Thursday 22 February 2018

Disneyland Shanghai opens with Toy Story hotel and biggest castle ever

Middle Kingdom

Shanghai Disneyland Park. Photo: Marcio Machado/Getty Images
Shanghai Disneyland Park. Photo: Marcio Machado/Getty Images
Fireworks light up the Enchanted Storybook Castle at Shanghai Disneyland. Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images
A visitor poses with Captain Jack Sparrow at Shanghai Disneyland ahead of its official opening. Photo: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A view of Shanghai Disneyland Park before its official opening on June 16. Photo by Marcio Machado/Getty Images
A customer looks at Minnie Mouse ears inside a store at the Disneytown retail area in Shanghai. Photo: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

The $5.5 billion Shanghai Disneyland opens today, complete with Disney's largest ever castle in a theme park.

A Chinese version of 'The Lion King', a Toy Story Hotel and a 'plussed' version of Peter Pan's Flight were all unveiled at an opening ceremony attended by a Chinese vice premier, Disney chief executive Bob Iger, and of course, lots of Disney characters.

“We are taking everything we’ve learned from our six decades... to create a truly magical place that is both authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese,” Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger has said.

Shanghai Disneyland feature six themed lands: Adventure Isle, Gardens of Imagination, Mickey Avenue, Tomorrowland, Treasure Cove (Disney's first ever pirate-themed land) and Fantasyland, with an entrance plaza dubbed 'Mickey Avenue'.

Here's a preview of what's in store:

Shanghai's Enchanted Storybook Castle will be the tallest, largest and most interactive castle at any Disney theme park.

It’s also the first to represent all the Disney princesses, and will form a spectacular backdrop to the daily fireworks extravaganza.

Space Mountain and It's a Small World will not feature, but classic rides like the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue do.

Treasure Cove, the first pirate-themed land at a Disney park, includes Pirates of the Caribbean – Battle for the Sunken Treasure and a stunt show starring Captain Jack Sparrow.

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A view of Shanghai Disneyland Park before its official opening on June 16. Photo by Marcio Machado/Getty Images

A TRON Lightcycle Power Run (above) promises a twisting track, high speeds and a breathtaking view of Shanghai Disneyland... unlike the movie.

Tomorrowland features Star Wars Launch Bay and Marvel Universe - with the Star Wars experience bringing guests together with characters, intergalactic set-pieces, props and memorabilia from the most recent episodes of Disney's space saga.

The park also features two new hotels - the 420-room Shanghai Disneyland Hotel and an 800-room Toy Story Hotel described as "playful".

Disney's sixth global park is expected to attract at least 15 million (and up to 50 million) visitors a year, making it the world's busiest theme park.

One-day tickets start from Y499/€67 for adults and Y375/€50 for children.

More info at shanghaidisneyresort.com.

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