Back to Worldmap Next Theme Park

Shanghai Disneyland

Theme Park Guy Rating: 0
Date Visited:
February 22, 2009 / October 14, 2010 / June 16, 2011
June 14, 2012 / September 21, 2013
Location: View on map
Shanghai Disneyland Photos

Construction Update January 20, 2015

Villages vanished. Land cleared. Shanghai Disneyland rising.

While hyped as one of the "biggest Disney Parks of all times", to me, it looks like an average-sized, yet ambitious Magic Kingdom. My concern is that, in Pudong, it won't be easy to shelter the Disney ambience from the humdrum of its densely-populated, suburbian surroundings.

In fact, I am perplexed by HOW exposed this new Disney undertaking is, given that all pictures below were taken from outside the property. May the berm rise high.

I believe Hong Kong Disneyland, with its stunning location against the backdrop of Lantau Island's mountain scenery, will forever be more magical than Shanghai Disneyland. So, to all those concerned about the long-term prospects of Hong Kong Disney, don't worry.

The swamplands and the Shanghai Disney castleFan Longde's shop still stands, but no Fan no more.Shanghai Disneyland panorama from behind Fan's shophouseFan's shophouse now has a Pirates of the Caribbean view!Huangzhao Road. Same angle, different world. Scroll down to the 2010 pics to compare!The Shanghai Disney castle as of todayShanghai Disneyland castle from a different angleCloser lookShanghai Disney castle view from the sideShanghai Disneyland castle frontal viewRoaring Rapids mountain water ride with a Shanghai backgroundRoaring Rapids under constructionRoaring Rapids mountain water rideRoaring Rapids rockworkWile E. Coyote meets Shanghai outskirtsShanghai Disneyland seen from the freewayShanghai Disney castle on the left, Roaring Rapids on the rightTron roller coaster to the left, castle to the rightTron roller coaster at Shanghai DisneylandDisney's coal power plant? Nope, it's a coaster and a castle.Tron coaster close-upMore TronSeven Dwarfs Mine Train on the left, Pirates of the Caribbean on the rightHospitality! Toy Story Hotel to the left, Disneyland Hotel to the rightDisneyland Hotel: 5-star accomodation underwayDisneyland Hotel close-upHazylandOn site castle mock-up (bottom left) against the backdrop of Shanghai suburbiaMy sixth visit since 2009Emily and her native China are awaiting the Mouse's arrival

Construction Update June 24, 2014

Construction is in full swing now, with multiple structures rising, including the Tron roller coaster, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, the Enchanted Storybook Castle, Pirates of the Caribbean and the resort hotels. 

Fan Longde, the local shopkeeper who I've taken pictures with since 2010, is still there. In fact, he's the only man left, in the only house left, devoid of the village it was once part of. He now sells only cigarettes to his non-existing customer base, no more drinks; those who miraculously happen to pass by probably need a smoke to digest the rapid transformation.

In 1.5 years from now, Disney's 6th Magic Kingdom and 4th international adventure will be up and running, created by the most clever designers and engineers on earth, with technology not experienced before, and – believe it or not – even my friend Fan, the lone shopkeeper who turned into the last villagekeeper, looks forward to it. Enjoy the pictures:

This is Fan LongdeHe runs a street corner a village that vanished.View from the bridge behind Fan's shop, just north of Shanghai DisneylandConstruction: 'Roaring Rapids' on the left, 'Pirates of the Caribbean' on the rightAn unguarded entrance to the site. How tempting.But rule number one is: never trespass!View from south of the Shanghai Disney lakeTron roller coaster under constructionTron coaster close-upThe structure rising on the right of the Tron coaster is the Disneyland castleFukushima decommissioning? No, it's Shanghai Disneyland in the making!Coaster tracks stored outside......most likely belonging to the Seven Dwarfs Mine TrainRapid transformation (and 'Roaring Rapids' construction in the background)Toy Story Hotel under constructionShanghai Disneyland panoramaFarmers with Tron coaster

Construction Update September 21, 2013

Latest update, 21 September 2013 (please scroll down for 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009 updates):

- Street corner shop with smiling shopkeeper still alive, but surrounding village is gone.
- Lots of activity on site, but no rides going up yet
- Discovered a great viewpoint very close to the actual theme park site
- Pictured Shanghai Disney city office featuring Imagineers working late

Thanks to my friends Margot Chou and Drew Campbell for joining me on this little adventure!
Follow me on Twitter or contact me through LinkedIn

World War II film set? No, it's the villages surrounding the Shanghai Disney site.Berlin Wall separating East and West? Not so! This one is separating reality from fiction.Shanghai Pudong skyline as of September 2013Pudong skyline seen from the Shanghai Disney lakeZoom out view over the soon-to-be Shanghai Disney lakeYes, it's a bit scary. A good angle has its price!A common sight around the Disney siteLast house standingFirst Mickey gets into the houses, then into the hearts... and wham-bam the house is gone.The street corner shop at Huangzhao Road is still there!It's right to the north of the future Magic Kingdom park...But not much to see from this angle!Here is the new Shanghai Disney Resort site main entranceNot much to see here, either!...apart from a Shanghai Disney Resort project map, all in Chinese!Shanghai Disney Resort layout. Theme park territory is marked red.Stand alone, abandoned-looking house. Let's take a closer look!Our location looks good (blue dot). The Magic Kingdom site is right to the left!Up the stairsNature meets Disneyland, here we go!With the help of a pole you can even have a higher viewHello, Shanghai Disney theme park site!It's not a lake, it's not a parking lot, this is the actual theme park in the makingCloser look!Pole up for an even better view!At this point it's hard to tell what is whatIf you know, or can tell, please write to stefan 'AT' thethemeparkguy.comShanghai Disneyland, September 2013Let's pan a little bit to the right...Park entrance will be on the left, Fantasyland on the right, Adventureland in the front......and the castle should be going up somewhere around that dirt mound in the centerShanghai Disneyland theme park construction site, September 2013Let's go see the site from a different vantage pointThis is further away from the theme park site. Huge parking area under construction here.One of the main Shanghai Disney access roads under constructionThe Shanghai Disney city office resides inside this skyscraperIf you take a sip at this Starbucks, chances are high you'll meet an Imagineer!Floor 6 and 7 play host to Americans and Chinese working for a mouseShanghai Disney Pudong city office entranceThese company names are codewords for DisneylandBalloons in the office and light at night, that's a good sign!A big thank you to Margot, Drew and my Chinese friends!

© 2007 - 2016

"The Theme Park Guy" and the "roller coaster hat" are registered trademarks and design patents respectively.