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In Focus: Tokyo, Paris, Now Shanghai: Small World for Disney Parks

In Focus: Tokyo, Paris, Now Shanghai: Small World for Disney Parks

BY KELVIN CHAN, AP Business Writer

 

HONG KONG (AP) — Walt Disney Co.'s new $5.5 billion Shanghai theme park, which officially opened Thursday as the company's sixth resort. Here's a look at Disney's parks around the world:

CALIFORNIA:

The original Disneyland opened in 1955. Company founder Walt Disney oversaw its construction in Anaheim, California, on a 65-hectare (160-acre) orange farm. The park's original four themed areas—Fantasyland, Frontierland, Adventureland and Tomorrowland—were later joined by Critter Country and New Orleans Square. A Star Wars-themed expansion is underway.

FILE - In this Jan. 22, 2015, file photo, visitors follow Mickey Mouse for photos at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. Disneyland, the original theme park, opened in 1955. Company founder Walt Disney oversaw its construction on a 65-hectare (160-acre) orange farm in what was then a semi-rural part of Orange County. The park’s original four themed areas - Fantasyland, Frontierland, Adventureland and Tomorrowland - were later joined by Critter Country and New Orleans Square. A Star Wars-themed expansion is in the works. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

 

FLORIDA:

Disneyworld, the company's flagship resort, was built on former swampland south of Orlando as an alternative to the West Coast park. Its 10,000 hectares (25,000 acres) are home to the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom theme parks. Disneyworld has rolled out new technology for visitors, who use wireless wristbands as admission passes and hotel room keys, and smartphone apps to order food.

JAPAN:

Tokyo Disneyland, the company's first park outside the United States, opened in 1983, about 10 kilometers (six miles) east of downtown on Tokyo Bay. Both it and DisneySea, which opened in 2001, are owned by Japan's Oriental Land Co., which pays licensing fees to Disney. The nearly 200-hectare (500-acre) park is expanding to include a new Scandinavian-themed area for DisneySea with attractions based on the hit movie "Frozen."

EUROPE:

Disney brought its vision of Americana to France with the opening of Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney Studios Park in 1992. To please France, French is the main language for the park, which includes French and European-themed attractions. Mickey and Donald retained their names, but Goofy is called Dingo and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs are Blanche Neige et Les Sept Nains. The 1,780-hectare (4,400 acre) park, 32 kilometers (20 miles) east of Paris, has performed disappointingly. Its publicly listed operator, Euro Disney, took a 1 billion-euro (then-$1.3 billion) bailout in 2015 from Disney, which in return got a controlling stake.

FILE - In this May 12, 2015, file photo, visitors walk past Buzz Lightning next to the entrance of the Toy Story Playland at Walt Disney Studios Park Paris, in Chessy, east of Paris, France. Disney brought its vision of Americana to France with the opening of Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney Studios Park in 1992. To please France, French is the main language for the park, which includes French and European-themed attractions. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)

 

HONG KONG:

Hong Kong Disneyland opened in 2005 and has been faulted for a lack of big ticket attractions and small size, at less than 121 hectares (300 acres). One time, the park shut its gates because it was full, turning away hundreds of mainland Chinese and Taiwanese ticket holders, some of whom tried to force their way in. Hong Kong's government owns 53 percent of the park, which didn't turn a profit until 2012 and sank back into the red last year. A $465 million expansion including an Iron Man-themed area is set to open later this year.

In this Friday, June 10, 2016 photo, a girl poses with Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse at the Hong Kong Disneyland. Hong Kong Disneyland opened in 2005 and has been faulted for a lack of big ticket attractions and its small size, at less than 121 hectares (300 acres). One time, the park shut its gates because it was full, turning away hundreds of mainland Chinese and Taiwanese ticket holders, some of whom tried to force their way in. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

 

SHANGHAI: Analysts expect Shanghai Disneyland to become the world's most-visited theme park, attracting up to 50 million guests a year. The 390-hectare (963-acre) facility is 57 percent owned by government-backed Shanghai Shendi Group. It is designed to appeal to Chinese visitors with such highlights as teahouse and a "Garden of the Twelve Friends," with characters like Remy from "Ratatouille" and Tigger from "Winnie the Pooh" as animals of the Chinese Zodiac.

 

ALSO READ: Daily Diaries: Arci Muñoz Is Proof that Theme Parks Are Not Just for Kids

 

Banner image: A Disney character takes part in a parade on the eve of the opening of the Disney Resorts in Shanghai, China, Wednesday, June 15, 2016. The debut of Shanghai Disneyland offers Walt Disney Co. "incredible potential" for boosting its brand in the world's most populous market, Disney's chief executive said Wednesday ahead of Thursday's grand opening for the $5.5 billion park. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

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