This is it, the Hong Kong Disneyland expansion plan is unveiled, three "lands" were announced today and you will see great artwork for each of them! Basically, the three new lands are located on the left side of the park , stick to the west of Adventureland as you can see on the expansion map above. No giant Pirates of Caribbean land, no snow-covered mountain, but a small Frontierland with a mine ride, a Haunted Mansion with a different theme, and a Toy Story Playland exactly like the one we will have at the WDS next year.
Also, you will notice that they still have a big space available for a future expansion on the left of the new Frontierland/Grizzly Trail.
Here are all the details with the official press release and click on each picture to see them in full size.
With the addition of more than 30 new attractions, play and entertainment experiences, Hong Kong Disneyland’s total number of rides and attractions will increase by almost 50 percent and top one hundred. When completed, the expansion will increase HKDL’s physical footprint by approximately 23 percent; broaden the park’s appeal by adding more experiences for young adults; and place increased focus on universally-understood stories. Using Guest feedback as a guide, these three new themed areas will create memorable guest experiences, drive strong word of mouth and repeat visitation, and offer many unique only-available-in-Hong-Kong attractions that feature Disney’s immersive storytelling and innovative technology.
Grizzly Gulch, Frontier Gold-Mining Town
The path along Grizzly Trail offers high-spirited frontier fun in an abandoned mining town called Grizzly Gulch, set amidst mountains and woods. The town was founded August 8, 1888 – the luckiest day of the luckiest month of the luckiest year – by prospectors looking to discover gold. Bears have now started causing havoc at the Big Grizzly Mountain Mining Company.
Key Technology and Creative Elements
• Guests visiting Grizzly Gulch are part of the action, experiencing hands-on water features, massive geysers and various leaking structures in the abandoned town.
• Life-size Audio-Animatronic® bears set the story in motion on Big Grizzly Mountain Coaster, an adventure aboard a runaway mine train through town. Guests careen backward down an incline that propels them through twists and turns, before a launch sequence “blasts” the mine train out of the mountain.
• A Wild West stagecoach, an old time Jail House, and the world’s largest nugget of gold provide fun photo opportunities.
• Guests can relax with a Wild West refreshment at the old Saloon or shop for mining supplies and souvenirs at the Bear Necessities merchandise stand.
Mystic Point is the site of mysterious forces and supernatural events in the heart of a dense, uncharted rain forest.
In Mystic Manor, home to an eccentric world traveler and adventurer and his collection of exotic international artifacts, strange things are afoot as an enchanted music box releases its magical powers, thanks to a mischievous monkey.
Key Technology and Creative Elements
• Inside Mystic Manor, a trackless ride system enables vehicles to move “freely” about the attraction as the story unfolds. Audio-Animatronic® figures and special visual and audio effects help tell the story of mystical phenomena.
• Within Mystic Point lies a beautiful garden full of relics and mythological figures, where guests discover a hidden world of illusions and mysteries that trick the eye.
• Guests can dine at the Adventurer’s Club amid a vast collection of unusual artifacts from around the world or purchase exclusive curiosities and collectibles at the Archive Shop.
Toy Story Land
Disney·Pixar-themed Play Area for Kids of All Ages
Andy, the young boy from the Disney·Pixar Toy Story films, has left his toys unattended in this immersive and highly themed environment, based on one of Disney·Pixar’s most popular film series. While Andy is away, the toys come to life and play...and Guests are invited to join!
Key Technology and Creative Elements
• Oversized outdoor rides and photo opportunities allow Guests to experience the different perceptions of scale, and shrink to the size of a toy.
• One attraction includes a shuttle coaster which propels Guests along a U-shaped style track.
• A drop-style parachute attraction lets Guests join a “training mission,” plunging from a 25m tall tower.
• Guests will enjoy fun, immersive and interactive environments with life-size toys.
• A themed food kiosk provides a barrel of fun snacks and refreshments and Guests can shop for Toy Story inspired collectibles at the merchandise location.
