8 Fun Facts About Hong Kong Disneyland’s New Castle
The last few weeks of 2020 are a great time to stop and appreciate some of the big Disney milestones this year! If you’ve been following along with MickeyBlog you’ll know that it is the 15th Anniversary of Hong Kong Disneyland. To celebrate Disney made the decision to refurbish the castle in one of the most epic transformations in Disney’s history!
Let’s take a look at 8 of the things that make this iconic building positively magical!
The new castle has doubled in height:
Actually, its more then twice as tall, Disney used a new modular construction model which allowed segments of the new castle to be completed off-site and then lowered onto the existing castle. Fifteen modules were dropped into place with some weighing as much as 50 tons.
The new castle is grand indeed with a reception hall, jewelry shop, an exhibition space and there’s even a guided audio tour where guests can learn more about the amazing and innovative architecture!
This castle is brimming with character(s)
This castle breaks from the mold of Cinderella Castle and Sleeping Beauty Castle in that it isn’t dedicated solely to one Disney character. Rather, the castle pays tribute to many of our favorite Disney friends with 13 spires as well as turrets and towers that pay tribute to different characters. You’ll find elements from The Little Mermaid, Brave, Moana, Pocahontas, The Princess and the Frog, Frozen and Tangled.
Each tower’s design is customized for a different princess
We absolutely love the fact that each tower was designed for a different princess. As Conde Nast tells us, one tower features icy blue shingles which pay homage to Elsa’s magical powers. Its even topped with a snowflake. Then there’s the Mulan tower which features a cherry blossom motif. The dragon Mushu gets pride-of-place at the very top of the tower.
Other characters get a tip of the hat too!
It’s not all about royalty. The castle features a spectacular octagonal rotunda. Here you’ll find columns that pay tribute to other fairy tale characters like Flounder and Sebastian from The Little Mermaid, Mrs. Potts & Chip from Beauty and the Beast and more.
On the floor of the rotunda is a massive paving medallion depicting 13 flowers symbolizing the various princesses.
There’s an emphasis on global culture
Disney wanted to pay tribute not just to the classical European-style architecture featured in many of these animated classics but rather to pull in elements that paid tribute to magic around the world. You’ll find woven throughout the castle, icons, symbols, patterns, cultural references and colors from around the globe united in one magical theme!
The castle’s setting also played a role in its design
The castle’s setting inspired the redesign as well. Hong Kong Disneyland sits on Lantau Island which is know for Hong Kong’s Tian Tan Buddha as well as the airport. Disney integrated the beautiful mountains found on the island as well as the greenry into the design by adding trees, shrubs and vines to create a “living castle.”
The climate also had a large role to play in the design
Hong Kong’s climate had an impact on what materials could be used. For instance carved plaster panels were made to look like wood which meant that it could be used in place of traditional timber that is susceptible to mold and fungi growth in the hot humid climate. The designers also drew inspiration from Lantau Island’s tropical color palette with colorful walls, shimmering surfaces, metallic roofs and stained glass.
There’s a magical feature at the very top of the castle
When the castle was officially unveiled Disney invited cast members, guests and community partners to write down their dreams and wishes on notecards. These were collection, placed in a treasure chest and lifted to the top of Aurora’s tower.
We hope that some day we have an opportunity to see this magnificent castle in person! Readers are encouraged to keep following along with us for even more magical Disney-related news and updates!
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Source: Conde Nast Traveler