Fake Disney Theme Park in China forced to Close

Update: Mea Culpa. This article is 4 years old. I didn’t noticed the 2007 date on the story. That’s what I get for writing a post after midnight. I’ve updated the story to reflect the fact that this Cinderella Castle still exists according to this picture snapped in March of 2011. The real story is the Chinese gov’t never followed through on their promise to make the park change. I wonder if Disney needs to apply more pressure.

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With the Hong Kong Disneyland opened a half-decade ago it looks like Disney has secured a little more pull with China’s central government. According to this story from 2007, that caused the Chinese gov’t to lower the hammer on a Disney ‘look-alike’ theme park that opened outside of Bejing trying to capitalize on Disney’s fame. Apparently “Shijingshan” built attractions based on many of the same classic stories that Disney used to inspire their films and theme parks, which is fine, but the resemblance was too obvious for even the notoriously copyright loose country of China.

As you can see in the picture above ‘Cinderella Castle’ does bear a striking resemblance to Disney’s version. There were also Snow White and Seven Dwarf and EPCOT clones. It even includes an “American Adventure” attraction. Wonder what’s in that? Apparently, it’s the park’s haunted dark ride. )

Update: Check out this photo from Sept 2010 of not-Mickey and not-Minnie near the 2008 Olympics Bird’s Nest pavilion in Beijing. Um, someone’s got some explaining to do. No wonder China’s mainland population is confused about the Disney brand. Someone’s lifted it wholesale and pretending it’s their own.

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13 Responses to Fake Disney Theme Park in China forced to Close

  1. Andrew Poole says:

    You know this story is from 2007, right? :)

    As for the Beijing-Shijingshan theme park, I believe it’s still open. At least, it was certainly still open well over a year after this story was first reported by the Associated Press in May 2007, as Theme Park Review posted a report from there in September 2008 – Complete with castle and statue out in front of it. From what I can gather, the castle is still standing (as is the geodesic dome Spaceship Earth lookalike), and the character statues (although some of them were removed in 2007 during the media reporting of the park)

    I doubt the Shanghai Disneyland project will have any real impact on it, given how lax the copyright laws seem to be in China. I believe they said at the time that their characters were based Grimm’s fairytales, not Disney’s.

    Speaking of Disney-clones, I was amused to see some posts the other day of the other famous Disneyland-clone: Nara Dreamland in Nara, Japan. It appears that when it closed in 2006, it was just left there. Stil standing today, just very overgrown. There’s a few interesting explorations of the place now it’s abandoned, although it’s still patrolled by security and monitored. This one (and its related articles on the same site) are particularly interesting reads.

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  5. Merrin says:

    It was still standing, but appeared closed, in October of last year. We drove by it several times and the parking lot was empty.

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  13. Sam Casey says:

    I was at the Olympic Stadium in May. There was a young couple taking pictures with a Daisy Duck clone. In the end, Daisy says that will be 10 yuan. The young couple balked stating they did not know it would cost money. Daisy’s wondered why they thought she would be in this hot costume for free.

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