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Disneyland Sydney is a theme park located in Holsworthy, New South Wales, Australia. The park is operated by Disney Parks, Experiences and Products and Great Australian Resorts Pty. Ltd., through a joint-venture of The Walt Disney Company and Great Australian Resorts. The park began construction in 1996, and opened on February 11, 2000. The park is currently celebrating it's 20th Anniversary.

The park has seven themed areas: Main Street, Australia; the four traditional Disney lands: Adventureland, Westernland, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland; and three mini-lands: Critter Country, AUSEPCOT, and Mickey's Toontown.

Dedication

To all who come to this happy place, g'day. Disneyland Sydney is your land, from the wonders of the Australian Outback, to the future-scape of tomorrow, the adventurous jungle and the world of fantasy, it is authentically Disney and distinctly Australasian. It was created to be an eternal source of joy, laughter, inspiration, and imagination to the people of Australia. And may this magical kingdom be an enduring reminder of the centuries of friendship and cooperation between the great nations of Australia and the United States of America.
- Michael Eisner, February 11, 2000

History

Preparations

For the location of the park's land, the Walt Disney Company and Great Australian Resorts hired Carwardine Parks to scout a possible site for the then-unnamed Disneyland Sydney with their private planes. Among the locations considered included: a spot on the Gold Coast in Queensland, a spot in the Australian Capital Territory, and a reclaimed land proposal in Tasmania.

The purchase of disused forestland adjacent to Holsworthy Barracks by The Walt Disney Company and Great Australian Resorts to build a new resort was approved in 1994. A record number of trees on the site were transplanted to other locations in the Sydney region. Two units of Australian engineers and architects were sent to California to Disneyland and Japan to Tokyo Disneyland respectively to tour the two parks and prepare to design & construct the new park.

Construction

The construction of the park and the resort in general began in 1996, with the groundbreaking ceremony televised live on a episode of Saturday Disney. Journalists, politicians, and locals viewed the groundbreaking as an indication of the high expectations for the park in the future. The final cost of Disneyland Sydney was AU$320 million rather than the projected AU$200 million.

Advertising

The first advertisements were aired on the newly bought out ABC (US) network starting in late 1996 for the US viewers, Australian advertising began in early 1997, on the Nine Network.

Opening

The park opened on February 11, 2000. The live broadcast of the grand opening, titled Disneyland Sydney: A Grand Opening for the Ages, was simulcast on the Seven Network and ABC-TV in Australia and internationally broadcast to various Disney TV channels, including the Disney Channel in the United States. Many distinguished guests and celebrities from Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and other countries joined Michael Eisner, Roy E. Disney, Great Australian founder Bruce McKechnie, Australian Prime Minister John Howard, and Premier of New South Wales Bob Carr for a showcase of choreography, acrobatics, costumes, and technology in grand scale, with dazzling lights, Disney music, pageantry, special effects, and fireworks.

This is the first park to open up with FastPass support.

Later Years

The influx of tourists traveling to Sydney for the 2000 Summer Olympics helped boost attendance for the park and the resort in general, while also boosting attendance for the competing Entertainment Park Down Under. Meanwhile, Wonderland Sydney and Sega World Sydney were unable to compete with the success the Disneyland Australia Resort and Entertainment Park Down Under were having as a result of the Olympics. Sega World Sydney eventually closed while Wonderland Sydney was able to rebound as Six Flags Sydney.

Ticket pricing for the first season was AU$11.08 for day adult tickets while child and elderly one day tickets were priced at AU$5.10, described as "Australia's Best Theme Park Value" at the time.

395 employees/castmembers were hired at first. Australians, New Zealanders and Singaporeans comprised a large majority of the castmember workforce, while a mixture of American, Canadian & British expatriates, Australasians, South Africans, and Singaporeans were hired for most "performance" (e.g. actors, singers, dancers, walkarounds) castmember positions.

In 2001, FastPass+ was introduced. The same year, it was judged "Australia's No. 1 Tourist Attraction" by a panel of experts in the entertainment & tourism industries.

