Construction of Toy Story Land has begun at Shanghai Disneyland, the giant theme park and resort that opened in mainland China in June. The land will be the seventh at the park and is set to open in 2018.
The announcement comes at a time when there has been public speculation about the resort missing its visitor targets.

Disney said that building Toy Story Land is part of the accelerated expansion plan for the first phase of the theme park. A previous acceleration meant that the park opened later that first anticipated and above budget – but also larger from day one.

Neither Disney not partner Shanghai Shendi disclosed the investment cost of Toy Story Land. Nor did they publish an up to date visitor tally.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with Shanghai Disneyland’s first four months of operation and couldn’t be more excited about our future in mainland China,” said Bob Chapek, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts in a statement. “We’re demonstrating our confidence by breaking ground on a new Toy Story Land that will be both authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese.”

“Since its opening in June this year, Shanghai Disneyland’s operation has run smoothly and our guests have been very enthusiastic. We have received positive feedback from the entire society – all of which makes us excited about the future,” said Fan Xiping, chairman of Shanghai Shendi

Characters and stories from the Toy Story franchise have strongly resonated with Chinese guests, the companies said. The current park already has a Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue attraction, a guest favorite which features the most advanced Buzz Lightyear targeting system at any Disney Park in the world, and it includes the only Toy Story-themed resort hotel in the world.