Monday, December 12, 2011

Shanghaî Disneyland : The Surprise behind the Christmas Tree

Bob Weis, the WDI Imagineer who has supervised the huge placemaking of Disney's California Adventure and who is now at the head of Shanghaî Disneyland creative development - has posted on his blog on December 8 the above picture in a post called "Shanghai Christmas Tree at Site Office".

Well, we're happy to learn that SDL Imagineers are ready to celebrate Christmas but as you can guess it's not the christmas tree in this image that drew my attention. It's what is behind it. Of course Bob took great care that what is on the wall of the SDL office can't be seen in details and the image was posted in very small size and low resolution. But let's have a look anyway to see if we can learn more from this image when we make it bigger.

Right behind the tree are displayed pictures and what is it written above them? : "Government Works". And indeed it is pictures of the works on SDL site. As we know currently they're preparing the ground and nothing is built so there is nothing of big interest for us in these pictures. BUT, what do we see right in the middle? That's right, a Shanghaî Disneyland map! And it would be difficult to have a better source as the picture was shot at SDL site, and, thanks to the christmas tree, we know that it was shot very recently, probably a week ago. It will be difficult if not impossible to have a map more up to date. The only problem is that the map, partly hidden by the tree, shows only 60% of the park in addition to the lake and the land around it, and that it is a low resolution image, as i've said. Now, let's blow up the image and give it even more pixels to try to see better.

The pictures above and below might look the same than the other one above but in fact they're bigger so click on them to see them in bigger size. On the one below i've put numbers to help you to locate what is what. Number 6 is the park entrance, 7 is the castle, 8 is Adventureland, 9 is Fantasyland and 10 is Tomorrowland. Now, Tomorrowland and part of Fantasyland are hidden by the christmas tree but not the rest of the park. Although it's impossible to guess any attraction there is some interesting elements, specially the parts which are in light green color. If you look for instance at the numbers 1, 2 and 3 they show lands located in the back of Fantasyland or Adventureland and it seems that these parts are not expected to be built - at least right now. It doesn't necessarily mean that nothing will be built there on opening day, but so far it seems that they keep these pieces of lands for a future SDL expansion. Same for the land number 4 at the south of Adventureland although this one might be for the SDL Hotel. And we can see the vegetation limits between these lands and what is sure to be built. Also interesting are the three lands number 5 located around the lake. Will they build new hotels there? Might be, it would be a good location for future hotels.

What this map seems to confirm is what part of the park we can expect being built on opening day and what will not. It's logical that they keep land for future expansion as they always do but at first sight and if there is no changes in the future Adventureland looks smaller than expected and may be Fantasyland too. However we must be cautious as we don't know the exact proportions of the park and the lands might be bigger than we think when we look at this map. Anyway, i sincerely hope that Disney will have learn from HKDL and that Shanghaî Disneyland will not be too small when it will open in 2016. For those of you who would like to compare this recent map with the official rendering released last April, here it is below in its high-res version.

And if we have a look back at the SDL model which was presented at D23 Expo last August, it seems that this map reflects what the model was showing - if i can say, as WDI took great care that the model precisely shows almost nothing in details!

Anyway, this was one more piece added to SDL mystery, and we might have to wait a bit more before Disney release new official infos about the park.

Picture: copyright Bob Weis, Disney, and Andy Castro


SP said...

Alain, you should seriously consider working for UK's SIS ^^

Anonymous said...

these are all wild speculations and you do realise this is just a concept map, and its blurry and a protion of it is hidden by the christmas tree. by the way the offical site says shanghai disneyland will be alot bigger than hong kong disneyland the park itself(excluding others thing like shopping town, lake and hotels) would be about 225 acres

Alain Littaye said...

Yes, they say that the park will be 225 acres, but what they don't say is WHEN these 225 acres will be totally built. I mean, they could eventually have half of the 225 acres built on opening day and the rest later. So may be the 225 acres will be built in 2016...or may be only in 2026.

And by the way, i don't speculate, i just say what i see on an official map displayed at Shanghaî Disneyland site office. I don't know what can't be a better source than that. Some people need to see to believe, but may be you're part of others who don't believe even when they can see! And, sorry, i know nothing who can be of any help for that.

Anonymous said...

it says Resort Size at Opening开幕时占地,do you understand chinese? by the way the shanghai governmant mayor already announced that it would be bigger than hong kong at initial opening even the hong kong disneyland executives admitted that its gonna be at least twice the size of hong kong at opening . but anyway who cares why bother arguing over a theme park. you french and other Europeans have much more important things to worry about like the euro crisis which is a real nuisance.

SP said...

Wow, why so serious ?!
Alain is simply giving his point of view on his blog.
I mean relax man, you don't need to get offensive...

Alain Littaye said...

Indeed i don't speak chinese, but i speak english and what i can read on the official SDL site is that they say "On Opening Day, the Shanghai Disney Resort will be located on a 963 acre (3.9 square kilometer) site in Pudong, Shanghai, with additional room to expand in the future."

They don't say that the 963 acres will be built on opening day, they say that the resort will be located on a 963 acres site, which is a big difference. And the "additional room" concerns the future second park or hotels and not "additional room" inside the first park.

That said, i've never said that the park will have the same size than HKDL, i've just said that i hope they won't make the same mistake they did at HKDL and will not build a park too small. I'm sure they won't and that the park will be bigger than HKDL on opening day, but how much bigger, that's all the question. It can be bigger than HKDL and STILL be too small for China mainland, for instance. But the Imagineers in charge of the project are very intelligent guys so i'm sure they will do a great job.