Disney's massive new Chinese resort, built in partnership with authorities, cost a reported US$5.5 billion to open in 2016, and all dedicated fans of the brand will find it a fascinating, upsized iteration of the iconic theme park. It's a powerful emblem of the economic muscle of China's booming middle class, which as a lot more in common with American consumerism than with fusty notions of traditional communism. Everything is bigger, from triple-wide walkways to vast empty spaces waiting for future development, and especially the massive, boxy Enchanted Storybook Castle at the center, which contains a world unto itself: part of a boat ride, a Snow White story walk-through, a princess meet-and-greet, a character dining experience, shops, a front-facing stage. Food is both Western and Chinese, catering happily to both palates, and most of the rides have a familiarity. But some rides take advantage of advancing technology and the Chinese demand to own something unique: a Pirates of the Caribbean boat ride that's dazzling and completely unlike the original ride; the sensational Tron Lightcycle roller coaster, which is mounted like a bicycle; and a mountain in the Adventure Isle area that is explored on a catwalk obstacle course. Instead of a Main Street, the entry land is the cartoonish, midcentury Mickey Avenue. Chinese guests aren't too keen on haunted mansions or railroads, so there aren't any, but there is a special emphasis on interesting environments to take fun selfies, and another focus on shows—something Chinese culture responds to. In one indoor stunt show found in an only-in-China area, the beautifully themed Treasure Cove, Captain Jack Sparrow exclusively speaks Putonghua, China's official state language. And yet there's still Peter Pan's Flight (here, longer than the American one), Soarin'Dumbo, a Toy Story Land with a few kiddie rides, a Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and other familiar-yet-different staples. Before you go, download the free app, which has upcoming park hours, maps, and updated wait times for each attraction. English is widely spoken on all signage and menus; although occasionally, as in the shows and on some attractions, only Chinese is spoken, it's never enough to disorient a non-speaker.

The entire complex, which includes the deluxe lakeside Disneyland Hotel, the moderate-priced Toy Story Hotel, a Disneytown shopping-and-dining area a la Downtown Disney, and the Wishing Star Park (that's of limited interest to tourists), is 963 acres, or 11 times the size of the original in California. Conveniently, the Metro arrives a few hundred feet from the park entrance (if you're checking into a Disney hotel, transfer to a resort shuttle bus at the nearby bus stop—but they'll also store your bags if you want to play in the park first). The resort has been a smash, with 11 million visits in the first year alone. Crowds can swing widely from crushing to sparse, so for the best results and the shortest wait times, avoid weekends and holiday periods.