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Disneyland brings the Wild West to Hong Kong
Runaway mining carts, erupting geysers and grizzly bears -- Disney introduces Hongkongers to 19th-century American terrors
Ever wanted to experience the Wild West but just can't find a time-travel machine for a good price?
Hong Kong Disneyland could be your answer.
As part of its US$468 million expansion plan, the park will open the Grizzly Gulch themed area on July 14, 2012, featuring Wild West-themed attractions such as runaway mine cars, colorful erupting geysers and a wagon show.
Like the Big Thunder Railroad in Magic Kingdom in Florida, the new area's Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars are a key attraction. The ride is a terrain-style roller coaster that twists through the Grizzly Gulch area.
It sends up to 24 riders on a clattering run through the Big Grizzly Mountain, hits heights of up to 27 meters and even goes backwards.
But riders should try and keep their eyes open -- the landscape is worth appreciating, with colorful ponds and spouting geysers to see below.
Use of visual illusion
Faced with competition from the coming Shanghai Disneyland, Hong Kong Disneyland has innovated -- it has brought visitors up close to the old American West, with engineers playing some clever visual tricks.
Grizzly Mountain is an example. Objects close to visitors have been built life-size, while scenes further away are scaled down to give the impression of perspective.
Fountains of color
Geyser Gulch is a replica of the rocks in Yellowstone National Park and welcomes visitors with a sudden eruption of its lucky springs.
Rainbows suddenly appear as sunshine hits the water droplets.
Grizzly Gulch has also gone big on eco-friendliness.
There's no air-conditioning, just electric fans. Visitors can also cool off with water pistols in Geyser Gulch.
Hong Kong Disneyland can be reached via MTR, bus or taxi. It's located on Lantau Island.
MTR: From any MTR station head for the interchange for the Disneyland Resort Line at Sunny Bay station.
Bus: Routes R11, R22, R33 and R42 operate daily to and from Hong Kong Disneyland.
General admission costs of HK$399 (aged 12-64) and HK$285 (child) include entry to Grizzly Gulch.