Another month, another story about how negotiations for Shanghai Disneyland are almost… almost… at an end. Again.
The Shanghai Daily is reporting that construction on the new resort will begin next month, following the closure of the Shanghai World Expo on October 31st.
Preparations on the ground have been underway for some time now, with some infrastructure upgrades already complete and, most noticeably, the forced eviction this year of residents from the site. Despite the years of negotiations, though, there’s still not a final deal with the Chinese government; Shanghai Daily quotes Fan Xiping, deputy secretary general of the city government, as saying the negotiations are in the “final stretch.”
Meanwhile, Disney Imagineers have been working in secret over the last several years on concepts for the project; current plans for the new park call for something along the lines of a traditional Disneyland-type “Magic Kingdom” but with several new and unique features. Many former Imagineers have been brought in to contribute to the project, and the skies between Los Angeles and Shanghai have been busy shuttling Disney creative and business staff back and forth. Disney has so far refrained from releasing any information about the new park, but certainly one would expect that to change when the final agreements are reached and construction begins. At least, one would hope so.
So, after years of hearing that the final agreement for Shanghai Disneyland is just a handshake away, is this the really-for-real final countdown? We’ll see what happens at the end of the month. But it certainly seems like the wheels are in motion…