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Shanghai Disney Resort Celebrates Historic Grand Opening

Shanghai Disney Resort, the first Disney resort in Mainland China and the sixth worldwide, celebrated its historic Grand Opening today, culminating one of Disney’s most ambitious projects ever. Bob Iger, chairman and chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company, celebrated the opening of the one-of-a-kind vacation destination with thousands of distinguished guests, celebrities and Chinese officials.

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“The grand opening of Shanghai Disney Resort is a celebration of creativity and collaboration, a triumph of imagination and innovation, and a testament to the strong partnership between Disney and China,” Iger said. “Together we have created an extraordinary destination, a magical place unique in all the world, where East meets West, the past meets the future, and anything is possible for those who believe. It is our sincere hope that this spectacular place will inspire wonder and create joy for the people of China for generations to come.”

Honoring the Disney-Chinese partnership that created this resort, Iger and Chinese officials cut a red-and-gold ribbon to dedicate Shanghai Disneyland, the resort’s magnificent theme park. Joining Iger were Wang Yang, CPC Politburo Member and State Council Vice Premier, and Han Zheng, CPC Politburo Member and Party Secretary of Shanghai. Iger also shared a greeting similar to the one Walt Disney said on opening day for the original Disneyland, in 1955: “To all who come to this happy place, welcome.”

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The Grand Opening ceremony marked the moment with music, pageantry and a stream of Disney characters, from Mickey Mouse and Snow White to Baymax and Jack Sparrow, in front of the iconic Enchanted Storybook Castle. A multi-generational choir performed a unique version of the Disney song, “When You Wish Upon a Star,” arranged in a Chinese style to reflect the balance of Disney magic and China’s cultural spirit at Shanghai Disney Resort. The ceremony also featured six performers holding enormous, brightly colored fans to represent the six lands of Shanghai Disneyland.

Following the official dedications, tens of thousands of guests entered Shanghai Disneyland on its Grand Opening day to explore world-class attractions and live entertainment spectaculars­—many being offered for the first time in a Disney theme park. The three-day Grand Opening event also included two red-carpet occasions: Tuesday’s premiere of the first Mandarin production of THE LION KING, now showing at the Walt Disney Grand Theatre, and Wednesday’s gala concert with celebrity performers at Evergreen Playhouse in Shanghai Disneyland.


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Disney Announces New Attractions and Live Shows At Shanghai Disneyland

Today in China, Disney Chairman and CEO, Bob Iger unveiled new, exciting details on Shanghai Disney Resort, the area’s first Disney destination, and the six themed lands planned for the Shanghai Disneyland theme park.

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Shanghai Disney Resort will be a world-class family entertainment destination that blends the magic of Disney and the cultural spirit and beauty of China. And during a special event that included Disney COO Tom Staggs and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek, Bob Iger shared a peek at what the Resort will look like with the unveiling of a spectacular scale model showcasing its two hotels, Disneytown – its international shopping, dining and entertainment district, Wishing Star Park’s beautiful gardens and six themed lands of mainland China’s first Disney theme park – Shanghai Disneyland.

“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 Iger speaking to media during today’s presentation at the Shanghai Expo Centre. “We are taking everything we’ve learned from our six decades of exceeding expectations – along with our relentless innovation and famous creativity to create a truly magical place that is both authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese.”

At Shanghai Disneyland, Disney stories will come to life at the tallest, largest and most interactive castle at any Disney theme park. The themed lands will offer something for everyone with live stage productions, world premieres and thrilling attractions – many never seen before – that will appeal to guests of all generations. Guests also will be able to experience Disney characters in each land, including Mickey and his pals on Mickey Avenue and in Gardens of Imagination.

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In Tomorrowland, one of the six themed lands, guests will be able to experience the TRON Lightcycle Power Run, a new coaster-style attraction where riders board a train of two-wheeled Lightcycles for one of the most thrilling adventures at any Disney park.

Along with Tomorrowland, we have a more detailed look at the lands coming to Shanghai Disneyland:

Fantasyland will be the largest land and home to the majestic Enchanted Storybook Castle. In this fairy-tale paradise, Guests will float through familiar Disney stories on Voyage to the Crystal Grotto, hitch a rollicking ride on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and take flight over the skies of London on Peter Pan’s Flight. They may also explore the Hundred Acre Wood with Winnie the Pooh or follow Alice through a dazzling Wonderland maze.

