The chief executive of Shanghai Disney Resort, Robert Iger, has claimed that nearly a million people have already visited the park, and it’s only been open for a month.
To be clear, this is people who have actually been INSIDE the park, even before it officially opened, Shanghai Disneyland welcomed over 1 million people, many of whom could only stand outside its gates and peer inside.
“It would be safe to assume almost a million people have experienced the park,” Iger said during an on-stage chat at a Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, Colorado, Shanghai Daily reports.
Iger added that the visitors frequenting the park are staying longer than predicted and that popularity seems to be on the rise.
What could be the reason for this? Well, some are pointing to the park’s in demand turkey legs, directly sourced from Poland, that are selling like hot cakes for 50 RMB a pop. Forget the awesome TRON ride, just give us a juicy, succulent turkey leg!
“We are introducing turkey legs to China,” Iger quipped. “Which I thought was a mistake, but we are selling 3,000 a day.”
While the park’s tickets are famously the most inexpensive of all the world’s Disneylands, they still don’t come cheap — at 499 RMB on peak days — and the park is squarely targeted at the Chinese middle-class with pork baozi for sale at 35 RMB a bun.
Still, the park is not a carbon-copy of its Western counterparts, Disney sought to integrate aspects of Chinese culture and food into the park. “I very much wanted to avoid being called a cultural imperialist,” Iger said.
The park cost an astronomical $5.5 billion to construct, but opened its doors as the Chinese economy has started to slow down. So here’s hoping more park-goers spill through the gates and continue buying up those pricey turkey legs. Disney expects 10 million visitors this year, along with a profit of $24 billion.
Eat your heart out, Wang Jianlin. Perhaps, along with a yummy Polish turkey leg?
By Robin Winship
[Images via South China Morning Post]