On the eve of the Grand Opening of Shanghai Disney Resort, Disney celebrated the historic occasion with a star-studded, two-hour broadcast that captured the extraordinary spirit of the first Disney resort in Mainland China. Marking a moment years in the making, world-renowned composer Tan Dun conducted the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra in an inspiring performance of his original composition, “Igniting the Magical Dream” — which celebrates the occasion’s poetic message — and Disney stories came to life in wondrous ways at the Enchanted Storybook Castle.
Disney chairman and chief executive officer Bob Iger said the musical celebration was a perfect way to share the grand opening excitement with China.
“Music has always been an essential part of Disney’s legendary storytelling,” Iger said. “On the eve of our Grand Opening, we are proud and honored to have Tan Dun tell the spectacular story of Shanghai Disney Resort through original music that perfectly captures the very soul of this special place; and we are thrilled to have such renowned Chinese artists sharing their talents to bring this magical story to life in this extraordinary, historic performance.”
The two-hour special was broadcast nationwide on China’s Dragon TV. The “Shanghai Disney Resort Grand Opening Celebration” took a special look at Shanghai Disneyland in the two-hour program. The show is being presented for U.S. audiences on Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD and each channel’s App, and on Freeform.
During the special, beloved composer Tan Dun, widely known for film scores including “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” led musicians in a stirring performance of the symphony, which blended Chinese and Western musical motifs along with iconic Disney music. This was the first time that Disney has commissioned an original symphony to commemorate the opening of a resort. The concert also featured top celebrity performers, including famed actress Sun Li; accomplished pianist Lang Lang playing a custom arrangement of “Let it Go” from Disney’s “Frozen,” and star vocalists Tan Weiwei, Jane Zhang and Hacken Lee.
The Enchanted Storybook Castle—the largest, tallest castle at any Disney park—came to life with dramatic lighting and elaborate projections of Disney stories, while spectacular fireworks illuminated the night sky. Projections in the castle show offered a glimpse into the magical transformation guests will soon enjoy when they attend nightly performances of “Ignite the Dream: A Nighttime Spectacular of Magic and Light.”
Honoring the resort’s appeal to multiple generations and the dreams of young and old alike, the concert featured the talents of an elderly male Erhu player and a young female violinist playing side by side. The performance culminated with an 800-person, multigenerational choir filling the stage as Enchanted Storybook Castle sparkled with light, representing new dreams being ignited to unlock the childlike spirit in everyone.
In the park, these same celebrated talents performed live at the Evergreen Playhouse for guests of the three-day Grand Opening celebration. Afterward, the celebration continued in Tomorrowland, where guests enjoyed a performance by contemporary pop star Momo Wu at the Pepsi E-Stage.
Thursday, June 16, 2016, will mark another historic milestone as Shanghai Disneyland opens its gates and welcomes its first official guests.
Shanghai Disney Resort is the first Disney resort in Mainland China, offering Disney storytelling and experiences designed especially for Chinese guests of all ages. The resort’s theme park, Shanghai Disneyland, features world-class attractions and live entertainment spectaculars across its magical themed lands.
Adventure Isle immerses guests in a newly discovered lost world. The Gardens of Imagination celebrates the wonders of nature and joy of imagination with whimsical décor and interactive spaces. Mickey Avenue is the first main entry at a Disney theme park that’s inspired by the colorful personalities of Mickey Mouse and his pals. Tomorrowland is a place of limitless possibilities, where the promise of tomorrow looks brighter than ever. Treasure Cove is the first pirate-themed land in a Disney park, an exciting place to join the adventures of Captain Jack Sparrow and Davy Jones. The largest of all the lands, Fantasyland, is inspired by Disney’s animated films and is home to the majestic Enchanted Storybook Castle—which represents all of the Disney Princesses.
Adjacent to the theme park is Disneytown, a vibrant shopping, dining and entertainment district that includes the Walt Disney Grand Theatre, home to the first-ever Mandarin production of the Broadway hit Disney’s THE LION KING. Another guest highlight is the World of Disney Store, the first in Asia, offering a comprehensive collection of Disney merchandise and many products designed especially for Shanghai Disney Resort. Guests may continue their Disney experience at the resort’s two hotels, Shanghai Disneyland Hotel and Toy Story Hotel. Both imaginatively themed hotels are located near the theme park and promise a fun, relaxing stay. Near the hotels and Disneytown, Wishing Star Park offers guests the opportunity to enjoy peaceful greenery, a walking path and a glittering lake, with approximately 500,000 square meters open to the public, free of charge.
Shanghai Disney Resort offers a distinctive Disney experience that reflects the beauty and unique identity of today’s China—from entertainment with Chinese acrobats and traditional regional dining options, to the Shikumen architecture at Disneytown and Chinese Zodiac designs in Garden of the Twelve Friends.
Throughout the resort, guests will encounter another distinguishing Disney difference: warm hospitality and renowned guest service delivered by Disney cast members.