Hong Kong Disneyland

By Micheal Dupree 

In the early 1950s, Walt Disney dreamed of creating a place where children and grown-ups of all ages could have fun together. The result was the world's first theme park, a magical kingdom of fantasy, imagination and adventure called Disneyland, which opened in 1955 in Anaheim, California, U.S.A. Now, this world of Disney fun and family entertainment is coming to Hong Kong.

Opening in 2005/2006 at Penny's Bay on Lantau Island, Hong Kong Disneyland will feature classic Disney attractions, unique shops and restaurants, themed resort hotels, dazzling live entertainment and all the magic and imagination people have come to expect from Disney parks around the world. At Hong Kong Disneyland, you'll leave the world of today and enter magical worlds of imagination and adventure in which enchanting stories and timeless places literally come to life right before your eyes. Here, fantasy becomes real and reality becomes fantastic. You'll discover medieval castles and futuristic mountains, encounter jungle elephants and elephants that fly, hear snakes that hiss and bears that talk, and ride both old-time fire engines and space-age rockets. And, of course, you'll be able to meet all your favorite Disney characters: Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Cinderella, Aladdin, Buzz Lightyear, Mulan and many others. Hong Kong Disneyland is modeled after the original Disneyland in California. It will also feature some of the best design elements from other Disney parks around the world, including the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Florida, U.S.A., Tokyo Disneyland in Japan and Disneyland Paris in France. The result is a familiar yet entirely fresh Disney experience. Hong Kong Disneyland is divided into four lands, each transporting you to another place and time. You can then continue your magical journey at two uniquely themed resort hotels.

Hong Kong Disneyland Fact Sheet

Facts and Figures for Hong Kong Disneyland:

Project Overview: The Hong Kong Disneyland project was announced in November 1999 as a venture between The Walt Disney Company and the Hong Kong SAR Government and scheduled to open in 2005/06. The opening day program will include a 5.6 million annual visitor Disneyland-style theme park, two hotels and retail, dining and entertainment uses. The Phase I build-out includes a 10 million annual visitor Disneyland-based theme park, 2,100 hotel rooms, and a 28,000 square meters (300,000 square foot) retail, dining and entertainment complex.

Size: 126 Hectares (310 acres).

Location: Overlooking the water at Penny's Bay, and on a main transit route from the new Hong Kong International Airport, the project will position Lantau Island as a world-class tourist destination. The Disney resort site will take advantage of the location's easy access by rail, highway and ferry to attract guests to the park. It is located 10 minutes from the new airport (also on Lantau Island) and 30 minutes from downtown Hong Kong.

Current Project Status: Over the past 18 months, The Hong Kong SAR Government has completed the land reclamation and building the preliminary infrastructure work that will support the entire Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, including the roads and support systems to accommodate the thousands of workers and activity taking place on the construction site. Walt Disney Imagineers have been working on the theme park for the past two years with preliminary designs taking place at the Imagineers headquarters in California. The design work has been supported by local Hong Kong architectural firms and has recently been transferred to Hong Kong in preparation for construction.

Benefits and Employment Status: The project is estimated to create 18,000 new jobs at opening -- both from Disney and other employment opportunities, rising to 36,000 once the first park reaches build-out. The Government economist estimated that the first phase of the project will generate a present economic value of HK$148 billion (US$19 billion) in benefits to Hong Kong.

The tendering process for the development of the project has been underway for several months with three construction contracts already secured, and the remainder to be awarded over the next 18 months. In total, the project will award 15 to 35 contracts for large-scale and specialty work that will result in significant job opportunities in the construction industry throughout the two-year theme park construction process.

At the peak of construction approximately 4,000 workers will be on site to help build the theme park resort which does not include the thousands of jobs created industry-wide to support the logistics and production of this large-scale development project.

In preparation for the operations of Hong Disneyland, Disney is actively hiring for key management positions over the next six months and the vast majority of hiring of up to 5,000 Cast Members (Disney's term for employees) taking place in 2004.

