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Disney – Shanghai Theme Park Project Update

Thomas Smith

by , Editorial Content Director, Disney Experiences

We have exciting news tonight. The Walt Disney Company has released information concerning the Shanghai theme park project and we wanted to share it with you first on The Disney Parks Blog. Here’s the news release:


BURBANK, Calif. – November 3, 2009 – The Walt Disney Company today announced that the Project Application Report (PAR) for a Disney theme park in the Pudong district of Shanghai has received approval from the relevant authorities of the central government of China.

“China is one of the most dynamic, exciting and important countries in the world, and this approval marks a very significant milestone for The Walt Disney Company in mainland China,” said Robert A. Iger, president and CEO of The Walt Disney Company.

The PAR approval will enable Disney and its Shanghai partners to move forward toward a final agreement to build and operate the park and begin preliminary development work. Upon completion of the final agreement, the project’s initial phase would include a Magic Kingdom-style theme park with characteristics tailored to the Shanghai region and other amenities consistent with Disney’s destination resorts worldwide.

Shanghai, China

About The Walt Disney Company China
The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a diversified international family entertainment enterprise with five business segments and is a Dow 30 company with revenues of nearly $38 billion in its most recently reported fiscal year. Our first animation screened in China in the 1930s and today our long association continues with offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou with over 600 employees.

About Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts are where families experience and enjoy the magic of Disney’s beloved characters and where dreams come true. More than 50 years ago, Walt Disney created a new kind of entertainment families could experience together, immersed in detailed atmospheres and vibrant storytelling. His vision now includes a collection of five of the world’s leading family vacation destinations – Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, Calif.; Walt Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista, Fla.; Tokyo Disney Resort, Urayasu, Chiba, Japan; Disneyland Paris, Marne-la-Vallée, France; and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, located on Lantau Island. In addition, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts includes the world-class Disney Cruise Line; Disney Vacation Club, with 10 resorts and more than 400,000 members; Adventures by Disney, a guided group vacation experience to some of the world’s most popular destinations; and Walt Disney Imagineering, which creates and designs all Disney parks, resorts and attractions.


  • Hong Kong Cable News is reporting today, 24 November 2009, that the future Shanghai Disneyland will be the world’s smallest Disneyland park/resort. Shanghai’s will be 116 hectares, compared to Hong Kong’s 126 (after expansion). How can this be? Could this possibly be a concession to Hong Kong, in order to ensure that Hong Kong Disneyland will NOT run out of mainland Chinese visitors once Shanghai’s opens in 2013 or so? Shocking news, IMHO.

  • Hi.
    I am an American designer and have lived and worked in China for 12 years. I am happy Disney is coming to SH. It is time to upgrade the value system here. As for those who are retroactive and think the park is ruining all of those farmers lives; try living here for awhile before you go off on your tofu-eatin, tree huggin position,,, ahem, LOL excuse me. In any event I would certainly like to be involved in the new gate as my “swan song” to over a decade of designing and building here in this wonderful country. Trust me, it is for good reason The Big D is coming.

  • I love all Disney theme parks as does everyone else BUT I hope Shanghai Disneyland is the last Magic Kingdom style theme park to be built.

    Disney parks are so special as there are only a small number of them but the more that are added the less special they become.

    I’m all for Disney building new theme parks as long as they aren’t all Magic Kingdoms as they steal trade from each other and the same thing gets a bit tedious. How many Space Mountains does there need to be?

    Saying that I don’t want to see any more Epcots, Animal Kingdoms or A third movie studio park open as they have been done already and I thought Disney was all about NEW and unique ideas, not just using the same one again and again even if it is a winning formula as it will eventually get old.

    If Disney are going to build more parks then make them new and unique which will make people want to visit them. I did plan to visit all Disney parks but with Shanghai opening in a few years and possibly another after that it will become too expensive and to be honest, once you have visited one Magic Kingdom, you have pretty much seen them all. What I don’t like is Shanghai Disneyland will sadly cripple Hong Kong as it is failing even now without a rival. I personally am quite excited about the expansions to it though. Instead of building new parks, just expand and build new theme parks at the 5 current Disney resorts as Walt Disney World is well overdue for a new theme park or two.

    Don’t get me wrong I am a HUGE fan of all things Disney but I’m just getting a little bored of ‘new’ Magic Kingdoms being built as they will soon become less magical as more pop up.

  • I am so excited and I live in shanghai myself! I do hope it is bigger then HK disney and better. Also environmental friendly 🙂

  • I am super excited that Disney is opening another park, can’t wait for the concept drawings! I hope that the Imagineers don’t copy and paste buildings like they have in the past, but make it original.

  • We met a CM from China while at Hollywood Studios last year. She was so excited about the “idea” of a park in Shanghai – I’m sure she’s just beaming now! 🙂 Her wish is coming true. How fun.

    Like stated above, that Disney to-do list certainly is getting longer, but it’s a to-do list I look forward to! Yay Disney!

  • It is awesome that there building another park. When Disneyland California Adventure opened I was thinking how cool it would be if every state had there own Disney park, celebrating the history and culture of that state as they did in California, Plus it would be a great vacation to try to go to all 50, not to mention educational.

  • What a good news to make me happy.

    One dream is to be the member of Disney Park in Shanghai, to make everyone here happy~~

  • Very excited to hear the update news about Disney’s Shanghai Theme Park!

    I’ve been to Hong Kong Disneyland Resort four years ago. The park is sweet but too small to be the only one in China. Now I can expect the new park in Shanghai, which will definitely be a shining tourist attraction after Shanghai Expo in 2010! When I go back to China, this park would absolutely on the top of my list.

    China is a huge market. I’m glad Disney can grab the opportunity to expand its business in mainland China. I believe most Chinese children, even adults, will love the wonderland made by Disney!

  • Very excited to hear the update news about Disney’s Shanghai Theme Park!

    I’ve been to Hong Kong Disneyland Resort four years ago. The park is sweet but too small to be the only one in China. Now I can expect the new park in Shanghai, which will definitely be a shining tourist attraction after Shanghai Expo in 2010!

    China is a huge market, for any industry. I’m glad Disney can grab the opportunity to expand its business in mainland China. I believe most Chinese children love the wonderland made by Disney, too!

  • To be perfectly honest, is this really necessary? Like someone mentioned, its great they are expanding their bases, but they already have two theme parks in that (general) vicinity. In fact, it seems that this new park is going to be right in between them! I am thoroughly stoked to see the FantasyLand expansion in WDW but what about Tomorrowland? How bout a little love for Epcot?

    Anyway, I figured instead of opening a complete new park they’d put more work into HK Disney.

  • Another magnificant accomplishment for Disney! Too bad this park wasn’t around when I visited China as a college student back in the late 1980s. At the end of that 17-day tour, I was absolutely ecstatic to stumble upon a McDonalds and KFC in the Shanghai area. Had there been a Disney park nearby, I might have extended my stay by a few more days.

  • I am excited. I was in Hong Kong last Jan. This park is going to be bigger and better. I look foward to it’s completion.


  • “WDW still most visired.” -Patrick from ON on November 3rd, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    Yes, that’s true and all, but we never want things to get stale and stagnant, do we? 🙂

    With the additions coming in 2011 and 2012 for WDW, I do have to wonder…what will happen in the meantime?

  • Sheeesh, now I have to update my to-do list again. hehe I’ve still only been to WDW but hopefully next spring will start my “other” parks journey with Paris.

  • Will the castle belong to Princess Tiana

  • That is Great news! We all like to see Disney spread out bring more happiness to the World.

  • WDW still most visired

  • Very nice. Always good to see my favorite company expanding their bases, but as always I would like to see some more investment back home. Especially in Walt Disney World.

    But this is good, too. 😀

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