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Old April 30th, 2009, 06:45 PM   #1
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HONG KONG | Disneyland Expansion

HK Fincl Secy To Meet Disney Execs On HK Disneyland Expansion
29 April 2009

Photos by law_derek from a Hong Kong photography forum :































HONG KONG (Dow Jones)--Hong Kong Financial Secretary John Tsang plans to meet with executives at Walt Disney Co. (DIS) in Los Angeles Friday to discuss Hong Kong Disneyland's expansion plans, the government said Wednesday.

The planned high-level meeting between the two theme-park shareholders follows Disney's announcement last month that it would put the already-delayed expansion of the Hong Kong park on hold after failing to agree with the city's government on a cash injection.

Disney and the Hong Kong government have been in discussions over financing a second phase of Hong Kong Disneyland, which has been criticized for its small size and lack of major attractions since its 2005 opening.

Hong Kong Disneyland, which is 54%-owned by the government, is the smallest of Disney's theme parks; the company also has parks in the U.S., Japan and France.

At stake in the talks is the government's desire to keep its controlling stake in the theme park, given Disney's willingness to inject capital into the joint venture to fund the expansion.

Citing unnamed sources, the Hong Kong Economic Times reported Thursday that the government is open to reducing its stake in the park in return for Disney funding that would help expedite the expansion program.

The report said a likely option would be that Disney invests HK$7 billion for the expansion, cutting the government's stake to 51%.

Disney said earlier the expansion plans being negotiated involve increasing Disneyland's themed areas by a third of its current size.
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 09:32 AM   #2
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Disney "driving a hard bargain" with Hong Kong

HONG KONG, April 30 (Reuters) - Hong Kong's top financial official will meet Walt Disney Co. management in Los Angeles later this week to discuss the stalled expansion of the struggling Hong Kong theme park.

Disney and the Hong Kong government have been embroiled in protracted discussions over financing for a second phase of the world's smallest Disneyland which could cost a reported HK$3 billion ($387 million).

Opened in 2005, Hong Kong Disneyland has been criticised for being far too small to attract repeat visitors despite its proximity to mainland China. Visitor number projections failed to reach initial bullish predictions, and the Chinese tourist market has since been hit by the economic slump.

Disney meanwhile has signed a framework agreement with authorities in Shanghai to build a park there.

The meeting between Hong Kong Financial Secretary John Tsang and Disney on Friday in Los Angeles follows Disney's decision last month to put the expansion on hold.

The involvement of such a senior Hong Kong official underscores the importance the government sets on getting negotiations back on track.

"We hope we can maintain positive engagement with Disney on the matter, but it's hard to predict whether there'll be a breakthrough after the meeting," said a government source cited in a report by the South China Morning Post.

In March, Disney said it would put the expansion plans on ice and fire about 30 staff dubbed "Imagineers" who had helpled conceptualise and plan the Hong Kong expansion.

"Disney wants the (Hong Kong) government to put in some of the (financing) loan, but the government can't do it. It's a very sensitive issue," a well-placed source close to officials involved in the talks told Reuters.

"Disney's trying to drive a hard bargain (with Hong Kong) and Shanghai's an ace in the hole."
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 10:18 AM   #3
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Talks in US on Disney expansion
30 April 2009
South China Morning Post

Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah will discuss expansion of Hong Kong Disneyland with Walt Disney management in Los Angeles tomorrow.

The talks will be the highest-level meeting between the Hong Kong government and the US entertainment giant since 30 staff lost their jobs at Walt Disney Imagineering's Hong Kong-based team last month. They were mainly responsible for master planning, designing and developing theme parks. Disney said it acted after being told by the government there was no timetable for the Hong Kong theme park's expansion.

A government source said: "We hope we can maintain positive engagement with Disney on the matter, but it's hard to predict whether there will be a breakthrough after the meeting."

It is understood the two parties started the talks a year ago, although Disney said the negotiations had been going on for two years. The government owns 57 per cent of the theme park, with Disney holding the rest. Disney representatives presented a scale model of the expansion site to the government in Hong Kong in March last year.

