Shanghai Disneyland to Open in 2015

disneyland castle

In 2015, a brand new Disneyland will open its gates.  Don’t believe it?  Did you think you would have heard of something so momentous happening sooner?   At the end of 2015, Shanghai Disneyland will be open for business.

It was easy to forget about the at-times controversial park, because it’s been years since we’ve heard more than a peep about it.  But now that we’re getting closer to its opening date, more details are beginning to trickle in.  The Disney Parks blog has a snapshot of the Shanghai Disneyland model, or at least a portion of the model, focusing on the park’s center.

It’s beautiful, of course, but it also looks just like any other Disney park.  Well, it almost looks like any other Disney park.  Astute eyes will notice that the castle at the center doesn’t quite resemble any other Disney park castle: it’s not clearly recognizable as either the Sleeping Beauty or Cinderella castles.

That’s because Shanghai Disneyland’s centerpiece will be something unique.  It’s being called the Enchanted Storybook Castle, and it’s got a whole parks blog post to itself.  The Enchanted Storybook Castle is so named because it’s the first dedicated not to any one Disney princess, but instead to all of them.  It will be the largest of all the Disney Park castles.

Parts of it will be familiar.  It’ll be home to meet-and-greets for the Disney princesses, and although it’s the first castle to house the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, the princess makeover experience isn’t anything new.  It’ll be a multi-story castle with a full “walk-through” experience called Once Upon A Time Adventure.

One of its most unique features will be that it’s also part of a boat ride attraction.  It would be neat to hop on or off a boat at a side or even underground entrance to the castle, as was true for many real historical castles.  If you want to see early renderings of the Enchanted Storybook Castle, check them out here.

We don’t have many more details yet about Shanghai Disneyland.  Citing Bob Iger talking about the park, the official parks blog called it “authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese.”  I find the latter description the most intriguing, and would like to learn more about that in the future.

The few other bits we do know are that the initial specs for Shanghai Disneyland include “two themed hotels, a dining and entertainment venue, recreational facilities, a lake, and associated parking and transportation hubs.”  That might seem small for a Disney park, but that’s just what will be operating when it first opens.  I’m sure that doesn’t include rides/smaller attractions, and that there will be many more hotels and restaurants and other features to come.

I’m still a little unhappy about how Disney purchased the land for Shanghai Disneyland, but that’s done now.  I also don’t know that I’d go to Disneyland if I got the chance to travel to China, but it does look like an amazing park.

What do you think?  Are you curious about this new Shanghai Disneyland?  If you got the chance to travel abroad, would you visit an international park?

 

*(The above image by beggs is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.)

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