• Shanghai Disney Resort is set to celebrate its first anniversary this June 16.

Shanghai Disney Resort is set to celebrate its first anniversary this June 16. (Photo : Getty Images)

Shanghai Disneyland has brought significant development for those working and living in nearby areas.

In his visit to the Shanghai International Tourism and Resorts Zone on Wednesday, mayor of Shanghai Ying Yong said that the influence of Shanghai Disneyland will increase and industrial clusters will be established in the zone. The zone, located in Pudong District, includes Shanghai Disneyland.

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The mayor has also announced plans to improve the tourism facilities, transportation and dining in the zone.

Shanghai Disneyland was opened mid-June last year. In the first nine months of its operation, the resort accommodated around 8 million visitors, said Walt Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger at the company;s annual meeting of shareholders held a month ago.

According to Iger, the resort is expecting to reach the 10 million mark by June during the first anniversary of the park.

An increase of 60 percent in the number of tourists from the same period in 2016 was observed in major tourist destinations in Pudong during this year’s Spring Festival. The district received about 1.6 million visitors during the holiday which lasted from Jan. 27 to Feb. 2.

The commercial enterprises in the district gained 642 million yuan ($93 million) sales revenue, higher by more than 32 percent than the previous year.

The Chuansa area in Pudong has been dubbed “Chuan-lifornia” by Disney employees. The resort’s launch last year opened doors for those living in the area.

Du Weiping, a 49-year-old Chuansa local, has previously worked as a factory worker. Now, she is a cleaner at the park. Aside from fulfilling her assignment to clean the main entrance, she often volunteers to assist and guide tourists who need help.

“The visitors, both Chinese and foreigners, have all kinds of questions about which programs are the most interesting, how to get a fast pass, and where the toilet is,” Du said.

Before, Du cannot speak a word in English. But through the help of her younger colleagues, she can now confidently communicate with foreign tourists in simple English.

Locals are not the only ones who benefited from the resort. People across the world have been given opportunities by Shanghai Disneyland.

Ntsepa Pitjeng, an actress from South Africa, performs in the Chinese version of “The Lion King” musical. She had previously performed in the English version of the musical in different countries. But regardless of her experience, she found her new role challenging.

It took her two months to learn how to deliver her lines in Chinese. She remembered an instance when she went blank. All of a sudden, she could not remember her lines on stage. Fortunately, her Chinese colleague gave her a hint.

According to Dong Xiaoling, a Shanghai International Tourism and Resorts Zone official, Shanghai Disneyland has not only contributed to the growth of tourism. The theme park has also brought business experience and innovation to the country.

The China-U.S. cooperation is advantageous to the country, she added.

Shanghai Disneyland continues to bring magic not only to its visitors but also to the lives of the people of Pudong.