In November, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Rita Lau Ng Wai-lan reviewed the expansion plans with Disney management while in Los Angeles.

A spokeswoman for the Commerce and Economic Development Department said the government was in discussions with Disney on the expansion plan and capital realignment of the local joint venture.

"We are striving to reach a deal which is in line with the overall interests of Hong Kong," she said.

In Los Angeles, Mr Tsang will also attend a business lunch hosted by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council and Hong Kong Tourism Board.

He will leave on Sunday for Vancouver and is due to return to Hong Kong next Thursday.
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 01:19 PM   #4
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Disneyland looks really nice in the pics but...
Long live Ocean Park!
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Old May 4th, 2009, 06:36 AM   #5
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HK Disneyland expansion talks going well
Published: 2009/05/04

LOS ANGELES: A top Hong Kong government official is pleased with the progress in talks with the Walt Disney Co on expanding the underperforming Hong Kong Disneyland, and a deal could be reached soon, his spokesman said on Saturday.

Hong Kong Financial secretary John Tsang met with Disney executives including theme parks chairman Jay Rasulo and parks chief financial officer Jim Hunt on Friday in Los Angeles.

Disney and Hong Kong, which are partners in the park, have held protracted talks over financing for a second phase of construction, which could cost HK$3 billion (HK$100 = RM45.89).

“We had discussions with the Disney management ... yesterday. We are happy with the progress achieved at the negotiations,” spokesman Patrick Wong said in an email. — Reuters
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Old May 4th, 2009, 07:10 AM   #6
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A bit more detailed article on the progress :

Finance chief claims progress in talks on Disneyland revamp
3 May 2009
South China Morning Post

High-level talks between the Hong Kong government and representatives of the Walt Disney management yesterday resulted in "substantial progress" on the theme park, according to the finance chief.

Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah, on a visit to the United States, met Jay Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, in Los Angeles.

After the talks, Mr Tsang said: "I am happy to note that substantial progress has been made in the negotiations. While a number of issues remain to be sorted out, both sides are committed to bringing the discussions to a successful conclusion in the near future."

The breakthrough on the Hong Kong theme park follows months of uncertainty regarding its expansion.

While sources had revealed that negotiations had begun, 30 Disney employees who were responsible for master planning, designing and developing theme parks lost their jobs last month.

Talks over a Shanghai Disney were also reported as being close to completion earlier this year.

Before the trip, a government source was uncertain as to whether a breakthrough would be achieved. Yesterday, no further details were forthcoming from the Los Angeles talks although a spokesman for the financial secretary said: "We had very good discussions today."

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Rita Lau Ng Wai-lan said details on the expansion of Disneyland would be announced soon after Mr Tsang returned on Thursday. "The Hong Kong government has kept negotiating with Disneyland in the past few months on the expansion of Disneyland," she said, noting that major breakthroughs had been made in the talks. "We want to find out the way to increase the attractiveness of the park and we have reached a consensus on the expansion."

Last month, informed sources said new "lands" and rides had been agreed on, including rides based on wilderness and adventure themes. A roller coaster would pass through mine shafts, tunnels and a wilderness area complete with audio effects and animatronic (robotic) animals.

However, how construction of the rides would be financed, by whom, and whether it would be necessary to restructure the current shareholding had yet to be resolved. The Hong Kong government owns 57 per cent of the theme park, while Disney holds the remaining shares.

While in Los Angeles, Mr Tsang also met prominent businessmen to exchange views on the current global financial crisis and spoke of Hong Kong's role as an international financial centre.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 03:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachmaninov View Post
Disneyland looks really nice in the pics but...
Long live Ocean Park!

Real animals are better than the fake one??
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Old May 4th, 2009, 06:48 PM   #8
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Real animals are better than the fake one??
lol I suppose so, although I really miss the orca at ocean park...

By the way, does anybody notice that on google maps, Disneyland disappears as you zoom out?
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Old May 4th, 2009, 09:05 PM   #9
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lol I suppose so, although I really miss the orca at ocean park...

