Disney CEO says Shanghai park 'tremendous success'

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Disney cartoon characters perform for visitors at a parade in Shanghai Disneyland on Jan. 11, 2017. [File photo/Xinhua]

The Walt Disney Company's chairman and CEO Bob Iger said Friday that its Shanghai theme park is a "tremendous success", logging more than 11 million visits in just a year.

Attendance is better than he ever imagined and the company looks forward to welcoming many more in the years to come, Iger said at a ceremony held to mark the first anniversary of Shanghai Disney Resort.

The resort, located in the district of Pudong, consists of Shanghai Disneyland -- the theme park, a Disneytown shopping and dining district, two hotels, and the Wishing Star Park recreational area.

Disney called the Shanghai theme park one of its most ambitious projects, as the most technologically advanced park to date, with the biggest, tallest castle of any Disney park and the first pirate-themed land.

The resort has already announced its first post-opening expansion, a new immersive land themed on the Toy Story franchise set to open in 2018.

"Everything you see in this park was created for the people of China, and we thank you for embracing this special place as your own," Iger told the audience.

The company said the resort's popularity added to shareholders' confidence in the growing demand for the overall development of China's tourism industry.

Outside the United States, Disney has also opened theme parks in Paris, Tokyo, and Hong Kong.

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