Shang­hai Dis­ney gets pirate theme

One area will fea­ture the Hol­ly­wood block­buster

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By GAO CHANGXIN in Shang­hai gaochangxin@chi­nadaily.

The Walt Dis­ney Com­pany’s first theme park in the Chi­nese main­land, the Shang­hai Dis­ney Re­sort, is pro­gress­ing to­ward its open­ing at the end of 2015, and one of its six themed-ar­eas will fea­ture the Hol­ly­wood block­buster Pi­rates of the Caribbean.

The park an­nounced last month that Trea­sure Cove, the first-ever Pirate-themed land in a Dis­ney­land park, also will have a new boat ride — Pi­rates of the Caribbean: Bat­tle of the Sunken Trea­sure.

Re­sort of­fi­cials said the ride will take guests on a trea­sure hunt “down to the ocean depths, through the bel­lies of pirate ships, and straight into the heart of a fe­ro­cious naval bat­tle”.

Mike Craw­ford, gen­eral man­ager of Dis­ney’s Sixth Magic King­dom, said that with a com­bi­na­tion of new tech­nol­ogy and in­no­va­tion, the ride “will take our guests on a first-of-its-kind pirate ad­ven­ture you will never ex­pe­ri­ence any­where else in the world”.

The Dis­ney re­sort has a to­tal in­vest­ment of 24.5 bil­lion yuan ($4.2 bil­lion), cov­ers 3.9 square kilo­me­ters (964 acres) and will have two themed ho­tels, var­i­ous din­ing and en­ter­tain­ment venues, recre­ational fa­cil­i­ties, a lake and trans­porta­tion hubs.

On March 8, Walt Dis­ney Stu­dios and Shang­hai Me­dia Group Pic­tures said they will jointly de­velop movies un­der the Dis­ney brand. Dis­ney Stu­dios would pair writ­ers in the US who spe­cial­ize in ac­tion, ad­ven­tures and fan­tasies to work with writ­ers and film­mak­ers in China, to make Chi­nese-fea­ture movies for re­lease in China and other mar­kets.

In Jan­uary, the re­sort said that a seven-floor ho­tel with 800 rooms, the first of two Dis­ney-themed ho­tels at the re­sort, has been topped off. The ho­tel will be one of the main ac­com­mo­da­tion op­tions and fea­ture key views in­clud­ing the re­sort’s cen­tral lake.

Lo­cal me­dia has re­ported that a seven-star At­lantis ho­tel could also be de­vel­oped out­side but near the re­sort. Chi­nese de­vel­oper Fo­sun In­ter­na­tional has said that it plans to build a new ul­tra-lux­ury wa­ter-based re­sort near the at­trac­tion in Shang­hai.

The ho­tel top­ping out comes af­ter the in­stal­la­tion of the first ver­ti­cal steel for the re­sort’s main “moun­tain”, which will be lo­cated in a key area of the theme part and will be the sec­ond-high­est struc­ture at the re­sort af­ter the En­chanted Sto­ry­book Cas­tle, home for all of Dis­ney’s ex­ist­ing princesses in­stead of just one.

Site for­ma­tion work for the en­tire re­sort, said to be the largest of its kind in the world, fin­ished in April, 2012. With 100,000 tests car­ried out, the work is done with “record qual­ity”, said Howard Brown, se­nior vice-pres­i­dent of Shang­hai Dis­ney Re­sort.

A spe­cial food team has been formed to of­fer vis­i­tors lo­cally fla­vored cui­sine. And the re­sort will ar­range var­i­ous cul­tural events that cel­e­brate tra­di­tional Chi­nese fes­ti­vals to “keep vis­i­tors com­ing back through­out the year”.

Three joint ven­tures were cre­ated be­tween Walt Dis­ney Co and Shang­hai Shendi Group Co, a state-owned com­pany cre­ated for the de­vel­op­ment and man­age­ment of the Shang­hai Dis­ney Re­sort.

Shendi holds a 57 per­cent con­trol­ling stake in two of the joint ven­tures, and a 30-per­cent mi­nor­ity stake in the joint-ven­ture man­age­ment com­pany.

In­vest­ment and prof­its will be split be­tween Shendi and Walt Dis­ney in pro­por­tion to their stake in the owner com­pa­nies.

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