Disney Shanghai: Go Inside $5.5 Billion Theme Park in China


The world is finally getting its first glimpse of Disney Shanghai.

The newest Disney resort occupies nearly 1,000 acres of land in Shanghai, China, and will feature several separate "themed lands," including the Tomorrowland, Treasure Cove, Disneytown and the Enchanted Storybook Castle, which, when finished, will be the biggest and tallest Disney castle ever.

Disney’s chairman and CEO Bob Iger met Tuesday with ABC News’ Bob Woodruff at Disney Shanghai, where an estimated 12,000 employees are working quickly to get the $5.5 billion project ready for its estimated spring 2016 opening.

Details of the park are finally being revealed: Among some of the many highlights, it’ll host a huge man-made mountain with a towering waterfall. There’ll be a carousel in the Gardens of Imagination. And an updated version of Tomorrowland will feature a futuristic new ride based on the film “TRON: Legacy.”

Four Surprises About Disney's New Theme Park in Shanghai

Some of the most well-known Disney characters will be present there, including Mickey Mouse, Snow White and Woody from “Toy Story.” Tomorrowland will also present characters and interactive experiences from the “Star Wars” and Marvel Universe franchises

Traditional Chinese artistry lies at the heart of the park’s design. It’s a way to make this most iconic of American experiences one that the Chinese people can call their own.

Top Chinese acrobats are already in rehearsal for a show based on Disney’s “Tarzan.” In the resort, Chinese calligraphy adorns a traditional teahouse and, of course, the messages and music on rides will be heard in Mandarin.

This is the fourth Disney resort that John Lindsay, vice president of Walt Disney Imagineering, has helped build. Lindsay showed Woodruff the new “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride, which will debut in Shanghai. The ride will combine the newest technology and art, Lindsay said.

This is the sixth Disney resort in the world. Disney operates parks in Anaheim, Orlando, Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong.

“We’ve never build a park as big as this to open on opening day. This is the biggest,” Iger told Woodruff.

He reflected on the history of the project, telling Woodruff: “If you were to have stood here with me on this ground in 1999 and thought, ‘Well, one day we’re going to be here opening Disneyland,’ you’d probably think I was out of my mind. But here we stand, a lot of progress being made, a lot of work being done, a lot of noise being generated. And I’m confident we’re going to make the date we’ve got in mind.”

Editor’s note: ABC News is owned by the Walt Disney Co.