SHANGHAI: Mickey Mouse danced in a traditional Chinese costume as officials wielded golden shovels on Friday to break ground on mainland China’s long-awaited first Disneyland theme park in Shanghai. Walt Disney Co chief executive Bob Iger was joined by the entertainment giant’s Chinese partners and government officials at a ceremony to launch construction of the park on the outskirts of the eastern Chinese city.
The event capped more than a decade of negotiations with the Chinese government to bring the “Magic Kingdom” to the country’s 1.3-billion-strong market, and Iger called it a “significant milestone” in Disney’s history.
“Our Shanghai resort will be a world-class family vacation destination that combines classic Disney characters and storytelling with the uniqueness and beauty of China,” Iger said.
Construction of the 24.4 billion yuan ($3.7 billion) project in Shanghai’s Pudong district is expected to take five years. Disney already has a theme park in the southern Chinese territory of Hong Kong.
Disney is a minority shareholder in the project, holding 43 per cent, with government-run Shanghai Shendi Group holding 57 per cent, Disney said in a statement, adding its investment would be proportionate to its stake.—AFP