Business / Companies

$800m more to be invested in Shanghai Disney park

By GAO CHANGXIN in Shanghai (China Daily USA) Updated: 2014-04-30 02:54

The Walt Disney Co and the Shanghai Shendi Group are spending an additional $800 million on their theme park resort in Shanghai to add more attractions before it opens at the end of 2015.

The additional spending raises the investment total to about $5.44 billion for the park's two owners. Shanghai Shendi is a conglomerate of State-owned enterprises established by the city government to develop the park.

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Shendi has a 57 percent stake in the park, with Disney holding the remainder.

Disney CEO Robert Iger said in a statement that he was impressed with China's economic growth and the significant increase in travel and tourism.

"Our accelerated expansion, including additional attractions and entertainment, will allow us to welcome more guests for a spectacular Disney experience on opening day," Iger said.

Disney said in a statement that 330 million "income-qualified" people live within three hours' traveling time of the 3.9-sq-km resort, which is in Shanghai's northeastern suburbs.

Disney said China's travel market is projected to grow by 34 percent from 2012 to 2015, citing market research from US-based PhoCusWright.

Hong Kong Disneyland, Disney's first theme park in China, is the top destination for Mickey Mouse fans on the mainland. In February, the Hong Kong attraction reported a fourth consecutive year of record revenue, attendance, hotel occupancy and guest spending, mainly from mainland visitors.

The Shanghai park announced on March 19 that one of its six theme areas will feature the Hollywood blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean. Treasure Cove will be Disney's first attraction to use the movie as its theme in a park and will feature a new boat ride — Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle of the Sunken Treasure.

Upon completion, the park will have two themed hotels, various dining and entertainment venues, recreational facilities, a lake and transportation hubs.

In January, the resort said that a seven-floor hotel with 800 rooms, the first of two Disney-themed hotels at the resort, was close to completion.

The hotel will be one of the main accommodation options and will feature views of the resort's central lake.

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