Disney China theme park opening delayed to 2016: report

Disney China theme park opening delayed to 2016: report
A woman rides a motorcycle taxi with a Minnie Mouse balloon in Beijing on November 7, 2013.

SHANGHAI - US entertainment giant Disney's first theme park in mainland China will have its opening delayed to next year, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The US$5.5 billion (S$7.4 billion) park in Shanghai's Pudong district was originally due to welcome its first customers this year, but will only do so in the first half of 2016, the paper said Monday, citing people close to the project.

It gave no reason for the delay.

Disney in Shanghai did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The English-language China Daily newspaper reported in January that there might be "some difficulty" with a 2015 opening. Disney and its Chinese partner, Shanghai Shendi Group, broke ground on the park in April 2011.

The facility will be Disney's third in Asia after Hong Kong and Tokyo. It also has parks in the US states of California and Florida, as well as near the French capital Paris.

A partially completed hotel, castle and artificial mountain were visible within the tightly guarded site on Monday, AFP journalists saw.

Speaking last week, Shanghai mayor Yang Xiong declined to give an opening date.

"We will complete the basic construction of Shanghai Disney Resort and its ancillary facilities in 2015," he told reporters.

"As for the exact opening date, I guess we still need to do more preparatory work and have further discussions with the Walt Disney Company as well as other Chinese partners." Shanghai will complete a metro line extension to the park this year, Yang told local lawmakers in January.

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