“Since we announced this project and put shovels in the ground, we’ve seen tremendous development in China” said Bob Iger today of the Shanghai Disney Resort. Citing “more interest in the Disney brand in China” and surges in internal tourism, the CEO today announced a big further investment in the resort at the Milken Institute’s Global Conference. “We’ve decided we’d accelerate the expansion,” Iger said as he announced Disney is putting another $800 million into the project. Set to open in late 2015, that now makes Shanghai Disney Resort a $5.5 billion investment. “This is a big step and a huge vote of confidence in the project,” Iger told the standing room only ballroom which included former LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in the front row.
Disney owns 43% of the still under construction resort with local partner Shanghai Shendi Group having the other 57%.The new investment announced today is coming proportionately from both parties based on their percentage of ownership. Under development since 2005, the estimated 963-acre facility will feature a theme park, a 46,000-square-meter retail area, dining and entertainment, two hotels, a lake, recreational facilities, transit hubs and parking. (more…)