Thursday, April 7, 2011
The Key To The Kingdom...
Tomorrow we'll finally get a better look at what will become the sixth kingdom in the Mouse's empire...
While I've had a little information about this park, it has for the most park gone on with most of us in the dark. The Suits have done a remarkable job of keeping the Bothans in line on this. Being as this is Iger's first stab at a park, much less "Magic-Kingdom" style park, it'll be interesting where his taste and business are on this. For the most part for the last five years, he's played janitor to Eisner's messes. I don't know exactly how much info will be laid out for us, but we should certainly get a better idea of what the resort/park will look like and exactly when it'll be open. An exciting and nervous time as we await the announcement.
UPDATE: The Disney Parks Blog has been updated from the announcement with a post by Tom Staggs and three pieces of concept art.
UPDATE 2: Here is a video of the start of the groundbreaking.
UPDATE 3: The parks website has gone live.
A bit more info for you -
The castle will be the largest of all six Magic Kingdom styled parks and will be known as "Storybook Castle."
As we mentioned quite a while ago, there will be no Main Street, but instead an 11 acre collection of lavish parks that feature various meet-and-greet spots with classic Disney characters.
Several attractions related to Chinese culture and myth will be woven into and around classic Disney attractions.
Many Disney properties will be featured throughout the resort that are current in the companies film catalog: Think branding, like "Pirates of the Caribbean," ect.
The Adventureland/Frontierland area has a very DisneySEA feel to it with lush theming and extravagant design.
The park has a very international atmosphere about it with several EPCOT type inspirations.
References to Disney history are integrated into everything to introduce Chines audiences to Disney since the majority of Chinese are unfamiliar with most of what the park/resort has had to offer due to the isolation of Chinese people and the protectionist attitudes of the local, provincial and state Chinese governments.
Two hotels featuring over 1220 rooms. One will be a deluxe hotel similar to the Disneyland Paris Hotel, most likely known as the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel and the other will be a value hotel, like the Paradise Pier Hotel only with much better theming.
A large lagoon with watercraft on a classic harbor destination. The resort will be surrounded by a man-made river and the park itself will feature several more acres of ponds, streams, fountains as the importance of water to the Chinese will be played up compared to previous resorts.
A Downtown Disney type entertainment/dining/shopping concept that hasn't been named... yet.
This first phase of the resort (3.9 square kilometers or 963 acres), costing an estimated $3.7 billion dollars for the park/$700 million for hotels, will open in late 2015/early 2016. A great deal more information is available on the resort's fact sheet.
Posted by Honor Hunter at 4:44 PM
Labels: Announcement, Bob Iger, Ceremony, Imagineering, SDL, Shanghai, Walt Disney Company, WDI
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Honor! You forgot to end your update with an ellipsis...
Looks like a variation on Cinderella's castle. Lots more minarets. It could be a version of Beast castle.
I don't know if I like the lack of Main Street. Weird looking really.
Concept art for this park is still the definition of vagueness. A pond, 2 spinners and a castle I guess.
They can show us every detail of the construction of carsland, but it's probably wise to not reveal anything of this new park until opening day in a country where intellectual property is worth nothing, and a copycat park could be slapped together overnight.
I'd love to hear the reason for some of the new concepts. For example, why did they decide to make it a broader range "Storybook Castle" than one particular story's castle? I know in the fan community there's a huge backlash about the homogenization of the Disney Parks brand (ie: merch labeled "Disney Parks" instead of specific "Disneyland" or "Walt Disney World" merch. Maybe they've found that overall, normal guests don't care. Still, if normal guests don't care, then why cater to them, and alienate the fans? Is there a concern that if you tie it to any one princess you are then locked into that and that somehow limits your options down the line? Is there something about having Cinderella's castle at WDW that they regret? Something more that they would like to do with that space that they can't because it's themed to one princess? I suspect that there's plans to build some sort of Princess attraction in there, and while I applaud them doing something that hasn't been done before, innovating so to speak, well lets just say that again that wreaks of the homogenization I referred too. I hope it works- I hope that in calling it "Storybook Castle" it gives you a sense that "This is the place where all of Walt Disney's Princess Stories come to life" and not "This is the place where you can find all your favorite Princess merchandise".
Not sure what I think about no Main St. either. I'm open to a non traditional Main St, one not themed to the late 1890's/early 1900's, but just some large open expanse for people to wander through with no direct path leading to the castle, seems very strange. Maybe I'm wrong, and maybe they've done the research to know that this will work. I applaud that maybe they thought it was getting crass to have a mall be the first thing you saw and last thing you experienced on your visit, though I assume they will still get that revenue in some way.
As for the rest of the attractions, branded with more modern film properties, bring it on. I'm not a fan of Tron or the Pirates movies. That being said, they might make great attractions, and as long as they're not being overlayed on something else, something that we in the States are already happy with, that's fine. I love that Adventure/Frontierland might be modeled more on TDS. I hope this Park keeps lots of imagineers busy and employed for a few more years and can't wait to see more.
There is still a main street, just not the traditional American history type "Main Street" we've all come to know.
Agent Mouse, that's good to know. All I've read said there will not be a Main St., that it would be more of an open park or series of parks.
In envisioning the new park, it's helpful to remember Walt Disney's visit to Tivoli Gardens helped to inspire his creation of Disneyland. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tivoli_Gardens
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