Disney And HKSAR Government Announce Hong Kong Disneyland Opening Day

HONG KONG (November 22, 2004) – Disney and the Hong Kong SAR Government announced today that Hong Kong Disneyland will welcome its first guests on 12th September, 2005 (Monday), earlier than originally projected. The world-class theme park and resort, located on Lantau Island, will be Disney’s first theme park in China offering magical experiences for the entire family ranging from Broadway-style shows and signature Disney attractions to vibrant fireworks and parades.

“We are delighted to be joining with the Hong Kong SAR Government to bring guests from Hong Kong and around the world such a unique quality family entertainment experience. Over the past four years since the announcement of this project, we have been working closely with the Hong Kong SAR Government to make Hong Kong Disneyland a success, and we are grateful for their tremendous support in helping us deliver the magic even earlier than expected,” said Don Robinson, Hong Kong Disneyland Group Managing Director.

“The announcement of opening day for Hong Kong Disneyland marks a key milestone for the development of Hong Kong tourism and the economy as a whole,” said Henry Tang, Financial Secretary, Hong Kong SAR Government and the Guest of Honour at today’s announcement. Tang said that Hong Kong Disneyland’s opening would be a “driving force for tourism growth for Hong Kong, and family tourism development in particular,” noting that this year’s tourist arrivals are estimated to reach over 21 million, a rise of 37% over last year.

The Financial Secretary also highlighted that the whole economy will continue to benefit from the Hong Kong Disneyland project tremendously. “The project has already created 11,400 jobs during construction. Another 18,000 jobs are expected to be created in phases by opening. In the first 40 years after opening, Hong Kong Disneyland is forecast to bring about a huge economic benefit of $148 billion to Hong Kong as a whole,” said Mr. Tang.

Noting that the project will be completed less than six years since its commencement five years ago in late 1999, the Financial Secretary said, “Never has a Disneyland been built so fast, achieving the same quality as other Disney theme parks and resorts.” The project will also be completed within budget. The Financial Secretary said that Government would continue to render full support for a most successful opening.

Families visiting the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort will be taken on a magical journey through three themed lands, a charming Main Street U.S.A and two Disney-style hotels.

“Hong Kong Disneyland is designed for guests to leave the real world and enter one of fantasy, imagination and adventure,” said Wing Chao, Vice Chairman, Asia Pacific Development, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, and Executive Vice President, Master Planning, Architecture & Design, Walt Disney Imagineering.

“When the guests first enter the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, they will notice immediately the lush landscape, colorful signage, and decorative light fixtures. With the classic Disneyland design, combined with fun and exciting attractions created specifically for Hong Kong, guests from all around Asia will experience the unique Disney brand of entertainment, creating memories that will last a lifetime.”

Captivating Featured Attractions Revealed – Jungle River Cruise and Festival of the Lion King

In addition to the opening day announcement, Hong Kong Disneyland executives revealed two of the many featured attractions expected to enthrall thousands of guests on a daily basis: Jungle River Cruise and Festivals of the Lion King.

Disney Imagineers, Tom Morris, Vice President and Executive Producer in charge of Hong Kong Disneyland and Skip Lange, Vice President, Executive Production Designer in charge of Jungle River Cruise, revealed the conceptual renderings and storyboards of this adventurous journey through an African jungle that will be part of the exotic Adventureland experience.

An expansive river in the heart of Adventureland is set to become a spectacular centerpiece and the perfect setting for Jungle River Cruise. Guests will depart on exploration boats for an exotic journey along the waterways of some of the world’s most hidden regions.

Mystery and intrigue lurk around every bend as the riverboats travel a winding route filled with fascinating sights, sounds, surprises and fun.

An intrepid boat skipper will guide guests on a journey through busy river rafts; elephants, frolicking in water; quaking temple ruins; invading gorillas; erupting geysers and some very mischievous hippos.

