When ground broke at Shanghai Disneyland in 2011, we all began waiting with baited breath to see what the first Disney Park in mainland China would entail. So yesterday, when we got news that Disney unveiled the first detailed look at Shanghai Disneyland (and what the park was actually going to be like), we all naturally got very excited. The verdict? It's going to be incredibly different from every other Disney park out there — and full of amazingness.
CEO and Chairman of the Walt Disney Company Bob Iger recently revealed a scale model, as well as some of the plans for the park, at an expo in Shanghai. He said of Shanghai Disneyland, which is planned to open in 2016:
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.
The Shanghai Park will be more than just a theme park; it will be a full-on, Shanghai Disney Resort, featuring a Disneyland theme park, two hotels, a shopping district called "Disneytown," and a unique-to-Shanghai "wishing star park" with a glittering lake.
I want to go to a glittering lake, please.
At the heart of Shanghai Disneyland will be the "Enchanted Storybook Castle," which will be the tallest, largest, and most interactive castle at any Disney theme park. Having grown up with Sleeping Beauty's Castle at the OG Disneyland in Anaheim (seen up top), it's hard for me to get behind the idea of Disney trying to one-up the sparkly, pink palace, but whatever, guys. I'm over it. (No, I am not).
That's not the only thing that's special about Shanghai Disneyland. Here are six other ways that Shanghai Disneyland will be unlike any other Disney Park.
1. Adventure Isle
According to Disney's blog, Adventure Isle will," immerse guests in a newly discovered lost world, filled with hidden treasures and a chance to explore its mysteries." Is it vague? Yes. Is it exciting? Also, yes.
2. Treasure Cove
This is the first pirate-themed land at any Disney park, and it will feature an attraction called "Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for Sunken Treasure," which seems to be like Pirates of the Caribbean on steroids and maybe with guns? Watch the video below and you'll see what I mean.
3. Tomorrowland... For China
American Tomorrowlands seem a bit stuck in the '80s, but Shanghai Disneyland's Tomorrowland will focus on cutting edge Chinese technologies.
4.TRON Lightcycle Power Run
This promises to be a thrilling, high-speed roller coaster attraction with stunning views of Shanghai.
5. Voyage to the Crystal Grotto
If the name wasn't magical enough, this water-ride takes you beneath the Enchanted Storybook castle to tell guests the stories of familiar Disney tales.
6. Garden of the Twelve Friends
This is so cool. The Garden of the Twelve Friends reimagines traditional zodiac figures as Disney characters.
Check out this video to see all the plans for the Shanghai Park: