Friday, June 7, 2013

Disney's Shanghai Park to be Unique


Shanghai Disneyland will feature a series of unique attractions, the global media company's chairman and CEO said on Wednesday.

Contrary to the belief in some quarters that the Shanghai park will be like others elsewhere in the world, it will be a "China Disneyland - authentically Disney and distinctively Chinese", Robert Iger, chairman and chief executive officer of the Walt Disney Co said during a visit to Beijing.

There will be a castle and other attractions that are new or different to attractions elsewhere but which have some similarities, Iger said.

He took office in 2005 and has been personally involved with the Shanghai project since 1998, taking part in negotiations that took 11 years.

He said it is important for the Shanghai park to incorporate sufficient elements that people in China not only feel culturally relevant but culturally unique.

"There will be entertainment and show elements that will be very Chinese in nature, performed by Chinese, and designed, directed and created by artists from China," he said.

The Shanghai park is scheduled to open by the end of 2015, a decade after the launch of the Disney resort in Hong Kong.

Iger is optimistic about market potential for the two parks in China, the only country in the world outside of the United States to have two Disney parks.

"Because of the vastness of China and the size of the population, we believe that for many years China can sustain more than one park," he said.

Iger added that the mobility of Chinese people and the popularity of the country as a destination for visitors from around the world meant there was plenty of scope for two parks.

About 40 percent of visitors to Hong Kong Disneyland are from the Chinese mainland.

"By the time it opens, Shanghai will be more ready than ever before," Iger said, adding that in Hong Kong the company has learned a lot and will bring some of this experience to the park in Shanghai.

It has continued to invest in Hong Kong Disneyland, expanding in three new areas. The park reported a net profit of HK$109 million ($14 million) in 2012, the first annual profit since it opened in 2005.

Though Iger did not rule out opening parks elsewhere in China in the future, he said the priority today is to build a "great park" in Shanghai for visitors from all over the world.

In 2012, Disney posted record revenue, net income and earnings per share, thanks to the box-office success of the movie Iron Man 3, parks, cruise ships and new investment in Hong Kong, California and Florida.

Localization is the key to the Disney strategy.

"When it comes to culture, the world is not flat," Iger said. "Disney cannot take our culture and export it to China."

Source... http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2013-06/06/content_16575741.htm

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