Star Wars, Marvel superheroes to welcome visitors to Shanghai Disneyland

The unveiled scale model of the entrance of the future Shanghai Disneyland is seen during a news conference, in Shanghai, July 15, 2015. ― Reuters pic
The unveiled scale model of the entrance of the future Shanghai Disneyland is seen during a news conference, in Shanghai, July 15, 2015. ― Reuters pic

SHANGHAI, July 15 ― Mickey Mouse, Peter Pan and Han Solo will beckon visitors to Shanghai when Walt Disney Co opens its first theme park in China in the spring of next year.

The US$5.5 billion (RM20.9 billion) theme park, being developed with China's state-owned Shanghai Shendi Group, will transport visitors to six themed “worlds” and offer other attractions based on “Star Wars” and the Marvel Comics' superheroes, including “Iron Man”, “Spider-Man” and the “Hulk”.

Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of the iconic US entertainment firm, told a news conference in Shanghai today that the park would be “authentically Disney and distinctively Chinese”.

The park will “not only showcase the best of Disney's story telling but also celebrates and incorporates China's incredibly rich heritage,” Iger said at an ceremony in Shanghai, where the firm unveiled a miniature-sized model of the park.

Visitors will be able to pass along “Mickey Avenue”, float through “Adventure Isle”, “Fantasyland” and “Treasure Cove”, before taking off for “Tomorrowland”.

Disney, which opened its largest ever store in Shanghai in May, will be hoping it can tap into growth in the world's second largest economy, despite China's recent slowdown.

Disney earlier this year delayed the opening of Shanghai Disneyland until the first half of 2016 from a scheduled start at the end of 2015 as it expanded plans for the park. The park is now scheduled to have a grand opening in spring next year.

The firm's park and resorts segment brought in US$15.1 billion globally last year, around a third of its total revenues. Disney is also tapping into China's film market, with the latest outing of its “Avengers” series taking the number two spot in country's 20.4 billion yuan box office for the first half of the year. ― Reuters

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