Hong Kong’s Legislative Council has approved the government plans to co-finance the $1.4 billion (HK$10.9 billion) expansion of the Hong Kong Disneyland theme park.
The expansion plan was proposed in November last year, but came under increasing fire from lawmakers who challenged it in finance committee and other council sessions. After months of procedural delays, LegCo today approved it by 30 votes to 24.
Lawmakers became hostile to the spending plans due to a combination of the park’s losses last year and publicity about Walt Disney’s continuing to receive management fees despite the facility’s poor performance.
In March, Disney offered to equally split the cost of the expansion, despite being the minority owner. It also offered to waive variable management fees for two financial years. In return, the government’s ownership stake will fall from 53% to 52%, while Disney’s will increase from 47% to 48%.
“We have gone through a lot of analysis. We have also pushed very hard in the negotiation. We believe that this package is really the best package that we can achieve,” said Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Gregory So.
“Hong Kong Disneyland Resort’s multi-year expansion that will leverage some of the most popular stories of the Disney brand including Marvel and ‘Frozen’,” said Samuel Lau, executive VP and managing director of Hong Kong Disneyland Resort.
The resort recently opened a new hotel and the Iron Man Experience. Later this year it will launch a Marvel Super Hero Summer event.