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With support from 1,000 Communist Party members, Disneyland opens up in Shanghai, China

The theme was developed with the price tag of $5.5 billion and designed by China’s state-owned Shanghai Shendi Group

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DisneyLand. Image source: disneydose.com
  • 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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Aerial View of Shanghai Disneyland Resort. Wikimedia Commons.
Aerial View of Shanghai Disneyland Resort. Wikimedia Commons.

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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  • AJ Krish

    Its not only children who desire to spend a day in disneyland, but adults too look forward to the rides and shows it offers.The new disneyland with its Chinese touch is sure to amaze us all!

Next Story

Trade War Between Washington and Beijing Effecting Farmers

Roger Lande says sometimes China does things “we don’t like,” but all relationships, with family, friends and business associates, have ups and downs.

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China, USA, Trade War
U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping participate in a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China. VOA

The trade war between Washington and Beijing is hurting farmers who grow huge amounts of soybeans in Iowa for export to the massive Chinese market.

Farmers in Iowa hope that the strong commercial and close personal relationships that China and the U.S. farm state have nurtured for many years will help the two sides overcome complications like the record U.S. trade deficit with China.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has visited Iowa farmers repeatedly over the past couple of decades and former Iowa governor Terry Branstad is now the U.S. ambassador to Beijing.

The close ties have been strained by Washington’s allegations that China unfairly manipulates markets, steals American intellectual property, and creates bureaucratic obstacles to trade. China also accuses the United States of unfair practices.

FILE - Justin Roth holds a handful of soybeans at the Brooklyn Elevator in Brooklyn, Iowa, Nov. 21, 2018.
– Justin Roth holds a handful of soybeans at the Brooklyn Elevator in Brooklyn, Iowa, Nov. 21, 2018. (voa0

Tariff war

The United States imposed tariffs on Chinese exports, and Beijing retaliated with tariffs on American agricultural products.

That meant that Iowa soybeans were more expensive and less competitive on global markets.

Demand for U.S. soybeans — and prices paid to U.S. farmers — plunged $85 a metric ton.

An Iowa farmer who manages several farms, including 153 hectares of soybeans, says his profits fell 100 percent for 2018. David Miller is not happy to lose money but says without the tariffs, China would not pay any attention to the talks.

FILE - farmer Michael Petefish walks through his soybeans at his farm near Claremont in southern Minnesota.
– farmer Michael Petefish walks through his soybeans at his farm near Claremont in southern Minnesota.(VOA0

Needing each other

China really needs what Iowa produces, according to Grant Kimberley, the marketing manager for the Iowa Soybean Association, who has been to China more than 20 times.

“China needs soybeans … because their middle class has grown, and that means they are eating more protein in their diet, more meat, and if you have more meat production, you have to have more soybeans to feed those animals,” he said.

Kimberley’s family runs a 600 hectare farm, 48 kilometers from Des Moines, which was one of the places visited by Xi, who saw that it uses more advanced equipment and technology than is available to Chinese farmers.

The former director of Iowa’s department of natural resources, Roger Lande, and his wife, Sarah, have twice hosted Xi, at their home in the small town of Muscatine.

Also Read: Amidst Weakened Domestic Demand, China Expected To Report Slow Economic Growth

Roger Lande says sometimes China does things “we don’t like,” but all relationships, with family, friends and business associates, have ups and downs.

Kimberley is optimistic things will work out.

“Because that’s a long-standing relationship that’s been in place for 35 years,” he said. And “I think the overall underlying support and the people that are involved between the states and the province is still strong. And, and everybody recognizes that, over the long term, eventually this will get resolved,” he added. (VOA)