Shanghai may wait longer for Disney magic

13:24, July 08, 2010      

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The planned Disneyland Park in Shanghai will break ground as early as November, one year after the project was approved by the central government in 2009, sources close to the project said on Wednesday.

"The chosen area to build the future Disney World Resort, formerly an area scattered with homes and farms, has been cleared for construction," said a villager surnamed Ge, who lives in a nearby village that failed to become part of the amusement park.

"There has been huge change in this area in the past half year. After relocation, there are only four or five houses still standing on the spacious plot of land. Apparently, they have not reached a deal with the government over relocation compensation," he said.

China Business News also reported on Tuesday that negotiations for the Disney project have entered the final stretch, and construction is likely to start in November.

Disney refused to confirm the news.

"All we can tell you at this stage is that the final talks between Disney and the Shanghai government have not ended, and to produce a final deal may take a few more months. We will announce the final deal and a timeframe for opening in the future," said Disney China's Shanghai office in an e-mailed statement.

Lu Qilin, director of the Shanghai-based Uwin Real Estate Research Center, expressed concern that Disneyland's groundbreaking may not happen so soon.

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