Tickets for Shanghai Disneyland opening day on June 16 sold out online in hours

Walt Disney Company chairman and CEO Bob Iger speaking in front of a model of the new Shanghai Disney Resort during a press event in Shanghai. PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE (Bloomberg) - Tickets for the June 16 opening day of Walt Disney Co.'s new theme park in Shanghai were sold out on its official ticketing website hours after going on sale at midnight on Monday (March 28).

Tickets from June 17 to Sept 30 are still available, ranging in price from 370 yuan (S$78) for non-peak periods, to 499 yuan for peak periods, which include the park's first two weeks, all weekends, and the summer months of July and August.

The 963-acre park, Disney's sixth worldwide, is three times the size of Hong Kong Disneyland, with non-peak tickets costing about 20 per cent less.

Chief Executive Officer Robert Iger has called the China resort Disney's greatest opportunity since Walt Disney himself bought land in central Florida in the 1960s. The company plans to court 330 million Chinese who live within a three-hour train or car trip of Shanghai.

"Relying on the large desire for family-style entertainment and the rising purchasing power of Chinese consumers, Shanghai Disneyland is likely to set off massive consumer demand," Chang Jiang Securities Co. analyst Li Jin wrote in a note released Monday.

The resort's revenue is likely to range from 24 billion (S$5 billion) to 40 billion yuan (S$8.4 billion) a year, with up to to 50 million visitors expected annually, according to Li.

Shares of Disney-related companies gained in Shanghai trading today as ticket sales began. Shanghai Construction Group Co., which won a bid for Shanghai Disney park's site formation project, advanced by as much as the 10 per cent daily limit, as did Shanghai Jielong Industry Group Corp.

Hotel rooms at Shanghai Disney Resort were also quickly snapped up. As of noon on Monday, rooms were fully-booked at the resort's two on-site hotels, the Toy Story Hotel and the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel, for the first two weeks of the resort's opening, according to the booking website.

Rooms at the Toy Story Hotel start at 850 yuan while rooms at the Shanghai Disneyland Resort Hotel are priced at about 2000 yuan.

Shanghai Disney Resort's ticketing website requires buyers to register their ID numbers upon purchase to prevent ticket scalping.

But scalpers are apparently already running a thriving trade in tickets, some of which are being hawked at 1,600 yuan, triple the official price, Global Times reported.

A search for Shanghai Disneyland tickets on Chinese e-commerce giant Taobao on Sunday yielded some 250 results, with prices ranging from 1 yuan to 1,600 yuan.

"We began to sell tickets about one month ago. You can prepay for tickets which will be delivered by the end of March," one Taobao shop owner told the Global Times on Sunday, claiming that over 1,000 tickets have been sold.

Another shop owner claimed that tickets for the coming June, July and August are sold out.

Walt Disney representatives did not reply to e-mailed questions and phone calls seeking comment.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.