Disney Shanghai Resort Opening June 16


Walt Disney Resort & Parks

Concept art of Shanghai Disneyland Park Photo courtesy of Disney Parks

Cam Walbridge, Contributor

June 16, 2016 will mark a new chapter for Disney Parks & Resorts when the long-awaited Shanghai Disney Resort celebrates its grand opening. Disney’s newest resort will become the third resort in Eastern Asia, alongside Hong Kong Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Resort. The Shanghai project was approved by the Shanghai Municipal Government on November 4, 2009, with construction starting on April 7, 2011.

Shanghai Disney Resort includes the Disneyland park, Disneytown, Shanghai Disneyland Hotel, Toy Story Hotel, and the Wishing Star Park. Shanghai Disneyland Park is the newest rendition of the classic Disneyland/Magic Kingdom-style theme park. Although this park is inspired by Walt Disney’s original park in Anaheim, California and the Magic Kingdom park in Orlando, Florida, it will be a completely new experience for guests. Disney prides itself on excellence and wants to bring another successful theme park resort model to mainland China. Disney promises the new resort is “authentically Disney, [but] distinctly Chinese.”

Shanghai Disneyland Park is divided into seven themed lands, with the new Story Book Castle as its focal point. Guests will be able to enjoy authentic and iconic Disney Parks attractions such as Peter Pan’s Flight, Soarin’ Over The Horizon, and Dumbo The Flying Elephant, as well as new ones like the TRON Lightcycle Power Run (which could be compared to Space Mountain in the U.S. parks). Some new American favorites, such as Walt Disney World’s Seven Dwarf Mine Train, will also be in the line-up of attractions. And of course, no Disney park would be complete without what Walt called the “kiss goodnight”… a fireworks show! Shanghai Disneyland will premier “Ignite The Dream– A Nighttime Spectacular of Magic and Light” featuring elaborate fireworks, lights, special effects, and video projections on the Story Book Castle.

“Ignite The Dream” Concept Art Photo Courtesy of Disney Parks

With guests coming from all over the world to experience the newest Disney resort, hotels are a must. Along with the theme parks opening will be two Disney resort hotels. The Shanghai Disneyland Hotel offers an upscale, elegant setting for those willing to pay-up for premium accommodations. The hotel offers views of Story Book Castle as well as the Wishing Star Lake and recreational areas. For those looking for a more budget-friendly option, the Toy Story Hotel will be the best bet. Although the details of this Toy Story-inspired hotel are still unknown, Disney fanatics are speculating it will be the Shanghai Disney Resort version of the ‘value resorts’ that are offered at Walt Disney World in Florida. Also a part of the resort will be Disneytown, a Downtown Disney/Disney Springs-type shopping dinning, and entertainment district outside the park gate. Disneytown will feature numerous unique dinning and shopping experiences, as well as the first Mandarin version of The Lion King, the highest-grossing Broadway musical of all time. Of course, this show is ticketed with prices varying depending on seats and the night of each show.

Concept Art of Disneytown and THE LION KING Photo courtesy of Disney Parks

The resort plans to grow and expand and eventually develop two additional theme parks; however, Shanghai Disneyland Park is the first and only at the moment. The American company want to develop the Disneyland Park before adding others to the resort offerings to ensure the resort’s projected success. They are off to a great start, however, as tickets to the grand opening day sold out in five minutes.