Walt Disney Co. on Monday announced an expansion of the Shanghai Disney Resort before it has even opened, as it seeks to capitalize on a boom in Chinese tourism.
The Burbank entertainment and media company will split an additional $800 million investment in the park on more attractions, entertainment and other offerings with Shanghai Shendi Group, its joint venture partner in China.
Shanghai Disney Resort, which originally was slated to cost $4.4 billion, is not scheduled to open until late 2015. It will span 1,000 acres and include two hotels and an outdoor recreation area. Disney did not offer details on the new attractions.
Thomas Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Park and Resorts, said the park was designed to expand over time and the new upfront investment will only complete those additions earlier.
“The expansion underscores the tremendous opportunity we see in Shanghai and demonstrates our long-term commitment to and confidence in China,” Staggs said in a prepared statement.
Disney’s plans come amid rapid growth in the Chinese travel and tourism market. More than 300 million people live within a three-hour travel radius of Shanghai Disney and the travel market is projected to grow 34 percent between 2012 and 2015, according to tourism and hospitality industry market research firm PhoCusWright, in Sherman, Conn.