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Make Disneyland more competitive

December 7, 2009

By Pang Pei-yan, Pooi To Middle School

The central government has announced a Disneyland will be built in Shanghai in 2014. I’ve heard different opinions about this, but basically I think it’s bad news for Hong Kong.

Building a Shanghai Disneyland will surely boost the mainland’s tourism industry. It will be good for Shanghai’s economy.

But it will probably do the opposite for Hong Kong’s tourism industry and economy. If I were a tourist, I would expect new and amazing attractions. If I wanted to go to a theme park, I would compare prices. Shanghai Disneyland would have an advantage since prices will probably be lower.

Hong Kong should put more work into its Disneyland, and add some unique elements to attract tourists.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. January 8, 2010 5:56 pm

    By Wong Yuk Yi, Christian Alliance S C Chan Memorial College

    Not only building Disneyland in Shanghai, a French company is also going to build another theme park in Wuhan, called Futuroscope Theme Park.

    As a tourist, it will be great news for me since I will have another spot to visit when I visit China. However, as a Hong Kong people, I am so worried about the Hong Kong Disneyland and also tourisms.

    The Hong Kong government spent so much money and even provided lands to the Disney to build the theme park. The cost of building it in Hong Kong is so high! But, obviously, I think it is not too successful. And in the future, facing the competitions of more and more theme parks, it seems the Disneyland is more impossible to be a successful spot to attract visitors to Hong Kong. And will the situation be worsened after building more and more theme parks in China? Will the Disneyland become a useless park in Hong Kong after some years?

    I am so worried and hope the government could do something to save our Disneyland.

  2. January 8, 2010 5:54 pm

    By Lam Nga Ting, Christian Alliance S.C. Chan Memorial College

    I think there will be some effects on the two amusement parks in Hong Kong after the opening of the Shanghai Disneyland.

    First, the new Shanghai Disneyland can attract more visitors and give a boost to Shanghai’s tourism, and its economy. However, many of the visitors to Hong Kong are come from China. The Ocean Park and Hong Kong Disneyland will face stiff competition from the Shanghai Disneyland.

    Take Hong Kong Disneyland as an example, the attendance during its first four years of operation has fallen short of its target. The burden and stress of the Hong Kong Disneyland will become heavier after the opening of Shanghai Disneyland because of its short of attendance.

    To conclude, the Shanghai Disneyland will bring some negative effects to the two amusement parks in Hong Kong.

  3. January 8, 2010 5:28 pm

    By Robert Kwong Ho Chak, Christian Alliance S C Chan Memorial College

    Downsizing the Shanghai Disneyland needs rethink

    The fancy of building the world second largest Disneyland in Shanghai have vanished after the proposal for reducing its size of development from the Chinese government officials.

    I think it is not a measurable idea since that it’s sort of wasting for Chinese people. First, building the world second largest Disneyland in Shanghai can favor good profits by attracting heaps of tourists from other countries. Yet, the Shanghai Disneyland is now paradoxically becoming the smallest one in the world. It not only stops the government for earning more gains, but also loses the golden opportunity for China to becoming the country with the most number of Disneyland parks.

    Nowadays, China has overtaken USA in the leading status of world economy. I am sure that developing more prestigious infrastructures, like theme parks, may help China to advance further as one of the economical superpowers. But paring down the scale of Shanghai Disneyland will totally shatter the dream of Shanghai citizens, and also all Chinese people.

    Though trimming Shanghai Disneyland may help to balance the rivalry between HK and Shanghai as they up the ante to vie for tourist. Yet I think this is not a good idea and I hope Chinese government can reconsider the decision seriously.

  4. January 5, 2010 12:47 pm

    By Clara Wong, Tsuen Wan Government Secondary School

    In a recent Face-Off column, Matthew Murchie said expanding Hong Kong Disneyland would not necessarily make it more popular.

    I agree. The park is already very small and how much can it grow? You can walk round it at least twice in a day and there aren’t many rides.

