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  1. #1

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    George Mitchell confirms that Shanghai Disneyland awaiting gov't nod

    Disney Theme Park Awaiting Gov't Nod

    The boss of Disney has confirmed the firm is awaiting approval from the Chinese Government to build a theme park in Shanghai after successful talks with city leaders.

    Group Chairman George Mitchell said the company had been in discussions with Shanghai officials for "a long period of time" to build a new Disneyland in the metropolis.

    He added talks were now under way between the Shanghai municipal government and the State Council, which has the final say over the project.

    "Our discussions have been with Shanghai officials, and now they are engaging with the national officials," said Mitchell.

    "We have an interest in proceeding and we hope that satisfactory terms can be worked out and we can proceed."

    Mitchell made the comments to China Daily while in Beijing to attend the official opening of a branch of DLA Piper, a global law firm of which he is also the chairman.

    Speculation over Disney's plan to open a theme park in Shanghai intensified after the opening of Disneyland Hong Kong last September.

    Mitchell insisted there was a market for both attractions, and that a new park in Shanghai would not be detrimental to the long-term success of the Hong Kong site.

    "There has been very careful analysis from us and Chinese Government officials," he said.

    "There are a very large number of people in the Shanghai area and we don't think that this (a new park) will have any more of a negative effect on Hong Kong than say having a park both in California and Orlando, Florida.

    "We are looking forward to a long and what we hope will be a productive relationship in Hong Kong and Shanghai."

    While Mitchell said he was "very pleased" with the operation in Hong Kong, he admitted there had been some problems.

    During the Chinese New Year holidays in February, the park had to close its gates to hundreds of visitors holding pre-purchased tickets after it reached the maximum accommodation capability soon after opening.

    "These kinds of issues always occur at every new park in different contexts, but we try to work them out and we try to be sensitive to what local people want," said Mitchell.

    "We always make very careful plans over how we are going to operate, but things can never turn out exactly as you predict.

    "There is always a period of adaptation."

    As previously reported, it is believed an area of land in Pudong's Chuansha area has already been earmarked for the Shanghai park.

    Mitchell said it was impossible to put a timeframe on the project.

    "We try to proceed as quickly as possible after the execution of the contract, but until we execute a contract we don't get into when we are going to start," he said.
    Last edited by Loomis; 06-23-2006 at 07:28 PM.
    I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out. - Bill Hicks


  2. #2

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    Re: George Mitchell confirms that Shanghai awaiting gov't nod

    Well, from a pure business standpoint, it makes sense.

    I'm not sure how true this is but I've heard that here are more people w/in 100 miles radius of Shanghai than all of US (280 million)

    1.3 Billion people.... GDP/capita is only $6.8K USD, but that's growing at a 10% clip.
    In 20 years of that could be about 40K USD. Now THAT's a HUGE market!
    Even if only 20% of the people can go now (I doubt it w/ GDP of $6.8K) that's
    a market of 260 million. So definitely enough people to support two parks NOW much less 5/10/20 years.

  3. #3

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    Re: George Mitchell confirms that Shanghai awaiting gov't nod

    He said they've been in talks for a long time. I forsee another long period ahead, too. I also have a sad feeling that stories about baby-tossing and using bushes as a potty will multiply any number of times.

    All I will say is that if they ever do get to breaking ground there, for petes sakes build something other than a Disneyland. In fact, it would help if they avoided the whole "themed lands layed out like a wheel connected by a shared hub" thing completely. If they crank out another Connect-The-Pieces Sleeping Beauty's Castle, I'm going to laugh then sigh then shake my head.

