Shanghai’s World Expo 2010 Nearly Ready

Organizers of Shanghai’s World Expo have been holding trial runs this week, before the official opening this Saturday, May 1st. About 70 percent of the nearly 200 participants participated in the trials, and visitors were already encountering long lines.

Signs of 'I Love Shanghai' are seen on the facade of Aurora Building next to other skyscrapers in the Lujiazui Financial District in Pudong on April 16, in Shanghai, China. Getty Images / Feng Li

Organizers of Shanghai’s World Expo 2010 have been holding trial runs this week, before the official opening this Saturday, May 1st. About 70 percent of the nearly 200 participants participated in the trials, and visitors were already encountering long lines.

Visitors walk past the Shanghai Corporate Pavilion, known as the Dream Cube, in Shanghai on April 26, 2010. Multi-nationals are seizing on the six-month event beginning May 1 to build their brand presence in the market of 1.3 billion people, but also the business and government connections - or "guanxi" - crucial to making money in China. (AFP/AFP/Getty Images)

“Three big suggestions for fixes: space, time and mindset,” the Shanghai Morning Post said Wednesday in the closest China’s state-controlled media came to criticizing the Expo’s first seven-hour trial run, involving 200,000 people.

An aerial view shows the French Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo site in Shanghai March 28, 2010. (REUTERS/Shanghai Pacific Institute for International Strategy)

Visitors said they were disappointed with the food, the long lines and the limited number of pavilions open by the time they finally got through security checks and into the vast Expo park.

Fireworks explode over the site of World Expo during a rehearsal for the opening ceremony in Shanghai, China on April 27, 2010. Photo: Reuters

“Before I went, I was mentally prepared that it would be very crowded, but it turns out I underestimated,” said Ding Yangshen, a 64-year-old retired engineer, who visited the park with his wife using trial-run tickets from his government-worker son.

Visitors stand outside the U.K. Pavilion, known as the "Seed Cathedral," at the site of the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, China, on Wednesday, April 14, 2010. (Kevin Lee/Bloomberg)

The Expo, which runs May 1-Oct. 31, showcases the latest in concepts for “Better City, Better Life” in pavilions from practically every country and many international organizations, cities and big corporations.

Visitors walk past the illuminated Expo Axis of Sunshine Valley on the first day of the trial run of the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, China, on Tuesday, April 20, 2010. Photo: Reuters

It’s expected that Shanghai’s World Expo 2010 will attract up to 100 million visitors, 95 percent of them Chinese. Shanghai has spent 400 billion yuan (58.6 billion US dollars) preparing for the Expo, according to state media – more than was spent on the Beijing Olympics. [via Boston and SacBee]

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