SHANGHAI, China – On Thursday June 16, Shanghai Disney Resort will open its doors to the public. Being the first Disney Park to open in mainland China, the place will uphold the idea of being “authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese”. The resort encompasses a Disneyland theme park, 2 resort hotels, an outdoor recreational area, a Disneytown shopping/dining/entertainment district, and several gardens and lakes.
We give you 10 reasons why the new Shanghai Disney Resort will live up to the names of, or even surpass, other Disney Parks in Florida, California, Paris, Hong Kong, and Tokyo.
1. It cost more to build than Burj Khalifa
A whooping 24.5 billion Chinese yuan has been spent on building the resort in Shanghai. On top of this, an estimated 4.5 billion yuan is expected to be spent for additional amendments in the future.
2. It boasts biggest, tallest, and newest
The entire resort takes up some 963 acres (390 hectares) of land, which means that it will be the biggest Disney Park to have been built. On top of this, the Enchanted Storybook Castle will be the tallest Disney castle in the world with a height of 197 feet (60 meters). In accordance with the “authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese” concept, six themed lands exclusive to China will open, which are Adventure Isle, Fantasyland, Gardens of Imagination, Mickey Avenue, Tomorrowland, and Treasure Cove.
3. It has its own themed airplane
China Eastern Airlines, an airline company based in Shanghai, launched its first Disney-themed flight in April. The Airbus A330, operating routes from Beijing to Shanghai, is painted blue with Mickey and Minnie Mouse portraits on both sides. As a passenger, you can even get Disney souvenirs.
4. The first live Mandarin production of The Lion King
In Walt Disney Grand Theatre, a 1,200-seat Broadway-style theatre, the world premiere Mandarin-language version of The Lion King musical will be performed. So far, the worldwide phenomenon has been performed in eight languages, had 23 global productions, and 85 million viewers.
5. Watch Donald Duck practicing Tai Chi
Who knew Donald Duck had such great Tai Chi moves? At Shanghai Disney Resort, you can watch Donald Duck practicing Tai Chi, a type of Chinese martial art. The resort owns up to its name of being the first Disney Park in mainland China: you can see Disney characters celebrate Chinese culture.
6. Limited entry
Unlike many other entertainment parks that aim to get as many visitors as possible, Shanghai Disney Resort will use a ticketing scheme to ensure that not too many people enter. In fear of having an influx of people beyond its capacity, the resort will charge a peak ticket price on weekends and holidays. If too many people enter the park, it may cap a maximum number allowed in. The venue will also consider changing the price if there are still too many visitors in the future.
Fantasyland is the largest area in the resort that includes the Enchanted Storybook Castle, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Alice in Wonderland Maze, Frozen showcase, and more. Enchanted Storybook Castle is not only the tallest Disney castle but also the first to be dedicated to all of the Disney princesses. Also, for the first time, the Alice in Wonderland Maze will get a Tim Burton twist based on the 2010 movie starring Johnny Depp and Anne Hathaway.
8. Gardens of Imagination
Gardens of Imagination will only be found in Shanghai Disneyland as it celebrates the “distinctly Chinese” element. The area embraces a special garden theme influenced by the Chinese love for gardens. It will feature a parade, Fantasia-inspired carousel, Marvel Universe, Chinese zodiac murals inspired by the zodiac animals, and more. The mysterious garden will also host Wandering Moon Teahouse which offers hot Chinese foods and exclusive dishes.
As the name suggests, Tomorrowland is a futuristic place that goes beyond imagination. At TRON Lightcycle Power Run, visitors can ride high-speed “lightcycles” meant to resemble motorcycles in the future. You can also be a part of Stitch Encounter, a live interactive show based on the animated movie Lilo & Stitch. Tomorrowland will leave you mesmerized by how technologically advanced a theme park can get.
10. Treasure Cove
This last point is once again about one of the many firsts of Shanghai Disney Park: Treasure Cove is the first pirate-themed area in Disneyland. Here, visitors can catch a glimpse of the livelihood of pirates as well as watch pirate stunt shows. In Pirates of the Caribbean – Battle for Sunken Treasure, one can indulge in the experience by riding avant-garde machinated boats that spin and move sideways and backwards.