Thursday, November 10, 2016

Is Hong Kong Disneyland Thinking to Tear Down Sleeping Beauty Castle and Build a New One? Answer: Probably Yes, and Here is Why

The big news of the day - though it's still only a rumor - was unveiled by WDW News Today: Hong Kong Disneyland is thinking to tear down their Sleeping Beauty Castle and build a new one!  As WDW news Today says "i've heard some crazy rumors in my lifetime, but never in a million years could I fathom that a Disney theme park would remove its castle. Surprisingly, it seems that Hong Kong Disneyland park will be…"

As, yes, Hong Kong Disneyland is unhappy with the size of its copy of Disneyland Sleeping Beauty Castle and they find the castle itself rather unimpressive, specially now that that the huge Shanghaî Disneyland castle exist. According to WDWNT "the project is part of a rumored second expansion phase of the park that would include new attractions as well."
More in WDWNT full article HERE.

Now, do you want my feeling about this rumor? Of course you do, so here it is: watch this one closely as my feeling is that it could very well happen, as crazy as it sounds. They won't have a castle as big as in Shanghaî, thanks God, but i'm pretty sure that everyone of HKDL execs - including Bob Iger and the folks of Hong Kong administration - agree that the size of the castle is a problem. Now that they have a huge castle in Shanghai, the one at HKDL looks ridiculously small and i think they understood it’s a big problem to make the park a success, whatever attractions they add at HKDL. After, as usual, it's all about money and if they're willing to spend it or not, but if they announce it officially someday i won't be surprised as there will be some logic in that, including a financial logic. 

Yes, the whole thing sounds unthinkable but remember that the reason why HKDL Imagineers used the blueprint of the original Disneyland castle - as well as those of DL Main Street U.S.A - was because Eisner was not willing to give more budget to the park. Although HKDL Imagineer side a greta job it was of course a mistake as each Disney Magic Kingdom should have it's own design for the castle, as it also gives its own identity to the park. Now, how big a new HKDL castle could be? The layout of the park as it is could probably accept a castle as big as the one at DLP - with a different design - but certainly not as big as the ones at WDW or TDL. The new castle would have to be more vertical as there is less land available now that Fantasyland is built.

And if you ask how they will do if they destroy HKDL Castle to avoid an empty space at the center of the park while they build the new one, as it sure it won't look nice to have the works visible, i think i've found what they'll do: they'll probably have a giant printed canvas, just like they do on Main Street buildings when they repaint them or on DLP Main Street Station recently ( see picture below ) with the concept-art of the new castle printed on it, that's the best way to do it, i think.

Let's end with an Editing: It didn't took me long to check this rumor and, guess what, the rumor is TRUE! It doesn't mean that they are GOING to do it, but it means that they are seriously THINKING about doing it. WDWNT say that Disney should make an announcement soon, but "soon" could mean next month or in six, or one year, so we may have to wait a bit to have an official confirmation.

Pictures: copyright DLPWelcome, Disney and more 


Brandon said...

Normally I'd be aghast at this idea, but having seen it in person, I do feel the castle could be more impressive! The original Disneyland castle is small but it has walts touch so it would be sacrilege to mess with that, but I can see a reimagining of Hong Kong castle as it has no other visual interest as it does in CA where the Matterhorn resides to its right! I think an addition, most probably a vertical addition, would make more sense. Alain do you have any original concept art of the Hong Kong Castle archived!? It would be cool to look at some of the blue sky ideas that were initially planned for Hong Kong to maybe get a sense of what might be considered for the castle rebirth!

K. Martinez said...

I hope they change it. I want our castle in Anaheim to be unique. It's still my favorite castle with Paris' castle second favorite.

Anonymous said...

I am surprised Disney is still willing to spend money and time on a park that is a failure. When I went last spring what a disappointment. Poor design, layout and just cheap. Most of all it was empty and apparently is that way a lot. The amount of local traffic does not support it and it took me about 1 1/2 hours to do everything.

