Disney Unveils Details of New China Theme Park
Disney has unveiled plans for its first park on mainland China. Scheduled to open next year, it will be Disney’s largest park in the world and feature Chinese themes, as well as new attractions not found in its five other resorts.
Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger showed architectural models of the new Shanghai park at the Shanghai Expo Center.
The new park is set to have “distinctly Chinese” influences with Chinese food outlets and attractions, such as a garden mosaic depicting the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac using images of Disney characters. In addition, Chinese, rather than English, language, signage will be used throughout the park.
The new park will also be the site of the biggest “Disney castle” in the world and an entire pirate-themed “land” based on the movie franchise “Pirates of the Caribbean.”
One feature the new Shanghai park will not feature is the signature “Main Street, USA” found at Disney theme parks in Paris, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and those in the U.S. In its place will be a generic “Mickey Avenue” thoroughfare.
“We are building something truly special here in Shanghai that not only showcases the best of Disney’s storytelling but also celebrates and incorporates China’s incredibly rich heritage to create a one-of-a-kind destination that will delight and entertain the people of China for generations to come,” said Iger.
The Walt Disney Co. and Chinese Partner Shanghai Shendi Group broke ground on the $5.5 billion park in April 2011. The opening was originally planned for this year, but Disney has pushed it back to sometime in 2016.
“When we began this project, our goal was to create something that was authentically Disney and distinctively China. We believe we’ve achieved the perfect blend,” the Disney CEO added.