If you live in China, or you plan on visiting China, you might be considering paying a visit to the Shanghai Disney Resort, a joint venture between Walt Disney Company and Shendi. The park has seven different themed areas including Adventure Isle, Fantasyland, Toy Story Land, and more. The park only opened about three years ago.
It is already incredibly popular. A theme park based on Zootopia will arrive in the park at some time in the near future, construction is set to begin this year. However, before you plan your trip to Disney Land in Shanghai, there are some things you might want to be aware of that you probably didn't know before!
10 It features the largest castle in all Disneyland parks
Did you know that Shanghai's Disneyland park features the biggest castle out of all of the Disneyland parks? Not only that but instead of only featuring one or two of the princesses, this is the first castle that will actually feature all of the Disney princesses! So it's not only Cinderella in the spotlight, here you can find Snow White, Tiana, Aurora, and more!
The castle features the Royal Banquet Hall restaurant, boutique, rides, and meet and greets. One ride takes you on a Voyage to the Crystal Grotto and shows scenes from the many Disney princess films! Instead of being named after one princess, the castle is known as the Enchanted Storybook Castle.
9 It is the second-largest Disney theme park
Shanghai Disneyland is pretty massive in scale, the park is actually a total of 963 acres, making it the second-largest Disney theme park. The only theme park bigger than Shanghai Disneyland is, of course, Disney World in Florida. The theme park cost $4.4 billion to make and the company was clearly hoping to drive up demand for their Pixar and princess divisions.
The Magic Kingdom-style park alone cost $3.7 billion and spans 225 acres. Disney's chief executive, Robert A. Iger, said the park would be "Authentically Disney but distinctly Chinese," as reported by the New York Times in 2011. Clearly, his words were accurate as the park is extremely successful.
8 They serve Pepsi
You might not think this is a big deal but Disneyland Shanghai is one of the only Disney parks that serve Pepsi instead of Coca-Cola. The Disney Tourist Blog actually wrote a fascinating article about why this is such a big deal to many Disney fans. Namely, this was Pepsi's goal to chip away at the Coca-Cola market by making a massive deal with Disney Shanghai.
Also, did you know the park even has souvenir Pepsi cans available? They're blue-and-gold and stored inside special ceremonial boxes. They're not exactly popular items but it shows how seriously Disney is taking this. Shanghai Disneyland's opening signaled the first time in 30 years that Pepsi had been served at a Disney park!
7 There are seven themed lands in total
There are seven distinctive lands in Shanghai Disneyland. Although you won't find familiar spots like Main Street or the Magic Kingdom, you will find Mickey Avenue, Gardens of Imagination, Fantasyland, Treasure Cove, Adventure Isle, Tomorrowland, and Toy Story Land. Mickey Ave is pretty self-explanatory, it is Shanghai Disney's answer to Main Street.
Fantasyland is all about the Disney princesses and animated films. Treasure Cove has the best Pirates of the Caribbean ride out of all Disney resorts and totally pirate-themed. Adventure Island is the counterpart to Adventureland. Tomorrowland is is a futuristic world with the incredible TRON Lightcycle ride. And finally Toy Story land is the newest land and full of Toy Story themed rides, restaurants, a show, and a gift shop.
6 Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure is the best Pirates ride
Pirates of the Caribbean has always been a staple at the Disney parks but the older and outdated versions of the ride have nothing on the new and immersive experience you'll undertake when you go to Shanghai Disneyland. The ride includes famous characters like Jack Sparrow and Davy Jones.
The reason it has become such a popular ride is that it features new technology that has never been featured before on the previous Pirates rides, making it one of a kind. it is located in Treasure Cove in Disneyland and you enter the Cave of Misfortunes before going to the Graveyard of Lost Ships. You even get to see the monstrous Kraken.
5 Disneyland Shanghai is the only park with a Tron ride
Disneyland Shanghai is the only Disney park to feature a ride based on Tron. The park has the Tron Lightcycle Power Run. It is a steel roller coaster that is semi-enclosed. The Shanghai Disneyland debuted this ride upon its opening in 2016.
Due to its popularity, it is set to be unveiled in the Walt Disney World park in time for its 50th anniversary in 2021 but for now, Shanghai is the only Disney park to have a Tron ride! It is located Tomorrowland and reaches speeds of 60 miles per hour, which is the fastest speed of any Disney roller coaster.
4 There is a Toy Story-themed hotel
As if a Toy Story Land wasn't exciting enough, Disneyland Shanghai actually includes a Toy Story-themed hotel that you and your family can stay at while you're visiting the theme park. The hotel has two sections as well. If you're more of a Woody fan you can stay in the Sheriff Woody section, but if you prefer Buzz Lightyear, you can stay in his section.
From above the hotel, it is shaped like an infinity symbol for the infamous Buzz Lightyear quote. The hotel opened in 2016 along with the rest of the park. The hotel is complete with a Buzzy Lightyear sculpture and themed bedding, shower curtains, and more.
3 The Gardens of Imagination are inspired by the Chinese Zodiac
In staying strict to their rule about making an authentic Disney park but also ensuring the Chinese heritage is represented, Disney has made an elaborate garden in the hub of the park known as the "Garden of Twelve Friends."
It is an 11-acre collection that features a different Disney character to symbolize each member of the Chinese Zodiac. The full list includes Remy the Rat, Babe the Blue Ox, Tigger the Tiger, Thumper the Rabbit, Mushu the Dragon, Kaa the Snake, Maximus the Horse, Jolly Holiday Lambs the Sheep, Abu the Monkey, Allan-A-Dale the Rooster, Plute the Dog, and Hamm the Pig.
2 You can see Disney broadway shows performed in Mandarin
The Lion King is a hot topic right now with the recent release of the much-anticipated live-action version of the movie starring megastars like Beyonce, Seth Rogen, and more. But did you know that in Disneyland Shanghai you could actually see the broadway version of The Lion King performed at the Disney Grand Theatre in Disneytown?
Not only that, but you could watch the show performed in Mandarin for a more authentic experience. The Lion King show closed a bit ago but now you can see The Beauty and the Beast at the same stage and also performed in Mandarin!
1 There is a Club 33 in Disneyland Shanghai
Club 33 is an infamous set of private clubs located in three of the Disney Parks. It can be found in the New Orleans Square of Disneyland, in Tokyo Disneyland, and also in Shanghai Disneyland. The entrance is located on Mickey Avenue in Shanghai.
But membership to this extremely exclusive club cannot be transferred between resorts. The odds of getting invited to join Club 33 are extremely slim, the waiting list is years-long and you have to vacation in China with a group called Adventures by Disney. But it's not easy to find the hidden entrance.