Disneyland Shanghai to Open By 2012

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June 30 – After much speculation and negotiation, there are reports that a Disneyland in Shanghai seems to finally be in sight. The official confirmation from the Chinese government is expected to be made after the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

As early as 2002, there were already plans to build a Disneyland in mainland China by 2010. The project was shelved in 2005 due to concerns that another Disneyland in the country would pose stiff competition to its Hong Kong counterpart.

According to Hong Kong-based Wen Wei Po, the Shanghai government will own a major stake in the park by providing the land and financing construction while Disney will be in charge of managing the park while being paid royalties and a portion of the operational income.

The park’s cost is estimated to be at RMB40 billion (US$5.7 billion) instead of the initial estimate of RMB30 billion and should finish by 2012 at the earliest.

As recent as February 2008, Disney officially denied that an agreement was reached with the Chinese government. Yet, by March this year, Shanghai mayor, Han Zheng, had confirmed that the city had applied to the central government for the development of the park.

Recent developments in the city have been planned with the new theme park in mind. Residents staying on the designated site near Chuansha town, about 20 minutes’ drive from Pudong International Airport, have been relocated. In addition, a new exit on highway A20 was opened for easy access to the area and Foxtown, a retail outlet, was built.