Even before the ribbon was cut during as part of the multi-day grand opening event, it was clear by the crowds that were gathered at the gates that an expansion of Shanghai Disney Resort was needed.
During a press briefing before the public opening, Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger said that the “growth of China’s tourism, Shanghai visitation, and the general growth in the Chinese market” prompted them to begin building a bigger resort with more offerings.
During the resort’s month-long trial operations period, they counted approximately 600,000 people entering to enjoy it. Packing that amount of people within the 963-acre was difficult enough, and those were only invited guests! Shanghai has nearly 300 million people who live within 3 hours of the resort who’ll most likely pay a visit to the new Disney resort.
To prevent the probable overcrowding by all those people, Iger said that internal discussions are happening to add to the resort in the next year. The rumored $800 million expansion will take up the remaining 3 square kilometers of the 7 total given by the Chinese government to build on. Shanghai Disney Resort already had Disney pay up $5.5 billion for completion.
As for what they’ll add has still yet to be determined. One possible strategy has already been revealed with the addition of a “Frozen” sing-a-long show and “Zootopia” characters added to a parade. Both have of Disney’s top-earning animated franchises are very popular among the Chinese audience. With a quick reaction that Disney in response to injecting their IP in the country, it wouldn’t be surprising to see even more franchises with even bigger presences as part of the expansion plans.
It’ll be exciting to see things continue to evolve for “China’s Disneyland” and the international reaction for those who’ll be visiting soon. If you will be, tweet us as we’d like to hear your thoughts of the new resort!
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