Even before Walt Disney Co. opened Euro Disneyland outside Paris in 1992, French intellectuals called the park a "cultural Chernobyl," workers protested the Disney dress code and neighbors complained that the park's train whistles provoked their dogs to bark and geese to honk. But Paris came to embrace its new neighbor and now the park attracts 10.4 million people a year, more than the number of visitors to the Louvre museum or the Eiffel Tower. On June 16, Disney will open its biggest and most expensive international resort -- a nearly 1,000-acre, 5.5-billion development in Shanghai -- and company executives know the challenges of trying to take the Disney magic abroad. If it proves a hit, Shanghai Disney will add momentum to the Burbank entertainment giant's efforts to turn China's 1.4 billion citizens into more voracious consumers of Mouse House merchandise and films. Shanghai Disneyland won't swing wide its gates to the general public until June 16, but pre-opening visitors to Walt Disney Co.'s first theme park in mainland China already have found something to complain about amid operational tests for a dazzling array of attractions: the prices, particularly... Shanghai Disneyland won't swing wide its gates to the general public until June 16, but pre-opening visitors to Walt Disney Co.'s first theme park in mainland China already have found something to complain about amid operational tests for a dazzling array of attractions: the prices, particularly... Disney's target is the country's upper middle class, which is forecast to double to 100 million by 2020, according to the Boston Consulting Group.
A rendering of a Ratatouille-theme ride that the Walt Disney Co. plans to add in the France pavilion in World Showcase at Epcot. The big golf ball stays, but Epcot will be getting a "Disneyfied" makeover. A roller coaster and a Ratatouille-themed ride are among the new attractions that will be added, part of Walt Disney Co.'s efforts to infuse the 35-year old future-and-culture theme park with more of its character brands. Major "storytelling and "immersive" experiences are also planned at other domestic parks in its bid to keep gate turnstiles turning by maximizing fans' familiarity with its movies, according to a slew of announcements by the company on Saturday at the D23 Expo 2017 in Anaheim, a convention for Disney fans. A majority of the new projects are scheduled to be completed by 2021.
From a "Guardians of the Galaxy" thrill ride to a "Tron" coaster, there are dozens of attractions planned to open at the Disney Parks in the coming years. Fans may be looking to save their next trip until the headliner attractions release, but for those wanting to visit Disney World in Orlando, Florida, or Disneyland in Anaheim, California, in 2018, there are still new adventures to anticipate at the U.S. theme parks.
Walt Disney Co. has planted its biggest flag with the opening of a third resort destination in Asia. The Shanghai Disney Resort, which opened in June, cost at least $5.5 billion and sprawls across almost 1,000 acres of former farmland. It joins a two-park Tokyo resort (owned and operated by Japan-based Oriental Land Co. with a license from Disney) and a Hong Kong resort that debuted in 2005. At their openings, both California Adventure in Anaheim, which opened in 2001, and Hong Kong Disneyland were met with criticism -- that the parks were smaller, with too few original attractions, and that they were done on the cheap. Disney couldn't afford the same reaction in Shanghai, so it upped the ante.
LOS ANGELES – As part of a flurry of investments announced Saturday by the company's theme-park division, Walt Disney Co. said it will build an immersive "Star Wars" hotel at its resort in Orlando, Florida. Disney revealed the two "Star Wars" themed lands it is building will be called "Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge," with the one at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, set to open first in 2019 and the Orlando one opening later that same year. Disney parks and resorts division Chairman Bob Chapek made the announcement Saturday at the company's D23 Expo, a biennial event for fans held at the Anaheim Convention Center, near the company's Disneyland and California Adventure parks. Theme parks are Disney's second-largest division after television. The company has been investing heavily in the business on the premise that park attractions can't easily be copied by competitors or made obsolete by new technology.