Update: Disney officials continue to deny an agreement has been reached. But with all this positive press, you have to wonder if something is up.
Wow. After Shanghai’s government approved the project last month, Disney officials were still denying that they were even involved in talks. But now a formal announcement of a Disney theme park development to be built in Shanghai and open by 2013 is expected in the next few days.
If true, this is good news for Glendale. Many WDI Imagineers were expecting to be laid off if the Shanghai project was not built. But a new theme park or other development should be enough to keep many of them on Mickey’s payroll.
A Shanghai theme park or other Disney themed development furthers Bob Iger’s vision to expand Disney’s franchises into Asian markets. The farm and industrial heavy Huanglou district is likely to be the location for the Shanghai Disney development. It’s east of downtown Shanghai about half way to the ocean. Also the airport is about 10 minutes away and their is freeway access.
Shanghai is about 764 miles away from Hong Kong, where Disney opened its most recent Disneyland branded theme park. That’s less than the distance between Portland, Or and Anaheim, Ca. Tokyo Disneyland Resort is about 1154 miles away. But that park is owned by the Oriental Land Company and you have to wonder what they think about a new Disney development so near.
Culturally all three cities are quite different, so I don’t expect there to be much canibalization. If anything, they should build a theme park with a unique theme in Shanghai to encourage Disney fans newly created and existing to visit all three locations.
Previously: Shanghai Disney Park Rumor Persists.