“Hong Kong Disneyland’s Jungle River Cruise brings more of the adventure ‘on board’ and allows guests to get closer to the action as they navigate through this intriguing jungle,” said Morris. “We have added new features and surprises to this attraction to create a one-of-a-kind experience for our guests in Hong Kong.”

Hong Kong Disneyland is also delighted to present Festival of the Lion King, a joyous and high energy spectacle created through song, dance, puppetry, specialty performances and evocative imagery.

Ten years after its release, Disney’s The Lion King still holds the hearts and minds of audiences around the world. This animated masterpiece, which has become one of the most popular of all Disney classics, is now being brought to life in a unique Broadway-style theatrical spectacle created especially for Hong Kong Disneyland.

The audience is in the middle of the show as a troupe of tribal performers arrives and transforms the Theatre in the Wild into a colorful festival setting. Giraffes strut, birds swoop, gazelles leap! The entire savanna comes to life as the music soars. This is “Festival of the Lion King” – Disney storytelling at its best in a kingdom brimming with fun, wonder and adventure.

“Festival of The Lion King” will be unlike anything our guests have ever experienced in Hong Kong and will be the first Broadway-style production to be staged in Hong Kong on a permanent basis. The show will allow families to join with their circle of loved ones while marveling at this breathtaking spectacle and timeless story, miraculously brought to life by a cast of over dynamic 20 performers,” said Laurie Jordan, Vice President of Entertainment for Hong Kong Disneyland.

Hong Kong Disneyland Admission Pricing

Guests will be able to immerse themselves in this magical Hong Kong Disneyland experience with an admission price of HK$295 per adult during the week and HK$350 on weekends and peak days. Children’s tickets (aged between three and 11 years) will be priced at HK$210 during the week and HK$250 on weekends and peak holidays. Senior citizens tickets (over the age of 65) can enjoy the Disney experience at a special rate of HK$170 during the week and HK$200 on weekends and peak days. Children under the age of three are free. Peak days will include Hong Kong public holidays, summer school holidays (i.e. July and August) and the Golden Weeks (1st week in May and October every year).

“We believe that the ticket prices for Hong Kong Disneyland represent excellent value for our guests who can enjoy a full day of adventure including an array of attractions, world-class hotels accommodations along with special dining and our unique evening firework spectacular. Our extensive research validated that our target customers understand Disney is a premium brand offering unique experiences not currently available in the market. When we open in less than a year, we look forward to welcoming guests of all ages, and from around the region to a great family vacation destination and to a world of fantasy, imagination and adventure,” said Roy Tan Hardy, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Hong Kong Disneyland.

Experiencing the Magic

A Hong Kong Disneyland admission ticket will include a full day’s program of magical adventures across Main Street U.S.A. and three themed lands – Fantasyland, Tomorrowland and Adventureland. There are no additional charges for individual attractions or entertainment.

Guests will first enter Hong Kong Disneyland through Main Street, U.S.A., designed after quintessential small town America and evoking a time gone by when the gas lamp was giving way to electricity and the “horseless carriage” was the latest novelty.

Its nostalgic design will help transport guests from the every day world into a “magic kingdom” where they can then venture into the three themed lands.

Rising proudly above Main Street U.S.A. is Sleeping Beauty Castle, the gateway to Fantasyland where the colorful, whimsical, “once-upon-a-time” settings of Disney’s animated classics come to life.

Here guests can indulge their childhood fantasies by riding on Disney’s world famous “Dumbo the Flying Elephant”; the “Mad Hatter Tea Cups”, the majestic Cinderella Carousel and “The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.”

Guests will also be able to enjoy the 3-D animated feature film, Mickey’s PhilharMagic, that will take the audience through an interactive experience featuring the head Mouse and other favorite Disney characters.

In Fantasy Gardens, a unique attraction designed specially for Hong Kong Disneyland, guests will have the opportunity to meet their all time favorite characters including Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh and many of their Disney friends.

Over in Adventureland, guests will begin a journey into the exotic regions of the Asian and African jungles. Here guests can take a daring ride on a jungle river cruise, and explore many other attractions including a whole island devoted to the “King of the Jungle” – Tarzan – and his rustic tree-house.

