We've all heard the stories about how mainland Chinese people have packed out Hong Kong's Disneyland resort at select times in the past, annoying certain locals who may take offence to certain types of behaviour. Remember the international headlines in 2005, when our Disneyland opened, because a few Mainlanders were seen doing numbers one and two outside the toilets, rather than in?
But, as of today (Thursday June 9), the US$5.5 billion Shanghai Disney Resort has opened, five years after first breaking ground. It's Disney's first Chinese Disneyland, spread over 963 acres and today's 'official launch' is just a week before its full opening to the public. Clearly, however, China's gain is our loss as many Mainlanders who would bring their kids to our shores for our resort will surely now head to Shanghai, meaning a loss in HK tourism. But, wait. Some would argue that China's gain is also our gain. These people have complained about Mainlanders at our Disney before...
There's been reports this year of a slump in Mainland visitors to our SAR, both at Disneyland and across the city as a whole. But will there be more people celebrating this or more worried about a loss of tourism income? The debate will rage. But, for now, we're off to our own Disneyland. We need the space.