This is the first part of a study of Hong Kong Disney Resort, in which I will present conceptual site plans for the built-out Disneyland park, an expanded resort hotel offering, a dining-shopping-entertainment district and a second theme park.
I had previously drawn a build-out for HKDL, but that plan was not very grounded. In that take, I had added a Frontierland (Grizzly Trail + Thunder Mesa south of it) and then expanded all the other lands so, like most DL-style parks, these areas were fairly large containing numerous attractions (e.g. I replaced Toy Story Land with an Indiana Jones area to form one contiguous Adventureland from TheaterintheWild to Mystic Manor).
The plan presented here is a little more realistic in that it takes the current expansion plan and continues the pattern to form a necklace of distinct mini-lands, each relatively unique from its neighbor. I decided to do this because with Mystic Point isolated between Toy Story & Grizzly Trail, there’s no point in trying to make it part of a Greater Adventureland.
MINI LAND 1
In thinking of a concept that could fit between Small World and Toy Story Land without being too jarring to either, I decided on L. Frank Baum’s World of Oz (lots of solid source material, couple of new films coming soon, including one from Disney). I felt like this mini-land would fit comfortably between Toy Story (bright colors of Munchkin Village) and Fantasyland. I think Oz would appeal to the HKDL market. The approach from Small World plaza would take visitors through the Haunted Forest (animated trees) to the foot of the Witch’s cliff-top castle. This would house a very large, scenic ride with lots of AAs and detailed sets (a type of attraction conspicuous by its absence in HK) depicting the stories and places from the world of Oz. The yellow brick road would lead past the Tin Woodman’s Theater (AA show) and to Munchkin village with retail & dining facilities.
MINI LAND 2
For a transition from African-set Adventureland to American West-set Grizzly Gulch, I wanted a land that was geographically set in the Americas and still connected to the notion of Old World Adventure. The obvious choice was a Pirates mini-land (sort of like the one pitched by WDI and then shot down by HKDL management). Like both Mystic Point and Grizzly Gulch, this land would have one big E-ticket, one small A/B-ticket and a dining facility. Since Shanghai is apparently not going with the Splash Mountain version of PotC (SDL seems to be getting an indoor-EMV boat hybrid) I decided to resurrect the flume attraction here.
As seen in my birdseye above, visitors taking the righthand path would pass the fire beacon and arrive in the Caribbean colonial port, housing a Tortuga-themed entertainment & dining venue. In the town square is a well where it looks like the mayor could get dunked, if pirates ever ransacked the town. Nearing the fortress, one of the colonial buildings would house a pirate-themed shooting gallery. The down dissolves into the fortress, which in turn dissolves into the mountain. This complex houses the all new “splash mountain” version of PotC. I tried to work some motifs into the rockwork like the conch shell and the pirate skull out of which riders would drop, passing through the shipwreck to the lagoon below. On the lagoon shore are a couple of areas where adventurers could fire water muskets & canons at the the people on the flume.
The final addition to this park is the sometimes-rumored Star Tours II, in the last remaining Tomorrowland pad. TL in HK is a space port - the vast majority of the facilities are dedicated to fantasy space travel in one way or another (everything except Autopia?) from varying source materials - so adding Star Tours is like adding another vegetable to the salad. Also, a simulator attraction would be unique in this park.
One thing that struck me about is that even a completely built-out (this plan reasonably uses up all the readily available expansion pads that HK will use over the next 10-20 years) HKDL will still be a relatively small and attraction-lite park (about 30 real attractions in this drawing). This must reflect the market analyses that were done for HK in its planning stages. I believe that the original attendance goal for the park was 5.5-6 million in year one. I think the original attendance goal for Disneyland Paris was around 10million in year one. DLP is much bigger than HKDL - both at opening and at its eventual build-out potential, so the theme park going audience of HK & the region may have been estimated (by Disney in 2002) to be significantly smaller than that of Europe (which is odd considering South Asia's massive population).