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New nighttime spectacular ‘Illuminate!’ announced for Shanghai Disneyland

by Brittani Tuttle

In just two days, guests at Shanghai Disneyland will bid farewell to the resort’s first-ever nighttime show — “Ignite the Dream – A Nighttime Spectacular of Magic and Light” — and experience an all new show, titled “Illuminate! A Nighttime Celebration.”

shanghai disneyland
Photos via Shanghai Disney Resort

Debuting at at Shanghai Disneyland’s Enchanted Storybook Castle on April 8, the new show will combine cutting-edge technology and new content to create a Disney storytelling experience.

“For our 5th Birthday Celebration, we wanted to create an exceptional experience for our guests to thank them for making our first five years so memorable,” said Joe Schott, president and general manager of Shanghai Disney Resort. “The new nighttime spectacular leveraged the talent of over 70 Disney experts and consultants from eight countries, employed some of the world’s advanced technologies, and incorporated some of our most beloved stories to create a truly immersive and magical conclusion to a day at Shanghai Disneyland.”

Centered around a theme of light, Illuminate! is designed to make guests feel as though the entire park is enchanted with light – “a light that is at the very heart of our dreams and wishes and which is giving life to the very park itself.” Not only will the Enchanted Storybook Castle be a part of the display, but the Gardens of Imagination will also immerse guests in the experience.

shanghai disneyland

To create the immersive experience, 91 lighting fixtures, including eight new towers, 11 enhanced garden arbors, and 12 electronic lily pads have been installed across 15 new locations throughout the park. 22,000 new LED lights have been installed onto the new towers and arbors, adding to the 5,000 lights that were already in the garden — totaling 27,000 points of light for the new show. The lighting effect also has synchronized lighting from the Dumbo the Flying Elephant and Fantasia Carousel attractions, as well as the parade route.

A grand water display will also be presented in front of the castle, with 38 static fountains, seven moving fountains, and one water screen. As for pyrotechnics, 27 fire burst locations and six lasers have been installed around the castle.

Illuminate! A Nighttime Celebration will feature more than 80 characters from over 40 films from Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios and Marvel Studios, as they search for the light within.

shanghai disneyland

Made up of seven chapters, the nighttime spectacular will take guests on an exciting journey, starting with an original song titled “Light Is In You.” As the story progresses, guests will experience the flame for a better future being lit, with scenes from “Brave,” “Aladdin,” “Big Hero 6,” and more, before adversity strikes to conceal the light as it did to Mulan, Miguel from “Coco,” Simba from “The Lion King,” and other characters. Illuminate! will then inspire guests to break free of the darkness and see the light, before stepping out alongside Buzz and Woody from “Toy Story,” Joy and Sadness from “Inside Out,” Rapunzel from “Tangled,” Elsa and Anna from “Frozen,” and more.

As the show comes to a close, Judy from “Zootopia,” Elsa from “Frozen,” Moana and more will share a message of perseverance, as they encourage guests to hold onto the light that exists within all of us.

But no search for the light and battle against the darkness would be complete without Marvel’s Super Heroes, and for the first time ever on any Disney castle, guests will be able to see 15 Marvel Super Heroes assembling as part of a nighttime spectacular.


To learn more about Shanghai Disneyland and its 5th anniversary offerings, visit ShanghaiDisneyResort.com.

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