Toy Story Land hopes to save Hong Kong Disney

Woody and the gang might just put the magic back into the kingdom for the less-than-popular Hong Kong Disneyland

Feel like you've been shrunk to the size of a toy at Hong Kong's Toy Story Land.

The first of Hong Kong Disneyland's three-part US$468 million expansion, the new Toy Story Land, opened on November 17. It is almost identical to the first Toy Story theme area in Paris' Walt Disney Studios Park.

Visitors are immersed in the world of the characters from the Toy Story movies as Andy's backyard is recreated in the theme area using oversized props. Bamboo is used to represent large blades of grass.

At a loss

Hong Kong Disneyland is Disney's first park in China and was expected to draw hordes of Disney fans from the mainland. But it is not doing as well as hoped.

The park has been underperforming since it opened to much hype in 2005. Hong Kong Disneyland reported a net loss of HK$718 million in the 12 months that ended October 2, 2010.

Future competition to the park will come in the form of Shanghai's own Disneyland, which is currently under construction and set to open in 2015.

The Hong Kong government, which has a 52 percent stake in the local park, has put pressure on operators to add more rides.

The Hong Kong park's expansion is scheduled for completion by 2013 with two more theme areas -- "Grizzly Gulch" and "Mystic Point." With the new attractions, Disney is hoping to pull in between 5.2 million and 8 million visitors by 2015.

Toy Story Land features

Toy Soldier Parachute Drop, a ride that dangles visitors 25 meters above ground then drops them like they're parachuting.

RC Racer, a horseshoe-shaped rollercoaster ride that reaches up 27 meters.

Slinky Dog Spin, allowing visitors to ride Slinky Dog as he continuously chases his own tail.

See more photos and videos of Toy Story Land at www.utravel.com.hk and florencelai.blogspot.com.

Getting there: Toy Story Land at Hong Kong Disneyland, Lantau Island park.hongkongdisneyland.com

Related article: http://www.cnngo.com/shanghai/play/shanghai-disneyland-full-design-revealed-943658

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