World’s biggest Disney theme park opens in Shanghai
Shanghai Disney Resort opens today, becoming the first Disney theme park in mainland China and the company’s largest global resort.
A three-day grand opening celebration has been taking place this week, culminating with Thursday’s official opening to the public. The park represents one of the largest foreign investment projects in China’s history and Disney’s biggest ever investment outside the US.
The first phase of the resort is spread across 390 hectares of land in Shanghai’s Pudong New Area, and additional land is available to accommodate future expansion.
Disney says the Shanghai park will offer the “very best of Disney in a way that is distinctly Chinese and tailor-made for the people of China”. It will feature six themed lands – Adventure Isle, Gardens of Imagination, Mickey Avenue, Tomorrowland, Treasure Cove and Fantasyland – which will be set around the Enchanted Storybook Castle, the largest such castle at any Disney park.
Shanghai Disney Resort broke ground in 2011 and was initially scheduled to open in 2015. But the scope of the project was later expanded, pushing the opening date into 2016. It becomes the third Disney theme park in Asia, following Tokyo Disneyland, which opened in 1983, and Hong Kong Disneyland which launched in 2005.
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