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Disney wishes more hotels

Staff reporter

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

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Hong Kong Disneyland has made a big wish - it's asked the government for four more hotels.

Disneyland's proposal includes building one large hotel and three smaller vacation-style hotels to be connected by a mini-tram system, sources told Sing Tao Daily, a sister newspaper of The Standard.

The park, which the sources said saw a record 5.9 million visitors last year - also aims to build an artificial lake.

If the new plans seem too massive for the government, which owns 57 percent of the park, Disneyland is willing to compromise, saying all four hotels do not have to be built at the same time, the sources said.

Disneyland managing director Andrew Kam Min-ho had earlier said the park wanted to build one large and one small hotel. A government source said Disneyland submitted different proposals including the feasibility of expanding within the existing area.

But the source noted that everything is tentative and nothing has been confirmed. It is understood Disneyland wants to expand its rides first before building the hotels.

Disneyland will officially reveal its 2011 performance results this afternoon.

A record 5.9 million people visited the park last year, up more than 10 percent from the 5.2 million in 2010.

Earnings last year before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization has been estimated at HK$400 million to HK$500 million, up from HK$220 million in 2010.

The park's net loss narrowed from HK$718 million in 2009 to HK$200 million in 2010.

Currently, new attractions are being added to Hong Kong Disneyland.

The first - Toy Story Land - opened at the end of last year.

Visitors to this attraction feel dwarfed by the oversized characters of Slinky Dog, Toy Soldier Parachute Drop and RC Racer - characters from the movie Toy Story.

Grizzly Gulch will be completed this year and Mystic Point next year.

The expansion will increase the park's area by 23 percent, taking its total offerings - including rides, entertainment facilities and shows - to more than 100.

From last August, Disneyland raised the adult admission fee from HK$350 to HK$399, and admission charges for children from HK$250 to HK$285.

In September, the park announced the recruitment of 1,000 staff, the largest intake since opening its doors in 2005.

Earlier reports put the figure of the park's entire expansion cost at HK$3.6 billion.


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