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Expansion in Asia depends on Shanghai Disneyland's success: Walt Disney CEO

IANS  |  Los Angeles 

The Shanghai Disneyland will open its doors next year, but the development has sparked anticipation about similar theme parks opening in other Asian countries as well. But while admitting to a possibility of exploring another Disney destination in Asia, Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, says they don't want to rush into anything.

"On the question of opening another park in Asia, the answer is probably yes. But we want to walk before we run. We need to build this one and make sure it is successful. Looking at the population of Asia and geographical location, there should be another opportunity for Disney, but it is not something that we are going to rush into," said Iger while briefing international media on Friday at the D23 Expo 2015 being held in Anaheim.

Iger also noted that with the new park they are aiming at "delivering distinctly Chinese authentic Disney experience".

The new Disneyland is expected to feature six theme lands, including a "Pirates Of The Caribbean" park. Other highlights are Adventure Isle, Tomorrowland, Treasure Cove and Fantasyland.

The CEO emphasised that "it is the one of the most exciting project he is involved" in with a wide scope for expansion.

"There is an ample opportunity to expand in the Shanghai, but the agreement that we have with the government is to take expansion into consider after we open," he said.

The world of Disney has opened its doors in Hawaii, California, Florida, Japan, France and Hong Kong. The new theme park will be the seventh on the list.

Iger said they have added "Chinese elements" to the park to connect with the people of China.

"It has Chinese elements. We have many shows being rehearsed by Chinese artists for instance Chinese design, acrobats, costume design, language and food," he said.

So, what makes it different from the rest?

"It is different in many aspects, but there are many similarities as well. Like, we have a castle as we thought that castle is the most iconic thing about Disney. The castle is one of the biggest we have made. China is a largest county with largest population and Shanghai is largest city in China, so how can we not build largest castle.

"Another key element of the upcoming park is original attractions that have never been a part of Disneyland. We believe Shanghai stands for originality and deserves to have things that we have never done before," he said.

(The writer's trip is at the invitation of Disney. Sugandha Rawal can be contacted at

-- Indo-Asian News Service


First Published: Sun, August 16 2015. 17:42 IST