[ UPDATE 17/11/2022 12:00 ] Disney had told CNN that the Disneyland Melaka news is not true and purely speculative. NST has also deleted their syndicated Bernama story about Disneyland in Melaka.
Ahead of GE15, social media was abuzz about the potential opening of Southeast Asia’s first Disneyland in Malaysia by 2027. The source of the news came from Melaka’s State Heritage and Culture Committee chairman, Datuk Muhammad Jailani Khamis, who said that the theme park with a size of 150 to 200 acres will be built in Melaka. The theme park plans were announced during the signing ceremony of a new 22km-long Maglev train system in the state which will connect various tourist attractions including “Disneyland”.
According to Bernama’s report, Jailani proudly announced that the development of Disneyland theme park and a “Disney City” would be the biggest of its kind in Southeast Asia coming after the ones in China, Europe and Japan. Jailani added that Disneyland has been in the planning and while they can’t disclose the exact location, they are looking into the possibility of it being built in the district of Jasin.
No official announcement from Disney
The opening of a new Disneyland is a big deal and what’s missing is an official announcement from Disney Parks, Experiences and Products (DPEP). If the Melaka state government is still in talks with Disney, it is still too premature to make such an announcement at this stage. Typically, such plans will be kept under wraps and a joint announcement will be made with representatives from Disney if the deal is on.
Disney has listed its upcoming new developments in their fact sheet which include doubling its Disney Cruise Line and new attractions at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, Shanghai Disney Resort and Tokyo Disney Resort. However, there’s no mention of plans to expand theme park locations in Southeast Asia.
DPEP is the company responsible for Disney’s 12 theme parks and 53 resorts in the United States, Europe and Asia. The latest Disneyland is Shanghai Disneyland in China which was opened to the public in 2016 after Hong Kong Disneyland which was opened in 2005.
RM2 billion to build a Disneyland?
It was reported that Melaka’s Disneyland would be built at a cost of RM2 billion which sounds very little compared to other Disneyland theme parks in Asia. As a comparison, Shanghai’s Disneyland which spans 3.9 sq km (about 963 acres) was built at a cost of CNY 24.6 billion (RM15.6 billion). Meanwhile, Disneyland Hong Kong which covers 68 acres of space on Lantau Island is said to cost USD 3.6 billion (RM16.4 billion).
Interestingly, it was reported that Singapore was in talks with Disney to build a Disneyland on the island republic during the 1990s. However, it was said that Disney wanted 300 hectares (741 acres) of land, which is 15x the size of the current Universal Studios Singapore. It was also reported that the Singapore government had earmarked a piece of land in Seletar as a potential Disneyland site.
Until there’s an official announcement from Disney themselves, it would be best to take this “announcement” with a pinch of salt. We’ve reached out to DPEP for further clarification.
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