Apr 4th, 2016, 11:13 PM

The Disney Empire Expands to Shanghai

By Jenna Nellis
Image Credit: Flickr/Josh Hallett
It only took five years and five and a half billion dollars to build.

From the creators of Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Paris, brace yourselves for the largest opening Disney park to-date with the potential of luring more than 300 million people living within a 3.5 hour ride of the park. Shanghai Disney Resort has been under construction since April of 2011 and is scheduled to open on June 16, 2016. But before anyone riding a stroller or wearing a tiara could scream "mickey," the tickets for the opening day of this newest addition to Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Worldwide Inc. sold out within hours of its opening on March 28, 2016. Even more than that, all Disney resort hotels for this newborn park have long been sold out for the first two weeks of its opening (no one can say the customers of Shanghai aren't excited).

This 1000-acre project located in Pudong, Shanghai, will feature 6 different lands, including Fantasyland with a 196-foot tall castle (the largest castle yet), Tomorrowland with "Tron" and "Star Wars" attractions, a Toy Story-themed hotel, and the Gardens of Imagination where Disney characters will correspond to Chinese zodiac signs. 

With cruise lines, bobble heads, and locations in California, Florida, Paris, Toyko, and Hong Kong, the Walt Disney Company is achieving its mission to be "one of the world's leading producers and providers of entertainment and information... to develop the most creative, innovative, and profitable entertainment experiences and related products in the world". This strategic expansion is occurring during a major transition of China's economy from a manufacturing economy to a consumption-based economy. Disney revenues are predicted to grow from $2 billion in 2016 to nearly $4 billion by the end of the modeling period. By expertly catering to a need for imagination, the Walt Disney Company has rightly earned its place as the world's second largest media and entertainment company in the world. 

But, if you're still on the fence about putting "Shanghai Disney Resort" on your bucket list, here's a closer look at what's in store. 

Shanghai Disneyland Resort Opens June 16 | Disney Parks