HONG KONG DISNEYLAND
Lantau Island, Hong Kong
Walt Disney Theme Parks
---- THE LATEST BUZZ ----
(10/6/16) Disney Explorer's Lodge Construction Photos (MORE...)
(9/12/16) Is The Autopia Closed For Good? (MORE...)
(7/11/16) Explorers Lodge Hotel Construction (MORE...)
(6/30/16) Iron Man Experience Construction Update (MORE...)
General Park News - (9/12/16) A new travel update from Hong Kong Disneyland posted to LaughingPlace shows off that park's Tomorrowland, along with a couple of construction photos of the new Iron Man attraction, along with an interesting message claiming that during the visit over the summer it was the last day before the park's Autopia closed for a rehab. Jump ahead to now and it seems that the Autopia is now not even listed on the park's website or park map as well. Could Hong Kong Disneyland be planning on retiring their Autopia ride already?
(4/27/16) Screamscape source have confirmed that Hyperspace Mountain will be coming to Hong Kong Disneyland in the near future, along with a local version of the Jedi Training Academy show. I'm not sure if the later will go out into the main park, or if they will temporarily replace the Stitch Encounter show.
(4/21/16) Some interesting details have come across the section of the Hong Kong Disneyland website available only to annual passholders (Magic Access). I'm told that the site now mentions that, "In preparation for an upcoming “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” themed special event, Space Mountain will be suspended starting from May 3, 2016. We will announce the details of the special event in due course." There are also announcements that Stitch Encounter will also close down for the same reasons on May 3rd, and the UFO Zone attraction has already closed down for the same reason.
The line of thought here is that these attractions may all be closing to allow for some kind of temporary Star Wars themed overlay, but in the case of Space Mountain, it may be possible that the very popular "Hyperspace Mountain" version currently running at Disneyland in California could make its way across the Pacific to Hong Kong. The ride features the same layout as the California version, and is already set up to do the same "Ghost Galaxy" style special effects makeover as the California ride during the Halloween season. Stay tuned for more!
(2/17/16) Reuters reports that Hong Kong Disneyland experienced its first ‘net loss in four years’ of HK$148 million ($19 million US), as attendance slumped nearly 10% after three big back to back profitable years, and the first major decline of attendance at the park since 2008. Of course tourism to Hong Kong itself has also fallen by 2.5%, which is the first time this has happened since 2003. With much of the decline coming from visitors from mainland China, the pending opening of Shanghai Disneyland may be a large part of the cause, with guests eager to visit the newer and bigger park.
It is also worth mentioning that HKDL opened major new attractions, lands and hosted big celebrations to the park for the last several years in a row, going back to 2008 as well. It opened It's A Small World in 2008, had a 5th Anniversary celebration in 2010, Opened Toy Story Land in 2011, Grizzly Gulch in 2012, Mystic Point in 2013 and the Paint The Night parade in 2014. With all that in mind, and 2015 being an off-year without a major new attraction, I'm not surprised at all to see the attendance drop now through the opening of Shanghai Disneyland. Meanwhile I think we'll see attendance kick back up in late 2016 when the new Iron Man Experience attraction opens in Tomorrowland.
(1/14/16) A lot of new construction could eventually take place around Hong Kong Disneyland on Lantau island. According to the local news a report was released from the Lantau Development Advisory Committee who wants to see more land reclamation to house 700,000 or more by 2030 and divide the site into four major development areas. The four sites would include business and residential areas, a new large leisure and tourism area as well as room to expand the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort.
It also mentions the construction of a huge bridge project and possible airport expansion as well. Meanwhile environmentalists are upset that the currently mostly undeveloped island site being seen this way, and would rather see it left mostly in a natural state and not have every inch bulldozed and covered with high-rises.
December 2015 - Fairy Tale Forest - (12/13/15) Hong Kong Disneyland have soft opened the park's new Fairy Tale Forest attraction this weekend with limited access to special invited guests, but according to Disney & More it will open to everyone starting Dec. 17th. According to the official description, guests will "step into the faity-sized world of Pixie Hollow and journey through oversized topiary mushrooms and clovers while re-living the iconic scenes from five of Disney’s classic Princess stories – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “Cinderella,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Tangled.”"
From the look of the photos posted, this kind of looks like a walk-through version of the Storybook Land Canal Boats attraction at Disneyland... just without the canal boats and set in a lush garden style layout you can walk-through at your leisure. The displays have some great animated effects scenes that will take place as well, bringing the static displays to life. The attraction also includes a meet & greet attraction set with Tinkerbell in a Pixie Hollow setting.
A video walk-through of the new attraction was also posted by CoasterForce on their Facebook page that is worth checking out as well.
Late 2016 - Iron Man Experience - (6/30/16) A collection of new photos showing off the construction progress on the Iron Man Experience attraction at Hong Kong Disneyland was posted to Twitter.
