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HK urges Disney to cut visitor capacity at new park - Reuters, 9/6/05


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  • HK urges Disney to cut visitor capacity at new park - Reuters, 9/6/05

    Hong Kong's government has urged the Walt Disney Company to cut the maximum number of people allowed into its new park after visitors complained of long queues at a trial opening over the weekend.

    The park admitted about 30,000 guests on Sunday for a rehearsal, but visitors found themselves waiting in line for up to three hours for some popular rides.

    Many waited for up to half an hour at fast food outlets.

    The park, which was built to take a maximum capacity of 30,000 visitors, officially opens next Monday.

    But Hong Kong Financial Secretary Henry Tang urged the company to consider lowering the upper limit.

    "If it takes in 30,000 people, the queues will be very long and buying lunch would take a very long time," Tang told reporters late on Monday.

    "Disney has told us that queues at its other parks are also very long during peak periods ... but people may not be used to lining up for so long. So we are discussing with Disney on whether it could manage this more flexibly."

    Asked if the full capacity should be lower than 30,000, he said: "We are now examining this. We should handle it flexibly."

    Disney was not immediately available for comment.

    Hong Kong's government holds a 57 percent stake in the park and Disney owns the rest. The project was launched during a time when Hong Kong was in recession and was widely billed as an elixir to the city's economic woes.

    The park is expected to draw massive crowds, particularly from mainland China.

    But, not all news associated with the park has been rosy.

    It withdrew sharks' fin soup from its restaurant menus after complaints from conservationists.

    It also drew criticism in July when it asked the government to round up dozens of stray dogs around the park. Almost all of the animals were eventually put down.

    In August, a group of activists said factories in mainland China producing Disney products overworked and underpaid their staff. The company has said it would investigate those findings.
    Check out my Theme Park Photos at

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