Monday, April 4, 2011

Shanghai Disneyland breaks ground this week

Though Hong Kong's Disneyland park is still treading water (my mom and I visited on a rainy summer day in 2009, when they cut ticket prices in half but closed about a third of the attractions), Disney is going ahead with another China-based theme park:
Walt Disney Co. will hold a ground-breaking ceremony Friday in Shanghai for a long-awaited theme park and resort, sources close to the matter said.

The event could mark the end of 16 years of speculation over when Disney would begin building its first theme park in mainland China.

The $3.6 billion project was first discussed in 1995 and would be the company’s fourth theme park and resort outside the United States.

About 1,700 acres have been designated for the park in northeast Shanghai. When completed, it would give Disney a valuable foothold in China’s emerging consumer market.

Chinese state media reported that the initial phase of construction, which includes the theme park and hotels, would be completed in 2014.

The city is extending subway lines to reach the resort.

Disney would reportedly take a 43% equity stake in Shanghai Disneyland while a city-run joint-venture company would own the remaining 57%.
Hmm... where I have I read that controlling less than fifty-one percent is the same as controlling zero percent?

This is part of a new boom in American theme parks located in Asia. Though it hasn't begun any serious construction yet (?), Universal Studios Korea is scheduled to open in Hwasŏng-shi in 2014.

And then there is the venerable Tokyo Disneyland — I've been to both the Disneyland side and Disney Sea — which managed to come out nearly unscathed after the devastating Tohoku earthquake last month, thanks to some clever engineering (I found this post quite interesting, as was all of Japan Probe's coverage of the quake and tsunami).

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