Disney losing its magic in Hong Kong

Captain Hook grins above the Hong Kong Disneyland logo

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Doug Krizner: The wonderful world of Disney has lost some of its magic in Asia. Attendance at Hong Kong Disneyland has fallen more than 20 percent from its first year of operation. As Kate Woodsome reports, the government is worried about the cash-strapped kingdom.


Kate Woodsome: Ask anyone here which amusement park offers more bang for its buck -- Hong Kong Disneyland or its local rival, Ocean Park -- and the answer is pretty standard:

Schoolgirl: Of course it's Ocean Park.

Hong Kong Disneyland is much smaller than its rival and its sister parks in the U.S., Paris and Tokyo. The Tourism Commission says attendance plunged to around 4 million people this past year, down from 5.2 million the year before.

Commerce Secretary Frederick Ma says the government, the majority stakeholder, might pay for an expansion. But he says that would only happen if Disneyland brings economic benefits to the city.

The Walt Disney Company said in November that Hong Kong Disneyland's poor performance is weighing down its results. The company agreed to forgo royalties from the park for a couple years. But unless it gets a cash injection, the world's smallest Disneyland may not live happily every after.

In Hong Kong, I'm Kate Woodsome for Marketplace.

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