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Disney's New Park Is Now Open In Shanghai, But How Chinese Is It Really?

Disney's New Park Is Now Open In Shanghai, But How Chinese Is It Really?

Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS) spent $5.5 billion over many years to build a new resort park in Shanghai, China. The park opened for the very first time this week and boasts a "distinctly Chinese" feel.

Bloomberg quoted Disney's CEO Bob Iger as saying that the company didn't "build Disneyland in China," rather, it built "China's Disneyland." So, is the park more Disney themed or China themed? More importantly, does it really matter for Disney investors?

Bloomberg's News team visited the park, and their initial reaction was that the park is very much the same as Disney's other resort parks in California, Tokyo and Hong Kong. All the usual Disney characters were present, from Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck to Peter Pan and Winnie the Pooh.

Related Link: Bob Iger On Shanghai: Greatest Opportunity For Disney Since Walt Bought Land In Florida

"There was nothing to make me raise an eyebrow and think 'Ah, an Asian twist,'" the Bloomberg report noted.

China's only animated film based on a Chinese story, called "Mulan," "got neither its own ride or stage show." The character does appear as a statue, and a parade did feature the character in a float.

On the other hand, elements of China's culture were more prevalent in shows. For example, a Tarzan spectacle featured a Chinese acrobatic ritual and a Lion King musical was performed in Mandarin.

The food "bridged the U.S.-China gap" and featured items such as pizza topped with Peking duck.

Finally, the report concluded that the most Chinese aspect of the park were "the visitors themselves." Disney investors should also be pleased with the report's conclusion as the park is "less about dancing dragons and firecrackers and more about leisure-time and spending money."


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