HONG KONG, Dec 9, 2023 – Hong Kong Disneyland Resort (HKDL) today hosted a grand celebration, “Dreamers Unite: Celebration for IDPD 2023 and Homecoming for Hong Kong China Athletes,” commemorating the 31st anniversary of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) while also celebrating the homecoming of Hong Kong athletes.
The event invited over 1,000 guests, including talented people with disabilities, and the Hong Kong, China delegations for the Hangzhou 19th Asian Games and 4th Asian Para Games to attend the event at the Castle of Magical Dreams.
The occasion represented a significant platform to celebrate people with disabilities, emphasizing diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as demonstrating how all people can aspire to achieve their dreams.
The celebration also paid tribute to the outstanding achievements of the Hong Kong, China delegations and underscored the resort’s collaboration with close community NGOs. Representatives from more than 10 NGOs, such as the New Life Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association, Arts With the Disabled Association Hong Kong, and Heep Hong Society, all committed to supporting individuals with disabilities, also attended the event.
To further support the community, HKDL is donating over 5,000 park tickets to people with disabilities through Hong Kong Council of Social Service and Hong Kong Joint Council for People with Disabilities.
The ceremony today served as an opportunity for Hong Kong athletes, their teams, and all people to come together and immerse themselves in a magical world, including experiencing the brand-new World of Frozen.
Joining the ceremony as guests of honor were Chris Sun, Secretary for Labour and Welfare of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region; Benny Cheung, Chairperson of the Hong Kong Joint Council for People with Disabilities and the Board Director of China Hong Kong Paralympic Committee; and Michael Moriarty, Managing Director, HKDL.
Sun said it was a pleasure to attend the celebration for the 31st anniversary of IDPD this year. He said the government would continue to strengthen rehabilitation services and policies, including implementing more subsidies to support people with disabilities, increasing staff at care home facilities, gradually increasing the capacity of the Day Activity Center, and enhancing the services of the Integrated Community Centre for Mental Wellness. Sun thanked all participating organizations, NGOs, and other government parties for organizing the annual educational event. He called on all the community to keep working together to promote the message of inclusion.
“At HKDL, it has become a much-loved tradition to celebrate IDPD, which is a shining example of our commitment to inclusivity and accessibility,” said Moriarty. “This year, we also celebrate the outstanding achievements of our Hong Kong, China Asian Games and Asian Para Games athletes, who have proved that no dream is too big. At HKDL, we share these values and celebrate that spirit.”
“Over 30 years of collective efforts, the public’s awareness on people with disabilities and their rights has significantly enhanced. The message of ‘establishing a disability inclusive society’ has been widely embraced by society. As the Asian Games and Asian Para Games was held this year, the ceremony also celebrates the triumphant return of our Hong Kong, China athletes. With the theme of the ceremony, ‘Creating Dreams, Fostering Inclusion,’ I would like to express my special gratitude to all the para-athletes. Your courage and perseverance inspire everyone, and create opportunities for individuals with disabilities to pursue their dreams,” said Cheung.
After the ceremony, the invited athletes enjoyed an immersive experience at the resort’s newly launched World of Frozen. Cado Lee, representing the gold medal-winning Hong Kong Rugby Sevens team in the Asian Games, and Chan Yui-lam, a gold medalist in swimming competitions at the Asian Para Games, both expressed their delight at getting to experience World of Frozen.
“Thank you HKDL, for giving us the opportunity to take time off from our training schedules. We have enjoyed ourselves so much in this magical new themed land,” said Lee. “I would like to give special thanks to different organizations in the community for hosting this meaningful event. These events allow more people to understand and treasure the importance of inclusion,” added Chan.
Commitment to Accessibility and Inclusion at HKDL
HKDL is committed to fostering inclusion through its year-round initiatives, and enhancing the accessibility of its entertainment experiences and sharing Disney magic with all.
This year, HKDL is sponsoring young local artists with disabilities through the Disney Dream Makers Youth Development Program, where each recipient has the chance to receive up to HK$50,000 to showcase their artistic growth.
To promote arts accessibility, HKDL is incorporating sign language elements and theatrical interpretation in its entertainment offerings. These include the most recent live interactive theatrical experience Playhouse in the Woods in the newly opened World of Frozen, as well as other theater shows.
About Hong Kong Disneyland Resort
Hong Kong Disneyland Resort offers unforgettable, culturally distinctive Disney experiences for guests of all ages and nationalities. Filled with your favorite Disney stories and characters, Hong Kong Disneyland offers guests the opportunity to explore eight diverse themed lands that are home to award-winning, unique attractions and entertainment. Complete your adventure with stays at the resort’s luxurious Disney hotels. The magic doesn’t end at our doorstep; as a dedicated member of the local community that cares deeply about societal wellbeing, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort spreads its magic through community service programs that help families in need, boost creativity among children and families, encourage the protection of the environment and inspire healthier living.
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