Disney China opening delayed to 2016

Disney China opening delayed to 2016
In this picture taken on February 2, 2015 shows the construction site of a Disney amusement park in Shanghai.

NEW YORK - US entertainment giant Disney's first theme park in mainland China will not open until early 2016, the company said Tuesday.

Chief executive Robert Iiger said the delay will push the debut of the Shanghai version of the Magic Kingdom from later this year to spring 2016.

No reason was given for the delay.

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 said the basic construction of the park and ancillary facilities would be completed this year.

"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 subway line extension to the park this year, Yang said in January.

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