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First Disneyland on mainland officially opens

Updated: Jun 17,2016 9:25 AM

After five years of construction and weeks of testing, the Shanghai Disney Resort has finally opened its doors. Analysts are confident the project can be both profitable and popular.

A dream finally comes true, and not even the rain can keep away the eager visitors. With $5.5 billion of investment, Walt Disney opened its first resort on the Chinese mainland on June 16.

“We bought our group tickets months ago. We’ve tried many times and finally made it. I am so happy to be here today,” a visitor said.

Covering almost 1,000 acres, the resort includes a theme park; two hotels; a shopping, dining and entertainment district; and a lake open to the public.

“I’ve been here during the soft launch. It has more modern elements compared with other Disneylands. The opening is a meaningful day, and I want to be a part of it,” a visitor said.

“Some comments online said the ticket was too expensive. But I think the experience and service are worth it,” another visitor said.

Admission to the new park is 499 yuan on weekends and holidays, and 370 yuan on weekdays.

Today is not only a big day for Disney fans in China, but also a milestone for the company’s global business. Shanghai Disneyland is expected to become the world’s most-visited theme park.

The park is located in one of the richest regions of China. About 330 million people live within a three-hour drive or train ride.

“I started collecting Disney products about 10 years ago and have spent over 70,000 RMB so far. I bought many limited edition products today, which are especially designed for today’s opening,” a visitor said.

China’s middle class is expected to continue growing in size and purchasing power, while remaining highly brand-conscious. That’s why experts believe the park can be a major success story.