In 2002, Space Mountain Mission 2 opened.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Disneyland Sydney, Disney's Aussie Beach, and Disney's Studio Park temporarily closed from March 18, 2020 and remained closed until Disneyland Sydney reopened on May 21, 2020, under strict rules that included, but was not limited to: social distancing, reduced capacity, temperature screenings, and mandatory face masks. The Dapper Dans performed on the reopening day in the performers' pajamas and wearing face masks to poke fun at the "Stay Home, Stay Safe" movement.

Rides & attractions

In order clockwise from south to southeast.

Main Street, Australia

  • City Hall (added 2000)
  • The Dapper Dans (added 2000; a barbershop quartet that entertains guests around Main Street)
  • Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade (added 2000)
  • Disneyland Railroad (added 2000)
  • Main Street Vehicles (added 2000; includes horseless carriage, fire engine, omnibus, and 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge horse-drawn streetcars)
  • Main Street Electrical Parade (added 2000)
  • Partners (added 2000; recreation of the famous Disneyland/Disney World statue)

Adventureland

Adventure World

Caribbean Lagoon

  • Caribbean Jungle Mouse (added 2000; a Zamperla Wild Mouse Coaster) [FastPass]
  • Pirates of the Caribbean (added 2000) [FastPass+]

Frontierland

Based on the Australian Outback rather than the Wild West

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (added 2000; a Vekoma 3-lift Junior Mine Coaster) [FastPass+]
  • Golden Horseshoe Revue (added 2000; a live show in the Golden Horseshoe Saloon - featured performers include Kenny Boag)
  • Mark Twain Riverboat (added 2000) [FastPass]
  • Tom Sawyer Island (added 2000) [FastPass]

Fantasyland

Fantasy Front

  • Cinderella Castle (added 2000)
  • Gaston's Chutes (added 2004; a Intamin Accelerator Coaster similar to Xcelerator at Knott's Berry Farm but with an inversion) [FastPass+]
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant (added 2000) [FastPass]
  • Mad Hatter Tea Party (added 2000) [FastPass]
  • Peter Pan Flight (added 2000) [FastPass+]

Fantasy Back

  • It's a Small World (added 2000; a dark ride, in 2019 various Disney characters in Mary Blair style were added to the ride, including a section for Disney Junior and Bluey characters) [FastPass+]
  • Mr. Toad's Wild Ride (added 2000; considered the apex of all Mr. Toad rides, with 4 tracks, each entirely different, Track A goes into a barnyard, Track B into the town, Track C into a river and Track D into an airport) [FastPass (A/B) FastPass+ (C/D)]

Tomorrowland

Unlike most locations, it is on the northeast corner of the park.

Space Complex

  • Alien Encounter (added 2000; a mirrored clone of ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter at Disney World, this version also ads a huge parental warning with employees encouraged to discourage families with young children on to the attraction) [FastPass+]
  • Space Mountain (added 2000; a indoor Vekoma Launched Coaster, this coaster has no inversions unlike Mission 2, this coaster is essentially a launched version of the Tokyo Disneyland version) [FastPass]
  • Space Mountain: Mission 2 (added 2002; an indoor Vekoma Launch Coaster, goes upside down thrice) [FastPass+]
  • Space Mountain: Mission 3 (added 2006; an indoor Premier Rides Spaghetti Bowl Coaster) [FastPass+]
  • Space Mountain: Mission 4 (added 2018; an indoor RMC Steel Raptor Track coaster, only one of the "Aussie Missions" to have a lift hill) [FastPass+]

Sci-Fi Hits

  • Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The Ride (added 2000; An omnimover dark ride, originally planned to be Honey, I Shrunk The Audience! before they needed a dark ride in the Tomorrowland lineup) [FastPass+]
  • Star Tours – The Adventures Continue (added 2013; a Thales 3D Motion Simulator ride) [FastPass+]
  • Tron Lightcycle Power Run (added 2019; a semi-indoor Vekoma Motorbike Coaster) [FastPass+]

City of Tomorrow

  • Abendparade (added 2004)
  • Autopia (added 2000; a Huss-TechEruo-built clone of the Autopias at Disneyland and Disneyland Paris) [FastPass]
  • Fantasmic! (added 2000; on the opposite side of the train tracks)

Critter Country

Unlike most locations, due to the massive frontierland changes, is on the other side of the railroad tracks equivalent of Disney World's Space Mountain location. You have to enter City of Tomorrow to enter the land.

