Shanghai Disneyland Park is a theme park located in Pudong, Shanghai, that is part of the Shanghai Disney Resort. The park is operated by Walt Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products and Shanghai Shendi Group, through a joint venture between The Walt Disney Company and Shendi. Construction began on April 8, 2011. The park opened on June 16, 2016. The park operated in its first half-year with a visitor attendance of 5.60 million guests.
The park covers an area of 3.9 square kilometres (1.5 sq mi), costing 24.5 billion RMB, and including an area of 1.16 square kilometres (0.45 sq mi). In addition, the Shanghai Disneyland Resort has a total of 7 square kilometres (2.7 sq mi), except for the first phase of the project which is 3.9 square kilometres (1.5 sq mi), there are two more areas for expansion in the future.
Walt Disney Company and Shanghai di Group jointly invest in the Shanghai Disneyland Resort project. As part of the agreement, two owners will be set up, including Shendi holding 57% and Disney holding the remaining 43%.
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The Chinese government approved the resort on November 4, 2009. The Walt Disney Company announced on November 5, 2010 that it had signed an agreement with Shanghai Shendi Group to build the resort and park in Shanghai, with a planned opening in 2015. On April 7, 2011, groundbreaking began at the Shanghai Disneyland Resort site. On June 29th, 2013, construction on the Enchanted Storybook Castle began.
On March 8, 2013, the company announced that the park would open in late 2015. On February 2, 2015, the opening date was pushed back to early 2016. On January 12, 2016, the park's opening date was announced as June 16, 2016. According to some reports, that was due to construction delays and quality control problems. The final opening date was June 16, 2016.
The cost was initially estimated at 24.5 billion yuan (USD $3.7 billion) for the theme park and an additional 4.5 billion yuan (USD $700 million). That rose to around USD $5.5 billion before delays, which was partly due to more attractions opening to the public on the first day, which added USD $800 million to the cost. The added cost does not take into account lost revenue from the lost admissions fees.
In addition to the attractions and two hotels, a high-speed rail system is being built to get visitors to and from the site.
Disney owns 43% of the property, and the state-controlled Shanghai Shendi Group owns the remaining 57%.
On May 7, 2016, Shanghai Disneyland Park had started soft openings.
Disney aired the live broadcast of the grand opening show on its Facebook page on the night of June 15, 2016. Bob Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company was joined by nearly 3,000 distinguished guests and celebrities for a showcase of choreography, acrobatics, costumes, and technology in grand scale, with dazzling lights, Disney music, pageantry, special effects, and fireworks. The show featured world-renowned pianist Lang Lang, who performed a custom arrangement of the musical sensation “Let It Go” (from Disney’s “Frozen“) and China’s television and movie superstar Sun Li who took center stage. The historic event included the debut of an original song, “Ignite the Dreamer Within,” written especially for the grand opening of Shanghai Disneyland. Acclaimed composer and conductor Tan Dun, widely known for his stirring scores for the films “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and “Hero,” led the Shanghai Symphony with an original composition of the new song.
Tickets for the park went on sale on March 28, 2016, with a two-tiered pricing scheme. On most days, day adult tickets will be CN¥ 370, while child and elderly one day tickets will cost CN¥ 280, roughly 20% cheaper than Hong Kong Disneyland (which charges HK$539 for a day adult ticket). During busier periods, including the first two weeks of the park's operation, adult day tickets will cost CN¥ 499, while child and elderly tickets will cost CN¥ 375. The park will be the first Disney park to feature tiered pricing.
According to the International Business Times (IBT), the equivalent of park ticket pricing will cost about US$75 for adults and US$60 for children on holidays and weekends, and around US$60 for adults and US$45 for children on weekdays. IBT notes that "a two-day weekend ticket for two adults and one child comes close to China's average urban monthly wage."
Opening day tickets sold out in a few hours after they had gone on sale at midnight, March 28. However, more tickets were put on sale several days before the official opening day.
