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ORLANDO-With tourist attendance gradually increasing in the past three months, Walt Disney World Co. today has also received encouraging financial news from Standard & Poor’s Corp.

The New York-based bond-rating agency is upgrading the ranking of $65 million in newly issued utility revenue bonds by Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District to stable from negative. The bonds, which went on sale June 16, carry an A- rating.

Reedy Creek Improvement District is a 39-square-mile, self-governed entity where Disney’s 21,000 hotel rooms and 30,000 acres of attractions are located, 15 miles southwest of Downtown Orlando. Disney makes up about 85% of Reedy Creek’s enterprise revenues, according to S&P credit analyst Peter Murphy.

“The outlook revision reflects the district’s stabilizing economic situation and system sales that are showing only modest declines after the severe declines that followed the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks,” Murphy says in a prepared statement.

The revised outlook also affects about $375 million of outstanding utility revenue bonds that will help fund infrastructure improvements, primarily for electric distribution purposes and to refund outstanding debt, Murphy says. Following the issuance of the new bonds, Reedy Creek will have outstanding debt of over $400 million.

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