×

Shanghai Disneyland Passes 11 Million Visitors in Its First Year

Shanghai Disneyland welcomed more than 11 million guests in its first year of operation, the company said Friday. Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger was on hand Friday in China to celebrate the first anniversary of the Shanghai Disney Resort, which includes the Shanghai Disneyland theme park.

“Shanghai Disney Resort’s first anniversary is cause for great celebration for everyone involved in bringing this spectacular dream to life,” said Iger in a prepared statement.

Built at a cost of $5.5 billion, as a joint venture with the Shanghai municipal government, the park was the first mega-scale location-based entertainment complex built in mainland China by a foreign conglomerate.

A day earlier, the theme park put on a special charity edition of its Mandarin-language version of the “Lion King” stage musical.

In the middle of last month, Disney revealed that the park had attracted 10 million visitors in its first 11 months. That figure, including the winter period, exceeded the estimates of some local forecasters in China.

Though Disney has not publicly offered forecasts for park attendance or visitor spending, its joint venture partner previously suggested that 10-12 million visitors was its target for the first year.

Bob Chapek, head of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, confirmed that. “That figure is much faster than even our most optimistic forecasts,” he said.

Inevitably, the high-profile park has been closely scrutinized by local residents and Chinese media. Criticisms include long waiting times for rides and attractions, and for food that is too pricey.

Chapek responded to such criticism saying that guests are spending longer each day — an average of some nine and a half hours — than expected. “The satisfaction scores that we are getting from our visitors are extraordinarily high. We think more Disney is a great thing.”

Other commentators have pointed to growing competition from other upcoming facilities being built in and around the greater Shanghai area. They include Legoland, Ice World, and Polar Ocean World. Foreign groups Lotte and Six Flags are also building complexes, and a China-Hong Kong-U.S. consortium is to open a leisure, theater and entertainment complex known as the Dream Center.

Shanghai Disneyland is itself already undergoing an expansion. Construction began last November on a new Toy Story Land, the seventh such “land” in the park, which is scheduled to open in 2018.

More Biz

  • Ice Age Twentieth Century Fox World

    How a Kuala Lumpur Theme Park Became a Fox-Themed Fiasco

    Twentieth Century Fox executives looked around in 2013 and decided it was finally time for the historic studio to get into the theme park business. Fox had seen Disney and Universal expand into Japan and China, slowly conquering the globe with their resort businesses. So they came up with a bold idea to grab a [...]

  • ally billboard a star is born

    Oscar Campaign Spending Reaches New Heights in Competitive Season

    The escalating cost of awards campaigning may reach an all-time high this season as heavyweights such as “Roma” and “A Star Is Born” battle for Oscar gold. The quest for an Academy Award has always been expensive, but Netflix’s hunger to nab its first best picture win, coupled with the presence of legitimate studio contenders [...]

  • Brian Graden and Brad Grey

    'It Boy' Seeks to Drop Salacious Suit Against Brad Grey and Brian Graden

    A self-described Hollywood “It boy” has asked for permission to drop a salacious lawsuit that asserted sexual misconduct claims against the late Paramount CEO Brad Grey and former MTV executive Brian Graden. Rovier Carrington, who filed the suit last May, notified a federal court on Jan. 18 that he was withdrawing his claims. Judge Katherine [...]

  • Former movie producer Harvey Weinstein (L)

    Harvey Weinstein Hires New Lawyers Who Repped Kobe Bryant and Rose McGowan

    Harvey Weinstein has hired a new legal team to handle his rape and sexual assault case in New York, including attorneys who represented one of his most prominent accusers, actress Rose McGowan. Weinstein has hired Jose Baez and Ronald Sullivan, of the Baez Law Firm in Miami; Pamela Mackey of Denver, Colo.; and Duncan Levin, [...]

  • Bryan Singer: New Allegations of Sex

    Bryan Singer Hit With Fresh Allegations of Sex With Underage Boys

    UPDATED: Bryan Singer, the director of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” has responded to new allegations published in the Atlantic on Wednesday that he engaged in sexual misconduct with underage boys. In the report, four men allege that Singer had sexual encounters with them when they were teenagers in the late 1990s. One of the men, Victor Valdovinos, [...]

  • 'Zootopia' Land Coming to Shanghai Disneyland

    Disney to Open 'Zootopia' Land at Shanghai Theme Park

    The Shanghai Disneyland theme park is to be expanded with the construction of a themed land based on the “Zootopia” animated film and its characters. It will be the first “Zootopia” land at any Disney park worldwide. “The rapid rate of expansion at Shanghai Disney Resort demonstrates our confidence and commitment to the company’s future [...]

  • David Glasser

    David Glasser to Launch $300 Million Shingle With Ron Burkle's Backing (EXCLUSIVE)

    David Glasser, the former chief operating officer of the Weinstein Co., is launching a $300 million film and TV company with the backing of billionaire investor Ron Burkle, Variety has learned. The formation of the production outfit, named 101 Studios, marks a fresh start for Glasser, who was in line to become CEO of the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content