Last updated: 11:29 AM ET, Fri June 17 2016

Shanghai Disneyland Finally Opens to the Public

Entertainment | Donald Wood | June 16, 2016

Shanghai Disneyland Finally Opens to the Public

Photo by Ryan Rudnansky

On Thursday, Shanghai Disneyland finally opened to the public after five years of construction and weeks of testing with a massive celebration.

According to, the opening festivities featured a custom arrangement of the popular song “Let it Go” by pianist Lang Lang, as well as debut of the song “Ignite the Dreamer Within,” which was written for the grand opening.

The Shanghai Symphony also performed “Once Upon a Dream,” “Heigh Ho” and “Some Day My Prince will Come” under the direction of composer Tan Dun.

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Theme park analysts believe Shanghai Disneyland will become world's most-visited theme park, with an estimated 15 million guests a year. Some experts believe the park has the upside potential to attract as many as 50 million guests a year, according to

For comparison, Walt Disney World in Orlando served 19.3 million visitors in 2014.

The Shanghai Disney Resort is the first Disney park in mainland China and covers almost 1,000 acres. With 330 million people living within a three-hour drive or train ride of the park, the facility is expected to be a major success for Disney.

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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,” Disney CEO Bob Iger said in a statement. “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.”

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