HONG KONG DISNEYLAND
Lantau Island, Hong Kong
Walt Disney Theme Parks
---- THE LATEST BUZZ ----
(10/14/17) Hong Kong Disneyland Begins Construction On 6-Year Expansion Plans (MORE...)
(5/4/17) Hong Kong Disneyland Approves Long Term Expansion Plans Through 2023 (MORE...)
(2/20/17) Hong Kong Disneyland To Open Explorers Lodge On April 30 (MORE...)
(12/27/16) Iron Man Experience POV Video (MORE...)
General Park News - (11/7/16) Disney and More has posted a link to a great video showing off a look at "The Nightmare Experiment", a haunt attraction the park set up for the Halloween season that actually included Disney characters in it for the first time.
(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?
Jan 2017 - Iron Man Experience - (12/27/16) A new video online shows off the entire new Iron Man Experience ride, giving you a good idea of what the entire ride experience is like to fly with Iron Man for all of us not able to get to Hong Kong Disneyland in person. Check it out below as the quality really isn't that bad and watch it while you can. I had previously see another video posted, but it was quickly taken down by YouTube.
(12/15/16) The new Iron Man Experience attraction is now soft open at Hong Kong Disneyland. Disney and More has posted an extensive set of photos and video clips showing off the queue and experience of the new attraction, giving us a look at pretty much everything except the new ride-film itself.
I haven't been able to find a video capture of the new ride film yet, but I'm sure someone will shoot and post it before too long, though it is in 3D so unless they borrow an extra set of glasses for the camera it will be blurry.
(11/7/16) Hong Kong Disneyland has announced that the Iron Man Experience attraction will open to the public on January 11th, 2017. Guests will see the latest and greatest innovations from Tony Stark while waiting as they pass through the four Stark Expo halls, see Iron Man suits and technology, an Arc Reactor and more before they climb aboard an Iron Wing flying vehicle for the ride of a lifetime.
While the official opening isn’t until January 11th, Disney is known to quietly ‘soft open’ attractions several weeks ahead of the official opening date. Adding onto this, the official park website mentions that guests staying at either of the Hong Kong Disneyland official hotels from December 23rd on will get a “Priority Admission Pass” to the Iron Man Experience to shorten their wait time… except on Jan. 9th and 10th for some reason. So if I had to guess, it looks like Iron Man Experience will likely soft-open as early as December 23rd.
A reader has sent in pictures giving us our first preview look at the new Iron Man Experience attraction area as the construction walls have finally come down around the site. Take a look and enjoy!
Our source also tells us that the Autopia attraction sign has been removed now, adding more weight to the rumor of it being closed for good, and they noted that the park has removed the FastPass machines for Buzz Lightyear, leaving only two attractions with FastPass still in the park (Winnie the Pooh and Space Mountain) which does seem to make you question what the future of FastPass will be in the park. (Though it is possible that the Buzz Lightyear FP machines may be in the process of being re-purposed for Iron Man Experience when it opens.)
(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.
2017 - Disney Explorers’ Lodge - (2/20/17) Hong Kong Disneyland will open the new Disney Explorers Lodge on April 30th. A few pictures of the new resort were posted to the Disney Parks Blog this week while the park has also posted an animated flyover look at the new resort to YouTube.
(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”.
2018 - 2023 - New Expansion Plans - Approved - (10/14/17) According to a post at Disney & More, Hong Kong Disneyland has started work on their new six-year expansion plans that will once again expand the park with new attractions and themed areas, such as Frozen and Marvel, as well as enhance the park's central castle to allow for bigger and better show viewing. This will all start with the transformation of the former Buzz Lightyear ride into a new Marvel themed interactive-ride themed to Ant-Man set to open sometime in 2018.
Huge news from Hong Kong Disneyland a few hours ago as the park confirmed several new expansion plans to take place between now and 2023 that includes several new attractions and yes... that rumored new and improved castle. Lets break it down, shall we?
