"We will take a phased approach with limits on attendance using an advanced reservation and entry system, controlled guest density using social distancing and strict government required health and prevention procedures," Disney Chief Executive Officer Robert Chapek said on a conference call with analysts after reporting second-quarter earnings.
Tickets were sold out within hours of going on sale at midnight on Monday, Bloomberg reported Monday. A girl buys tickets of the Shanghai Disney Resort on Chinese online shopping site Taobao.com in Shanghai, China, 28 March 2016. People who don't mind missing out on the big opening extravaganza can still get tickets for the days leading up to Sep. 30, which are priced between 370 yuan ( 56) and 499 yuan ( 76). SEE ALSO: Happy Birthday, Disneyland: Inside Walt's relationship with the Happiest Place on Earth Disney had said in earlier local reports that the pre-sale was arranged in order to give the park time to plan for and manage crowds on opening day and deal with counterfeit tickets. This is Disney's first theme park in mainland China -- Hong Kong Disneyland opened in 2005.
Even before Walt Disney Co. opened Euro Disneyland outside Paris in 1992, French intellectuals called the park a "cultural Chernobyl," workers protested the Disney dress code and neighbors complained that the park's train whistles provoked their dogs to bark and geese to honk. But Paris came to embrace its new neighbor and now the park attracts 10.4 million people a year, more than the number of visitors to the Louvre museum or the Eiffel Tower. On June 16, Disney will open its biggest and most expensive international resort -- a nearly 1,000-acre, 5.5-billion development in Shanghai -- and company executives know the challenges of trying to take the Disney magic abroad. If it proves a hit, Shanghai Disney will add momentum to the Burbank entertainment giant's efforts to turn China's 1.4 billion citizens into more voracious consumers of Mouse House merchandise and films. Shanghai Disneyland won't swing wide its gates to the general public until June 16, but pre-opening visitors to Walt Disney Co.'s first theme park in mainland China already have found something to complain about amid operational tests for a dazzling array of attractions: the prices, particularly... Shanghai Disneyland won't swing wide its gates to the general public until June 16, but pre-opening visitors to Walt Disney Co.'s first theme park in mainland China already have found something to complain about amid operational tests for a dazzling array of attractions: the prices, particularly... Disney's target is the country's upper middle class, which is forecast to double to 100 million by 2020, according to the Boston Consulting Group.
Disney did say that its newest theme park resort, Shanghai Disneyland, would reopen on May 11 with "controlled capacity," temperature checks and everyone wearing masks. "Queues will be structured and ride vehicles will be loaded to promote social distancing," Disney said. Mr. Chapek said that Shanghai Disneyland attracted roughly 80,000 people a day under normal conditions. For the moment, the Chinese government wants capacity capped at 24,000 a day.
Robert Iger first set foot on the site in China that would become a Walt Disney Co. theme park 17 years ago. Back then the 963-acre site was mostly agricultural land, but now it has been transformed into Shanghai Disney Resort, a 5.5-billion project that has become an important symbol of Disney's ambitions in the world's most populous country. "It's kind of hard to believe we've been involved so long," said Iger at the MoffettNathanson Media and Communications Summit in May. The development, which opens June 16, means a lot to Disney's chief, who became CEO in 2005 and is expected to depart the company when his contract expires in 2018. And the stakes couldn't be higher.