Disney breaks ground for Shanghai park

Posted Friday, April 8, 2011 1:23 PM | Contributed by Jeff

In a carefully staged groundbreaking ceremony interspersed with singing and dancing, Iger said Shanghai Disneyland would feature a blend of East and West and underscored the importance of the $3.7-billion project for Disney.

Read more from The LA Times.

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Friday, April 8, 2011 1:46 PM

From the concept art I found yesterday, it looks like the park will have Fantasyland in front of the castle, which is such a departure from the typical Disney park design. In fact, thinking about it and looking at it again, it doesn't resemble anything close to the "standard" Magic Kingdom park design with a defined hub and spoke. The castle certainly looks very interesting as well. Makes me think of a wider base Cinderella Castle with hints of Sleeping Beauty from DLR.

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Friday, April 8, 2011 4:48 PM

Any links to the concept art?

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Friday, April 8, 2011 5:36 PM

Here you go. Not too different than what is in the LA Times article.

http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2011/04/breaking-ground-on-sh...ey-resort/

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Friday, April 8, 2011 10:07 PM

It seems that Shanghai Disneyland will sort of be like Magic Kingdom meets Animal Kingdom in the sense that this will be a Magic Kingdom park without the semi-rigid structure of the traditional parks. The area in front of the castle at Shanghai seems a bit like the Oasis of Animal Kingdom crossed with Fantasyland.

You can kind of make out Pirates of the Caribbean (Splash Mountain-style) to the right on the castle in the larger overhead view. Supposedly that version of Pirates was developed for Hong Kong Disneyland but never used.

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Friday, April 8, 2011 10:07 PM

It looks like a variation of the Disneyland style park. Just like how every Disneyland park is different from the last but still similar. I didn't notice a Main Street USA/World Bazaar. In fact the area in front of the castle kind of reminds me of a take on Millennium Plaza at EPCOT. It looks like that shot of Fantasyland is from the back of the park, behind the castle. But with the castle turned around in the painting only for dramatic effect.

Last edited by SONiC Senshi, Friday, April 8, 2011 10:09 PM
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Friday, April 8, 2011 10:36 PM

SONiC Senshi said:
It looks like a variation of the Disneyland style park. Just like how every Disneyland park is different from the last but still similar. I didn't notice a Main Street USA/World Bazaar. In fact the area in front of the castle kind of reminds me of a take on Millennium Plaza at EPCOT. It looks like that shot of Fantasyland is from the back of the park, behind the castle. But with the castle turned around in the painting only for dramatic effect.

Nope, that is indeed the front of the park with Dumbo and the carousel. There will be no Main Street USA entrance area. This is going to be a vastly different departure from typical Disney entrance areas, from the descriptions that we have in various places. It has been speculated that the very vague renderings are to keep any developers in China looking for a quick way to knock off and beat the new park to opening from doing so. I don't find that too likely, but its really the only satisfactory answer I can think of.

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Sunday, April 10, 2011 12:25 PM

Look's weird without a main street.

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Sunday, April 10, 2011 1:20 PM

maXairMike said:

It has been speculated that the very vague renderings are to keep any developers in China looking for a quick way to knock off and beat the new park to opening from doing so. I don't find that too likely, but its really the only satisfactory answer I can think of.

Mike,

That is indeed the reason. Having been to Shanghai last year, and seeing "Souring Dragon" (yes, that's not my typo but Happy Valley's) I can tell you that Disney is very concerned about this issue. Disney Style parks are unknown to the vast new middle class in China, but there are many amusement parks already, some with the ability (money) to duplicate very intricate themed structures, etc. Given a 5 year timeline for Shanghai Disney, any of a number of parks could sufficiently duplicate Big Thunder, Splash, etc, complete with enough similar looking anthropomorphic animals to confuse patrons and diminish the 'novelty' of going to Shanghai Disney.

I would point to Nara Dreamland as a (failed) example of this, but the Chinese parks have enough money and manpower to do a much better job, and enough time to blunt the debut of SDR. There is enough local press already about HKDL and its shortcomings, that they can not screw up (or allow others to beat them to the punch) in Shanghai.

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