Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Very good news from the Shanghai Disneyland project as the South China Morning Post reported that "The proposed Shanghai Disney resort had received long-awaited blessing from the central government ahead of a final deal between the entertainment giant and the Shanghai municipal government"
Trading Markets.com also said that "The approval by the National Development and Reform Commission follows an effort by Shanghai officials to have the Disney park recognized as a project intended to stimulate the Shanghai economy.
The South China Morning Post, citing a source familiar with the matter, said a group of Walt Disney Company executives is due to visit China this month and "they will probably not return home empty-handed."
That's really good news, isn't it? Personally, i can confirm you that a team of WDI Imagineers is working on the project since many months, and that Shanghai Disneyland, will be big, much bigger than Hong Kong Disneyland. The deal with the chinese is not totally sign, but i think we can have good hopes on this project.
UPDATE 12/3: Bloomberg.com announced that "the Walt Disney Co. denied a newspaper report saying the Chinese government gave approval for the company to build a theme park in Shanghai."
“There is no announcement and there is no deal,” Alannah Hall-Smith, Hong Kong-based Disney spokeswoman for Asia, said in a statement e-mailed to Bloomberg News. China is an “important market” for the entertainment company, she added."
So, who says the truth? One thing is sure: the deal is not sign yet, but does it mean it won't happen? Certainly not. The Disney declaration is all about diplomacy with the Chinese. But my feeling is there will be a deal in 2009, probably sooner than later, and there will be a Shanghai Disneyland.
More on Bloomberg.com HERE
New update 12/4 : A very interesting article on the L.A Times tell us more about what's going on on this SDL project:
"The recent buzz has been fanned by Chinese media reports saying that Disney and Shanghai officials had come to terms, with the Burbank-based entertainment giant easing up on some of its earlier demands because of the current financial climate.
A Disney spokeswoman in Hong Kong, Alannah Hall-Smith, responded that there was "no deal, no announcement."
But informed Shanghai officials, among others, believe that the project is pretty much settled. All that's needed, they say, is a stamp of approval from leaders in Beijing at a key economic planning session expected to be held this month.
"The meaning of introducing Disneyland to China right now is completely different from years ago," said Yang Jianwen, deputy chief engineer of Shanghai's Municipal Economic Commission, who was involved in the early planning of the project.
The reason: China's once-supercharged economy has slowed sharply in recent months, threatening social stability. With the world gripped in an economic downturn, analysts say Disney and Shanghai both stand to get a boost from a major development project in these hard times.
The central government recently unveiled a nearly $600-billion economic stimulus package that includes supporting housing, healthcare, transportation and other infrastructure projects. A Disney theme park in Shanghai would build on that, Yang said."
"...The size of a Shanghai park has been variously estimated at 1,000 acres (similar to the original Disneyland in Anaheim) to more than double that. The cost would probably be several billion dollars.
In building the 320-acre Hong Kong Disneyland that opened in 2005, the government put up $2.9 billion for the park and related infrastructure development, while Disney invested $314 million.
Yang, of Shanghai's economic commission, says city officials considered Chongming Island, just north of Shanghai, as a potential site for a theme park. But the Pudong area had a major advantage: easier access.
The site most likely to be chosen for the new Disneyland would be just minutes away by car from Pudong International Airport and along the path of the city's 268-mile-per-hour maglev train. Plans would allow travelers passing through Shanghai to visit the park on a special 48-hour visa."
You can read the full article of Don Lee on the L.A Times web site HERE