Despite initial teething issues – long queues, expensive food – Shanghai Disney Resort still managed to attract almost as many visitors in its first six months of operation as its sister park in Hong Kong did in a whole year.
Success of Shanghai Disney Resort
The South China Morning Post reports that around 5.6 million people attended Shanghai Disney Resort in the second 6 months of 2016. This works out as approximately 30, 000 a day and is ahead of analysts’ previous estimates. In comparison, Hong Kong Disneyland had 6.8 million visitors in 2015.
Fan Xiping is chairman of Shanghai Shendi Group. This is the government-backed consortium that owns 57% of the 34 billion yuan (HK$38.2 billion) Disney park. The 3.9 sq km Shanghai Disney Resort is the sixth Disney park worldwide.
He said, “The number of 5.6 million is on par with the Disneyland in Japan. It is nearly equivalent to the full-year visitor number for the Hong Kong counterpart.”
Fan also added that an independent survey had revealed that 80% of visitors were satisfied with the park’s attractions and services.
Yang Xiong is the mayor of Shanghai. He said the launch and success of Shanghai Disney resort was one of the city’s major achievements in 2016.
Growth of Shanghai and the YRD
The resort’s prime target is the huge number of people – 330 million- that live within a three-hour drive of the park. Surveys have shown that 27% of visitors are from Shanghai whilst a further 53% are from the wider Yangtze River Delta (YRD) region.
The YRD comprises 6 core cities. These are Shanghai, Nanjing, Suzhou, Wuxi, Hangzhou, and Ningbo. They have a combined population of approximately 65 million. An economic powerhouse, the region accounts for 20% of China’s GDP and is responsible for one third of its imports and exports.
Yang said the city has ambitious plans. “Shanghai will further liberalise the green bond market. It will drive the growth of the financial technology sector with improvements to the regulatory system. It will also complete the construction of the fourth-phase expansion of the Yangshan deep-water port.”
Image credit : Disney