HK’s money-losing Disneyland opens expansion

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong’s money-losing Disneyland launched an expansion on Thursday aimed at helping it turn a profit as it prepares for tougher competition when a new Disney park opens in Shanghai in several years.

Disney and Hong Kong government officials held an opening ceremony to christen the new attractions based on the popular “Toy Story” movies.

Two more new themed attraction areas will be added over the next two years. They will expand the 311-acre (126-hectare) park’s size by 23 percent.

Hong Kong Disneyland, built on reclaimed land on Lantau Island, is the smallest of Disney’s parks worldwide. Since it opened in 2005, it has been criticized for being too small to draw sufficient visitors and for not having enough high-profile attractions.

In 2010, the park lost $718 million Hong Kong dollars ($92.3 million), down from HK$1.315 billion in 2009 while the number of visitors rose 13 percent to 5.2 million.

The park is a joint venture between Walt Disney and the Hong Kong government, which owns a majority share.

Disney and Chinese officials broke ground earlier this year on a long-sought park in Shanghai that will tap demand from newly affluent Chinese.

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