Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Disneyland Shanghai construction to start soon. Yay?

After all the eminent domain disputes (or whatever they call it in China), and the general complications that come with building an American park in inland China, unidentified sources have revealed that construction on Disneyland Shanghai may begin as soon as November.

If you're like me, you look at this skyline and go "That could really
use a Disneyland."
As of now, no construction can happen until the conclusion of the World Expo on October 31. Though an official spokeswoman for the Disney Company made it seem as if the unidentified source was just spreading rumors and here say.
According to ThemeParkTourist.com, her statement was "Final discussions between Disney and the Shanghai government are not yet complete, and detailed negotiations to produce a final deal will continue for a number of months."

Whenever the construction starts, the 286 acre park will not be completed until 2014 at the earliest, with a more likely estimate being 2015-2016.

Not that it even matters. I've never been to a foreign Disney park (though Florida seems a little foreign to a kid from California), but I've read enough about them. After being to the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World and experiencing what a lousy interpretation of Walt's original Disneyland it was, I can only imagine how bad a post-Walt-built-only-for-profit-park-that's-not-even-operated-by-Disney could be. 

Let's look back at the history of international Disney parks. The most notable: Euro Disney, which has since changed its name to Disneyland Paris. Why did it change its name? Because the thing was a bigger flop than a whale being dropped out of a helicopter. It has only recently become profitable, which isn't something that I personally care about, but considering it was built purely for profit and not for anything else (Other countries don't build replicas of their famous attractions and tourist destinations in the US– unless it's part of a Las Vegas Hotel), it was a failure in the greedy eyes of Michael Eisner. At least Disney still maintains full ownership. 

Then there's Hong Kong Disneyland, owned by Hong Kong International Theme Parks. Walt would have loved that. And Tokyo Disneyland, the one that made Disney parks an international operation back in 1983, is run by the Oriental Land Company. Ca-ching!

Come the end of the decade, Shanghai Disneyland will be up and running, making money, and doing what the modern Disney company does so well: stretch the Disney name just a bit to thin.

Are  you excited of dismayed that planet Earth will get to see yet another Disney theme park? 

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