Hong Kong Disneyland Resort (HKDL) this week hosted a Chinese New Year celebration with guests in the park, kicking off a month of festivities at the resort for the Year of the Sheep. HKDL also officially announced a HK$2,500,000 grant from both The Walt Disney Company and HKDL for several youth programs this year, which have been created with support from the Hong Kong Design Centre, the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups and local institutes. The funding aims to encourage creativity in the younger generation and positively impact the community through happiness.
Bill Ernest, President and Managing Director, Asia, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, and Andrew Kam, Managing Director of HKDL, were joined by a number of officiating guests at the ceremony. They included the Guest of Honor, Carrie Lam, Chief Secretary for Administration of the Hong Kong SAR Government; Elina Lee, Director of Partnership, Marketing & Communications, Hong Kong Design Centre; and Andy Ho, Deputy Executive Director of the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups. Alongside God of Fortune Goofy, they greeted guests and wished the people of Hong Kong a prosperous Chinese New Year.
As HKDL heralds its 10th anniversary in 2015, the resort hopes to continue to grow with the younger generation whilst encouraging them to be creative and demonstrate their talents. To achieve this, HKDL will launch a brand new program with the Hong Kong Design Centre called Happy D Project. This community outreach program aims to bring happiness and inspire people with creativity through community art. The program will pair the winning students from the ImagiNations Design Competition with Imagineers from HKDL and top-notch local masters of design from various disciplines, including architecture, product design and communications. The students will be inspired by their mentors to design art pieces in any form to bring happiness to the community.
Bill Ernest said, “The Walt Disney Company is very proud to support HKDL’s Happy D Project. As we get set to mark our 10th anniversary, we have the perfect formula for taking our happy DNA into the community: by bringing young people together with the creative sector, and adding a dash of Disney’s pixie dust.”
Carrie Lam said the Government attaches great importance to the creativity industry and youth work. She welcomed the resort’s efforts to launch the Happy D Project and scholarship programs, saying these projects provide opportunities to young people to unleash their creativity and make good use of their talents as well as practice what they have learned during their internships at the resort.
Andrew Kam said, “We are very pleased to continue bringing happiness to our guests here at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort during this traditional Chinese New Year festival. As one of Hong Kong’s largest employers in the entertainment industry, HKDL is committed to nurturing the younger generation by inspiring their creativity so that they can demonstrate their talents.”
He said HKDL will continue to join hands with the Federation of Youth Groups to support the Disney Friends for Change program this year. Using grants from HKDL, they successfully designed and initiated 80 programs in 2014 that have brought positive energy to those who are in need in society.
Ceci Cheng, a student at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts majoring in Chinese Dance, received a Disney Friends for Change grant in mid-2014. As a talented dancer, Cheng has arranged free lessons for young children from low-income families. She said, “I’ve always wanted to make good use of my talents and share my skills and interests to those in need. The grant from HKDL made my dream come true, and I have used it to build a volunteer team with friends to serve the community.”
In addition, HKDL will continue to launch various scholarships with different local institutions to nurture young talents. Since 2007, over 370 students have benefited from HKDL’s scholarships, which have totaled to more than HK$4,800,000.
During It’s Springtime Chinese New Year Celebration, HKDL has assigned February 21 and 22 as Designated Days. Only guests with date-specific Designated Day tickets will be able to enter the park on these days. HKDL encourages Guests to purchase Designated Day tickets prior to arrival. On Designated Days, the park will operate on extended hours from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Guests may call the Hong Kong Disneyland Reservation Call Centre (852-1830-830) to purchase tickets or make inquiries.