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  1. #1

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    Hong Kong Disneyland's Attendance Down in Second Year

    Hong Kong Disneyland is failing to live up to its promise in its second year of operation.

    HK Disneyland admission off
    Theme park fails to lure visitors from mainland

    By PATRICK FRATER

    Hong Kong Disneyland is suffering a slump in admissions in its second year of operation, according to local news reports, at least in part because it's failing to lure enough visitors from mainland China.

    The South China Morning Post said the theme park will report attendance of 4 million visitors in the year to September. That compares with a forecast 16 months ago by Mouse House HQ of 5.7 million for the park's second year and a pre-opening projection of 5.47 million that matched the forecast of the Hong Kong government.

    Neither Walt Disney Co. in Hong Kong nor Hong Kong Disneyland publish visitor data, which they deem commercially sensitive. Last year, in a submission to the HK government, which owns 57% of the park, operators reported actual attendance of 5.2 million.

    The newspaper quoted unidentified sources as saying that it's not unusual for theme parks to sustain a drop in attendance in their second year. But it also cited U.S. consultant Dennis Spiegel as saying the park was failing to attract enough visitors from mainland China.
    Source: Variety

  2. #2

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    Re: Hong Kong Disneyland's Attendance Down in Second Year

    Is anyone really surprised? Unless they start adding some major attractions soon attendance will probably be low for the next few years.

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    Re: Hong Kong Disneyland's Attendance Down in Second Year

    I can't believe they opened without even Peter Pan Flight! - - a day one ride at every other kingdom - - and in a former British colony no less. Let alone no Small World, Pirates or Mansion...

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    Re: Hong Kong Disneyland's Attendance Down in Second Year

    Quote Originally Posted by kirbilicious View Post
    Is anyone really surprised? Unless they start adding some major attractions soon attendance will probably be low for the next few years.
    I completely agree. I've been to this park twice (but only because I was already in Hong Kong). It is a BEAUTIFUL park with very little to do. They have only two or three things to do in each land, and a lot of that is just fluff. Walt had the same problem after Disneyland opened in Anaheim. But he followed up with new attractions and whole new lands to keep the crowds interested. This is a totally fixable situation.

    Small World is a good start, but this is a park without a Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain, Pirates, or Big Thunder - and only one Fantasyland dark ride (Pooh). They need to get their act together and announce a MAJOR expansion to start building positive spin (it is getting really negative in the Hong Kong press).

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    Re: Hong Kong Disneyland's Attendance Down in Second Year

    Quote Originally Posted by Dustysage View Post
    I completely agree. I've been to this park twice (but only because I was already in Hong Kong). It is a BEAUTIFUL park with very little to do. They have only two or three things to do in each land, and a lot of that is just fluff. Walt had the same problem after Disneyland opened in Anaheim. But he followed up with new attractions and whole new lands to keep the crowds interested. This is a totally fixable situation.

    Small World is a good start, but this is a park without a Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain, Pirates, or Big Thunder - and only one Fantasyland dark ride (Pooh). They need to get their act together and announce a MAJOR expansion to start building positive spin (it is getting really negative in the Hong Kong press).

    -Dusty
    DO you have any idea as to the reasoning for leaving out such classic bread and butter rides when they built the place?

    Was it like a last minute budget slashing situation ala DCA?, perhaps linked with the government owning 57% of the park.

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    Re: Hong Kong Disneyland's Attendance Down in Second Year

    Quote Originally Posted by Dustysage View Post
    Walt had the same problem after Disneyland opened in Anaheim. But he followed up with new attractions and whole new lands to keep the crowds interested. This is a totally fixable situation.
    Walt opened Disneyland in 1955 with a lot more rides than Hong Kong Disneyland opened with in 2005.

    Walt mortgaged his vacation house in Palm Springs to get the Mark Twain built for opening day. Did Michael Eisner have to mortgage his Aspen home to get anything built for Hong Kong?

    Remember, this Park was approved and shepherded through final design by Paul Pressler as Chairman of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts and Michael Eisner as CEO. When Pressler handed over the reigns of Hong Kong to Jay Rasulo the park was already in initial construction, and Eisner handed over the reigns to Bob Iger literally a few months before he resigned.

    Hong Kong Disneyland is a theme park designed and funded and creatively executed by Paul Pressler and Michael Eisner. And it shows.

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    Re: Hong Kong Disneyland's Attendance Down in Second Year

    Quote Originally Posted by whitestrat View Post
    DO you have any idea as to the reasoning for leaving out such classic bread and butter rides when they built the place?

