Attendance, and losses, increase at Hong Kong Disneyland

February 20, 2018, 12:45 PM · Disney's smallest theme park resort, Hong Kong Disneyland, posted a solid increase in attendance last year, according to reports released by the joint-owned park today.

Attendance increased three percent to 6.2 million guests in 2017, according to the park, which is owned by the Hong Kong government with Disney owning a 47 percent, minority stake. And the park did even better with visitors from outside China. International visitors accounted for 1.5 of Hong Kong Disneyland's visitors last year, which marked a five percent increase over the previous year.

Hong Kong Disneyland's visitors were spending, too, with revenue at the park up eight percent, to HK$5.1 billion (US$652 million). However, the park doubled its net losses for the year, which swelled from just under HK$22 million to just over HK$44 million.

The good news for fans is that the loss in the face of increased attendance and spending was due to Hong Kong Disneyland spending heavily on new attractions, including the new Iron Man Experience ride and Disney Explorers Lodge hotel. Hong Kong Disneyland will continue spending on new attractions in the years to come, opening a new Ant-Man themed overlay to its old Buzz Lightyear ride later this year, doubling the size of its castle, and adding other Marvel and Frozen-themed attractions after that.

Disney's top theme park in terms of attendance is Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, which attracted more than 20 million visitors in 2016, according to the latest TEA/AECOM industry attendance report. Today's report suggests that Hong Kong Disneyland ranks 11th of the 12 Disney theme parks around the world in attendance, beating only Paris' Walt Disney Studios theme park, which drew just under five million visitors in 2016. WDS's sister park Disneyland Paris drew more than eight million visitors, leaving the single-park Hong Kong resort as Disney's smallest by attendance. In that latest TEA/AECOM report, Hong Kong edged out Shanghai Disneyland, but that park was open for only half the year in 2016 and has exceeded 10 million visitors in 2017. Still, the 2017 attendance increase for the Hong Kong park shows that Shanghai isn't cannibalizing its attendance, as some has feared might happen.

Replies (7)

February 20, 2018 at 5:29 PM · How many years does Hong Kong Disney need to succeed? Isn't 13 years of failure enough? Pull the plug.
February 21, 2018 at 12:50 AM · If I ever make that bucket list trip to Tokyo Disney, I'll try to carve out one day each for Hong Kong and Shanghai Disneyland.
February 21, 2018 at 10:26 AM · Robert, you said "International visitors accounted for 1.5 of Hong Kong Disneyland's visitors last year..."

1.5 million? Or 1.5%? I'm pretty sure it's not 1.5 people. :P

I love HKDL, and if attendance remains low, or dips after the surge of guests that want to see all the new stuff, it'll be good for me! That's my favorite thing about the park - it's so easy to do everything without the crowds of Florida or California (or Tokyo, as I've read).

I can't wait to go back, but I'll definitely wait until much of the $1.4b expansion is complete. No hurry.

February 21, 2018 at 12:43 PM · Perhaps the low attendance could become its thing “ come to the one Disney park that isn’t crowded”
February 21, 2018 at 8:08 PM · To the the first anonymous poster. Hong Kong Disneyland is mainly owned by the city of of Hong Kong, not Disney. Disney does not have the ability to close it. As long as the relationship with Hong Kong remains strong, it will not close. An American company doing business in China is very complicated, and there is much more to consider than just the success of the park itself. The parks are a way Disney creates a good relationship with the Chinese government, and helps ensure Disney can release movies and TV shows in China.
February 22, 2018 at 8:22 PM · Im ready to go! Sounds like a great oark to visit!!!
February 26, 2018 at 6:29 AM · So, Disney spends billions in China just to ensure access to Chinese movie theaters and merchandising, meanwhile Disney "lobbies" American communities in Anaheim and Florida to pay for investments Disney should be making on their own.

Does Disney really want to be known for this? Bending over backwards to assist the Chinese dictatorship and their North Korean nuclear puppet state, even while Disney rips off our American democracy. Big Business is out of control. The tail shouldn't wag the dog.

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