On China Beat, Jeffrey Wasserstrom ponders the connections between the World Expo, to be held in Shanghai in 2010, and Disney, which is slated to open its first mainland park in the city in a few years:
As the Shanghai Disney story develops, it is worth keeping the connections between the World’s Fair and theme park traditions in mind. This is especially true given that the Expo is being promoted within China as an event that carries into a new century the tradition of the 1893 White City that Disney’s father helped build–though an early plan to construct the world’s biggest Ferris Wheel by the Huangpu River near the world’s tallest building has thankfully been dropped.
This is one case in which, at least so far, the most interesting quote I’ve seen has come not from any foreign news report but from a Shanghai Daily story. The quote, attributed to Huang Renwei of the Shanghai Academic of Social Science, says this of Shanghai Disneyland: “It will be like a never-ending Expo.”