The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

No, Disney is not opening a Disneyland in Egypt

A file picture taken on March 31, 2012 shows people visiting the Disneyland Paris park in Chessy, near Marne-La-Vallee, outside Paris. THOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images

Could some of that Disneyland magic be coming to Egypt? Egypt's investment minister seems to think so. "There are discussions going on between Disney International to build in Egypt its first Disney Park in the Middle East, similar to Disney France," Ashraf Salman said on Tuesday, according to the state-run news MENA agency.

Salman made his comments at a live Disney event at the Cairo International Convention Center, an occasion that he said sent a message about the country. "Having a Disney show in Egypt at the moment sends a message to the world and to foreign investors that Egypt is safe and stable," said Salman, a former banker who was appointed this summer.

The news about a possible Disney park in Egypt caused a flurry of excitement in the country, once a major tourism destination. Since the 2011 protests that eventually ousted President Hosni Mubarak, the country had seen a dramatic and persistent decline in the number of tourists picking Egypt as their destination: The Ministry of Tourism just recently announced a 24.7 percent drop in tourism revenues for the first half of 2014.

Unfortunately, Disney have flat out denied any plans for a new park in Egypt. "At Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, we continually look for ways to grow our business and as part of that process, we have conversations with many different entities," a spokesperson for the company said in an e-mailed statement. "While Egypt is an attractive market, we have no plans for the region at this time."

While that's sad news for Egypt's Disney fans, there may be a silver lining here: The company that operates Disneyland Paris recently announced a $150 million loss for the past year, forcing parent company Walt Disney to step in with a new funding deal.

Loading...