  4. #4

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    Re: George Mitchell confirms that Shanghai awaiting gov't nod

    Quote Originally Posted by MickeyMania
    All I will say is that if they ever do get to breaking ground there, for petes sakes build something other than a Disneyland. In fact, it would help if they avoided the whole "themed lands layed out like a wheel connected by a shared hub" thing completely. If they crank out another Connect-The-Pieces Sleeping Beauty's Castle, I'm going to laugh then sigh then shake my head.
    Just like that, I think you've hit the nail on the head with the whole theme park thing. The problem is not necessarily that this is a LESSER Disneyland. Of course it IS in a way - fewer lands, fewer rides - but this is only suffering by comparison. If you build any new Disneyland/Magic Kingdom style 'hub' parks, by necessity we will have to compare them. With so many strong contenders already out there, a fresh 'out of the box' effort isn't going to garner a 'wow' factor immediately, especially if it looks and smells the same as the other parks.

    If Disney were to treat Shanghai as a sister park to Hong Kong, they could start with a whole new concept in theme parking right there. I'm sure there are a stack of concepts Imagineering have been dying to let loose. The unorthodox construction of the Rivers of Adventure in HKDL shows two things, in my opinion:
    1) It is possible to take established concepts and make them seem entirely different;
    2) WDI is keen to let loose with new technology on new attractions.

    HKDL had BITS of the right idea, but probably didn't go far enough. Adventureland HK style should be the prototype for a whole new park. Combine attractions and lands, play with the ideas of the land or even play with the idea of doing away with them entirely. Have a park with four whole new lands that we've never seen before. Give them a Villains Island or a Ocean themed land (with Mermaid, Nemo, 20000 Leagues etc). Just say "Right - we've gone as a far as we can go with that, try this on for size".

    Something new you CAN'T get anywhere else? That's how you tap 1.3 billion people!
    I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out. - Bill Hicks


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    Re: George Mitchell confirms that Shanghai awaiting gov't nod

    Well yeah they are in talks...it is sad. But until it is announced in a ceremony with concept art it is still just talk.

    And Mitchell of all people talking about this...he should learn we voted him out. Time to leave Senator.

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    Re: George Mitchell confirms that Shanghai awaiting gov't nod

    Shanghai is a third-world dump. Terrible place. I'm sure that few if any of you have been there.

    The idea of building a Disney park is absurd: the average person doesn't earn enough money to eat decently.

    Shanghai is an ENORMOUS city--you can drive for hours and still be in the city. It's amazing--and disgusting.

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    Re: George Mitchell confirms that Shanghai awaiting gov't nod

    Quote Originally Posted by Loomis
    Just like that, I think you've hit the nail on the head with the whole theme park thing. The problem is not necessarily that this is a LESSER Disneyland. Of course it IS in a way - fewer lands, fewer rides - but this is only suffering by comparison. If you build any new Disneyland/Magic Kingdom style 'hub' parks, by necessity we will have to compare them. With so many strong contenders already out there, a fresh 'out of the box' effort isn't going to garner a 'wow' factor immediately, especially if it looks and smells the same as the other parks.

    If Disney were to treat Shanghai as a sister park to Hong Kong, they could start with a whole new concept in theme parking right there. I'm sure there are a stack of concepts Imagineering have been dying to let loose. The unorthodox construction of the Rivers of Adventure in HKDL shows two things, in my opinion:
    1) It is possible to take established concepts and make them seem entirely different;
    2) WDI is keen to let loose with new technology on new attractions.

    HKDL had BITS of the right idea, but probably didn't go far enough. Adventureland HK style should be the prototype for a whole new park. Combine attractions and lands, play with the ideas of the land or even play with the idea of doing away with them entirely. Have a park with four whole new lands that we've never seen before. Give them a Villains Island or a Ocean themed land (with Mermaid, Nemo, 20000 Leagues etc). Just say "Right - we've gone as a far as we can go with that, try this on for size".

    Something new you CAN'T get anywhere else? That's how you tap 1.3 billion people!
    An ENTIRELY new idea is exactly what they need. We don't need another Magic Kingdom or a Disney Studios. Look at what Imagineers did with DisneySea. If they want the park in Shanghai to be successful, they need an original idea, and a large budget. I wouldn't want them to clone existing second gates like Epcot or DisneySea though....that would just be weird.

