Chinese line up for Disney

Theme park is joint venture between Mouse, gov

NEW YORK — A reservation call center for the yet-to-bow Hong Kong Disneyland has seen heavy volume since opening three weeks ago, accepting 10,000 hotel package reservations.

Bill Ernest, managing director of operations at Disney’s newest theme park, said Wednesday that Hong Kong residents made most of the reservations for the 1,000-room Disneyland Hotel. Park opens Sept. 12.

Disney continues to predict that roughly 40% of park guests will come from mainland China. Conglom sees the park as a key part of its strategy to up its brand recognition in China, where Disney is the No. 1 provider of Western programming.

Theme park is a joint venture of Disney and the Hong Kong government.

Walt Disney Intl. prexy Andy Bird recently told U.S. investors that Disney has invested $316 million in the theme park and the Hong Kong government, $419 million.

Ernest said Hong Kong Disneyland would cater to Asian tastes, following criticism of Paris Disneyland for ignoring French sensibilities.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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