Shanghai Disney Resort Has Successful Post-COVID Comeback as ‘Zootopia’ Expansion Nears Completion
Disney CFO Christine McCarthy elaborated on the prior quarter’s financial and attendance success in Shanghai at the 2023 Q2 results conference call.
Shanghai Disney Re-Discovers Success
The topic was discussed by the CFO and CEO (Iger) alongside other developments of the second quarter, including the ongoing federal lawsuit between Disney and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the company’s $5.5 billion cost-cutting goals, expansion opportunities at the parks, and a new integrated app experience that would include Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+.
McCarthy emphasized the extended COVID closure their Shanghai property endured, far longer than American counterparts, and noted a significant yet unspecific rise in revenue, attendance, and guest expenditure per capita.
According to the South China Morning Post, the Chinese theme park industry is booming once again, thanks in part to the recent May Day holidays.
During the five-day May Day holiday last week, long queues and crowds were seen at the country’s theme parks, a sign they have become ‘early beneficiaries’ of a tourism recovery after Beijing abandoned its tough pandemic restrictions. Tickets for both Shanghai Disneyland and Universal Studios Beijing almost sold out ahead of the holiday. Some 92,000 visitors arrived at Atlantis Sanya, a water park in southern Hainan Province during the so-called golden week, more than four times the number in the same period last year, according to data from Chinese conglomerate Fosun International.
Some local parks in China saw attendance increase as much as 105% during this period, as experts correlate these dramatic changes to a pent-up demand from the public for outgoing activities, after long-term COVID restrictions. In the most recently available global rankings of theme park attendance, Shanghai Disneyland rests neatly between Disneyland Park in California and EPCOT in Florida. It could be even higher now, considering these statistics are from the pandemic era.
‘Zootopia’ Land Opens Later in 2023
This reopening and gradual return to form is occurring as construction is nearly complete on a new land based around the 2016 film “Zootopia” — anticipated to open later this year.
“Zootopia” is an extremely popular franchise in China, where $220 million of its $1 billion box office gross was made, meaning it is still in the top 50 highest-earning films throughout Chinese cinema history as of 2023.
Read more about “Zootopia” land at Shanghai Disneyland:
Disney is additionally developing a “Zootopia” and “Moana” land to replace DinoLand, U.S.A. at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, which is at least in the “blue sky” phase. Read more about new lands and attractions coming soon to Disney Parks around the world this year.
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