(5/19/16) According to the Disney Parks Blog Hong Kong Disneyland's Iron Man Experience attraction has begun testing the ride experience with the on-site WDI team as overall construction on the attraction is nearing completion. No word yet on when it might be ready to open.
(10/21/15) A construction update on the Iron Man Experience attraction coming to Hong Kong Disneyland has been posted to ParkJourney this week.
(8/21/15) A few new details about the Iron Man Experience attraction were shown off at the D23 Expo over the weekend, including some early footage from the attraction that shows Iron Man battling the robotic forces of Hydra in the streets and sky of Hong Kong while you ride on-board the Iron Wing flying vehicle. From the look of things, those Hydra robots are after a giant new Arc Reactor that has been mounted to the top of Hong Kong's Stark Tower. You can see some of the early footage below.
(5/12/15) ThemeparX has some great new images from Hong Kong Disneyland this week showing off the progress on the park's Iron Man Experience ride opening in 2016, as well as a look at other refurbishment projects taking place in the park.
(3/18/15) While the railroad at Hong Kong Disneyland did reopen briefly during the busy Chinese New Year holiday, it has since closed down again and apparently will remain closed until July. Meanwhile a good collection of new Iron Man construction site pictures were posted to CoasterForce, in addition to two images a reader sent to me directly which I've added to the photo gallery.
(2/2/15) The latest word from Hong Kong Disneyland guests is that the trains were seen testing on the track again this weekend. Previously the railroad has been closed for most of the last year due to the Iron Man Experience construction taking place in Tomorrowland, but with the trains making test runs again (without passengers) the park may be ready to reopen the Railroad again in the near future. On another note, the park's castle is now undergoing what is expected to be a 5-month long refurbishment as well, hiding the top half of the castle behind themed construction barrier.
One of our reader sent in some great pictures of the Iron Man construction as well as a peek at the castle. You can see more of their pictures posted over at CoasterForce as well.
(12/30/14) Curious to see the construction site for the Iron Man Experience at Hong Kong Disneyland? Well, there isn’t too much you can see from the guest areas, but this video shot earlier this month does show off a number of very tall cranes now in the area with some fun Stark Expo themed construction walls surrounding it all with a re-confirmed 2016 opening date.
(2/20/14) Disney & More has posted a look at some new Iron Man Experience concept artwork and storyboards that were shown to the Hong Kong council a few months ago. Included is a much better look at a detailed model showing off the look of the Iron Man themed simulator ride car.
(1/28/14) Disney & More reports that the Iron Man Experience attraction will begin construction shortly after the Chinese New Year holiday is over. The site has already been cleared, and once work starts the park will be forced to shut down their railroad for the next year or so to allow for this project to get underway. They also report that Hong Kong Disneyland will also add an unknown new, non-ride style attraction in 2015 to Fantasyland. Any ideas?
(10/10/13) After thinking about it for a couple of days I guess I do agree that the enemy bots in the Iron Man Experience artwork do look like the handiwork of Hydra. Besides the basic resemblance to the Octo-Bots as seen in the Avengers animated series, and the facial markings, I noticed one other clue. While you can’t make out the perfect details of it all, if you look at the forehead area on the bots in both images, you will see a large circle emblem, I can only guess would be a version of the Hydra emblem, which was also seen on the Hydra soldiers seen in the Captain America film, where they opted to wear a very dark green and black uniform instead of the brighter green and yellow costumes seen in the comics and animation. In the one art clip the circle is even tinted red just as they are on the Hydra soldier uniforms, so at this point all clues point to Hydra as the villain.
(10/9/13) I’m told that the Iron Man Experience ride will indeed go into the same area previously envisioned for Star Tours, tucked away behind the Buzz Lightyear building across the train tracks, to the right of the Autopia entrance.
As for the enemy… the exact villain isn’t entirely known, but it has been pointed out that the robot bad rides look somewhat similar to Hydra Octo-Bots (as seen on the Avengers animated series), though most Hydra equipment ends up painted green while these are black.
(10/8/13) – Breaking News – Sometimes incredible things happen while you are sleeping… and this morning’s big surprise was the announcement of the next major new attraction coming to Hong Kong Disneyland. As rumored, Disney’s first Marvel character themed attraction will arrive in late 2016… “Iron Man Experience”.
According to the description on the Disney Parks Blog the new attraction will be placed in Tomorrowland and start off with a tour through a piece of the Stark Expo where guests will see displays showing off the progression of Tony Stark’s Iron Man armor suits as well as other Stark inventions. You will then board a ride vehicle and take flight with Iron Man on an adventure against the forces of evil that will actually take place in the streets and skies of Hong Kong itself. Following your ride there will also be an Iron Man meet & greet area to take pictures with Marvel’s famous superhero.
A quick look over the three pieces of concept artwork shown show off a large ride building and your flying ride vehicle which features a not too surprising resemblance to the Star Speeder 2000/3000 from Star Tours. The body has been modified of course slightly with extra curves and bumps and has been given a proper Tony Stark trademark red and gold paint job as well. This seems a clear indication that we will see the same Star Tours 2 style ride system installed here for the Iron Man ride… and now gives us a clear explanation as to why the previous effort to build Star Tours 2 in Hong Kong’s Tomorrowland was quietly squashed. Same ride, same location… new theme.
