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HK Disneyland puts local skyline, Chinese opera doll in new show
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Hong Kong Disneyland will soon put on its own version of the miniature show "It's a Small World," with a unique lady doll in Chinese opera costume and a specially-designed Hong Kong scene featuring Victoria Harbor and the city's landmark skyscrapers, the theme park said Thursday.

"With Hong Kong Disneyland's version of 'It's a Small World,' we had unprecedented opportunity to expand on a classic attraction and blend local, regional and international elements," said David Minichiello, the project's art director.

Minichiello said the new project, a major facility slated for opening on April 28, would have 220 toys and 241 singing figures, including 38 Disney characters distributed across scenes standing for different continents and regions.

The project will have larger Asian scenes than similar projects at other Disneyland theme parks around the globe, although Hong Kong Disneyland itself was small.

A stylized Great Wall and a Chinese opera toy in red traditional gown will appear in the China scene. Hong Kong's Victoria Harbor, landmark buildings including the Bank of China Building and the International Financial Center II will be there, too.

New versions of the theme song, respectively in Mandarin, the Cantonese dialect, Tagalog and Korean, will be added to the Hong Kong version of "It's a Small World." Lyrics of the Cantonese version will be by Hong Kong's popular late author James Wong.

A joint venture between the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government and the United States Walt Disney Company, Hong Kong Disneyland is the smallest among the five Disneyland theme parks around the world.

The park attracted less visitors than it had previously expected in the first two years after its opening in September 2005, leading to less than satisfactory performance and, therefore, pressure on the HKSAR government.

Marketing staff at the park said they had been dedicated to offering immersive, unique experiences for families, as well as people of any generations and ages.

It's a Small World, coming after High School Musical Live and Muppet Mobile Lab, was one of the five new shows and facilities planned for opening at Hong Kong Disneyland in 2008.

Maple Lee, vice president of marketing, said the park recorded double-digit growth in attendance year on year in the past six months.

Total attendance over the past two and half years had exceeded 10 million recently, the park said on its website.

Lee said Walt Disney Company and the HKSAR government were in talks over fund injections in the theme park, adding that Walt Disney "is ready."

(Xinhua News Agency, March 28, 2008)

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