That’s it. In an unexpected move the The Hong Kong government decided to buy back Disney’s share in its theme park Chinese venture. They must have felt fooled by the competing Shanghai negociations.
But the 1998 deal between Disney and Hong Kong stated they would not be able to use Disney’s name shall they choose to use their buyout option.
On the other hand China in an effort to warm tensed relations with Europe have for long work close with Belgian franchiser Moulinsart which owns the rights to comic hero Tintin. They’ve been trying to associate it with an entertainment project in the country for as far as before shaking hand with Disney.
Now with this buyout move, instead of building a new venture, various sources predicts they will use the now copyright free resort and hastily redisign it so it reflects the newly secured franchise. Think Skeeping Beauty Castle turned into Moulinsart !
So without any legal response from Disney who cannot afford to upset the Chinese government while trying to secure the approving of their more profitable Shanghai project the park will be stripped of any Disney references.
Starting summer 2010 expect Hong Kong Disneyland to be renamed Hong Kong Tintinland with a six month head to the highly anticipated Tintin Spielberg/Jackson adaptation.
No doubt it will be massively promoted with the park opening.
Anyway untill Shanghai finaly makes it up for this disappointment: we’ve lost a Kingdom.
And I just changed my domain name weeks ago…