Thousands of lucky tourists get a glimpse of Shanghai Disney Resort TWO MONTHS before the official opening

  • This week the Disney Resort station opened, giving excited fans the chance to wander around the Disneytown area
  • Smiling employees welcomed guests to the complex, which will feature shopping, dining and entertainment options
  • While the outlets remained shut, around 8,000 dedicated tourists took images of the buildings and the distant castle
  • The 963-acre theme park, which reportedly cost around £3.8billion to build, is set to officially open its doors in June

It's not open for two months but some lucky fans have already seen the Shanghai Disney Resort up close.

Thousands of tourists flocked to the newly opened Disney Resort train station and boarded trains to the Disneytown area before the theme park's official unveiling.

Crowds braved drizzle to wander around the resort's shopping, dining and entertainment district, which has been opened to the public without an admission fee. 

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Several thousand visitors flooded to China's newest Disney theme park some two months before its official opening in June

Several thousand visitors flooded to China's newest Disney theme park some two months before its official opening in June

Pictures from the Disneyland park, which is currently under construction, show visitors being taken around by employees at the theme park, who allowed guests to try on props and take photographs of the much anticipated attractions

Pictures from the Disneyland park, which is currently under construction, show visitors being taken around by employees at the theme park, who allowed guests to try on props and take photographs of the much anticipated attractions

Guests were pictured posing in front of Disneytown's buildings, some clad in Mickey merchandise like this woman in gloves

Guests were pictured posing in front of Disneytown's buildings, some clad in Mickey merchandise like this woman in gloves

While none of the outlets are open yet, around 8,000 tourists were nonetheless happy to be among the first to get a peek at the exciting new grounds, which will host six different Disney themed 'lands' when it launches in June.

Guests were pictured posing in front of Disneytown's buildings, some clad in Mickey merchandise, while other excited snappers were seen taking their first images of the much-anticipated castle, visible in the distance within the closed-off park.

When it opens, Disneytown will feature nearly 50 retail outlets, including the first World of Disney store in Asia, and a range of restaurants.

Both local and international food brands will be offered at the 495,139-sq-ft space, including Shanghai Min, Crystal Jade, and The Cheesecake Factory operated by Hong Kong Maxim's Group. 

Guests will also be able to view a theatrical production of the Lion King in the 1,200-seat Walt Disney Grand Theatre in Disneytown, which will be presented in Mandarin for the first time. 

When it opens, Disneytown will feature nearly 50 retail outlets, including the first World of Disney store in Asia

When it opens, Disneytown will feature nearly 50 retail outlets, including the first World of Disney store in Asia

Excited snappers were seen taking their first images of the much-anticipated castle, visible in the distance in the shut-off park

Excited snappers were seen taking their first images of the much-anticipated castle, visible in the distance in the shut-off park

Although the area looked busy earlier this week, it is set to get even busier when the park has its grand opening this summer

Although the area looked busy earlier this week, it is set to get even busier when the park has its grand opening this summer

Images showed the Disney features that can be seen in the new entertainment complex, which includes a marketplace
Guests take pictures of a large Mickey and Minnie in the metro station

Images showed the Disney features that can be seen in the new entertainment complex, which includes a marketplace (left), and train station (right)

'I am extremely impressed by the staffers here at the resort,' a visitor, Xie Wencheng, 76, told Shanghai Daily

Another visitor, Deng Xiangping, who was visiting with her 17-month-old son, said: 'Though the shops are not open yet, the environment here is comfortable and pleasant.'

Some were not as enthralled.

'Everything was closed, and some places were still under construction,' a visitor surnamed Wu said. 'It is boring and disappointing. But my granddaughter likes the place.'

Both local and international food brands will be offered at the 495,139-sq-ft area, including Shanghai Min, Crystal Jade, and The Cheesecake Factory operated by Hong Kong Maxim's Group

Both local and international food brands will be offered at the 495,139-sq-ft area, including Shanghai Min, Crystal Jade, and The Cheesecake Factory operated by Hong Kong Maxim's Group

Colourful attractions: Smiling visitors of all ages take pictures of a large display constructed entirely from pieces of Lego  

Colourful attractions: Smiling visitors of all ages take pictures of a large display constructed entirely from pieces of Lego  

Organisers expect several thousands more visitors to come to the park via the Disney-themed metro station before the official opening ceremony on June 16

Organisers expect several thousands more visitors to come to the park via the Disney-themed metro station before the official opening ceremony on June 16

The train hub, aptly named 'Disney Resort Station', takes visitors from the bustling city centre right to the doorstep of the fairytale grounds, which is set to be the biggest Disney park in Asia, dwarfing the ones in Hong Kong and the Japanese capital Tokyo.

Organisers expect several thousand more to come to Disneytown via the Disney-themed metro station before the official opening ceremony on June 16.

China has been flooded with the Disney hype to such a degree that China Eastern Airlines have even recently unveiled its Disney-themed aeroplane, which will fly lucky passengers between the city of Shanghai and the Chinese capital Beijing.

While the doors to the main shops remain shut, the visitors were able to purchase disposable raincoats and drinks from service carts in the area

While the doors to the main shops remain shut, the visitors were able to purchase disposable raincoats and drinks from service carts in the area

Throngs take pictures of the Lego shop, which features a towering display with the alien characters from Toy Story

Throngs take pictures of the Lego shop, which features a towering display with the alien characters from Toy Story

After guests stepped out of the train station, they were able to see the signs and areas at the front of the Shanghai Disney park
After guests stepped out of the train station, they were able to see the signs and areas at the front of the Shanghai Disney park

After guests stepped out of the train station (right), they were able to see the signs and areas at the front of the Shanghai Disney park 

Shanghai Disney will be the cheapest out of all 12 parks and resorts worldwide, with off-peak tickets costing 370 yuan (£39).

