The sloppily drawn contract between Disney and Hong Kong does not even have a clause preventing Disney from opening other parks in China. Also not mentioned in the press release are the massive cost over-runs due to dioxin in the soil at the Penny Bay site (and more besides from FoE) and the pollution problem means the slight change in the orientation of the park will still not give any views for much of the year.
Simon has a few thoughts on Hong Kong Disneyland.
Simon doesn’t mention this, but the folks at IAAPA were going gaga over the low market penetration for Western Style Themeparks in the Asian markets. I really doubt that Hong Kong Disneyland will be the last park built in Asia over the next 10 years.
I really doubt Asian visitors enjoy the shows more than the rides(something which Disney claims in its survey). Disney themeparks are loved not because of its shows, but its classic rides like “The Haunted Mansion”, “Splash Mountain” and “Big Thunder Mountain”. If Disney is going to cut cost by not building these popular rides, it will, without a doubt, have loyal Disneyland followers boycotting the park. I am not exaggerating… Disney, wake up and do something about it!!!!!
See, Disney was dumb. When the people on the survey said they liked shows better, they actually only have their own experiences to recall from. Since traditional Asian theme parks feature cheap carnival rides, survey takers would naturally take Disney’s rides to be relatively the same. So given that, of course people would say they prefer shows! But the beauty in Disney rides (Pirates of C, Haunted Mansion, Splash Mtn, Indiana Jones, etc…) is that the ride actually IS a show. They have special visual effects, they have stories, they have characters, except you actually interact! Being Chinese myself, I know for a fact that old fashion Chinese people (including my parents and my parents’ friends) love that stuff. They detest Six Flags (parks that feature roller coasters) but absolutely love Disney rides!
Either the people in Disney making these decisions are really stupid or they are trying to find an excuse in cutting investments and costs because they know, regardless, Mainlanders will flock to Disneyland no matter what just because of its brand.
Yup, I agree totally with what you said, Eacintosh. I have been to the Disney parks in Japan, California and Florida, which feature many of the classic Disney rides that I and many other Asian visitors have grown to love. That’s why it would be hard to visit the Hong Kong park knowing that many of these rides have been taken off the construction list. Cutting down on the size of the park will also mean losing some of the atmosphere found in other magic kingdom styled theme parks. I mean, the experience will be different and I feel that it isn’t really worth your money. I would rather visit the tokyo one if that’s the case. Furthermore I heard news that Disney is planning to build classic rides like haunted mansion in the second phase of the construction, just hope it isn’t too late before the park loses business. Whatever the case, i hope that the Hong Kong park would not be a disappointment.