Disney n fantasy – Ocean Park about real animals

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    Associated Press article, in Int Herald Tribune, tells of Hong Kong Disneyland struggling in its first year, while Ocean Park enjoying a boom.

    “it was fun,” said [Ocean Park visitor] Shum, who’s from the city of Guangzhou. “Many people tell me I should try Disneyland instead, but I heard it’s small and there aren’t enough things to do there.”

    most mainland Chinese don’t have a strong attachment to Mickey and friends.

    Ocean Park knows its strengths — a hybrid of thrills and animals, fun and education — and sells them well, said Allan Zeman, the park’s flamboyant chairman.
    “Disney is all about fantasy, cartoons, castles,” he said. “What’s Ocean Park? It’s real. It has real animals, real fish.”

    Ocean Park is also more centrally located than Disneyland, which is built on the lush Lantau Island 30 minutes away from downtown Hong Kong.

    Hong Kong Disneyland facing unexpectedly tough competition from local fixture Ocean Park

    Now I’m not a great fan of Allan Zeman – saw him talk on “sustainable tourism” once, and he just promoted Lan Kwai Fong, Ocean Park and little else (!); I wasn’t impressed by fairly recent suggestions Ocean Park could obtain belugas and polar bears – but I’m way less impressed with HK Disneyland.
    To me, not great use of land/HK money: seemed odd to me that soon after Hong Kong returned from Britain to China, Mickey Mouse should get rights to a piece of land here (for a hundred years?). Also, I’d wondered who Mickey Mouse is anyway, to many mainland Chinese: judging by this article and some other reports, indeed seems Disney’s non-too-high profile on mainland isn’t helpful.
    Then, too, there came the shark fin soup fiasco (see another thread here), with Disney here contradicting its supposedly conservationist stance elsewhere.

    My youngest brother and his wife enjoyed Disneyland (I’m yet to visit), and have been to Disneylands in Florida and Paris. But, will it prove a worthwhile investment for Hong Kong?

    What do you think? Is Hong Kong Disneyland a great place, an asset for HK, the right way for HK govt to spend money?

    Post edited by: Martin, at: 2006/09/10 19:45

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