Watch out Walt, here comes Wanda: $3bn Disney-style resort opens in China

China’s largest private property developer, the Wanda Group, opened an entertainment complex to take the might of Mickey Mouse and his gang on Saturday. Its $3bn Wanda City opened in the south-eastern provincial capital of Nanchang to thundering music reminiscent of the Pirates Of The Caribbean theme. The company claims the venture, a direct rival to Disney's $5.5bn Shanghai theme park opening next month, will be a centre for Chinese entertainment culture in the face of encroaching foreign influences.

Chinese culture led in the world’s for 2,000 years, but since the last 300 years, because of our lagging development and the invasion of foreign cultures, we have more or less lacked confidence in our own culture.

Wang Jianlin, Wanda chairman

Wanda’s massive site includes an $800 million China-themed park filled with twirling porcelain teacup rides and bamboo forests, an indoor shopping mall with cinemas, restaurants, hotels and the world’s largest ocean park. At Saturday’s opening, Wang Jianlin, Wanda chairman and China’s richest man, did not mention Disney by name but said Chinese people fawned over Western imports. However, visitors who paid the $30 entrance fee were greeted by a woman dressed remarkably like Snow White and others like stormtroopers from the Disney-owned Star Wars franchise.

The frenzy of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck and the era of blindly following them have passed

Wang Jianlin, Wanda chairman