Mickey’s fifth kingdom

news: Mickey’s fifth kingdom

A 30,000-capacity Hong Kong Disneyland theme park has now opened. The Disney Corporation’s 5th Magic Kingdom-style park is a joint venture between them and the Hong Kong SAR Government.

Overlooking the water at Penny’s Bay on Lantau Island, Phase One of the development includes the theme park and two hotels, as well as retail, dining and entertainment facilities.

At 306 acres, the trilingual park (Cantonese, Mandarin and English) is much smaller than previous Magic Kingdom parks. It has only three ‘lands’ – Fantasyland, Tomorrowland and Adventureland – and is missing some of the best known rides, such as Splash Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion and Autopia. Some of these will appear over the next few years as more land for the project is reclaimed from the sea.

The opening of Hong Kong Disneyland plays a major role in the ambition of the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) to attract international tourists back to the city state. The HKTB’s forthcoming 2006 Discover Hong Kong Year campaign will highlight Disneyland, together with two other parks due to open in the spring.

Ngong Ping 360 is a cultural village occupying a 1.5 hectare site on Lantau Island. It is reached by a stunning 5.7km cable car journey and has two themed attractions, Walking with Buddha and Monkeys Tale Theatre, as well as the Ngong Ping Tea House and a variety of retail, dining and entertainment experiences. The site also provides access to Lantau Island’s already popular Tian Tan Giant Buddha and Po Lin Monastery.

The 64 hectare Hong Kong Wetland Park is situated in the New Territories, adjacent to the Mai Po Marshes, a vital resting and feeding ground for more than 300 species of birds, many endangered. The Wetland Park offers audio-visual shows, interactive displays and extensive wetland and outdoor exhibits.

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