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Disney Kingdom May Soon Include Hotels

October 15, 1987|MARY ANN GALANTE | Times Staff Writer

There may come a time when children who grew up with Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom can graduate to a Magic Shopping Mall.

Walt Disney Co. is considering developing an "international festival marketplace" or a studio tour attaction among other options, on almost 70 acres adjacent to Disneyland in Anaheim.

And even if Disney's pending deal to participate in a $152-million acquisition of the Wrather Corp. falls through, Burbank-based Disney seems destined to get into the Southern California hotel business--by assuming control of the Disneyland Hotel.

Disney and Hong Kong-based Industrial Equity (Pacific) Ltd. agreed in late September to buy Wrather, which owns the Disneyland Hotel and operates the Queen Mary and Spruce Goose tourist attractions in Long Beach. The deal is expected to close by January.

Los Angeles Times Friday October 16, 1987 Home Edition Business Part 4 Page 2 Column 3 Financial Desk 2 inches; 41 words Type of Material: Correction
Walt Disney Co. does not have an agreement to assume control of the Disneyland Hotel in the event that the proposed joint acquisition of the hotel's owner, Wrather Corp., by Disney and Industrial Equity (Pacific) Ltd. does not occur. An article in Thursday's Business section implied otherwise.

However, under the terms of the acquisition pact, if the two firms are unable to agree on a joint business plan by early next year, Disney has the option of buying Industrial Equity's 50% interest in Wrather or selling its 50% interest to Industrial Equity.

If Disney sells its half interest to Industrial Equity, it would then be entitled to purchase for $2 million a 10-year option to buy 26 acres of Wrather-owned land southwest of Disneyland, according to papers filed recently with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In addition, Disney would receive a 25-year management contract to operate the hotel if Industrial Equity and Disney part company.

Disney has long been interested in running the 1,174-room hotel, located just west of the Anaheim amusement park. At Walt Disney World in Florida, the company owns and operates three hotels.

With Walt Disney World and the popular Epcot theme park in Orlando, Fla., set amid acres of restaurants, hotels and shops, Disney is "encouraging people to stay longer in Florida," said an industry source who asked not to be named. "And I imagine they would like to encourage people to stay longer in Anaheim."

To do that, the company has long been studying plans for development of a 40-acre site that the company owns west of the 80-acre Disneyland complex. When the parcel, now a strawberry field, is added to Wrather's mostly vacant tract, Disney would have almost 70 acres available for development.

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