  8. #8

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    Re: George Mitchell confirms that Shanghai awaiting gov't nod

    Well....One Disney Resort in Shanghai and another Disney Resort in Hong Kong ...very good idea...

    that is ....
    1+1> 3 !!!

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    Re: George Mitchell confirms that Shanghai awaiting gov't nod

    You folks don't get it: the Chinese in Shanghai don't want DisneySea or Epcot.
    They want a Magic Kingdom--that's what a Disneyland Park is to them. And they don't give a crap what anyone in the west thinks because that's not where their customers are coming from!

    Edited to correct spelling.
    Last edited by The Goddess Mara; 06-27-2006 at 03:48 PM.

  10. #10

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    Re: George Mitchell confirms that Shanghai awaiting gov't nod

    Quote Originally Posted by The Goddess Mara
    You folks don't get it: the Chinese in Shanghai don't want DisneySea or Epcot.
    They want a Magic Kingdom--that's what a Disneyland Park is to them. And they don't give a crap what anyone in the west thinks because that's not where they're customers are coming from!
    whatever....
    just give them what they want...
    perhaps Disney Monkey God World, Mulan Land or ...Snow white and the 7 KungFu Monk Centre
    Last edited by HongKongDisneyland; 06-25-2006 at 08:06 AM.

  11. #11

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    Re: George Mitchell confirms that Shanghai awaiting gov't nod

    Quote Originally Posted by The Goddess Mara
    You folks don't get it: the Chinese in Shanghai don't want DisneySea or Epcot.
    They want a Magic Kingdom--that's what a Disneyland Park is to them. And they don't give a crap what anyone in the west thinks because that's not where they're customers are coming from!
    I have no doubt that Shanghai will get exactly that - another version of the Magic Kingdom. It is a shame, because it no longer means Disneyland is the 'happiest place on Earth', but rather a brand name to be stamped in a quest for global dominance.

    Now, it might be nave of me to have thought otherwise in the first place - as Disneyland has, is, and always will be a giant walk-through advertisement of the Disney Empire - but I still like to imagine Disneyland as something special. I'm sure many on this forum feel the same way. The growing 'cut n paste' parks worry me, as it takes aways from the uniqueness that one or two parks provide. It makes perfect business sense to ship the product wholesale over to a hungry new market, but on a personal level, I'd like to see the Imagineers - who we know are capable of more than copying their own work - try something completely new. As it stands, I don't think we will be seeing any 'new' Disney parks without a Magic Kingdom next door.
    I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out. - Bill Hicks


  12. #12

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    Re: George Mitchell confirms that Shanghai awaiting gov't nod

    just wait for disneyland bombey(SP) because they want to build a park in india but that is a very long time down the road. I think mitchell wanted to have one last hurrah before leaving and so he dropped what he thought was a bit of news. I also think he wanted to leave the company with a signed deal but that isn't going to happen. and how many times has the mayor of seoul announced that they are in talks with disney to build a disneyland korea? I know asians love mickey mouse but it's getting funny how all these parks are going to be built when the existing ones still need lots of attention and money spent on them.

  13. #13

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    Re: George Mitchell confirms that Shanghai awaiting gov't nod

    Well good maybe Mitchell is leaving.

  14. #14

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    Re: George Mitchell confirms that Shanghai awaiting gov't nod

    Quote Originally Posted by tloolgb
    Well good maybe Mitchell is leaving.
    He is:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...ks1kU&refer=us

    Disney Names Pepper as Chairman to Succeed Mitchell (Update3)

    June 28 (Bloomberg) -- Walt Disney Co., the second-biggest U.S. media company, named former Procter & Gamble Co. Chief Executive Officer John E. Pepper as chairman, succeeding former U.S. Senator George Mitchell.

    Pepper, 67, will take over at the beginning of next year, Burbank, California-based Disney said today in a statement. Mitchell, 72, will retire from the board on Dec. 31.
    I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out. - Bill Hicks


  15. #15

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    Re: George Mitchell confirms that Shanghai awaiting gov't nod

    Ooh well. Nice.

    So what do we know about Mr Pepper?

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