Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hong Kong Disneyland Expansion Announced

Hong Kong Disneyland announced aggressive expansion plans today for three new lands to be built at the park, which will increase its overall size by 23%.

The projects will be built over a five year span, at a cost of around $465 million dollars. Disney will be funding almost all of the expansion project, but will now hold a larger stake in the park at 48%, up from the previous amount of 43%.

The announcement comes after a couple years of intense negotiations between the Hong Kong Government and Disney, and I'm sure glad that they were able to work something out! This little park surely needs the new rides and attractions.

Let's look at what they're adding:

Here we have Toy Story Land. This looks to be a close copy of what is going to be going into Walt Disney Studios in Paris pretty soon. The area will contain three rides for families, a 25 meter tall parachute jump tower themed to those famous green army men, a 'U' shaped shuttle coaster ride themed to RC Racers, and a Slinky Dog themed flat ride.

The land looks to be adorned with plenty of Pixar characters and prop recreations from the Toy Story movies, and will contain the usual assortment of amenities you'd find at a Disney park.

Here is Grizzly Trail, themed to an abandoned mining town named Grizzly Gulch. It will feature what sounds like a big E-Ticket roller coaster ride named the Big Grizzly Mountain Coaster. From the art it sorta looks like it could be a clone of Expedition Everest, especially because the description mentions traveling backward, but at the same time the track is shown flying around the whole land so it could also be more spread out a la the original Big Thunder Mountain Rides. Plus, in the map of the expanded park you can see the layout of the ride and it's quite different from Everest. I'm sure more info will leek soon on that one.

The land also contains food and merchandise locations, and a large water play area that looks like a lot of fun! It's like a mini-land themed around one big attraction, though, which is sorta like the last area:

Mystic Point. The home of mysterious forces and supernatural events taking place deep inside uncharted regions of the rain forest. The big deal here is Mystic Manor, which sounds like a new age Haunted Mansion of sorts - but it features trackless vehicles. It's said to contain animatronic characters, with plenty of audio and visual effects and a story line based around an adventurers collection of artifacts, a magical music box, and a mischievous monkey. Interesting!

As a big fan of the Haunted Mansion this attraction is my most anticipated of the bunch.

You can also dine at the Adventurer's Club which is the other large building inside the land, as well as explore the ancient ruins lying around that provide guests with tricky optical illusions.

I don't know about you, but I can't wait for construction to start!