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Is Shanghai Disneyland, The new phase of era..!!

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The gates are opened after the five years of construction and multiple delays of the most tremendous park called “Shanghai Disney Resort”, the first new Disney theme park in over 10 years.It covers the vast area of 3.9 square kilometres made up of Disneyland, Disney town, Wishing Star Park and two hotels.

According to Disney officials, it’s the brand’s biggest international park and utilises never before seen technology,it is the most jaw dropping experience for the visitors. But we aren’t just going to take their word for it.

To find out what visitors can expect — and how the park stacks up to its global Disney counterparts, we went to Stefan Zwanzger — better known as the “Theme Park Guy”, He has visited 332 parks in 142 countries. o we knew he wasn’t going to miss out on this one.

Zwanzger was lucky enough to get a sneak preview of Shanghai Disneyland during its pre-opening trial period before the official June 16 opening date.

  • What’s your overall impression of Shanghai Disneyland?

Zwanzger: I have witnessed the rise of Disneyland in the eastern Shanghai suburbs from day one, and the change that has happened there is staggering. It’s like turning Nepal into Switzerland in a matter of years.

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I think it’s the most marvellous and unbelievable Disney park ever built in terms of attractions and thrill. They have many more rides than Hong Kong and Paris Disneyland had when they opened, it really is a big park with a good range of attraction offerings such as their grooving slides and all.

As for charm, I think there’s less magic than at Hong Kong and Paris Disneyland.

You don’t need Main Street and Disneyland Railroad at every park, you can come up with new ideas, but I don’t think Mickey Avenue and the Gardens of Imagination in front of the castle are a great replacement. But nevertheless, it’s a very complete park, attraction-wise. You have almost 10 major attractions to visit and queue for when you enter the park upon opening. That’s very unusual. It’s really huge.

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They have replaced it with a much-smaller Mickey Avenue, but it doesn’t provide that special Main Street outlook on the castle. It’s big, but it’s not magic compared to for example Paris Disneyland’s castle.

  • Will foreigners experience any cultural or language barriers?

It maybe 85% Disney and 15% “distinctly Chinese,” Any foreigner can come and have a good time and enjoy to the fullest.

  • How does Shanghai Disneyland compare to other Disney parks?

I think Hong Kong Disneyland is much more magical and beautiful, but then Shanghai Disney is like every individuals dreams comes true when it comes to the attractions.When Hong Kong Disneyland opened in 2005 there was almost nothing to ride. Shanghai is the opposite, there is plenty to do.

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In my opinion the best Disney theme park in the world is still Disney Sea in Tokyo and the most “magic” Magic Kingdom continues to be Disneyland Paris but yeah, I must say that everyone should visit here because the way they built and organise this park is literally feels like heaven.

Wefornews Bureau

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India

Truckers ‘postpone’ strike following request from centre

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Truckers

Kolkata/New Delhi, June 22 (IANS) Truckers on Friday “temporarily postponed” their ongoing indefinite nationwide strike following a request from the Central government as Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari was out of station.

The strike, that began from June 18, had been called from June 18 against the high diesel prices, high toll rates and a sharp hike of third party insurance premium, and had entered the fifth day on Friday.

In a media release, All India Confederation of Goods Vehicle Owners’ Association — which had called the strike — said the decision was taken following a telephone call from the Centre, which asked the strikers to come for discussion after June 27.

“We have received telephone call from (the) Central ministry, that since the Minister is not in station till June 27, (they have requested us) to call off the strike and come for discussion after June 27,” said AICOGOA General Secretary Rajendra Singh and President B. Channa Reddy.

“In view of this and in public interest, we have (decided to) postpone the truckers’ strike,” they said.

The AICOGOA said the call for talks was received from Gadkari’s office.

“We received call from Union Minister Nitin Gadkari’s office and they have called us to talk… We have temporarily called off the strike because it was affecting truckers and people both,” another AICOGOA General Secretary Kausar Hussain told IANS.

Over 50 lakh vehicles remained off the road during the strike.

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Business

AI’s 76% stake sale plan crashes, other alternatives to be evaluated

We ran a disinvestment process, where we made it very clear what type of bids we were interested in receiving… We asked certain type of bidders with certain bidding criteria to participate.

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Civil Aviation Ministry

New Delhi, June 20 (IANS) The Central government has said that a 76 per cent stake sale process of the national carrier Air India has ended, as “no interest” was shown by bidders, however, it remains committed to the strategic divestment for which other alternatives will be evaluated.

“We ran a disinvestment process, where we made it very clear what type of bids we were interested in receiving… We asked certain type of bidders with certain bidding criteria to participate,” said Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha.

“No body expressed any interest during that process. So just by that set of those circumstances it is clear that that process right now is over… We have to move forward and we have to consider other alternatives, now as market conditions as industry circumstances change, we will evaluate all those alternatives but that particular specific process for the moment has come to an end, if need be, we can restart that or any other process depending upon the appropriate market circumstances.”

However, the government clearly stated that it is still committed to the idea of Air India’s strategic divestment.

Sinha added: “The government is committed to strategic disinvestment, what the modalities are and the circumstances are, we will have to monitor and evaluate as we go along.”

