HONG KONG -- Hong Kong Disneyland will undergo a massive overhaul to the tune of 10.9 billion Hong Kong dollars ($1.4 billion) as the theme park operator hopes to reverse a downturn in attendance.
The newly built areas will feature the Marvel superhero Iron Man and popular characters from the hit movie "Frozen." The park aims to differentiate itself from Shanghai Disneyland, which opened in June.
The renovations, announced Tuesday by the Hong Kong government, will take place from 2018 through 2023. The park's iconic Sleeping Beauty Castle will also be refurbished. The Hong Kong government will cover 53% of the investment amount, while U.S. entertainment giant Walt Disney will handle the remaining 47%.
Opened in 2005, Hong Kong Disneyland is the world's smallest Disneyland. In recent years, fewer mainland Chinese, who account for roughly 40% of visitors, went to the park. As visitor numbers took a downward turn in fiscal 2015, falling to 6.8 million, the resort tumbled into red ink. There were concerns the park's business would falter further once Shanghai Disneyland opened its gates.
Hong Kong Disneyland hopes to attract more Southeast Asian tourists, and aims to boost visitor numbers to 9 million in 2025, after the makeover is completed.