To all who come to this happy place, welcome. Shanghai Disneyland is your land. Here you leave today and discover imaginative worlds of fantasy, romance and adventure that ignite the magical dreams within us all. Shanghai Disneyland is authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese. It was created for everyone, bringing to life timeless characters and stories in a magical place that will be a source of joy, inspiration, and memories for generations to come.— Robert A. Iger, June 16, 2016
Upon the company's promise that the Shanghai resort would be "authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese," Chinese architects and designers and teams of researchers were hired to find ways to incorporate Chinese cultural elements. Many usual Disney park features have been redesigned or are absent from Shanghai Disneyland Park to cater for Chinese visitors' penchants. The park does not feature a steam railroad surrounding the park's perimeter and has no earthen berm to obscure the outside world from guest view. As a replacement for a central-spoked/hub, the center of the park features a 4.5-hectare (11-acre) collection of Chinese zodiac gardens called the Gardens of Imagination. Main Street U.S.A. has given way to Mickey Avenue, which introduces Chinese visitors to classic Disney characters. Conventional-themed lands such as Adventureland are reimagined into Adventure Isle, and other lands, such as Frontierland, are omitted entirely. Several staple attractions, such as Space Mountain, Jungle Cruise, and It's a Small World, are excluded as Disney wanted to avoid criticism of cultural imperialism. Restaurants seating has been revised upwards after studies found that Chinese guests take longer over meals, and extensive picnic areas better adapted to extended families with grandparents. Also, there is more live entertainment as many Chinese patrons prefer that to thrill rides.
Mickey Avenue, the entrance of the park, is the park's equivalent to Main Street, U.S.A.. The area is inspired by the personalities of classic Disney cartoon characters such as Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and Chip 'n' Dale as well as Disney films, including Ratatouille, The Three Caballeros, and Lady and the Tramp. Avenue M Arcade, the largest gift shop in the park, is modeled after the Carthay Circle Theater. The Storytellers statue, which depicts a young Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse, is at the end of Mickey Avenue and in front of the Gardens of Imagination.
The hub of the park, this land features seven 4.5-hectare (11-acre) Chinese gardens with each of the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac represented by Disney characters. Attractions include Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Fantasia Carousel, and Marvel Super Heroes at Marvel Universe, a meet-and-greet pavilion featuring Marvel characters. Entertainment includes castle stage shows as well as the nightly Ignite the Dream, A Nighttime Spectacular of Magic and Light. Mickey’s Storybook Express, a parade with a musical soundtrack and colorful performers on the longest parade route in a Disney park.
Fantasyland is the park's largest land themed to classic Disney animated films. The land features the 197 ft (60 m) Enchanted Storybook Castle, themed to Disney princesses. The castle is the largest in any Disney theme park and features the Royal Banquet Hall restaurant, a boutique, and Voyage to the Crystal Grotto: a boat ride beneath the castle that takes guests past scenes from films including Tangled, Aladdin, Mulan, Fantasia, The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. Attractions include Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Peter Pan's Flight, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration. The area features unique attractions such as the Alice in Wonderland Maze, a walk-through hedge maze inspired by the 1951 and 2010 versions film adaptations, and the Hunny Pot Spin, a spinning Teacups-style ride themed to The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
Treasure Cove is themed to an 18th-century Spanish harbor town located on a Caribbean island that has been captured by Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean. The land's marquee attraction is Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure, a dark ride based on the films. Guests, riding in magnetically propelled boats, travel past audio-animatronic and projected depictions of Jack Sparrow and Davy Jones as the two battle against each other in attempt to seize the cove's sunken riches.
The land also is home to Eye of the Storm: Captain Jack’s Stunt Spectacular, a stunt show inspired by the films and Siren's Revenge, a shipwreck-themed three-storey interactive play area set aboard a wrecked French galleon. The land also has Explorer Canoes, a canoe ride in Treasure Cove.
Adventure Isle is the park's counterpart to Adventureland. Focused around a mysterious lost world full of hidden treasures, the land features Roaring Rapids, a river rapids ride through the land's towering Roaring Mountain and Soaring Over the Horizon, a hang gliding flight experience across the world. Additionally, the land features Tarzan: Call of the Jungle, a live acrobatic stage show, and Camp Discovery.
Tomorrowland is the park's futuristic-themed land. Unlike the other Tomorrowlands, this version does not have Space Mountain and instead is home to TRON Lightcycle Power Run, an indoor Tron-themed roller coaster. Similarly, instead of a classic Astro Orbiter attraction, Shanghai's park includes a spinning Jet Packs ride. Other attractions include Star Wars Launch Bay, Stitch Encounter, and Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue, a differentiated version of previous Buzz Lightyear dark rides.
A future land themed to the Toy Story franchise is in development and will open in 2018. The original plans for Shanghai Disneyland had a Toy Story area with two rides, two restaurants, a show, and a gift shop. The Celebration Café, a restaurant that opened on opening day, was meant to be in Toy Story Land. Also, the nearby bathrooms are the same as the Toy Story Green Army Men attractions found at the other parks.
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