[SINGAPORE] Tickets for Walt Disney Co's US$5.5 billion Shanghai park will be priced at about 20 per cent cheaper than for Hong Kong, as the company aims to draw families across income levels to its first theme park in mainland China.
Daily regular tickets go on sale from March 28 and will be priced at 370 yuan (S$80), compared with HK$539 (S$98.7) for a one-day adult ticket to Hong Kong Disneyland, while those for children and the elderly will cost 280 yuan. It'll also charge higher prices during peak periods such as weekends and public holidays, Disney said in a statement.
"Shanghai Disneyland's two-tiered pricing and date-specific tickets will allow the park to manage the extraordinary anticipated demand," Disney said on Wednesday. The park, scheduled to open June 16, will limit the maximum number of guests and adhere to local capacity regulations, it said, without specifying the allowed numbers.
Chief executive officer Robert Iger has called the China resort Disney's greatest opportunity since Walt Disney himself bought land in Central Florida in the 1960s. The company is counting on a pool of 330 million Chinese who live within a three-hour train or car trip of Shanghai to buy tickets. Grand Opening Tickets will be priced at 499 yuan during the park's two-week grand opening from June 16 to June 30. Following that, the same price will apply to adult tickets during high-demand periods such as designated Chinese holidays and during summer holidays in July and August, said Disney. Hong Kong doesn't charge peak period prices.
Similar to practices at its two other parks in Asia, Shanghai Disney's discount for visitors aged 65 and older is a nod to ageing populations and extended family structures, which could see two sets of grandparents accompanying each child in the world's largest populous nation. Seniors and children with height above 1 meter and up to 1.4 meter, will also get discounted peak period tickets.
The Shanghai park, Disney's sixth worldwide, is estimated to attract 25 million visitors annually, less than about 31 million who visit Tokyo Disney Resort annually because of the lack of the "novelty premium" as the park is the third one in Asia, Deutsche Bank AG analysts Tallan Zhou and Karen Tang wrote in a Feb 1 report.
At 963 acres, the Shanghai resort is three times the size of Hong Kong Disneyland and the company has been allotted enough land in the Shanghai International Tourism and Resorts Zone to expand up to 2.5 times in the future.
It will open at a time when the world's second-biggest economy is slowing, but Disney's Mr Iger said he's still confident about betting on the Chinese consumer.
"We're very bullish on China," Mr Iger said in an interview with Bloomberg TV in December. "We actually believe that the Chinese consumer is still spending. And the Chinese consumer represents, as far as we're concerned, a great market for our company."