Carlye Wisel
March 28, 2016

Seeing that golden peony atop the Enchanted Storybook Castle when Shanghai Disneyland Park takes in its first guests is going to be harder than the causal plane-hopping Disney fanatic may have thought.

Tickets for the June 16th opening went on sale this past weekend and sold out near-instantly, with many visitors spending hours simply trying to obtain tickets and hotel reservations for the same day.  For those who didn’t burn the midnight oil to get in, there are opening day tickets available on secondary sites, but prices are soaring. Resellers are now apparently charging up to up to eight times more than the original ticket price of 499 yuan ($77).

Disney has been advising against purchasing from secondary vendors, because many could be falsified, but even those who buy legitimately resold tickets likely won’t get in. Shanghai Disney Resort policy states that tickets are non-transferrable and the entire party on a reservation needs to enter at once, with the ticket purchaser presenting his government ID at time of entry.

With it selling out so quickly, and resale values skyrocketing, the crowds within Shanghai Disneyland itself are bound to be intense. This is a massive theme park—even the garden in front of the castle tops out at 11 acres—and at full capacity on opening day could hold well over 100,000 visitors. (Shanghai Disneyland Park is touted as being three times larger than Hong Kong Disneyland, whose capacity is 34,000; Disneyland’s capacity in Anaheim is estimated to be around 85,000.)

Assuming from how fast opening day tickets were sold, the surrounding effects of the opening could be staggering, too. When Disney’s first store in Shanghai opened back in May, it was the world’s largest, and so overwrought with excited fans that it closed after just one hour due to overcrowding fears. The actual Disneyland Park may be ticketed, but themed spaces at the two neighboring hotels, Wishing Star Park as well as the shopping, dining and entertainment district Disneytown do not require admission, and could be even busier than the actual park when it opens in mid-June.

Shanghai Disneyland Park’s opening will be packed come June 16th, but for those who actually make it in will be absolutely worth it. The $5.5 billion dollar project has long been touted as being “authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese,” and will introduce the masses to a Disneyland park unlike any other in the world. New rides, new lands, new concepts, and even a new castle—from ticket sales to that wild TRON coaster, this one’s going to be huge.

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