Hong Kong Disney Loses Its Hold On Land It Had Considered For Expansion
Hong Kong Disneyland’s hope for a theme park expansion have been dashed amidst news today that the local authorities have decided NOT to renew an agreement with the amusement park to develop on a neighboring plot of land. This according to a recent piece on Bloomberg.
It was revealed this week that Hong Kong will not extend the 20-year purchase option which technically expires tomorrow. The reason that was given was that it was due to “the current economic condition.”
As we previously reported here at MickeyBlog, Disney had set its sights on a 60-hectare patch of land next to the theme park which had been reserved since 2000. The gave Disney the option of being able to expand Hong Kong Disney into this area. The Commerce and Economic Development Bureau said that it would be more prudent for Disney to focus on developing its existing resort properties according to the Bloomberg piece.
Though it’s certainly a setback for Disney and Hong Kong, it’s not surprising given that both the country (especially its tourism sector) and Disney have struggled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as with protests regarding the turmoil between Hong Kong and China.
A spokesperson for Disney said that the company will, “Continue investing in the current expansion plan, however, we are extremely disappointed with the Hong Kong government’s decision not to extend the phase 2 land expansion option.” Prior to the COVID-19 shutdown Disneyland had plans to expand by one new attraction each year through 2023. There’s no news yet on whether the plan (which was expected to cost the company some $1.4 billion) is something that Disney will continue.
Hong Kong Disneyland is run by a firm that is jointly owned by the local Hong Kong government as well as Disney. Hong Kong’s Secretary for Transport and House said back in January that his department wanted to use the land not for a Disneyland expansion but rather for housing.
This is a story that we’ll continue to follow closely. Readers are encouraged to keep checking in with us for further news and updates!
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