I had seen pictures of the Disney themed Harbin Ice Lantern Festival in China. But I didn’t realize that it was part of a legitimate licensing effort of the Walt Disney Company.
What is perhaps the world’s most famous ice festival has become another of the world’s Disney theme parks, with a Disney licensing company taking over operations from the local Communist government. It is the first time a private company has run the ice festival.
Snow White has replaced snow dragons. Children wander through the frozen hallways of Aladdin’s Castle instead of a Qing dynasty palace. “It’s a Small World” plays in one corner of the park. (What better theme music for globalization?)
Although this does not appear to be an official Disney effort, it was approved by Disney and fits into Disney’s plans to grow its Asian presence under CEO Bob Iger. With a Disney Shanghai theme park almost a reality, that’s an important thing.
(via NY Times)