Clark's Disney Fantasy

Could the Philippines earn the title of "the happiest place on earth?" The Philippines may have earned the title of being one of the happiest countries on earth for several consecutive years but becoming the happiest place according to Disney standards may be a whole other challenge.

"Could Mickey soon be dressed in a barong?"
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In 2012, Filipino Congressman Carmelo Lazatin wrote to the chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts in an effort to convince the Walt Disney company to expand its chain of theme parks across Asia by building a new leisure park in the Clark Freeport Zone.

Lazatin highlighted the many advantages of such a decision including the convenient proximity to Clark Airport, countless hotels, thousands of hectares available for development, and the tax-free privileges available to developers. He added that the Philippines is already a popular tourist destination in Southeast Asia which will only complement the country's population of more than 90 million residents.

The proposal earned mixed reviews in various Twitter discussions around the globe where the value of a new theme park was immediately put into question when nearly a third of the Philippine population continues to live below the poverty line.

While Lazatin's efforts are aimed at placing the Philippines at the forefront of tourism by drawing more foreign visitors and generating revenue for Disney as well as the country, not all local industry experts see his vision the same way. According to Cynthia Mamon, Chief Operating Officer of the locally based Enchanted Kingdom theme park, says that in spite of the country's recent economic prosperity and the second fastest growth in Asia, Disneyland is unlikely to settle in the Philippines because of the small market and inadequate infrastructure. She believes that the Philippine economy is simply not big enough to serve as a home to the "happiest place on earth."

"I think it's under study," says Mamon. "When Disney chooses a location, they will look at big markets. Disney is opening in Shanghai -- that's the fact. So, they really look at the big markets and infrastructure." Walt Disney currently has Asian theme parks in Hong Kong and Tokyo. When the Shanghai Disneyland Park opens in December 2015, it will be three times the size of the park in Hong Kong.

Mamon's husband Mario is set to become chairman of International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions based in the United States. It boasts a membership of over 4,000 various theme and adventure parks. While Mamon believes that a Disneyland in the Philippines is an unlikely proposition, there is still room for possibility in the future. Afterall, in the land "where dreams comes true," nothing is impossible.


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  2. Even if i am from Pampanga, i don't think an ordinary Filipino can afford a ticket ranging from P1,500 to 2,500 entrance fee in a Disneyland in Clark. Although it might lure schools to have field trips there, and unless we also market it to foreign tourists it might earn money...the problem also is the weather. we normally get 30 typhoons yearly, so what will happen in Disneyland Clark if its raining non stop for 2-3 days?

    Offcourse she will say NO, she is managing Enchanted Kingdom, who will go to Enchanted Kingdom and Star City if Clark will have a Disneyland?

    1. Mr. Khalil do not under estimate the ordinary people, its better to be optimistic rather than pessimistic.

  3. That's great ... Filipinos don't have to go to Hong kong or in Tokyo Disneyland.


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