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One day before the opening of Disneyland China, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company, Robert Iger, announced that work was already being done to expand the park. The General Manager of the resort, Philippe Gas, affirmed that this was partly to increase the capacity in order to reduce the queues for the park’s many attractions.
Disney had conducted focus groups with Chinese consumers to ensure the Disney brand would adapt to the unique features of the Chinese market. Indeed, the park includes China’s first-ever production of the Lion King and the tallest Disney castle ever built in order to satisfy Chinese visitors. Nevertheless, upon opening, they are grappling with excessive queue lengths, despite the extensive market research they organized. Waiting times for The Seven Dwarves ride through a mine has reached four hours, whilst the two-minute Tron ride requires at least a one-and-a-half-hour queue.
Targeting the Chinese middle-class
Furthermore, the flood of visitors is expected to continue, despite extremely expensive tickets. An expanding middle class with growing disposable income will happily pay $60 for a ticket even when the average monthly salary of a Chinese citizen is $1000. Consequently, it appears Disney’s target of 10 000 000 visitors per year will easily be met. The expansion Iger and his plan will triple this yearly target.