(end of press release)
Now, to all DLRP and WDS fans : Have a look again to the Toy Story Playland rendering above as the Toy Story Playland at the WDS will look exactly - or almost - identical when it will open in July 2010!
As for HKDL this expansion is not only welcome and necessary but also will bring new attractions unique to the park - Big Grizzly Mountain Coaster, with audio-animatronic Bears and a track that seems to be inspired by the one of Expedition Everest - or also new versions of grand classic ride - Mystic Manor - a Haunted Mansion mixed with the world traveler and adventurer theme of TDS Tower of Terror. It will be very interesting to discover all this when it will open in 2011-12!
And now, more news about the financial part of this expansion with this Reuters.com article. Note that the author says that there will be 30 "new" attractions but it's probably a mistake, what he means is that HKDL will have in all 30 attractions including the new one:
Disney to pump $452 mln new funds into HK theme park
Reuters - Wednesday, July 1
By James Pomfret
HONG KONG, June 30 - Hong Kong said on Tuesday the Walt Disney Co
Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang said Hong Kong would not invest more capital in the joint venture but would convert a substantial part of its loan to the project into equity. He added Disney's capital investment would be about HK$3.5 billion.
Disney will also convert the entire balance of its outstanding HK$2.76 billion loan to the theme park to equity.
"In total this means that the Walt Disney Company will invest about HK$6.2 billion new capital in demonstration of the company's confidence in Hong Kong Disneyland," said Rita Lau, Hong Kong's Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development.
After Disney's new investment and the government's debt to equity swap, Hong Kong will see its stake in the underperforming park fall to 52 percent from 57 percent in the theme park's first major expansion since its opening to great fanfare in 2005.
Since then however, the park's performance has been sluggish, with attendance figures falling short of initial targets.
The government's outstanding loan to the theme park is about HK$6.89 billion. After the conversion, this balance will not drop below HK$1 billion, the government said in a statement.
It said the expansion, with a mix of thrill rides, would "broaden the park's appeal" and act as a "catalyst" in improving the park's operating and financial performance.
"If there is no expansion, the attraction of the theme park will fall over time," government economist Helen Chan said at a briefing to announce details of the long-awaited expansion.
The Hong Kong government desperately needs the expansion to boost flagging attendance, with a much larger rival Disneyland expected to be built in Shanghai in 2014 that could draw much visitor traffic from the burgeoning mainland China market.
"We're only increasing it by some 20 percent but the Shanghai Disneyland is going to be ten times the size of Hong Kong Disneyland, how are we going to compete with them," said lawmaker Emily Lau during a briefing on the plan.
But officials, who must still lobby lawmakers to green-light the deal in a legislative session on July 10, stressed the park's unique attractions would bolster the park's current reported attendance of about 4.5 million annually, to between 5.2-8.4 million visitors by 2015 when the expansion is done.
"We often talk about uniqueness and exclusiveness and therefore it's not just about the size," said Hong Kong official Lau.
"We're not competing on the basis of size, we are competing on the basis of these attractions," Lau added.
The park is currently the smallest 'Magic Kingdom' globally.
The expansion, which will cost HK$3.63 billion, will include 30 new attractions and three new theme areas -- two unique to any Disneyland -- and will see the total area of Hong Kong Disneyland increase by 23 percent over five years.
The total net economic benefit of the expanded theme park over 40 years would range from HK$64.7 billion to HK$117.3 billion, the government said, with the theme park having already added 0.2 percent to the city's annual GDP since opening.
Hong Kong's Financial Secretary John Tsang travelled to Los Angeles in May, where he met senior Disney executives. The trip is seen to have paved the way for the breakthrough after Disney earlier said it would stall any expansion amid the credit crunch.
As part of the deal, Disney promised to boost transparency by disclosing its annual visitor figures and financial performance.
All pictures: copyright Disney - Hong Kong Disneyland
James Pomfret Reuters article: copyright Reuters.com
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