Friday, September 16, 2016

D&M Shanghaî Disneyland Report - Part Two : Mickey Avenue

Here is the part two of my Shanghaî Disneyland pictorial review and it's time to enter the park! For those who missed the part one, including plenty of tips for your trip to Shanghaî Disneyland you'll find it HERE.

First, as i know you can't wait to know what is my overall feeling about the park, let's say it: i liked SDL a lot and was impressed by the quality of theming and making which i globally put as equal as the one we can find, for instance, at DLP. Some shops may not have as much theming as they have in DLP Main Street but that's what the execs want know to make sure they don't lose any inch of space to sell their merchandise. So, here, the theming is often on the ceiling rather than on the walls except behind the cashiers. But, again, and at the exception of a few things that i will tell you in the upcoming articles, i liked SDL a lot, was impressed by new technologies used in some rides and will be very happy to go back as soon as i can! But it's also true that it's a different kind of Magic Kingdom with a different design and, for instance, as we know Main Street U.S.A doesn't exist at Shanghaî Disneyland and is replaced by Mickey Avenue. Here is what the official description says about Mickey Avenue:

"Mickey Avenue is the hometown of imagination, a welcoming, whimsical neighborhood filled with lively shops and restaurants. Stepping into this cheerful land sets the tone for a visit to Shanghai Disneyland, where guests will leave their worlds behind and enter lands of adventure, fantasy and the future.
Mickey Avenue is the first main entry at a Disney park that is home to Mickey Mouse and his pals, including Minnie Mouse, Donald and Daisy Duck, Goofy and Pluto. Guests will have the chance to learn more about Disney characters and their stories before entering the other themed lands. For example guests will discover the Italian family tree of Donald Duck, displayed on a mural at Il Paperino – a gelato shop on Mickey Avenue where Donald is the host." 

Let's make it clear: Mickey Avenue has been the first good surprise for me. I was not at all convinced by not having a Main Street and by the Mickey Avenue concept, so the least i can say is that i had a LOT of doubts before i entered the park. But the truth is that it "works". Yes, Mickey Avenue concept works pretty well, even with its mix of different architectures. And one of the reason why it works is the detailed and colorful theming AND the Jazz music you hear from the moment you step in. The whole thing makes Mickey Avenue a truly happy land. 

Yes, Mickey Avenue is much shorter than Main Street U.S.A and its length is probably not more than 40% of the length of a regular Main Street U.S.A but Mickey Avenue goes also on the right and on the left so it's a totally different kind of entrance land where you have fun to explore what you'll find at the next corner. And to tell the truth i don't think that the Mickey Avenue concept would have worked as well if it would have been one straight street long like Main Street U.S.A, i think they did the right choice to design it like it is. So, let's have a closer look at it! 

The Mickey Avenue band plays either on SDL "equivalent of Town Square or up over the entrance arch.

Yes, there is a "City Hall" on the left side after you've walked through the arch but you won't enter into this one and won't find any infos there as it is mainly a facade only. 

And here is how it look on the other side, on the right of the entrance arch when you move in Mickey Avenue.

Yes, just like any other Magic Kingdom you'll find attraction posters under the entrance but also a little bit further on the left. I've previously posted many of them but here are two new ones which were not in the previous article. 

More pics of the exterior of Mickey Avenue... 

Let's go inside "Avenue M Arcade" which is here a bit like the Emporium in others parks. Avenue M Arcade feature the largest selection of gifts and collectibles inside the theme park, with items exclusively designed for Shanghai Disney Resort. It offer to SDL guests a selection of apparel and accessories, gifts, home décor and jewelry. The Arcade’s specially designed façade honors its most famous residents, who are represented as universal virtues on mosaic panels: Mickey Mouse (hospitality), Minnie Mouse with Figaro the cat (compassion), Goofy (optimism), Donald Duck (worldly), Daisy Duck (friendliness), Pluto and Fifi (generosity) and Chip & Dale(friendship). Even the checkout area is themed, as the First Bank of Scrooge McDuck." 

But contrary of how it's done in Main Street U.S.A where each shop has a door opening directly on the street, here in this long Avenue M Arcade there is two or three entrances only and inside a long hallway with, left and right, different areas with different kind of merchandise. I liked a lot the hallway idea, it reminded me the one we find in famous department stores like for instance Harrods in London, with of course a totally different theming.

