Disney breaks ground in Hong Kong

HONG KONG -- Groundbreaking for the first Disney theme park in China -- Hong Kong Disneyland -- was held Jan 11, signaling a new era in tourism for Hong Kong and a key move in Disney's worldwide expansion.

Located on 310 acres on North Lantau Island, the theme park will include two hotels as well as retail, dining and entertainment options.

"This project represents another important step forward as the company brings our classic Disney stories and characters to the most populous nation in the world," said Michael Eisner, Disney chairman and CEO.

As part of the project, the Hong Kong government must create new infrastructure, roads and other support systems in the early stages to accommodate thousands of workers and vehicles at the remote destination.

Up to 5,000 cast members, or Disney employees, are slated to be hired by the end of 2004.

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