SHANGHAI is still strongly leaning towards building a Disney theme park, government sources say, and construction could begin in 2010 if negotiations proceed well.
“The Shanghai municipal government has set up a special team with the United States-based Walt Disney Co that will study a theme park plan,” said Li Wei, a spokesman for the Shanghai municipal government.
“Once the team reaches a consensus on relevant requirements, the municipal government will formally raise the theme park plan to the central government for approval.”
The office also said the municipal government will invite staff members involved in the design and construction of the Hong Kong Disney theme park to join the project.
Walt Disney Co could not be reached for comment but a Hong Kong-based Disney spokesman Irene Chan said earlier the company has so far focused its attention on the Hong Kong park due to open in 2005.
Chan admitted there is a possibility of a second theme park in China.
The Hong Kong park will cost around US$3bil (RM11.4bil) and hopefully attract 5.6 million visitors in its first year.
Shanghai has been in contact with Disney to build a theme park in its Pudong District since the late 1990s.
Local media reported last July city officials had signed a non-binding letter of intent on a Disney park project.
A park would be located in the western part of Chuansha Town in the city’s Pudong District, media reports have said.
But the government and Disney have denied the reports.
Zhu Qing, an official with the Chuansha local government said on Wednesday the 660ha of land in the western part of the town is still undeveloped and restricted to ordinary businesses. – People's Daily