Shanghai Disneyland opens for visitors

The opening ceremony was attended by senior officials including Shanghai's Communist Party secretary and the mayor.

Walt Disney Company's Shanghai theme park was launched in a gala ceremony that featured fireworks and a dancing Mickey Mouse. Several celebrities attended the event while messages from both Xi Jinping and Barack Obama were also presented.

At the opening ceremony, Vice-Premier Wang Yang read a letter from the Chinese President, Xi Jinping saying: "I hope that Shanghai Disney can provide visitors with safe and premium experiences and become a world class theme park. I hope it promotes exchanges across cultures of the world."

The Shanghai Disneyland is the first Disney theme park in China and at the same time it is the largest foreign investment ever for the California-based company, Burbank.

Robert Iger, the Disney Chief Executive Officer, read another letter at the ceremony which was sent by US President, Barack Obama. The letter read: "The resort captures the promise of our bilateral relationship".

The ceremony was attended by a number of senior officials including Shanghai's Communist Party secretary and its mayor.

The existing Disneyland covers an area about 3.9sq km. In a briefing session on Wednesday, Iger said that they have already started construction to expand attractions within the park's 7sq km (700ha) of land.

"Nothing is as impactful, nothing creates a connection to our stories, to our brands, to our characters, than a theme park experience," he told AFP.

Disney theme parks have always been good at creating enormous spectacle and people have a lot of expectations from this new theme park.

College student Shi Mi said he has already visited the other five Disney resorts around the world and is extremely excited to visit the new one. "There's a certain romance to it for me," he said.