Adventureland is also home to the 2,200 seat Theater-in-the-Wild, which is one of the most technically advanced theatrical venues in any Disney Park. It is here that guests can take in the Disney musical stage spectacular – Festivals of the Lion King.

For guests seeking a hint of the future, Tomorrowland will offer a world filled with science fiction and soaring space adventures. Taking a whole new approach to Tomorrowland that will be different from any other Disney theme park, Walt Disney Imagineers have created an entire land that becomes an Intergalactic Spaceport – and every restaurant, shop and attraction will be filled with robots, rocket ships or floating planets. Guests will be treated to the warp-speed adventure of “Space Mountain”; fly their own flying saucer in the attraction “Orbitron” and blast off with “Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters”.

Dining and Merchantainment

In addition to the Park’s featured attractions and signature entertainment, Hong Kong Disneyland will offer a diverse range of food at eight restaurants, three of which will be table service restaurants and five of which will be self-service eateries, totaling 2,900 seats.

Each restaurant will be themed to match the unique, immersive atmosphere of its land, behind Hong Kong Disneyland’s belief that food is part of the guest experience and of the “magic at work” inside the Park.

Hong Kong Disneyland’s food and beverage team has carefully designed the Park’s menus to feature popular dishes from different parts of Asia – from the Northwest, the Jiangnan region and Guangdong province in Mainland China, to Southeast Asia and Japan. Different kitchens in the Park’s various restaurants will feature different styles of cooking, such as Steam Kitchens, which will serve dim sum and steamed dishes, Wok Kitchens, which will serve stir fries, as well as Curry, Noodle, and BBQ Kitchens.

Guests looking for a special Hong Kong Disneyland memento will be able to indulge in 11 specialty stores selling an exclusive and unique collection of Disney memorabilia and souvenirs. Over 5,000 kinds of products will be available – ranging from plush, apparel and confectionaries to souvenirs, most of which will only be available at Hong Kong Disneyland.

Disney-style Hotels

The resort will feature two Disney-style hotels – the flagship Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel and Disney’s Hollywood Hotel. The Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, comprising 400 rooms, is set in grand Victorian design built on the shores of the South China Sea. The Disneyland Hotel is patterned after the Grand Floridian Beach Resort at Walt Disney World in Florida.

The hotel will feature two restaurants, several specialty shops, a lounge and tea area, a spa, 15 suites, meeting and convention space (including a grand ballroom), a wedding gazebo and lushly landscaped grounds that will feature formal gardens and a maze in the shape of Mickey Mouse’s head.

Disney’s Hollywood Hotel, designed with an Art Deco exterior and features motifs of Disney’s world-famous mouse, is a tribute to the heyday of the movie-making capital of the world.

This sleek resort hotel will incorporate elements of Streamline Moderne architecture while capturing the whimsical spirit of Hollywood – not only in its design, but in an outdoor plaza of walkways named after famous Hollywood freeways and boulevards, a piano-shaped swimming pool and iconic representations of well-known Southern California landmarks.

About Hong Kong Disneyland

The Hong Kong Disneyland project was announced in 1999 as a venture between The Walt Disney Company and the Hong Kong SAR Government. With the completion of reclamation for Hong Kong Disneyland Phase I by the Hong Kong SAR Government, theme park and resort construction began in January 2003, with the project now scheduled to open on 12th September, 2005. At opening day, Hong Kong Disneyland will comprise a theme park and two hotels.

The Phase I build-out includes a projected 10 million annual visitor Disneyland-style theme park, 2,100 hotel rooms, and an area for retail, dining and entertainment. The project is estimated to create 18,000 new jobs at opening (both Disney and other employment) growing to 36,000 once the first park reaches build-out. The Hong Kong SAR Government estimated that the first phase of the project will generate a present economic value of HK$148 billion (US$19 billion) in benefits to Hong Kong over a 40-year period. For more information, please refer to the Hong Kong Disneyland website at www.hongkongdisneyland.com.