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  1. #1

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    Disney Halts HK Expansion

    Hong Kong News Headlines | Hong Kong's premier newspaper online | SCMP.com

    The Walt Disney Company has halted all creative and design work on the expansion of Hong Kong Disneyland, cutting more than 30 jobs, the South China Morning Post reported Tuesday, citing unnamed sources.

    The staff were laid off after the Hong Kong government, which holds a 57% stake in Hong Kong Disneyland, told the company there is no timetable for the expansion of the theme park, the report said.

    Despite earlier hopes of a breakthrough in negotiations with the Hong Kong government this year, the sources said senior management at Disney didn’t see any progress being made in the next six months.
    Bummer
    Last edited by ROBONICS95; 03-16-2009 at 07:45 PM.
    "If you build it right, they will come." - Bob Iger

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  2. #2

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    Re: Disney Halts HK Expansion

    So they just fired everybody instead? Seems like a rash move...
    "Keep Moving Forward."

  3. #3

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    Re: Disney Halts HK Expansion

    That sucks. I hope it's not true.

  4. #4

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    Re: Disney Halts HK Expansion

    Such a shame if true. Which begs the question...with this attitude by the govt...is this a viable resort? IMO the park needs at least 2 E tickets, without delay, in order to sustain and increase the visitor counts they have thus far. Small World and seasonal celebrations cannot do it on their own. I also hope Disney also makes sure that there is something fundametally different in the power structure before deciding to go ahead with Shanghai.
    Down with the Hat


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    Re: Disney Halts HK Expansion

    Quote Originally Posted by tasman View Post
    Such a shame if true. Which begs the question...with this attitude by the govt...is this a viable resort? IMO the park needs at least 2 E tickets, without delay, in order to sustain and increase the visitor counts they have thus far. Small World and seasonal celebrations cannot do it on their own. I also hope Disney also makes sure that there is something fundametally different in the power structure before deciding to go ahead with Shanghai.
    Not in its current state. This could be a tragedy if HK decides to not develop HKDL more and Disney takes no initiative to improve it.

  6. #6

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    Re: Disney Halts HK Expansion

    If true, then it may be prudent for Disney to just up the park lock, stock and barrel to Shanghai as a starter base. The HK government are fools, and Disney should suffer them no longer.

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    Re: Disney Halts HK Expansion

    -facepalm-

    The resort that NEEDS the expansion the most is now being ignored by the GOVERNMENT?!

    -sigh-

  8. #8

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    Re: Disney Halts HK Expansion

    Not good news ... not good at all ... there's now essentially no one working on anything for HKDL.

    Now ... they can move people over later ... or hire/rehire people. But this just sets things back years, really.

    I guess they're going with the WDW model ... staleness and marketing.

  9. #9

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    Re: Disney Halts HK Expansion

    Quote Originally Posted by WDW1974 View Post
    I guess they're going with the WDW model ... staleness and marketing.
    There's a huge difference...WDW is an established success, with a large number of excellent attractions, that can keep most of the out-of-town visitors (who are the majority) happy for years without anyone so much lifting a finger. And WDW management know that. HKDL's situation is completely different...it simply cannot afford to go on without new rides, or the number of annual visitors is bound to plummet in a year or two.
    Down with the Hat


  10. #10

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    Re: Disney Halts HK Expansion

    ääääh we all knew this would happend. they don´t even have a haunted mansion! now that is a tame theme park!
    if there would have been expansions they would already have been made for this year.
    now what will come of that big piece of empty land next to the park.
    Last edited by TimmyTimmyTimmy; 03-17-2009 at 11:22 PM.
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  11. #11

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    Angry Re: Disney Halts HK Expansion

    Blame the government

  12. #12

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    Re: Disney Halts HK Expansion

    Quote Originally Posted by TimmyTimmyTimmy View Post
    now let´s what will come of that big piece of empty land next to the park.
    Disney will lose the land if they don't exercise the option to use it. I can't remember the exact cutoff, but I think construction would have to begin there by 2011 or 2012, otherwise Disney would forfeit the land.
    "Keep Moving Forward."

