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Shanghai Disneyland Set For Delay, Say Reports

HONG KONG — The opening of the Shanghai Disney Resort is to be pushed back from late this year to the first half of 2016, according to reports.

Local reports and one from the Reuters news agency cited sources close to the park.

Contacted by Variety, Disney offered no confirmation ahead of the group’s financial earnings report, due today (Feb. 3).

The reports did not offer an explanation for the delay.

The city’s local mayor Yang Xiong reported only last week that basic construction of the park would be completed this year.

But he did not commit to an opening date. Instead, Yang said that the park operators and the city are studying ways to ensure the safety of the large number of visitors expected to visit Disney’s first theme park in mainland China.

On Dec. 31 more than 30 people were killed in a stampede in downtown Shanghai, where crowd control measure were lax. The accident has been highly embarrassing for the city and the country.

The delay may also allow more time for an expansion of the park that was announced in April last year.

Shanghai Disney Resort is a joint venture between The Walt Disney Company and Shanghai Shendi Group. Disney will own 43% of shares of the park, but have a 70% stake in the joint venture management company.

The resort will be a “Magic Kingdom-style theme park featuring classic Disney characters and stories in six theme lands.” These includes an ‘Enchanted Storybook Castle,’ ‘Treasure Cove’ (the first ever “Pirates”-themed land in a Disney park) and ‘Garden of the Twelve Friends.’ The facility will also include a 420-room Shanghai Disneyland Hotel, an Art Nouveau-inspired hotel, and an 800-room Toy Story Hotel.and an art-deco-style Walt Disney Grand Theatre, at Broadway Plaza, opening with the Mandarin version of stage show “The Lion King.”

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