Monday, April 18, 2011

SDL Artwork high-res files reveal more Shanghaî Disneyland secrets

When Disney released on April 8 the first Shanghaî Disneyland artworks i had, probably just like you, a mixed feeling. I was happy to see - at last - some SDL artwork and on the other hand i was a bit frustrated by the low resolution which didn't helped to see the concept in details. I thought we would have to wait until 2016 to discover high-res artwork, but, no, finally Disney released high-res files of these renderings! And it changes everything, as we can have now a crystal clear view of the SDL project - at least as it is now!

So, here we go again for a new exploration of the SDL artwork and as you will see these high-res files reveals more about what kind of attractions we can expect at Shanghaî Disneyland. First rendering on the top is the high-res version of the full Shanghaî Disneyland bird's eye view of the park.

As you will see when you will enlarge the pictures these renderings are very probably digital paintings. Even more, nothing - except may be the castle - seems to have a definitive design. As we know Disney doesn't want to reveal SDL design too clearly to avoid copycats of the concepts - which is perfectly understandable - but my guess is that WDI SDL Imagineers may still be in blue-sky mode on some of them and, as Jim Hill would say, we'll try to don't get "shanghaied" by what we will see now. However, i think that a big part of the ideas that we can see on these renderings should stay in the final concept.

So, let's begin by the beginning, i.e the entrance. As we know, tihere is no Main street U.S.A but as you'll see on the top of the image, after the main gate and before the big green space area in front of the castle, there is some buildings on the left and the right and SDL might have, finally, something which seems to be as long as half the length of Main Street, with a different design of course.

Before we enter the park, let's have a look at an interesting area located just on the left of the entrance. If the SDL map below is right it should be "commercial facilities", right at the exit of the park, may be a kind of equivalent of our Disney Village at DLP, i.e an area where SDL guests will find merchandise shops and restaurants.

Here is again the SDL map that i've posted last month showing where will be what, including SDL hotels. As you will see an hotel with view on the park is envisioned by WDI Imagineers.

We will come back to the castle with others renderings but apparently the "Fantasyland" part of the park will be, as usual, located behind the castle although there will be some classic Fantasyland rides around it. If you enlarge the image you'll see on the right of the castle something which definitely looks like a labyrinth. Will they put there the Alice's Labyrinth that we have at DLP or will it have another theme?

Let's move on the left. Where we find generally Tomorrowland SDL guests will have their Adventureland! And this is now for sure as we can see clearly on this part of the rendering a Pirates fortress, a gallion in te lagoon close to it and a Mayan pyramid on the very right. All this seems to confirm that Pirates of Caribbean and Indiana Jones Adventure will be part of Shanghaî Disneyland on opening day. I've read on forums that some people were thinking that the big dark mountain on the foreground might be an Expedition Everest but, first, this mountain doesn't look at all like the one of Expedition Everest and, two, may i remind you the feelings of chinese officials about everything linked with Tibet? If there is an attraction that i'm pretty sure we will never see at SDL it's really Expedition Everest, at least in its original theme as WDI could use the track with another theming.

Let's go now on the west part of the park where we find generally Frontierland or Adventureland. Instead, SDL guests will find in this area SDL Tomorrowland as there is no doubts that this is the Tomorrowland area of Shanghaî Disneyland.

A closer look reveals not a lot, except that this big dome building on the left should be SDL Space Mountain. Here, too, the design is obviously not the final design. On the picture above you'll note that a kind of Astro Jets / Orbitron ride might be at the entrance of the land. However i will not be surprised if this land received modifications in years to come, so let's say it's just a first look, which is better than nothing!

Always from this SDL bird's eye view rendering, let's have a closer look at SDL lake and pier. The fountain at the center was already identifiable on the low-res version but we can see clearly that the big boats will not look like American steam river boats. Also, we might have smaller boats moving on the lake like they do on WDW Seven Seas Lagoon.

At the far right of the lake is another pier and, behind, it might be the hotel with view on the park that we saw on the map. I know it doesn't look really like a hotel but WDI is probably keeping secret the original design.

Let's go back to the center of the park and the castle with a new high-res version of another rendering we saw last week.

