According to a source in the Wall Street Journal, the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort is finally starting to operate in the black. The seven year old park has struggled attracting an audience due to its lack of attractions and aggressive competition from Ocean Park.
Hong Kong Disneyland has been expanding its offerings, building three mini-lands, and has decided to focus on luring more big-spending visitors from mainland China with a huge public-relations campaign. Additionally, the Disney company is continuing on its path of increasing awareness of the Disney brand by showing more television shows in the country.
The story in the WSJ says all this has resulted in increased attendance with the park recording 5.94 million visitors in the year to September 2011 from 4.5 million in 2008.
If this profitability trend continues, not a guarantee when Shanghai Disneyland opens, look for Hong Kong Disneyland to build more hotels first, but the long term plan is to open a second gate at the property.
Have you every visited Hong Kong Disneyland? How do you think it compares to the other Disney theme parks?
I was there last week actually, and it was very dead in the park (it didn’t help that it was cool and drizzling).
It very much feels like Disneyland-Light, with fewer areas, fewer rides, fewer people. Main Street USA is quite similar to California, but as I moved on to Tomorrowland the differences started to really show. There’s Space Mountain, Astro Blasters, Autopia, and the Astro Orbiter, but that’s it. Where Star Tours should be, there’s a restaurant. Restaurants are a common theme, where you would normally see a ride in California, you see a restaurant in Hong Kong.
Fantasyland had It’s a Small World, Dumbo, King Arthur’s Carousel, and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, but no Peter Pan, Snow While, Alice in Wonderland, Mr. Toad, etc. Again, where you would normally see this, more restaurants.
Adventureland has the Jungle Cruise and Tarzan’s Treehouse, but no Tiki Room and no Indiana Jones (but the Tiki gods are there, decorating a restaurant). There’s no Frontierland and no New Orleans Square.
Toy Story Land is cute, but it’s three rides you’d see at any county fair with a Toy Story theme slapped on. Grizzly Gulch is a restaurant, a gift shop, and the only thing I would call an original E-ticket ride in the park. The Runaway Mine Cars is quite the ride, with sudden reversals and a very rapid launch partway through the ride. It’s Big Thunder Mountain on steroids.
Mystic Manor looks interesting, at least the outside facade is coming together and looking impressive.
One interesting difference is the introduction of spray & mist areas, a number of them are around the park, helping guests cool down in the hot summer months. There was also a large number of fans spread around the park to create airflow.
Thanks for that detailed report.
I went to Hong Kong Disneyland in 2008. There isn’t much about it that’s particularly memorable. I do remember space mountain and thought it matched Magic Kingdoms though i prefer Disneyland Paris’ space mountain mission 2.
I thought the parades were good from what i remember. The castle was a disappointing size in honesty, compared to that of Paris or WDW. I think the park could easily attract more people with more rides, but depending on how big and developed shanghai is when it opens, it could steal the limelight from Hong Kong.
I’ve read about Grizzly gulch and it does look good.
My husband and I went to Hong Kong Disney has part of our honeymoon this summer. Our opinion of the park might have been tainted by the fact that we were dripping with sweat even before we made it through the front gates, but we spent most of the day feeling underwhelmed at best and annoyed at worst.
Grizzly Mountain and the Jungle Cruise were two of the highlights in this park, and the two different daytime parades were really good as well, despite the culture shock we faced while trying to watch them.
We started a blog about our trip. We haven’t finished it yet, but you can read most if it here for more on what we thought of this and the other international Disney parks: http://englesmithhoneymoon.blogspot.com/2012/08/hong-kong-disneyland.html
I have only been to Hong Kong Disneyland once back in 2006 to celebrate the 1 year anniversary of the Park. I had just spent 7 days at the Tokyo Disneyland Resort and then spent 4 days at Hong Kong Disneyland. I just have to say, at that time there wasn’t much to do there. The big attraction was Autopia, which I thought was fun. And I guess it was fun for quite a lot of Guests as wait times for that attraction would reach …. 30 minutes! The longest wait in the entire Park during my visit.
But Hong Kong Disneyland lacked a lot of things to do as it was more of a half day park. “Built on the cheap” kept going through my mind. It felt so weird not having a Frontierland and Adventureland taking up the entire West side.
The few good things I did enjoy other than Autopia were: Space Mountain with a 5 – 10 min wait during the entire trip, their Firework show, and Stitch Encounter. I remember doing the Jungle Cruise and the only part that was cool was the finale before heading back to the dock.
What I didn’t like: The lack of attractions, especially in Fantasyland. Other than WDW’s Winnie the Pooh, there were no classic dark rides. As much as I didn’t want to, I did the Festival of the Lion King (or whatever it’s called) just so that I could do something. Even the Guide Map of the Park was pathetic as it listed Sleeping Beauty Castle and Snow Whites Grotto (separately) as attractions.
They had a parade, which was Tokyo Disneyland’s Disney on Parade (100 years of Magic), but didn’t watch it.
Up until the expansion was announced, I had no desire to go back to Hong Kong Disneyland. After the expansion is completed, maybe I wouldn’t mind going back.