Wednesday 22 November 2017

Disneyland Shanghai: Six firsts set to wow visitors, including Disney's largest ever castle

Chinese whispers

Aerial view of Shanghai Disney Resort on July 15, 2015 in Shanghai, China. Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images
Aerial view of Shanghai Disney Resort on July 15, 2015 in Shanghai, China. Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images
SHANGHAI, CHINA - JULY 15: (CHINA OUT) Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company, attends the unveiling ceremony of six themed parks of Shanghai Disney Resort at Shanghai Expo Center on July 15, 2015 in Shanghai, China. Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images
SHANGHAI, CHINA - JULY 15: (CHINA OUT) Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company, attends the unveiling ceremony of six themed parks of Shanghai Disney Resort at Shanghai Expo Center on July 15, 2015 in Shanghai, China. Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images
Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

Disney has unveiled magical new details of its Shanghai project, including the biggest ever castle in a Disney park.

The $5.5 billion Shanghai Disney Resort, set to open in spring 2016, is the first ever Disney resort in mainland China.

“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 will feature six themed lands: Adventure Isle, Gardens of Imagination, Mickey Avenue, Tomorrowland, Treasure Cove (Disney's first ever pirate-themed land) and Fantasyland, it has been announced.

Here are six firsts we can look forward to in 2016:

1. The largest ever Disney Castle

Shanghai's iconic Enchanted Storybook Castle will be the tallest, largest and most interactive castle at any Disney theme park. It’s also the first castle in a Disney theme park that represents all the Disney princesses.

The Enchanted Storybook Castle will be located in Fantasyland. When night falls, it will be the backdrop for the famous fireworks display, adding a special “kiss good night”.

2. The first pirate-themed land

Treasure Cove, the first pirate-themed land at a Disney park, will "leverage innovative technologies in the new Pirates of the Caribbean – Battle for the Sunken Treasure", and feature a stunt show spectacular featuring Captain Jack Sparrow.

Disney Shanghai, GettyImages-480749234.jpg
SHANGHAI, CHINA - JULY 15: (CHINA OUT) Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company, attends the unveiling ceremony of six themed parks of Shanghai Disney Resort at Shanghai Expo Center on July 15, 2015 in Shanghai, China. Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images

Mickey Mouse with Disney CEO and Chairman, Bob Iyer

3. Voyage to the Crystal Grotto

This is described as "an enchanting new excursion that celebrates classic Disney tales... as it travels the waters of Fantasyland, going underneath Enchanted Story Book Castle for a finale never before seen inside a castle." Whoop!

4. TRON Lightcycle Power Run

Anyone seen the Disney classic, TRON?

Erm, ok then. The new ride promises to be one of the most thrilling attractions at a Disney park, however - with a twisting, turning track, high speeds, rich storytelling and a breathtaking view of Shanghai Disneyland.

5. The longest Disney Parks parade route

Mickey Avenue is the main artery in Gardens of Imagination land, where guests will enjoy “Mickey’s Storybook Express,” a parade with its own musical soundtrack and colorful performers on the longest parade route in a Disney park.

6. Tomorrowland

How many movie spin-offs can you pack into a theme park?

Find out in Tomorrowland, which features two exciting experiences created especially for Shanghai Disneyland – Star Wars Launch Bay and Marvel Universe.

In a celebration of the Star Wars Galaxy, guests will meet heroes and villains of the saga, visit iconic intergalactic set-pieces, view props and memorabilia from the most recent Episode (The Force Awakens, presumably), and be immersed in the Skywalker story through a state-of-the-art cinematic experience, the company says.

Space Mountain and It's a Small World will not feature in the Chinese resort, but Shanghai Disney Resort is set to include Disneytown, a shopping and entertainment area, and a Mandarin production of The Lion King.

The park will feature two new hotels - the 420-room Shanghai Disneyland Hotel and the "playful", 800-room Toy Story Hotel.

The Shanghai Disneyland Hotel is described as "an elegant, Art Nouveau-inspired resort with a touch of Disney magic and imagination", while the Toy Story Hotel immerses guests in a world inspired by the Disney-Pixar films.

Universal and Dreamworks are also developing Chinese attractions.

For information, see shanghaidisneyresort.com

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