Whenever a new year begins, people tend to ponder the future, wondering what the year will bring, scheduling trips to their favorite Disney Parks, and dreaming of what lies ahead. As we venture into this new year, let’s peer a little bit further into the future.
In about four to five years, Guests will be able to cross the Pacific Ocean for a visit to a brand new Disney Resort in the Far East. Shanghai Disney Resort will be “a whole new world of fantasy, imagination, creativity and adventure.” Located on 963 acres in Pudong, Shanghai, with room to expand, the Resort will include Shanghai Disneyland Park, resembling its sister Disneyland Parks around the world, as well as two themed hotels and a shopping/dining/entertainment venue.
The Disney Company and its partners broke ground on the project in April of last year after gaining approval from the Chinese central government in Beijing. Shanghai Disney Resort will become the second Disney facility in China and the first in Mainland China. (Hong Kong and Macau are excluded from that geopolitical designation.) Disney CEO and President, Bob Iger, said the Resort “will be a world-class family vacation destination that combines classic Disney characters and storytelling with the uniqueness and beauty of China. Working with our Chinese partners, the Shanghai Disney Resort will be both authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese.” Simply put, the Resort will include familiar and beloved signature Disney features, but will provide ambiance and unique experiences that can only be found in Shanghai.
In Magic Kingdom style, Shanghai Disneyland will consist of several themed “lands,” each with its own iconic attractions, entertainment and experiences. The lands will center around Storybook Castle, which is to be the most interactive Disney castle yet, complete with entertainment, dining and performance settings. The Park will also will feature a beautiful, 11-acre green space at its center, which will reinforce themes of sustainability and nature integrated throughout the Park and will provide Guests space to enjoy local cultural celebrations and customs.
As I mentioned above, Hong Kong and Macau are excluded from the geopolitical region referred to as Mainland China. Research this distinction to understand how they are governed and regulated differently than the rest of the populace. I found very few legitimate explanations online, so you may need to head to your local library. I suggest studying at least three different resources in order to gain a firm understanding of the governmental operations of China.
Also look into China’s economic tendencies. “China’s economy during the last quarter century has changed from a centrally planned system that was largely closed to international trade to a more market-oriented economy that has a rapidly growing private sector and is a major player in the global economy,” states one online source.
Once you have a good grasp on the subject, do the following activity to gain appreciation for just how amazing it is that China, a Communist nation with socialistic tendencies, will now have not only one but two Disney Resorts, something that is very representational of a democratic, capitalistic society.
Imagine yourself in the position of Disney CEO and President Bob Iger. Write a letter to the heads of the People’s Republic of China proposing this new theme park and resort. What points would Mr. Iger need to address to convince the governing authorities to host such a venue in their country? How will a (second) theme park benefit China? How will it benefit the United States to have an American corporation maintain such a strong presence in such a society? What impact on the overall world economic outlook will this venture have?
SUBJECT: Government, Economics, Social Science, Communications
SKILL LEVEL: High School