- Shanghai Disneyland opened up on Thursday
- The 960 acre park was a joint venture by Disney and the Chinese Government
- Character receives communist approval
The crowds consisted of thousands of eager people ready to experience Shanghai Disneyland for the first time. Some folks showed up as early as 4:30 am. Shanghai Disneyland opened on Thursday, June 16, and despite the overcast weather, the place was packed.
The park is a total of 960 acres. This monstrosity was completed with cooperation from two parties; the Chinese Government and Disney. This is something new for Disney, as they typically do not go into partnerships. The theme was developed with the price tag of $5.5 billion and designed by China’s state-owned Shanghai Shendi Group. This means that the profits will be split between the two parties. This also means all decisions regarding the functions and ideas for the park will be debated among both parties.
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The park concepts follow the same guidelines as other worldwide Disney parks. Some of the rides are exact replicas of those that you can find at Disneyland, while others are unique to the Shanghai park. Disney had to go into partnerships with firms ultimately owned by Shanghai’s government.
Disney’s Chief Executive, Bob Iger told journalists, “From the moment they enter, everything they see and experience, the attractions, the food, the entertainment, down to the smallest level of detail, is instantly recognizable not only as authentically Disney, but as distinctly Chinese.”
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Interestingly, when one journalist probed workers to talk about their salary many of them stated that they simply could not talk about it. When looking at prices of tickets, the only way the workers will ever get through the Shanghai Disneyland gates is when wearing their uniform. The cost for a family of three to attend the park is more than one month’s income in mainland China.
Many consider Disneyland to be a capitalist attraction, but nonetheless Shanghai Disneyland was supported by communist party members. As close to 1,000 communist party members were in attendance on Thursday to take in opening day. As Iger stated, the park is, “authentically Disney, but as distinctly Chinese.” This is clear not only in the unique rides and Chinese food, but also in the characters. Shanghai Disneyland has its very own Mickey Mouse, known as Me Low Shoe; he has been approved by the Communist Party.
-prepared by Abigail Andrea (with inputs from Scroll.in ), an intern at NewsGram. Twitter @abby_kono
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