Construction Fun Facts: In order to create this theme park resort, the site will contain the following:

* 57 kilometers (35 miles) of pipeline

* 11 kilometers (6.8 miles) of cable

* 1,000 manholes

* 2 million cubic meters (2.5 million cubic yards) of topsoil created solely to support the extensive landscaping on the site.

Walt Disney Imagineering: Walt Disney Imagineering is the master planning, creative development, design, engineering, production, project management and research and development arm of The Walt Disney Company. Its talented corps of Imagineers is responsible for the creation - from concept initiation through installation - of all Disney resorts, theme parks and attractions, real estate developments and regional entertainment venues. It is headquartered in Glendale, California.

Specifics of Hong Kong Disneyland:

Hong Kong Disneyland will be the fifth Disneyland-styled theme park in the world, the eleventh Disney park ever built and the first to recreate many of the exact designs of the original Disneyland in California including its Sleeping Beauty Castle. Guests visiting Hong Kong Disneyland will leave the world of today and enter a fairytale kingdom that celebrates the spirit of fantasy, the world of tomorrow and a sense of adventure.

Along with the classic Disney stories and attractions, Hong Kong Disneyland has the distinction of featuring original attractions designed specifically for Hong Kong, as well as entertainment and parades that will celebrate local culture.

Main Street U.S.A.: Guests will first enter Hong Kong Disneyland through Main Street, U.S.A., designed after quintessential small town America and evoking a time gone by when the gas lamps was giving way to electricity and "horseless carriage" was the latest novelty. Its nostalgic design will help transport guests from the real world into a "magic kingdom" where they can then venture into several different lands.

Fantasyland: Sleeping Beauty's Castle is to be the gateway to Fantasyland. Here the guests will find a magical place where their favorite Disney stories come alive; they can fly to Neverland with Peter Pan, take a spin in a teacup, or meet many of the beloved Disney characters such as Winnie the Pooh, Snow White and the head mouse himself, Mickey Mouse.

The centerpiece of Fantasyland will be the brand new, one-of-a-kind attraction, Fantasy Gardens -- unique to Hong Kong Disneyland.

Adventureland: In Adventureland, guests will begin a journey into the exotic regions of the Asian and African jungles. Adventureland will also showcase some of the most spectacular trees and plant life ever assembled in one place. Here guests can take a daring ride on a jungle river cruise, and explore many other attractions including a whole island devoted to the "King of the Jungle." Adventureland will also include one of the largest, in-door theaters in the world that will be home to a classic Disney live-entertainment show.

Tomorrowland: Tomorrowland will be a world filled with science fiction and soaring space adventures. Taking a whole new approach to Tomorrowland that will be different from any other Disney theme park, Walt Disney Imagineers have created and entire land that becomes an Intergalactic Spaceport - and every restaurant, shop and attraction will be filled with robots, rocket ships and floating planets. Guests will be treated to the warp-speed adventure of "Space Mountain," as well as fly their own flying saucer in the attraction "Orbitron."

Hotels:

Two themed hotels evoking the spirit of fantasy, excitement and adventure, will be built just minutes from the Hong Kong Disneyland theme park.

Hong Kong

Disneyland Hotel: Nestled along the waters edge, the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel recalls the elegance and romance of the hotels at the turn of the 20th century, but with all the advantages of the 21st century living. The luxurious six-story Victorian-style resort features 400 rooms and includes restaurants, lounges, a tea cafe, a retail shop, a "kids Club" child care facility, a full-service fitness center and beauty salon, a garden wedding gazebo and ample convention and meeting space.

Disney Fairytale Weddings will be a featured offering at Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, allowing guests to host their wedding in true Disney fashion at the theme park resort.

