A little more about (little) Disneyland Hong Kong

HK Disneyland Main Street (13 May 12)Hello from Hong Kong, where the smallest of the Disney parks (just over 60 acres) sits on an outer island, near the airport, on land reclaimed from the harbour. By introduction, my name is Jim, and I own a website called Global Postcard Sales. I’ve lived here since long before Hong Kong Disneyland opened in 2005. Todd has asked me to say a few things about their postcards and related topics, and I’m happy to do that.

Not to bore you with history,  but HK already has one huge (and vastly successful) theme park called Ocean Park which opened in 1977.  When Disney announced that it would build here as well, people were thrilled–the next nearest Disney park being in Tokyo, a very expensive and distant trip. So, the Hong Kong Government took a majority share in our local version, and up it went. This is where the story gets interesting.  All of us here were more than a little concerned when word leaked out that another, bigger (read…BIGGER) Disney park was going to be built in Shanghai. That meant that a lot of mainland Chinese families (the target market, after all) collectively said “OK, we can wait,” and didn’t come to the park.  So, it was a tough start at Hong Kong Disneyland, but they have begun to turn the corner.

DHK_00400003439881_coverNow, what about postcards? Disney initially opened retail shops in key locations around Hong Kong, selling the entire range of official merchandise. One by one, these shops closed–due partly to massive rent increases faced by all retailers in the city–and now the situation is this: if someone wants to buy Disney postcards, there are only two places to do it. One, at the park itself. The other, in a shop inside the “sterile area” (after Security and Immigration) in Hong Kong Airport, not even on the main concourse (where it had been initially) but now on a Mezzanine level next to a very busy McDonald’s. Disney postcards are not available at all in any other areas of Hong Kong *unless* some small shop in an arcade is selling unauthorised pirated copies.

The airport shop is often sold out of cards, at least when I have passed through. When they do have one or two varieties–usually of the sort Todd displayed in an earlier post–they are rather inconspicuous on well-hidden racks. Even the staff don’t often know where the cards are. Persistence helps.

DHK_00400002679226BI think one reason their postcards are of such low priority is that they are quite expensive relative to the more durable types of toys children would rather have. But the cards they do have are wonderful, really. They show Disney characters having fun in a variety of iconic local settings, showing our trams, the skyscrapers, and everything about Hong Kong that visitors want to see. But as Todd says, it is something of a treasure hunt to get these cards from outside of Hong Kong, and even here, we must either go to the park or be flying off somewhere, and have the time to divert to that shop, and then they actually need to have some stock.

The photo you see here is one I took on a visit to Hong Kong Disneyland. On a hot summer day it is much more crowded than this–and good luck getting your own bottle of water through security!

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