The city of Haifa is already on the tourist map of Israel, but now it’s likely to get an even bigger chunk of the market with its new Disney-style theme park.
The Walt Disney Company investment arm Shamrock Holdings and the Israeli New Lineo cinema chain have announced plans to build a $168 million amusement park and a multiplex movie center in the port city.
The entertainment complex is said to open in 2013. It will include a 30,000 square meter amusement park and a 50,000 square meter compound with shops, 25 movie houses, and four theater auditoriums.
“The project, which is still in its development stages, reflects our goal of providing quality entertainment for the people of Israel,” Avi Edery, Deputy CEO of New Lineo Cinema, told a news conference.
“This plan expresses confidence in our plans to turn Haifa Bay in a thriving business area,” said Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav.
According to the Israeli press, New Lineo owners are now in talks with the world’s biggest entertainment conglomerate about using the Disney name in its amusement park.
If things go as planned, Haifa’s landmark sites such as the Bahai Temple or the Carmelite cable car could soon be replaced by Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and friends.