Walt Disney Company Breaks

New joint venture brings the first Disney resort to mainland China By: Janeen Christoff
A rendering of the new Shanghai Disney Resort // © 2011
A rendering of the new Shanghai Disney Resort // © 2011

The Walt Disney Company and Shanghai Shendi Group, its joint venture partner in China, have broken ground on the Shanghai Disney Resort following approval from the Chinese central government in Beijing. Both companies marked the start of construction on the first Disney resort in mainland China at a groundbreaking ceremony held earlier this month.

“Today marks a significant milestone in the history of The Walt Disney Company,” said Robert A. Iger, president and CEO of The Walt Disney Company. “Our Shanghai resort will be a world-class family vacation destination that combines classic Disney characters and storytelling with the uniqueness and beauty of China. Working with our Chinese partners, the Shanghai Disney Resort will be both authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese.”

Scheduled to open in five years, the Shanghai Disney Resort will be home to Shanghai Disneyland, a Magic Kingdom-style park that will blend classic Disney storytelling and characters with all-new attractions and experiences tailored specifically for the people of China. The park will feature several themed lands complete with exciting, iconic Disney attractions and experiences. At the heart of the park will be an interactive Disney castle that is truly an attraction unto itself with entertainment, dining and performance experiences that will be unique to Shanghai Disneyland. The park will also contain other large-scale entertainment venues, indoor and out, that can be used for various purposes throughout the year.

The project also includes the construction of two hotels: one deluxe property and one value property. There will also be a 300,000-square-foot retail, dining and entertainment area similar to Downtown Disney in Anaheim, Calif., as well as a 100-acre lake and other outdoor recreation facilities.

The target market population is the 330 million Chinese citizens who live within a three-hour drive or train ride of Shanghai. 

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