Earlier last week, Disney Parks announced their plans to add on to and re-imagine their existing Hong Kong Disneyland theme park. The multi-year expansion will add two lands based on Marvel and Frozen franchises, as well as a redo of their entire castle and a Moana-themed live stage show. If the plan is approved by Disney and the Hong Kong government, the new additions are set to debut between 2018 and 2023.
“This proposed expansion brings the best of The Walt Disney Company to this wonderful tourist destination, giving guests an experience only Disney can deliver and infusing some of Disney’s most beloved characters and stories into this unique destination,” said Bob Chapek, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.
And Chapek’s PR-angled statement is just a tease of what’s to come and the effects of what might be. After a recent trip to Shanghai Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea just a few weeks ago myself, I got to see first-hand on how unique a Disney Park overseas can get. Both parks have attractions that have new technology and stories that have made U.S. Disney Park-goers like me envious of what China and Japan have.
And that’s the point.
Hong Kong Disneyland’s new additions will be exclusive to that park alone, meaning that people would need to travel to the destination in order to experience things like a real-life Arendelle or Marvel-land. Similar to Shanghai and Tokyo’s park, you’ll have to travel there to experience things like the best Pirates of the Caribbean attraction and a Tron Lightcycle coaster.
For years, Asian people have had to travel away from their homes to experience the Disney theme park magic in the U.S. With Disney’s continuing efforts of investing heavily in Asia, it’s become more clear that they now what their second largest market to travel less. The other result is that us in the U.S. will have to travel in order to get that extra magic fix.
Call it a strategy or an unintended consequence, but Disney will now be able to get another new revenue stream from it’s already strong U.S. consumers who’ll flock to these Asian countries to experience what Hong Kong Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland + DisneySea, and Shanghai Disneyland exclusively have.
Still, it’s at the U.S. parks currently that you’ll be able to experience a Star Wars land 🙂