By the way, does anybody notice that on google maps, Disneyland disappears as you zoom out?
I miss the orca, too.
But for the good of an orca, the pool in OP is just way too small for an orca, I would rather OP doesn't have one.

I notice the Google magic, too. That level 5 or 6 zoom of HK is at least 10 years old. Penny Bay wasn't there, and so does Container Terminal 9 on Tsing Yi as well.
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Old May 8th, 2009, 01:22 PM   #10
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Disney close to investing more capital in HK - source

HONG KONG/LOS ANGELES, May 8 (Reuters) - The Walt Disney Co is close to agreeing to invest more capital in Hong Kong Disneyland and allow the island's government convert its loans to equity to maintain its majority share of the theme park, a source involved in their talks said.

If Disney and Hong Kong's government, which now owns 57 percent of the underperforming and much-maligned resort, can close a deal, it could pave the way for an expansion that is estimated to cost HK$3 billion ($387 million) and boost flagging attendance at the nearly four-year-old park.

The Hong Kong government put up the bulk of the estimated total investment of $3.6 billion to develop and build the 310-acre (126 hectare) resort at Penny's Bay.

The source, who declined to be identified because the negotiations have not been made public, told Reuters however that Hong Kong's government will not budge on two points: the need to retain equity control of the project, and a refusal to put up any more cash for the park.

"The Hong Kong government might reduce its holdings, but still retain a majority shareholding. That's the bottomline," said the source.

Top Disney executives met with Financial Secretary John Tsang in Los Angeles last week, triggering speculation that the two partners were close to hammering out an agreement after years of back-and-forth over China's first Disney themepark.

Hong Kong officials and Disney executives have said their recent talks had broken fresh ground and they would announce details soon.

Disney spokeswoman Tasia Fillippatos had no comment, saying the No. 1 U.S. entertainment company is "not going to negotiate the deal through the press."

Critics say the Hong Kong site is too small to attract the repeat visits that have made Disney's other parks profitable.

Attendance has failed to reach initial bullish projections, despite the park's proximity to mainland China, and the Chinese tourist market has since been hit by the economic crisis.

The proposed expansion plans would enlarge the park's existing area by around a third, a source told Reuters and feature three new "lands" to complement the four existing ones.

Disney has also signed a framework agreement with authorities in Shanghai to build a park there.

Sources say that the Hong Kong government isn't willing to surrender its controlling stake given pressure from the Hong Kong public, and especially the city's legislators who have final say on whether to approve the deal.
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Old May 9th, 2009, 01:27 AM   #11
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... already sounds like a disappointment to me. A third is like nothing... and that spokeswoman...

I'll probably not visit Disneyland HK in the near future...
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Old May 9th, 2009, 03:27 AM   #12
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I'm disappointed too. By expansion I thought they're building a second park, with separate entrance and admission, but it sounds like they're just adding extra "lands" :-( Disneyland sucks.
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Old May 9th, 2009, 03:51 AM   #13
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only a third? it's pointless. that's like three more rides? maybe four?
without a new park, i still can't see it'll be anymore attractive.
i would rather go to OP.

in orlando, there is one part of the resort known as "downtown disney" where is open to the public with restaurants, bars, cinemas, shops, and other entertainment but still in disney theme. if we can one of this "downtown disney" in hong kong, i think it'll attract a lot more people to go to disney. it doesn't necessary bring people to the theme park, but still draws people to disney and capture the money some other ways.
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Old May 9th, 2009, 09:58 PM   #14
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in orlando, there is one part of the resort known as "downtown disney" where is open to the public with restaurants, bars, cinemas, shops, and other entertainment but still in disney theme. if we can one of this "downtown disney" in hong kong, i think it'll attract a lot more people to go to disney. it doesn't necessary bring people to the theme park, but still draws people to disney and capture the money some other ways.
True, but then nobody would enter the park lol
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Old June 28th, 2009, 12:24 PM   #15
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Expansion deal reached on Hong Kong Disneyland -source

