Thanks, Shanghai
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Thanks, Shanghai

You've been a crazy experience for all of us, but we're glad you're finally here.

Thanks, Shanghai
Shanghai Disneyland Castle

Well folks, the long-anticipated day has finally come—Shanghai Disney has opened at last on June 16, 2016. We followed along via Facebook and press release as each new piece of the park was revealed—new attractions, the new designs of our favorite characters, and, of course, the reveal of the gorgeous Enchanted Storybook Castle.

Now, the title of this piece can be read in two different ways: one, the long-time, starry-eyed Disney fan who is just so so excited to experience this new piece of Disney fan heaven; the second, a tired Cast Member or Annual Passholder who has had to deal with a lot of issues and cutbacks while awaiting the precious park's arrival. Some people relate to both.

Thanks for Being a New Disney Paradise

Disney clearly spared no expense with the design of this park. While less than three square miles in size (compared to Walt Disney World's 40 miles) they manage to squeeze a whole lot of magic in a very small space. We've heard about the crazy "Tron"-themed roller coaster, Soarin' Over the Horizon, and of course, what is now the biggest castle of any Disney Park in the world, the Enchanted Story Book Castle stands at 196.8 feet tall. The park is even shaped like a giant Hidden Mickey, so really, what more could you want?

Thanks for the Cutbacks

With all the missed deadlines and pushbacks, Disney lost quite a bit of money getting their newest park ready for opening day. As a result, both Walt Disney World and Disneyland has felt Shanghai Disneyland's financial burden on the company. Park hours have been much shorter, and part-time cast members have had trouble getting shifts to work. Seasonal discounts for AP holders and DVC members have been much smaller than they used to be, and Disney started a new kind of extended hour experience—that you pay for, on select days—at the parks. So there's been general non-magical headaches all around.

Thanks for Respecting Chinese Culture

A big fear with the new park was the imposition of American culture on the Chinese people. Chinese businessmen like the tycoon Wang Jianlin have accused the company of a cultural invasion, but it's clear that the company has kept Chinese ideas at the forefront of every design. Elements of the Chinese Zodiac is used throughout, and the castle is even topped with a traditional Chinese peony flower. Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger reflected this in a statement, saying "We didn't just build Disneyland in China, we built China's Disneyland."

Thanks for Joining the Disney Family

We can't wait to ride your rides, meet your characters, and enjoy an experience that is "authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese." Welcome home!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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