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Hong Kong Disneyland castle

A new report claims that the Oriental Land Company, which operates Tokyo Disney Resort, could be set to participate in the project to construct a new Disneyland park in Shanghai.

Asahi.com reports that the company is in talks with Disney about potential roles in the Shanghai Disneyland project, which is expected to be up-and-running by 2016. Few details of the Oriental Land Company's involvement are given, other than that Disney is "liasing on specific ways for the Japanese company to contribute."

Disney will share the cost of building Shanghai Disneyland with Shanghai Shen Di Group Co., with the US company expected to take a 43% share in the resulting joint venture. Involvement in the Shanghai Disneyland project would be a first overseas expansion for the Oriental Land Company, which currently operates the Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea theme parks.

Shanghai Disneyland will initially occupy 286 acres of land in the Pudong area, making it 24 acres smaller than the region's other Disney resort, Hong Kong Disneyland. A report in July suggested that construction work on the resort could begin as early as November, but work is now unlikely to get underway for several months. Last year, the company said that the park could open by 2014, although the mayor of Shanghai has since suggested that an opening date in 2015 or 2016 is more realistic.

The Oriental Land Company's Tokyo Disneyland opened on April 15, 1983 on a patch of reclaimed land and was the first Disney theme park outside the US. It proved to be extremely popular, rapidly becoming the most popular amusement park in Japan. In addition to sister park Tokyo DisneySea, the Tokyo Disney Resort is now also home to Ikspiari (an on-site shopping complex similar to Downtown Disney at Disneyland and Walt Disney World), a permanent Cirque du Soleil show, a monorail system and three on-site, themed hotels.

Shanghai Disneyland will be Disney's fourth resort outside of the US, after Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disneyland and Hong Kong Disneyland.

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