Shanghai Disneyland has been open less than five months and already is building an expansion based on the popular “Toy Story” movies.
The nearly 1,000-acre, $5.5-billion Shanghai Disney Resort, which opened in June, hosted a low-key groundbreaking ceremony last week for its new Toy Story Land, attended by Bob Iger, Walt Disney Co. chief executive and chairman; Bob Chapek, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts; and Fan Xinping, chairman of the Shanghai Shendi Group that is partnering with Disney on the resort.
Iger told analysts and investors Thursday that 4 million people visited the park during the first four months in operation.
“Some of you may infer from this early performance that we can achieve 10 million in attendance in the parks first year, a number we would be thrilled with, but we’re not providing any annual guidance at this point,” Iger said during a conference call discussing Disney’s $1.77 billion in fourth-quarter profit, which rose 10% from the year-earlier period but fell short of analysts’ expectations.
Disney officials declined to describe the cost or size of the new Toy Story Land except to say it will include three attractions and will sit in the northwest part of the park, between Tomorrowland and Fantasyland. The land will be Shanghai Disneyland’s seventh themed area and is expected to open in 2018.
“We couldn’t be more pleased with Shanghai Disneyland’s first four months of operation and couldn’t be more excited about our future in mainland China,” Chapek said in a news release announcing the Toy Story Land expansion.
The resort already has a Toy Story hotel, which opened in June.
Disney operates theme park resorts in France and Hong Kong in addition to Orlando, Fla., and Anaheim. A Japanese company operates a Disney park in Tokyo under a licensing agreement with Disney.
Disney Chief Financial Officer Christine McCarthy said that attendance at the company’s U.S. parks fell 10% in the three months ended Oct. 1, in part because the year-earlier period included an additional week. Attendance fell at Disneyland because the 2015 fourth quarter included the park’s 60th anniversary celebration, which brought “very strong attendance,” she said during the conference call.
Internationally, Shanghai Disney Resort’s profitable contribution to operating income couldn’t completely offset the approximately $100-million decline at Disneyland Paris, which McCarthy attributed to lingering terrorism fears.
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3:05 p.m.: This article was updated to include a discussion of Disney theme park attendance in the fourth quarter.
This article was originally published at 11:35 a.m.