Monday, December 12, 2011
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