HONG KONG (Sept. 9, 2005) – Dumbo gleams. Brass fittings sparkle on the horseless carriages of Main Street, U.S.A. Mickey Mouse’s tux is pressed to perfection. Even the rocket ships of Space Mountain are poised for the stars.
All is in eager readiness for the dawning of a new frontier in family entertainment in China. Hong Kong Disneyland Resort is about to open.
Disney’s 11th theme park and first-ever in China, Hong Kong Disneyland has its grand opening Monday, bringing Disney’s brand of wholesome family fun to an exciting new corner of the world and the fastest growing tourism market anywhere.
Guests will be treated to a theme park of four magical “lands” radiating from Sleeping Beauty Castle, a loving re-creation of the original at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. Two dramatically themed hotels – Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel and Disney’s Hollywood Hotel – flank the theme park on Lantau Island, about 30 minutes from Hong Kong by car, bus or the MTR, Hong Kong’s sleek, far-flung rail system.
On Friday, just days away from opening, landscapers pruned, musicians tuned and shutters got a final coat of paint as the resort’s 5,000 cast members (Disney parlance for employees) readied the resort for its first official guests.
“You can feel the excitement building all across the resort as our cast add the finishing touches in preparation for our Grand Opening,” said to Don Robinson, group managing director.
Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, a joint venture of The Walt Disney Company and the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), offers a full day’s and evening’s entertainment. “We are beginning what we hope will be a lifetime relationship with our guests full of memories that will touch the hearts of millions,” said Jay Rasulo, chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.
“This resort is a great example of how The Walt Disney Company combines cutting-edge technology with fantastic storytelling to create unique entertainment experiences,” Rasulo added.
Artfully themed Disney hotels continue the magic outside the park. With dramatic views of the park and sea, each is a showplace, from the dramatic façade of the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel to the fun icons of Disney’s Hollywood Hotel.
On Monday, dignitaries will join officials of The Walt Disney Company, celebrities and Disney’s world-famous characters including Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto and Mulan in unwrapping the first true family vacation destination in Hong Kong, ushering in a new era.
Disney’s fifth vacation resort (others are in California, Florida, Paris and Tokyo) offers attractions new and classic, exciting live shows, a treasure trove of shopping and cuisine with a focus on the flavors of China.
When Hong Kong Disneyland Park grand-opens Monday, the curtain rises on such classics as Space Mountain (with new and exciting special effects), Jungle River Cruise and Mad Hatter Tea Cups. Joining the lineup are latest hits such as “Mickey’s PhilharMagic” (a 3-D magical musical spectacular starring Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and friends), live shows such as “Festival of the Lion King” inspired by Disney’s smash-hit animated feature film “The Lion King,” and all-new Fantasy Gardens where guests may meet, take photographs with and get autographs from cherished Disney characters. It’s the most elaborate Disney character meet-and-greet location at any Disney theme park in the world.
Disney magic rooted in creativity and imagination fills the rest of the park – from the fun-filled, float-filled “Disney On Parade” rolling daily down Main Street, U.S.A. to whimsical “streetmosphere” (including a harmonizing barbershop quarter) to a nightly fireworks spectacular painting the skies above Sleeping Beauty Castle with China’s ancient mountains for a backdrop.
Thoughout the gala, grand opening weekend festivities, stars won’t be just in the skies. The event has attracted top-name performing acts from all across Asia. Among those scheduled to perform for invited guests:
- Emil Chau Wakin – Best known as the title singer for the Disney animated feature film hit “Tarzan,” Emil’s many talents came into play when he recorded the film’s score in both Mandarin and Chinese.
- Andy Hui – A well-known pop male vocalist throughout Hong Kong, Andy is known to millions as the voice of Denahi Bear in Disney’s award-winning, animated feature film, “Brother Bear.” In addition to his voice-talent work, Andy also recorded the title song for the film.
- Joey Yung – An award-winning Hong Kong singer and actress, Joey was named Best Female Singer during the Hong Kong Music Awards in both 2003 and 2004. Joey’s ties to Disney date back to the release of a Walt Disney Pictures presentation of the Pixar Animation Studios film “Toy Story 2,” where she recorded the theme song for the computer-animated hit movie. Later Joey recorded the theme song for Disney’s animated film “Atlantis.”
- Eason Chan – This famed actor-singer from Hong Kong was voted “Best Selling Male Artist” for 2003. He has also been the voice of Milo in the full-length, Disney animated feature film, “Atlantis.”
- CoCo Lee –This well-known contemporary singer served as the voice of Mulan in the Disney animated feature film of the same name. Coco also recorded the main title track for Disney’s “Mulan” – the song “Reflections.”
- Jacky Cheung –A multi-talented Hong Kong performer and entertainer, Jacky is the official spokesperson for Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and can be seen as the host of the “Magical World of Disneyland” on TVB. He was named the official spokesperson for Hong Kong Disneyland Resort in July 2004 and became the newest member of the Disney family.
[Note to Editors: For more information including downloadable, high-resolution images and “getting ready” photos, please visit our media-only Web site, www.hongkongdisneyland.com/news (user name: disney, password: magic). For media information about the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, please visit http://www.info.gov.hk.]