the park.

The World Tourism Organization predicts that the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort will become one of the world's largest tourist destinations within the next fifteen years.

Future Expansion[edit]

The Hong Kong Government has made it clear to the public and Disney that there is land next to the resort for a second theme park and several more hotels, but with a much higher price than what Disney paid for the land they already own, the government is liable to sell the land to one of Disney's theme park industry rivals. Names rumoured to be looking at the land feature NBC Universal, Six Flags and Anheuser Busch. Many view this move as a way of getting more money out of Disney, as the government does not actually want another company to build a separate theme park in the area.[citation needed]

Currently, a new shopping district (see Downtown Disney) and the third hotel are taken into discussions. For long-term construction, with the reclaimed land reserved for the Phase Two Extension and the Disneyland park being blocked by the Park Promenade, a pedestrian walkway which links the Disneyland Resort Station, Disneyland park, Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, and Disneyland Resort Pier. It is expected that a second Disney theme park will be built on that site. A Phase Three Extension is also being considered by the Walt Disney Company and the Hong Kong Government.

On 10 January 2012, The Standard reports that Hong Kong Disneyland plans to build 4 more hotels. Disneyland's proposal includes building one large hotel and three smaller vacation-style hotels to be connected by a mini-tram system.[8]

On 14 June 2012, the Hong Kong Economic Times reports that the Government of Hong Kong is hoping to start discussion with Hong Kong Disneyland about building a second Disney theme park for the resort.[9]

Location[edit]

The Hong Kong Disneyland Resort is located at Penny's Bay, at the northeastern side of Lantau Island, approximately two kilometres from Discovery Bay. Peng Chau is directly to the south of the resort.

The complex[edit]

Theme parks[edit]

  • Hong Kong Disneyland Park, based on and modelled after the original Disneyland park in California, features seven themed areas: Main Street USA, Adventureland, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, Grizzly Gulch, Mystic Point and Toy Story Land.

Other recreational facilities[edit]

  • Inspiration Lake, an artificial lake for recreational purpose and also serves the source of irrigation for the resort.

Hotels[edit]

Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel

There are two hotels in the Resort, located on the seashore of the reclaimed land with about 1,000 rooms in total.[10] There is also land reserved for a third Disney hotel, which will be located between Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel and Disney's Hollywood Hotel; however, construction will not begin till 2011 because the site is currently being used for sporting activities.[11]

Transport[edit]

Near Disney Public Transport Interchange (PTI)

The Resort has the key advantage of being linked to Hong Kong's public transit system. It is accessible via train from Hong Kong International Airport and the city centre.

Inside the Resort a free shuttle bus service is operated serving hotel guests.

Operation[edit]

Recruitment[edit]

Maintenance[edit]

Emergency Services[edit]

The Hong Kong Disneyland Resort maintains a private security staff charged with protecting the resort's assets and interests, including controlling access to restricted areas, detaining shoplifters, enforcing park/resort rules, and imposing and enforcing trespass warnings. Law enforcement outside the authority of Hong Kong Disneyland Resort Security is the jurisdiction of the Hong Kong Police Force, which maintains a regular 24-hour presence at the Resort.

The Penny's Bay Fire Station Ambulance Depot and Penny's Bay Police Post built by the Hong Kong Government serve the surrounding areas in Penny's Bay, Lantau and the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. They are grouped in a complex located at the corner bounded by the Fantasy Road and Magic Road.

Executive Management[edit]

The managing director of Hong Kong Disneyland Resort is Andrew Kam, who reports to Bill Ernest, President and managing director, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, Asia. Ernest reports to Thomas O. Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

Current Management

  • managing director, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort – Andrew Kam
    • Vice-President, Park Operations – Noble Coker
    • Vice-President, Hotel Operations – Peter Lowe
    • Vice-President, Entertainment and Costuming – Loren Jordan
    • Vice-President, Marketing – Maple Lee
    • Vice-President, Sales and Travel Trade Marketing – Aliana Ho
    • Vice-President, Public Affairs – Bing-chung Lo
    • Director, Project Management, WDI – Ian Price
    • Director, Creative Development and Show Quality, WDI – Theron Skees

Past Management:

