New Disney Theme Park Opens in Shanghai


The American entertainment giant Disney has opened a new theme park in Shanghai, China. The new park cost a total of 5.5 billion dollars and is Disney's biggest theme park outside the United States. It took over 5 years and a series of negotiations with Chinese authorities to open the park. Disney will compete against a number of Chinese theme parks that have been emerging in the Communist country.

The Shanghai entertainment centre has a total size of almost a thousand acres and includes restaurants, toyshops, hotels and everything else you would expect in a theme park. It also has many Chinese elements. Disney characters wear Chinese silk jackets, Jack Sparrow, legendary figure in Pirates of the Caribbean, speaks Chinese and restaurants are in Chinese style. Even 70% of the food is Chinese.

About 30 million visitors are expected to visit the Shanghai park every year, making it the most visited theme park in the world.  The new park is aimed at attracting especially China's rising middle class. Disney estimates that up to 300 million people live within a three-hour ride of the new theme park and could be potential visitors.


The opening of the new Disney park comes at a time in which economic growth is slowing down in China. However, the Communist country has been experiencing a rise in tourism from all over the world. The Hong Kong Disneyworld , which was opened in 2005, started slowly, but in the past years has grown steadily. Disney leaders hope the same will happen in Shanghai.



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  • acre = a unit for measuring how big something is; an acre is about 4000 square meters
  • aim = plan to
  • attract = here: to get people to visit the park
  • authorities = group of people who make decisions and have power
  • billion = a thousand million
  • character = a person in a book or movie
  • compete = to try to be better than other companies
  • economic growth = when a country produces more and more goods and services
  • emerge = come up, appear
  • entertainment = things that amuse people or let them have fun
  • especially = above all
  • expect = here: the people who run the theme park think that …
  • experience = undergo, face
  • however = but
  • include = to have in it
  • legendary = well-known
  • negotiation = official discussion between two groups of people who try to agree on something
  • potential = possible
  • rise = increase, growth
  • series = many
  • silk = smooth soft cloth made out of thread that is produced by a silkworm
  • steadily = slowly