    Was it like a last minute budget slashing situation ala DCA?, perhaps linked with the government owning 57% of the park.
    I believe part of the reason given was the unfamiliarity of certain characters and stories in China, like Peter Pan. I beleive though they are trying to familiarize the population by placing certain Disney characers, like Pan, in small world.

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    Re: Hong Kong Disneyland's Attendance Down in Second Year

    This whole thing is "greed gone wild". How cheap can WDC management go and still call it Disneyland? They thought they could fool everyone (including themselves) with "Disneyland lite". It was the notion of using the opening day menu of DL as a plan and leverage the uniqueness and the immersion alone as the experience. A Porsche without an engine is just that. The good news is that the little they DID do is great and so at least there is a solid base to build on. Let's hope for the best.
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    Re: Hong Kong Disneyland's Attendance Down in Second Year

    I remember (when HKDL was being built) reading Disney's explanation about the lack of actual attractions. Their reasoning was because the Chinese preferred walking through gardens and looking at the scenery over going on rides. It was a laughable explanation then, and even more so now.

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    Re: Hong Kong Disneyland's Attendance Down in Second Year

    Build a park worth seeing with actual attractions and people will come. They've done it for decades.

    I'm looking forward to seeing HKDL for the first time soon. And I have set aside 1 1/2 days because I intend to see every show, every parade, walk through every shop, spend time and dine at the hotels etc ... but I realize the average guest isn't like me.

    What does someone do when they've seen it all (or what they are interested in) in 4-5 hours?

    If Disney had built the park they proposed in the press release announcing it (the one with a Frontierland with Phantom Manor and Lewis and Clark Raft Ride, a Toontown, a Fantasyland with Peter Pan and Little Mermaid dark rides and Small World at opening, an Adventureland with a roller coaster with onboard sound and AA dinos) ... well, I think the park would have been considerably more successful than it is today.

    At some point, they're going to have to address the issues just like they're doing with DCA (and to a lesser degree, DSP).

    You can't build half-assed parks and expect people to knock down your door to get in just because you slapped the Disney name on it.

    At least this park has an incredible locale and the room to expand. But it needs to ... like four years ago!

    The only good thing is all signs from TWDC point to no new parks being built anywhere in the forseeable future.

    Disney will trot out their DRE plans soon (I keep hearing Spain is where the first non-Asian one will be, btw.) and at some point in the next decade, decide on a third park for Anaheim ...which could very well go the boutique route ala Discovery Cove.

    But I think the days of opening very incomplete parks has come to an end.

  11. #11

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    Re: Hong Kong Disneyland's Attendance Down in Second Year

    Quote Originally Posted by mongstrol View Post
    I remember (when HKDL was being built) reading Disney's explanation about the lack of actual attractions. Their reasoning was because the Chinese preferred walking through gardens and looking at the scenery over going on rides. It was a laughable explanation then, and even more so now.
    It's true. They ARE most likely walking through gardens and not going to the park.
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    Re: Hong Kong Disneyland's Attendance Down in Second Year

    Quote Originally Posted by Dustysage View Post
    Walt had the same problem after Disneyland opened in Anaheim.
    I don't think the two really compare. Disneyland 1955 certainly had few rides by today's standards, but in 1955 there was nothing quite like DL, and it was a hit right from the start. And Walt moved fast to add major new attractions - Matterhorn, Submarine Voyage, and Monorail all being added within 4 years. In contrast HKDL will have only one major attraction added in that time frame. Not enough to increase attendance...probably just enough to keep it from falling further.

  13. #13

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    Re: Hong Kong Disneyland's Attendance Down in Second Year

    I'm expecting to get a new job sometime between the end of 2008 and early 2009. At that time, I shall travel to Hong Kong Disneyland and lift their attendance figures by one person.

    That should do the trick and bring 'er round - wouldn't you think!?
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  14. #14

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    Re: Hong Kong Disneyland's Attendance Down in Second Year

    Quote Originally Posted by Ride Warrior View Post
    I'm expecting to get a new job sometime between the end of 2008 and early 2009. At that time, I shall travel to Hong Kong Disneyland and lift their attendance figures by one person.

    That should do the trick and bring 'er round - wouldn't you think!?
    I'm sure they could use more support from dedicated fans.
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    Re: Hong Kong Disneyland's Attendance Down in Second Year

    Quote Originally Posted by TDR_Fan View Post
    I'm sure they could use more support from dedicated fans.
    Well, this dedicated fan's first priority would be to bolster the anual attendance ranking by at least 1 person - before I ever even consider Hong Kong. I might even travel with a friend or two.
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