This thread is simple! Rather than having a million little threads about everything that goes on at Shanghai Disneyland, this thread is designed to consolidate it all into one user-friendly thread. Feel free to use it to post updates, trip reports, questions, comments, and of course, general discussion.
Below are some links to past updates from the park, you may be interested in. Enjoy!
The Walt Disney Co. said Friday that it was going to submit a plan to build a new theme park in China in a joint venture with the Shanghai government.
The family entertainment giant released a statement confirming its plans at about the same time as The Wall Street Journal released a story on its Web site that said Disney was working with Shanghai to build a $3.59 billion park to open as early as 2014.
A Disney spokesman declined to comment on the Journal story.
"Discussions have been ongoing about the feasibility of a theme park project in China," said Leslie Goodman, a spokeswoman for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, in the statement.
"As part of this lengthy process, we worked on a joint application report with the Shanghai government which will be submitted to the central government for review. No deal has been signed, no project has been approved."
The first phase of the project, on about 1.5 square kilometers near Shanghai's Pudong International Airport, would include a theme park, plus a hotel and shopping development and would be built over six years, the paper said.
I just don't understand the point in building another Disney Parks resort in China when Hong Kong Disneyland has struggled in its attendance and has the public demanding more attractions. Wouldn't it make more sense to beef up Hong Kong Disneyland and give it some unique, one-of-a-kind attractions that no other Disney Park has to offer to make it a must-see destination?
I realize that Shanghai has a huge population and is really the center of commerce for China, but is it really in Disney's best interest to get involved in building a sixth resort in a time of economic struggle such as this?
^One point that was stressed over and over to us by our Chinese guides on the TPR China trip last year was that the Chinese people do not travel far from home very often, and in fact it is very difficult for them to travel both financially and politically. Having a Disney Park in Shanghai opens up nearly a billion Chinese customers that can get there MUCH more easily than they can get to Hong Kong.
In fact on our recent trip to Hong Kong we were actually surprised at how many Brits and Aussies were in the park compared to Chinese people.
^HKDL was only just the park and the hotel(s), but this new park sounds like it will be like DLR without California Adventure.(park, hotel, retail) The retail won't make it a resort, but with a price tag more than double HKDL ( something like 1.5 billion I believe), this should be more like the other Disney properties.
This is great news for China, and with a price tag of over three billion dollars, it should be a lot more complete than HKDL. One thing I disliked about HKDL was that many of the classic Disney attractions were missing, so hopefully this new park will be more complete.
THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY REACHES ANOTHER MAJOR MILESTONE ON SHANGHAI THEME PARK PROJECT
The Walt Disney Company today announced that the Project Application Report (PAR) for a Disney theme park in the Pudong district of Shanghai has received approval from the relevant authorities of the central government of China.
“China is one of the most dynamic, exciting and important countries in the world, and this approval marks a very significant milestone for The Walt Disney Company in mainland China,” said Robert A. Iger, president and CEO of The Walt Disney Company.
The PAR approval will enable Disney and its Shanghai partners to move forward toward a final agreement to build and operate the park and begin preliminary development work. Upon completion of the final agreement, the project’s initial phase would include a Magic Kingdom-style theme park with characteristics tailored to the Shanghai region and other amenities consistent with Disney’s destination resorts worldwide.
There's no other details at the time, unfortunately. Let the crazy speculation begin!
Last edited by larrygator on Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:39 pm.
Shanghai Disneyland Gets Government Go-Ahead
By LING WOO LIU / HONG KONG Ling Woo Liu / Hong Kong – Wed Nov 4, 10:00 am ET
Up until now, Disney's foray into China has been anything but magical. Its Hong Kong theme park, opened in 2005, has had a bumpy ride due to early missteps and competition - in its first year, attendance fell 400,000 short of an initial 5.6 million target. The following year, the number of visitors dropped to four million. To add insult to injury, the company in 2007 discovered an amusement park near Beijing that was filled with knockoff Disney characters.
