Hong Kong Disneyland Resort Reports Ups and Downs in 2021 as it Looks Forward to the Future

Hong Kong Disneyland Resort has released its annual fiscal report. In it, there are some highs and lows as the resort continues to struggle with the impacts of COVID-19. The resort saw substantial growth in 2021 with the local attendance growing 117% from the previous year. Its annual pass program, called Magic Access, saw a 55% growth year to year as well. The local young adult attendance saw substantial growth as well with student Magic Access membership growing 132% from Fiscal Year 2020 to Fiscal Year 2021. The result of all of this is that Hong Kong Disneyland saw its attendance grow overall by 64% to 2.8 million during the year.

The importance of local growth has been crucial to Hong Kong Disneyland Resort as the pandemic has continued to stifle travel. The report noted that inbound tourism has been basically stopped and had a severe impact on Hong Kong’s tourism industry.

The pandemic also impacted the resort’s ability to operate. The report noted that Hong Kong Disneyland was closed for 40% of the Fiscal Year 2021’s calendar days. The hotels at the resort also had to operate at a modified level to stay in line with local health guidelines.

Revenue for Hong Kong Disneyland Resort saw growth of 19% to HK$1.7 billion. In U.S. dollars that is around $217 million dollars. The resort also continues its efforts to reduce costs and was able to do that by 8%. The previous year it had been able to reduce costs by 41% year to year. This led to Hong Kong Disneyland Resort earnings for the year before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization 34% to negative HK$970 million. This is about $123 million in U.S. dollars. This is still under review. Overall, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort saw a net loss of HK$2.4 billion or $307 million U.S. This actually indicates a 12% improvement over the previous fiscal year. If available capacity is factored in, the hotel rooms at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort were at 77% occupancy in Fiscal Year 2021 versus 34% the previous year.

Looking forward, Hong Kong Disneyland is optimistic about where things are headed. “HKDL made deliberate efforts to preserve jobs in FY21, and thanks to our cast members’ dedication and resilience, we continued to deliver exceptional guest satisfaction and positive results with local guests,” said Michael Moriarty, managing director at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. “We are cautiously optimistic in our outlook ahead of the future gradual resumption of inbound tourism. Our new Castle of Magical Dreams, which has yet to be experienced by guests from outside of Hong Kong, as well as our daytime show “Follow Your Dreams” and upcoming nighttime spectacular “Momentous”, will be key drivers for local as well as inbound visitation in coming years.”

The new nighttime spectacular, Momentous, will be launching later this year with the Castel of Magical Dreams as the backdrop. Hong Kong Disneyland also promises other new offerings throughout the year to entice more guests to the park.

Hong Kong Disneyland also continues to work on health and safety initiatives to make it a safe place to both work and visit. It reported that it continues to implement capacity limits, health screenings, temperature checks, mask-on requirements, social distancing, and also increased cleaning and sanitization. By the end of Fiscal Year 2021, 94% of full-time cast members had received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine. The resort also reported that 94% of guests rated their overall experience as #excellent”, “very good” or “good” and 97% of the respondents felt that they had care-free park visits.

The Hong Kong Disneyland Resort also continued to advocate for inclusion and equal opportunities for everyone in the last year. This included the presentation of the True Colors Symphony, the largest inclusive orchestra in Hong Kong. There was a special recreation of A Whole New World with 20 musicians from various backgrounds, ages, and abilities. In April 2021, Disney VoluntEARS produced a video with the Hong Kong Federation of Handicapped Youth and Disney characters to promote healthy living. Throughout the last year, Hong Kong Disneyland also worked with local children’s hospitals, Make-A-Wish, food programs, and more.

During this recent pandemic wave, Hong Kong Disneyland has launched more initiatives under three main pillars:

  1. Enabling Essential Facilities
  2. Free Online Storytelling for the Community
  3. Food and Essential Materials to Ethnic Minorities and Underrepresented Families

The Hong Kong Disneyland Resort is also striving to thank medical staff and other frontline workers.

In the last 16 years, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort shared that it has brought HK $115.3 billion ($14.7 billion U.S.) to Hong Kong’s economy. This is approximately .29% of its GDP. It has created cumulatively 274,200 jobs as well. On average, Hong Kong Disneyland employs 5,000 full-time cast members and 1,200 part-time cast members during Fiscal Year 2021. This makes the resort one of Hong Kong’s largest employers for the tourism and family entertainment industry. Its Disney VoluntEARS have also served 111,000 volunteer hours over the past 16 years.