Hong Kong Disneyland expansion back on track

The Hong Kong government and Walt Disney Co. have entered into a preliminary agreement to go forward with a $3.6 billion expansion. In March, Disney put the expansion on hold.

The expansion will enlarge the existing 310-acre theme park by 23%. Plans call for 30 new attractions and three new themed lands -- Grizzly Trail, Mystic Point and Toy Story Land. The expansion will bring the number of attractions to more than 100 and the number of themed lands to seven.

The new attractions will be completed in phases over the next five years.

"After more than two years of negotiations, Disney is pleased that the two shareholders have reached an agreement on the expansion of Hong Kong Disneyland that will benefit both parties," stated Leslie Goodman, executive vice president of public affairs at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

Hong Kong Disneyland opened on Lantau Island on Sept. 12, 2005. The theme park and resort, a joint venture between Disney and the Hong Kong government, has two hotels with a total of 1,000 rooms.

In 1999, the Hong Kong government and Disney invested $3.25 billion and $2.45 billion in Hong Kong Disneyland, respectively. Hong Kong holds a 57% share in the venture, and Disney owns a 43% share.

Disney will contribute all the capital for the construction of new attractions as well as for sustaining the park's operation during construction. The Hong Kong government will not make any capital investment in the expansion.

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