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Shanghai Disneyland opening: attractions and tips

Jin Dan
Updated: Jun 17,2016 10:50 AM     China Daily

Tourists have fun on the roller coaster at Tomorrowland in the Shanghai Disneyland during its trial operation on May 21, 2016. [Photo/Xinhua]

Shanghai Disney Resort, the first on the Chinese mainland and the sixth in the world, is all set to open on June 16.

The design of the resort, which combines both Disney characteristics and Chinese elements, boasts two new unique attractions.

The Enchanted Storybook Castle at the center of the park is the largest Disney castle in the world and the first one to display all the princesses in Disney stories.

The other is the TRON Lightcycle Power Run, a roller-coaster-like attraction that offers riders the high-speed thrills and chills as the grid comes alive in a heart-pounding race for survival.

A visitor poses for photos with a working staff dressed up as Disney character at the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel in Shanghai. [Photo/Xinhua]

Local taste

One of the best examples of how Disney has localized its resort is the offering of Chinese cuisine at the park. “The cuisine served around the resort will feature fare that’s 70 percent Chinese, 20 percent Asian and 10 percent Western in influence,” according to its website.

Food bought from outside will not permitted unless it’s well-packed and only water bottles with caps will be allowed.

A cast of colorful characters takes part in a parade at the Shanghai Disney Resort on Wednesday, a day ahead of its grand opening. [Photo/Xinhua]

Zootopia’s Judy and Nick

The cartoon characters in Zootopia, the animated movie whose box office hit $1 billion globally in 2016, will be added to Disney’s signature “Mickey’s Storybook Express” Parade, said Robert Iger, the president and CEO of Walt Disney, during a news conference on June 15.

Night scene of Shanghai Disney Resort in Shanghai,June 9, 2016. [Photo/Xinhua]

Expansion planned

The Shanghai resort is the largest overseas project of Walt Disney and the company plans to go even bigger, Iger said.

“The good news is that we have the space and we believe we have willing partners in both Shendi and the local Shanghai government to enable us to expand — and we think we’ll do that sooner rather than later,” he said.

Spread over 963 acres of Shanghai’s Pudong district, the resort boasts six themed “lands”, a Broadway-style theater, live entertainment venues, two hotels, a shopping district with more than 50 retailers, a 123-acre recreational park and Disney’s “tallest, largest and most interactive castle.”

Children’s bed in the guest room of the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel in Shanghai, June 14, 2016. [Photo/Xinhua]

Running at full capacity

The launch has generated so much attention that both the hotels at the resort - Shanghai Disneyland Hotel and Toy Story Hotel - are fully booked, according to Beijing Youth Daily. And the rooms are not cheap either. A one-night stay at Shanghai Disneyland Hotel will set you back by at least 1,650 yuan ($251) while Toy Story Hotel is charging up to 850 yuan.

The rush has meant that other hotels near the resort have also increased their rates.

A Mickey Mouse wearing Chinese-style clothes learns to practice tai chi. [Photo/Xinhua]

Tips for tourists

Opening hours (from June to August)

Mon- Thurs 09:00-21:00

Fri -Sun 08:00-22:00

How to buy tickets?

Tickets are in two parts: Ticket for the theme park and ticket for the Broadway-style show The Lion King. Both can be purchased on the official website and from all the 60 authorized agents.

Official reminder by the website: If you are interested in visiting Shanghai Disneyland on June 16, 17 and 18, guests must purchase a ticket before coming to the Park. Tickets will not be sold on site that day.

Five things you should not miss:

1. TRON Lightcycle Power Run

2. Pirates of the Caribbean Battle for the Sunken Treasure

3. “Mickey’s Storybook Express” Parade

4. Enchanted Storybook Castle

5. Broadway-style show The Lion King

Things to remember:

1. Selfie sticks are banned.

2. Only well-packaged food and water are allowed.

3. Visitors above 16 should not be dressed in cartoon costumes.

4. Disney Fastpass tickets for free may save you from waiting in a long queue.