Expo crowds hit records highs
The Shanghai 2010 World Expo set another attendance record yesterday, Thursday, Sept. 23, welcoming 630,000 visitors. The crowds topped even the Mid-Autumn Festival’s attendance where 480,000 people chose the Expo over spending time at home celebrating with friends and relatives.
The former Expo attendance record was 568,300 on Aug. 21.
As of yesterday, more than 55 million people had visited the Expo since it opened, according to figures on the Expo's website. And, the number of those flooding in is only expected to increase through the end of the 2010 Expo on Oct. 31.
The organizer had put a 600,000-person-a-day limit on visitors for fear of straining the site's facilities, but Zhang Qing, deputy director of the Expo's operation headquarters, said to Shanghai Daily that the bureau wouldn't stop visitors from entering the site as previously envisioned because the site proved capable of handling more.
Officials say the record attendance was due to the national holiday as well as cooling temperatures in Shanghai, which are now down from August’s sweat-inducing highs.
Bigger crowds meant bigger lines at all the major Expo Pavilions, with up to a six-hour wait for the Saudi Arabia Pavilion that celebrated its National Pavilion Day yesterday. It is also regularly one of the most popular 2010 pavilions.
Another measure of the crowds? The KFC lines. According to Shanghai Daily, at 6:30 p.m. KFC workers told visitors to stop waiting and find somewhere else to eat because the lines were too long and the venues feared running out of food.
2010 Expo ticket exchange
For those not quite ready to fight the crowds during the day, Expo officials have announced that starting this week, those who have unused standard day tickets can exchange them for two night tickets (for the same day) from 4 p.m. to 8:50 p.m. at all ticket outlets at the Expo site.
You get to avoid the crowds, bring a friend an save RMB 20, not a bad deal. Just don’t expect to go to KFC for dinner.