Shanghai Disney Resort to Reach 10 Million Visitors ‘In Next Few Days,’ CEO Says

Le Yan / Yicai


(Yicai Global) May 11 -- The new Shanghai Disney Resort has already become a big part of The Walt Disney Company’s [NYSE:DIS] Chinese operations. Months before its first anniversary, attendance at the resort is projected to reach 10 million visitors, in line with its initial target.

The California-based entertainment conglomerate used to rely primary on merchandise for business growth in China, with consumer goods sales in the country around USD2 billion a year. However, the latest Disney resort has turned that on its head, with the Shanghai park already the company’s largest source of revenue worldwide.

“Parks and resorts delivered another strong quarter, with operating income growth of 20 percent, driven by increases at Shanghai Disney Resort and our domestic parks and resorts,” said Christine M. McCarthy, chief financial officer of Walt Disney, following the release of the firm’s latest earnings report yesterday.

General market expectations were that the Shanghai resort would welcome an average of 30,000 guests per day in its first year, with yearly attendance topping 10 million, said Zhao Huanyan, chief knowledge officer at Hotelsolution Consulting.

Disney itself is also confident about hitting the milestone, with Robert Iger, chairman, saying the park will welcome its 10 millionth guest “in the next few days.”

“The addition of the new Toy Story Land will add to the park’s popularity, and it’s just the first of several planned expansions in Shanghai,” Iger added.

“Given the spillover effect from Disneyland on tourism, hospitality, culture, fashion, toys, scientific innovation and retail business, related industries should also be benefitting from the park” said Zhao, “I believe expansion of the resort will boost earnings as well as stimulate tourism development in the city as a whole to make it even more of a holiday destination.”

Construction and development of the rest of the resort is already underway, and features Disneytown, Ecological Green Park, Wishing Star Park and Qeeboo Rabbit X Shanghai Village.