Walt Disney Co. has pushed back the opening of its US$5.5 billion theme park in Shanghai to the first half of 2016 from the end of this year, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing unnamed sources.
The park, a joint venture between Disney and entities under the Shanghai municipal government, was first envisioned to open in 2008, but planning and construction have already taken more than a decade.
The precise reasons for the delay aren’t clear, other than officials want to ensure a successful, trouble-free opening.
Last week, Shanghai Mayor Yang Xiong said basic construction is expected to be completed by the end of the year, but he indicated that a year-end opening is unlikely especially in the aftermath of the New Year’s Eve stampede in the city’s waterfront which claimed 36 lives.
To maximize the impact, Disney is more likely to open the theme park in the spring than during the winter months, or close to the Lunar New Year holiday in early February, the newspaper said.
Shanghai Shendi, a consortium of property, tourism and media companies run by the local government, holds 57 percent of Shanghai Disney Resort, while Disney owns the remaining stake, the report said.
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