  • managing director, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort — Bill Ernest (2006–2008; President of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, Asia, 2008–Present)
  • managing director, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort – Don Robinson (2001–2006)

Performance of the Resort[edit]

2005–2006: Performance for the first year[edit]

During the opening of Hong Kong Disneyland in September 2005, most Hong Kong Residents criticised the size of the park and the attractiveness of the rides and attractions in the park. In addition to this, during Chinese New Year 2006, many visitors from the mainland bore valid tickets but were refused entrance to the park. Some disgruntled visitors attempted to force their way into the park by climbing over the closed barrier gates. The reputation of the resort was tarnished by this incident. The park was unable to drag as many mainland visitors as before in the coming Labour Day Holidays in May 2006. After the incident, Disney made it so that admission on days close to (public) holidays only happens if the person has a date specific ticket.

To boost the park attendance, Hong Kong Disneyland introduced Summer Passes in summer 2006 to attract more visitors. Each Summer passholder could visit the park unlimitedly throughout summer 2006 for just HK$450. The park also provided exclusive treats for the Summer Passholder in the summer holidays to encourage them to visit the park several times, such as extending the operating hours of Fantasyland for passholders and releasing limited pins for passholders to purchase. Apart from these, the park offered free tickets to the friends and family members of the cast members. Each cast member can invite a limited number of friends and family members to visit Disneyland every day during the summer. Although the park had sold more than 60,000 Summer Passes throughout summer 2006, the park missed its target of 5.6 million in its first year, with only about 5.2 million guests entering the park during the first year of operation. The government overestimated Hong Kong Disneyland's attendance numbers during the Asian Financial Crisis.[14] Rumour suggested that the relatively low-key celebration of the 1st Anniversary was due to the disappointing performance of the theme park.[15]

October 2006 – present[edit]

Annual Passes were introduced and released by the Disney park in September 2006 after its success in selling 60,000 Summer Passes. The theme park also continued to lure more visitors by holding Disney's Halloween for the very first time in October 2006. However, the Halloween event could hardly help boosting the attendance, but the park planned to have a larger and more scary Disney's Haunted Halloween event in 2007 with an exclusive new attraction called Main Street Haunted Hotel and a new night-time 7-float festive parade during the event period. Furthermore, Hong Kong Disneyland extended the length of most festive celebrations, such as Christmas and Chinese New Year, in the year of 2006–2007. It also introduced Pirate Takeover to celebrate the release of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End from May 2007 throughout summer 2007. However, the Hong Kong park's attendance continued to be disappointing according to the Walt Disney Company's third-quarter performance released in August 2007.[16] In addition, the South China Morning Post estimated the attendance of Hong Kong Disneyland will reach 4 million in its second year, far lower than its first year of operation, citing unnamed sources. The SCMP's sources are still unknown, and some of its speculation is a bit overly optimistic[according to whom?].[17] In the first year, Hong Kong Disney purportedly missed its attendance target of 5.6 million by 400,000. And that year the park reported a loss of 363 million Hong Kong dollar (46.5 million USD). In the second year (2007), the park reported a loss of HK$1.261 billion (161 million USD). If Hong Kong Disney were priced to break even in the first year, the expected per visitor spending at the park must be at least $906 Hong Kong ($116 US). Assuming the same per visitor spending at the park for 2007, the park attracted about 4.2 million people. However, the most expensive full-fare ticket one can purchase from Hong Kong Disney is just $350 HK ($45 US).[18] Therefore, in all likelihood, Hong Kong Disney has attracted far fewer visitors than 4 million in 2007.

In December 2007, the Disney park admitted that the park had only attracted 4 million visitors in the year 2006–2007, which had fallen 23 percent when compared to the first year attendance.[19][20] To attract more visitors, the park has announced to add four new attractions, apart from the already-announced It's a Small World, in 2008.

In February 2008, the Walt Disney Company announced that the attendance of Hong Kong Disneyland had increased, according to the company's first-quarter performance.[21] Besides, the park attendance is expected to be boosted in 2008 after the opening of the new attraction, "it's a small world", and other new additions such as High School Musical: LIVE!, Muppet Mobile Lab and Turtle Talk with Crush. Also, the Walt Disney Company is now negotiating with the Hong Kong government in starting the Phase 1 Extension next to Adventureland. Some construction works have been started in Adventureland since May 2008.

