Saturday, April 9, 2011

Disney Breaks Ground on Shanghai Disney Resort

It's been a long time coming, but on April 8, 2011, the Walt Disney Company and Shanghai Shendi Group, its joint venture partner in China, announced that they had broken ground on the Shanghai Disney Resort. This will be Disney's second China themepark; the first, Hong Kong Disneyland, opened in 2005 and by all accounts has not been financially successful.

The groundbreaking ceremony, which paid homage to the culture and people of China, followed approval for the project from the Chinese central government in Beijing.

“Today marks a significant milestone in the history of The Walt Disney Company,” said Robert A. Iger, President and CEO of The Walt Disney Company. “Our Shanghai resort will be a world-class family vacation destination that combines classic Disney characters and storytelling with the uniqueness and beauty of China. Working with our Chinese partners, the Shanghai Disney Resort will be both authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese.”

Traditional Chinese drum music, a female soloist singing in Mandarin, a 50-voice Shanghai children’s choir and Mickey Mouse dressed in a traditional Chinese costume were on hand to mark the occasion. Following the entertainment and remarks, Iger and Staggs were joined by Shanghai Party Secretary Yu Zhengsheng and Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng to officially break ground on the project.

The Disney company dates its involvement in China back to the 1930s, when the first animation screened there. More than a thousand employees in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou currently manage a variety of publishing, broadcast, mobile, web and retail businesses, as well as Disney's English language program, "Disney English," which launched in 2008. Nearly 24 hours of Disney television programming is now available in China every week, reaching 300-360 million people each month.

The Shanghai Disney Resort, slated to open in approximately five years, will be located on a 963-acre (3.9-square-kilometer) site in Pudong, Shanghai, with additional room to expand in the future.

Plans are for a Shanghai Disneyland, a Magic Kingdom-style park that will blend classic Disney storytelling and characters with all-new attractions and experiences tailored specifically for the people of China. At the heart of the park will be an interactive Disney castle, with entertainment, dining and performance experiences that will be unique to Shanghai Disneyland. The park will also contain other large-scale entertainment venues, indoor and out, that can be used for various purposes throughout the year.

At its opening, the estimated US$4.4 billion resort will have two themed hotels, a large retail, dining and entertainment venue, recreational facilities, a lake and associated parking and transportation hubs. An 11-acre green space at the center of the theme park will differentiate Shanghai Disneyland and reinforce the themes of sustainability and nature that will be integrated throughout the park.

The investment will be split between Disney and the Shanghai Shendi Group with Disney holding 43% of the shares of the owner companies and the Shanghai Shendi Group holding the remaining 57%, per financial statements made to the press.

photo courtesy of

1 comment:

  1. Construction on Shanghai Disneyland is set to begin in May, with the new resort due to open to the public in 2015. Work has already begun to build some elements of the resort, including access roads and a central lake that will cost some $41.5 million. The entire resort is set to be surrounded by a 60-metre-wide river, which will be around 10 kilometers in length.more information please see shanghai travel guide