A labour shortage and the slow resumption of flights remain the largest hurdles to Hong Kong Disneyland’s full recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic, the theme park has said as it seeks to bring in 500 extra staff to boost competitiveness.

Tim Sypko, the resort’s senior vice-president of operations, on Monday said the park was also competing with the rest of the local tourism sector in a scramble to bring in more employees after the city reopened to the world earlier this year.

Hong Kong Disneyland in May announced a net loss of HK$2.1 billion (US$268 million) for the 2022-2023 financial year. While the figure represented a shrinkage of 12 per cent year on year, it also marked the eighth consecutive year that the local resort had failed to turn a profit.

Tim Sypko, Hong Kong Disneyland’s senior vice-president of operations, says the resort is contending with labour shortages and the slow resumption of flights. Photo: Jonathan Wong

Sypko on Monday said the park had hired “hundreds” since the start of the year and aimed to hire 500 more in the coming quarter to ease pressure on those “pulling extra hours” amid the ongoing recovery.

Extra staff were also needed for the launch of the park’s “World of Frozen” zone, with the company set to hold a job fair next Thursday and Friday as part of preparations, he added.

“Housekeeping. That is certainly an area [where] we continue to focus on [recruiting]. Another one would be our custodians in the park … Culinary roles could be difficult to hire,” he said.


While the park would look for cast members among a global pool of candidates, it would recruit locally for other jobs, especially labour-based roles, a spokesman said.

The industry’s post-pandemic recovery in the city was reliant on the resumption of more flights, particularly those going to and from mainland China, Sypko said.

“We are not back to all the flights coming in through the airport … That has a direct impact on tourism, as you can imagine,” he explained.

Hong Kong tourism chief says ‘have faith in Disneyland’, affirms support for park

Sypko said he was “optimistic, but cautious” and the resort had made good progress since Hong Kong fully reopened its borders in February.

The resort’s senior vice-president noted that its three hotels – Disney’s Hollywood Hotel, Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel and Disney Explorers Lodge – had reached more than 90 per cent of their total booking capacity for July and August.


“We are very optimistic about what we have been seeing this summer,” he said.

“If you just walk through our park, you can see the busyness of the park compared with last year. You can hear the languages from different places around the world, so you know the guests are coming from all sorts of places.”


Sypko also said the number of tourists coming to the park was “better than what we would have originally expected”, with the amount being “really, really strong”.

Future of Hong Kong Disneyland rests on more magic

According to the spokesman, park patrons were also spending more, eating an average of two meals there during visits and splashing out on snacks and merchandise.


The park representative stopped short of providing any figures for the increased on-site spending.

The resort will launch the “World of Frozen”, which is based on the 2013 hit Disney film, in November.

Sypko said construction work was in the final stages and stressed the new area would offer a fully immersive experience that felt like the Norwegian-inspired setting of the film.


“When you enter … it will suddenly feel like you are in the movie. You are in the world of Frozen. You are in Arendelle,” he said. “The architecture and the buildings, the way we use perspectives, the way that the Arendellian mountains blend with the Lantau mountains – no Disney park in the world can do this.”