Sunday, March 13, 2011
Last week you discovered the first map of Shanghaî Disneyland Resort. The first version of the map was in black and white but since then i've found it in color as you can see above. And the colors reveal something extremely interesting.
If you remind what was written in the text of last week article you probably remember this quote: "Water will be a prominent feature of the amusement park. A river, about 10 kilometers long and 60 meters wide, is being created around the park area...". Now that we see the map in color you can see clearly on it this "60 meters wide river", in light blue on the plan, making a square all around SDL resort. It looks unusual, and it's true that this "river" going all around the resort is a premiere for a Disney Resort.
When i first saw this it reminded me something and i had the feeling that it was more than simply a river going all around the resort. However, technically, practically, that's what it is, a kind of water barrier which both indicates the limits of the resort and also prevents too easy intrusions inside Shanghaî Disneyland Resort. But we are in China, a country where symbolism always had a lot of importance, so i knew this square of water was meaning something else.
First, you must remember the importance of wall/barrier for Chineses. All along the centuries Chinese Empire took great care to protect the country by building walls and the most famous wall is of course the Great Wall of China, which was built to protect the Empire from invasions but also, almost by definition, to mark the limits of the Empire. And a nation which is able to build a 6700 km long huge wall definitely attach some importance and a symbolic value to it.
For instance, in the Mah Jong - China's most famous game - the players begin the game by building a square of four walls which symbolize...the Great Wall of China - and also the walls around the Forbidden City where was living the Emperor. Since centuries each time that millions on chineses were playing Mah Jong they've repeated symbolically the Great Wall of China. As you will see soon this have some importance.
And, talking about Beijing famous Forbidden "Imperial" City, have a closer look at the picture below. As you will see the Forbidden City was not only protected by a wall but also by...moats filled with water, all around the Imperial City!
Now, look back to the SDL plan and its water "river". That's right, it's making a square all around the resort just like the moats around the Forbidden City. Interesting also to note that, just like the Forbidden City, SDLR has also a "right in the middle" south entrance. But when you'll know that in chinese energetic science the water element is linked to dream time and also to early years of childhood - the famous "Peter Pan" years - you'll understand the symbolic thrust of this "square of water". By creating this "river" going all around the resort - a subconscious reminiscence of the moats filled with water around the Imperial City - the Imagineers signify to Shanghaî Disneyland future visitors that the ones who will come will enter a kingdom - in this case a MAGIC KINGDOM - where DREAMS come true.
Frankly, i don't know who at WDI had this idea but it's pure genius. You can believe me, the chineses will get instantly the symbolism, it will "talk" to their subconscious. And this time the water won't be a barrier around a Forbidden City where no one is allowed to enter. This time, everyone will be invited to come, to enter and enjoy the "Kingdom"!
Pure genius idea, really.
Edited 3/17: According to one of Screamscape sources: "The moat seen surrounding the Shanghai Disney resort area on the above map image will very likely not be built. According to this source, that map image is old and the man-made perimeter river has long since been cut from the plan". If that's true, that's too bad as it was a good idea.
Always about Asia: Don't miss today's article about Tokyo Disneyland and to what could happen if the Fukushima nuclear plant problems goes totally out of control. It's HERE.
Picture: copyright Disney