Hong Kong Disneyland (Chinese: 香港迪士尼樂園) is a theme park located on reclaimed land in Penny's Bay, Lantau Island, Hong Kong. It is the first theme park located inside the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and managed by Hong Kong International Theme Parks. It is, together with Ocean Park Hong Kong, one of the two large theme parks in Hong Kong.
Disney attempted to avoid problems of cultural backlash by incorporating Chinese culture, customs, and traditions when designing and building the resort, including adherence to the rules of feng shui. For instance, a bend was put in a walkway near the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort entrance so good qi energy wouldn't flow into the South China Sea.
The park consists of seven themed areas: Main Street, U.S.A., Fantasyland, Adventureland, Tomorrowland, Grizzly Gulch, Mystic Point, and Toy Story Land. The theme park's cast members speak Cantonese, English, and Mandarin. Guide maps are printed in traditional and simplified Chinese as well as English, Japanese, Thai, Malay, and Indonesian.
The park has a daily capacity of 34,000 visitors before expansion plan — the fewest of all Disneyland parks. After the expansion until 2017, as Iron Man Experience opened, the daily capacity increases to 50,000 visitors. The park attracted 5.2 million visitors in its first year, below its target of 5.6 million. Visitor numbers fell 20% in the second year to 4 million, inciting criticisms from local legislators. However, the park attendance slightly increased by 8% in the third year, attracting a total of 4.5 million visitors in 2007. In 2009, the park attendance again increased by 2% to 4.8 million visitors. The attendance continued to surge and received 5.23 million guests in the 2009/2010 fiscal year. Since the opening of Hong Kong Disneyland, the theme park has hosted over 25 million guests. According to AECOM and TEA, Hong Kong Disneyland is the 13th most visited theme park in the world in 2013, with 7.4 million visitors. The park also turned a net profit of HK$109 million (US$13.97 million) for the year ended 29 September 2012, the first annual profit.
Hong Kong Disneyland currently occupies 49.9 hectares (123 acres) and hosts 7.92 million to 8.92 million visitors annually. The park capacity will increase to handle up to 10 million visitors annually over a 15-year expansion period.
On January 27, 2020, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort temporarily closed down due to the coronavirus outbreak in China after Shanghai Disney Resort temporarily closed down on January 25, 2020 for the same reason. The resort reopened to the public on June 18, 2020, with strict COVID-19 protocols in place to ensure the safety and health of park guests and Cast Members. However, the resort had to close down again on July 15, 2020 due to a slight rise in COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong.
In mid-September 2020, the park was announced to be reopening on September 25, 2020. The park officially re-opened on September 25, 2020. However, due to another increase of COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong, the park was closed again on December 1, 2020. The park reopened again on February 19, 2021. However, due to an increase in COVID-19 cases, including some caused by the Omicron variant, the park closed again on January 7, 2022. The park was reopened again on April 21, 2022.
- “To all who come to this happy place, welcome. Many years ago, Walt Disney introduced the world to enchanted realms of fantasy and adventure, yesterday and tomorrow, in a magical place called Disneyland. Today that spirit of imagination and discovery comes to life in Hong Kong. Hong Kong Disneyland is dedicated to the young and the young at heart - with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration, and an enduring symbol of the cooperation, friendship and understanding between the people of Hong Kong and the United States of America.”
- ―Michael D. Eisner and Donald Tsang, September 12, 2005
Penny's Bay was filled in to provide land for the construction of Hong Kong Disneyland. The bay was previously undeveloped except for the Cheoy Lee Shipyard, which opened in the 1960s.
Chief Executive of Hong Kong Tung Chee Hwa was instrumental in introducing the Disneyland project to Hong Kong. When the SARS epidemic devastated the city's economy in 2003, it was hoped that the new Disneyland would help boost confidence in Hong Kong's tourism industry.
