Filipinos fall for post claiming Disney properties to rise in New Clark City

April 5, 2024 - 12:37 PM
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Picture from the Facebook page of RR Travacation for April Fools' Day (rrtravacation/Facebook)

A made-up Facebook post about the construction of supposed Disney properties earned attention from the local online community.

The post, which is for April Fools’ Day, tricked some Filipinos into thinking a “Disneyland theme park” and a “Disney City” would be built in New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac.

It claimed that a groundbreaking ceremony would commence on April 1 which will supposedly be participated by government officials and Disney’s chief executive officer.

The post claimed it would be finished by 2029 or five years from now.

“Disney hopes the Clark Disney Resort will be as transformative for the company as the establishment of Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., was in the 1970s,” it alleged.

“It wants to create an engine that will drive demand among the Philippines 117 million residents for other products, like Pixar films and princess dolls. Like many global companies, Disney is putting its faith in the rise of the Southeast Asian consumer, and at the same time it is counting on New Clark City specific ambitions to become a world-class city,” the post claimed.

“Disneyland in New Clark City. Soon to Rise!” it said in its title.

The post was credited to another page, Turismo Central Luzon.

RR-Travacation-Disneyland
(Screengrab by Interaksyon from rrtravacation/Facebook)

RR Travacation also linked a “disclaimer” which leads to another Facebook post from Turismo Central Luzon. It reads:

“Gotcha!!! It’s April Fools Day! We sincerely apologize for fooling you around. But like the rest of you, we’re also hoping that someday, a Disneyland or anything as exciting will be built in our homeland. Cheers! And have a good day ka-Central!”

Although the post was a prank, there have been past talks of the possibility of having a Disneyland in the Philippines.

Such talks began in 2012 when former Pampanga Rep. Carmelo “Tarzan” Lazatin wrote a letter to Walt Disney chairman and chief executive Robert Iger.

Lazatin asked Iger to consider building the next Disney theme park in Clark Freeport Zone as it could boost the area’s tourism industry and provide employment opportunities for Filipinos.

“With our population of more than 90 million Filipinos, a Disneyland theme park in the Philippines could be a major income generating site for your company,” he said before.

Lazati’s appeal sparked excitement among Filipinos, especially when an article talking about the supposed construction of Disneyland became viral four years after he proposed the initiative. It was later discovered to be a hoax.

A month before the article went viral, former president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III met with Walt Disney International executives after he attended the US-ASEAN Summit in Sunnylands, California in February 2016.

Reports said that they discussed the possibilities of “tapping into the robust talent pool of creative Filipinos” and cited some Filipinos involved in Disney projects.

They also discussed Disney’s commercial partnerships with Philippine corporations like Globe Telecom and SM Group but never mentioned building a Disney theme park in the country.