The Walt Disney Company and the government of Hong Kong officially opened the world’s eleventh Disney theme park, Hong Kong Disneyland, today at 13:00PM local time.
The park, located in Penny’s Bay, Lantau Island, is the major attraction at the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, which also features two luxurious hotels and a recreational lake with stunning views of local Hong Kong scenery, unlike previous Disney theme parks.
Chinese Vice President Zeng Qinghong, chief executive of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, and vice chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference National Committee, Tung Chee-hwa, were present at the ceremony, as were joint Walt Disney CEOs Michael Eisner and Bob Iger, among a host of Disney Imagineers who helped design and create the park.
The park has been criticised for its apparent lack of attractions compared to the other Disney theme parks around the world, but senior show designer for the park, Tom Morris, told journalists that the Imagineers had left much room around the park for expansion, and if all goes well financially, much construction will be going on in the next few years.
Sixteen thousand guests attended the park today, and officials expect five million will follow in the next year. Over seventy percent of all visitors will come from Hong Kong and mainland China.