China / Society

Disneyland gears up for Shanghai opening

By Wang Zhuoqiong (China Daily) Updated: 2014-11-17 04:14

Final touches being made to flagship new resort for local tourism boom

Disneyland gears up for Shanghai opening
Chinese Disney fans won’t need a visa or a permit to shake hands with their favorite characters for much longer, as work on the Shanghai Disney Resort continues apace, which is expected to be opened at the end of next year.

Many of the resort’s main buildings and attractions have already been completed, including its castles, mountains, a huge Pirates attraction, the “Treasure Cove”, and the Walt Disney Grand Theatre.

The resort recently recruited its 1,000th local “Cast Member”, as its staff are called, many of whom have been taken on as a result of an extensive recruitment process targeting some of the country’s most talented graduates from local universities and colleges, according to a management team for Shanghai Disney Resort.

So keen is the company to make sure the levels of customer service are maintained at the new site, that many have been sent to its other sites for training.

In July this year, more than 200 students spent two months on an international summer internship with Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, for instance.

The program provided a special opportunity for the students to gain tourism industry experience, training alongside some of the company’s most talented entertainment and guest relations professionals.

All the students completing the course were offered job opportunities with the Shanghai resort.

In September the company kicked off another graduate recruitment campaign, which is expected to eventually employ several thousand staff members across a wide range of disciplines, such as food and beverage, merchandising, park operations and hotel operations.

A month later, the entertainment team at Shanghai Disney launched auditions to find candidates for its entertainment roles, including dancers, performers and musicians.

Officials at the company say the planned shows and performances at the new resort will provide a unique platform to integrate Chinese creative and performing talent into Disney productions.

When completed, the park will have two themed hotels, various dining and entertainment venues, recreational facilities, and it very own lake.

Disney is the world’s premier integrated entertainment media group, with its revenue structure well composed of media, entertainment, theme parks and consumer goods derived from film and television-related products. But the domestic theme parks do not have such a development so far, said Zhao Kejia, a Chinese film critic.


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