From Turkey Legs To 1 Million Visitors, Shanghai Disney's Success A Pleasant Surprise For CEO Iger
Nearly one million people have already visited Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS)'s amusement park in Shanghai within just weeks of opening.
Disney's CEO Robert "Bob" Iger said during the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, Colorado, that the park's guests are staying longer than expected and are opening up to Disney's famed turkey legs.
Despite hesitations regarding the likelihood of the food's success, Iger commented, "We are introducing turkey legs in China [...] which I thought was a mistake, but we are selling 3,000 a day."
Iger's comments could reinforce the bull case for Disney's stock. After all, entrance fees for the resort is normally set at the equivalent of $56, but peak periods sets each guest back $76.
Disney's latest Asian foray represents 18 years of dreaming, planning and ultimately investing $5.5 billion. Now, the park represents one of the largest foreign investment projects ever in China and investors are hoping it pays off.
Marci Ryvicker and Eric Katz, analysts at Wells Fargo, were bullish on the park's prospects before it officially opened. In a note dated June 10, the analysts suggested that the new park will generate opportunities to sell consumer products or promote films.
There is, however, one issue Disney may find hard to tackle. Wang Jianlin, China's second-richest person and largest private property developer wants to build 15 to 20 theme parks to compete directly against Disney's own parks.
However, Iger's comments that the park has attracted nearly one million visitors could reassure investors — at least for the time being.
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