Interesting and rather exciting news emerged today that Hong Kong Disneyland’s $467 million expansion will be completed a year early. According to sources, Toy Story Playland (ugh) will open later this year, while the two other new areas – Grizzly Trail and Mystic Point – will open in 2012 and 2013. This early opening will allow the beleaguered park to build up some more steam before Shanghai Disneyland opens in (allegedly) 2015.
Perhaps the most exciting detail in the article is that Disney is already in negotiations with the local government for the next wave of expansion, which would begin in 2013. Considering how interminable negotiations for the current expansion were, it’s good that they’re starting early. It will also allow Imagineering time to develop some new expansion concepts, since many of the more elaborate attractions that Hong Kong refused in the last wave, such as the re-imagined Pirates of the Caribbean flume ride, are expected to now appear in Shanghai instead. Will the rejected Glacier Bay make a reappearance? Or Toontown? Or will Disney decide to in-fill the existing lands with some of the many, many staple attractions that are missing from the under-sized park? Time will tell, but it’s great to know that they’re starting to think about it now rather than later. Perhaps we’ll have a better idea about what might be next for Hong Kong if we get any clues about Shanghai’s attraction lineup during its unveiling tomorrow.
Nothing is set in stone – the article says that a park spokesperson “dismissed the report” – but if this is true it can only mean good things for Hong Kong parkgoers.