Disney has begun construction today on its first resort in mainland China with approval from the Chinese central government; the $3.7 billion park is expected to open in five years.

The Shanghai Disney resort will include Shanghai Disneyland, a Magic Kingdom-style park with a blend of classic Disney and all-new attractions tailored specially for the people of China, two themed hotels, an expansive retail, dining and entertainment venue, recreational facilities, a lake and parking and transportation hubs.

It will include an 11 acre (46,130 square meter) green space at the centre of the park in a bid to reinforce the company’s emphasis on sustainability.

There will be a $3.7 billion initial investment to build the theme park and an additional 4.5 billion yuan (US $0.7 billion) to build the other aspects (hotels, retail, etc.) of the resort. Financing will be proportional to ownership.

“Today marks a significant milestone in the history of The Walt Disney Company,” said Robert A. Iger, president and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, “Our Shanghai resort will be a world-class family vacation destination that combines classic Disney characters and storytelling with the uniqueness and beauty of China. Working with our Chinese partners, the Shanghai Disney Resort will be both authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese.”

To celebrate the start of construction and pay homage to the culture and people of China, Disney and its partners held a ceremony earlier today complete with traditional Chinese music and singers as well as Mickey Mouse dressed in conventional Chinese costume.