Disney's Hollywood Hotel: Playing on the theme of Hollywood in the golden era of the 1930s and 1940s, Disney's Hollywood Hotel will capture the fun of movie-making with allure of Hollywood's famous Art Deco architecture and style. This stylish eight-story hotel features 600 guest rooms, dining, shopping, and a garden courtyard that unfolds like a map of Los Angeles with popular and well-known Hollywood streets, landmarks and icons.

Main Street, U.S.A., is a trip back in time to America at the turn of the 20th century. The United States was at the crossroads of an era as the discoveries of the late 1800s were changing people's way of life. The gas lamp was being replaced by the electric light, the newfangled automobile was challenging the horse-drawn carriage for the right of way on the town's roads and the slower pace of those times was gradually giving way to the hustle and bustle of modern life. This is the world that Walt Disney grew up in as a boy and it's the era that he looked back on fondly throughout his life as a time of carefree pleasures and happy memories.

Adventureland features adventurous journeys to mysterious, far-off places, both real and imagined. It is strange, exotic and unknown, giving people like you the chance to experience far away locales where "danger" lurks around every bend and surprises appear from every direction. Adventureland at Hong Kong Disneyland also finds inspiration in the world of modern-day Disney animated movies, such as Tarzan and The Lion King.

Fantasyland brings to life characters and stories from Disney's animated movies and television shows. This is literally the place in Hong Kong Disneyland, situated within the walls of a storybook castle, where childhood dreams come true. It's as if the classic stories of our youth have tumbled out of the pages of a storybook and come to life right before our eyes, bringing to reality the make-believe worlds of such endearing characters as Winnie the Pooh, Alice in Wonderland, Dumbo the Flying Elephant and many other Disney favorites.

Tomorrowland serves as a space oasis, a curious, lighthearted look at what life might be like on an intergalactic outpost that will take you to infinity and beyond. Here, you'll get the very real feeling that you're blasting off into outer space, while nearby you can embark on fanciful adventures with superheroes like Buzz Lightyear. As Walt Disney once said, "Tomorrow can be a wonderful age. Scientists today are opening the doors ... achievements which will benefit our children and generations to come." But tomorrow is also for dreamers, the people with big ideas and rich imaginations. Tomorrowland at Hong Kong Disneyland has room for both in its world of fantasy and reality.

This 400 room Victorian themed hotel is sited prominently between the sea and the Disneyland theme park near the center of the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. The hotel's gabled and turreted roof forms, balconied facades and lush landscaping with multiple garden courtyards will ensure an engaging, gracious and entertaining resort experience for all guests. The richly detailed exterior and gardens reminiscent of the bygone Victorian era are carried through into the soaring interior of the reception lobby and the major public spaces within the hotel. The subtle, and not so subtle, use of Disney characters, icons and artworks woven into the overall Victorian architecture and interior design themes create a one of a kind experience for our guests. Extensive conference, banquet, spa, pools and restaurant venues within the hotel and its extensive grounds will cater to every wish of the Disney guests choosing to experience this exclusive themed resort property.

This 600 room Art Deco themed hotel sits expansively on its generously landscaped site facing the sea. A legacy of art deco design icons drawn from the United States, southern California and Hollywood in particular, are combined with the rich resource of Disney icons and artworks from this period covering the early to mid 20th Century. These elements are melded together to create a distinctive "Disney Deco" ambience throughout the hotel and its grounds, with a little Hollywood playfulness thrown in for fun. Traditional strong horizontal and vertical art deco design elements are contrasted and softened by the use of an overlay of familiar and distinctive Disney themes. Dramatic lighting integrated into both building exterior and interior spaces is another attribute of art deco designs that is being incorporated into this hotel. A highly themed Chef Mickey buffet is the primary restaurant venue here. The adjacent Lobby Lounge provides sweeping views into a lushly landscaped courtyard and the sea beyond. This courtyard includes an outdoor pool, gardens and paths whose design theme is based on a playfully abstracted Hollywood street map with various Hollywood follies placed throughout to entertain our guests