Treasure Cove – will be the first pirate-themed land in a Disney park. As Guests explore this pirate world, they will enter Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure, an attraction that transforms a boat ride into a thrilling journey with cutting-edge innovations in robotics, animation, set design and multimedia. Adventurous spirits will be tempted to board a pirate ship, paddle through the scenic cove on Explorer Canoes and dine at Barbossa’s Bounty.

Adventure Isle will immerse Guests in a newly discovered lost world, filled with hidden treasures and a chance to explore its mysteries. The mighty Roaring Mountain will tower over guests and beckon them on their journey. Guests can blaze their own trails at Camp Discovery, travel around the world on Soaring over the Horizon, or embark on the thrilling rafting adventure Roaring Rapids, straight through the heart of Adventure Isle. There they discover the underworld realm of a mysterious, fearsome creature.

Tomorrowland will not only include the TRON Lightcycle Power Run but also offer the chance for Guests to go to infinity and beyond on Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue, a new space ranger adventure, or break the bonds of gravity on Jet Packs. The land will feature a massive, color-shifting canopy near the TRON Lightcycle Power Run.

Mickey Avenue will be the first main entry at a Disney park inspired by the colorful personalities of Mickey Mouse and his pals. In the neighborhoods of this welcoming, whimsical avenue, guests will share a hug and get a photo with some all-time favorite Disney characters. Avenue M Arcade, one of the many shops along the avenue, will feature the largest selection of gifts and collectibles inside the theme park.

Gardens of Imagination will celebrate the wonders of nature and the joy of imagination, as guests leave everyday life behind to enjoy the seven whimsical gardens. Guests will take a spin on the Fantasia Carousel, soar on the back of Dumbo the Flying Elephant and enjoy the area’s iconic Disney entertainment, including Castle stage shows and “Ignite the Dream, a Nighttime Spectacular of Magic and Light.” From several places in this land, Guests will enjoy “Mickey’s Storybook Express,” an exciting parade with its own musical soundtrack and colorful performers on the longest parade route in a Disney park.

Since breaking ground in 2011, Disney and Shanghai Shendi Group announced that they were expanding the park by adding additional attractions and entertainment to allow more Guests to have a spectacular Disney experience at Grand Opening in spring of 2016.


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Disney to Announce ‘Star Wars’ Theme Park Plans Soon

Back in June 2013, Disney revealed that its then newly-acquired Star Wars franchise would be integrated into the company’s theme parks around the world. CEO Bob Iger teased in December that the theme park rides will be based on Star Wars: The Force Awakens and its subsequent sequels and spinoffs.

Bob Iger recently told Wall Street analysts that the company is deep into development with their Star Wars theme park plans, with a formal announcement coming “later in 2015.”

“Fairly soon, I’m sure we’ll be ready to go public with some specifics. But it’s safe to say that you’ll see a lot more Star Wars at Disney and at Disney parks in the near future.” – Bob Iger

While the plans will be announced later this year, Bob Iger added that this ambitious endeavor will take a long time to get off the ground.

“(There is) a fair amount of design and development (taking place by the company’s Imagineers) to greatly increase Star Wars presence in multiple locations around the world. The plans are ambitious, so it’s going to take some time for them to be built and opened.” – Bob Iger

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While the Disney CEO didn’t say exactly when these Star Wars theme park plans will be unveiled, it’s possible that the announcement may be made during Star Wars Celebration in April, or Disney’s annual D23 Convention in August, both of which will take place at the Anaheim Convention Center. It’s possible the announcement could also be made on Star Wars Day, May 4, but we should learn more specific details about Disney’s Star Wars theme park plans well before Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters on December 18.

What ideas do you have about a Star Wars themed park at Disney?

Source: MovieWeb.com

Bob Iger and George Lucas at the Star Tours Grand Opening

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STARS OF “STAR WARS”: Walt Disney Co. president and CEO Bob Iger (fourth from left) poses with “Star Wars” creator George Lucas (fifth from left), “Star Wars” celebrities and “Star Wars” characters May 20th, 2011 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, FL following grand opening ceremonies for “Star Tours — The Adventures Continue,” a new 3-D attraction based on the “Star Wars” films. The attraction, which features more than 50 possible random ride experiences, opened May 20, 2011 at Walt Disney World in Florida and will open June 3, 2011 at Disneyland Resort in California. Pictured, L-R: are James Arnold Taylor, voice actor from “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”; Dave Filoni, director of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”; Iger; Lucas; “Star Wars” character C-3PO; Anthony Daniels, the actor who portrayed C-3PO in “Star Wars”; Ashley Eckstein, voice actor from “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”; and Daniel Logan, who portrayed Boba Fett in “Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones.” (Kent Phillips, photographer)

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