    I don’t think expanding the park is necessarily the answer. The government has invested a lot of money in the park, but its popularity is falling. If the park becomes bigger and there’s no significant increase in its popularity, the public will feel their money has been wasted.

    I think the real reason people aren’t happy with Disneyland is a lack of specific, local attractions. Hong Kong is much smaller than the other cities with Disneyland, so we can’t compete in terms of space. But our park could feature more uniquely Chinese attractions.

    I think this is what Disneyland staff should focus on.

    If the park could attract more visitors in this way, it wouldn’t need a helping hand from the government.

    • January 5, 2010 12:47 pm

      There are two schools of thought when it comes to attracting tourists to Hong Kong in general.

      The first is that we want to offer something for overseas tourists, in which case the “Chinese” angle would be important. But the other school recognises that our main source of tourism dollars comes from the mainland, in which case, they feel, we should be looking outwards. This means we should be bringing the West to Hong Kong.

      However, as the mainland opens up, people will be able to go to the West and not need to spend their money and time in Hong Kong, so we could see a reverse in mindset and your ideas come to fruition.

      Susan, Editor

  5. December 31, 2009 12:08 pm

    By Chu Yau-ming

    Don’t fret over Shanghai Disney

    Shanghai will build a Disney theme park to boost the city’s tourism industry. A lot of Hongkongers are worried the new attraction will affect our economy.

    But there’s no need to worry. The Shanghai Disneyland will be smaller than Hong Kong’s. Besides, Hong Kong has a well-developed tourism industry.

    Our city does not depend only on the Magic Kingdom to attract visitors. It is a shopping paradise and visitors are fascinated by our scenic spots and unique culture.

    There’s no need to worry about our “new competitor”.

  6. December 31, 2009 12:06 pm

    Cheung Lung-pan, Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College

    Competition is good

    The central government has given Shanghai the long-awaited green light to build a Disney park. This will boost the city’s tourism industry.

    The announcement follows almost a decade of wrangling between the entertainment giant and mainland authorities.

    The new Disney will put Hong Kong and Shanghai in greater competition.

    Hong Kong Disneyland will need to improve its services if it hopes to attract more mainland visitors. Competition is good in this business.

  7. December 31, 2009 12:04 pm

    By Lam Suen-yee, Pooi To Middle School

    Don’t look down on yourself

    Hong Kong Disneyland is the smallest Disney park in the world. Many people criticise its size and the limited rides.

    It was recently announced that another Disneyland will open in Shanghai. Even though it will be smaller than Hong Kong Disneyland, people still see it as a competitor.

    But Hongkongers should not think of it in this way – there are several other Disney parks, including one in Tokyo. Competition is important as it makes us work harder to be the best.

    Ocean Park is a good example of how we can make the most of unique Hong Kong features. When Hong Kong Disneyland first opened, everyone thought Ocean Park would close. But it offers different experiences from the Disney park, so it continues to be successful.

    Hong Kong has a lot to offer. We should make the most of our distinctiveness, and not be intimidated by bigger cities. Hongkongers should not look down on themselves.

  8. December 16, 2009 3:12 pm

    By Blair Suen

    There has been a great deal of public concern over the competition between the Hong Kong Disneyland and the Shanghai one. Knowing how big the latter will be does give us relief and hope. And good news comes with another. The recently revealed expansion of our Disneyland represents a considerable advance on enhancing its competitiveness.

    I greatly appreciate that administrators of the Walt Disney Company have shown a thorough understanding of how to put Chinese elements into the park. As you may agree with me, adding local elements to the park is not a difficult idea to come up with, but developing a plan that fits. Considering the differences between the Chinese views on ghost and the Western, the company decides to not include elements of ghosts in the mysterious theme of one of the new attractions. Instead, supernatural phenomena will be used. This thought perhaps is a commercial strategy to avoid competition with the Ocean Park Halloween Bash or strategy for other reasons, but this move shows foreigners’ learning of Chinese culture and I appreciate that.

    I hope that more unique, inter-cultural elements will be introduced to make our Disneyland even better and most importantly improve Hong Kong’s image.

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