Dubai Parks and Resorts opens with musical spectacular

December 18, 2016, 10:54 AM · DUBAI — The new Dubai Parks and Resorts celebrated its grand opening officially this evening with a musical spectacular, attended by more than 1,000 invited guests, including the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and the Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Marktoum.

But the special guests theme park fans most likely would recognize was Academy Award winning composer and Disney Legend Alan Menken, who performed the theme song he wrote for the resort, "All the Wonders of the Universe," accompanied by his daughter, recording artist Anna Menken.

Plus... wait a minute, are those drones?!?

Yep, 50 coordinated, light-up drones flew in the sky above the Menkens as they performed on the Dubai Parks stage, which was built specifically for the ceremony atop the waterway in the middle of the park's Riverland shopping and dining district.

Not enough for you? Here's the reprise of the theme song, performed in the show's finale, along with dancers and characters from all three of the resort's theme parks, accompanied by a stunning fireworks display. (Needless the say, the drones landed before the pyro hit the sky.)

You can't see it in the video, but everyone in the crowd was given and was wearing a plastic "crystal" pendant, which lighted up in varying colors at one point in the show, reminiscent of the "Glow With the Show" effects at the Disney theme parks.

Dubai Parks and Resorts includes three theme parks: Bollywood Parks Dubai, Legoland Dubai, and Motiongate Dubai, along with a Legoland Water Park, Riverland and 500-room Lapita Hotel. With three parks, Dubai Parks and Resorts trails only the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida for most theme parks in one resort.

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Replies (3)

December 18, 2016 at 12:14 PM · With a Disney Legend performing, a drone show in the sky, and "glow with the show"-type pendants for everyone, Dubai's opening ceremony was more Disney than a lot of Disney theme park shows these days.
December 18, 2016 at 12:28 PM · It's not that it isn't a nice opening or a nice song but nothing in the presentation feels Arabic or Dubai.
December 18, 2016 at 1:50 PM · I didn't record the intro from Sheikh Mohammed, with its brief history of the emirate. But, ultimately, the emirates are just a small part of the global (well, Eastern hemisphere) market that Dubai Parks is targeting. The resort doesn't try to represent Dubai as anything other than as a gracious host to welcome and entertain people from around the region, South Asia, and Europe. But that's a pretty darned ambitious goal on its own.

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