BEIJING, June 29 -- Years of negotiations between the Shanghai
government and Walt Disney Co. appear to have clinched a deal for a huge
Disneyland to be built in Pudong.
The official announcement is expected to be made after the Beijing Olympics
An exclusive report published by the Hong Kong-based Wen Wei Po newspaper
yesterday said the park will cover about 10 square kilometers of land - about
eight times the size of Hong Kong Disneyland.
It will be near Pudong's Chuansha Town, about 20 minutes' drive from Pudong
Earlier media reports had said the Shanghai government preferred it to be
built on the city's island county Chongming.
Yesterday's report quoted unnamed people involved in the discussion, saying
Shanghai Disneyland won't follow the Hong Kong model, in which the Hong Kong
government leased the land to Disney.
The Shanghai government will provide the land, finance construction, and
own the majority stake in the park, the report said.
Management rights will be given to Disney, which will also get royalties
and a percentage of operational income.
The report said the park will open "at the earliest possible time" in 2012,
when about one-third of the park will be completed.
"Considering inflation, the budget to build the park, excluding the land
cost, should rise to about 40 billion yuan (5.7 billion U.S. dollars), from the
earlier estimate of 30 billion yuan," an unnamed "expert involved in the
appraisal of the project" was quoted as saying.
In March, Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng said the local government had applied to
the central government to build a Disneyland.
It would be the third Disneyland in Asia after Japan and Hong Kong.
Walt Disney Co signed a statement of intent to build a Disneyland on the
Chinese mainland in 2002, and then set up a venture to develop it.
The plan was put on hold because of concerns that the Hong Kong park,
opened in 2005, would suffer.
(Source: Shanghai Daily/Agencies)