Others Mickey Avenue areas include Celebration Square, the friendly heart of the community. Park Place lies just beyond the square, near the Gardens of Imagination. The Market District is on the outskirts of the avenue, across from
the Theatre District, an artsy neighborhood. Each neighborhood engages visitors with the optimism of Disney. 

At the left corner near Gardens of Imagination guests can find the Carthay Theatre but no restaurant here as inside is the other end of the Avenue M Arcade. If my count is right this is the third Carthay Theatre that WDI Imagineers build in Disney theme parks.

Right in front of it is Remy's Patisserie, a food store in tribute to Ratatouille little hero with nice murals for each characters of the animated movie, designed "art nouveau style".

Rémy’s Patisserie offer a variety of breads, pastries and muffins, along with fresh desserts from the restaurant’s kitchen. Wooden shutters, flower boxes, sidewalk seating and French café-inspired graphics distinguish the exterior of the shop. The tiny scaffolds and ladders that line the wall are reminders that Rémy the rat, who loves to cook, is preparing something special in the kitchen. 

Mickey & Pals Market Café, is the BIG counter- service restaurant of Mickey Avenue, offering localized Chinese and international menus plus views of the nearby gardens, Fantasia Carousel and Enchanted Storybook Castle. Guests can gather here with family and friends, choosing a table in one of four themed dining rooms: Mickey’s Galley, Tony’s (from Lady and the Tramp), Daisy’s Cafe and the Three Caballeros.

First time that i see someone working in a Disney restaurant with this transparent thing in front of the mouth obviously here for healthy reasons, but may be it's common in China?

SDL guests can also discover the Italian family tree of Donald Duck, displayed on a mural at Il Paperino – a gelato shop on Mickey Avenue where Donald is the host. 

Just like Main Street Mickey Avenue is even more magical with its night lighting and here are some night pictures. 

The one below shows Sweethearts Confectionery, which represents the childhood home of Minnie Mouse. Created in a Queen Anne-style, the house is a candy store that celebrates Disney’s first couple, Mickey and Minnie. Inside the shop, guests find murals and sweet scenes that tell the story of this couple’s courtship. Recurring design touches include flowers, hearts, bows and elements inspired by Minnie’s ubiquitous red-and-white polka dot dress. Guests also find freshly handmade treats here, inspired by some of their favorite Disney characters. 

Right in front of Sweethearts Confectionery, Chip and Dale Treehouse Treats.

More night shots of Mickey Avenue...

The Carthay Theatre looks even more gorgeous with its night lighting! 

And that's it for the part two of this Shanghaî Disneyland report and Mickey Avenue, don't miss the part three, coming soon! 

All pictures: copyright Disney and more

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Breaking News : Hyper space Mountain Coming at DLP Discoveryland Starting End of March 2017

It was a strong rumor and it is now confirmed: Hyperspace Mountain will come to DLP Discoveryland starting the end of March 2017, with new theming an projection effects inside the dome. This new version of Space Mountain probably wont stay forever - although, you never know... - but at least during a few months.

And for those of you wondering about the coming of a Star Wars land at DLP i can confirm you that DLP don't plan to build it inside Disneyland Paris park but at the Walt Disney Studios. When? that's another problem and they probably don't know themselves exactly when but most probably not before 2020.

Below, a video of Disneyland Anaheim Hyperspace Mountain though the projections at DLP will most likely be different as the inside structure is not the same.

Picture: copyright Disney

New Official Trailer for Disney's Moana !

As awaited, a new trailer was released today for Disney's Moana and i have to say that it looks really good. As long as the characters don't behave too hysterically - the curse of modern animation - and if the movie knows "to take its time without losing it" to show the softness of Polynesian islands, we may have a great new Disney's animated feature this Thanksgiving!

