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Hong Kong Disneyland gets 1.4bn dollar expansion with Frozen theme area

Walt Disney and Hong Kong are launching a 1.4 billion US dollar (about £1.1 billion) expansion of the Chinese territory's Disneyland resort that includes the company's first themed areas based on the movie Frozen and Marvel superhero characters.

The Hong Kong government, which owns a controlling stake in the resort, said it had signed an agreement with Disney for the expansion, which also includes renovating the park's castle and adding an attraction based on Disney's new animated film Moana.

Work on the 10.9 billion Hong Kong dollar expansion is scheduled to run from 2018 to 2023.

Hong Kong is striving to improve its competitiveness as an Asian tourism destination after the June launch of Shanghai Disneyland, a 5.5 billion US dollar (£4.4 billion) resort that many feared would take visitors away from the Hong Kong park.

Hong Kong Disneyland lost 148 million Hong Kong dollars (£15 million) in its most recent financial year as attendance fell 9% following three years of profit.

The park, which opened in 2005, was criticised in its early years for being too small and having too few big-ticket rides.

New attractions and facilities have been added over the years. An Iron Man land is due to open in January followed by an Explorers Lodge hotel later in the year.

Costs will be divided according to ownership, with the Hong Kong government, which owns 53% of the park, contributing 748 million US dollars (£600 million), and Walt Disney putting in the remaining 658 million dollars (£528 million).

Disney's board and Hong Kong's legislature must approve funding for the project.


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