A Castle's Dreams Come True

I referenced this yesterday, but Disney will soon be officially getting a new castle when the completely revamped "Castle of Magical Dreams" formally opens in a couple of weeks on November 21, in conjunction with the start of the park's 15th anniversary celebration.  A decade and a half ago, Hong Kong Disneyland began its life with a clone of Anaheim's Sleeping Beauty castle--same design, size, and scale.  Set against the rolling hills of Lantau Island, it provided a surreal moment of familiarity yet difference to any Californian walking down Hong Kong Disneyland's Main Street.  But the park has changed and grown a lot over the years, and several years ago, the Imagineers decided that to really set the park apart, it needed a different castle.  And thus, the Castle of Magical Dreams was conjured to envelope the original Sleeping Beauty Castle and create a multi-tiered, towering structure that would be unique and fantastical in its own way.  

Inspired by 13 Disney princesses, it is similar to Shanghai Disneyland's Enchanted Storybook Castle in that it is multi-faceted.  No single princess is the focus.  Instead, each turret and spire takes on a different personality and style to suit each princess.  It also conveniently expands the canvas upon which future fireworks and castle shows can project.  I'm personally not the biggest fan of the new design, which feels to disjointed and disparate to me.  But I'll reserve final judgment for whenever I make another visit to see it in person.  I thought Shanghai's castle was too clunky when I initially saw renderings and even early photos.  But in person, it's actually got more elegance to it.  And perhaps Hong Kong's will feel different in person too.

Hong Kong Disneyland's castle from a 2016 trip, looking a lot different than it does now!


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