January 10, 2009

Disney wants Chinese theme park

The Walt Disney Co. is pursuing a proposal to build a $3.59 billion theme park in mainland China, the company said.

The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday that the project, dubbed Shanghai Disneyland would be one of the largest-ever foreign investments in China.

Leslie Goodman, an executive vice president at Disney's Parks and Resorts unit, told the newspaper the proposal is preliminary.

As part of this lengthy process, we worked on a joint application report with the Shanghai government which will be submitted to the central government for review, she said. No deal has been signed, no project has been approved.

Disney has a 3-year-old park in Hong Kong that is struggling.

The long-sought mainland China project would create an estimated 50,000 new jobs. A source familiar with the project said China's souring economy has breathed new urgency into the project.

I think it will really fly now given the current economic climate, the source was quoted as saying.