Hong Kong Disneyland has big things on the horizon

HKDL_Mickey

Recent speculation that the “artifacts” from Downtown Disney’s Adventurers club would end up as part of the Hong Kong Disneyland expansion project has raised interest in what’s on the table for the Hong Kong park. Here are highlights of what has been announced for Disney’s youngest theme park.

There will be three new lands added to the park: Toy Story Land, Mystic Point and Grizzly Trail.

Toy Story Land: This area will be for small fry. Rides are shaped like giant toys. A shuttle coaster propels riders along a u-shaped track. A parachute drop (think Green Army Men) lets guests “plunge” (think gently descend) from a tower. Food kiosks, gift shops, you know the drill.

Mystic Point: An area of mysterious forces, it is located in the heart of an uncharted rain forest.

Mystic Manor is the primary attraction. It will use a trackless ride system so vehicles seem to move freely about the attraction. Audio-Animatronics and visual and audio effects will tell the story of a mischievious monkey who looses strange powers on the manor, stocked with exotic curios, by tampering with an enchanted music box. Hong Kong Disneyland does not have a Haunted Mansion, so this attraction will fill that bill nicely.

Also in Mystic Point is the Adventurer’s Club restaurant, perhaps the destination for the Pleasure Island props.

Grizzly Trail: This area will be set in an abandoned mining town called Grizzly Gulch. In a nod to Chinese beliefs, the back story of the town is it was founded on the 8-8-1888, the luckiest day of the luckiest month of the luckiest year.

Water will feature heavily in this land, with geysers and leaking buildings and structures around.

A roller coaster ride, Big Grizzly Mountain Coaster, will feature Audio-Animatronic bears (cousins to Big Al?) to set the scene. It will not be a clone of our Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, based on Disney’s description: “Guests careen backward down an incline that propels them through twists and turns before a launch sequence blasts the mine train out of the mountain.” Yikes! Sounds fun!

There will also be a Saloon for refreshments, shops and photo opportunites.

This all seems good to me … the Hong Kong park is in desperate need of more attractions. Better yet, the Grizzly Trail and Mystic Point areas and attractions are exclusive to the park, breaking Disney’s string of copycat attractions around the world.

Disney says the project cost is estimated to be $3.63 billion. And lest you think it’s just three small areas: The expansion will increase the size of the existing park by 23 percent.

The bad news? It’s going to take five years to get it all done. And as we know, anything and everything could change during that time. But at least, for Hong Kong Disneyland, it’s a step in the right direction.


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