Hong Kong Disneyland


China Penny's Bay, Lantau Island, Hong Kong, China


September 12, 2005


Hong Kong International Theme Parks


68 acres (27.5 hectares)

Official Website

In 1955, Walt Disney brought a revolutionary idea to the amusement park industry; a theme park. Instead of focusing solely on rides and roller coasters, this theme park would follow varying themes throughout his park. This was a monster success, and the idea was greatly capitalized on by other companies and Walt Disney himself.
1971 brought the next major addition to the Disney Theme Park family. Walt Disney World was a massive resort, spread out over 20,000 acres making it the largest theme park resort in the world. Over the next thirty years the resort would grow by leaps and bounds, expanded to include four theme parks, two water parks, and over twenty resort hotels.

© Disney Spreading the Magic:The Disney company continually expanded to Tokyo, Paris, Hong Kong, and Florida where the Walt Disney World Resort is located.The only place left for the company to expand was internationally, and that’s just what they did. Tokyo Disneyland opened as a single theme park just outside of Japan’s capital city in 1983 but would eventually add a second theme park, three resort hotels, and a shopping center. The next international territory to conquer was Europe. Disneyland Paris opened its gates in 1992 to underwhelming reviews. Despite the park’s initial lack of success, it has grown just like its sister resorts to include a second theme park, seven resort hotels, and a shopping center.
A little over a decade after Disneyland Resort Paris opened, rumors began to spread about a brand new Disney resort. This one was rumored to be located in the most populous country in the world, China. The rumors turned out to be true, and the resort would be built off the coast of China in Hong Kong. It would be constructed on Lantau Island, the largest in Hong Kong which also hosts the massive international airport making it a very convenient location for a Disney Resort.
The project was officially announced a year before the new millennium, but construction wouldn’t start until four years later, in 2003. The project was the fastest completed out of all the Disneyland parks, due to its small size. In fact Hong Kong Disneyland would be, and still is to this day, the smallest Disneyland in the world. Along with the theme park the resort would also have a man-made recreational lake and two hotels, in typical Disney style.

© Disney Another New Resort:Hong Kong Disneyland is the company’s fifth theme park resort and the third internationally.The design of Hong Kong Disneyland had to go through a much more intricate and completed process than other Disney parks however. This is due to the difference between Chinese customs and all other places where there are Disney parks and resorts. The park was built using many elements of Feng Shui, an important Chinese custom. This was included in the park in such ways as the direction of the entrance of rides and attractions, being placed between two prominent mountains and others.
The two resort hotels built for opening day were Disney’s Hollywood Hotel and Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel. Disney’s Hollywood Hotel follows the theme of the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, despite being halfway around the world from it. There are 600 guestrooms in the eight-story hotel. Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel is a much grander hotel, but has fewer rooms at about 400. There are also three ballrooms, two presidential suites, four pools, a spa and a gym to name just a few features.

© Disney Space Mountain:A staple at all Disney parks, this Space Mountain was manufactured by Vekoma.At opening day the park would have four themed lands and about twenty-three rides and attractions. In a clockwise order the four lands were Main Street USA, Adventureland, Fantasyland, and Tomorrowland. The immensely popular Frontierland is notably missing from the lineup. This was already an indicator of the park’s small size. Among the major attractions ready for opening day were The Jungle River Cruise and Space Mountain. Disney fans and the general public alike noticed the absence of many classic Disney attractions such as Thunder Mountain, It’s a small world, Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion and Splash Mountain. Disney officials stated that the Haunted Mansion was excluded from the list of attractions due to differences in the Chinese beliefs about the afterlife.
On September 4, 2005 a preview day was held at the park. Guests poured into the park, filling it nearly to capacity which was then 30,000. This resulted in severe overcrowding reminiscent of the original Disneyland when it opened its gates for the first time. The massive amount of people led to severe line times reaching forty-five minutes for fast food and an average of over two hours for the rides and attractions.

© Disney A Disney Staple:Space Mountain is a popular Disney attraction that is located in all five Disneyland style parks.Opening day finally arrived on September 12, 2005 to much fanfare and celebration. The park was considerably less crowded this time, with around 16,000 guests. However, Hong Kong Disneyland faced different problems than overcrowding. There were many disruptive and unruly guests who did not follow the rules laid down and caused many problems throughout the day that weren’t good for Hong Kong Disneyland’s reputation. Many guests were seen smoking in designated non-smoking areas and a woman was caught helping her young son urinate in a flowerbed.
Despite the numerous problems that befell the new park it did not have trouble reaching attendance expectations, and within three months the park had already attracted one million visitors. Soon after the park opened Disney began to respond to the minimal number of attractions available at the park. A plan was laid out for how the resort would grow.
The first phase of this plan saw three new attractions in the summer of 2006, all of which were in Tomorrowland which had opened with a measly three attractions. Autopia was one of these attractions. Hong Kong Disneyland was the only Disneyland park to open without one of these rides. Stitch Encounter is another attraction that was added and is similar to Turtle Talk With Crush, located at Epcot and the original Disneyland. UFO Zone was the last of these and is a water play area.

© Disney An Era of Expansion:Tomorrowland was the focus of the first phase of expansion at Hong Kong Disneyland, receiving three new attractions.The plan also continues into 2007 and 2008. Mickey’s Waterwork Parade debuted July 7, 2007 and will last for the rest of the summer season as part of Mickey’s Summer Blast, yet another event put forth by the park. Animation Academy is a new attraction that is scheduled to open in summer of 2007 along Main Street USA. This attraction already exists at the Disney MGM Studios in Orlando, Florida. The final part of the first phase is likely the biggest and most exciting. It’s a Small World will debut in 2008 and will be a welcome star addition to Hong Kong Disneyland.
In May 2007 Adventureland went under a major transformation to become Pirateland. The transformation was made to celebrate the release of the third film in the hit Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Ironically, there is no Pirates of the Caribbean located in the park. Among the changes that were made, was the temporary renovation of Jungle River Cruise to become Jungle River Cruise, Pirate Takeover!. Other changes included new scenery added throughout the area and new street entertainment such as Captain Jack Sparrow’s Pirate Boot Camp. These changes will last until August 2007 when Mickey’s Summer Blast comes to a close, and the area will be reverted once again to Adventureland.
Despite its small size, Hong Kong Disneyland has been a hit and is one of the most successful new Disney parks to date. Over the next few decades, the resort is likely to double in size as a large parcel of land has been reserved for future theme park development. Due to the success of the new resort, Disney has publically stated its interest in building a second resort in mainland China, however nothing has been confirmed as of yet. Until that happens, if it does, Hong Kong Disneyland will most certainly remain the most magical place in China.

Present Roller Coasters (3)Edit

Name Manufacturer Type Opened Status
Space Mountain Vekoma Enclosed September 12, 2005 Operating
RC Racer Intamin Shuttle November 18, 2011 Operating
Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars Vekoma Mine Train July 14, 2012 Operating

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.