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Shanghai Disney Resort celebrates 5th anniversary with ‘Year of Magical Surprises’

by Susan and Simon Veness

Shanghai Disney Resort will celebrate its 5th birthday during a resort-wide “Year of Magical Surprises” that includes spectacular prizes, rare character appearances, exclusive merchandise, and much more, all starting on April 8.

shanghai disney
Images courtesy of Shanghai Disney Resort

Shanghai Disney Resort has undergone a major makeover to commemorate five wonderful years of magic-making for its resort guests, and, in the spirit of Walt Disney World’s 2006 “Year of a Million Dreams” celebration, randomly selected guests visiting the resort will be recipients of special “birthday gifts.”

year of magical surprises

A Surprise Squad of cast members will roam the park each day, randomly delivering giveaways both large and small. Digital autographs from favorite Disney characters, dining and merchandise vouchers, priority access and reserved seating for shows and attractions, and exclusive Birthday souvenirs are just a few of the prizes that will be awarded.

shanghai disney

The Surprise Squad will also invite randomly-selected guests to the specially-designed Disney “Surprise!” Show, which will take place 4 times daily on Tomorrowland’s Pepsi E-stage. During the show, guests will spin the “Disney Surprise Wheel” for the chance to win a 37-inch StellaLou plush, dining at the Royal Banquet Hall in Fantasyland, hotel stays, park tickets, Annual Passes, and more. One onsite guest (and up to four people in their party) will receive a Golden Key that unlocks exclusive offerings at Mickey’s Magical Star Lounge inside the prestigious Club 33.

Upcoming surprises that will delight everyone include:

  • Evening spectacular, “ILLUMINATE! A Nighttime Celebration,” featuring state-of-the-art technology, and a brand-new storyline. The show takes place on Enchanted Storybook Castle in Fantasyland.
year of magical surprises
  • Mickey’s Storybook Express parade will include a new pre-parade, all decked out in birthday bunting in celebration of five magical years. Led by Mickey and Minnie riding a 13-foot tall, three-layer birthday cake float, the pre-parade also includes floats featuring Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Pluto, and Chip and Dale, with Duffy and his friends on the finale float.
  • As hosts of the “Year of Magical Surprises,” Mickey, Minnie, and their friends will be dressed to impress in custom-designed outfits, with ivory and champagne gold palates punctuated by festive ribbons reflecting the grand party atmosphere. Watch for hidden details on their clothing, in the shape of a numeral “5”!
  • Rare characters will make pop-up appearances around the park, so have cameras at the ready!
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  • More than 200 fifth birthday-specific merchandise items will be on offer, for those once-in-a-lifetime souvenirs, including a range of limited-edition items.
year of magical surprises
  • What is a birthday without special food and beverages? New menu items will be available throughout the year, from Asian cuisine and Western fare to tempting seasonal selections. Choose from snacks, treats, meals, and delicacies, each with a celebratory flair.
  • A new selection of music will provide an energetic backdrop to the festivities, and will include all-new compositions as well as creative twists on classic Disney favorites.
shanghai disney

Shanghai Disney Resort’s official app will also have a new look, and will include a “Tap for a Magical Surprise” feature that enters guests into a digital drawing for a special prize once they’re in the park.

Cast members get in on the fun, too, with glittery new nametags boasting golden stars and a unique “5” logo that set this birthday party apart.

Joe Schott, president and general manager of Shanghai Disney Resort, shares his appreciation for five successful years: “We are so humbled to have been welcomed with such passion, enthusiasm, and love from tens of millions of guests during our first five years. Our success would not have been possible without the incredible support of all of our partners, the local government, community friends, guests and fans, as well as our amazing cast members. With our upcoming fifth birthday celebrations, we look forward to delivering a range of magical experiences that our guests will love, with surprises waiting around every corner!”

Even more magic will be announced in the lead-up to the milestone anniversary. For more information, visit ShanghaiDisneyResort.com.

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