The 963-acre theme park, which reportedly cost around £3.8billion to build, will pay homage to traditional Chinese culture as well as showcase Disney's favourite films across six different lands.

Earlier this month, MailOnline Travel reported that the opening day tickets for the theme park sold out within hours of being listed on the company's official ticketing website and all the rooms for the two hotels on site were fully booked for the first two weeks.

The train hub, aptly named 'Disney Resort Station', takes visitors from the bustling city centre right to the doorstep of the fairytale grounds, which is to be the biggest Disney park in Asia, dwarfing the ones in Hong Kong and the Japanese capital Tokyo

The train hub, aptly named 'Disney Resort Station', takes visitors from the bustling city centre right to the doorstep of the fairytale grounds, which is to be the biggest Disney park in Asia, dwarfing the ones in Hong Kong and the Japanese capital Tokyo

Although the main park is still off-limits to guests, they are able to access an area called the Wishing Star Park, which is a recreational area with a lake that will offer activities for kids and families and a nearly 900-seat amphitheatre

Although the main park is still off-limits to guests, they are able to access an area called the Wishing Star Park, which is a recreational area with a lake that will offer activities for kids and families and a nearly 900-seat amphitheatre

The 963-acre theme park, which reportedly costs around £3.8billion to build, will pay homage to traditional Chinese culture as well as showcase Disney's favourite films across six different lands

The 963-acre theme park, which reportedly costs around £3.8billion to build, will pay homage to traditional Chinese culture as well as showcase Disney's favourite films across six different lands

A PARK OF FIRSTS: SHANGHAI DISNEY RESORT HOPES TO WIDEN ITS APPEAL 

Shanghai Disneyland can be seen in the final stages of construction, with its lofty 196-foot-tall castle and resort buildings looking spectacular

Shanghai Disneyland can be seen in the final stages of construction, with its lofty 196-foot-tall castle and resort buildings looking spectacular

Fantasyland will be the largest of all the lands in Shanghai Disney Resort and home to the Enchanted Storybook Castle

Fantasyland will be the largest of all the lands in Shanghai Disney Resort and home to the Enchanted Storybook Castle

Even though it is the cheapest ticketed Disney park, the Shanghai theme park is aiming for record-breaking features.

The Enchanted Storybook Castle is the tallest out of the six Disney venues and there will be six themed lands, packed full of family attractions and live entertainment options.

The park will also feature 'Treasure Cove,' the first ever 'land' exclusively dedicated to The Pirates of the Caribbean films.

A new take on the classic boat ride, 'Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure,' will see guests spin and swirl to synchronised music, and encounter pirates, mermaids and a kraken.

Meanwhile, there will also be a live stage show where Captain Jack Sparrow shows off his swordfighting skills.

If pirates aren't your thing, there are plenty more attractions to be seen, including the Alice in Wonderland maze - the first attraction dedicated to Tim Burton's version of the classic tale.

Hungry guests won't be disappointed, as there will be a massive range of themed restaurants serving a variety of culinary delights, including Remy’s Patisserie, a French-inspired bakery styled on Ratatouille, and Sweethearts Confectionery, a sweet shop representing Minnie Mouse's childhood home.

Officials expect that the park will draw crowds of around 17 million per year and to widen its appeal, the park isn't limiting its target audience to small children.

Cool! A Tron themed ride where visitors sit on motorbike carriages will be included in Tomorrowland at the newest Disneyland park

Cool! A Tron themed ride where visitors sit on motorbike carriages will be included in Tomorrowland at the newest Disneyland park

For those bored of princesses and Mickey Mouse, Shanghai Disney Resort also offers some high-tech attractions based on its supernatural and sci-fi films.

Star Wars fans will be able to meet the movie's heroes and villains and look at its intergalactic set pieces.

Thrill-seekers can enjoy the 'Tron Lightcycle Run,' a roller-coaster attraction based on Disney's beloved sci-fi classic. Meanwhile, budding artists can try their hand at comic book animation in Marvel Universe.

While the Shanghai park celebrates Disney's newer films, it doesn't neglect the company's origins.

The Steamboat Mickey fountain, which will be located at the park's entrance, is a tribute to the 1928 animated film that first introduced Walt Disney's marvellous creations to the world.

The joint venture between Disney and its partner Shanghai Shendi Group is hoped to extend the 60-year legacy of Disney Parks around the globe.

Disney is extremely popular in China and in May last year the world's largest Disney store, which is also in Shanghai, was forced to close after only one hour because so many Chinese fans packed themselves inside.

Hundreds of people had queued for over three hours to get inside the 54,000 square foot shop.

Ride testing is already underway at the Roaring Rapids, where guests will embark on a rafting ride straight through the heart of Adventure Isle
Ride testing is already underway at the Roaring Rapids, where guests will embark on a thrilling rafting adventure, straight through the heart of Adventure Isle

Disney construction teams painted the Enchanted Storybook Castle earlier this year (right), the tallest, largest, and most complex Disney castle ever built. Ride testing started taking place a few months ago at the Roaring Rapids (left), where guests will embark on a rafting ride straight through the heart of Adventure Isle

Bronze statues of Mickey and Minnie in formal attire will welcome guests to the Shanghai Disney Resort Hotel

Bronze statues of Mickey and Minnie in formal attire will welcome guests to the Shanghai Disney Resort Hotel

 

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