When Hong Kong Disneyland opens in 2005, the layout will seem familiar to anyone who has been to Walt Disney's original: a Main Street, a castle, "lands" surrounding a central hub.
But the "best of Disney" lineup of attractions will include some never seen in Anaheim, if the final version resembles the concepts released last month by Disney and the Hong Kong government. Fantasyland, for example, could include not only a Peter Pan ride, teacups and a carousel, but also a Little Mermaid ride--apparently a knockoff of an attraction being planned for the Tokyo Disney Sea park under construction.
Frontierland, as proposed, includes a Haunted Mansion ride like Disneyland. But it also could include a river rapids ride similar to one at Disney's Animal Kingdom in Florida and another version at California Adventure, the new park scheduled to open in Anaheim in 2001. And Hong Kong's proposed Tomorrowland includes a Buzz Lightyear attraction that so far exists only at the Disneyland-style Magic Kingdom park in Florida.
Disney irritated the Chinese government by releasing the Martin Scorsese film "Kundun," about the Dalai Lama, whom the Chinese regard as a threat to the Himalayan region. At the Hong Kong park, the company "will be very sensitive to Chinese culture and language, and we'll adapt things accordingly," Walt Disney Attractions Chairman Judson Green said in a recent interview.
But he said that at the insistence of Hong Kong officials, the park will be more like the Anaheim park than Tokyo Disneyland, where the "Main Street USA"--style entry to the park has a world bazaar theme.
The Hong Kong government is putting up most of the $3.2 billion it will cost to reclaim land on Lantau Island for the park, install utilities and finance the park itself. Disney presented a "portfolio of ideas" about attractions for the park to Hong Kong officials, who will have the final say over what goes in. "It's still not definitively decided," Green said.