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No 2 Disneylands Alike: Newest Park In Shanghai Beat Expectations

No 2 Disneylands Alike: Newest Park In Shanghai Beat Expectations

Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS)'s theme park in Shanghai celebrated its first year by coming close to breaking even, a first for the entertainment giant in 30 years. But is the newest the best of the bunch?

It’s certainly the biggest, reflective of its humongous market. At 963 acres, you could squeeze two California Disneylands on the Chinese property’s footprint.

Disney spent $5.5 billion on Shanghai and pulled in 11 million people in its first year, CEO Bob Iger told Bloomberg.

The resort’s attendance puts it ahead of Disney’s Hong Kong and Paris parks but behind its most popular parks in Florida, California and Japan. And though Shanghai is considered a success, China isn’t a slam-dunk: The Hong Kong Disneyland had a 10.3 percent drop in attendance from 2015 to 2016 and had its second straight year in the red.

On face, attendance was down worldwide last year for the first time ever at the parks and its sub-parks.

See Also: Disney Shanghai And The True Growth Drive For The House Of Mouse

The theme parks, one of the main drivers of Disney’s revenues, all clearly capture the corporate Magic Kingdom whimsy, but there some key differences in each park that you won’t find at the others.

Disney Paris

The only Disney venue with a restaurant that features food from the French favorite (both movie and meal) "Ratatouille.” Yes, the only restaurant where you can eat what a cartoon rat has cooking. Oddly, Eurodisney is also the only park to feature a McDonald’s on the premises.

Disney Tokyo

All the parks have a Main Street or reasonable facsimile, but Disneyland Tokyo is the only one that is technically indoors. The adjacent DisneySea includes a boardwalk area that resembles Venetian waterways, setting it apart from the California-themed boardwalk in Anaheim and the Jersey Shore-style boardwalk in Orlando.

Disney Hong Kong

Imagineers consulted feng shui experts to design Disneyland Hong Kong, giving the smallest park a sense of flow. You can also get dim sum that looks like Disney characters. It also has a Winnie the Pooh Pagoda. All that said, it’s most reminiscent of the Disneyland in Anaheim, California.

Disney Shanghai

As the newest of the parks, Shanghai has the most avant garde architecture, often bordering on the bizarre. The Disney Tourist Blog reads: “It offers the Camp Discovery Challenge Trails, Roaring Rapids, Jet Packs, Eye of the Storm: Captain Jack’s Stunt Spectacular, Voyage to the Crystal Grotto, plus dramatically different takes on favorites with Peter Pan’s Flight and Buzz Lightyear’s Planet Rescue.”

Disney Florida

Orlando's Magic Kingdom is based on Cinderella, but at this park, it's surrounded by a moat. Pop star Katy Perry also slept in Cinderella's Suite. Disney World is also the only park where people can swim. It’s interesting that the construction of Disney World resulted in the destruction of wetlands. It’s the only park that offers a safari with real animals.

Disney California

The original, built in 1955, is the only park with a "Pirates of the Caribbean" exhibit that features an actual human skull. No evidence it belonged to Walt. In another macabre twist, it has an annual Bats Day, for people who embrace the Goth lifestyle.

Image Credit: By Jeremy Thompson from Los Angeles, California - Shanghai Disneyland, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Posted-In: Bob Iger disney Disney Shanghai DisneylandTravel Top Stories Media General Best of Benzinga


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