Hong Kong Disneyland had one of the shortest construction periods of any Disneyland-style theme park. On 12 January 2003, more than 400 guests celebrated the groundbreaking of Hong Kong Disneyland after the finishing of land reclamation in Penny's Bay. The audience included Tung Chee Hwa, Michael D. Eisner, former chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, Bob Iger, president of The Walt Disney Company, and Jay Rasulo, former president of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. On 23 September 2004, a special "castle topping ceremony" was held in the park to commemorate the placing of the tallest turret on Sleeping Beauty Castle. Hong Kong Disneyland was officially grand opening to the public at 13:00 HKT on Monday, 12 September 2005 by then Chief Executive of Hong Kong Donald Tsang, Chief Executive Officer Michael Eisner, President Bob Iger. Beijing declared its significant support by sending Zeng Qinghong as Vice President of the People's Republic of China. In order to help Hong Kong Disneyland grow, Beijing also deliberately slowed down the development of Shanghai Disney Resort, which was first planned for the early 2000s.
- August - The Walt Disney Company and the Hong Kong Government announce their intentions to construct a themed entertainment park in Hong Kong, the second in Asia (after Tokyo Disney Resort).
- February - Penny's Bay, Lantau Island is announced as the future site of the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort.
- December 10 - Disney and the Hong Kong Government both sign an agreement to build the second Disney Resort in Asia.
- January - Construction on Hong Kong Disneyland Resort begins.
- September 12 - Hong Kong Disneyland was officially opened to the public at 13:00 Hong Kong Time by the Chief Executive of Hong Kong Donald Tsang, Chief Executive Officer of the Walt Disney Company Michael Eisner, Vice President of the People's Republic of China Zeng Qinghong as Beijing declaration congress, and President of the Walt Disney Company Bob Iger.
- June - Hong Kong Disneyland announces new Summer Passes to boost its first-year attendance.
- July 13
- August - Exclusive treats are provided for Summer Pass holders to further boost the park's first-year attendance.
- September 4 - More than 60,000 Summer Passes have been sold since July 1. However, Hong Kong Disneyland missed its target attendance of 5.6 million in its first year of operations, with only about 5 million guests having visited the park since its opening in September 2005.
- September 28 - Hong Kong Disneyland launches its Annual Pass.
- September 30 - Disney's Halloween Celebration held for the first time through October 31, 2006.
- December 14 - Hong Kong Disneyland announces three new attractions to be added to the park in 2007 and 2008.
- June 26 - Hong Kong Disneyland revealed its attractions for the park's 2007 summer season "Mickey's Summer Blast", announcing the Mickey's WaterWorks Parade and the Animation Academy, with both attractions opening on July 14.
- December 19 - Hong Kong Disneyland reveals five new attractions and entertainment venues set to open in 2008 – It's a Small World, Muppet Mobile Lab, High School Musical Celebration, Turtle Talk with Crush, and the Art of Animation.
- September 12 - Hong Kong Disneyland celebrates its 5th year anniversary.
- July 14 - Grizzly Gulch opens.
- September 12 - Hong Kong Disneyland celebrates its 10th year anniversary.
- November 17 - Hong Kong Disneyland begins its 10th year anniversary programme "Happily Ever After".
- December 17 - Fairy Tale Forest, a new attraction in Fantasyland, opens.
- December 21 - Mickey and the Wondrous Book attraction in Fantasyland begins to be performed regularly, replacing The Golden Mickeys attraction.
- June 11 - Star Wars: Tomorrowland Takeover launches as part of the park's 2016 summer season.
- November 22 - Hong Kong Disneyland announces its multi-year expansion plan, which includes the additions of a Arendelle: World of Frozen, Moana: A Homecoming Celebration, Stark Expo as as well as a redesigned Sleeping Beauty Castle later revealed to be the Castle of Magical Dreams.
- January 11 - Iron Man Experience attraction opens in Tomorrowland.
- August 31 - Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters closes permanently to make way for the future Marvel expansion. The ride itself will be re-imagined into a new ride called Ant-Man and The Wasp: Nano Battle!, utilising cutting-edge technology.
- March 31 - Ant-Man and The Wasp: Nano Battle! opens in Tomorrowland.
- January 27 - Hong Kong Disneyland Resort closes temporarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- June 18 - Hong Kong Disneyland Resort re-opens with strict COVID-19 protocols in place.
- July 15 - Hong Kong Disneyland Resort closes again due to a slight rise of COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong.
- September 12 - Hong Kong Disneyland celebrates its 15th anniversary.
- September 25 - Hong Kong Disneyland Resort re-opens.
- November 20 - Hong Kong Disneyland begins its 15th anniversary programme "15 Years of Magical Dreams".
