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by Michael J. Shapiro | June 17, 2016

Shanghai Disney Resort celebrated its grand opening yesterday, the sixth Disney theme park worldwide and the first in Mainland China. The $5.5 billion resort is a joint venture between the Walt Disney Company and Shanghai Shendi Group, and promises a distinctly Chinese Disney experience.

The resort consists of Shanghai Disneyland, the theme park that has the tallest castle of any Disney property; two hotels, the 420-room Shanghai Disneyland Hotel and the 800-room Toy Story Hotel; Disneytown, a shopping, dining and entertainment district; and the 5.4-million-square-foot Wishing Star Park, a recreational area with gardens, a lake and a 1.5-mile walking path.

"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," said Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger. "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."

Disney and Shendi Group developed the project over five years, specifically to appeal to the Chinese market. The theme park consists of six themed lands, including Fantasyland, the largest, which is inspired by Disney's animated films and is the home to the largest and tallest castle built for a Disney park. The adjacent Disneytown features about 50 shopping and dining locations, as well as the lavish Walt Disney Grand Theatre, presenting the first-ever Mandarin version of The Lion King.