China Approves Disney Theme Park in Shanghai
After a courtship of about 20 years, the Walt Disney Company has won approval from the Chinese government to build a Disneyland-style theme park in Shanghai, Robert A. Iger, Disney’s chief executive, said recently:
The agreement for a Shanghai Disneyland is a landmark deal that carries enormous cultural and financial implications. Analysts estimate the initial park — not including hotels and resort infrastructure — will cost $3.5 billion, making it one of the largest-ever foreign investments in China.
The initial resort, with a mix of shopping areas, hotels and a Magic Kingdom-style theme park, will sprawl across 1,000 acres of the city’s Pudong district — with the theme park occupying about 100 of those acres. It would be a little bigger than Disneyland in Anaheim, California, and on par with the parks in Paris and Tokyo. It is expected to open in five or six years.
Disney’s plans are ambitious: If further development of the resort happens as expected over the coming decades — still a big if — it will encompass more than 1,700 acres and have a capacity rivaling Disney World in Florida, which attracts about 45 million annual visitors.