The exhibition was opened at the foot of the castle, by Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang and CEO of Disney, Bob Iger, after several days of festivities around the park and under a fine rain, as recalled by the first, in Chinese culture portends an opening day is “good fortune”.
The US multinational entertainment opened its first theme park in mainland China, particularly in Shanghai, in an attempt to capitalize on the growing popularity of its products in the country among the growing middle class.
It occupies an area of 3.9 square kilometers in its first phase. It features the iconic Disney castle, the highest of all the parks. The investment is about 4,900 million euros (5,500 million dollars), one of the biggest payouts in the history of the American company overseas.
Global brands like Disney are striving to create appropriate tastes in China products. The company added local to the park elements and focused on popular characters, reducing allusions to his American identity. At the entrance, instead of Main Street America is an emblem of Magic Kingdom, what you see is Mickey Avenue. “The most important thing is that this is authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese” remarked Igor reporters.
Disney negotiated for eight years with the Chinese authorities and has had to make numerous concessions to open the complex, including the local group associated with Shanghai Shendi -whose main shareholders are state companies, and ceding a majority stake in the project (57 % compared to 43% of Disney).
Given this context, Disney walks a fine line between the limitations imposed by the authorities and the opportunity to take advantage of the huge Chinese market, with a growing and willing to travel and spend on entertainment middle class. The ticket price of the complex ranges from 370 yuan (50 euros) on weekdays and 499 yuan (68 euros) during holidays and vacations, a level lower than other resorts in the world price, but relatively expensive for a Chinese citizen means. “The world’s most populous country is simply too big to ignore,” summed Bob Iger.
The company projects that about 330 million people within three hours from Shanghai have the resources to visit the park. Analysts expect the Shanghai Disneyland will become the most visited theme park in the world with an audience of between 15 million and 50 million visitors annually. In comparison, the star of Disney park in Orlando, Florida, received 19.3 million people in 2014. “It will be a huge success. Everyone in China who has a child or grandchild will want to go to Shanghai Disney, “said Shaun Rein, managing director of China Market Research in Shanghai.