More Shanghai Disney Resort Stories

Authentically Disney and Distinctly Chinese: Shanghai Disney Resort Blends Magic of Disney with Spirit of China

Erin Glover

by , Director, Publicity, Walt Disney Animation Studios

With the Grand Opening of Shanghai Disney Resort just one week away, cast members and Imagineers are putting the finishing touches on our newest family entertainment destination – an international Disney experience that grew out of years of collaboration between Walt Disney Imagineering (both in Shanghai and in the U.S.), Shanghai Shendi Group, and a team of renowned Chinese designers, engineers, artists and cultural advisors. This unique blend of Disney magic and China’s cultural spirit is what Disney chairman Bob Iger refers to as “authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese,” and it has been the guiding principle of Shanghai Disney Resort.

Connection to Nature

The design of Shanghai Disney Resort carefully reflects the desire for peaceful surroundings and family bonding time that are so important in Chinese culture. In Shanghai Disneyland, Gardens of Imagination is the first land at a Disney park designed as a garden, with 15 acres of lush, green space for families to gather and relax. Wishing Star Park, just outside the main entrance to Shanghai Disneyland, evokes the native landscape and historic legacy of China’s Yangtze River Delta. The park offers guests a chance to escape the busy pace of modern life to enjoy vibrant and thriving natural habitats, including woodlands and gardens with both Chinese and Western roses.

Shanghai Disney Resort Blends Magic of Disney with Spirit of China

A Familiar Language

Classic Disney storytelling comes to life in new ways at Shanghai Disney Resort, as many familiar songs and stories are presented in Mandarin. On Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, the song “Heigh-Ho” was recorded in Mandarin especially for the attraction. At the Walt Disney Grand Theatre in Disneytown, guests can enjoy the first-ever Mandarin production of the Broadway hit THE LION KING. And in a first for any Disney park, guests may have their names embroidered on Mickey Mouse ear hats in either Chinese or English!

Art and Architecture

Design and art play a major role in creating the distinctly Chinese experience throughout Shanghai Disney Resort. Chinese artists sculpted and painted 62 magnificent, flying horses on the Fantasia Carousel. In Disneytown, traditional Shikumen architecture reproduces the unique heritage of Shanghai, and Liuli glass – a traditional Chinese art form – is represented in seven large Mickey Mouse sculptures crafted by a local Chinese artist.

An International Blend of Talent

Disney’s world-class entertainment team has worked closely with renowned Chinese directors, choreographers and designers to bring classic stories to life at Shanghai Disneyland. Chinese acrobats perform in “Tarzan: Call of the Jungle,” adapted by choreographer Li Xining, with intricate costumes created by designer Li Rayding. The magical musical, “Golden Fairytale Fanfare,” presents spectacular moments from Disney stories, directed by Chinese stage director and filmmaker Chen Shi Zheng with an original song written in Mandarin by Keith Chan and Peter Kam.

We are excited to welcome families to this unique Disney experience when Shanghai Disney Resort officially opens June 16! Keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog for more as the big day draws closer.


  • Robert: Hello from Shanghai Disneyland. I have being here 3 days and a lot of Castmembers speak english and you can communicate with no problem. When a Castmember doesn´t speak english, they will go and bring one who can speak to you, usually at merchandise and restaurants. At the attractions, I was quite impress that for example at Tron, every time I rode it, the Castmember give me the instructions in english! At Pirates they gave instructions in Mandarin and later in english and she made eye contact with me! =) Excellent performance of all the Castmembers at Shanghai Disneyland! ºoº

  • Is there a way for people living outside the US to watch the grand opening? So far it is not showing as an option on Canadian TV stations and I would love to watch it!!!

  • Couldn’t be more excited!! ?
    I know the opening ceremony will be broadcast on Disney Channel in the US… Are there plans for a broadcast for those of us outside the US??

  • I can’t wait to see the opening on Disney Channel on the 16th. Will there be any live coverage available either on cable, satellite or the internet? Which news sources has Disney invited to attend the opening? Thanks

  • Can’t wait to see more pictures! Any chance we’ll have Shanghai Disney merch on the Shop Disny Parks app anytime soon?

  • If I can only speak english, can I enjoy the new parks?

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