Big trouble in Hong Kong: Disney all but abandons Hong Kong Disneyland


Seeing no end to the money-hemorrhaging madness in Hong Kong, Disney is halting all plans for expansion for its park in Hong Kong. The show will go on, but it will be frozen, and nothing new will be added. About 30 Imagineers will be laid off.

Attendance in Hong Kong was never what they'd hoped. In fact, it's slid. Originally, the expectation was that people from mainland China would flood its gates, but that never quite happened. And when it did, the results haven't been golden. It's not always easy for Mainlanders to get clearance to travel to Hong Kong; generally speaking, only the wealthiest ones can or do. And inside the park, staff must continually explain to Chinese guests why it's not all right for them to urinate in the park's gardens -- they would be politely directed to the squat toilets in the bathrooms. Citizens of Hong Kong traditionally disdain Mainlanders for behavior like that (and rival Ocean Park is closer and viewed as less corporate/imperialist), so Hong Kongers have mostly avoided the park, too.

By stalling its joint venture, though, a turnaround isn't in the cards, leaving Hong Kong Disneyland the only Disney resort in the world sustained by just a single theme park. The Disney brand is showing signs of drastic erosion.