The secrets of Disney's theme park and movie success have been explained to the Chief Executive, Mr Tung Chee Hwa, during a visit to Disney facilities in California today (April 11, HK time).
Mr Tung's visit included a briefing on Disney University, a stroll along Disneyland's Main Street, an overview on the development of a new Disney theme park and a visit to Disney's research and development facilities.
The Chief Executive met Disney Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael D Eisner and Disney President and Chief Operating Officer Robert A Iger at the company's Burbank headquarters to discuss issues relating to the development of Hong Kong Disneyland.
Following the visit, Mr Tung said: "It's been a great pleasure to have been able to visit Disneyland and to see first hand how they create the magic atmosphere that makes their theme parks and resorts so special.
"This has been an extremely useful visit. It has made me even more confident that the building of Disneyland in Hong Kong will strengthen Hong Kong's economy and bring our tourism to world-class standards.
"Disney's innovation and technology is unbelievable and I am sure will upgrade our own entertainment industry.
"Hong Kong Disneyland, I am sure, will provide new development and employment opportunities for all sectors of the community in Hong Kong.
"It's been a wonderful visit for me personally."
At Disney University, Mr Tung was briefed on the training of Disney staff - called 'cast members' - and how their performance and attitude are crucial in creating Disney's magic atmosphere since the original theme park opened 45 years ago.
Mr Tung was told that Disney staff - regardless of their jobs - go through the same initial training programme to ensure they all understand Disney's four key themes to quality service: safety, courtesy, show, and efficiency.
"Our cast members are the ones who create the magic. They are the ones who create the happiness," said Disney University Director Jo Lamb, who added that the ultimate aim of Disney training was to provide the 'best service in the world'.
"No matter the job, no matter the position, the role of every Disney cast member is to create happiness through the role they play."
During a stroll along Disneyland's Main Street, Mr Tung signed the VIP guest book after being greeted by Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. Shortly after, he met Chinese heroine Mulan - a Disney favourite in Hong Kong - at the entrance to Sleeping Beauty Castle.
Over lunch, Mr Tung was briefed on Disney's California Adventure, a new theme park being developed adjacent to Disneyland, and how construction and planning techniques used on this project could be applied in Hong Kong.
At the Walt Disney Imagineering research and development facility, Mr Tung visited a model and sculpture shop and was briefed on new technologies used in theme park attractions, fireworks displays and environmental protection.
Mr Tung also learned how software originally developed for theme park attractions had been modified for use as a construction planning tool.
After the Disney visit, Mr Tung was briefed on environmental protection measures by City of Los Angeles officials. Topics covered included air quality management and solid waste management.
Following his day-long trip to Los Angeles, Mr Tung returned to San Francisco. He will take a short break before returning to Hong Kong later this week.
Photo: The Chief Executive, Mr Tung Chee Hwa, is greeted by Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse on his arrival at Disneyland.
End/Tuesday, April 11, 2000