(5/4/17) Disney has confirmed on the official blog that the big expansion plans for Hong Kong Disneyland have been approved from the local government and that "starting next year through 2023" they will be adding new world-class attractions, entertainment and new themed areas.
Already confirmed to be part of the expansion is an entire Frozen themed land, a new Marvel themed area with new Marvel themed attractions and a new "entertainment venue" that will be called Moana's Village Festival. The plans to transform Sleeping Beauty's Castle as still there as well, which include additions to allow for new daytime and nighttime spectacular shows to take place there.
So now the question is... which project will begin work first? According to this report the overall plans are worth HK$10.9 billion, and the first project will be a Marvel themed take over of the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters in 2018, followed by the Castle enhancements in 2019, the Frozen area to open in 2020 and finally a major Marvel attraction area taking over the Autopia space by 2023.
Again, the popular line of thought, along with the Ant-Man artwork shown previously, was that Buzz Lightyear would be changed to have an Ant-Man theme that would time out with the premier of the Ant-Man and the Wasp feature film in July 2018. If they are going to go through with this, I'd expect Buzz Lightyear to end up closing down sometime in the next 3-4 months so they can begin work.
(11/24/16) Real quick... take a look long look at the artwork for the new castle coming to Hong Kong Disneyland in 2019. Go on... look here.... I'll wait. Look at the top... then look at the bottom very carefully and you may see something familiar about the bottom of the structure. Then compare that image this picture showing off what the castle looks like today.
See it yet? If the artwork is correct, and it probably is, it seems this is not an entirely new castle but rather an "add on" to make the existing park castle look much bigger and taller. Not only is this likely to be more budget friendly, but chances are Disney may already have blueprints for this exact project already drawn up and sitting in a drawer. Why? Because several years ago when Disney was trying to come up with ideas to celebrate the original Disneyland's anniversary one of the ideas apparently floated at the time was to do this exact same thing to the original Disneyland castle.
In the end, they opted not to do this after all, especially as the Southern California crowd is very protective of Disneyland and anything that Walt himself had a hand in creating, so Walt's original castle was left alone. But since Hong Kong Disneyland received a copy of this same castle design, it makes sense that the old plans could be put to use after all. Plus it helps that Disney saves all their old and unused ideas for exactly this kind of reason, filing them away to be reviewed another day.
On another note... remember how it appears that the new theme of the Buzz Lightyear shoot-em-up dark ride may be Marvel's Ant-Man when it opens in 2018? Some were wondering why Disney would opt for Ant-Man instead of perhaps trying to make a Guardians of the Galaxy theme instead. Timing would be the answer... as the Marvel movie opening in theaters in July 2018 just happens to be "Ant-Man and the Wasp", the sequel to the first Ant-Man film.
2018 - While the Iron Man Experience opens in Jan. 2017 as the first Marvel themed attraction in a Disney park, it wont be the last. Tomorrowland seems destined to become the Hong Kong home to Marvel, and the park will "reimagine" the existing Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters dark ride into a new Marvel themed dark ride that will allow guests to fight alongside some of their heroes. Based on the artwork shown, we can see guests in a dark ride with guns shooting at robotic insects alongside Ant Man.
Also in 2018 the park will open the Adventureland Show Place, which will feature the "Moana's Village Festival" performance when it opens.
2019 - New Castle - According to the park's press release a new and completely transformed Castle and Hub area will open with built in facilties allowing it to be used for new character shows in the daytime and as part of a new nighttime spectacular show after dark.
2020 - Frozen - A new land themed to the world of Frozen will open with two new attractions. Guests can explore the kingdom of Arendelle, meet the characters, and more. While I'm guessing at least one of the attractions will be a new dark ride, the other appears like it could be a 'dancing' ice sled themed version of the Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsters attraction that opened at California Adventure in 2016.
2023 - The next phase of the Marvel rollout will open, this one will replace the Autopia with a massive new attraction that looks like it could be themed to The Avengers.
???? - 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.