Shanghai Disneyland Celebrates Official Launch
Photo via Twitter
On Thursday, Shanghai Disneyland celebrated its official launch after more than five years of construction and a total cost of $5.5 billion. The park will open to the public on Thursday, June 16.
According to NBCNews.com, the Shanghai Disneyland Resort was built on a 963-acre property that also features a 100-acre lake, a massive Storybook Castle and two themed hotels. The park opened its gates during a soft launch on May 17, which has already given thousands of visitors the opportunity to experience the Disney magic.
Disney expects massive amounts of tourists to visit the park, as the Chinese middle class is made up of around 500 million people and an estimated 330 million people living within a three-hour drive or train ride from Shanghai.
Analysts expect 10 million visitors to experience Shanghai Disneyland in the first year alone, and then expectations are that the number will jump to an average of 18 million people annually within five years. The park is estimated to make $386 million in the first year, and it will eventually grow to $884 million by the fifth year.
“China represents a great market for the Walt Disney Company because our stories are not only known here but they are universal in appeal, they touch people's hearts all over the world, no matter what country, no matter what culture,” Disney CEO Bob Iger told NBCNews.com. “So this is, I think a great market for Disney and a growth market as well. Obviously, the size of the market, the number of people is another reason. But this is... the biggest step actually that we've ever taken anywhere to grow in a market.”
One of the main differences between Shanghai Disneyland and other Disney properties in Asia, like Hong Kong Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland, is that the Chinese version has far more cultural influences from the host country. Disney focused more on making the new park authentic for the Chinese visitors in order to make them feel a stronger connection to the facility.
As for prices, tickets to the park average 300 Yuan ($45.70), but some ticket scalpers are charging more than three times that price. The food inside the park is also pricy, as the average cost of a three-course meal is 368 Yuan ($56) per person.
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