Bob Iger promises to build ‘China’s Disneyland’ in Shanghai
Walt Disney Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Robert Iger revealed details about the company’s forthcoming Shanghai Disney Resort while appearing at the Fortune Global Forum in Chengdu, China.
Speaking on Thursday at the annual conference, Iger said the planned Shanghai development “can’t be the Disneyland that Walt built in 1955 for all kinds of reasons.... It has to look, feel, resemble China’s Disneyland. And that has taken a lot of thought, a lot of work.”
Shanghai Disney Resort, which is under construction, is slated to include two hotels, 495,000 square feet of retail space, a dining and entertainment venue, a lake and other facilities and amenities. It is expected to open at the end of 2015.
Iger said that the theme park would include a version of the company’s signature castle, but also elements “that don’t exist in any of the parks that we have.”
The Burbank-based entertainment conglomerate has some experience in the country -- the company opened Hong Kong Disneyland in 2005.
Disney has adapted to the proclivities of its customers there. Iger noted that the company learned that “people who visit Hong Kong Disneyland like to spend twice as much time eating than they do in Florida or California or even Paris and Tokyo.”
Iger said Disney made changes to meet its customers’ dining needs at the Hong Kong park. “Now, we quickly adjusted, but that’s something all the research in the world I don’t believe would have taught us,” he said.
At Disney’s annual meeting in March, Iger said he’d spent 15 years on the Shanghai project. “This is personally very special to me,” he said.
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