In August 2008, according to the reports of the local newspapers, the attendance of Hong Kong Disneyland has improved, and it may reach 4.5 million in the third year of operation (2007–2008). Speculation is that the attendance may even reach 5.6 million, according to South China Morning Post.[citation needed]

Due to the success of the Halloween event in 2007, Hong Kong Disneyland announced the return of Disney's Haunted Halloween in mid September to 1 November 2008 to compete with the Halloween event held by its local competitor, Ocean Park. Hong Kong Disneyland Park will expand the festive atmosphere into Adventureland and add a brand new haunted house attraction: Demon Jungle, beyond the Disneyland Railroad track. Also, Main Street Haunted Hotel will also be back in Main Street, USA with new additions.

Timeline[edit]

  • 1998
    • August – The Walt Disney Company and the Government of Hong Kong announce their intention to construct a theme park in Hong Kong
  • 1999
    • February – Penny's Bay, Lantau Island is announced as the future site of the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort
    • 10 December – Disney and the Hong Kong Government sign an agreement for building the second Disney Resort in Asia which includes a Disneyland-style park, originally called Disneyland Asia
  • 2003
    • 12 January – Construction on Hong Kong Disneyland Resort begins.
  • 2004
    • 22 November – Disney and the Hong Kong Government announce the opening day of the park has been re-scheduled from 2006 to 12 September 2005
  • 2005
    • 15 February – The Resort Hotel Reservations Hotline launches
    • 5 May-The Resort celebrates 50th Anniversary with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
    • 12 September – Hong Kong Disneyland opens to the public at 13:00 local time

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Laura M. Holson (25 April 2005). Disney bows to feng shui. The New York Times. Retrieved 12 February 2011
  2. ^ Yung, Chester (31 May 2005). End this 'barbaric and cruel waste'. The Standard. Retrieved 5 May 2007.
  3. ^ Hui, Sylvia (10 June 2005). Disney takes shark's fin off menu. The Standard. Retrieved 5 May 2007.
  4. ^ Crets & Hui (13 June 2006). New shark slap at Disney. The Standard. Retrieved 5 May 2007.
  5. ^ Under-fire Disney takes shark's fin off menu at Hong Kong park. Monster and Critics, 24 June 2005. Accessed 5 May 2007.
  6. ^ Kan, Wendy (25 December 2000). Smells a Little Fishy. Times Asia. Retrieved 5 May 2007.
  7. ^ Disney launches new HK theme park. BBC News. 12 September 2005. Retrieved 5 May 2007.
  8. ^ Disney wishes more hotels Staff reporter. The Standard. Tuesday, 10 January 2012.
  9. ^ 海洋公園次輪擴建-料涉30億 (Ocean Park second phase expansion to cost about HK$3 billion) Hong Kong Economic Times. Thursday, 14 June 2012.
  10. ^ Hong Kong Disneyland Resort News Archives 2002. Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. 21 November 2002. Retrieved 31 July 2007.
  11. ^ The HKDL Source: Disney Plans Third Hotel. The HKDL Source. 25 July 2007. Retrieved 31 July 2007.
  12. ^ Victorian Opulence and Modern Luxury at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. 9 August 2005. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
  13. ^ Hollywood Hotel Art Deco Gem of the Resort. Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. 9 August 2005. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
  14. ^ "Disney set to miss mark on visitors", The Standard, 5 September 2006.
  15. ^ "Disneyland finds little to celebrate on its anniversary", The Standard, 12 September 2006.
  16. ^ "TV, theme parks boost Disney's profit", USA Today, 2 August 2007.
  17. ^ "Attendance woes for Hong Kong Disney: report", AFP, 16 August 2007.
  18. ^ "Hong Kong Disney Homepage"
  19. ^ "Hong Kong Disneyland Visitors Fall 23 Percent", Bloomberg, 18 December 2007.
  20. ^ "Hong Kong Disneyland Visitors Plunge in Second Year", Bloomberg, 18 December 2007.
  21. ^ "Disney profit down after 2006 sale gains", AP via Yahoo News, 6 February 2008.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 22°18′48″N 114°02′36″E / 22.31333°N 114.04333°E / 22.31333; 114.04333