Now I used to be a big comic book fan in my younger days, but I never really got heavily into Iron Man, so does anyone recognize the black evil robot army Iron Man is fighting in the concept artwork? At this point I would seriously hope that Disney would use a legit and real Iron Man nemesis from the Marvel Universe and not just make something up for the sake of the ride, so if you can ID the villain here, please do let me know.
(4/23/13) In a bit of a Spin Job, the news reports that the Hong Kong city govnerment jumped the gun when they announced that a dedicated Marvel land would be built at the park. Disney Resorts Chariman, Tom Staggs has reported that Disney has yet to confirm anything about it yet and that it was just one possible option for Hong Kong Disneyland.
(2/28/13) It’s official… according to China editon of the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Secretary of Hong Kong told commented that Hong Kong Disneyland will next open a new nighttime parade AND build a new area themed to “Marvel heroes” that will be “the first of its kind in the world.”
Meanwhile our friends at Disney and More have come forward with a few more details and thoughts on the project. It was mentioned that a 7 hectare expansion area was left open for future development which is assumed to be a site behind Tomorrowland, once eyeballed for the Star Tours 2 project before that was put on hold. They speculate that we could see a Marvel Land open by 2017. From what I’ve heard there will be no Marvel rides built at Shanghai Disneyland on opening day, so handing over Marvel to Hong Kong Disneyland is a great move to give that park something unique that the Shanghai park will not have.
2017 - Disney Explorers’ Lodge - (10/6/16) Great new pictures showing off Disney's Explorer's Lodge hotel still under construction at Hong Kong Disneyland can be found here.
(7/11/16) A new aerial drone video over Hong Kong Disneyland posted to Disney & More shows off a great view not only of the park, but of the new Explorers Lodge Hotel currently under construction and set to open next year.
(2/12/16) A new update at Disney & More shows off a look at the new Hong Kong Disneyland Explorers Lodge Hotel, now under construction and set to open in 2017.
(1/6/15) A groundbreaking cerimony took place at Hong Kong Disneyland on Monday for the Resort's new third hotel, to be called Disney Explorers Lodge. Look for this 750-room resort hotel to open in early 2017. In the meantime, you can enjoy looking at some of the concept art for the new property over at Disney & More.
(5/2/14) Disney & More reports that the new resort hotel coming to Hong Kong Disneyland will be named “Disney Explorers’ Lodge”.
(2/20/14) Hong Kong Disneyland has confirmed that they will build a new on-site resort hotel by 2017. This new resort will be the biggest of the three (750 rooms) and positioned as a “luxury hotel” themed to exoctic locations from around the world. Make the jump and check out the concept artwork of the new hotel, which almost seems to have an Adventure’s Club style theme to it. Should be very interesting to see how it turns out.
(11/9/12) According to this news report the rumors about Hong Kong Disneyland’s plans to try and add more hotels are true. In fact, they may be looking a a long term masterplan to add as many as three new hotels to the resort over the next decade. The news comes with new rumors claiming that the park may actually post its first profit this year as well.
While the article does not mention this, I had also heard rumors that a Downtown Disney style area may also be pitched to link up the hotels with the park, as well as any future expansion planned to open in the years to come.
(1/11/12) Good news for Hong Kong Disneyland this week as MSNBC reports that the theme park resort has moved even closer to profitability over the past year. The resort reported a reduced loss of 237 million HK Dollars ($30.5 million US) in 2011, down from 718 million HK Dollars in 2010. Attendance was up 13% as the park welcomed 5.9 million guests, who reported a 6% increase in PerCap spending. Hotel occupancy rates also rose from 82% to 91% in 2011.
(7/26/07) While attendance at Hong Kong Disneyland is below expectations, that hasn’t stopped the Disney Resorts on site from filling up. Based on the occupancy rates at the resorts existing two resorts, HKDL is moving ahead with plans to build a 3rd hotel to fill the growing demand. The new hotel is only in long term development and wont open for several years, but is earmarked for a site between the resorts other two hotels that is currently used for “sporting activities”.
???? - Second Theme Park - Long Term Plan - (2/13/15) I'm told that Hong Kong Disneyland is hoping to push ahead with plans to build a second theme park across from the first one. This was always part of the total masterplan for the site itself, but one of our readers just returned from the park this morning where they spotted a group of height check balloons hovering over the site for the future second park early in the morning, across from the main plaza between the park entrance and fountain. Visually, the two-park set-up here would be almost identical to how Disneyland and California Adventure are set up across from each other.
Meanwhile the Disney & More Facebook page mentioned back on Feb. 9th that the Hong Kong Tourism Commission is now asking the Walt Disney Company to begin looking into plans for a second park as well now that the first park seems to be off and running well at last.