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Shanghai Disneyland may be built in Chongming
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Walt Disney Co is negotiating with Shanghai authorities about building a theme park on Chongming Island, a person with inside information confirmed with Shanghai Daily today.


Former reports said the park would be built in the Chuansha area of Pudong.


A well-informed source told the newspaper China Business that the central government approved the plan after the Special Olympic Games and that construction would begin after World Expo 2010.


"Disney will increase the investment by 10 billion yuan (US$1.36 billion) to 40 billion yuan and the location may be changed to Chongming from Pudong," the source told China Business.


It will be the second theme park in China for Disney, the world's largest theme park operator. The other is in Hong Kong.


The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government formed a joint venture with Walt Disney to build a US$3.5-billion theme park that opened on September 12 in 2005.


However, lower attendance and guest spending at the park made the park fail to meet performance targets set by its lenders, which relate to a US$294 million loan and a line of credit that hasn't been used.


The Hong Kong park drew 5.2 million visitors in the 12 months following its September 2005 opening, fewer than the 5.6 million forecast. Disney holds 43 percent of Hong Kong International Theme Parks Ltd, which owns the facility.


The company told Shanghai Daily last year that if it was to reach an agreement for a second park in China, it would not open before 2010 as the Hong Kong government feared a Shanghai park would take tourists away from the SAR.


Chongming is at the mouth of the Yangtze River and covers an area of 1,200 square kilometers.



(Shanghai Daily December 4, 2007)


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