Disneyland calls in the experts for expansion

PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 May, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 08 May, 2009, 12:00am

Experts are being appointed to work out the details of a planned Hong Kong Disneyland expansion after talks between the government and Disney management representatives resulted in substantial progress, according to the financial secretary.

'We've had some pretty good discussions on a number of areas. We're now getting experts to study the details. Hopefully, we'll have something to announce very soon,' John Tsang Chun-wah said.

Mr Tsang met Jay Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, and chief financial officer Jim Hunt in Los Angeles a week ago.

The meeting came six months after Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Rita Lau Ng Wai-lan reviewed expansion plans with Disney in Los Angeles.

The government owns 57 per cent of the theme park and Disney holds the rest. A source at a local Disney supplier said tenders for some of the expansion projects that were supposed to have been ready in January were pushed back to March.

Last month the supplier was told more information would be available in October. The company makes animatronic figures used in Disney's 'It's a Small World' attraction.

Informed sources said the proposed expansion plan included new 'lands' and rides based on wilderness, Arctic and adventure themes. The largest area would be a nature wonderland. A roller coaster would pass through mine shafts and a wilderness area complete with audio effects and animatronic animals.

The Arctic environment would include real snow slopes in enclosed temperature-controlled areas. A train ride would also feature.

A third land would be based on the 'unexpected' with computer-controlled rides.

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