This is the story I wanted to be writing tonight:
Today marks the second anniversary of DisneyBay Hong Kong. The park has welcomed record numbers of Hong Kong residents and mainland Chinese drawn in to see what the legendary Imagineers of Walt Disney could do when teamed with local experts and let loose upon the many millennia old culture, stories, and legends of China and Hong Kong. All agree the results have been nothing less than spectacular.
Although the park is set on a landfill claimed Penny’s Bay, plans are already underway to expand the hotels and increase the landmass to accommodate a more traditional Disney Magic Kingdom style park now that the Chinese are familiar with the Disney characters, movies, and theme park product.
Instead, I’m writing this piece:
It’s the 2nd Anniversary of Hong Kong Disneyland, but why is nobody celebrating? Here are just a few reasons. Attendance has not met even conservative forecasts, operating income is down, and the employees are feeling overworked and under appreciated. The government of Hong Kong, which owns a 57% share of the park is asking more forceful questions of the park’s management.
For instance, why are there so few attractions? Where are the marquee attractions like Pirates Of The Caribbean, It’s A Small World, or Haunted Mansion? What are your plans for expansion?
If Michael Eisner had the vision to know that a small scale Magic Kingdom would be entirely foreign and entirely unsatisfactory to his target audience, today’s news would have been vastly different. Let’s just hope that today’s management can learn from Eisner’s mistakes.
For more read Honor Hunter’s great piece on the 2nd anniversary of the 11th Disney theme park.