Shanghai Disney faces suit over child ticket policy

The Shanghai Disney Resort has been hauled to court over its ticket pricing mechanism for children.

The Shanghai Disney Resort has been hauled to court over its ticket pricing mechanism for children.

Liu Demin, a judge at Guangdong Province’s higher court in south China, has filed a lawsuit in Shanghai against the US theme park over its policy on children’s ticket.

Liu told China Youth Daily newspaper that he visited the resort in January and was told to buy an adult ticket for his 10-year-old child who was taller than 1.4 meters.

“It is extremely unreasonable,” Liu told the paper. “Except for Shanghai Disney Resort, all other Disney parks in the world have tickets based on age, not height.”

At Shanghai Disney Resort, children below 1 meter can enter for free. Children who are between 1m and 1.4m in height are charged 299 yuan (US$46) on weekdays and 431 yuan on weekends.

But children taller than 1.4m are required to buy an adult ticket — 399 yuan on weekdays and 575 yuan on weekends.

Tokyo Disney Resort divides visitors into three age groups — child (4-11 years old), junior (12-17 years old) and adult (over 18 years old).

Hong Kong Disneyland sells children’s tickets to kids between the ages of 3 and 11, while the Walt Disney World in Orlando charges less for those who are between 3 and 9 years old.

Only Shanghai Disney Resort uses the height to judge a child’s ticket.

“It is unfair to Chinese children,” Liu told the newspaper.

“Also, I want to ask whether the child ticket is sold to only children or to anyone whose height is below 1.4 meters.

“Such unreasonable pricing mechanism should have been eliminated long ago.”

He said the scientific and fair way to set ticket prices should be one based on age.

The Pudong New Area People’s Court confirmed yesterday that the case was being heard but no verdict has been reached yet.

Liu told the court that Shanghai International Theme Park Co, the co-owner of Shanghai Disney Resort, should refund the extra charges he paid for his child.

But more importantly, he wants the resort to correct its pricing mechanism.

Shanghai Disney Resort told Shanghai Daily yesterday that it was in talks with Liu.

A ruling in this case may also have an impact on the child ticket prices in Shanghai and elsewhere on the Chinese mainland, where many recreational centers charge entry fees for children based on their height.

Shanghai Oriental Pearl Tower and Shanghai Ocean Aquarium only sell child tickets to children shorter than 1.4m. Happy Valley in Shenzhen City and the Chimelong Ocean Kingdom in Zhuhai City have a 1.5m-height limit.

In 2012, the National Development and Reform Commission suggested that tourist attractions allow children below 6 years old or shorter than 1.2 meters to enter for free, and sell half-price tickets to those aged between 6 and 18.

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