Walt Disney Co Finally Sees the Fruits of 17 Years of Labor
Iger said that 17 years have gone into the making of Shanghai Disneyland. He looked back to the time when he first set foot on the property and even showed some recent footage of the same land as it stands today. Bob added that this is a project that has been very close to his heart. For Walt Disney Co, Shanghai Disneyland is the foothold they need in order to expand deeper into the largest market in the world in terms of the number of people.
As far as expectations go, Bob thinks that this will pay off in the very long term. For the last 3-4 weeks, they have been already letting some people in so that they achieve full operational readiness by the time it is June 16. Those who are going in are mainly friends and family. Showing the footage, Bob pointed out various locations such as the hotel, lake, etc. About 400,000 people have visited in the last 2 weeks. The Disneyland hotel is a luxury hotel having about 400 rooms. There is also a ‘Toy Story’ hotel meant for the more value-conscious visitor. It has about double the capacity of the Disneyland hotel. Then there is a ‘Lion King’ theater where currently the film is being shown every night.
The location of the park as a whole is also strategically placed with respect to the airport. Bob said that there is even a subway that takes people all the way to the front gates of the park. That is expected to be capable of bringing in about 20,000 people every hour. There are also about 330 mn people staying within 3 hours of trip distance who have been known to be capable of affording the park’s tickets. So the target audience is huge.
How is the Park Different From Others?
Bob said that although it is not much clear from the footage, the architecture is inspired a lot from Chinese culture. In fact he even went on to add that the only place where an English signage is placed above one written in Mandarin is at the entrance. With this park, Walt Disney Co aims to give an authentic Disneyland experience to visitors while still making it distinctly Chinese.
There is also a castle in the park, which Bob claimed is the biggest that the Walt Disney Co has ever built so far. It is not just meant to be looked at but also experienced from within. There is even a restaurant and a boutique inside the castle. Bob added that the larger-than-life size of the castle is actually a way for Disney to announce their entry in the Chinese market. In front of the castle there are plenty of ‘tea rooms’, each of which represent a certain region of China. There is also a ‘Pirateland’, which has been developed taking into account the popularity of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean‘ in China. Apart from that there is an ‘Adventure Isle’, which has a challenging rafting ride and has what Bob calls ‘The tallest mountain in Shanghai’. Cutting the playback of the footage short, Bob finally showed ‘Tomorrowland’, which has light-cycles and roller-coasters inspired from the ‘Tron’ movie.