Chinese official: Hong Kong Disneyland too crowded
The Associated Press
Posted March 8, 2006, 7:36 AM EST
HONG KONG -- Hong Kong Disneyland is too crowded, a senior Chinese tourism official said today, hinting that another Disney park is necessary
to accommodate demand from China's huge population.
The comments by Shao Qiwei, director of China's State Administration of Tourism, came a day after Shanghai's mayor Han Zheng said the city was preparing to build China's second Disney theme park.
"China has a very large population. We now have 1.3 billion people. The market is very large. As far as I know, Hong Kong Disneyland is now very crowded," said Shao, whose comments were broadcast on Hong Kong's Cable TV.
The Hong Kong theme park, which opened in September, was widely criticized in January when it turned away hundreds of Lunar New Year holiday makers from mainland China because the park was full. Chaos erupted when angry crowds tried to force their way into the park.
The embarrassing incident prompted a public apology from Hong Kong Disneyland Managing Director Bill Ernest and a dressing down from Hong Kong's leader Donald Tsang. Authorities are carefully studying the issue of overcrowding in preparation for the possible building of the Disney park in Shanghai, Shao said.
The official Xinhua News Agency reported Tuesday that no agreement has been reached on the park in Shanghai, quoting senior vice president of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Leslie Goodman.
Hong Kong Disneyland is a joint venture between The Walt Disney Co. and the local government, which shouldered the bulk of the park's construction fees.