Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger today provided a closer look at what’s in store at the Shanghai Disney Resort which is due to open in spring 2016. Divvied into six themed worlds, the $5.5B Middle Kingdom park will include attractions based on Star Wars, the Marvel universe and Pirates Of The Caribbean, among others. Each of those properties has upcoming films with ambitions to release in China where Avengers: Age Of Ultron recently made over $235M at the box office. Nevertheless, the park will be “authentically Disney and distinctively Chinese,” Iger said in Shanghai.
The Star Wars Launch Bay is described as a celebration of the Star Wars galaxy where guests will meet heroes and villains, board iconic intergalactic set-pieces, view props and memorabilia from the most recent episode, and be immersed in the Skywalker story through a state-of-the-art cinematic experience. Disney is amping up awareness of Star Wars in China where the six original films recently screened at the Shanghai Film Festival to help whet moviegoers’ appetites before The Force Awakes releases.
Elsewhere, guests will stroll down Mickey Avenue and visit the Gardens of Imagination to take a spin on the Fantasia Carousel. They’ll also be able to hit Fantasyland, inspired by Disney’s animated films; cross over to Adventure Isle; experience Treasure Cove, the first pirate-themed land at a Disney park which will tie in with the 2017 release of Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales; and take a trip to Tomorrowland. Billed as a venue of limitless possibilities, the latter includes the space ranger adventure Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue and boasts jet packs and the Tron Lightcycle Power Run, a coaster-esque attraction. (Incorporating both Tomorrowland and the Tron ride are somewhat curious choices given the movies most closely related to them have made less than $40M in the Middle Kingdom combined.)
The mouse is partnered with Shanghai Shendi Group in the park and last year announced a further $800M investment to accelerate expansion. Disney recently opened its largest ever store in Pudong where the resort is also being built.
Along with Shanghai Disneyland, there will be two hotels (including one branded Toy Story); a shopping, dining and entertainment district known as Disneytown; and the Wishing Star park.