Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Good - or bad ? - news from the Shanghai Disneyland project - Updated 12/4 with new infos

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


Anonymous said...

Stop building new resorts!!! It's enough now.

Anonymous said...

I agree, especially if this will be just another Magic Kingdom clone, we already got 5 of them, that's more than enough and the Hong Kong park is not even finished yet.

Disney should remember that they are not Six Flags or McDonalds, so the Disney experience should be something unique.

So it's not that I'm against a new Disney theme park, but please let it be something totally new, like original Disneyland was when it was built in de 50s.

Anonymous said...

The rumors are that this will be an entirely re-invented, brand new "magic kingdom" concept.

This will not be a WDW/DL clone.

The rumors also point to the design being very big, very different, and focusing a little bit more on the more contemporary Disney and Pixar properties since the early 90s or so.

Again, all rumors. Take with a grain of salt.
But word was this is NO clone.

Anonymous said...

I dont think foreigners wanto to go SHDL , how poor is the guest quality!?

Good news for SH Government but bad news for HKDL!

Anonymous said...

Doing business with the Chinese again - well, go ahead, learn your lesson the hard way ...

Roald Bergmann said...

The good thing is that Disney shouold've learnt from the huge failure that was Hong Kong. China is a HUGE market and they're in to Dis-stuff. Disney just need to make it right! And hopefully that will happen with this comming gigantic new theme park. And I think it's the right choice to spread the Disney magic all across the world. But yes, the parks should be different. Like Paris where the castle is totally unique and where lots of rides are DLRP exclusive. Now Disney just needs resorts i brazil and australia... hehe

Anonymous said...

Disneyland Paris is indeed unique in it's own way, but it is still a Disneyland/Magic Kingdom copy. It is arguably the most beautiful of the five that have been built, but the concept is the same as the three predecessors and it shares many of the same rides, although many have their own touch. It really is a pity that it took this park so long to become somewhat profitable, it really didn't deserve that. Unfortunately, it took Europeans quite some time to understand that this park is unlike anything else. That might have to do something with the fact that Europeans associate American stuff with things like fast food and general cheapness.
It almost broke my heart when they opened the 2nd gate, which, at the beginning, really was the embodiment of all the Euro-American stereotypes of cheapness and plastic fetishism.

Since 2005, Disney seems to have morphed back again to its former self, it is visible almost everywhere. They are fixing many of their blatant mistakes now at horrendous costs, so lets hope that they do not make them again in Shanghai.

Looking at Hong Kong, that park is operating at 4.1 million visitors a year, that can never be the target of a multi-billion investment. And to be honest, who want's to go to Hong Kong Disneyland? For visitors from abroad, that are used to the other 4 magnificent "Magic Kingdoms", there is absolutely no added value, locals are stuck with an overpriced park that looks visually stunning, but with very little to do. It actually feels like you're walking trough a concept model of the original Disneyland, everything feels smaller, you can look, but the real deal isn't there. The repeat-value also is absolutely zero.

So, if you build a new Disney park, then please let it be something equally stunning and new like DisneySea or Epcot back in the 70s. So, no copy of DisneySea or any other existing park please, but something totally new, designed with the dedication and detail we all associate with Disney. I'm sure enough visitors will find their way to such a park, Disney has proven it themselves (or in this case, the Oriental Land Company...) with DisneySea, which was, unlike all the other new parks of the last decade and a half, an immediate hit.

Anonymous said...


Monster's Inc. PART 2???


Alain Littaye said...

I know i'm late with Monsters Inc part two, but it's coming, soon. Very soon.

Anonymous said...

Let's see what will happen at this park. Mainland Chinese guests peeing in the bushes, laying on the benches, spitting everywhere, blocking the parade routes, etc. Horriiiiible!!!!

Anonymous said...

@Alain: your title promised us new pictures, where did you hide them? ;)

@Anonymous (12/04/2008 04:44): Can you explain why you think that those mainland Chinese guests are not capable of behaving themselves?

Alain Littaye said...

I am still waiting that Google credit my Blogger account of the new picture storage capacity i've bought yesterday evening. It is supposed to take 24 hours, let's hope it won't be the case. In the meantime i can't post any new picture, but don't worry, you will have a LOT of pictures in the two upcoming updates.

Anonymous said...

john321: Well, you can easily see those things happen at HKDL. They just keep pushing and pushing while queuing. I don't have pictures to support me but I can tell you there are clips on youtube showing the bad behaviors of the mainland Chinese.

Anonymous said...

A slap in the face of everybody who has seen the true face of Chinese politics - I believe Disney is about to make a huge mistake (by the way, that name! - "Shanghai Disneyland" - it would be funny, if it wasn´t so sad...)

Anonymous said...


Coming soon ...?

I hope it gets built. Would love to visit Shanghai anyway, and a couple of days at a brand new Disney park would make it even more worthwhile.

Anonymous said...

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I don't mean this in a bad way, of course! Societal concerns aside... I just hope that as memory gets less expensive, the possibility of copying our brains onto a digital medium becomes a true reality. It's one of the things I really wish I could experience in my lifetime.

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Anonymous said...

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I don't mean this in a bad way, of course! Ethical concerns aside... I just hope that as the price of memory falls, the possibility of transferring our brains onto a digital medium becomes a true reality. It's one of the things I really wish I could encounter in my lifetime.

(Posted using Nintendo DS running [url=http://www.leetboss.com/video-games/r4i-r4-sdhc-nintendo-ds]R4i[/url] BB)