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Theme Park in Israel May Have Ties to Disney

6 January 2011 4 Comments

The Jewish Chronicle online is reporting Disney’s plans to build a new theme park in Israel.  But a spokesperson for the Walt Disney company says there are no such plans in the works.

The 20-acre theme park, slated to be located in the Northern Israel city of Haifa near the Carmel tunnel, will cover approximately 20 acres.  The entertainment complex will include a 25-screen cinema, plus shops and other facilities.  The anticipated cost of the project is more than £107 million.

However, another source, fastcompany.com, reports that the project is being spearheaded by a “Disney-affiliated investment firm” called Shamrock Holdings, which has ties to the late Roy E. Disney – and that the development isn’t necessarily a Disney project.

For Disney’s part in the matter, it denies that it is building a theme park in Israel.  That a theme park, partially funded by a Disney-affiliated company, has been green-lighted in the area cannot be disputed, though.  How much involvement Disney has in the project remains the real question.

Regardless, Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav is excited about the project and what it means for the city.  “This plan expresses confidence in our plans to turn Haifa Bay in[to] a thriving business area,” he said.

With such a small area on which to build, the project may be little more than a giant movie complex.  But small Disney parks do have some precedent.  Disney’s California Adventure takes up only 55 acres.  DisneyQuest in Orlando, which is a virtual, interactive playground, covers even less ground.

We’ll keep our eyes on this one for further development.

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4 Comments »

  • brad said:

    Shamrock Holdings is not a Disney company. It was founded by Roy E. Disney and is a shareholder, but it’s also been active in the ‘Save Disney’ campaign.

    This development is related to Shamrock Holdings, Disney has zero connection to it except in a ‘six degrees’ sense. It’s not even like Bob Iger supporting or investing something with his own money, this is a minority shareholder investing in something else, nothing more.

  • Zane Figg said:

    Thanks, Brad, for putting an exclamation point on the fact that this won’t be a Disney park. We realized that that title was misleading and have changed it. Thanks again!

  • troy said:

    how did having the new ship built in germany help all the people in the u.s. don’t we still build ships here

  • Brooke Fehr (author) said:

    Gosh, it would be nice to have them built here, Troy. I’m certainly no expert, but it would seem that most of the ships built for the big lines are built in Europe. I’ve heard of shipbuilders in Germany and Italy especially. But as a Central Floridian, I am glad that the larger ship will bring more jobs to the Cape, which is suffering with the end of the Space Shuttle program. Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

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