They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But when a theme park in China has obvious copies of a WHOLE LOT of Disney parks, I’d say it goes way beyond flattery and more into copyright infringement.
Now, Joe and I went to the now-defunct Nara Dreamland, in Japan, in April 2005 (some of our photos are here (about halfway down the post) and we’ve got some awesome video footage here). The designers of that park, what had been built in the early 1960s, had obviously taken a few pages from the Disneyland handbook, with areas and attractions that looked very much like Main Street, Sleeping Beauty Castle, the Monorail, Jungle Cruise, etc. But Shijingshan Amusement Park, which opened in 1986 in Beijing, has taken things one (or maybe more than one) step further. Take a look at these photos:
There’s even some video of this park here and there….
This one is from a Japanese TV broadcast (it’s in Japanese but I think you can get a good feel of what they’re talking about):
But wait, it gets better! Until 2007, the park’s motto actually was, Disney is Too Far, Please Come to Beijing Shijingshan Amusement Park. Right around that time, international copyright infringement controversies began (it’s interesting to note that Disney didn’t sue – according to this article from 2007, they sort of let human nature take its course LOL), and in the early 2010s, the park was updated to remove much (but not all) of the Disneyfication. So there’s that. Click here to see more story and pictures from when they were in the midst of those updates.
But is it a park I’d want to go to?
Welllllll, we actually kind of enjoyed our trip to Nara Dreamland, simply because it was so awful that it was funny. I think the same thing would go for Shijingshan Amusement Park. But that’s us. As always, Your Mileage May Vary.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary