Get ready for tourism in China to get a Hulk-sized increase.
As Disney got their piece of the superhero pie with the 2009 acquisition of Marvel Entertainment, it was only a matter of time before the many Disney theme parks started, well, re-designing accordingly. However, the likes of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and the Hulk won't be making their Disney attraction debut on American shores.
It looks like the Avengers will soon be digging their way to China as the first Disney park to get a Marvel-themed world will be Hong Kong Disneyland. Hong Kong Financial Secretary John Tsang revealed the news in a conference call discussing the park's 2013-2013 budget earlier this week:
"In the coming few years, Hong Kong Disneyland will launch a new night-time parade and put in place a themed area featuring 'Marvel Heroes,' the first of its kind in the world."
Hong Kong Disneyland is the smallest of the Disney parks and has struggled over the years to increase interest and attendance from its key target demographic -- tourists from mainland China, many of whom aren't enamored enough of Disney characters to make the trip to the park. The park also competes with the Sea World-like Ocean Park.
Having Hong Kong Disneyland be the first Disney park to get the Marvel superhero treatment will certainly increase its popularity. As big as the Marvel movies are in America, they're just as big if not bigger internationally -- "The Avengers," in particular, is the 13th all-time highest grossing film in China. The Marvel-themed area will also attract older patrons who might not be as big on Mickey and friends as their kids.
Hong Kong Disneyland might also just be the only available option for a Marvel environment for now. Disneyland currently doesn't have the real estate, especially with the recently unveiled Cars Land at California Adventure, and Disney World in Orlando is unable to have a Marvel presence due to restrictions with Universal. And we wouldn't want the Hulk getting into a fight with King Kong, would we?
(Well ... yes, we would, but you get the point.)
No date was revealed for the opening of Marvel World at Hong Kong Disneyland but as it was announced as part of the 2013-2014 budget one can assume that construction will commence in the next year.