  13. #13

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    Re: Disney Halts HK Expansion

    I'm so sad about hong kong disneyland.
    So the expansion will not be continue?
    I hope it doesnt.
    HK government is the freakiest government. They must do something about the park because they have it. they own it. Hong kong disney is in hong kong not in other country. They must be proud that they are chosen by disney to have a disneyland! there are many countries there who doesnt have disneyland they must care about their park. Someday they will realize there mistakes after hong kong disneyland can stand on its own and they will see that this will be a great park if it is well develop.

  14. #14

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    Re: Disney Halts HK Expansion

    Article from Reuters

    Disney puts Hong Kong expansion on hold

    LOS ANGELES/HONG KONG, March 17 - Walt Disney Co. has put the long-delayed expansion of its Hong Kong theme park on hold after failing to agree with the city's government on a cash infusion, the company said today.
    Disney and the Hong Kong government have been embroiled in protracted discussions over financing a second phase of the world's smallest Disneyland and the first on Chinese soil.
    But Hong Kong Disneyland's visitor number projections failed to reach initial bullish predictions with the key Chinese tourist market now bogged down by a worldwide credit crunch and a decelerating economy that is discouraging travel.
    Disney said it would fire about 30 Hong Kong-based employees dubbed "Imagineers" that had helped conceptualise and plan the expansion.
    Some jobs might also go at Disney's home-turf of Burbank, California, as a result of the work stoppage, a source familiar with the situation told Reuters.
    The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that Disney had already been funding creative efforts - designing and envisioning the look of rides - but decided to pull financing when it became clear that a deal with the government on expanding Disneyland was not imminent.
    "The uncertainty of the outcome requires us to immediately suspend all creative and design work on the project," the US firm said in a statement.
    The source however did not rule out a resumption of that effort should Disney eventually strike a deal with the city.
    Disney has also signed a framework agreement with the local government in Shanghai to kick off a project, and said in January it intended to submit a proper plan for the park.
    The Hong Kong government expressed "grave concern" about the decision and urged Disney to reconsider.
    "We consider that (Disney's) laying off of Walt Disney Imagineers who have been working on the design of Hong Kong Disneyland's expansion will not be conducive to the discussions and are puzzled by the company's decision," a spokesperson for the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau said in a statement.
    Opened in 2005, Hong Kong Disneyland has been criticised for being far too small to attract repeat visitors despite its proximity to mainland China.
    "Despite this setback, The Walt Disney Company remains confident and committed to the long-term success of Hong Kong Disneyland," Disney said.
    An expansion could cost as much as US$3 billion (HK$387 million), local media have reported. In December, the Sing Tao Daily newspaper reported that Disney - in what was deemed an unusual concession - may give the government a greater share in the project in repayment of a cash loan of nearly US$800 million (RM2,880 million) that the city had extended previously to the theme park.
    Hong Kong residents and lawmakers, for their part, have queried the financial viability of pumping more public money into the struggling park, on top of the hundreds of millions of dollars already loaned to the project.
    Disney has borrowed more than US$1 billion for the project, including HK$6.1 billion it owed the city's government, due to be repaid over 25 years.
    In 2008, the theme park was forced to amend loan agreements after it failed to meet performance targets. That amended pact abolished targets but decreased the amount of a revolving credit facility. - Reuters
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  15. #15

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    Re: Disney Halts HK Expansion

    Hong Kong Disneyland Resort could be the most amazing place on earth. They have had the chance to make it a unique place. Since it is small they could have make it with theming as good or close to TDS. Hong Kong could make this a mega tourist destination since it all has been made from scratch on the bottom of the ocean.
    Imagine a Disneyland that beats the one in California and looks better. Just next to the place would the gates to Hong Kong DisneySEA or some other park stand.

    But what was made is a cheap park with the same rides all over again... in some cases not even as good as the other parks versions. The whole place takes just a few hours to discover includiing the time spent on rides. The crowds avoid the park.
    There is nothing about HKDL that looks promising at the moment. Pirates, mountains with bears, haunted houses... sure, when we are all dead.

    What I wonder is how the Shanghai park will turn out. Will it also be as small and boring? Or will it be they way Walt would have wanted it to be? Who knows...
    Last edited by TimmyTimmyTimmy; 03-17-2009 at 03:34 AM.
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