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HK Disneyland to debut new entertainment offerings next year
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Hong Kong Disneyland said Wednesday it would unveil four new entertainment offerings to visitors over next year, apart from the already announced "it's a small world," which was slated for debut in the spring.


The new additions would be Muppet Mobile Lab, High School Musical Celebration, Nemo Submarine "Turtle Talk" and The Art of Animation, said Bill Ernest, the theme park's executive vice president and managing director.


"We are excited to add new attractions and entertainment offerings in 2008 that truly showcase the magic of Disney's cutting-edge technology," he said, adding that the theme park's continuing strategy was to enhance guest experience.


"Hong Kong Disneyland will continue to find new, immersive ways to delight families from Hong Kong and all over Asia for many years to come," he said.


While much smaller than "it's a small world," Muppet Mobile Lab features two Audio-Animatronics characters, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and his assistant Beaker, who would travel around the park onboard a mobile vehicle, interacting with visitors.


High School Musical Celebration is based on the blockbuster Disney Channel movie High School Musical Celebration and would feature a mobile stage with a troupe of singers and dancers working and interacting with visitors to wild rhythm of music.


Nemo Submarine "Turtle Talk" would feature Crush, the laid-back sea turtle from the Disney/Pixar animated film Finding Nemo. Crush would talk with the audience in a unique, personalized way from his digital world under the sea.


The Art of Animation, as can be seen from its name, was "both a celebration and a tribute" to the legacy of Disney and Pixar, the theme park said.


A joint venture between the Hong Kong Special Administrative government and the United States-based Walt Disney Company, Hong Kong Disneyland was unveiled to visitors in the fall of 2005 but its performance has been less than satisfactory in the first two years, which critics attributed to the theme park's modest size and ill management.


The smallest among all Disneyland theme parks, Hong Kong Disneyland attracted around 5 million visitors in its first year, followed by 4 million in its second year.


The government, which has a majority stake in the project, on Wednesday urged the park to better its performance, adding that the government might in the future inject capitals in the joint venture so that the theme park might be expanded.


Frederick Ma, secretary for commerce and economic development, said the park's performance in its first two years of operation was unsatisfactory.


"It is essential that the park management should critically review the operation of the park with a view to enhancing its operational efficiency and revamping its marketing and promotion strategies," he said.


Hong Kong Disneyland has recently been offering prolonged period of special offers at and around festivals like Halloween and Christmas in hope of attracting visitors.


"It's a small world," a Disney classic attraction, would also be unveiled to visitors in the spring, with unique features in a localizing effort.


(Xinhua News Agency December 20, 2007)

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