Shanghai Disneyland to open in spring 2016

2015-02-04 23:36:56 GMT2015-02-05 07:36:56(Beijing Time)  Shanghai Daily

SHANGHAI Disney Resort will open in the spring of 2016, though major construction work will be completed by the end of this year, Disney’s Chief Executive Robert Iger said yesterday.

“We’re planning a spectacular grand opening in the spring of 2016, which we believe is the optimal time to showcase the full grandeur of this world-class destination,” the official Disney Parks blog quoted him as saying during a conference call.

The park was initially scheduled to open later this year, but a decision to invest a further US$800 million on additional attractions for the 34 billion yuan (US$5.4 billion) park meant its debut had to be rescheduled.

The extra spending has “significantly” increased the size of the park, the company’s first in the Chinese mainland and sixth around the world, he said.

Disney said earlier that it hopes the extra investment will attract 30 percent more visitors than originally forecast. About 330 million target customers live within three hours’ travel time of the park, it said.

“Even with that expansion, we will complete major construction by the end of this calendar year,” Iger said.

“I was in China the week before last and saw amazing progress,” he said.

“We just topped off our signature Shanghai Disneyland Hotel, and we’re nearing completion on iconic features throughout the park.”

The executive said it was “thrilling” to see the theme park coming to life.

“It’s all quite astonishing,” he said, adding that the company will soon begin casting the hundreds of performers the park will need to entertain its guests.

Iger said in an October 10 interview on Bloomberg Television that the Shanghai park should benefit from China’s huge population and strong economy.

“I’m a big believer in China for Disney,” he said.

Shanghai Disney Resort, of which the theme park is a part, is a joint venture between the state-owned Shanghai Shendi Group — a consortium of property, tourism and media companies run by the city government — which holds 57 percent, and Disney, with 43 percent.

It will cover 3.9 square kilometers within the Chuansha area of the Pudong New Area, and as well as Shanghai Disneyland, will feature two hotels, a theater, and a large retail, dining and entertainment complex.

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