Shanghai Disney Resort set to open June 16

Posted Wednesday, January 13, 2016 12:59 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Walt Disney Co. said it will open the new Shanghai Disney Resort on June 16, unveiling the company’s largest foreign investment at a time of turmoil in the Chinese economy. The $5.5 billion resort, Disney’s first on mainland China, features the company’s tallest castle, two hotels and a pirates-themed land. At 963 acres, it’s three times the size of Hong Kong Disneyland. The project, years in the planning, represents a long-term bet on a region now experiencing economic pain.

Read more from Bloomberg. Also, from China: Xinhua , and financial: The Wall Street Journal.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2016 2:13 PM

Long-term bet? For any theme park, duh! I hope it does well.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2016 8:03 PM

No such thing as a safe bet but I'm thinking this is a good bet. Lots of people with lots of money to spend, and clearly Disney learned a few lessons from Hong Kong Disneyland.

Tom Rebbie, the guy owns PTC, turns up at NoCoaster most every year. A few years back he was showing photos of his business trips to China and similar things to say about the Chinese construction industry.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2016 9:20 PM

I don't know what the numbers look like, but HKDL last summer was fantastic. Definitely a complete Disney Park. Everything else (resorts, water parks, shopping) was still lacking, but we were just day tripping so it was perfect for us. I have to believe that Shanghai DL will have less initial hiccups and probably climb the attendance curve much faster.

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Thursday, January 14, 2016 9:01 PM

I'd keep a close watch on HKDL numbers as I suspect there will be serious issues. Mainland visa restrictions to Macau and the economic contraction can't help but put (significant) downward pressure on HKDL. I don't have any facts but I'd be shocked if there wasn't serious concerns right now.

We'll see how Chinese New Year holiday turns out but I'm definitely a bear on HKDL.

Similar note, DLR may have finally hit the magic price point on season passes. Very interesting surveys went out this week for annual pass holders who visited the park after Xmas, which I'll put into a separate thread later, but it was the most stark and honest survey I've seen regarding pricing. I'm suspecting Annual pass renewals tanked this holiday season, perhaps more so than expected/wanted

Last edited by CreditWh0re, Thursday, January 14, 2016 9:03 PM
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Friday, January 15, 2016 5:26 PM

CreditWh0re said:

Similar note, DLR may have finally hit the magic price point on season passes. Very interesting surveys went out this week for annual pass holders who visited the park after Xmas, which I'll put into a separate thread later, but it was the most stark and honest survey I've seen regarding pricing. I'm suspecting Annual pass renewals tanked this holiday season, perhaps more so than expected/wanted

Answer: At these prices, let's wait until Star Wars Land is closer to completion.

Last edited by janfrederick, Friday, January 15, 2016 5:28 PM
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Wednesday, February 17, 2016 8:14 AM

Feb 17 2016:

Looks like there is significant contraction at HKDL. Revenue down 6% and Visitors count down 10%. Those are big numbers, and the situation may be worse than that. Depending on when you believe the Chinese economy started to slow (late 2014 or late 2015), those full year numbers could mask how bad the situation really is right now at HKDL.

Shanghai's opening can't help and I'm not sure Iron Man will be the solution. Could be a very rough Year of the Monkey.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-walt-disney-hongkong-idUSKCN0VO160

Last edited by CreditWh0re, Wednesday, February 17, 2016 8:21 AM
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Wednesday, February 17, 2016 8:25 AM

I think Hong Kong will be OK. They get a lot of tourists there and it's a major flight connection point. The park is a short train from the airport so stopovers are easy enough to do.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2016 11:23 AM

I thought in park spending was up at HKDL despite the lower attendance?

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Wednesday, February 17, 2016 11:46 AM

Not sure about that, but a loss for the year, on a drop in visitation. If there was increased per cap spending it wasn't mentioned in the article, and total revenue is down year over year.

I suspect this is the but the first of a series of worrisome news this year for HKDL. Long term probably just a normal cycle (if anything about China's economy can be called normal). However, one only need look at the results for the casinos in Macau to see that some of that has to be a macro issue which will impact HKDL.

I haven't seen any reports about crowds for Lunar New Year week, but if that was down, then that's a huge tell.

Last edited by CreditWh0re, Wednesday, February 17, 2016 11:46 AM
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Wednesday, February 17, 2016 12:01 PM

From The Disney Blog, a few words on this subject. I thought it was interesting that he brought ESPN into the mix. I've been reading over the past year or so that the changing media landscape, with more and more people passing on cable entirely is a significant threat to the network.

May I digress a bit, speaking of China and pollution, with this item from the Why Didn't I Think Of That file?

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Wednesday, February 17, 2016 6:48 PM

Macau is much more dependent on the mainland than Hong Kong.

There's a bridge under construction right now that will likely have some impact on that (it's currently a ferry crossing...) but I'd be surprised if it ever gets the amount of foreign traffic that Hong Kong does.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2016 11:13 PM

slithernoggin said:

May I digress a bit, speaking of China and pollution, with this item from the Why Didn't I Think Of That file?

I have a can of Florida Sunshine, and I'm waiting for a really bad day to open it.

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Thursday, February 18, 2016 4:07 AM

I have the choice of going to Shanghai for the grand opening of Shanghai Disneyland, but I am not willing to fight the insane crowds for a park that will still be under construction. Reports I hear basically stated that three attractions were cycling as of January 2016 and the park is still nowhere ready after years of delays.

The only silver lining in this is that this will allow both Disney California Adventure and Epcot to switch Soarin' to the new movie since they had to wait for Shanghai Disneyland Soarin' Over the Horizon to debut.

As for Hong Kong Disneyland, the HK government told Disney "No" for adding Toy Story Mania! to Toy Story Playland and beyond the Ironman Experience, no new attractions are rumored or under construction. The rumored second park has been put on the backburner.

Ocean Park Hong Kong is hoping the new MTR station open this year after a long delay. MTR is the subway/train system in Hong Kong and the south of Hong Kong island where Ocean Park is located had no service. Ocean Park is currently linked by buses to Admiralty station that can take anywhere from 20 minutes to 45 minutes to reach the park and the new South Island Line will put Ocean Park only 3 minutes away from downtown Hong Kong and dump guests in front of the main entrance. Once this open, Ocean Park is expecting nice attendance growth and are looking at the future. In case you're wondering, their 2014 attendance was 7.7 million guests with their Halloween season the most attended in the world.

Why do I mention Ocean Park? Because they still beat Hong Kong Disneyland in attendance in 2014 and I expecting them to do the same in 2015. They fended off Disney by investing nearly 800 millions US in the park between 2006 and 2012 and know what's even funnier? The majority owner of Hong Kong Disneyland is the Hong Kong SAR government and Ocean Park Corporation is a not for profit Hong Kong SAR government independant corporation.

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