Hong Kong Disneyland to get $1.4 billion expansion
The Walt Disney Company this morning announced a billion-dollar plus refurbishment and expansion plan for Hong Kong Disneyland.
Disney's original Chinese park has been dealing with an attendance slump, as travel to Hong Kong overall has suffered in recent years. In addition, Hong Kong Disneyland faces tough competition from nearby Ocean Park, the only theme park in the world that consistently beats a neighboring Disney park in annual attendance. Finally, this year's opening of Shanghai Disneyland has intensified the competition for visitors from the Chinese mainland.
With a series of improvements announced today, Disney is hoping to make its Hong Kong park a more attractive destination not just for visitors from the mainland, but from throughout the Asian market. The improvements include:
A new Frozen-themed Port of Arendelle land, located behind Fantasyland, to open in 2020. The land will include an Oakens Dancing Sleigh trackless ride. Tokyo DisneySea recently dropped a Frozen-themed "Port of Arendelle" from its expansion plans, so it appears that some of those concepts will make their way to Hong Kong, instead.
All concept art courtesy Disney.
A dedicated Marvel-themed area, extending from the park's Tomorrowland. A new Marvel shooter attraction will replace the Buzz Lightyear ride in 2018, with a second, much larger Avengers-themed attraction to follow in 2023. The Iron Man Experience will open in between these attractions in January 2017.
A new Moana theater in Adventureland, to open in 2018.
A newly-topped castle, extending its height from 77 feet, with an refurbished hub area, to support new day- and night-time castle-front shows. The castle and hub will be completed in 2019. If you look carefully, you can see the existing Disneyland-style Sleeping Beauty Castle at the bottom of this structure, revealing that it will be a re-top rather than a complete rebuild.
Here is the site plan, courtesy Disney:
The Walt Disney Company owns 47 percent of Hong Kong Disneyland, which is under majority ownership of the Hong Kong government. The cost of the scheduled improvements to the park will be US$1.4 billion.
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Can't wait to see the comments here #ThanksHongKong...
Having been there, I felt the castle was too little with all the Huge skyscrapers in the city. This will fix the size problem only if it really seems large enough. I'm surprised they won't yet fix Main Street. The American Main Street doesn't work in the former British colony. Make it Mary Poppins Lane.
It's too bad Disney didn't just put their time and effort to fixing Hong Kong Disneyland, instead of building another Disney park/resort in a country that already has a struggling one. China is a big country, but I don't think there is enough demand for two Disney parks and resorts to be successful. China is a huge country with a huge population, but Disney is no where near popular enough to justify 2 different Disney resorts.
Looking at the map, is the area marked marvel attraction 2018 where buzz currently is?
I'm wondering if with Disney's investment into China recently if there are other factors involved. China is now the 2nd largest movie box office globally, and rapidly expanding. They only allow a set number of foreign movies to screen annually, at their governments chosing. I'm curious as to whether part of Disneys Chinese development is to put them in a good standing with the Chinese government to allow more of their films to screen there. This may also help expand their profile in China to improve their movie's profitability.
This looks amazing but I'm disapointed that Disney is still ignoring Disneyland Paris Resort. Walt Disney Studios Park needs a TOTAL revamp.
This is awesome news! I always looked at the satelite view of the park Nd felt it had a lot of room to expand, and now it seems to finally be happening. With as great as Grizzly Gulch and Mystic Poit are, I have little doubt that HK's new lands will be equally as impressive!
I guess with Shanghai open, Disney can start investing in other parks, I'm starting to change my opinion of Iger and Chapek. They've also announced upgrading Epcot, although it still remains to be seen what they're planning exactly.
Throwing good money after bad. How long will Iger and Chapek be allowed to continue making terrible decisions? Disney shareholders need to wake up.
This looks like a very good addition to Hong Kong Disneyland, and I'm glad to see Disney is adding completely different attractions to their two Chinese parks. Shanghai looks like the more impressive park, but particularly after this is built I think Hong Kong is probably the more complete park. Also, I could be wrong, but I've got a hunch the Frozen and Marvel attractions are likely very similar to what is going to be coming to the Disneyland Resort in California in the next five or so years.
The Hong Kong Park press conference seems to indicate that Frozen will be a re skinned version of the Epcot Frozen attraction that replaced Maelstrom.
Well, I hope they bring marvel land to Walt Disney Studios in Paris and California Adventure.
They just can't stop throwing good money after bad...
RE: Randy Keith
Yeowser, and they get less than half the profits too, assuming Hong Kong Disney ever makes a profit.
Despite having four times the U.S. population, Disney's parks in China are still losing money. Unlike many chinese, people in the U.S. have disposable income -- not to mention the many people who fly into Orlando from all over the world.
America's middle class is shrinking, disposable income is stagnant if not decreasing as as purchasing power
The stateside parks are packed, despite frequent price increases. The parks in China are still unsuccessful in comparison. MAYBE Disney will break even on these overseas investments in ten years?
Multi billion investments don't break even or pay themselves off overnight, just ask Boeing or Airbus.
@Stillafan: you say Disney's Chinese parks are "still" losing money. Shanghai opened only six months ago. I don't really think "still losing money" is applicable to a park that is so new.
The bottom line: they're still pouring good money after bad in China, while cost cutting at their extremely successful American parks. That's completely ass-backwards, and shows contempt for their guests in Orlando and Anaheim.
Disney is cost cutting at their American parks, you say? Starving the stateside parks, you say?
Thanks Gabriel for your comments which I agree with.
You and Gabriel are having quite a love-in. You two should get a room.
Being in constant cost cutting mode is acceptable to Disney's board, its shareholders and wall street because that is whom IGER and CHAPEK ultimately answer to at the end of the day.
You should be on that board, because the way you're talking, the guests don't matter a damn...
StillAFan, I feel like you're taking this personally. It's not personal.
@still a fan - As to your last comment... yes, the guests do matter. Including those in other continents. Therefore, Disney should put as much love into their parks as into yours.
To quote from You've got mail "it's not personal, it's business"
If they hadn't wasted so much time, money and resources overseas (yes, wasted, since they're still losing money there), they could have maximized the potential of their U.S. parks instead of letting them be half day experiences for so long.
Blind greed=Corporate America
No, they would be foolish to continue plowing money into the Chinese market, since it has been nothing but a money pit for them. It's obvious that the demand is just not there, in that market, and a huge market doesn't mean that the average person can afford a day in the parks.
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