Walt Disney embraces Shanghai

By Mary Whitfill

Staff Writer

Robert Iger, CEO of Walt Disney Co., has said that China is one of the “most dynamic, exciting and important countries in the world” and he has received the go-ahead to build a theme park in Shanghai.

The Chinese government has approved that Disney may start planning and begin preliminary construction work. Current plans are showing a park similar to Magic Kingdom, but there will be special attractions particular to the Chinese region.

The park is expected to cost $3.4 billion, 24 billion yuan, with a 1214 opening date for the first part of the project. Disney does already have a theme park in Hong Kong, but there were reportedly many complaints by China’s residents about the size, and the Shanghai park will be bigger.

It was debated whether to place the park in Beijing or Shanghai, but the later was ultimately chosen because of the larger population, around 19 million, and the higher potential for visitors.

 According to The People’s Daily, an important communist newspaper, an investment company will own 57 percent of the theme park, while Disney will take 53 percent.