Like all examples of the creeping co-option of other cultures by American mass entertainment, the notion of a Chinese Disney fan base tickles our fancy. But will it be a success, considering Hong King Disneyland is a constant underperformer and Disney theme parks overall have been pinched by the global economic downturn? Surely it's bad news for the planned Marvel-Disney park in Dubai, originally scheduled to open in 2011 but whose details are a complete mystery compared to this new venture. Perhaps the company is giving up on Dubai and the concept of mixing superheroes with princesses, mice and whatever Goofy is. Or they know something we don't, which is why as Walt Disney predicted we all live in geodesic domes nowadays.
A CNN Money article offers some suggestions for Shanghai Disneyland based on Ocean Park, a family attraction currently eating Hong Kong Disneyland's lunch thanks to Canadian chairman Allan Zeman. Zeman's tips include offering local dishes over Americanized food, adding zoo-like animal exhibits to the cartoon animals on display and becoming more responsive to the press. By announcing the park plans while still in their infancy, Disney may have taken strides towards the latter, but we'll wait by the phone just in case.
[Photo of Mickey and Minnie dressed for Chinese New Year at Hong Kong Disneyland: knoizki]