HONG KONG, June 25 (Reuters) - Hong Kong has reached a deal with the Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) to expand the local Disney theme park, seen as necessary to bolster the park's long-term prospects against a Shanghai rival, a government source said on Thursday.
The agreement is expected to be announced by June 30, with details of the deal to be laid out to local legislators in a special meeting next Tuesday.
The government source, who asked not to be named, said the meeting's agenda would include the Disneyland deal and that a media report on the imminent announcement "was largely accurate".
The Hong Kong Economic Times on Thursday reported that the deal was expected to be worth HK$7 billion ($903.3 million) of which HK$4 billion would be used for expansion.
But a Disney spokeswoman in the United States told Reuters that discussions were ongoing and that there was "no" deal yet.
The size of Hong Kong Disneyland, the smallest of Disney's magic kingdoms, is expected to almost double, with construction to begin within a year, pending approval from the city's legislative council in July, the newspaper reported.
The Hong Kong government, which owns 57 percent of the underperforming resort, desperately needs the expansion to boost flagging attendance, with a much larger rival Disneyland expected to be built in Shanghai in 2014 that could draw much visitor traffic from the burgeoning mainland China market.
"At this stage, we have to support the expansion, otherwise it will be very difficult to compete with Shanghai in five to six years time," said legislator Fred Li of the Democratic Party, who said his party backed the expansion as long as Disney boosted its financial transparency in future on attendance figures.
Hong Kong's Financial Secretary John Tsang travelled to Los Angeles in May, where he met senior Disney executives. The trip is seen to have paved the way for the breakthrough after Disney earlier said it would stall any expansion amid the credit crunch.
The Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) earlier indicated it would likely invest more capital in Hong Kong Disneyland and allow the Hong Kong government to convert its loans to equity to maintain its majority share of the theme park, a source involved in their talks told Reuters earlier. (Additional reporting by Gina Keating in Los Angeles; Editing by Chris Lewis and Muralikumar Anantharaman)
Grizzly Trail Grizzly Gulch, Frontier Gold-Mining Town
The path along Grizzly Trail offers high-spirited frontier fun in an abandoned mining town called Grizzly Gulch, set amidst mountains and woods. The town was founded August 8, 1888 – the luckiest day of the luckiest month of the luckiest year – by prospectors looking to discover gold. Bears have now started causing havoc at the Big Grizzly Mountain Mining Company.
Key Technology and Creative Elements • Guests visiting Grizzly Gulch are part of the action, experiencing hands-on water features, massive geysers and various leaking structures in the abandoned town. • Life-size Audio-Animatronic® bears set the story in motion on Big Grizzly Mountain Coaster, an adventure aboard a runaway mine train through town. Guests careen backward down an incline that propels them through twists and turns, before a launch sequence “blasts” the mine train out of the mountain. • A Wild West stagecoach, an old time Jail House, and the world’s largest nugget of gold provide fun photo opportunities. • Guests can relax with a Wild West refreshment at the old Saloon or shop for mining supplies and souvenirs at the Bear Necessities merchandise stand.
Mystic Point is the site of mysterious forces and supernatural events in the heart of a dense, uncharted rain forest.
In Mystic Manor, home to an eccentric world traveler and adventurer and his collection of exotic international artifacts, strange things are afoot as an enchanted music box releases its magical powers, thanks to a mischievous monkey.
Key Technology and Creative Elements • Inside Mystic Manor, a trackless ride system enables vehicles to move “freely” about the attraction as the story unfolds. Audio-Animatronic® figures and special visual and audio effects help tell the story of mystical phenomena. • Within Mystic Point lies a beautiful garden full of relics and mythological figures, where guests discover a hidden world of illusions and mysteries that trick the eye. • Guests can dine at the Adventurer’s Club amid a vast collection of unusual artifacts from around the world or purchase exclusive curiosities and collectibles at the Archive Shop.
Andy, the young boy from the Disney·Pixar Toy Story films, has left his toys unattended in this immersive and highly themed environment, based on one of Disney·Pixar’s most popular film series. While Andy is away, the toys come to life and play...and Guests are invited to join!
Key Technology and Creative Elements • Oversized outdoor rides and photo opportunities allow Guests to experience the different perceptions of scale, and shrink to the size of a toy. • One attraction includes a shuttle coaster which propels Guests along a U-shaped style track. • A drop-style parachute attraction lets Guests join a “training mission,” plunging from a 25m tall tower. • Guests will enjoy fun, immersive and interactive environments with life-size toys. • A themed food kiosk provides a barrel of fun snacks and refreshments and Guests can shop for Toy Story inspired collectibles at the merchandise location.
The Toy Story Land painting looks exactely the same, like the one they are building right now at the Walt Disney Studios in Paris. Other that that it would be good for the park to add some rides. But in that way it dosn´t really looks like a Magic Kingdom park to me anymore.
Yeah, I'm really excited to see how Grizzly Gulch and Mystic Point turn out. It's really intriguing that they aren't just building another Frontierland or New Orleans Square, which is something I would of expected. I'm not too fond of Toy Story Land however, but we'll see.
Well, lets hope Paris will get its LPS (trackless) ride with the Ratatouille theme as Hong Kong gets this Manor thing.
If this "Mystic Manor" turns out to be as good as the Winnie the Pooh Honey Hunt at Tokyo Disneyland, Hong Kong Disneyland will, for the first time ever, finally write a (good) part of the Disney Theme Parks history with a unique and inovative ride.
What's curious about the "Toy Story (Play)Land", we're going to open next year in Paris too, is that this concept seems totaly misplaced in a Magic Kingdom. While I personaly think it will work well in Europe, this looks like a good way to "save" money by replacing the Pirates of the Caribbean Land with this cheaper Toy Story project.
These pages are in no way affiliated with nor endorsed by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Cedar Fair, Legoland, Merlin Entertainment, Blackstone, Tussaud's Group, Six Flags, Universal Theme Parks, the Walt Disney Company or any other theme park company.
photos and videos on this website were taken with the permission of the park by
a professional ride photographer.
For yours and others safety, please do not attempt to take photos or videos at
parks without proper permission.
You need a sense of humor to view our site,
if you don't have a sense of humor, or are easily offended, please turn back
Most of the content on this forum is suitable for all ages. HOWEVER! There may be some content that would be considered rated "PG-13." Theme Park Review is NOT recommended for ages under 13 years of age.