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Disney

Hong Kong Disneyland fireworks staff see jobs go up in smoke

Workers fired as park cancels nightly fireworks shows amid HK$10.9 billion expansion plans

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 18 November, 2017, 8:01pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 18 November, 2017, 8:02pm

Hong Kong Disneyland will lay off “fewer than 10” of its fireworks staff after it said it would temporarily suspend the nightly pyrotechnics shows amid the park’s expansion plans.

A Hong Kong Disneyland spokeswoman said they made the decision to fire a number of employees “due to operational changes”.

“This has been a difficult decision for us. Every effort has been made to redeploy the affected cast members,” she said.

The theme park will suspend its nightly fireworks show, a highlight at the park, after New Year’s Day due to a HK$10.9 billion expansion project beginning next year.

Hongkongers will have to pay HK$5.45 billion for major expansion of Disneyland

The spokeswoman would only say that “fewer than 10” had been laid off, and some in the team were transferred to other positions.

It is not clear how many staff in total were in charge of fireworks operations.

“We are communicating closely with [the affected staff] and will provide them with severance packages that are better than the requirements of the Employment Ordinance and their terms of employment,” the spokeswoman said.

A source at the park said that the move was “just a manpower adjustment made from time to time because of normal business operations ”.

The six-year expansion project will feature themed zones based on the blockbuster, Frozen, and Marvel superhero films, as well as a transformation of the Sleeping Beauty Castle, where fireworks are held.

Hong Kong Disneyland records loss for second year in a row, as mainland visitor numbers dwindle

Taxpayers will pay for half, or HK$5.45 billion, of the major expansion, as the government is the park’s largest shareholder.

The government estimates the expansion plan will boost annual visitors by 52 per cent to 9.3 million by 2025.

The park, which has recorded losses for two years in a row, employed 5,000 full-time and 2,300 part-time staff last year.