Disney To Open Shanghai Theme Park

16 January 2016
Read Time: 1.6 mins

Disney's long-awaited theme park in China's commercial hub Shanghai, its first on the mainland, will open 16 June, the company announced this week.

The US$5.5 billion facility, originally slated to open last year, will feature everything from an Enchanted Storybook Castle -- the tallest in any Disney park -- to a Toy Story-themed hotel and a theatere with a Chinese-language production of the Broadway hit The Lion King.

But Walt Disney Co. also says the park will reflect China's own culture -- something Chinese officials sought to ensure before permitting the icon of US entertainment to enter the country.

Disney Shanghai How the new Disney theme park will look in Shanghai

"When it opens in June, Shanghai Disney resort will be a one-of-a-kind, world-class destination that is authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese," Disney chairman and chief executive Robert Iger said in a statement.

"The resort reflects Disney's legendary storytelling along with China's rich culture, and showcases some of the most creative and innovative experiences we've ever created," he said.

In 2005, Disney opened a theme park in Hong Kong, the former British colony that is now a special administrative region of China.

It also has parks in Tokyo, the US states of California and Florida and near the French capital Paris -- where there was outrage over the prospect of American cultural invasion when it was first proposed, although Europeans later embraced it.

The idea for the Shanghai project was floated as far back as the late 1990s and current Chinese President Xi Jinping has said he backed the plan.

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Disney Mickey Mouse Guests will be able to live all the Disney magic (Image: Disney)

Last year, Xi told US business executives that he helped the venture get under way when other officials were pushing for a more Chinese culture-based project.

"I voted yes for Disney," he recounted, "because China needs a diverse-culture-based entertainment market." The Shanghai park broke ground in 2011.

The park is a joint venture between Disney and China's state-backed Shanghai Shendi Group, with the US firm owning a 70 percent stake in the management company that will run it.

The park is in Shanghai's premier development zone of Pudong, not far from its international airport, and represents the city's tourism future following the World Expo in 2010.

Chinese academics say it could contribute $3.3 billion to Shanghai's economy every year and account for one percent of the city's annual gross domestic product.

Disney did not announce ticket prices, but said the launch would include a multi-day grand opening celebration.

Visit your local Flight Centre store or call 131 600 for more advice and the latest deals on travelling to Shanghai.

Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016.

This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

AFP Relaxnews

AFP Relaxnews is a French news agency dedicated to leisure news