Disneyfied China

The Harbin Winter Festival, one of the oldest winter festivals in China, used to be a frozen wonderland of indigenous charms:  a Qing dynasty ice palace, snow dragons, the Forbidden City sculpted in snow.

But this year, a Disney licensing company is taking over operations from the local communist government.  It's the first time a private company has run the ice festival. 

So instead of candles flickering in ice lanterns in front of a frozen replica of an ancient pagoda, Harbin now has Cinderella's castle with an escalator and neon lights, and people posing for photos with ice sculptures of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. 

Sometimes it's a too-small world after all.

Photo by StrudelMonkey

Link - via blogs

From the Upcoming ueue, submitted by Marilyn Terrell.

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I used to live in Harbin. The Ice sculptures are cool, the pictures don't really do them justice. The down side is that it's usually -20 degrees and the festival is out in the middle of nowhere. Great city though. I'd recommend it in June instead of January, it has more to offer than just ice.
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The best job I ever had was as a graveyard janitor at Disneyland. I will never go back into the Magic Kingdom. Maybe if I am with and responsible for some pure tourists, then maybe I would return. I know Disney wants my money any way it can get it. Too bad China sold out. It is the year of the ox and Disney does not have a loveable ox character.
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