  • Country Bear Jamboree (added 2000; animatronics built by Garner Holt Productions & WED Imagineering) [FastPass]
  • Country Bear Log Jamboree (added 2000; a Hopkins log flume, mirror of the Tokyo Disneyland location, formerly Splash Mountain from 2000-2020, soon to reopen as "Country Bear: Temporary Refurbishment" in November 2020 and "Country Bear Log Jamboree" in 2021) [FastPass+]

AUSEPCOT

Often compared to the "Hollywood Land" at DCA on shrinking an entire park down to a single land.

Future Land

  • Spaceship Earth (added 2000; a dark ride housed within a large geodesic sphere) [FastPass]
  • Test Track (added 2000; a high-speed slot car dark ride) [FastPass]

Nature Land

Showcase

  • World Showcase (added 2008; a sub-land within AUSEPCOT with a set of pavilions and several restaurants)
    • Australia Pavilion
    • New Zealand Pavilion
    • ANZAC Spirit Pavilion (only pavilion to be focused on a relationship between two countries and not a single country)
    • United States Pavilion
    • United Kingdom Pavilion
    • China Pavilion
    • Italy Pavilion
    • Canada Pavilion
    • Japan Pavilion

Mickey's Toontown

Unlike most locations, it is on the southeast corner of the park.

Classic Shorts

  • The Barnstormer Thru Goofy's Trailer Park (added 2000; a B&M Family Floorless Coaster based on the Mickey Mouse Works series) [FastPass]
  • Horace's Battery Cage (added 2004; a Zamperla Volare) [FastPass+]
  • Mickey's House and Meet Mickey (added 2000; a meet & greet house)

Rescue Aid Society Training Grounds

  • Marahute's Flight (added 2010; a Vekoma Stingray) [FastPass+]

Roger Rabbit's Place

  • Jolly Trolley (added 2000)
  • Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin (added 2000) [FastPass]
  • Wacky Flyer (added 2000; a Giovanola Steel Coaster with 3 inversions, once held the world record of Fastest Steel Roller Coaster with a top speed of 183 km/h (114 mph) recorded during pre-opening testing) [FastPass+]

Pooh's Land Of Hunny

  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (added 2004; a dark ride, a combination of Disneyland's, WDW's and Tokyo Disneyland's (Hunny Hunt) locations) [FastPass]
  • Tigger's Treehouse (added 2004; a kids jungle gym play area with a ball pit)

TV Land

  • Gadget's Go Coaster (added 2000; a Vekoma Roller Skater aka Junior Coaster) [FastPass]
  • Kim Possible: Roller Coaster Mission (added 2006; a Intamin Prefabricated Wooden Coaster; has a similar layout to Incredicoaster at Disney California Adventure) [FastPass+]
  • PB&J Otter: A Day Out in Lake Hoohaw (added 2001; a live stage show based on PB&J Otter)
  • Wacky Playhouse Theatre (added 2001; original home of Barney's Theatre prior to it's move to Disney's Studio Park)

Former rides & attractions

Mickey's Toontown

Classic Shorts

  • Goofy's Bounce House (2000-2007; closed due to safety reasons, replaced by a part of The Seas With Nemo & Friends, original mailbox moved to Goofy's Trailer, which originally had no mailbox)

Restaurants

Current

  • Be Our Guest Restaurant (2016; quick service/table service) [Fantasyland]
  • Blue Bayou Restaurant (2000; table service) [Main Street, Australia]
  • Club 33 (2000; private club) [Main Street, Australia]
  • Golden Horseshoe Saloon (2000; table service) [Frontierland]
  • Hungry Bear Restaurant (2000; table service) [Critter Country]
  • Lake Hoohaw Diner (2002; diner/fast food/table service) [Mickey's ToonTown]
  • McDonald's (aka Macca's) (2000; fast food) [Mickey's ToonTown]

Trivia

  • It is often stated in the media that the park took away Dreamworld's title of "The Disney Down Under" upon opening.
  • FastPass costs $30 AUD and FastPass+ costs $45 AUD.

See also

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