September 23, 2020, 4:58 PM ·

Looks like the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort will remain a one-gate property. The Hong Kong government announced today that Disney’s option to buy adjoining property to expand the resort will not be renewed.

Hong Kong Disneyland opened in 2005 on 320 acres of reclaimed land on Lantau Island, with several hundred adjacent acres reserved under option for future expansion. From the government’s press release today:

Under the Option Deed signed in 2000, HKITP, i.e. the joint venture company between the Government and the Walt Disney Company (TWDC) for the development and operation of HKDL, was granted the option to purchase the Site for HKDL’s possible expansion. The Option will expire after September 24, 2020, if it is not extended upon agreement by the Government and TWDC. Consequent to the Government’s decision, the right of HKITP to purchase the Site will not be extended.

Hong Kong Disneyland has announced an aggressive expansion program to add attractions within the park, including new rides themed to Frozen and Marvel’s Avengers.

“HKITP’s strategic direction is to focus on the ongoing multi-year expansion plan featuring a series of new attractions that will continue to position HKDL as a premier tourism destination in the region, and help capture business opportunities upon the gradual recovery of tourism,” a spokesperson for Hong Kong’s Commerce and Economic Development Bureau said in the government’s press release.

“The Government considers it prudent for HKITP to focus on the development and expansion of the existing resort in the coming few years, rather than geographic expansion into the Site,” the source said.

Without the extra land for expansion, Hong Kong Disneyland will not be able to expand with a second gate, although there remains space on the resort’s existing property to add another hotel.

At this point, Hong Kong Disneyland and Shanghai Disneyland are Disney’s only single-gate resorts. Hong Kong Disneyland attracted about 5.7 million visitors last year, a 15 percent drop from 2018, according to the TEA/AECOM Theme Index attendance report. Shanghai Disneyland drew 11.2 million visitors last year, down five percent from the park’s second full year of operation.

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