Hong Kong Disneyland Slump Prompts Layoffs
Attendance is falling at Hong Kong Disneyland... and the park is laying off workers as a result, according to local reports
"Dozens of employees" are said to be losing their jobs, as Hong Kong Disneyland deals with a 9 percent drop in attendance in its most recent fiscal year. (A Hong Kong official confirms the layoffs in this press conference transcript.) Hong Kong Disneyland reported a HK$148 million (US$19 million) loss in that fiscal year, which ended in October. It was the park's first loss since 2011, when the park achieved profitability for the first time after years of losses following the park's 2005 opening.
Analysts blame political unrest in Hong Kong and a weakening Chinese economy for an overall drop in tourists visiting the city. As one of the more popular tourist attractions in Hong Kong, Disneyland bears much of the consequence of that decline. And that's before June's opening of the much larger Shanghai Disneyland, which could further reduce the number of mainland Chinese visiting Hong Kong Disneyland.
Hong Kong Disneyland will open Disney's first Marvel-themed ride, Iron Man Experience, later this year, along with a third on-site hotel, Explorers Lodge, for 2017.
Rate and Review:
Hong Kong Disney is a problematic park. Hong Kong's dollar is tied to the US dollar, so as the US dollar has strengthened, tourism there has dropped. Development in China has focused on the Mainland, so Shanghai and Beijing are strengthening in comparison to the once more powerful Hong Kong, leading to less business tourism.
That doesn't bode well for the second Disney theme park opening soon in China.
It will be interesting to see if Shanghai cannibalises Hong Kong attendance.
I can already smell more budget cuts at our domestic parks in the near future.... Honestly what's sad is the fact that basically all of WDC's overseas parks are failing with the exception of Tokyo Disney. HKDL, DLP, and WDS are rapidly losing revenue and attendance. On top of that, Shanghai Disney is way over budget and could face the same fate as HKDL considering that China's economy is slowing. Hope everyone's ready for more budget cuts. #Thanksshanghai #ThanksHKDL #ThanksDLP
Seems like the only Disneyland Park doing well overseas is Tokyo. Every other market is underperforming. If I were Hong Kong Disneyland, I would make a few big changes. Swap out the embarrassing little Aurora castle for something more grand. Beauty and the Best castle comes to mind at double the size. Build it with a Beauty and Beast attraction/ride and Be My Guest restaurant. Replace Main Street with a British version. The American Main Street is out of place in former British territory Hong Kong. Build the second park with Avatar and Star Wars Land.
Looking at Google Maps, it's plain to see that HKD has a LOT of room for expansion. The question is will they spend the required money to use that land in a way that makes the park profitable again? Is it worth it? It takes money to make money, but I'm not sure HKD is ready to spend it, especially after they opend three new lands, which helped, but only temporarily.
Great suggestions Anon mouse. HKDLand along with CA adventure and Hollywood studios was poorly planned and done on the cheap. Why Disney has made that mistake 3 times is baffling.
HKDL is being squeezed in two different directions. Mainland tourists are decreasing rapidly as China's economy sputters, mainlanders have more options abroad and on the mainland for tourism including Shanghai Disneyland, and mainlanders just got tired of the hostility from Hong Kong residents. On the other hand, HKDL is losing the locals battle to Ocean Park, which is seen as a "genuine" HK park, and not some kind of cultural interloper, as well as the lingering bad taste from its somewhat stillborn opening. Disney should have built this park on Australia's Gold Coast as they originally planned. I wouldn't be surprised to see HKDL continue to atrophy until it eventually shuts down at some point in the future.
When it comes to #ThanksDLP I hope it is aimed at the DLP management for not building new attractions in the park for 10 years now and the WDC for building a less then mediocre half day Studios park not worth a second visit.
Hong Kong Disneyland has had problems from day one and no matter what Disney does it seems that they can't get the park to work. I can't say for sure, but I have to think the biggest problem is that the park just doesn't have much to draw visitors. Not only is it the smallest of the Magic Kingdom parks, but very few attractions are not cloned from another park and with the number of knockoff Disney parks scattered around China there just isn't enough to justify a special trip to Hong Kong. Shanghai Disneyland appears to address a number of these problems, with many original attractions and basing cloned attractions mostly on more recent rides Chinese visitors likely haven't experienced elsewhere, plus the park was designed from the ground up to appeal to the Chinese demographic instead of just dropping in things that worked at other Disney parks. I do hope the park is successful, but I do wonder if it is possible for Shanghai and Hong Kong Disneylands to coexist. Perhaps if Hong Kong installs only original rides going forward and adds a quality second park it may succeed, but right now it appears to be doing about as well as DCA 1.0 would have done without Disneyland.
Other than Disney Hollywood Studios Paris, this park was Disney's biggest mistake. Instead of improving the original version, this Disneyland is a copy of the Anaheim version with some changes, most of them to save money. With the exception of Japan, Disney has failed to meet expcations they established in the U.S. They need to spend time and money to fix this. Once all this happens then they can think of opening more parks. Cars Land would be a good addition to Honk Kong. It would set it apart form Shanghai and Japan without having to without having to design a new land.
Sitting in a country of one billion residents, this park should be wildly successful. I guess Mystic Manor just wasn't enough, despite being (reportedly) a great ride.
"mainlanders just got tired of the hostility from Hong Kong residents"
ThanksBobIger# Iger is a network executive. He has zero understanding of the theme park business.
Maybe Disney will build a 3rd Chinese resort now. They seem to build more and more despite poor performances from foreign parks. Meanwhile us in the US get exponential price increases. Crazy. Tokyo is by far the best disney parks value at $50-$70 per day.
Sylvain - I agree with you 100%. All I have to say is Tomorrowland Anaheim... need I say more? With the greatest waste of space - the Innoventions building, Space Mountain with a queue that resembles a mall from the 1970's, an abandoned elevated track for Rocket Rods, and some steam punk touches here and there. If you ask me, Tomorrowland should be an embarrassment for TDA.
With all due respect to the previous anonymous post, Hong Kong Disneyland, Shanghai Disneyland and Disneyland Paris were all decisions made by Eisner not Iger who made the call on My Magic plus.
Whatever happened to "The buck stops here"? Whatever happened to CEO accountability? Iger chose Rasulo. Iger chose Staggs. Iger greenlighted MyMagic+. Iger greenlighted Shanghai Disney. If Iger is not responsible for massive company-wide systemic failures, then who is? If Iger is not responsible, then why is he being paid like he is?
Bob Iger's fate should be for shareholders and board of directors to decide. If you own DIS shares then you should vote for his firing.
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