- November 21 - Castle of Magical Dreams launches as part of the park's 15th anniversary celebration.
- December 1 - Hong Kong Disneyland Resort is forced to close again due to a slight rise of COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong.
- February 19 - Hong Kong Disneyland Resort reopened again.
The park is divided into "lands" (themed areas) and well-concealed backstage areas. On entering a land, a guest is completely immersed in a themed environment and is unable to see or hear any other realm. The idea behind this was to develop theatrical "stages" with seamless passages from one land to the next. The public areas occupy approximately 27.4 hectares (68 acres). When the park initially opened, it consisted of only four classic themed areas:
- Main Street, U.S.A., designed to resemble an early 20th-century Midwest town;
- Adventureland, featuring jungle-themed adventures;
- Fantasyland, bringing to life characters and places from Disney's movies for children;
- Tomorrowland, an optimistic vision of the future.
On June 30, 2009, Donald Tsang, the then Chief Executive of Hong Kong, announced that the expansion of Hong Kong Disneyland had been approved by the Executive Council. The park received three new themed lands — Grizzly Gulch, Mystic Point, and Toy Story Land — all located outside the Disneyland Railroad track, south of the current area.
- Toy Story Land, based on the Disney·Pixar film series Toy Story. Opened November 18, 2011.
- Grizzly Gulch, reminiscing an abandoned mining town set amidst mountains and woods. Opened July 14, 2012.
- Mystic Point, heart of a dense, uncharted rain forest where supernatural events take place. Opened May 17, 2013.
- Arendelle: World of Frozen, themed to the popular Disney franchise Frozen. Opening December 2021.
- Stark Expo, inviting guests to combat villains with Marvel superheroes. Opening in 2023.
Throughout the park are "Hidden Mickeys", or representations of Mickey Mouse heads inserted subtly into the design of attractions and environmental decor.
Lands of Hong Kong Disneyland
The park currently has seven themed areas hosting various rides, shops, restaurants, and live entertainment.
Main Street, U.S.A.
Inspired by the Main Street, U.S.A. in Disneyland, the buildings of this Main Street are almost identical to those in Anaheim. Like other Disney theme parks, Hong Kong Disneyland's Main Street, U.S.A. serves as the entrance of the park. Plans originally featured a restaurant under the Railroad station, but were scrapped due to budget reasons. The decor is small-town America from the years 1890–1910.
Though being very similar to Anaheim's main street, the theme is heavily influenced by European immigrants. Plaza Inn — which has the identical exterior design as the one in Disneyland — mimics a classical Chinese eatery that was created by a wealthy American couple who were infatuated with Chinese culture. Another restaurant, the Market House Bakery is reminiscent of a bakery founded by a Viennese pastry chef who brought the world's most famous desserts from the Austrian imperial court.
Unlike Main Streets from other parks, Main Street at Hong Kong Disneyland is built mainly of wood instead of stone. There are no horse-drawn streetcars, though tracks for the streetcars can be seen from the concept arts.
Hong Kong Disneyland's Adventureland is the biggest among all Disney parks. It features a large island area home to Tarzan's Treehouse, which is circled by the Jungle Cruise (Jungle River Cruise) — much like the Rivers of America in most Frontierland theme areas. The Adventureland is also home to the "Festival of the Lion King" show.
Tomorrowland at Hong Kong Disneyland features an emphasis on metallic trim, dominated by blue and purple hues. Since the opening of the park, unique attractions have been added into the Hong Kong's Tomorrowland, such as a new Autopia and Stitch Encounter.
Toy Story Land
Opened November 18, 2011, Toy Story Land is the first new themed land since the opening of Hong Kong Disneyland in 2005. It is located to the west side of the park, behind Fantasyland. Toy Story Land is themed using bamboo to act as giant blades of grass surrounding the area. The themed land makes use of characters from the Toy Story movies, such as an enlarged Woody, Rex, an oversized paper plane, and Luxo, Jr.
Opened on July 14, 2012, this land is the Hong Kong equivalent of Frontierland and Critter Country. The themed land reminisces an abandoned mining town called "Grizzly Gulch", set amidst mountains and woods. The centrepiece structure is Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars, inspired by Grizzly Peak at Disney California Adventure. The town was set to be founded 8 August 1888 — the luckiest day of the luckiest month of the luckiest year — by prospectors looking to discover gold.
