The state of Malacca surprised the country today after Jailani Khamis, Exco for Tourism, Heritage, and Culture of the state, announced that it will be opening up a Disneyland in the state, along with the promise of the construction of a new Maglev system, in an effort to boost tourism. As per its official announcement, the state of Malacca will be allocating a whopping 80.9 hectares of land in Jasin, exclusively for the development of the new Disneyland and Disney City.
Khamis says that he hopes the construction of the new Disneyland will help the state of Malacca achieve its objective of 20 million tourists in three years, post-COVID at least. In addition to the construction of Disneyland and Disney City, Khamis also says that the state of Malacca also plans on developing that would connect said place to other tourist hotspots within the state, spanning at least 22km and will have an investment of RM900 million. In total, the entire project, including the theme park and city, is expected to cost RM2 billion.
There are just a couple of problems with the whole Disneyland Malacca sphiel that Khamis announced: Firstly, during the official announcement, we couldn’t see any Disney representatives among the lineup of ministers that were present. You would think that, for a state like Malacca to be making such a grand announcement, there would at least be one representative from the House of Mouse present at the signing ceremony.
On another note, the visual assets that were on display via Melaka Hari Ini’s YouTube channel weren’t Disney characters or ones you would see in Disneyland, but what appears to be a gigantic version of a Minion. For the uninitiated, the Minions IP is owned by Illumination Entertainment, which in turn is co-owned by Universal Pictures. None of which are a part of, nor even fall under the Disney umbrella. Further, if you pay close attention to the background of the same video, you’ll notice that the alleged “Disney castle” isn’t its usual European architecture, and actually looks like the Onion Dome Orthodox churches that you’d usually find in Slavic or Eastern European countries, such as Russia and Ukraine.
We know that we are just nitpicking at this point and that whoever it was that provided the video may be just using the Minion as a placeholder. However, we don’t think it is unfair to say that if you’re going to make a major announcement such as the construction of a Disneyland in Malaysia, the least anyone with an official capacity can do is invite the relevant parties to be, once again, present during the signing or launch event. That, and using the relevant characters and sources in presentation.