But you don't throw in the towel in a market with 1.3 billion potential customers. After more than a decade of negotiations, Disney has received clearance to begin construction on its second Disneyland in China, this one in Shanghai. China's top planning agency Tuesday approved plans to build the new theme park, which will join existing parks in Anaheim, Orlando, Tokyo, Paris and Hong Kong. (See a brief history of Disney teen stars.)
Disney officials wouldn't say when the park will open or how much it will cost. The company stated in a press release that the Shanghai park will include "characteristics tailored to the Shanghai region," but a spokesperson declined to elaborate on what types of rides or attractions might be on offer. The Shanghai government has already reserved an estimated 1,000 acres near Shanghai's international airport in the city's Pudong district.
Some speculate that the Chinese government's sudden announcement that Disney could go ahead may be timed to precede U.S. President Barack Obama's first visit to China Nov. 15-18, which includes a stop in Shanghai. "It's a huge investment," says Shaun Rein, managing director of China Market Research Group in Shanghai. "By allowing this now it gives face to Obama and really shows that China and the U.S. need to work together to get out of this financial malaise."
Although theme parks made up less than a third of Disney's total revenue of $38 billion last year, Shanghai Disneyland still figures to be a key addition to the business because it will boost the company's visibility in one of the world's fastest-growing markets. Due to government rules aimed at protecting the public from what are perceived to be unwelcome foreign cultural influences, awareness of the Disney brand in China lags that of the rest of the world. Unlike in the U.S., where Disney operates a 24-hour TV channel and radio station, the company's presence in China is limited to a dozen hours of programming a week on local stations, five Disney-branded English language schools in Shanghai, and sales of Disney merchandise. In the last two years, Disney has also produced two children's films for the mainland, The Magic Gourd and Trail of the Panda. China limits the number of foreign films that are allowed to screen in theaters to 20 a year.
The approval for park construction comes amid China's ongoing efforts to develop its tourism sector, which is expected to increase by 3% this year. As disposable income in the country grows, amusement parks - by some estimates as many as 2,000 - have proliferated throughout the country, but the quality of the attractions is uneven. Earlier this year, a sex-themed park in the central Chinese city of Chongqing called "Love Land" was torn down before it could open to the public. Shanghai, however, could be on the verge of a tourism boom. The city will host the World Expo starting in May 2010.
Since mainland Chinese make up a third of visitors to Hong Kong Disneyland, some fear that the Shanghai park will siphon tourists away from the former British colony, which is part of China but has its own semi-autonomous government (mainland tourists must obtain visas to visit Hong Kong). Since opening four years ago, Hong Kong Disneyland has underperformed due to its small size - at 300 acres, it's the smallest of all Disney parks - as well as high ticket prices and competition from a nimble competitor called Ocean Park. (Read "The Fifth Happiest Place on Earth.")
Disney also has made several market miscalculations. Analysts say the company, trying not to make the same mistakes it did at its Paris resort by failing to tailor the Disney formula to local tastes, may have gone overboard in its efforts to adapt the Hong Kong venue to Chinese customers. For example, the park's restaurants originally planned to serve shark's fin soup, a Chinese delicacy, until environmentalists protested. But the biggest knock against Hong Kong Disneyland - of which the Hong Kong government owns 57% - is a lack of attractions. In July, Disney and the government moved to remedy that problem by announcing that three new attractions would be added over the next five years.
Disney officials dismissed concerns that a new park in Shanghai will steal Hong Kong customers. "We see that Hong Kong Disneyland and the Shanghai park as complementary," said an official in an e-mail. "We believe the Greater China market is large enough to support multiple parks."
Further expansion in Asia may be a good bet. Last year, roughly a quarter of Disney's revenues came from overseas operations. Asia contributed just 5%, but leisure-industry experts are bullish about the region's potential. Last year, eight of the world's top 20 amusement parks (by number of visitors) were in Asia, according to a report by the Burbank, Calif.-based Themed Entertainment Association. The buzz in Shanghai is already tangible. "Chinese consumers have a lot of love for Disney," says Rein. "They're more excited about Disneyland than the Expo."
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