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  1. #1

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    Gulfnews: Waiting for the Crowds

    An article from the Gulf News offers some interesting opinions on what Hong Kong Disneyland's immediate and long-term causes for concern are. Could it be, as director Bill Ernest suggests, that the park is a seasonal business and we haven't hit the right season yet? Finally, what does this mean for Disney's future in China?

    http://www.hkdlsource.com/news/viewstory?story=119

    "This is a seasonal business," insisted Ernest. "Our busiest periods are our fiscal third and fourth quarters [April to September], and we have resolved the problems we experienced early on."

    NOTE:

    We had mistakenly attributed this article to Gulf News. However, it turns out that the article was originally from the Telegraph (UK), and reprinted on the Gulf News site.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/mai...y25.xml&page=3

    We regret any confusion this has caused.

    (Also, if a friendly moderator could change the heading of this topic to read: 'Telegraph: Waiting for the Crowds' it would be grand.)
    Last edited by Loomis; 03-06-2007 at 12:28 PM.
    I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out. - Bill Hicks


  2. #2

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    Re: Gulfnews: Waiting for the Crowds

    Well, at least, Disney is abandoning the Shanghai proposal.

  3. #3

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    Re: Gulfnews: Waiting for the Crowds

    They are not abandoning it, they merely stated that it is on hold.

    I am concerned that HK DL is turning into another early Disneyland Paris. Can Iger turn it around? The next 5 years will tell.

  4. #4

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    Re: Gulfnews: Waiting for the Crowds

    Agreed, PeterWhite171,

    There are some differences comparing to DLRP though:
    * Familiarity (or lack of) Disney characters among the mainland Chinese compared
    to long standing familiarity by Europeans. (albeit long standing familiarity by HKers).
    * Huge (and increasingly affluent) market in southern China. (Europe is more affluent, but
    China has much more people!)
    * Warmer weather (considering the whole year) at HK.

    Not sure if they make any real difference for HKDL tough. But it sure sounds like w/
    adds of PotC, iasw and rumored HM that WDC is working on it aggressively.

    Definitely, the next five years is the key.

  5. #5

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    Re: Gulfnews: Waiting for the Crowds

    Quote Originally Posted by Peterwhite171 View Post

    I am concerned that HK DL is turning into another early Disneyland Paris. Can Iger turn it around? The next 5 years will tell.
    I really doubt it could ever go as deep into the hole as Paris did. Disney actually planned this very well when they built this park. Here are some examples.

    1) Hotels- In Paris, they blew so much money on I believe 5-7 hotels for only 1 park. Hong Kong had the perfect number of resort hotels (2) and charges acceptable prices for them.
    2) The Park- The Paris park was beautiful but it cost a ton to build as well; Paris had to have mass amounts of people to visit and very few did. Hong Kong was kind of built prepapred for average crowds.
    3) Price- Many Europeans have said that it is actually less expensive to visit Florida than it is to visit Paris. In China, many can't afford (or don't want to) to visit the US parks.
    4) Culture- Disney didn't embrace the French culture ie: The name EuroDisney, ban of alcohol in the parks, etc. Disney did embrace China and served Chinese food and has lovely gazebo's in the Fantasyland area, plus there are many different understandable signs in different languages. I have no evidence that Paris didn't have multi-language signs however.
    5) Design- Hong Kong Disneyland was built on the small side in case of small crowds (coincidence or intentional, I don't know), Paris wasn't.

  6. #6

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    Re: Gulfnews: Waiting for the Crowds

    Quote Originally Posted by Mathius View Post
    I really doubt it could ever go as deep into the hole as Paris did. Disney actually planned this very well when they built this park. Here are some examples.

    1) Hotels- In Paris, they blew so much money on I believe 5-7 hotels for only 1 park. Hong Kong had the perfect number of resort hotels (2) and charges acceptable prices for them.
    2) The Park- The Paris park was beautiful but it cost a ton to build as well; Paris had to have mass amounts of people to visit and very few did. Hong Kong was kind of built prepapred for average crowds.
    3) Price- Many Europeans have said that it is actually less expensive to visit Florida than it is to visit Paris. In China, many can't afford (or don't want to) to visit the US parks.
    4) Culture- Disney didn't embrace the French culture ie: The name EuroDisney, ban of alcohol in the parks, etc. Disney did embrace China and served Chinese food and has lovely gazebo's in the Fantasyland area, plus there are many different understandable signs in different languages. I have no evidence that Paris didn't have multi-language signs however.
    5) Design- Hong Kong Disneyland was built on the small side in case of small crowds (coincidence or intentional, I don't know), Paris wasn't.
    I agree with number 3, Florida is a far more shinier option than Paris based on a whole range of factors.

    But generally, the above poster's post in a nutshell - Disney learned from their Paris mistakes and 'got it right' in Hong Kong.
    BACKPACKING REALNESS

    DISNEY TRIPS
    October 2000 - Walt Disney World Resort
    October 2001 - Walt Disney World Resort
    April 2002 - Disneyland Resort Paris
    October 2003 - Walt Disney World Resort
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    October 2005 - Walt Disney World Resort
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    December 2008 - Walt Disney World Resort
    July 2009 - Disneyland Resort Paris
    July 2011 - Disneyland Resort California
    July 2012-13 - UK Cultural Representative Cast Member at Epcot
    February 2013 - Disneyland Resort California
    February 2013 -Tokyo Disney Resort

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    TRIP REPORTS


  7. #7

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    Re: Gulfnews: Waiting for the Crowds

    ORDDU: Excuse a witch for having to disagree. But how can anyone believe Disney got it right in Hong Kong, after what we've just read? The park is failing badly. They really should have opened the park with more E-ticket type attractions, instead of a few side-dish attractions. Since Paul Pressler was the one in charge of this park's development, that sort of says it all. He had no business being the one in charge. As usual, he missed the mark.

