Saturday, January 9, 2010
Here is a Hong Kong Disneyland update where we'll have a look not only to what happened the last three weeks but also to the upcoming Chinese New Year event.
On January 3rd HKDL Christmas Season ended and so did the new "Lights of Winter" on Main Street where Christmas lights came alive with giant snowflakes carried by performers in alluring winter spirit costumes sparkled all the way to the Sleeping Beauty Castle.
On December 12, to celebrate a significant step in the expansion of Hong Kong Disneyland, a groundbreaking ceremony was held at Hong Kong Disneyland. John Tsang, Financial Secretary of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, and Jay Rasulo - who was still Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts - officiated the ceremony with representatives from the Government, The Walt Disney Company and the Hong Kong community in attendance.
With the announcement of Shanghaî Disneyland seen by some as a threat for HKDL future no need to say that they did a lot of publicity on this groundbreaking ceremony. They announced that the ceremony represented "a major milestone in the Resort’s expansion plan that will create not only new attractions but also 3,700 jobs during the construction phase and 600 new full-time jobs after expansion". Rasulo, in one of his last speech as chairman of WDPR said “Today marks the beginning of another exciting phase for Hong Kong Disneyland. The new themed areas will showcase the best in creativity, technology and story-telling. The planned attractions and rides will position our youngest Disney theme park for future growth and success.”
On his own, John Tsang said that a larger park with more attractions "will continue to draw the crowds and provide even more fun and excitement for visitors". Let's hope that everything will work as they wish, they have five more years before SDL opening to prove it.
Good news is that expansion work will begin immediately on the primary infrastructure and road work that will support the construction of the three themed areas. Two of the three themed areas, “Grizzly Gulch” and “Mystic Point” will be exclusive to HKDL for the first five years after their respective openings in 2012 and 2013. And the third, “Toy Story Land” opening in 2011 will also be exclusive but only within Asia as we know the same land open this year at the WDS.
But one of the most important event of the year in China will take place soon as the "Year of the Tiger" is expected to begin on Februray 14th. The Chinese New Year is an incredible event not only in China but all around Asia and it's hard for occidental people to imagine how important that date is. In fact, the Chinese new year marks the beginning of the "energetic year" with the very beginning of the "energy of the spring". In the Chinese tradition, the spring don't begin on March 20th but on the second new moon of the year. It's the time - and they are right - where what is called the "energy of the spring" - linked to the "wood" element begin, the end of the "winter energy", and the real date of the re-birth of a new year. This is not very known in Occident and this is why i give you this little explanation.
To come back to HKDL, the marketing office released the program of the event and here it is:
From February 5 to 28, Mickey, Minnie and other Disney Characters will put on their new festive costumes to wish Guests the best of luck in the New Year. The Park will delight Guests with the all-new Disney’s Jumping Jam and the popular Celebration in the Street on Main Street U.S.A. As they visit the different themed lands in the Park, Guests will discover the all-new Lucky Trail, and find festive Chinese New Year merchandize as well as all kinds of delicious cuisine.
Reach new heights with Disney’s Jumping Jam!
The all-new Disney’s Jumping Jam will take Guests to new heights every day as they enjoy this breathtaking, highly interactive drum and acrobat show at the castle hub (picture on the top). Mickey will lead drummers and acrobats in festive costume to drum and jump to high energy music on a spectacular 360 degree circular stage in front of the Sleeping Beauty Castle. Mickey will also invite Guests to clap along with the performers, while Tigger will make an appearance at the end of the show to ‘jump-start’ the Year of the Tiger with everyone!
Bring home the best of luck for the New Year
The popular Lucky Trail will bring even more good luck with its brand new look this year. Eight Disney Characters figurines will be featured in gorgeous floral settings symbolizing Happiness, Wealth, Longevity, Romance, Success in Studies, Family Harmony, Achievement, and Prosperity. Before embarking on the journey along the lucky trail, Guests can pick up a Lucky Trail Sticker Card at the Sticker Card Collection Counter. Guests can collect special edition stickers for luck as they take pictures with the Disney Characters.
Greetings from Disney Characters in new Chinese New Year costumes
Throughout the Park, Disney Characters will be proudly wearing their brand new Chinese New Year costumes and wishing everyone a lucky Year of the Tiger! Mickey and Minnie will capture the spotlight with their stylish Chinese New Year outfits, specially designed by superstar Kelly Chen, thanks to her inspiring taste in fashion.
Celebration in the Street brings festive fun to everyone!
A high spirited start to the Chinese New Year will begin with the Celebration in the Street on Main Street U.S.A., where Mickey will lead Chinese Drummers in an energetic drum routine to welcome the New Year. This colorful procession also features a magnificent golden dragon along with an elaborate display of giant puppets, fantastic costumes, and more. Guests will get into the New Year spirit as Minnie presents a beautiful fan dance and Goofy dresses up as Disney’s God of Fortune!
Main Street U.S.A. will also be filled with other live entertainment throughout the day, with traditional and modern Chinese New Year-themed performers including Drummers and Lion Dancers spreading joy and happiness everywhere.
Hong Kong Disneyland will be decked out with traditional Chinese New Year decorations in festive colors to welcome the Year of the Tiger. When strolling around the Park, Guests may run into the Gods of Longevity, Happiness and Prosperity, or become the lucky recipients of Chocolate Laisee!
Exquisite Chinese New Year cuisine and merchandise for additional luck!
Hong Kong Disneyland will offer a complete Chinese New Year celebration experience with delicious specialty food items from traditional Chinese snacks to the most elaborate sit-down dinner, available throughout the Park and at the two Disney-themed hotels. Guests can bring home the best of luck with Chinese New Year merchandise including toys, clothing, sweets and accessories, and Year of the Tiger souvenirs. Guests should look out for limited edition merchandise including clothing and accessories especially designed by super star Kelly Chen! (end of the press release)
If you're planning to attend the Chinese New Year event at HKDL it's of course a very good idea as the happening and fireworks should be pretty spectacular. No doubt that the park will release new pictures of the New Year's event in February and i'll be pleased to post them as soon as available.
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All pictures: copyright Disney - Hong Kong Disneyland