Disneyland in China – level 3
Disney has opened its first theme park in mainland China today. This comes just a day after a 2-year-old toddler was grabbed and killed by an alligator at the Orlando Disney resort.
Tens of thousands of fans flocked to the theme park today after a grand opening ceremony.
Disney's largest overseas investment at 5.5 billion dollars, the park is a bet on China's middle class and booming domestic tourism. The U.S. firm hopes it will offset an otherwise lacklustre international theme park business.
Disney's chief executive stressed that China is continuing to make itself more attractive to investment from around the world that in turn is mutually beneficial to America. He even had a message from President Barack Obama.
"The opening occurs during the US-China Tourism Year and it reflects the growing relationship between our nations. It promotes further cultural exchanges and underscores the importance of China continuing to make itself more attractive to investment from around the world that is mutually beneficial to both our countries. Barack Obama."
The company has said that they aimed to build China Disneyland rather than Disneyland in China. With that in mind, Main Street has been replaced by Mickey Avenue to reduce the feel of Americana, while attractions include the Chinese-style Wandering Moon tea house, a Chinese Zodiac-themed garden, and a Tarzan musical featuring Chinese acrobats.
The firm estimates 330 million people within a 3-hour radius of Shanghai, the country's financial centre, will be able to afford to come to the park. Looks like good news for the company and possibly a good way to deflect from recent events.
Difficult words: toddler (a young child just beginning to walk), grab (take, catch), flock (come in large numbers), lacklustre (not doing well), mutually beneficial (beneficial – helpful for both sides), underscore (underline, emphasise), Americana (American things), deflect (change direction).
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