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China: Shanghai Disneyland

Walt Disney Co. opened Shanghai Disneyland, its first theme park in mainland China, in June 2016 with a lavish celebration featuring Communist Party leaders, a children’s choir, Sleeping Beauty and other Disney characters.

A vice premier joined Disney CEO Bob Iger in cutting the grand opening’s red ribbon, showing the ruling party’s support for the U.S. $5.5 billion investment in promoting tourism at a time of slowing economic growth.

“This is one of the proudest and most exciting moments in the history of the Walt Disney Co.,” Iger said after the choir sang. Later, actors dressed as Sleeping Beauty, Donald Duck and other Disney characters danced on stage.

The company hopes Shanghai Disneyland will burnish the brand behind Frozen in the world’s most populous film market and help revive Disney’s struggling international theme park business.

Analysts expect Shanghai Disneyland to become the world’s most-visited theme park, attracting at least 15 million and as many as 50 million guests a year.

The Associated Press

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