Saturday, November 12, 2016
Thursday, November 10, 2016
Is Hong Kong Disneyland Thinking to Tear Down Sleeping Beauty Castle and Build a New One? Answer: Probably Yes, and Here is Why
The big news of the day - though it's still only a rumor - was unveiled by WDW News Today: Hong Kong Disneyland is thinking to tear down their Sleeping Beauty Castle and build a new one! As WDW news Today says "i've heard some crazy rumors in my lifetime, but never in a million years could I fathom that a Disney theme park would remove its castle. Surprisingly, it seems that Hong Kong Disneyland park will be…"
As, yes, Hong Kong Disneyland is unhappy with the size of its copy of Disneyland Sleeping Beauty Castle and they find the castle itself rather unimpressive, specially now that that the huge Shanghaî Disneyland castle exist. According to WDWNT "the project is part of a rumored second expansion phase of the park that would include new attractions as well."
More in WDWNT full article HERE.
Now, do you want my feeling about this rumor? Of course you do, so here it is: watch this one closely as my feeling is that it could very well happen, as crazy as it sounds. They won't have a castle as big as in Shanghaî, thanks God, but i'm pretty sure that everyone of HKDL execs - including Bob Iger and the folks of Hong Kong administration - agree that the size of the castle is a problem. Now that they have a huge castle in Shanghai, the one at HKDL looks ridiculously small and i think they understood it’s a big problem to make the park a success, whatever attractions they add at HKDL. After, as usual, it's all about money and if they're willing to spend it or not, but if they announce it officially someday i won't be surprised as there will be some logic in that, including a financial logic.
Yes, the whole thing sounds unthinkable but remember that the reason why HKDL Imagineers used the blueprint of the original Disneyland castle - as well as those of DL Main Street U.S.A - was because Eisner was not willing to give more budget to the park. Although HKDL Imagineer side a greta job it was of course a mistake as each Disney Magic Kingdom should have it's own design for the castle, as it also gives its own identity to the park. Now, how big a new HKDL castle could be? The layout of the park as it is could probably accept a castle as big as the one at DLP - with a different design - but certainly not as big as the ones at WDW or TDL. The new castle would have to be more vertical as there is less land available now that Fantasyland is built.
And if you ask how they will do if they destroy HKDL Castle to avoid an empty space at the center of the park while they build the new one, as it sure it won't look nice to have the works visible, i think i've found what they'll do: they'll probably have a giant printed canvas, just like they do on Main Street buildings when they repaint them or on DLP Main Street Station recently ( see picture below ) with the concept-art of the new castle printed on it, that's the best way to do it, i think.
Let's end with an Editing: It didn't took me long to check this rumor and, guess what, the rumor is TRUE! It doesn't mean that they are GOING to do it, but it means that they are seriously THINKING about doing it. WDWNT say that Disney should make an announcement soon, but "soon" could mean next month or in six, or one year, so we may have to wait a bit to have an official confirmation.
Pictures: copyright DLPWelcome, Disney and more
It was awaited to be the next Shanghaî Disneyland attraction and it is now confirmed as SDL breaks ground for Toy Story Land. It will be the 7th themed land of Shanghaî Disneyland and will be locate behind Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. Below, full SDL press release:
Shanghai, November 10, 2016 – Woody, Buzz and all of their Toy Story friends will soon be entertaining guests at an all-new land of their own in Mainland China. One of The Walt Disney Company’s most popular franchises will have an even bigger presence at Shanghai Disney Resort’s theme park, Shanghai Disneyland, when the park opens its 7th themed land. Leadership from the joint venture’s two shareholders, The Walt Disney Company and the Shanghai Shendi Group, recently broke ground on the new themed land, in a sign of their confidence in the growing consumer demand for themed entertainment in China, and as a clear sign of the early success of Shanghai Disney Resort.
“We couldn’t be more pleased with Shanghai Disneyland’s first four months of operation and couldn’t be more excited about our future in mainland China,” said Bob Chapek, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “We’re demonstrating our confidence by breaking ground on a new Toy Story Land that will be both authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese, delighting our guests for years to come.”
Toy Story Land will be a high-spirited, colorful world where guests will enter the backyard of Andy, the boy from the movies, and will feel as if they’ve been shrunk down to the size of their favorite Toy Story toys for laughter and fun. The toys come to life and play in a fully immersive land with three new attractions and a uniquely themed character greeting area.
“Since its opening in June this year, Shanghai Disneyland’s operation has run smoothly and our guests have been very enthusiastic. We have received positive feedback from the entire society – all of which makes us excited about the future,” said Fan Xiping, chairman of Shanghai Shendi Group. “The newly announced Toy Story Land is part of the accelerated expansion plan for the first phase of the theme park. Both shareholders will continue to launch more new experiences to meet the needs of our guests from China and all over the world.”
Characters and stories from the Toy Story franchise have strongly resonated with Chinese guests. Shanghai Disney Resort has the only Toy Story-themed resort hotel in the world, and Shanghai Disneyland also has the popular Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue attraction, a guest favorite which features the most advanced Buzz Lightyear targeting system at any Disney Park in the world.
“Walt Disney once said that Disneyland, and by extension, all of our theme parks, would never be complete, that they would continue to grow as long as there is imagination in the world,” said Philippe Gas, general manager of Shanghai Disney Resort. “We are so excited to bring this same sense of imagination and optimism to Shanghai and look forward to growing our resort together with our guests in China. This is a great time to visit Shanghai Disney Resort and experience the magic of Disney.”
The new Toy Story Land, with unique attractions and experiences guests can only have at Shanghai Disneyland, is set to open in 2018.
Picture: copyright Disney - Shendi
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
We're back in Asia for today's D&M update as, good news, The construction of Universal Beijing has started! For now of course it's just ground works for a theme park now scheduled to open in 2020 instead of 2019, which leave more time to Shanghai Disneyland before facing the competition of Disney's biggest competitor.
The non-officially released map below shows pretty clearly that Universal Beijing envision a second theme park, and more hotels ( six if my count is right ) and even a City Walk and a water park!
On a recent presentation the map below was shown. The original picture was posted on Themeparx but i tried my best to enhance it to have a better look and it indeed confirm the map above and that multiple hotels are envisioned.
Are they thinking to build a Volcano Bay for the water park of Universal Beijing as this non-officially released rendering may indicate? Mmmmh... if yes, did someone told them that the climate is not really the same at Beijing than at Orlando?
Anyway, we're looking to learn more about Universal Beijing in the future but ...wouldn't it be great if Universal could also think to build one in Europe? After all, back in the 9à's they had plans to build a Universal Studios at Melun, 30 km from Paris...
Pictures: copyright Universal Studios