Launch date for Disney's new ride

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 26 March, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 26 March, 2008, 12:00am

Hong Kong Disneyland will unveil its newest drawcard on April 27 - the first big addition to its roster of attractions since it opened 21/2 years ago - a Disneyland source revealed.

Park bosses hope to capitalise on the crowds expected over the Labour Day holiday in May with the opening of 'it's a small world' - a standard feature of other Disney parks around the world.

The park will stay open an extra 90 minutes, until 9pm, on the day of the unveiling.

The park, built at Sunny Bay on Lantau at a cost of HK$27 billion, saw attendance last year drop more than 20 per cent to 4.15 million, behind the city's other theme park, Ocean Park. The government owns 57 per cent of the Disney park.

Construction of the new attraction is already complete and preparatory works, such as beautifying the surrounding area, and staff training, are under way. A spokesman confirmed the theme park expected to open the ride late next month.

The attraction is a boat ride featuring audio-animatronic dolls representing countries of the world, which sing the ride's title track, It's a Small World (After All), which has world peace as its theme.

For Hong Kong, Disney has added more than 30 characters, including Peter Pan, Aladdin and Mulan. Landmarks such as the Great Wall of China, the Temple of Heaven and Hong Kong's skyline are featured and there is a new American scene.

John Ap, Polytechnic University's associate professor of tourism, said: 'I think 'it's a small world' will work. It's not tied to a typical western fairytale. But it remains to be seen to what extent the new attraction will boost attendance and business.'