Opened on May 17, 2013, Mystic Point is a new themed land in Hong Kong Disneyland. It is also the final area opened in Hong Kong Disneyland's current expansion. It is set in 1909 at an adventurer's outpost established in 1896 in a dense, uncharted rain forest surrounded by mysterious forces and supernatural events. The site features Mystic Manor, home of Lord Henry Mystic, a world traveler and adventurer and his mischievous monkey, Albert.
Future Hong Kong Disneyland Areas
Arendelle: World of Frozen
A land behind Fantasyland will host two rides themed to the 2013 film Frozen. Opening in 2021, Arendelle: World of Frozen is set in the fictional kingdom of Arendelle. The land will feature two rides, a sled style ride, and Frozen Ever After.
An extension part of Tomorrowland will be added to Hong Kong Disneyland. Opening in phases from as early as 2017 to 2023, the land will feature three rides. The first, opened in 2017, was Iron Man Experience. In 2018, Ant-Man and The Wasp: Nano Battle! opened, replacing Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. In 2023, Avengers Quinjet will be added but it is unknown what type of ride this will be.
Entertainment and celebrations
The park features a daytime parade "Flights of Fantasy Parade", as well as a nighttime firework show "Disney in the Stars", and the nighttime parade "Paint The Night Parade". Seasonal entertainment, such as "Disney's Haunted Halloween", "A Sparkling Christmas", and "Disney's Chinese New Year", are held in the park to celebrate major holidays.
Flights of Fantasy Parade
The parade premiered on January 18, 2011 as part of "Celebration in the Air", celebrating the 5th anniversary of the Hong Kong Disneyland. The parade replaced Disney on Parade, which had been running since the park's opening. Steve Davison, producer of World of Color in Disney California Adventure, said that he was working on a parade for the 5th anniversary celebration.
Disney in the Stars
Disney in the Stars is a nightly fireworks show based on Fantasy in the Sky at other Disney parks. Fireworks and pyrotechnics are coordinated to orchestrated classic Disney songs such as "A Whole New World". The show premiered on September 12, 2005 at the park's inaugural ceremony. On September 12, 2015, in honour to celebrate 10th anniversary, the park has launched an enhanced Disney in the Stars Fireworks as they add a street-to-sky projection to the castle during the show. The enhanced version of Disney in the Stars officially launched on November 16, 2015 with the opening of the 10th anniversary "Happily Ever After" Celebration.
Disney Paint the Night
Paint The Night Parade debuted in September 2014. It is a successor of the Main Street Electrical Parade and the first fully-LED parade Disney has ever created. It features seven original floats containing over 740,000 individual lights. According to David Lightbody, Director of Entertainment and Costuming of the resort, the creative team spent over 2 years and developed over 1,000 scenic and lighting designs to ensure the parade.
Hong Kong Disneyland has organized entertainment and a number of shows as part of the festive celebrations to attract more visitors, especially young adults.
One of the events is the world's exclusive Disney's Haunted Halloween, which is the only Magic Kingdom-themed park in the world to celebrate the Halloween season with frightening walk-through attractions. Even though the attractions are full of living haunts and spectres that appear around corners, Disney tradition is preserved and gory scenes are excluded.
The Grand Opening Celebration Album
Hong Kong Disneyland: The Grand Opening Celebration Album was the soundtrack for the grand opening ceremony of Hong Kong Disneyland at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. Much of the album are Cantonese or Mandarin covers of theme songs of animated Disney films. The package contains a DVD featuring music videos. The album does not contain any music used in the park.
