Disneyland

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The Tragedy of Cinderella

Introduction

In Disney’s fairy tale “The Story of Cinderella”, Cinderella and the prince live happily ever after. In reality, when the Hong Kong Government met the Walt Disney Company, the fantastic dream vanished. The Company failed to protect Hong Kong from the economic downturn. Hong Kong Disneyland was opened on 12 September 2005. Hong Kong was soaked in an atmosphere of jubilance after the Hong Kong government successfully signed contract documents with Walt Disney Company. However, series of scandals and problems have popped up since the construction of the theme park, and these have badly affected the park’s image.

This report aims to compare the benefits and drawbacks of Disneyland to Hong Kong, and to assess the influence of Disneyland on Hong Kong in different aspects. Lastly, it suggests ways how the Disneyland Company can improve the present situation.

Current Situation

Hong Kong Disneyland operates by a joint-venture company of the Hong Kong Government and The Walt Disney Company. The park cost $5.7 billion, of which the Government injected $3.25 billion and Disney Company inject $2.45 billion. The graph below shows Hong Kong government injected more money on the park then the Disney Company.

The park is located on 125 hectares of reclaimed land with many attractions, including Adventureland, Tomororrowland, Fantasyland, Main Street in U.S.A., fireworks displays, Sleeping Beauty Castle, Mad Hatter Tea Cups and a few others. The major difference between Hong Kong Disneyland and other Disneylands is having a stunning mountain and sea view. In 2008, “it’s a small world”, a boat ride attraction, Animation Academy for visitors to learn how to draw their favourite Disney characters, Mickey’s WaterWorks, a water-based day parade will be added to the Disneyland.

The following graph shows the composition of visitors in Disneyland. Mainland visitors are the major tourists in the park. It shows that the park mainly attracts Mainland tourists and the high - end foreign tourists are less attracted by Hong Kong Disneyland.

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At, the same time, Disneyland faced many difficulties and problems even before the grand opening. They are pollution during construction work and firework displays, impoliteness of the Disneyland staff and unhygienic conditions in restaurants.

All the above statistics show that Hong Kong Disneyland cannot boost Hong Kong’s tourism industry.

Findings

Hong Kong Disneyland is assumed to bring benefits to Hong Kong in the future. It is expected to attract millions of tourists a year, create thousands of jobs, enrich the quality of life, and enhance Hong Kong's international image. The Hong Kong Disneyland is proposed to provide Hong Kong with a net economic benefit of up to $148 billion over 40 years. However, unfortunately, problems have come before benefits. In order to have a deeper understanding of the problems of Hong Kong Disneyland, we have interviewed Ms. Lee of the Disney Hunter to comment on the recent operation of the Hong Kong Disneyland.

To start with, Ms. Lee claimed that the Hong Kong Disneyland failed to show high standard of cooperation with its major investor, the Hong Kong government. It did not allow the inspectors of the Food and Environment Department to go into the park to investigate the food poisoning case. The park staff forced them to remove their caps before entering the park. This scandal brought forward the fact that the Hong Kong Disneyland is having too much power, and is supposedly expedited from Hong Kong’s score of legislation.

Secondly, Hong Kong Disneyland has failed to bring long-term economic benefits to Hong Kong. It was estimated that Hong Kong Disneyland would attract 3.4 million incoming tourists in the opening year. However, it failed to meet the...
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