Welcome to Theme Park Insider! Join the community or log in
Theme Park Insider
Facebook Twitter Google Plus Email Newsletter

Disney, China seal deal for Shanghai Disneyland

By Robert Niles
Published: January 15, 2009 at 10:23 AM
A Chinese newspaper is reporting that the proposal for Shanghai Disneyland is now a done deal.

The park would open in 2014, at the earliest. No design details yet, but Disney will own 43 percent of the park, with the remainder held by the Shanghai government, through a holding company.

The park would be Disney's second in China (after Hong Kong Disneyland) and fourth theme park resort outside the United States.

Readers' Opinions

From Anthony Murphy on January 15, 2009 at 11:00 AM
Why??

Why put another one in China? Wouldn't it be better in FL? I thought the HKDL was only doing so so. Also, isn't Shanghai close enough to HKDL? I mean I know that China is a big country, but they seem pretty close to each other.

I wonder what they will put into this park? Is it going to be a Magic Kingdom or something new?

From rafael g on January 15, 2009 at 2:30 PM
agreed, there are way better places to put another park in. Dubai, Brazil, or even MK/DL. congrats to the chinese, imagine how long the lines will be with over a billion people there.
From Joshua Counsil on January 15, 2009 at 2:32 PM
Yeah, but will Brazil pay for 57% of the park expenses? I think Shanghai got it because they made a deal that's economically viable for Disney at this point.

I'm questioning whether Dubai even wants Disney there. With all of the competing companies being signed to Dubailand, I doubt they would be very happy with the king moving in.

From Robert Niles on January 15, 2009 at 2:41 PM
Everything in Dubai is dead at the moment. With the recent decline in the price of oil, as well as a global credit crunch, almost all of the theme park projects in Dubai are on some form of hold, if not headed to the scrap heap altogether. I suspect that few, if any, of these announced projects ultimately will be built.
From W McDougal on January 18, 2009 at 8:56 AM
What's happening in Dubai currently is a mixed bag. Universal Studios is being built with cranes on site. Legoland will presumably be built since the Dubai government itself owns 20% of Merlin Entertainment and LL is not an expensive park to build. The Snow Dome park has been shelved; it was basically a bigger version of Ski Dubai at the Mall of the Emirates. The Aqua Dunya waterpark has been canceled; Dubai already has two world-class water parks in Wild Wadi across from the 7-star Burj al-Arab hotel, and the brand new Aquaventure at the Atlantis Resort on the Palm Jumeirah. There's a ton of cranes out in Dubailand right now building City of Arabia, which is a huge project including what will be the largest mall in the world, plus hotels, a revolving building, offices, villas, apartment buildings, etc. The "etc." part is what interests us because that would be the Restless Planet dinosaur theme park. It will open in some iteration when the Mall opens, but how much of a spectacle it will be is anyone's guess at this point. It is being built though as a draw for the mall since all the new malls in Dubai have some kind of "it" attraction to draw in shoppers. All the other stuff such as the Six Flags park, Marvel park, Dreamworks park (probably will simply have elements in the Universal park), Busch Gardens, etc. is not due to open until 2012 or later so they haven't made any decisions or started construction yet.
Abu Dhabi (the richer, though quieter) emirate in the UAE is full-speed ahead in construction of the first Ferrari theme park due to open in 2010. The Warner Bros. park has been put on hold. My guess is that the Warner Bros. park never gets built, and that Disney builds their next park in Abu Dhabi with the second richest royal family in the world, 10% of the world's oil reserves, along with Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed (who has bailed on DLP numerous times), footing most of the bill. The Abu Dhabi rulers go for the highest and classiest quality with the Louvre, Guggenheim, Ferrari projects all under construction; Disney would be a further crown jewel.
In short, to say that nothing will happen in Dubai, or the UAE, is inaccurate; they know their post-oil future depends on these projects.

This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

More Theme Park News

Previous article: Discussion and deals round-up

January 2009 Archive