The countdown is on.
The Shanghai Disney Resort opens in 99 days, on June 16, and the official website has just been updated, with brand new features, and the ability to purchase tickets to the first Mandarin-language production of The Lion King. You can also book your hotel room at either the opulent Shanghai Disneyland Hotel or the playful Toy Story Hotel. Are we rambling? Sorry, we’re pretty excited. This is going to be the Park that CEO Bob Iger has repeatedly described as “authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese,” one that will reach new technological and storytelling heights while retaining the essence of what makes Disney Parks so special. The Shanghai Disney Resort will combine classic attractions with brand new experiences, world-class entertainment, and impeccable dining options.
And with the announcement comes brand new photos from within the still-under-construction resort. “The resort teams are already conducting extensive preparations for the first official guests, including testing and adjusting attractions, conducting rehearsals for entertainment experiences, landscaping across the entire site, and undertaking other preparatory work to prepare an exciting guest experience across Shanghai Disney Resort on opening day,” according to a press release sent out earlier this week.
Amazing. Let’s look at the new photos:
Adventure Isle, one of the exciting new lands found only at Shanghai Disneyland, “will immerse guests in a newly discovered lost world brimming with mystery and hidden treasure.” The mountain in the center of the photo is Roaring Mountain, home to the Roaring Rapids attraction, which features ride vehicles similar to those found at Kali River Rapids at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Grizzly River Run at Disney California Adventure, and a giant, reptilian creature called the Q’aráq. This photo is hugely evocative and breathtaking; the water work is amazing, and the mountain is totally gorgeous. We love the theming and can’t wait to experience it ourselves (keep in mind that this is where the Soaring Over the Horizon attraction will debut, before coming stateside to Disney California Adventure and Epcot as Soarin’ Around the World).
The centerpiece for Tomorrowland, the TRON Lightcycle Power Run, during a ride testing phase is photographed above. If you’ve seen any of the photos of this attraction, or the snippet of pre-visualization footage during the Disneyland 60th special on ABC, you know that this thrilling, first-of-its-kind attraction is going to be out-of-this-world and really striking. The track travels inside and outside of a “color-shifting canopy,” with guests riding on their very own lightcycle, just like in the futuristic films. Get us on that thing!
Aw, sleepy! This is a photo of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, the family-friendly coaster that is part of Shanghai Disneyland’s Fantasyland. If you’ve been on the attraction at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World, you’ll know what to expect: an immaculately detailed, runaway ride through the Dwarfs’ mine, past cutting-edge audio-animatronic characters, along twists, turns, dips, and dives.
Here’s a glorious shot from inside The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, another Fantasyland attraction. Winnie the Pooh-themed attractions are a staple of many of the Disney Parks around the world, and this one is no different, although there’s a delightful twist: The books in the attraction are “telling the story in Chinese.” This is exactly what Iger is talking about!
Yet another Fantasyland attraction, Voyage to the Crystal Grotto, allows guests to discover amazing tableaus inspired by fan-favorite Disney animated classics “while cruising the water.” The photo shows Mulan and Mushu, while other displays are dedicated to Fantasia, Tangled, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Little Mermaid. At one point the ride vehicle takes you underneath the epic Enchanted Storybook Castle, with accompanying special effects for a dramatic conclusion to your journey.
Shanghai Disneyland features an entire land dedicated to our favorite dastardly buccaneers, the pirates! And one of the signature attractions in Treasure Cove is Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure. This is an “all-new story with [our] favorite pirate characters.” One of those characters is, of course, Davy Jones, the villainous cursed pirate first glimpsed in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, glimpsed in this photo. These are next-level audio-animatronic figures; fitting since this is a new generation of the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, and we cannot wait to see this tentacle-faced menace in action.
This photo from inside the lobby of the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel “highlights the grandeur of this Art Nouveau hotel.” And it really is stunning and huge. Just look at that bronze statue of Mickey conducting his orchestra, and the ceiling/chandelier. The Shanghai Disneyland Hotel looks to redefine luxury, like the rest of the Park, combining both familiar elements and brand new features, and we want a room.
Another great shot, this time from inside the Toy Story Hotel, features the Sunnyside Café. If that name sounds familiar it’s because Sunnyside was the name of the daycare in Toy Story 3. (How amazing is that?) Highlighted in this photo are “Chinese-style kites featuring Toy Story characters, inspired by traditional kite craftsmanship from Weifang in China’s Shandong Province.” We love the infinity-style building shape and every new detail, like the Sunnyside Café and these great kites, and it cements the fact that this hotel will be very special indeed.
The Shanghai Disney Resort opens on June 16. You can book your trip now, on the official website.