Walt Disney Company CEO Robert A. Iger attends the opening ceremony of six themed parks of Shanghai Disney Resort at Shanghai Expo Center on July 15, 2015 in Shanghai, China. (Photo : Getty Images/ChinaFotoPress)
Disney Shanghai Park opened its gate for guests and staff over the weekends. The sneak preview of the $5.5-billion amusement site was in time for next month's grand opening of the first ever theme park in China.
The soft opening of the Disney Shanghai Park that started on May 7, Saturday will run for six weeks. It is initially restricted to the resort's partners, stakeholders and employees, according to Bloomberg. Guests can try various amenities in the park, including dining, entertainment and attractions on selected dates.
"It opens the eyes of old people and young people to see something like this," Wang Xingmiao, a retiree who attended the soft opening of the Disney Shanghai Park, told the publication. The presence of Disney park in China gives the Chinese people the opportunity to see such park without visiting places, he said.
As expected, the first day soft opening of the Disney Shanghai Park was successful. As early as 10 a.m. people gathered in the non-ticketed area, where shops and restaurants are located. The Walt Disney store that sells different souvenirs, toys and collectibles was also opened to the public.
Trial runs are standard pre-opening procedures for all Walt Disney Parks and Resorts and other major attraction sites in the world.
Meanwhile, a three-day event is scheduled to take place in the park as part of its grand opening next month.The celebration includes a red carpet premiere of the Lion King Broadway show. It is the production's first time to perform in Mandarin, Business Standard reported.
On April 4, Disney shocked investors after the company's top lieutenant Thomas Staggs announced his resignation from the company. Staggs was the one in-charged of the major expansions such as the Shanghai resort.
At present, Disney Shanghai Park is recruiting staff to fill up the positions in the park. The company is set to employ about 10,000 workers.
Disney Shanghai Park is located in Shanghai's Pudong district. It is Disney's sixth worldwide, and will be opening officially on June 16.
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