Shang­hai Dis­ney to open doors next year

China Daily (Canada) - - ONE WEEK FREE SMART EDITION - By YU RAN in Shang­hai yu­ran@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The open­ing of Shang­hai Dis­ney, pre­vi­ously ex­pected to be at the end of this year, has been post­poned un­til next spring, ac­cord­ing to Robert Iger, chiefex­ec­u­tive ofTheWaltDis­neyCo.

The de­layed open­ing is a com­bi­na­tion of fur­ther at­trac­tions be­ing added, cost­ing an ex­tra $800 mil­lion, and the benefits of mov­ing the event closer toChina’s Lu­narNewYear hol­i­days in early Fe­bru­ary, said blog­gers fol­low­ing the an­nounce­ment.

The mas­sive theme park is a joint ven­ture be­tween Dis­ney and China’s State-owned Shang­hai Shendi Group.

“Even with that ex­pan­sion, we will com­plete ma­jor con­struc­tion by the end of this cal­en­dar year,” said Iger, as he de­liv­eredWalt Dis­ney Co Ltd’s earn­ings for its first fis­cal quar­ter ended Dec 27, which showed that di­luted earn­ings per share in­creased 23 per­cent to $1.27 from $1.03 in the prior-year quar­ter.

“We are plan­ning a spec­tac­u­lar grand open­ing in the spring of 2016, which we be­lieve is the op­ti­mal time to show­case the full grandeur of this world-class des­ti­na­tion.”

Shang­hai Con­struc­tion Group Co Ltd, one of Shang­hai Dis­ney Re­sort’s ma­jor con­trac­tors, said in early De­cem­ber that the first phase of the park would be com­pleted by the end of last month. Shang­haiMayor Yang Xiong claimed that the ba­sic con­struc­tion of the site and its aux­il­iary projects will be mostly com­pleted by 2015, at a meet­ing in late Jan­uary.

Worth a to­tal in­vest­ment of $5.5 bil­lion, the re­sort is ex­pected to gen­er­ate 33.6 bil­lion yuan ($5.38 bil­lion) of profit for Shang­hai an­nu­ally, which would equate to 1.6 per­cent of the city’s gross do­mes­tic prod­uct in 2013, saidDuChangchun, a re­searcher atNorth­east Se­cu­ri­ties Co Ltd.

It has al­ready been cred­ited with boost­ing Shang­hai’s re­alty devel­op­ment and prop­erty prices, said Catherine Chen, manager of re­search, Cush­man & Wake­field Shang­hai branch.

Av­er­age apart­ment prices in the Chuan­sha area, where the Dis­ney fa­cil­ity is be­ing built, surged to 28,331 yuan ($4,534) per square me­ter by the end of 2014, about 25 per­cent year-on-year growth, and 70 per­cent higher than that of 2011 when con­struc­tion started, ac­cord­ing to data from Dooioo Prop­erty, a Shang­haibased re­alty ser­vices provider.

“The open­ing of the Dis­ney Re­sort is ex­pected to drive re­tail ser­vice growth in its neigh­bor­hood as well as re­tail prop­erty prices, adding to the di­ver­sity of Shang­hai’s re­tail ser­vice land­scape,” Chen said.

Lo­cated in the Pudong dis­trict, the de­vel­op­ers claim Shang­hai Dis­ney will fea­ture clas­sic Dis­ney sto­ry­telling and char­ac­ters blended with brand-new­ex­pe­ri­ences tai­lored specif­i­cally for Chi­nese peo­ple. The re­sort will also in­clude two themed ho­tels, a large re­tail, dining and en­ter­tain­ment venue, recre­ational fa­cil­i­ties and a lake.

Upon com­ple­tion, it will be the sixth theme park of TheWalt Dis­ney Co, af­terLos An­ge­le­sandOr­lando in the United States, Tokyo, Paris and Hong Kong.

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