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New Attractions for Hong Kong Disneyland

14 Dec

The Associated Press, by way of the Houston Chronicle, reports that Hong Kong Disneyland will be adding new rides.

Stepping up its expansion program, Hong Kong Disneyland said Thursday it plans to add three new attractions by the first half of 2008, including the classic Disney ride “It’s a Small World.”

Hong Kong Disneyland said in a statement it will also add Animation Academy, where Disney artists will teach cartoon drawing, and “Mickey’s WaterWorks” water-based parade.

The article later notes that the new attractions will open in summer of 2007 and the first half of 2008.

I must admit, I can only cringe as I think of It’s a Small World being exported yet again. Yes, it’s a classic, and yes, I’ve ridden it in every Disneyland there is, so perhaps I’m just bitter because I don’t know when I’ll get out to this new park. Harumph. I gotta book me some goddamn flights to Hong Kong.

Did Shanghai Move Too Fast? Beijing Slows Disney Park Talks

11 Dec

MSNBC reports today that Disney’s Shanghai park plan is in doubt.

Walt Disney Co. is exploring other locations beside Shanghai for a theme park in mainland China amid concern that the central government may not support its plans in Shanghai, sources familiar with the issue said on Monday.

Other locations in China? Seems odd, given the amount of time (which of course equals money) that clearly has already been sunk into the Shanghai possibility, on both the Disney and China sides. But perhaps that’s the core of the issue, right there.

In early August, the official China Securities Journal reported that Shanghai authorities had started preparing a site for the park, even though Beijing had still not reached agreement with Walt Disney and the city government.

My limited understanding of the politics of China would suggest that Beijing might respond defensively here . . . Shanghai may have overstepped its perceived turf by moving too far without Beijing’s blessing. Of couse, it’s also possible that the real issue here is the scandal surrounding Shanghai’s former Communist Party boss, Chen Liangyu.

Under Chen’s leadership, Shanghai became known for a string of showy real estate projects, including a $350 million Formula One race track, one of the world’s most expensive tracks, and a futuristic $150 million tennis stadium.

Let’s see what we hear next . . . Beijing suggested above that they were considering other locations in China, in October there were reports in Shanghai Daily about Disney Parks looking at Thailand, and for some time there’s been rumours floating about a park in India. One way or another it looks like further Parks expansion into Asia is a sure thing.

Is Disney the Most Desirable Employer?

14 Sep

According to WFTV.co, Business Week has named Disney the “most desirable employer,” after surveying undergraduates and the career services that advise them.

Those survey respondents might want to take a look at yesterday’s Seattle Times, which mentions protests by Chinese workers who call Disney a sweatshop.

The most desirable employer perhaps, but for whom?

Local Park Proves Challenge to Hong Kong Disneyland

10 Sep

The International Herald Tribune has an Associated Press story today: Hong Kong Disneyland facing unexpectedly tough competition from local fixture Ocean Park (warning, pop-ups).

Hmmm, why my obsession with news about HK Disneyland? Maybe it’s because there’s so much of it this week, with the one-year anniversary of their opening? Or maybe, just maybe, it’s because it’s the only Disney resort I haven’t been to? Harumph. I gotta save up my frequent flier miles.

Disney Plans Chinese Indoctrination Camps, Takes Lesson from Mao

9 Sep

Travel Video Television News reports: HK Disneyland to focus on familiarizing Chinese with Disney characters.

In an effort to address the issue of lack of familiarity of Disney characters in China, Hong Kong Disneyland plans to hold induction programs in its theme park to educate Chinese tourists about Mickey Mouse and Winnie The Pooh.

I don’t know whether to alert Human Rights Watch, or send over a truckload of Mickey bars.

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