Disney’s Burbank office announced March 16 it would lay off employees in Hong Kong after the company failed to reach an agreement with the local government to pay for an expansion of the theme park.
One of the complaints that visitors have made about HK Disneyland is that it’s too small.
The Hong Kong government has been criticized for its dealing with the American company, according to Business Week. The government paid for 80 percent of the initial cost of the park, which opened in 2005, and yet holds only a 57 percent share in the joint venture.
Consequently, the public doesn’t see much point in funding the expansion, though management believes the park cannot survive at its current size.
Apparently, at present it uses only half of the land available to it. The proposed expansion would cost about $500 million and increase the size of HK Disneyland by about 33 percent.
Disney’s lack of interest in continuing negotiations with Hong Kong could be explained by its interest in opening another theme park in Shanghai, which is considered a much better market right now.