According to the Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu a few days back the Empowered Group of Ministers set up to look at the — Air India Specific Alternate Mechanism — reviewed the situation.

The minister, who holds the charge of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said: “… Because there was no interest we have decided to review the situation soon. In the meantime to ensure that Air India runs properly a plan is being prepared by the Air India management to ensure that AI continues continues operate efficiently.

On May 31, the Ministry of Civil Aviation said that “no response” was received even during the extended submission deadline for the ‘Expression of Interest’ (EOI) bids under Air India’s divestment process.

“As informed by the Transaction Adviser, no response has been received for the Expression of Interest floated for the strategic disinvestment of Air India,” the ministry had said in a tweet.

“Further course of action will be decided appropriately.”

The government on May 1 had released a detailed document on clarifications sought by interested bidders regarding the divestment process.

The clarification document outlined that net current liabilities as Rs 88.16 billion (Rs 8,816 crore) and “these will remain with AI and AIXL (Air India Express) as these have been incurred in the course of business.”

“After deducting Rs 88,160 mn from Rs 333,920 mn, the remaining figure of INR 245,760 mn is the debt and liability quantum that will remain with AI and AIXL.”

As per the old timelines, the submission deadline for the EOI bids was earlier extended to May 31 and consequently, the date for the “intimation to the Qualified Interested Bidders” — QIB — which was supposed to have been the next stage was slated for June 15.

It was expected that by August-end, the government will be able to determine the highest bidder.

On March 28, the government had issued a Preliminary Information Memorandum (PIM) inviting ‘EOI’ for the strategic divestment of AI, along with the airline’s shares in AIXL and AISATS (Air India SATS Airport Services) from private entities including the airline’s employees.

The Central government owns 100 per cent equity of Air India. In turn, the airline holds full stake in Air India Express, while it holds 50 per cent stake in the joint venture AISATS.

Accordingly, it has been planned to divest 76 per cent government stake in AI, 100 per cent in AIXL and 50 per cent in AISATS.

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Lifestyle

Motorcyclist on a multi-nation anti-plastic mission

Abhimanyu Chakrovorthy, 31, has set off on a 10,000 km crowdfunded motorcycle expedition through India and five neighbouring Southeast Asian countries to spread awareness of its pernicious effects and to encourage people to shun its use.

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anti plastic campaign

New Delhi, June 20 (IANS) With India estimated to generate 25,000 tonnes of plastic waste every day, media professional Abhimanyu Chakrovorthy, 31, has set off on a 10,000 km crowdfunded motorcycle expedition through India and five neighbouring Southeast Asian countries to spread awareness of its pernicious effects and to encourage people to shun its use.

“I have always been environmentally conscious about issues such as climate change and wildlife, and I used to practice this concept of outdoor ethics called ‘Leave No Trace’ in the Himalayas where you pick up your own waste and dispose it off properly.

“I am also a motorcycle enthusiast who has toured quite extensively across India. So this presented a unique opportunity to merge my two passions: Motorcycling and addressing the menace of plastic pollution in Southeast Asia and India. Hence this trip from New Delhi, covering more than 10,000 km, travelling to Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Nepal to raise awareness on plastic pollution,” Chakrovorthy told IANS in an interview just before he set off.

How exactly will it work on the ground?

During the journey, through tie-ups with NGOs and schools in the five countries, he has planned beach and city clean-up initiatives and will conduct short sessions/presentations with them on the global scenario in plastic pollution and what India is doing to fight it.

“Through these workshops, I will share knowledge about India’s waste management system, and also learn from them their solutions to the plastic pollution problem. Some of these countries have taken affirmative action on plastic and I want to understand more of what and how they’re doing it. The focus of my work will be on reducing, reusing and recycling waste as much as possible. Through this trip, I plan to document plastic consumption in these countries and their waste management processes,” Chakrovorthy explained.

The planning, he said, had been quite a nightmare. For instance, he figured it would cost Rs 70,000 one way through Myanmar and at least Rs 80,000 one way through Thailand.

“At this stage, a friend told me about (crowdoutsourcing platform) Milaap. This presented some hope because I couldn’t bear the cost on my own. So I got down to work and prepared my statement of purpose over one week for the trip to be advertised on Milaap.

“The fundraiser is still live on the platform and I am hoping to raise some money through it. My target is Rs 3 lakh and till now I have reached just Rs 40,000 but I am hopeful my story will resonate with people and some funding comes through Milaap. I believe the momentum against plastic pollution is strong and through this trip I will highlight all the challenges that come with waste management in Southeast Asia and India,” Chakrovorthy explained.

What about the back-up for the journey?

“I am positive that Plan A will work out, because there’s still some time to raise funds (through the platform). I am also in talks with a few potential sponsors who might come on board to help me out with resources. However, the Plan B is to simply skip Nepal and put my bike on train from Imphal (on the return leg) to New Delhi in case I fall short of money. Other than this, I don’t see any other issue,” Chakrovorthy responded.

What of the future?

“In the near future, I will be organising few more clean-ups in association with embassies and institutions such as Delhi Civil Defence and Delhi Police focusing on communities and societies by asking them to moderate their consumption so that less waste ends up in our ever-increasing landfills,” Chakrovorthy concluded.

(Vishnu Makhijani can be contacted at [email protected] )

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