BEIJING, March 7 (Reuters) - Shanghai is making preliminary preparations for a Disney theme park, the city's mayor told reporters on Tuesday.
"The key thing is to have an overall plan from the State Council," mayor Han Zheng said.
Asked if the city would build such a park, he replied: "We hope to."
Shanghai and Beijing are believed to want to build Disneylands, but such large-scale investments must be approved by the central government.
The Walt Disney Co. (DIS.N: Quote
) last year opened Hong Kong Disneyland with hopes of catering to a large number of mainland tourists.
The company, which operates a Disneyland in Tokyo, has said it is unlikely to open a second China park before 2010 -- the year Shanghai is scheduled to hold the World Expo.
U.S.-based Disney said more than a year ago that it was considering a theme park in Shanghai.
But Disney's China chief, Stanley Cheung, last month told Reuters the company had not reached any deal to build a park in Shanghai and had no plan to build one in Beijing at this time.