Pictures of China’s abandoned copycat of Disneyland

December 19, 2011Sven Holler4 Comments, , , ,

All photos below courtesy of David Gray of Reuters

About 45-minutes’ drive outside of Beijing there exists the ruins of an amusement park, called “Wonderland,” which was supposed to be the largest in Asia, one that was expected to rival Disney World and bring in all vast swaths of tourists, revenue, and become another pride of China. Ground was broken in 1996. However, that was before the funds were pulled due to conflicts on property costs between the government and local farmers. Construction stopped the next year, and the local farmers have once again moved in to harvest the land. It is an interesting juxtaposition and a stark reminder of the lightning fast growth of China’s economy but also a telling tale of the challenges China continues to face due to rapid modernization.

This reminds us of another ambitious vanity project in Miyun, another suburban county of Beijing, which was just announced two days ago. Will it be another 1.5 billion dollars down the drain?

Alongside abandoned warehouses, sparsely populated mega-malls, and massive skyscraper apartment sprawls where 75% of the floors are uninhabited, this is yet another example of  the kind of  ”GDP increasers” that has propelled China to the number 2 global position. But as many people are coming to realize, GDP growth is only one facet to show a healthy economy and is not the end-all-be-all measurement. In these cases, during the construction of these projects, the people employed and money spent contributed to GDP growth, but now the work is done. Typically such infrastructure projects are meant to facilitate further growth (by means of tourist attraction for the Disney World copycat), but in all these cases that isn’t occurring, either due to construction being stopped before completion, faults with the construction that make structures unusable after completion, or the majority of citizens just can’t afford to occupy these structures. All of these factors leading to the massive property bubble that China is currently in and many economists are claiming is in the process of popping.

Hopefully, China can turn its future endeavors from expansion to utilization and efficiency and these “Disney Worlds” won’t be a solemn foreshadowing of the result of things to come.



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4 comments to “Pictures of China’s abandoned copycat of Disneyland”

  1. [...] Holler from Ministry of Tofu posts pictures of an abandoned amusement park, Wonderland, at the outskirts of Beijing city . Tweet Sven Holler from Ministry of Tofu [...]

  2. [...] هولير من مدونة مينستري أوف توفو برفع مجموعة من الصور لمدينة ملاهي مهجورة، أرض العجائب، في ضواحي مدينة بيكين. Tweet قام سفين [...]

  3. Guy In China | January 16, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    Can you actually visit this place, or do you need special permission? I would love to get some pictures for myself.

  4. [...] Bad rip-offs of well-known brands Pictures of China’s abandoned copycat of Disneyland Pictures of China Reply With Quote + Reply to [...]

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