×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Dark Skies Fail to Dampen Shanghai Disneyland Opening

Celebrities and business folk including Sheryl Sandberg, George Lucas and Jerry Bruckheimer were on hand Thursday in Shanghai at the official opening of the $5.5 billion Shanghai Disneyland in China.

A ribbon cutting ceremony featured messages from U.S. President Obama and China’s president Xi Jinping. Obama’s missive was read out by Disney chairman Bob Iger, Xi’s by Wang Yang, China’s Vice President.

“This is one of the most exciting and important moments in the history of the Walt Disney Company,” Iger said before cutting the ribbon with Wang and Han Zhang, Shanghai Communist Party secretary

Skies that were leaden and damp did nothing to dampen the spirits of the public who finally got their chance to enter the park at noon.

And, while the officials and dignitaries were tending to the ceremonial stuff, crowds had built up outside the park and the Shanghai Disney Resort’s two hotels. The Toy Story Hotel, which for the past two days had been an untidy camp for visiting media, was instead thronged from breakfast time onward by paying guests trying to get an early check-in and maximize their time in the park proper.

On Wednesday night an outdoor concert headed by composer Tan Dun and with a charming and creative light show projected onto the park’s centerpiece Magic Castle had to be cancelled due to drizzle. But Disney had pre-recorded the show on the two previous evenings and was able to screen an edited version of the concert in three of the park’s theater venues instead.

The park is a joint venture between Disney and a consortium of local Chinese companies. Built on reclaimed land, near the Pudong airport, the park features six themed areas and a mix of lands and attractions that are staples of other Disney parks and as well as ones new in Shanghai.

Certain to be a major hit is the Tron Light Cycle, a very high speed roller coaster for which riders must crouch forwards and be locked in. It features as part of the new Tomorrowland zone.

More Biz

  • China Video Streaming Giant iQIYI Loses

    Chinese Video Giant iQIYI Loses $1.3 Billion in 2018

    Chinese video streaming firm iQIYI lost over $1.3 billion in 2018, as revenues and subscriber numbers ballooned. The deepening losses reflected ever higher spending on original content production. Announcing its first full-year financials since a March IPO that launched it onto the NASDAQ, iQIYI said that it lost $1.3 billion (RMB9.1 billion) last compared with [...]

  • Lisa Borders Time's Up

    Time's Up CEO Resigned After Son Was Accused of Sexual Assault

    Time’s Up has announced in a statement posted to Instagram that its former president and CEO Lisa Borders, who resigned Feb. 18, did so after her son was accused of sexual assault in a “private forum.” “Within 24 hours, Lisa made the decision to resign as President and CEO of Time’s Up and we agreed [...]

  • Louis Tomlinson Signs With Arista (EXCLUSIVE)

    Louis Tomlinson Signs With Arista (EXCLUSIVE)

    One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson has signed with Arista, sources tell Variety. While the singer was formerly linked with Epic Records in 2017, he is signed directly to Simon Cowell’s Syco label and will move within the Sony Music family to Arista. Tomlinson teased a new single on Feb. 2, posting on Twitter, “Just heard the [...]

  • Jussie Smollett

    Jussie Smollett's Bail Set at $100,000, Must Surrender Passport

    UPDATED: A Chicago judge set a $100,000 bond for Jussie Smollett on Thursday, as the “Empire” actor made his first court appearance. Smollett faces one felony count of filing a false police report. Police allege that Smollett staged a Jan. 29 attack, telling detectives that he was accosted by two men who used racial and [...]

  • Michael Jackson Estate Accuses HBO of

    Michael Jackson Estate Sues HBO for Non-Disparagement Contract Breach

    The estate of Michael Jackson sued HBO on Thursday, accusing the cable channel of violating a non-disparagement clause by agreeing to run “Leaving Neverland,” a documentary accusing Jackson of sexual abuse. The suit seeks to compel HBO to litigate the matter in a public arbitration process, and claims that the estate could be awarded $100 [...]

  • Allison Kaye

    Scooter Braun Names Allison Kaye Partner at Ithaca Holdings (EXCLUSIVE)

    On the back of a history-making debut by Ariana Grande, who claims the top three songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart this week (tying the Beatles), Scooter Braun has appointed his longtime deputy Allison Kaye to partner at Ithaca Holdings LLC, which houses SB Projects. She was previously president of music at the 12-year-old [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content