Disney CEO Bob Iger has shared detailed plans for the currently-under-construction Disney Shanghai, according to The Hollywood Reporter. In his presentation, Iger said that the theme park will include both Marvel and Star Wars-themed attractions, which makes sense seeing as, after the $5.5 billion theme park, those two franchises are most expensive things that Disney owns. Marvel details were scant, but Iger indicated that plans for the “Star Wars Launch Bay” include exhibits and characters from a galaxy far, far away.
Iger promises that Disney has “learned from our six decades…to create a truly magical place that is both authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese,” because if anybody knows how to distill distinct, authentic cultural nuance, it’s The Walt Disney Company. The six themed “lands” will include Adventure Isle, Gardens of Imagination, Mickey Avenue, Tomorrowland, Treasure Cove and Fantasyland.
The theme park is just the latest in Western studios’ attempts to appeal to billions of Eastern ticket buyers. Plenty of movies are filmed there, like Transformers: Age Of Extinction and the upcoming Need For Speed 2, and our friends in the East have enough cinematic gravity that we even futzed around with Iron Man 3’s bad guy, transforming a hodgepodge of Chinese stereotypes into a mumbling, drug-addled englishman. The rising superpower accounts for an ever-increasing amount of ticket sales, and Hollywood studios are afraid that China is simply going to make its own studios and muscle them out.
Shanghai Disney is scheduled to help redistribute wealth from China’s middle class into the Magic Kingdom when it opens next spring.