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  1. #1

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    TDLFAN reviews the Pirate Takeover

    Hello all
    Went to HKDL this past week to check out their newest event at the park: Pirate Takeover.

    The event takes place in Adventureland, now re-named Pirateland during this summertime promotion, in conjunction with the debut of the new POTC3 movie, At World's End.

    Ok.. I went in with no expectations whatsoever, and concidering the abysmal low attendance problems they are having at HKDL, I expected little from this event. Therefore, what is there to do meet my expectations.

    First up... many pirate-related props have been placed around Adventureland to add to the pirate feel and theme. Most of the props are actual 3d artifacts and little banners (like would be the way WDW would do this). I was impressed they took the time to add little things like cannons, Jolly roger flags, hidden treasures and the like to the entire area. Add to that the other costumes characters that make the magic come alive.. like Mirabella the gypsy girl or the dueling pirates teaching guests how to defend themselves and swordfight. ATT New Yorkers: this can be useful to you when riding the subways into the Bronx.

    Many photo spots have also been erected for that timeless photo souvenir. Of course, I was even more impressed with the fact that most props are nicely lit up for nightime purposes and everything looks great in the evening hours. Too bad Adventureland is basically dead when the sun goes down..and not much is happening in that area at dusk.

    I was also impressed that the show designers went out of the way to overlay the Tarzan Treehouse and Jungle Cruise ride in order to create an all-encompassing pirate takeover experience. The Jungle Cruise for example even has a new scene in which a live actor plays a pirate, who temporarely stops the cruise and threatens to hijack us.. It's a little interacive guest moment that as far as I know, is a first for any Jungle Cruise ride.

    Guests can also participate in other activities.. like games of luck and treasure hunts.. in which guests recieve a gift if they complete. I got me this cool Pirate Mickey scarf as my hunt prize! Guests can also enjoy having their photo taken with Pirate Mickey, Goofy, Pluto, and Capt Hook.

    Street entertainment can also be enjoy as the "Doctors of Voodoo" perform and pirates parade thru the land. The biggest disappointment was not being able to see a well recommended fire dance show, with fiery male performers... Apparently they were on their day off because this show didn't perform today.

    All in all... it was a fun time at the Pirate Takeover.

    As for the rest of the park... again.. crowds were none-existant. Everything was a walk on and I took advantage of that. Even rode some of the spinners and caught Philharmagic in it's lovely HKDL setting.
    Some observations... IASW construction is progressing but now, they have placed covers so that guests exiting Golden Mickeys don't get much of an eyeful of what's going on in the backside of Fantasyland. Over at Pooh's ride.. a new prop has appeared in the ride... a "3, 2, 1 CHEESE!" prompt moment for you to smile when the camera takes your photo. Over in Tomorrowland, I noticed the kinetic lights at TL's entrance seemed to move and change colors and sequencing at a more active way, creating a constant eye candy experience as guests leave and enter the TL area..

    In the shops... I noticed many new souvenir items for sale, but mostly new tee shirt designs and stuff like that, and some..recycled from other parks..with the HKDL name added to them.

    As the nightime fell over HKDL, I took the time to walk around the park and take in the atmosphere. This place has it's many critics for being small or cheap..whatever, but the more I visit, the more I enjoy the surroundings and theming found here that even the ever popular MK at WDW does not offer. I don't care what most naysayers say.. but HKDL has great potential. It still has a LONG way to go in achieving greatness compared to DLP or DL or TDL... but the foundation is there for high quality experiences. I find great enjoyment in just walking the expansive walkways this very little park has to offer. Taking in the small details of things in Adventureland... enjoying the beautiful artistry of fantasia gardens of the sheer spectacle of the decor in the Royal Banquet Hall... or simply amusing myself looking at the colorful accent lights around Tomorrowland and Autopia. Everything I see is not TDS-like lavish, but it's presented in small samples that elevate the experience far above what some more established and popular Disney parks are offering their guests.
    I am not blind to the problems but I see the promise of a nice outcome, IF and only IF Disney plays their cards well in light of the challenges.

    Oh well... here are some photos from my Pirate Takeover visit... and I apologize most nightime shots came out a bit blurry as I didn't have my tripod to stabilize my camera still for those open lense shots. Hope you enjoy these pics!

    http://albums.photo.epson.com/j/Albu...4409&f=0&vt=mp

  2. #2

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    Re: TDLFAN reviews the Pirate Takeover

    thanks for the photos and update.

  3. #3

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    Re: TDLFAN reviews the Pirate Takeover

    Thank you for the pictures. Hong Kong Disneyland looks very dead; hardly any guests in sight. Anybody want to take a guess at how many guests are in the park?

    Anyways, it really is a shame because Hong Kong Disneyland is such a lovely park. I really like the design of the park, especially since it drew many designs from the original Disneyland. The entrance area looks so nice and relaxing with the little whale fountain, and I love the look of their bricked Main Street. Overall, it's a very nice park that deserves to flourish into a full Magic Kingdom.
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  4. #4

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    Re: TDLFAN reviews the Pirate Takeover

    Quote Originally Posted by TDLFAN
    I am not blind to the problems but I see the promise of a nice outcome, IF and only IF Disney plays their cards well in light of the challenges.
    Which is the main reason I continue to follow the progress of HKDL. I like the idea of the Pirates promotion, but there is going to be a time when the park needs to move beyond the gimmicky promotions and into the territory of real and substantial stuff that encourages repeat visits.

