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Hong Kong Disneyland Dips Into Universal Creative's Inkwell

Hong Kong Disneyland: Is HKDL's "alien invasion" lifting ideas from the CLASSIC USF attraction 'Men In Black: Alien Attack?"

From TH Creative
Posted August 30, 2009 at 3:22 PM
Peoples Daily: Hong Kong Disneyland has planned a new attraction featuring the alien invasion theme for this year's Haunted Halloween events that are expected to run from Sept. 18 to Oct. 31, the park said Wednesday.

"The (Alien Intelligence) Agency reported that a gigantic spaceship has landed inside Hong Kong Disneyland with signs of alien life detected onboard," it said in a press release announcing the added attraction for the upcoming Halloween.


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Tim W
Posted August 30, 2009 at 3:52 PM
I think it sounds like a cool idea, but for a main halloween attraction? Aliens don't strike me as the ultimate halloween experience. As for the comparison to USF men in black. It sounds alot like men in black, but is it really a ride? Idk the description about an attraction didn't make sense to me. But im sure it will be ccompared to MIB.

BTW anybody having a weird screen on this thread and only this one or is it just me?

From TH Creative
Posted August 30, 2009 at 5:47 PM
There is a broader topic to be discussed. Whether or not Walt Disney Imagineering's well has run dry. Of the most recent MARQUEE attractions introduce at WDW, Toy Story Mania sits at the top of the list. And (let's face it) in basic concept it ripped off 'Men In Black: Alien Attack.' Lick for lick, Universal Creative has designed theme park attractions that are FAR FAR FAR FAR FAR FAR better than ANYTHING WDI has delivered. To see that they continue sucking life from UC by dropping an MIB theme at DLHK is .... rather weak.

Memo to Tim W. ... it's not just you.

From Nick Markham
Posted August 30, 2009 at 5:29 PM
First, I find the idea WDI not designing an attraction for Disney disturbing as well as the fact they are building a large attraction for something that will last for like 2 mo nths! And don't get me started on disney using Universal's company...

From TH Creative
Posted August 30, 2009 at 5:46 PM
Twister (DAMN RIGHT!), Terminator, The Incredible Hulk, Spiderman, Men In Black: Alien Attack, Revenge of the Mummy ... these are ALL examples of Universal Creative TAKING RISKS and PUSHING THE ENVELOPE.

It just seems that WDI has been tasked with PROMOTING the licensed properties that have generated financial success for their company. On ther other hand, Universal Creative pioneers ride systems. UC looks at the technology and then (SECONDARILY) considers the pop culture franchise that can become the platform to bring 'em to the gate.

After the Potter wave breaks, what will Walt Disney Imagineering bring to the table?

From Anthony Murphy
Posted August 30, 2009 at 7:02 PM
I am not sure how Toy Story Mania is like MIB, but rather is a technology that Disney has from Disneyquest (Pirates of the Carribean Game).

WDI not doing it is a little odd, but Disney has a weird relationship with their Asian parks so its not too suprising.

And no, I do not think Disney is copying off of Universal. Terminator is a copy of Muppetvision, Shrek of Philharmagic, and the Mummy of Rockin Roller coaster. I can make those claims, but I think they are all coming from the same pool and pretty much everybody is out of good ideas. And TH,come know, you work in some capacity for Universal Creative, especailly on MIB. Lets not let our biases get our ways. (BTW, I am bias too) :)


But whatever, I am pretty sure that the major audience at HKDL is not familiar with the American rides.

Others they are planning:

New Haunted Mansion
A Grizzly River Run

Excited about new Haunted Mansion. It looks like the Adv. Club

From Tim W
Posted August 30, 2009 at 7:17 PM
Oh definately Anthony. The new style haunted mansion is definately the highlight of the whole hkdl expansion for me. Im very intrigued and anxious to see attraction artwork and a video once the ride is completed, since the odds of me going to China are slim to none. Its gonna be a great land though and certainly crowded during the halloween season due to the spooky atmosphere. And nobody having the same weird page problem with this thread as me?

From Dan M
Posted August 30, 2009 at 7:45 PM
TH, I wouldn't really agree that WDI ripped off Toy Story Mania from Men in Black. I could just as easily say that in reality, Men in Black was ripped off of Buzz Lightyear which opened two years earlier. As for Universal Creative designing better attractions that WDI in the PAST DECADE I would have to say it is probably tipped slightly in Universal's favor at least in the US. If you include Disneysea than WDI blows anything away, since without a budget they can truly blow your mind.

As for how Universal stacks up against WDI in the past decade, I really enjoy the original, non film-based attractions like Soarin' and Everest which I think are great. Spiderman blows anything in WDW away and Mummy and MIB are great as well. In fact, I love all of IOA. Both companies are still capable of creating great attractions, but the thought process sets them apart as you said TH. Disney management takes the basically says we want to take the Toy Story franchise and create a ride to sell merchandise and comes up with Midway Mania. Universal says we want to create an amazing ride that will (hopefully someday) draw people away from Disney, takes their 3-d dark ride technology and creates Spiderman.

Oh and Anthony, they're not making a Grizzly River Run, their making a next-gen Big Thunder Mountain in the new Grizzly Trail (Fronteirland) area that they're building. Supposedly it will have more in common with Everest than traditional Big Thunder's.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted August 30, 2009 at 9:06 PM
Yeah, sorry, you are right!

If its any concelation, TH, Disney is going straight from scratch on the rest of these lands for HKDL. I thought they planned the park a little strange. Cool rides though.

Jungle Cruise a bit of thrill ride? Rao! Pack your bags!

From TH Creative
Posted August 31, 2009 at 4:12 AM
Anthony: I worked for both UC and WDI and spent many more years as a CM (including attending the Magic Kingdom College Program). No Bias.

From Raul Araoz
Posted August 31, 2009 at 9:11 AM
I completely agree and disagree with TH.

First, I strongely concur with the notion that Universal is currently at the forefront of attraction development.

IMHO, Nothing WDI has done in the past decade matches Mummy, MIB, and Spider-man in terms of fun and quality. Transformers and Harry Potter will, probably, only reassert that claim.

Now I agree that most of this shift has been caused by the cuts that Eisner implemented in the second half of his tenure. In the beginning, WDI was on fire under his helm. Star Tours, Splash Mountain, The Tower of Terror, Indiana Jones, Alien Encounter, and Buzz Lightyear are all signs of the immense creativity that WDI has when they have financial support. After the death of Frank Wells and the early failure of EuroDisney, Eisner then became paranoid and crippled WDI.

Tokyo DisneySea is proof of this. The Oriental Land Company spares no expense and gets tremendous attractions.

Disney claims they have been sitting on a Spider-man killer for years, but until they get funding for it, it is still a myth. Hopefully, Lasseter can move WDI in the right direction. However, until then, UC is the best attraction group in the country.

As far as copying goes, both companies "borrow" from each other.

Many of the Universal attractions are plussed versions of established Disney rides. E.T. is Peter Pan. Jaws is the Jungle Cruise. MIB is Buzz Lightyear. Spider-man is Indy. Dudley is Splash Mountain. Terminator is Honey. Back to the Future was Star Tours. The Mummy is Indy/Rock and Roller Coaster. Universal can crib as well.

Of course, Eisner famously ripped-off Universal by quickly building MGM when he heard of their plans for an Orlando park. Disney even went so far as to practically rip-off Earthquake directly with Catastrophe Canyon.

I don't mind the shared imitation, as long as they keep one upping each other. Competition is good.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted August 31, 2009 at 9:35 AM
They have the ultimate Spiderman Killer now: They bought Spiderman!

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