HONG KONG, June 25 (Reuters) - Hong Kong has reached a deal with the Walt Disney Co 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 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.
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Old June 30th, 2009, 06:25 PM   #16
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Quote:
With the addition of more than 30 new attractions, play and entertainment experiences, Hong Kong Disneyland’s total number of rides and attractions will increase by almost 50 percent and top one hundred. When completed, the expansion will increase HKDL’s physical footprint by approximately 23 percent; broaden the park’s appeal by adding more experiences for young adults; and place increased focus on universally-understood stories. Using Guest feedback as a guide, these three new themed areas will create memorable guest experiences, drive strong word of mouth and repeat visitation, and offer many unique only-available-in-Hong-Kong attractions that feature Disney’s immersive storytelling and innovative technology.



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



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.

Toy Story© Land
Disney·Pixar-themed Play Area for Kids of All Ages




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.
Source: Micechat

Looks interesting!!!
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Old June 30th, 2009, 06:36 PM   #17
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Finally something solid is going... but expanding by only not even 25% with three more "lands," it is rather disappointing.

I was hoping for a more aggressive scheme.
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Old June 30th, 2009, 07:22 PM   #18
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The Big Grizzly Mountain Coaster is like a mix of Expedition Everest and Big Thunder Mountain. Many of the attractions are like the existing parks attractions. I was hoping for something unique attraction wise. But the lands are different than the other ones, especially "Mystic Point".
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Old June 30th, 2009, 10:14 PM   #19
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Disney to expand HK theme park
Published: 2009/07/01

HONG KONG: US entertainment giant Disney and the Hong Kong government yesterday reached a long-awaited agreement to expand the southern Chinese city’s beleaguered Disneyland amusement park.

The deal — which will see Disney invest HK$6.2 billion (HK$100 = RM45.45) in the joint venture — will fund 30 new attractions at the park over the next five years, the government said in a statement. — AFP

> http://www.btimes.com.my/Current_New...03552/Article/
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Old June 30th, 2009, 10:20 PM   #20
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Walt Disney Co. to boost its Hong Kong park with $465 million expansion plan
30 June 2009

HONG KONG (AP) - The Walt Disney Co. and Hong Kong have reached a deal to expand the territory's Disneyland at a cost of about $465 million in hopes of boosting the theme park's fortunes, officials announced Tuesday.

The deal will see the American entertainment giant invest new capital -- some 3.5 billion Hong Kong dollars ($450 million) -- to pay construction and operation costs during the building phases.

In the works for two years, the expansion plan is part of an effort to turn around a park criticized for failing to meet attendance targets, being too small and lacking high-profile rides. Hong Kong is also under pressure to increase the theme park's appeal to compete with a proposed Disneyland in Shanghai, which could open in the coming years, and would siphon off Chinese tourists.

"The expansion will be a catalyst to the park's long-term development and bring benefits to not just the local tourism industry but also the entire economy," Rita Lau, Hong Kong's commerce and economic development secretary, told reporters.

The park is a joint venture between Walt Disney and the Hong Kong government. The expansion will add three new theme areas as well a 30 new attractions, enlarging the park's size by nearly a quarter over the next five years.

Beyond the new investment, Burbank, California-based media Disney will convert into equity about $350 million in loans to the venture and maintain a credit facility of about $40 million.

"Disney is making a substantial investment in this important project," Leslie Goodman, a Disney vice president, said in a statement.

Hong Kong, which shouldered much of the $3.5 billion original construction cost, will not add any new capital. But the territory will convert a large portion of its loan to the park into equity. In all, Hong Kong's total stake is expected to decline from about 57 percent to 52 percent.

The park opened in 2005 to great fanfare, only to miss its targets for attendance in the first two years. However, traffic in its third year grew by 8 percent, according to figures provided by the Hong Kong government.

Sustaining that growth could prove all the more difficult with the allure of a Shanghai Disneyland. Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger said last month the company is awaiting word from China's central government about the proposal.

Likely anticipating a Shanghai park, Hong Kong secured as part of the expansion proposal two new areas, called "Grizzly Trail" and "Mystic Point," that will be unique among Disneylands worldwide when they open. The third area, "Toy Story Land," will be exclusive in Asia.
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