After five years of construction, $5.5 billion in spending and a month of testing to work out the kinks, Shanghai Disney Resort opened to the public just before noon, Shanghai time, on Thursday, June 16 (which was 9 p.m. Wednesday in Anaheim, home of the original Disney park). Shanghai Disneyland features six themed areas, and the resort contains two hotels, a shopping district and 99 acres of gardens, lakes and parkland. We'll keep you updated throughout the week with new details and peeks inside the resort.
The lines outside of Shanghai Disney on opening morning are remarkably quiet and orderly. Most of the visitors appear to be families -- lots of elderly people and small children -- with scattered corporate teams and bands of twentysomething superfans snapping selfies in front of a large, copper-colored Mickey Mouse fountain.
"I don't know much about the park, but I think my kid's really going to love it," said Summer Jiang, 32, a Shanghai resident visiting the park with her 1-year-old son. "I used to love Disney, maybe in my early 20s. But now I'm too old."
The Shanghai Disney launch has brought together a rare breed of Chinese citizen: the Disney superfan.
Claudia Wu, 30, an employee at an American law firm in Shanghai (second from left in the tweeted photo below), came to the opening with three other fans that she met via Weibo, China's version of Twitter. "When we watch Disney movies it makes us really happy," she said.