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Disney To Break Ground At Shanghai Park, China Gives OK

Photo by Loren Javier via Flickr
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Since the '90s a Walt Disney theme park and resort project has been in planning stasis pending approval from the Chinese government. Over the weekend, invitations to attend a "special event in Shanghai" were issued, reports the Wall Street Journal, to a groundbreaking ceremony on Friday "that Disney CEO Bob Iger is expected to attend," notes Deadline.

Notes the Wall Street Journal:

The groundbreaking ceremony follows Disney's recent receipt of final approval from the Chinese central government to move ahead with its long-gestating plans for the 963-acre park and resort. That is about 1/26th the size of the 40-square-mile Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla.

A project consultant said the company and Chinese officials intend to make a formal announcement before beginning construction. Shanghai Disneyland, estimated to take five years to complete and cost $3.7 billion to build, is thought to open by 2016, reports the New York Times.

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Disney wants to make Shanghai Disneyland into a megaresort on a par with Walt Disney World in Florida. But the initial phase will be more modest: a “Magic Kingdom-style” park with a castle surrounded by themed areas, like Tomorrow Land, two hotels, a shopping district and a lake.

According to the unnamed consultant, replicas of existing classic rides like Space Mountain and It’s a Small World will live alongside new attractions designed with a strong Chinese cultural presence, notes the New York Times.