Hong Kong Disneyland Resort
The Hong Kong Disneyland Resort is currently being built by The Walt Disney Company and the Government of Hong Kong. It is located on reclaimed land beside Penny's Bay, at the northeastern tip of Lantau Island (approximately two kilometres from Discovery Bay), in Hong Kong. Its opening is scheduled for September 12, 2005.
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Plans for the project include a Disney theme park, two hotels (Disneyland Hotel and Disney's Hollywood Hotel), and retail, dining and entertainment facilities stretching over 1.3 km² (310 acres) on Lantau Island. The park will feature four themed lands (Main Street USA, Adventureland, Fantasyland, and Tomorrowland) similar to those at other Disney parks, and nightly fireworks.
Transportation will be served by its own rail network, with specially-designed trains, linking the Sunny Bay Station on the MTR Tung Chung Line with the Disneyland Resort Station by the 3.5-minute-ride Disneyland Resort Line. It will be a thirty-minute train trip from downtown Hong Kong.
Disney invested US$316 million for a 43 percent equity stake in the project. The Hong Kong government will own the remaining 57 percent of the US$1.8 billion project, and expects it to provide 18,400 jobs on opening and up to 35,800 jobs over the following 20 years. The total economic benefits amount to an estimated HK$ 148 billion (US$19 billion), or about six percent of gross domestic product (GDP).
In an effort to avoid cultural friction similar to what happened when Disneyland Resort Paris was new, Disney has taken efforts to make this new park reflect the local culture. The New York Times reports (on April 25, 2005) that Feng shui consultants have helped with the layout of the park and the grounds; incense is burned when the construction of each building is completed; and one of the main ballrooms is 888 square meters large because 8 is considered to be a number of fortune, and the hotels will skip the number four in the numbering of their floors because four is thought of as bad luck. Hong Kong Disneyland employees will speak English, Cantonese, and Mandarin; they have been training at other Disney parks while their home park is being built.
The park is projected to attract five to six million visitors in its opening year, mostly locals, tourists from mainland China and nearby Asian countries. The World Tourism Organization predicts that Hong Kong Disneyland Resort will become one of the world's largest tourist destinations within the next fifteen years.
The park is being built in two phases, with plenty of room to expand after its opening. Land is available nearby for hotels, a second theme park, and a shopping complex similar to Tokyo Disney Resort's Ikspiari or Disneyland Resort Paris's Disney Village.
On November 18, 2004, the tallest turret of Sleeping Beauty Castle was put into place. The company held a celebration attended by the Tung Chee Hwa, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, and James Rasulo, the president of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts who is also currently serving as the temporary president of Hong Kong Disneyland Resort.
As of February 2005, the park's major attractions are completed and only themeing is needed on these. Scenery and decorations in the park are still yet to be completed, as are building façades. The gardens are to be laid in late-March.