What’s new at Shanghai Disney? A look at rides, coasters and shows

15 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Disney Unveils Made For China Shanghai Theme Park.

What’s new at Shanghai Disney? Walt Disney Co.’s new park in China will offer Jet Packs, a rafting adventure, rides on a Tron-themed Lightcycle and the largest parade in any of its resorts, all aimed at winning over Chinese customers.The $5.5 billion resort in Shanghai will feature six themed lands, two Disney-themed hotels, a Disneytown shopping and entertainment district and Wishing Star Park, a walkable garden next to a lake.

“We are building something truly special here in Shanghai that not only showcases the best of Disney’s storytelling but also celebrates and incorporates China’s incredibly rich heritage to create a one-of-a-kind destination that will delight and entertain the people of China for generations to come,” said Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger at a presentation at the Shanghai Expo Centre. Disney, which is developing the $5.5 billion theme park with China’s state-owned Shanghai Shendi Group, said the park has been designed to appeal to Chinese visitors. The Shanghai Disneyland theme park is part of the larger Shanghai Disney Resort, which also takes in a Shanghai Disneyland Hotel and a Toy Story Hotel, adjacent to the theme park.

Disney earlier this year delayed the opening of Shangai Disneyland until the first half of 2016 from a scheduled start at the end of 2015 as it expanded plans for the park. A more Chinese theme will be seen in the Garden of the Twelve Friends, where animals of the Chinese zodiac are re-imagined as Disney and Pixar characters. One of the most anticipated new rides, this rollercoaster in Tomorrowland that will reach top speeds of 100 kilometers, or 60 miles per hour, said Bob Weis, executive vice president of Walt Disney Imagineering. Gardens of Imagination: rides include Fantasia Carousel, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, while stage shows include “Ignite the Dream, a Nighttime Spectacular of Magic and Light” and parade “Mickey’s Storybook Express.” Tomorrowland: technology centric-section includes Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue, and TRON Lightcycle Power Run, a coaster-style attraction where guests board a train of two-wheeled Lightcycles.

Details are still scant, but also included in Tomorrowland will be Star Wars Launch Bay, where guests can view props and memorabilia from the most recent film — which should arrive in theaters just a few months before Shanghai Disney opens — and “be immersed in the Skywalker story through a state-of-the-art cinematic experience.” A Marvel Universe attraction will offer visitors the chance to “learn to draw some of the characters” and “attend a multimedia mission briefing” in the world of Marvel superheroes. Attraction, Pirates of the Caribbean – Battle for the Sunken Treasure , transforms a boat ride into a journey with cutting-edge robotics, animation, set design and multimedia.

The world’s largest theme-park operator also will have to deal with increased competition, including a Universal Studios theme park being built in Beijing, and a studio and entertainment center in Shanghai from DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. Those looking for a more placid experience can ride the Explorer Canoes, with the assistance of a captain, or check out a sword-fighting stage show, Eye of the Storm: Captain Jack’s Stunt Spectacular.

The ride will take guests into a dark cavern where they will discover the secrets of an ancient tribal legend and a “massive, mysterious” reptilian creature called “Q’araq” that looks like a T-Rex and is “almost the size of a bus.” The back story of Adventure Isle is said to revolve around “the Arbori people, whose thriving civilization was founded on this isle several thousand years ago” and was discovered by a group of international explorers. The parks and resorts division is Disney’s second largest, after TV networks, accounting for 31 percent of the company’s $48.8 billion in revenue in the last fiscal year. The castle itself will feature a walk-through attraction, Once Upon A Time Adventure, with an animated version of Snow White that guests can interact with.

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