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Extra! Shanghai Disneyland Grand Opening

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Dongfang Zaobao, June 16

Chinese daily Dongfang Zaobao featured the grand opening of Shanghai Disneyland on its front page Thursday after the theme park dynasty opened its doors at midnight following five years of construction.

The $5.5 billion Shanghai Disney Resort is the American company's biggest theme park outside of the U.S. Some 10,000 employees were working on opening day on the site that covers nearly 1,000 acres of land. Meanwhile, Disney is expecting to serve 700 kilograms of rice every day. More "monster figures" here.

The opening ceremony started with speeches by Communist Party leaders, as Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang joined Disney chief executive Bob Iger in cutting a red ribbon and read out letters of congratulations from the Chinese and U.S. presidents, Xi Jinping and Barack Obama.

There were also a variety of musical features, including a performance by a children's choir and a custom arrangement of "Let it Go" by superstar Chinese-born pianist Lang Lang.

After more than a decade of negotiations, the arrival of the American entertainment conglomerate challenges many Chinese working in the theme park business. More on that here.

Analysts expect the Shanhai Disney to become the world's most-visited theme park, attracting as many as 50 million guests a year. By contrast, Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida drew 19.3 million people in 2014.

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