  8. #8

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    Re: Gulfnews: Waiting for the Crowds

    Yep, the Witches nailed it.

    DL Paris is beautifully detailed, with a castle that's
    outstanding, on the continent that has the most
    castles.

    Hong Kong got short changed on attractions and
    lands. It's basically the DCA of the Magic Kingdoms.

  9. #9

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    Re: Gulfnews: Waiting for the Crowds

    Well, Witches and Aladdin are both getting quoted in the next 'This Week in Hong Kogn Disneyland'.

    I'll definitely buy into the parks being a 'seasonal' business, because even Anaheim - during September 2005, for example, at the height of the 50th marketing - there were days where I could literally walk onto most of the E-tickets such as Indiana Jones without any wait or use of FASTPASS.

    However, to suggest that they "have resolved the problems we experienced early on" is just insulting. A few play areas and the odd new ride - even if they are Autopia and IASW - aren't going to solve the original complaints of 'too small' and 'nothing to do'. Fixing the problem doesn't involve seasonal parades and events, although that does give regulars a reason to come back. Fixing the 'early' problems means re-planning the park to accomodate actual attractions and genuine thrills.

    Wow. Was I just anti-Disney for a second there? I guess it is fairly insulting to tell us that the problem is fixed when all they've done is put in a potplant and told us it's renovated. I see promise for the future of Hong Kong Disneyland, I really do, and that's why I'm such a huge fan at this early stage. It is a first class theme park, and a beautiful Disney property. There just needs to be more of it, as it is a light year away from Paris' overbudget - yet well-designed - initial flop.
    I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out. - Bill Hicks


  10. #10

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    Re: Gulfnews: Waiting for the Crowds

    Quote Originally Posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
    Well, at least, Disney is abandoning the Shanghai proposal.
    Or perhaps the central government is having serious misgivings about dealing with an American rodent?

  11. #11

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    Re: Gulfnews: Waiting for the Crowds

    Quote Originally Posted by Aladdin View Post
    Hong Kong got short changed on attractions and
    lands. It's basically the DCA of the Magic Kingdoms.
    I must disagree.

    Because Disney got it right with HKDL. The template exists for an absolutely amazing MK park. If the Adventureland plans go through as expected, this expansion will be huge in both scope and execution. And that's leaving Small World and the lesser additions out.

    DCA is fundamentally flawed and needs major reworking.

    All HKDL needs is more attractions, more things to do, more reasons to visit. That is a huge difference. Disney also, and I am no apologist, was entering a new world with HKDL ... with DCA it was in its most comfortable place with a willing, salavating audience and it bungled almost to the extend of the Edsel or New Coke.

    Like I said, no comparison.

  12. #12

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    Re: Gulfnews: Waiting for the Crowds

    Quote Originally Posted by WDW1974 View Post
    Or perhaps the central government is having serious misgivings about dealing with an American rodent?
    Chairman Mao is probably somewhere, right now, saying, "I told you so."


  13. #13

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    Re: Gulfnews: Waiting for the Crowds

    Quote Originally Posted by Aladdin View Post
    Hong Kong got short changed on attractions and
    lands. It's basically the DCA of the Magic Kingdoms.
    True, but wouldn't you know.. it's a prettier park (with much more enjoyable surroundings and host city) than the MK at WDW. Go figure..
    Oh the ironies!!!

  14. #14

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    Re: Gulfnews: Waiting for the Crowds

    Quote Originally Posted by Witches of Morva View Post
    ORDDU: Excuse a witch for having to disagree. But how can anyone believe Disney got it right in Hong Kong, after what we've just read? The park is failing badly. They really should have opened the park with more E-ticket type attractions, instead of a few side-dish attractions. Since Paul Pressler was the one in charge of this park's development, that sort of says it all. He had no business being the one in charge. As usual, he missed the mark.
    Oh, I completely agree Orddu. I wasn't clear enough in my post - HKDL is a mess, but Disney learnt from its problems with Paris. Yes, I know, they didn't build enough rides this time, but overall the problems with Paris are not present in Hong Kong.

    Its a good thing too, cos Hong Kong has enough of its own.
    BACKPACKING REALNESS

    DISNEY TRIPS
    October 2000 - Walt Disney World Resort
    October 2001 - Walt Disney World Resort
    April 2002 - Disneyland Resort Paris
    October 2003 - Walt Disney World Resort
    October 2004 - Walt Disney World Resort
    October 2005 - Walt Disney World Resort
    October 2007 - Walt Disney World Resort
    December 2008 - Walt Disney World Resort
    July 2009 - Disneyland Resort Paris
    July 2011 - Disneyland Resort California
    July 2012-13 - UK Cultural Representative Cast Member at Epcot
    February 2013 - Disneyland Resort California
    February 2013 -Tokyo Disney Resort

    (VERY OLD!)
    TRIP REPORTS


  15. #15

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    Re: Gulfnews: Waiting for the Crowds

    ORDDU: Well, there's no doubt that Hong Kong Disneyland still has lots of potential to be a great park--as soon as they add enough attractions to make it every bit as appealing as the Anaheim version.

    ORWEN: Or even the Disneyland Paris and Tokyo versions!

    ORGOCH: No comment on the Tragic Kingdom, though...

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