Checking in on Hong Kong Disneyland

The HK Standard looks at the status of Hong Kong Disneyland. Looks like there is some worry that the park won’t be able to meet the numbers required to pay down its debt. This is not as big a problem as Euro Disney is experiencing, the debt load is much lower due to Disney deciding to build this park on the cheap (similar to California Adventure).

Disney had a tough decision, pay for and build a majestic park on the scale of Tokyo Disneyland or Disneyland Paris and hope that the audience materializes OR build a smaller scale park with fewer attractions and hotels and hope that the bad word of mouth this would generate would not kill the park. That’s simplifying it a bit (you also have to throw in the general unfamiliarity of Mainland China with Disney style vacations and characters).

It looks like were bitten by the bad word of mouth problem. The silver lining is that Disney made 4 times as much cash in 1Q2007 than would be required to pay off the HKDL debt.

I think the lesson learned is, it sometimes takes a lot more money to do it right the first time. But at least you know you’ve done it right and word of mouth won’t be an issue. If your venture fails it won’t be because you didn’t try.