SHANGHAI, April 29 (Xinhua) -- The first Disneyland on the Chinese mainland expects 30 percent more visitors than originally planned, thanks to an additional 5 billion yuan (800 million U.S. dollars) worth of investment.
The money, pledged by both Walt Disney and Chinese partner Shanghai Shendi Group on Tuesday, will be spent on more attractions, entertainment and other areas to increase capacity at the theme park.
Shanghai Shendi said the extra facilities would be within the 3.9 square km mapped out for the project.
The company said the decision to invest more was based on their confidence in the prospects for the Shanghai park, scheduled to open at the end of 2015.
It said the number of visitors within the first year of its opening is expected to approach 10 million, 30 percent more than originally planned.
"Since we first broke ground in Shanghai, we've been very impressed with the growth of China's economy, especially in the rapid expansion of the middle class and the significant increase in travel and tourism," said Robert A. Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company in a statement.
"The expansion underscores the tremendous opportunity we see in Shanghai and demonstrates our long-term commitment to and confidence in China," said Thomas O. Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts in the statement.
Shanghai expected to receive 240 million domestic tourists and 10 million foreign visitors in 2015 with a tourism revenue expected to hit 510 billion yuan.