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Subject:  Re: Marvel Characters Headed to HK Disneyland Date:  3/5/2013  10:07 AM
Author:  DCWD40 Number:  48455 of 52143

Moe's local LA Times has a few more details about the Marvel "land" in HK Disneyland. Since it is coming in 2017, it will be brick and mortar. A themed meet and greet could be ready in a matter of months so that is not the trust of this addition. The scope of what is planned, though, is what is in doubt.

Hong Kong has received a major upgrade in rides under Iger's leadership. Mystic Point, the last of three major new theme areas, will open this May.

Having a world first for this market is a smart move on Mr. Iger's part. It establishes that Disney is making this park world class. That should correct any lingering image problems.

I have not seen any park capacity numbers since the original opening, but actual attendance has been poor in HK. With a daily capacity of 34,000 people, the park was the smallest capacity Disneyland-style park. That still works out to 12.4 million a year if you could fill the place every day.

Consider that the park only drew 5.2 million people the first year. Disney said they expected 5.6 million... Consider too that only 4.0 million people visited the second year. Did Disney have another Paris on its hands?

Last year the park reached 5.9 million visitors. Attendance is headed in the correct direction but the investments are being made for this park to break through the 10 million level. There is a large local population to draw from (unlike Orlando). The park, in 2013, will reach a level of rides where it is a full day experience. Like DCA, another less-than full day experience when it opened, it is time for this jewel to shine.

Putting the Marvel land here will give Chinese a reason to go to HK instead of Shanghai. While I expect Shanghai to be an instant hit because of its size and great location, it will be interesting to see how HK does when it has something really unique. If Disney wants to make a splash in China (pun intended), then HK could get enough digital ink worldwide to impress the government partners twice in three years (with Shanghai being the first big positive).

The financial impact on Disney will not be as great as it would be in a 100%-owned property. But, showing your partners they are special could produce dividends for all the Disney brands in China.

It will be interesting to see what Disney will announce in the coming weeks now that HK has forced their hand.

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