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Hong Kong Disneyland posts first annual profit

February 18, 2013|By Don Lee
  • The addition of Toy Story Land helped Hong Kong Disneyland turn a profit last year for the first time since its opening in 2005.
The addition of Toy Story Land helped Hong Kong Disneyland turn a profit… (Kin Cheung / Associated…)

It took seven years and a little help from Toy Story and Grizzly Gulch, but Hong Kong Disneyland has finally broken into the black.

The theme park, which opened in 2005 amid much fanfare and hopes of cashing in on the rising middle-class in mainland China, said Monday that it posted its first annual profit in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 29.

The earnings of $14.1 million reversed a loss of $30.6 million in the prior 12-month period. Revenue jumped 18% to $550.7 million as attendance rose 13% from the prior year to a record 6.7 million visitors.

There was a 13% increase in the number of tourists from mainland China, who make up close to half the total.

Hong Kong Disneyland officials attributed the turnaround largely to an expansion that included the addition of an attraction based on the movie "Toy Story" and another called "Grizzly Gulch," a Wild West-themed area with a geyser, wagon show and a ride on a gold-mine car.  

The 320-acre park on Lantau Island is modeled on the original Disneyland in Anaheim but is only about a third its size.

Park officials are hoping to keep up the growth momentum as they gear up to open the last of its current expansion projects later this year, "Mystic Point," which is set in a rain forest.

But the park, 52% owned by Hong Kong government and the rest by Walt Disney Co., may need to ramp up more as competition heats up for mainland Chinese dollars. One potential big rival: Shanghai Disneyland is scheduled to open in 2015.

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