With Disney entering into a deal with the Hong Kong government to expand Hong Kong Disneyland and the reveal of the Shanghai Disney Theme park plan, one of the worst kept secrets of the last five years, The Walt Disney Company continues to gain traction in the world’s largest and fastest growing market of consumers–China.
The Shanghai thing is still waiting for approval from Beijing, Disney hasn’t even submitted it yet, which means it could face some modification from the current plan. But some analysts are predicting it could be bigger than HKDL. That certainly wouldn’t surprise me.
One of the reasons is that Shanghai will not be a Magic Kingdom model theme park. A little bird tells me it will be closely aligned with existing Chinese culture and myths bringing in Disney characters only around the edges (think Disney’s Animal Kingdom). The question is now, will they go in whole hog, or start small and ride out a possible rough start (as they did with HKDL). With a budget in the $3.2 billion range, they certainly have the money to go big.