Shanghai Disney Resort sets opening date

A multi-day grand opening celebration is planned for the Shanghai Disney Resort, culminating in a welcoming ceremony on June 16, the Walt Disney Company and Shanghai Shendi Group has announced.

Located in the city’s Pudong district and five years in the making, it will be Disney’s first destination resort in mainland China, featuring classic Disney storytelling and characters as well as experiences tailored for Chinese tastes.

“Shanghai Disney Resort will be a one-of-a-kind, world-class destination that is authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese,” says The Walt Disney Company chairman/CEO Robert Iger. “The resort reflects Disney’s legendary storytelling along with China’s rich culture, and showcases some of the most creative and innovative experiences we’ve ever created.”

Walt Disney Shanghai

Disney and Shanghai Shendi Group, joint shareholders of the resort, announced an accelerated expansion plan in 2014 to capitalise on the growth in China’s tourism sector. It included extra attractions, entertainment and other offerings to increase capacity at the theme park.

A key feature of the venue is Disneytown, an international shopping, dining and entertainment district, next to the entrance of Shanghai Disneyland.

It will include the Walt Disney Grand Theatre, home to the first-ever Mandarin production of the Broadway hit The Lion King. The World of Disney Store will offer Disney merchandise, with many products designed especially for the resort.

Shanghai Disney Resort will also include:

  • Shanghai Disneyland, featuring six themed lands: Adventure Isle, Gardens of Imagination, Mickey Avenue, Tomorrowland, Treasure Cove and Fantasyland, all centered around the Enchanted Storybook Castle, the largest and tallest castle at any Disney theme park. Many of its attractions and live entertainment will be first-of-a-kind for a Disney park.
  • The Shanghai Disneyland and Toy Story Hotels, themed resort-hotels near the theme park. The Shanghai Disneyland Hotel is a Disney take on art nouveau, while the Toy Story Hotel is inspired by the toys from the animated Disney-Pixar Toy Story movies.
  • Wishing Star Park, a 40ha. recreational area with gardens, a walking path and a lake.

A adjacent shopping precinct, Disneytown, will host 50 tenants in a 46,000 sqm outdoor lifestyle mall within walking distance of the two hotels. The tenants include local and international retail and food outlets.

In the lead-up to the opening of the US$5.5 billion Disney complex, five hotels in the Pudong financial district were caught using the Disney trademark on signs and on their websites. Owned by the Shenzhen Vienna Hotels Group, the hotels were fined a total of 100,000 yuan (US$15,656).

Shanghai Disney Resort is the largest foreign investment project in Shanghai, and one of the largest foreign investments in the history of China. The resort broke ground in 2011, and in October it held the first of several job fairs aimed at recruiting thousands of cast members from across China. Disney has a 70 per cent stake and Shanghai Shendi Group a 30 per cent stake in the joint venture management company.

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