Shanghai Disney Resort, the first Disney resort in Mainland China and the sixth worldwide, celebrated its historic Grand Opening on Thursday, culminating one of Disney’s most ambitious projects ever. The wonder and imagination of Disney greeted the people of China in magical new ways as the gates opened to Shanghai Disneyland, a theme park like no other with the biggest, tallest castle in any Disney park, the first pirate-themed land and Disney’s most technologically advanced park to date.
Bob Iger, chairman and chief executive officer, The Walt Disney Company, celebrated the opening of the one-of-a-kind vacation destination with thousands of guests, celebrities and Chinese officials. Shanghai Disney Resort reflects Disney’s 60-year history of innovation, creativity and storytelling, in a way that is authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese.
“The grand opening of Shanghai Disney Resort is a celebration of creativity and collaboration, a triumph of imagination and innovation, and a testament to the strong partnership between Disney and China,” Iger said. “Together we have created an extraordinary destination, a magical place unique in all the world, where East meets West, the past meets the future, and anything is possible for those who believe. It is our sincere hope that this spectacular place will inspire wonder and create joy for the people of China for generations to come.”
‘To all who come to this happy place, welcome’
Honoring the Disney-Chinese partnership that created this resort, Iger and Chinese officials cut a red-and-gold ribbon to dedicate Shanghai Disneyland, the resort’s magnificent theme park. Joining Iger were Wang Yang, CPC Politburo Member and State Council Vice Premier, and Han Zheng, CPC Politburo Member and Party Secretary of Shanghai. Iger also shared a greeting similar to the one Walt Disney said on opening day for the original Disneyland, in 1955: “To all who come to this happy place, welcome.”
Disney developed the Resort in a joint venture with Shendi Group. Fan Xiping, Shendi Group chairman, said in a statement: “After five years of joint efforts, partners from both China and the United States have created magic together. In the process of combining global standards and local best practices, we integrated with each other and established mutual trust and effective communication. The young team has learned and grown in the process, bringing into full play its role as the local guide. The team worked closely with Disney in the development and construction of Shanghai Disneyland and the resort, jointly building the tallest and largest Disney castle in the world, and providing quality services to our guests. The team members’ dedication and commitment make it an unforgettable chapter in their lives.”
Music and pageantry
The Grand Opening ceremony marked the moment with music, pageantry and a stream of Disney characters, from Mickey Mouse and Snow White to Baymax and Jack Sparrow, in front of the iconic Enchanted Storybook Castle. A multi-generational choir performed a unique version of the Disney song, “When You Wish Upon a Star,” arranged in a Chinese style to reflect the balance of Disney magic and China’s cultural spirit at Shanghai Disney Resort. The ceremony also featured six performers holding enormous, brightly colored fans to represent the six lands of Shanghai Disneyland.
Shanghai Disney Resort is filled with immersive Disney storytelling, thrilling attractions, spectacular live entertainment and memory-making experiences designed to inspire and delight Chinese guests. The world-class vacation destination includes a magical theme park with six themed lands, two imaginatively designed hotels, a Disneytown shopping and dining district, and Wishing Star Park recreational area.