Earlier this month Disney opened its first theme park in mainland China in the cosmopolitan city of Shanghai. Tens of thousands of enthusiastic visitors came on opening day, creating disturbingly long lines at the new Magic Kingdom with Chinese characteristics.
One amusement park may not be enough for China, but two might be just right. Several Chinese cities are now competing to be the site of the country’s second Disneyland.
The Chongqing city government in southwestern China said Monday (June 27) that it is bidding to host a future Disney theme park. The entertainment giant planned to build another resort in central or western China even before the construction of Shanghai Disneyland, the government said.
“It is possible that our municipality will receive the project,” the local government said on its website, state media People’s Daily reported.
The post was later deleted, suggesting the project is still sensitive. Disney didn’t reply to an email query from Quartz. A company spokesman told South China Morning Post that Disney is currently focusing on Shanghai Disneyland’s “successful opening, operation and future expansion,” and didn’t elaborate further.
The local government reply came as a response to a citizen inquiry, after earlier reports said Chongqing is competing with neighboring Chengdu city to host a future Disney theme park, financial media publisher Caixin reported (link in Chinese).
Shanghai Disneyland, which cost $5.5 billion to build and sparked the shutdown of 150 factories to be sure the air was clear, is by far Disney’s biggest overseas park. An estimated 30,000 people showed up on the June 16 opening, paying 499 yuan each (about $75), local media reported (link in Chinese) at the time.
One of Disney’s biggest park-building rivals in China is the conglomerate Wanda Group. In May Wanda opened a theme park in southeastern Nanchang city, as part of billionaire owner Wang Jianlin’s plan to roll out 15 parks across China and three overseas.
Disney said it is prepared to take legal action after performers dressed as Disney characters were spotted in the Wanda theme park.