Archive | Shanghai RSS feed for this section

Shanghai Applies to Central Government for Disneyland

6 Mar

From ShanghaiList:

After the long-standing ding-donging of the Disneyland project, it has also been confirmed by the mayor that Shanghai has applied to the central government for such a park (although approval has not been given yet by the National Development and Reform Commission). Shanghai’s Disneyland would be 4.7 times the size of Hong Kong’s.

Reuters has the story too, and in fact ShanghaiList links to them above, but I liked the phrase “long-standing ding-donging,” so I just had to quote them.

The fact that they’ve applied, of course, does not necessarily mean that Disney’s in on the application. And even if they weren’t in some degree of talks with Disney (which they sure seem to be, but who knows?), the term “Disneyland” gets thrown around generically anyway, as anyone who subscribes to Google News Alerts surely knows.

4.7 times the size of Hong Kong Disneyland sure sounds big, even with HK Disneyland being on the small side. Are they comparing apples to oranges, comparing the size of the actual theme park with the size of the projected Shanghai resort area? Or do they really want a big honkin’ piece of land, more like Disneyland Paris?

Shanghai Disneyland Slated for Construction After 2010?

4 Dec

The Associated Press reports today:

Shanghai is awaiting approval of mainland China’s first Disneyland, and the theme park could be built on an island in the Yangtze River, according to reports in the mainland and Hong Kong media.

A Shanghai city spokeswoman, who like many Chinese officials refused to give her name, said Shanghai was waiting for approval of the project by the central government.

The article goes into some details about the potential site, and then states:

The park would be built after 2010, when the city is due to host the World Expo, it said.

CNN had also previously reported the 2010 prediction. It seems a little soon to me, given the various other commitments (including but not limited to the capacity expansion needed at Hong Kong Disneyland, and the major improvements slated for Disney’s California Adventure). But if Shanghai structures the deal right, I can imagine Disney going for it.

What’s Up with Shanghai Disneyland?

22 Nov

China Daily sez that Shanghai Disneyland is still in the works. Disney does not confirm or deny. Mousevine chimed in yesterday with a reasonable point of view on what to make of the conflicting reports in the press:

I think the real truth of the matter here is that Disney is still leaving its options open as far as opening a second park on the mainland. China is a huge market and Disney has been aggressive in its approach to tap into the Chinese market.

Yet, there is a lot of truth in Disney’s statement that they’re focusing on trying to improve Hong Kong Disneyland. Let’s just hope that they’re not just uttering empty words but will soon take serious action to ensure a “successful operation” of Hong Kong Disneyland.

Now, Disney’s clearly got their hands full in trying to support the struggling Hong Kong Disneyland. Marketwatch reports this week:

Walt Disney Co. . . . said it agreed to waive management fees to support its unprofitable Disneyland park in Hong Kong for two years, and will also defer charging royalties over the same period.

Hong Kong Disneyland, in which the city’s government owns 57% and Walt Disney 43%, has suffered widening losses this year on a fall in attendance and spending by visitors. The park opened in September 2005.

Disney also said in a filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday that Hong Kong Disneyland’s lenders have agreed to remove performance targets linked to a US$284 million commercial loan and a US$129 million revolving credit facility.

The park had earlier faced the threat that the banks would withhold future funding after it twice missed the semiannual targets set by its lenders.

Yesterday I found myself once again daydreaming about a Hong Kong Disneyland trip, and perused their web site to refresh my memory of which rides are operational at this time. I still find it hard to believe they don’t have either a Haunted Mansion or a Pirates of the Caribbean! Broke Hoedown Jr wanted to nix my fantasy trip right then and there. But when I reminded him they’ve got the Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin, he warmed up to the idea again. And the interactive Stitch Encounter looks kinda cool (yes, I am a heathen, I am rather fond of Stitch).

It certainly would seem like Disney’s already got its hands full, with the major expansions in the works for Disney’s California Adventure (DCA) plus the help needed for Hong Kong Disneyland. But I’m sure there are potential synergies between Hong Kong and Shanghai (despite the geographical and cultural differences), and of course neither of those Parks are or would be managed by the same groups as DCA. I’ll hope the Disney suits make the right call.

Did Shanghai Move Too Fast? Beijing Slows Disney Park Talks

11 Dec

MSNBC reports today that Disney’s Shanghai park plan is in doubt.

Walt Disney Co. is exploring other locations beside Shanghai for a theme park in mainland China amid concern that the central government may not support its plans in Shanghai, sources familiar with the issue said on Monday.

Other locations in China? Seems odd, given the amount of time (which of course equals money) that clearly has already been sunk into the Shanghai possibility, on both the Disney and China sides. But perhaps that’s the core of the issue, right there.

In early August, the official China Securities Journal reported that Shanghai authorities had started preparing a site for the park, even though Beijing had still not reached agreement with Walt Disney and the city government.

My limited understanding of the politics of China would suggest that Beijing might respond defensively here . . . Shanghai may have overstepped its perceived turf by moving too far without Beijing’s blessing. Of couse, it’s also possible that the real issue here is the scandal surrounding Shanghai’s former Communist Party boss, Chen Liangyu.

Under Chen’s leadership, Shanghai became known for a string of showy real estate projects, including a $350 million Formula One race track, one of the world’s most expensive tracks, and a futuristic $150 million tennis stadium.

Let’s see what we hear next . . . Beijing suggested above that they were considering other locations in China, in October there were reports in Shanghai Daily about Disney Parks looking at Thailand, and for some time there’s been rumours floating about a park in India. One way or another it looks like further Parks expansion into Asia is a sure thing.

%d bloggers like this: