I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.

23 Responses to “Hong Kong Disneyland's Mystic Manor - an RFID/WiFi/electroluminscent driven spook-house for the XXI C.”

  1. edgore says:

    Are there cultural reasons for making a Haunted Mansion that isn’t…well…haunted?

  2. anonymity86 says:

    Are all Disneyland HK rides have English spoken?

    • Gulliver says:

      Along with Cantonese, English is one of the two primary spoken languages in Hong Kong. Remember, the island was a British territory until 1997. Originally it was a colony ceded in the Treaty of Nanking, prior to which the island had only a small population of fishermen and their families, but after the First Opium War, tens of thousands of mainland Chinese and thousands of British settled there. As a concession in the “unequal treaties” it became, in effect, a way for China to save face by “allowing” the British to have an trading port free from paying duties, while not allowing that port on the mainland. Later, the British leased the island from China for 99 years. So, like Singapore, the education system was modeled mainly along British lines. Because it was explicitly established as a trading hub, bilingualism was inevitable. And because the population is descended from a mix of Chinese and British settlers, Hong Kong is something of a melting pot with a unique cultural tradition unlike anywhere else in Asia.

      • anonymity86 says:

        Fascinating! Is Mandarin spoken there too?

        • Gulliver says:

          Yes, but most of the native Mandarin speakers emigrated to the island during the later half of the last century to escape poverty, famine and political oppression. As such, Mandarin is sometimes seen in a negative light relative to Cantonese. It’s the immigrant tongue, so to speak, which is looked down upon by established Hong Kongers. My partner is a translator specializing in Southeast Asia business relations. We met in Beijing Airport even though we both live in Austin, Texas, and she’s a native Texan. I’m a Yankee immigrant, and never been to Hong Kong myself :-P

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            After several decades in San Francisco, I was surprised to learn that everyone in China doesn’t speak Cantonese. I couldn’t figure out why the actors in Zhang Yimou’s films all sounded really odd.

        • unclemike says:

          The Jungle Cruise at HK Disneyland actually has three different queue lines/choices: you can take the cruise with a skipper who speaks English, or Cantonese, or mandarin.

  3. Gulliver says:

    Did I miss something? When did we get to Disneyland?

  4. Stephen Worth says:

    All that yabbering at the beginning is intolerable. The original imagineers always showed the story, they didn’t tell it. The only words necessary were “c’mon everybody, here we goooo…”

    • sam1148 says:

       Hummm..I don’t think so. The Pre-show at the Haunted Mansion is a bit of talking in the ‘stretching room’…before you get in the doom buggies. The Tiki Room had a preshow outside the “tiki room”..and there’s a set up for Tower of Terror.–and even Rock and Roller Coaster.
      The list could go on and on…about preshows; one of my favorites was the “ExterTERRORESTAL” before they changed that attraction to Snitch. (yeah, it was a little Too Intense in it’s original form).

  5. EeyoreX says:

    Looks like a lot of fun, but I wouldn’t even relate this to the Haunted Mansions at other parks. This is clearly a different beast altogether. 
    If anything, I’d describe this as “The Adventurers Club re-imagined as a high tech dark ride”.
    Hong Kong Disneyland is quite small in area, so they focus on compact attractions that doesnt amass too much queuing.

  6. sam1148 says:

    What is the ride system? The cars look like it’s a self contained trackless system. Seems that would be prone to break down and ride delays from one car getting stuck and clogging the flow.
     You can see them at the very end shot. 

    • EeyoreX says:

      According to the wikis, the cars are indeed trackless, guided by GPS or bluetooth or something similar. Wich has the advantage that the imagineers rather easily can re-route the entire ride trough the building if they want to try out something new. Indeed, there is already a “deleted scene” in the house: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2587/3928647203_a4a67f8cb1_b.jpg

      • sam1148 says:

         That’s pretty interesting. It would also mean that certain scenes could be refurbished or up dated without closing the entire attraction. I’d think they (the cars) would be guided by IR paint on the floor or a wired signal. Or something just a bit more accurate than GPS.

        It does look like it’s a off shoot of the “Universe of Energy” moving theater seats.

        • unclemike says:

          I believe there is a wire embedded in the floor to help guide the cars.

          • EeyoreX says:

            No, according to Disney it’s all done with a designated wireless positioning system developed by them. If you check the wiki link above there is a section written in engrish  that explains why it’s really a “trackless system”.Also, there’s this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pooh%27s_Hunny_Hunt#Track

  7. Dave Jenkins says:

    Complete with the Monkey King in the climax last room!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Journey_to_the_West

  8. jarable says:

    Looks very much like they took a cue from one of the original ideas for The Haunted Mansion – Rolly Crump’s “Museum of the Weird”

  9. Mejeep Ferret says:

    Electroluminescent is electrically-activated phosphor. It’s not paint. Did you mean day-glow / blacklight glow stuff like phosphorescent? Most of the effects seem to be projected on glass or plastic unless the pixie-dust is fiber optic?

  10. Jim Schmidt says:

    I would be quite interested in knowing how the sparkle and lightning effects work. That looked very cool.

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