Shanghai Disneyland Begins ConstructionApr 10th, 2011 | By Sue Gonzales | Category: Travel
The Shanghai Disney Resort finally broke ground Friday following Chinese government approval, after over half a decade of delays and rumors. The Walt Disney Company and Shanghai Shendi Group are teaming up to build the first Disney resort in mainland China.
The groundbreaking ceremony honored Chinese people and culture with traditional Chinese drum music, a Mandarin female singer, a Shanghai children’s choir, and Mickey Mouse dressed in traditional Chinese clothing. Shanghai Party Secretary Yu Zhengsheng and Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng joined Disney executives to officially break ground.
“Today marks a significant milestone in the history of The Walt Disney Company,” said Disney President and CEO Robert Iger. “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.”
The Shanghai Disney Resort will be located in Pudong, Shanghai. It will cover 3.9 square kilometers, with additional space available for future expansion.
Initially the resort will house Shanghai Disneyland, modeled on the Magic Kingdom in Florida. Also included will be a lake, recreational and entertainment facilities, two themed hotels, shopping and dining venues, and associated parking and transportation.
It is expected that eventually the resort will expand to include two additional parks modeled on Epcot and Animal Kingdom.
Shanghai Disney Resort will be the sixth Disney resort in the world and the third largest in Asia, after Tokyo and Hong Kong. Shanghai Disneyland will be two to three times the size of Hong Kong Disneyland and will feature the largest castle among all Disneylands. It will blend classic Disney characters with Chinese culture. It will emphasize the themes of sustainability and nature, highlighted by a green space at the center of the park.
The project is being launched with an initial investment of 29.0 billion yuan, equivalent to $4.4 billion, with $3.7 billion going towards the theme park and $0.7 billion going towards the supporting infrastructure. Disney will hold 43% of the shares of the owner companies and Shanghai Shendi Group will hold the remaining 57%. Disney will own 70% of a joint venture management company, with Shendi holding 30%. No land-use or intellectual property rights are being used as stakes in the project.
The Shanghai Disney Resort is expected to bring Shanghai an annual revenue of 18 billion yuan, or $2.75 billion. Over 100 economic sectors will benefit, especially tourism, commerce and trade, culture, and shipping and logistics.
The resort is scheduled to open in approximately five years.