• An aerial view of the Shanghai Disney Resort.

An aerial view of the Shanghai Disney Resort. (Photo : Getty Images News)

The strong start of Shanghai Disney Resort partially offset the earnings drop suffered by The Walt Disney Company in the first quarter.

The resort received more than 7 million visitors since its opening in June, which could help them to break even this year, according to Christine McCarthy, Walt Disney Company's chief financial officer. She added that Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland also exhibited improved results that helped them boost revenues.

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Shanghai Disney Resort is equipped with a theme park, two themed hotels and a Broadway-style theater, among other settings.
Its Chinese New Year celebration was a huge success with its special lineup of activities featuring Disney characters in traditional Chinese costumes.

Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger credited the Parks and Resorts segment's promising sales to the opening of the Shanghai Disney Resort. He added that he's thrilled with Shanghai Disney Resort's performance and estimates that it could exceed 10 million in total attendance in its first year of operations.

The resort operated at maximum capacity for the entire holiday period and attracted a huge attendance during Chinese New Year.
There is still room for development for the Shanghai resort, as similar Disney parks in California and Tokyo drew 18.3 million and 16.6 million visitors in 2015, the organization said.

Qi Xiaozhai, a senior consultant at the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce, emphasized that China's expanding middle class presents opportunities for growth at Shanghai Disney.

Among Walt Disney's four lines of businesses, the Parks and Resorts was the only segment increased revenue and operating income, which expanded by 6 percent and 13 percent, respectively.

The operating income for Media Networks, the California-headquartered company's largest segment, posted a 4 percent decline from the previous a year due to higher programming costs and lower advertising revenue at cable service ESPN.

Walt Disney welcomed 137 million visitors globally to its theme parks in 2015 and posted fiscal first-quarter earnings per share of $1.55 and a revenue of $14.78 billion.