Picture and video: copyright Disney

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Disneyland Paris Update ! Adventure Isle Reopens After Eight Months of Revovation

Here we go for a new Disneyland Paris update thanks to Max, D&M contributor and DLPWelcome webmaster. Before we go further in the park renovations i  want to let you know those of you who love Imagineering and don't own yet the fantastic Disneyland Paris From Sketch to reality book, that i'm doing for a limited time a great special offer which is a great way to own in one time two of the best books ever about Imagineering, i.e David Younger's Theme Park Design book hardcover edition AND the Disneyland Paris From Sketch to Reality book! By ordering both books, you also have a 15% discount on the DLP book at $85 ( 75€ ) instead of $100 ( 90€ ) normally. The total amount for the two books is $154.95 and include FREE shipping for both books!

Payment can be done with Paypal, credit card or bank transfer. For a payment with Paypal you can either send the $154.95 directly from your Paypal account to: OR you can use the Paypal button below, just make sure to choose the option with the two books. 

For a payment with credit card or bank transfer, please send me an email at:

Theme Park Design +Disneyland Paris From Sketch to Reality Books
For those of you who don't know David fantastic book about Theme Park Design i've reposted on the next article below the previous article about it. As for the Disneyland Paris From Sketch to Reality book jump on the book website HERE to learn more and watch a video showing the whole book!

And now let's move to the parks! At the entrance of the Disneyland Paris park, maintenance work is underway on the roof of the Disneyland Hotel. By the way, a new restaurant will open early 2017, located at the Castle Club with its panoramic view of Disneyland Park, The Founders Restaurant. The latter will have its card developed by the star chef Arnaud Lallement, best chef in France in 2014 and owner of a 3 stars restaurant in the Michelin Guide.

Main Street station get back gradually the original EDRR (« Euro Disney Resort Railroad ») medallions, but the new access to the panoramic terrace with the installation of a rope, is already banned. 

Let's move towards the castle!

The park's Castle comes out of its refurbishment after nearly one month of painting. We'll note traces of mold in the moat and the stone bridge to the Castle due to this summer weather.

In Fantasyland, the attractions Les Voyages de Pinocchio and Mad Hatter Tea Cups are closed for refurbishment.

This week, the Disney teams put the final touch to Adventure isle before its reopening this weekend, after more than 8 months of a major renovation.

This weekend, the whole Adventure Isle reopened for DLP visitors with all lighting (223 points) replaced with Led technology. The waterfalls are now working and thanks to the works on Swiss Robinsons Tree mechanical animations are back after several years of absence. Unfortunately, this renovation is not totally completed as the section of the wrecked boat didn't had a rehab, although it greatly needs it. The foliage of the Swiss Robinsons Tree would have also required a major renovation while the straws roofs are now synthetic. This isn’t a complete renovation due to chaotic financial results of Disneyland Paris this summer and the months before. This has forced DLP to realise a minimal renovation. Only the woodwork and security systems have been completely revised.

It is often said that you can see Paris Eiffel Tower silhouette from the top of Swiss Robinson Tree when the sky is clear, and here is the proof!

Some pics of the new lighting inside the caves of Adventure Isle.

Max did also a video showing all what's new in Adventureland!

At Frontierland, Big Thunder Mountain is now completely repainted, only a few elements of the outside decor and other electrical installations remain to be fixed. Work will continue on programming, tests and infrastructure inside the mountain.

The elements of security on the rooftops of Frontierland will soon be completed.

End of renovation of the façade and the roof of the « ESTABLISHED 1861 ».

On Discoveryland, early works on the roof of Space Mountain are underway. With sanding of the structures on the dome before painting.

At Star Tours, the scaffoldings are being installed on the future point of characters meetings to create a dome on the building during the works ( probably in view of the works during the winter period ).

At Walt Disney Studios park the entrance zone will be repainted in several phases, like here with half of the entrance closed.

On the Place of the Stars, fences appeared as they remove trees that would have blocked the view on the Tower of Terror during the night show of the Star Wars « season of the Force » ( January to March 2017 ).

And that's it for today's DLP update! Max will be back soon with a new update. In the meantime you can still order the DLP book only for 75€ ( + 15€ shipping ) and pay with the Paypal button below and send me an email with your order at: 

Jump to the book website HERE to learn more about it and watch a video showing the whole book! See you soon for a new DLP update!


Disneyland Paris From Sketch to Reality Book
Pictures: copyright DLPWelcome