Developers have started the first phase of Hong Kong Disneyland’s US$452m expansion.

The park, which opened in 2005, is set to welcome three new themed areas by 2014 – Mystic Point, the Grizzly Gulch and Toy Story Land.

Toy Story Land will have exclusive rights in Asia, while the Grizzly Gulch and the Mystic Point will be exclusive worldwide for five years after their opening.

Although Hong Kong Disneyland has experienced a dip in visitor numbers over recent years, the park has welcomed approximately 19 million people since it first opened its doors.

The resort’s small size has often been cited as the reason for its recent under-performance. However, the three new themed areas will increase the park’s area by 50,000sq.m to 274,000sq.m.