As predicted months ago here at Theme Park University, the first Broadway version of The Lion King performed in Mandarin at Shanghai Disneyland will come to a close on October 8, 2017. Shanghai Disneyland recently made the announcement via their WeChat account (the Chinese equivalent of Facebook) to let their followers know that there are only 100 performances of The Lion King left.
Seen as one of the biggest risks of Shanghai Disneyland, Bob Iger approved for a completely Mandarin-version of the Broadway classic to open simultaneously with Shanghai Disneyland at Disneytown. After less than 18 months, ticket sales were too soft to justify continuing to perform this show nightly. According to some reports, most performances only sold 30% to 40% of their seats while the rest of the theater sat empty.
What becomes of the Walt Disney Grand Theater in Disneytown? There are two possibilities. One could be that they use it as a massive theater for a very large scale theater show for Shanghai Disneyland park guests. As we reported last year, this is already being done now as a place where park guests can see Disney cartoon shorts before The Lion King needs to use it later in the evenings. So a new permanent show could be possible.
More likely? Casting calls have been going out looking for performers to play roles in a Mandarin version of Broadway’s Beauty and the Beast. While this is not officially for Shanghai Disneyland and could be for a Chinese touring show, it has been speculated that this will be the replacement for Simba and friends. As Shanghai Disneyland continues to evolve, we will bring it to you here at Theme Park University!
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Images Copyright: Walt Disney Parks and Resorts