    BTW, I felt sure there was a "321...Cheese" thing in Pooh when I visited last September, although I could be mistaken. I just seem to remember it being there.

    Anyways, thanks - as always - for the report and pics.
    “I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out.” - Bill Hicks


  5. #5

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    Re: TDLFAN reviews the Pirate Takeover

    I love those photos with Pluto! You both look adorable!

  6. #6

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    Re: TDLFAN reviews the Pirate Takeover

    ORWEN: Thank you for the pretty pictures, TDLFAN, duckling. Us cauldron girls had fun conjuring them up inside our crystal ball. We can hardly wait until Small World opens so you can show us what Hong Kong's version of THAT looks like!

  7. #7

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    Re: TDLFAN reviews the Pirate Takeover

    Quote Originally Posted by aimster View Post
    I love those photos with Pluto! You both look adorable!

    Hey that is what I was going to say!

    Beautiful pictures as usual thanks for posting.

  8. #8

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    Re: TDLFAN reviews the Pirate Takeover

    Quote Originally Posted by Loomis View Post
    BTW, I felt sure there was a "321...Cheese" thing in Pooh when I visited last September, although I could be mistaken. I just seem to remember it being there.
    It could have been... but I honestly do not remember it from previous rides.

  9. #9

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    Re: TDLFAN reviews the Pirate Takeover

    Thanks for the TR and pics TDLFAN.
    Quote Originally Posted by TDLFAN View Post
    Over at Pooh's ride.. a new prop has appeared in the ride... a "3, 2, 1 CHEESE!" prompt moment for you to smile when the camera takes your photo.
    Yup, as Loomis says this has been part of the ride for ages, probably since the beginning. I remember noting it on my first visit in January 2006; reading the signs in the queue that warned it would be in the ride and then experiencing it in all it's lameness. It feels like a really desperate way to make money for a photo that isn't spontaneous or particularly memorable... unless you pull a really good face

    Quote Originally Posted by TDR_Fan View Post
    Thank you for the pictures. Hong Kong Disneyland looks very dead; hardly any guests in sight. Anybody want to take a guess at how many guests are in the park?
    That would make for a good competition - a new spin on the "guess the number of * in the jar" concept!


    Is it just me or is there zero Chinese language as part of this overlay? All themed signage ("Scoundrel", "I sailed the Black Pearl", "Cursed Treasure" etc.) looks to be in English only...

    Unfortunately the Pirateland concept doesn't look like its drawing any more people to the park, but instead redistributing the people that are there so that more of them are in Adventureland!
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  10. #10

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    Re: TDLFAN reviews the Pirate Takeover

    Thanks for great pictures TDLFAN.
    HKDL looks so incredibly dead , I have never seen DLRP so dead even during the worst past years...

  11. #11

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    Re: TDLFAN reviews the Pirate Takeover

    Quote Originally Posted by Olivier View Post
    Thanks for great pictures TDLFAN.
    HKDL looks so incredibly dead , I have never seen DLRP so dead even during the worst past years...

    You are right. I went to DLRP in 94, the worst year and it was no way that dead... Such a shame for this beautifull park. Hope Disney does something and fast...
    Last edited by coruscant; 05-15-2007 at 08:30 AM.
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  12. #12

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    Re: TDLFAN reviews the Pirate Takeover

    Hey.....I bought my 'Pooh' picture!

    I just got it because it was so strange to have this on a Pooh ride - - I couldn't pass it up.

  13. #13

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    Re: TDLFAN reviews the Pirate Takeover

    Quote Originally Posted by Olivier View Post
    Thanks for great pictures TDLFAN.
    HKDL looks so incredibly dead , I have never seen DLRP so dead even during the worst past years...
    Really? I have a picture of me and my mother at DLP's Main Street in Nov 1992, and there were only 4 of us in the photo. The park was just as or much more desserted than HKDL this past week. However, at HKDL... Main Street seems to suffer from the most "quiet area" syndrome. You definitely see more people towards the back of the park. Still... things are very slow at that park.

  14. #14

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    Re: TDLFAN reviews the Pirate Takeover

    It does look very empty. It needs to get the locals in to fill up the park. Most HK people do not visit regularly (unlike Ocean Park, which is cheaper to enter and the rides are never dull), somehow visiting Ocean Park is something locals like me like to do once in a while, but not HKDL. For me, visiting Ocean Park is affordable and always fun.

  15. #15

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    Re: TDLFAN reviews the Pirate Takeover

    Quote Originally Posted by TDLFAN View Post
    Really? I have a picture of me and my mother at DLP's Main Street in Nov 1992, and there were only 4 of us in the photo. The park was just as or much more desserted than HKDL this past week. However, at HKDL... Main Street seems to suffer from the most "quiet area" syndrome. You definitely see more people towards the back of the park. Still... things are very slow at that park.
    My first visit to Disneyland Paris was back in 1994, and it was just as empty as Hong Kong Disneyland is now. You could see how expansive the pathways were, and every single attraction was a walk on. It was an awesome experience being one of the few guests in the park, though it was a little bit creepy. Walking down Disneyland Paris' Main Street with less than 10 guests in sight was a wonderful experience compared to the crowdedness you get at Disneyland or Magic Kingdom's Main Streets.
    Last edited by TDR_Fan; 05-14-2007 at 10:37 PM. Reason: Typo
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