Here is a close-up on the castle and what looks like multi-colored water falls in the front might mean that there will be a big fountain pond at the foot of SDL castle.

Always in front of the castle the next image shows not only small chinese pavilions but also a path with cherry trees in blossom and, if you look well, an area with Disney characters topiaries!

We already saw them last week but here is a better view of the Fantasyland Carousel. You'll note also on the picture others carousels in the background....

..and the Dumbo ride, both located in this 46,000 square meter of green space at the centre of the park - also designed to be a cultural hub and a reminder of "the themes of sustainability and nature that will be integrated throughout the park" as Iger said.

The third rendering released last week is also available now in high-res and it allows us to have a closer look at the castle. Here is the full picture in its high-res version...

...a close-up on the castle...

...and an even closer view on the castle's entrance.

So, let's see what we know now about Shanghaî Disneyland according to these renderings. If there is no changes SDL guests should find:

- A gorgeous fairy-tale castle with in front of it small chinese pavilions, Disney characters topiaries, Dumbo and Fantasyland Carousel rides as well as others carousels.
- An Adventureland area on the east side of the park with, very probably, Pirates of Caribbean and Indiana Jones Adventure
- A Fantasyland area behind the castle, including an Alice-like or other theme labyrinth
- A Tomorrowland area on the west side of the park with, very probably, Space Mountain as well as an Orbitron ride or similar
- A merchandise and dining area at the left of the entrance

That's not a lot and i wish we knew more about the rides themselves but for now, that's the best we can do with the artwork available!

Artwork: copyright Disney


Anonymous said...

Thanks! While I agree with you generally on your description of the layout, I can't help but think that the area to the Northwest of the castle appears to be fantasyland, but the area to the Northeast of the castle appears to be different - perhaps Frontierland?

Will said...

still don't fell well with these digital renderings... compared to the one you published of the new fantasyland in FL, these totally lack the artistic quality... what has happened to water color and pencil drawings? will a book called "shanghai disneyland - from sketch to reality" contain only this digital stuff?
They should do something about the castle's proportions... looks a little massive to my taste.

Alwax said...

Methinks I spy a Haunty Mansiony typey building off to the north east of the castle

Marco Antonio Garcia said...

Thanks for the post!

What about the POTC version with the big drop?

Anonymous said...

Though details are still vague we can at least make out a few attractions like the ones you mentioned. I spy with my little eye:

Snow White Mine Coaster similar to the currently built version in WDW to the right of the castle.

Sleeping Beauty's cottage to the right of Snow White based on the now declined WDW version

The Haunted Mansion WDW version to the upper left of the castle.

Frontierland? To the left of Fantasyland? I see some sort of Mountain Structure to distance of town looking like it. Maybe possibly something like Grizzly Mountain in HKDL

The mountain in Adventureland looks like a brand new attraction all together. BUt not sure if it's a roller coaster or a new Jungle Cruise.

Of course all I say is just speculation

Christian Ahuis said...

Alan, thanks for your thoughts about the drawing. There are some things you haven't mentioned, I wonder about.

First of all the "Disney Village" alike area left of the entrance has somewhat of a connection to the parks area infront of the Tomorrowland area. This makes me wonder if Disney wants the people to exit not through the entrance. The other thought could be, that the Tomorrowland area is not Tomorrowland at all and not even a land but something used for night entertainment separatly from the parks entrance fee.

But I think more about the first idea: Disney doesn´t want the people to exit through the entrane. Not exiting through the "Mainstreet" makes even more sense as we know that the street won´t have so much buildings and shops.

Also the lakes left of the castle seems like a big stage which could be home of a World of colours alike show.

As this design, as far as this can be trusted to be any similar to the final parkdesign, has many major changes compared to the existing Disneyparks, the most unexpected change is, that there is no train circling the park.

These are just my quick thoughts..

Anonymous said...

My little eye spots for adventureland: the proposed pirate village for hong kong, an indy attraction, some huts (possibly tiki inspired???), a mountain like facade that could be an UP attraction.

Fantasyland: 7 dwarfs mine train, peter pan, something that looks like storybook canal and toad hall.

Is that some form of spooky mansion to the far east in the corner? or just a barn.