Shanghai’s Disneyland launch date announced: Disney’s first step into mainland China

January 17
4:39 AM 2016

After almost a decade of planning, Disney proudly announced the opening of its theme park in Shanghai on June 16, 2016.

The 57/43 partnership between The Walt Disney Company and Shanghai Shendi Group has culminated into the first ever Disney attraction in mainland China. Located in the Pudong District, it is strategically nestled among The Shanghai Disneyland Hotel, The Toy Story Hotel and Disneytown. Spread over 960 acres of land, Disney reveals, this massive park houses some of the much-awaited attractions like the Adventure Isle, Gardens of Imagination, Mickey Avenue, Tomorrowland, Treasure Cove and Fantasyland.

However, the highlight of the resort seems to be the Enchanted Storybook Castle, the entertainment giant's largest princess-themed-park creation. The resort is also said to feature Marvel and Star Wars characters given their tremendous popularity.

"The resort reflects Disney's legendary storytelling along with China's rich culture, and showcases some of the most creative and innovative experiences we've ever created. We're looking forward to showing it to the world and sharing it with the people of China for generations to come." Disney CEO Robert Iger said in a statement, according to NBC News.

Iger had previously hoped to open the gates in 2015, but finally after delaying well into 2016, the opening date is now final. The park underwent a lot of construction hurdles and now, while majority of construction work is complete, there might still be a few loose ends to tie up. The upcoming months are meant for hiring people, testing the systems and finalizing the entertainment programs, which includes the runaway hit 'Lion King' told the Mandarin way.

Throwing in the Chinese culture with the Disney theme, seems to be a good move by the creators as it'll grab the local attention, along with tourist footfall. Hopefully, Shanghai's grand venture will not face the same fate as that of Hong Kong on its opening date, where it failed to draw a huge crowd due to lack of value-for-money attractions.

Ticket prices will also play a role in attracting masses. Though the prices have not been announced yet, in the face of slowing Chinese economy, expense is yet another factor that cannot be dismissed. The presence of middle-class sector might depend upon the way the attraction packages are priced.

Theme parks have been Disney's second-largest bread earners, after movies and television. The Wall Street Journal shows that, over last year, income from theme-park segment grew by $16.1 billion, a commendable 7% increase. However, the credit goes mostly to Disney operations in the US because the Hong Kong and Paris operations are currently lagging behind.

Nonetheless, Shanghai is extremely happy and optimistic with their creation, and is all set to open their gates and welcome the first guests in a beautiful and grand opening ceremony, befitting the Disney legend.

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