We've got new pictures of Shanghaî Disneyland for you today - yes, again, after the great aerial pics posted this week-end - as well as more about SDL shows and parades! Let's start by the pics which were posted on social networks by @bigqcat.
Above and below, two pics shot "from the ground" showing the works on the huge SDL Enchanted Storybook Castle.
Next picture is showing buildings of Mickey Avenue, the entrance street of the park.
Let's move now to this article that Shanghaî Daily has posted about Shanghaî Disneyland shows and parades in which they interview producer Blake Lennon and associate creative director Zhong Yanle.
Disney producers make every moment magic
As part of our ongoing spotlight on the people working behind-the-scenes on the soon-to-open Shanghai Disney Resort, today Shanghai Daily talks with producer Blake Lennon and associate creative director Zhong Yanle.
Lennon, a native of the United Sates, comes from the Creative Entertainment team of Shanghai Disney Resort which works on the design and production of the shows in the resort. Lennon as a producer has been working on two of the resort’s signature shows: the “Mickey’s Storybook Express” daytime parade and the “Ignite the Dream: A Nighttime Spectacular of Magic and Light.”
He joined Disney 13 years ago as a college intern at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. After graduation, he joined Disney’s special events team and got the opportunity to work all over the US and Canada. He has also worked as a project manager on a number of shows in California.
When he heard about an opportunity to work on creative entertainments in Shanghai, he saw it as a chance to do something new. Having worked on the project for nearly three years back in the US, Lennon is now in Shanghai as part of a group of experts from all over the world to make sure everything goes smoothly once the park starts welcoming visitors.
“I offered myself up,” Lennon said. “I just moved to Shanghai a couple of months ago for the opening of the project, so I am presently under great pressure.
“I am so honored to be part of a team that is opening Shanghai Disney Resort,” Lennon added.
Meanwhile, Zhong Yanle is part of the team that is responsible for the creative content of the shows and entertainment at Shanghai Disneyland. A native of Shanghai, Zhong officially joined the Shanghai Disney Resort in April 2014. Prior to this, she worked on the Shanghai Disney Resort project for around two years as an external consultant. An experienced performer in her own right, Zhong has appeared on-stage on Broadway, as well as London’s West End and China.
“I think this time we are working on the most exciting project on the planet. I am honored that I can do something for my hometown,” Zhong said, who now works closely with Lennon.
To help the Shanghai Disney Resort stand out among its peers, the local cultural and tourism market was extensively researched, with special attention paid to preexisting performances and cultural shows, according to Lennon.
“We really challenged ourselves to come up with things that are new … We hope to bring in something that is really unique and will make people want to come and return to Shanghai Disney Resort,” he said. “The entertainment programs we’re bringing to Shanghai and the Chinese audience are brand new and tailor-made,” Zhong said. “We have the biggest castle in the world, which will be the backdrop of the daytime show and nighttime spectacular. Besides, there is a large variety of shows throughout the six themed lands of the park, such as the “Eye of the Storm: Captain Jack’s Stunt Spectacular,” which will make its global premiere at El Teatro Fandango in Treasure Cove, made just for Shanghai Disneyland.”
“In Tomorrowland, we have the Star Wars Launch Bay and the Marvel Universe, where visitors can meet characters from the stories,” she added.
But the Shanghai Disneyland experience will be about more than just huge spectacles. Numerous small-scale performances aimed at individual visitors will help create an immersive atmosphere within the park, according to Zhong.
“We also create small intimate moments for people to interact with the characters. Those special moments are important to form memories and to have relatable connections with our guests,” said Lennon.
Below, both Lennon and Zhong go into further detail about their work at Shanghai Disney Resort.
What do you think makes Disney so successful?
Lennon : The universal appeal of our characters and our stories is what make Disney so successful. Sometimes what we have is really a treasure. Everyone in the team knows and loves Disney’s long-cherished, classic as well as brand new stories, and would love to provide the life and personalities to bring them alive in the show.
Zhong : I would say it’s the accuracy, and the magic experience we provide in our resort. We work so hard on the details to give the best to our guests. Our vision is to be the most loved and trusted leisure experience provider in the world.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve worked on?
Lennon : We really pushed ourselves to be always at the cutting-edge, to make everything the newest, the greatest and the best. It is a great challenge to be able to teach and to learn from all of the designers, artisans and performers, due to the fact that this is my first time working on such a big project.
Zhong : There’s a total collaboration between Disney and the Chinese culture. We have a lot of projects, which we work on with the local artists. There are a lot of challenges during the whole process. But I think the result is rewarding, because this whole program is made especially for the local audience. We didn’t just copy the original stage shows in other Disney parks and resorts. They are tailor-made for Shanghai, for the Chinese market.
Are there any highlighted shows in Shanghai Disney Resort?
Lennon : Both the parade and the nighttime show are brand new and custom-made for Shanghai. The parade, called “Mickey’s Storybook Express,” will transport fantasy, romance, music and merriment throughout Shanghai Disneyland each day. Led by a whimsical locomotive, it is the longest parade route ever traveled in a Disney park.
The nighttime show is a signature event, a hallmark element of our Disneyland. The Enchanted Storybook Castle will become the star of the nighttime spectacular as it inspires everyone to unlock and ignite their dreams.
Zhong : I personally like the show “Tarzan: Call of the Jungle,” which will be available at the Storyhouse Stage in Adventure Isle. We have a Chinese director and use Chinese elements and acrobatics to retell the Disney story. This is the only one like it in the world. You cannot see a version like this at any other Disney park in the world.
What does Disney mean for your career and personal development?
Lennon : It was a lot of fun getting to Shanghai to work with the local artisans, especially having worked with Disney for 13 years. To work with people who are excited and enthusiastic about working on their very first Disney project, it makes for a lot of smiles and a lot of friendships.
Zhong : It’s a great environment to support each other. It is success for the whole team, the whole group and the company. We are committed to collaborative teamwork. And as a team, we all want to do our best. The company has a great culture and I would say this is the best job in the world because I help create happiness.
Pictures: copyright @bigqcat
Text: copyright Shanghaî Daily