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The regent of Boyolali, Central Java, suddenly found fame in the national media claiming he had signed a deal to build Disneyland in his province.

It all started when Seno Samodro claimed that he had signed an MoU with The Walt Disney Company to build Disneyland in his hometown. According to Tribun Bali, the project would cost IDR 6 trillion to make on 100-hectares of land or the equivalent of 133 soccer fields. The locations are claimed still to be determined between Mojosongo, the city of Boyolali or Ampel.

But representatives from Walt Disney Company shot down the claim yesterday and said that they had no plans to build their theme park in Indonesia yet, despite the country being a priority in Southeast Asia.

As reported by Kompas, after hearing the news, Seno quickly revised his statement by saying that those who were going to invest in Boyolali are actually from the countries of Finland, New Zealand, Singapore, and Malaysia, and are all part of a holding company. These investors will buy the franchise rights from Disneyland amounting to 23 percent, from Universal Studio for 21 percent, and from Warner Bros. between 5 or 9 percent.

But according to Azhar Lubis, Deputy of the Capital Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), as of now he hasn’t received any investment plans from The Walt Disney Company.

“We haven’t heard of the investment plan in Boyolali,” said Azhar on Tuesday (18/04).

Meanwhile Ferry Salanto, Senior Associate Director Research Colliers International Indonesia, perceived Seno’s comment isn’t in line with the logic of investments. He further stated that at the moment Boyolali is not yet ideal—and proper—for a world-class theme park like Disneyland.

“If we see it logically from an investment point of view, it’s just not right,” said Salanto. “I don’t want to discredit Boyolali but logistically it’s too far away from other cities and even with the closest one being Yogyakarta it’s still too far.”

He said Bali would be a better location for Disneyland. “In Indonesia, Bali would be perfect because it’s a tourist destination that’s known worldwide. Disneyland or even Universal Studios would be better off there.”

Hendra Hartono, CEO Leads Property, seconded Salanto’s opinion by adding that building a world-class theme park like Disneyland or other globally famous brands needs further study. “An international company would’ve done that, in relation to backgrounds, the type of partnership system in place, the concept of the theme park, and so on and so forth,” Hendra said.

And if the project houses several franchises then the question is who’s going to take responsibility of them all. “Who’s the head of the investment if the project fails? Naturally the name of the theme parks would be tainted when they combined the concepts like that.”

Photo: www.wikipedia.org.

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