Shanghai Disney Resort to Open at End of 2015
   2013-05-25 06:52:02    China Daily      Web Editor: Mao Yaqing

This is a rendering of a castle at the Shanghai Disney Resort in Shanghai, east China. Intended to open at the end of 2015, the resort will initially be comprised of Shanghai Disneyland, a Magic-Kingdom-style park as well as two themed hotels, a large retail, dining and entertainment venue, recreational facilities, a lake and transportation hubs. Covering an area of 1.16 square km, the theme park inside the 3.9-square-km Shanghai Disney Resort will be the world's sixth Disney amusement park and the first on the Chinese mainland. [Photo: Xinhua]

Construction began on Friday on Shanghai Disneyland's Enchanted Storybook Castle, which will be the world's tallest and largest Disney castle.

The Enchanted Storybook Castle will be stationed at the heart of the theme park, which is scheduled to open in 2015.

It will be the most interactive Disney castle yet, complete with entertainment, dining and performance spaces, the company's statement said.

A magnificent winding staircase in the heart of the castle will lead guests on a "Once Upon a Time Adventure", featuring all the Disney Princesses.

The castle will also feature a boat-ride attraction, complete with a secret underground chamber in which fountains of light will leap and dance in shimmering pools, surrounding guests with magic, music and color.

Shanghai Disneyland, the first Disney project in the Chinese mainland, will sit on 3.9 square km, making it three times larger than Hong Kong Disneyland.

The resort is reportedly budgeted at a cost of 24.5 billion yuan ($4 billion) for the theme park and an additional 4.5 billion yuan to build the hotels and restaurant venues.

Disney owns 43 percent of the property. The other 57 percent is held by the State-controlled Shanghai Shendi Group Co Ltd.

The Shanghai Disney project will be the perfect combination of Disney global standards with local best practices, and will truly be "authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese", said Fan Xiping, chairman of Disney's Chinese joint venture partner in Shanghai Disney Resort, Shanghai Shendi Group.

Earlier reports said a large transport terminal will be built alongside the Shanghai Disney Resort.

The terminal, at the western entrance to the park, will include five traffic booths, parking lots for taxis, and a terminus for buses running inside the park.

It will cover 77,492 square meters, with construction expected to take 330 days at a cost of 217 million yuan.

One of the main metro stations at the theme park will feature huge skylights. The Disneypark station, on the metro's Line 11, will be half underground but architecturally in harmony with its surroundings.

Hong Kong Disneyland this March posted its first annual profit, boosted by record attendance, since the theme park opened in 2005. 

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