- Released: 2 September 2005
- Label: Sony Music Entertainment (Hong Kong)
- Language: Cantonese and Mandarin
- Status: Out of print
- Jacky Cheung – "Let the Wonder Soar" (讓奇妙飛翔) (Cantonese)
- Twins – "It's a Small World"
- Eason Chan – "A Whole New World" (from Aladdin)
- Karen Mok – "When You Wish Upon a Star" (from Pinocchio)
- Twins – "Mickey Mouse Theme"
- Jolin Tsai – "Under the Sea" (from The Little Mermaid)
- Kelly Chen & Kellyjackie – "On a Date With Him to Disneyland" (他約我去迪士尼)
- Nicholas Tse – "Bare Necessities" (from The Jungle Book)
- CoCo Lee – "Colors of the Wind" (from Pocahontas)
- Joey Yung – "Undying True Love" (from Beauty and the Beast)
- Kelly Chen – "Reflection" (from Mulan)
- Harlem Yu – "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" (from The Lion King)
- Jacky Cheung – "Let the Wonder Soar" (讓奇妙飛翔) (Mandarin)
- Subtitles: Traditional Chinese
- Region Code: All region
- "Let the Wonder Soar" (讓奇妙飛翔) music video – Jacky Cheung
- "On a Date With Him to Disneyland" (他約我去迪士尼) music video – Kelly Chen & Kellyjackie
- Cars trailer
- The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe trailer
- Chicken Little trailer
- Sky High trailer
In January 2012, Hong Kong Disneyland has been in the progress of negotiating with the Government of Hong Kong to invest its HK$5 billion profit for new attractions. Further details of the expansion would be announced within a 12-month period from January 2012. A shopping complex and new hotels would be taken into consideration for the new expansion plan.
In Hong Kong financial secretary John Tsang's 2013–2014 budget speech, he announced that a new night time parade: "Disney Paint the Night Parade", as well as a themed area featuring characters from the Marvel Universe, will be built in Hong Kong Disneyland. On October 8, 2013, then Walt Disney Parks and Resorts chairman Thomas O. Staggs confirmed the development of the Iron Man Experience.
On February 17, 2014, Hong Kong Disneyland announced its 2012–13 financial results as well as a plan for the third hotel at the resort. The third hotel is the largest hotel at the resort, featuring 750 rooms with an adventure and exotic theme and cost $4.26 billion to build. It opened in 2017. The name of the third hotel will be the Disney Explorers Lodge.
Hong Kong Disneyland was also built with the space for a second park directly across from the entrance to the current park. Disney has not yet announced that the second park is in development. Land is also available for additional hotels other than the two current and one being built, but the common thought is that the second park will be built before a fourth hotel.
On November 22, 2016, the Walt Disney Company and the Hong Kong Government announced plans for a multi-year, $10.9 billion expansion of Hong Kong Disneyland. The proposed expansion includes a Frozen-themed area, a Marvel-themed area, multiple new attractions, and live entertainment.
Just before the grand opening, the park was criticised for underestimating the daily capacity. The problem became apparent on the charity preview day on September 4, 2005, when 30,000 locals visited the park. The event turned out to be a disappointment, as there were too many guests. Wait times at fast food outlets were at least 45 minutes, and wait times at rides went up to 2 hours.
Although the park's shareholders and the Hong Kong Government set pressure upon the park to lower the capacity, the park insisted on keeping the limit, only agreeing to relieve the capacity problem by extending the opening time by one hour and introducing more discounts during weekdays. However, the park stated that local visitors tend to stay in the park for more than nine hours per visit, implying that the mentioned practices would do little to solve the problem.
During Chinese New Year 2006, many visitors arrived at the park in the morning bearing valid tickets, but were refused entry, because the park was already at full capacity. Some disgruntled visitors, mainly tourists, attempted to force their way into the park and climbing over the barrier gates. Disneyland management was forced to revise their ticketing policy and designated future periods close to Chinese public holidays as 'special days' during which admission would only be allowed through a date-specific ticket. Ticket prices during the week were changed to reflect cheaper prices. Meanwhile, weekend prices were raised. The prices were changed in an attempt to crowd-control so the crowds would be more even throughout the week and therefore the lines would not be as bad on weekends.
Disney initially refused to release the attendance figures after media reports surfaced saying the park's attendance numbers might be lower than expected. Disney finally declared on November 24, 2005, that Disney had over 1 million guests during its first two months of operation.
In response to negative publicity locally and to boost visitor numbers, Hong Kong Disneyland offered $50 discounts for admission tickets to holders of Hong Kong I.D. cards in the period before 2005 Christmas. Also, from March to June 2006, the park offered Hong Kong I.D. card holders the opportunity to purchase a two-day admission ticket for the price of a single day ticket.
- High glory ambassador
- 2005 to 2015: Jacky Cheung
- 2015 to present: Kay Tse
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