How long do you beat a dead horse before you realise your mistake. So, harvest the attractions, send them to other parks that need and appreciate them. Hmm Paris perhaps.

Okay, does anyone else carry this line of thought.

Jones said...

Tear down the castle and build like an awesome Iron Man coaster in its place, or they could at least make the new castle a Guardians of the Galaxy castle, build by the collector - that would be so much cooler than a boring princess castle, and also less sexist!
(Yes, Sheldon, that *was* sarcasm...)

Brandon said...

Well the magic kingdom and the Tokyo Disneyland castle are essential copies! So the idea of each castle in each park should be unique is a new notion! I've seen on other sites that many believe LA and Hong Kong to be the only ones that are the same. But that's simply not the case! Many have also on other sites been referring to the Paris castle as the beauty and the beast castle! When we all know it is different but still sleeping beauty's castle! Just wanted to clear up this info for all your many Disney and More readers!
That being said, I'm still very intrigued by this idea!

Anonymous said...

One way to build a new castle, with minimal disruption:

Build the castle at the back of Fantasyland. This would also allow the castle to serve as an entrance to a major attraction, which is not possible if the castle is located just off the hub. This is not a new idea: in one early version of Hong Kong Disneyland, this was in fact considered (the layout of this version was published by Disney in their latest Imagineering Making More Magic Real book which came out a couple of years ago. By building the castle this way, the existing castle could remain in place whilst construction on the new castle was ongoing.

- Tanzirian

danielz6 said...

That is a GREAT idea. The cool thing is actually Disneyland itself was originally planned for the castle to be in the back of Fantasyland. Early concept art clearly showed this. I've always thought it awkward that main street USA ends with a medieval castle. Drop a D ticket sleeping beauty dark ride in it and that's one heck of an idea. But unfortunately I doubt they'll break with the tradition of a castle being the center of the park.

Anonymous said...

I like the castle at the back of Fantasyland idea as in the original design map. That minimizes the construction impact while the rest of the park is open. In place of the castle, please put in some classic dark rides! Fantasyland only has Pooh, which gets a huge line because it's the only one.

While Eisner should take some of the blame for HKDL's paltry opening offering of attractions, it's really the Hong Kong government that should take the most blame. They are the majority owners that bickered with Disney endlessly during design and construction not believing how much good attractions cost. HKDL was designed as a cash cow targeting Mainland tourists who wouldn't know any better. Now that Shanghai's opened and the Mainland tourists are not heading to HK as much, HKDL needs to up its game for the locals and international tourists or they might as well close up shop.

Anonymous said...

Yes put the castle at the back of Fantasyland, this was one of Walt's original ideas, and it is also partly realized in Shanghai with Dumbo and the Carousel in front of the castle. I too think that Disneyland should have the original castle, and it would be nice if Tokyo changed theirs, but will probably not happen, because Tokyo makes money anyway. The Paris castle should be Beauty and the Beast.

Jones said...

"The Paris castle should be Beauty and the Beast." - thank god, that is hardly possible, as the Paris castle has Sleeping Beauty written all over it - the rockswork, the square trees, the stained glass windows, the dragon in the basement and so on... It is *perfect* the way it is - the just need to restore the original colour scheme, because the current colours are just plain awful, imho. That pink tone is so cheap and generic, it makes the castle look like a cheap toy...

Anonymous said...

If they did build a castle at the back of the park, two good ideas might be:

1. A full scale Beast Castle from BATB, fronting a ride akin to that being built in Tokyo


2. A Sleeping Beauty castle like that in Paris, but fronting a dark ride, with a climactic large Maleficent dragon animatronic.

I am also a fan of the architecture of Corona Castle in Tangled, but the turrets in Shanghai's castle are reminiscent of that one, so maybe not the best choice in this case.

- Tanzirian

DisneyEuros said...

These News sounds very NORMAL to me. It doesn't sound crazy at all.
Only narrow-minded people will find these news as impossible.
Yes I don't like also the small size of the castle. Disney company can do greater things than this. They have the money. Why not to.