Weekly insights into our crazy world.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013



The Walt Disney Corporation will take a step closer to world domination in December of 2015.  That's the date when the Shanghai Disney Resort will officially open its doors.  Covering nearly 1,000 acres, it will cost $3.7 billion US dollars to construct.  When finished, the Disney Resort Shanghai will have the largest Sleeping Beauty Castle of any of the six Disney Destinations. 

You're asking yourself: Doesn't China already have a Disney Resort?  Correct!  Hong Kong Disneyland opened in 2005.  However, technically speaking, Hong Kong is still not part of China, per se.  Like neighboring Macao, these two areas are classified as Special Administrative Regions (SAR).  Chinese citizens cannot just enter into a SAR.  Special Visas are required and only a limited number of Chinese visitors can enter each year. 

Nonetheless, the immense resort has become amazingly lucrative, far exceeding expected results.  The Disney CEO, Bob Iger, knows this.  He understands that millions of Chinese citizens still visit Hong Kong Disneyland...despite the paperwork headache.  So, it only make fiscal sense to build another, even bigger, amusement park in the People's Republic of China itself. 

Next question: How does a Communist country allow such blatant private enterprise as a gigantic Disneyland?  Well, the Walt Disney Corporation technically only owns 43% of the Resort.  The remaining 57% is owned by the city government of Shanghai.  The questions keep coming:  How do people in Communist China even know about Disney?  Answer: They don't.  Everyone in the Western World grew up with the constant barrage of Disney cartoons, movies and merchandise.  However, an average Chinese citizen only vaguely knows of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck.  During his frequent visits to China, CEO Iger noticed.   He says the new park will be "the best of Disney, but designed specifically for the people of China.

In conclusion, we here at the DUNER BLOG have mixed emotions towards the Shanghai Disney Resort.  On one hand, we fear the Disney corporation's worldwide takeover.  With $75 billion in total assets, it should be included in G20 talks!  On the other hand, we applaud the opening of mainland China to US business, investment and culture. For example, the City of Shanghai is holding an online vote as to which design the new Disneyland subway station would have.  Anyone can log on and select the design they like best.  However, we still can't see Chairman Mao visiting the Happiest Place on Earth...

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