ABSTRACT

This chapter examines the representations of Shanghai Disneyland and their implications. Starting with a descriptive examination of the park’s representations through the exclusion and inclusion of the themed lands, attractions, and entertainment performances, followed by an analytical study of the “distinctly Chinese” discourse Disney carefully constructed, Shanghai Disneyland is found to be Disneyland with Chinese characteristics. The exclusion of iconic Disneyland attractions suggests an effort to avoid an impression of cultural imperialism in China. The inclusion suggests a discourse of the “distinctly Chinese” representations, which attends to both Chinese cultural references and contemporary Chinese preferences of uniqueness and technological advances. Both the exclusion and the inclusion resonate with the China Dream thesis the Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed, and indicate the predominance of the Chinese party–state in the production of Shanghai Disneyland. The park’s “authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese” representations suggest state-capital-led glocalization: glocalization led by economic capital of the state (direct investment) and economic capital with the state (market potential).