Sunday, February 23, 2014

Interview With Shanghai Disney Resort

Hello, everyone!

I was recently able to get in touch with someone who is involved in the construction of the new Disney Park in China. They were able to answer some questions below to the best of their ability. I hope this interview will shed some light on the upcoming Disney Resort!

I'm Josh from and I would like to ask you a few questions about the ongoing construction of the Shanghai Disney Resort. I greatly appreciate your taking the time to answer my email. My questions are:

1. Hong Kong Disneyland was designed with special attention to Feng Shui and the flow of Qi energy throughout the park. Is Shanghai Disney Resort consulting any Chinese cultural experts to achieve the same good luck and energy?

Shanghai Disney Resort will be a world-class family vacation destination that combines classic Disney characters and storytelling with the uniqueness and beauty of China. The resort team is enlisting the support of many Chinese experts to assist in ensuring that the resort will incorporate local cultural elements, including drawing on the expertise of its joint venture partner, local Cast and Imagineers, and experts in a wide range of disciplines from food and beverage to creative entertainment.

2. How do you feel that this park will stand out from the rest of the Disney Parks? Are there any new features that we haven't seen yet that will make their debut?

Each Disney resort has its own unique and special attributes, as will Shanghai Disney Resort. While it is still too early for the resort team to reveal details of the resort attractions, they have stressed that the resort will have unique features and attractions designed for Chinese consumers. But one exciting feature that has already been announced is the Enchanted Storybook Castle, which will be the largest Disney castle ever built. 

3. What do you expect will be the most popular attraction in Shanghai Disneyland?

There will be so many new and exciting attractions, but it is still too early to provide details.  I am sure though that there will be many many choices for “most popular attraction”, and it will be very hard to choose between them!

4. Shanghai Disney Resort will be the first Disney theme park in [Mainland] China. Do you think China will build any more Disney Park locations in the future? When and where can we expect to see another Park?

At the moment the company is focused on building a world-class resort in Shanghai.  And let’s not forget our other China resort, in Hong Kong, which has recently expanded with three new themed areas.  It’s an exciting time for Disney in China!

So as you can see, this is a top-secret project, and it looks like a lot of care is being put into making sure everything is top-notch. As I said, the construction process seems very secretive, which only makes the suspense and anticipation even greater.

It also appears that the project will incorporate many details specific to Chinese culture, perhaps in response to Disneyland Paris's notorious snubbing of French culture.

Thanks so much to Shanghai Disney Resort for conducting this interview. I can't wait to see what the park will have to offer!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Submarine Lagoon Drained

*Not a current photograph
The Submarine Lagoon was just drained, as clearly some big refurbishments are underway. In fact, plenty of other changes are going down this season as well. Stay posted, because we'll have more information by the end of the month. In the meantime, there are plenty of other attractions to check out around Tomorrowland.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Happy Birthday, California Adventure!

Today, just 13 years ago, Disney California Adventure (then Disney's California Adventure Park) opened its gates for the first time.

I was only 5 years old, but I remember my first trip to DCA. Many of the attractions were forgettable. The theme was a bland, rehash of California stereotypes. Vibrant colors and cheesy signage reminiscent of the 90s were scattered all over the place. It was hardly the amusement park that I anticipated, standing at the gates of Disneyland for months, just able to catch a glimpse of Grizzly Peak. But it had great potential that never wavered.

By 2014, DCA has established itself as a premier Disney Park. It has captured the Disney dream of moving forward, innovating new experiences that have changed the amusement park experience. It is a constantly-improving and ever-changing monument to the state of California.

Disneyland Park is a place to escape into worlds of fantasy, history, and the future. California Adventure boldly exhibits the challenging landscapes we'd never find in Disneyland. The transformation from a once-tacky, now beautiful manifestation of our state's less conventional postcard-landmarks: the Carthay Circle Theater, Route 66, Hollywood backlots, wine country; proves that a few small changes can go a very, very long way.

While it's still young, I think the future holds great things for this grand domain. Happy 13th, old friend.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Tomorrowland Filming Commenced

Disneyland's upcoming film, Tomorrowland, has actually begun filming within the park. However, the entirety of the shoot will take place in Fantasyland, not Tomorrowland. Not much is known yet about the highly-anticipated 2015 Brad Bird film, but among the impressive list of stars is George Clooney, who will not be present at the shoot.

Yesterday and today only, It's A Small World, Disneyland Railroad, and Mickey and the Magical Map will be closed. Unlike the filming of last year's Saving Mr. Banks, filming will not be visible to guests, so don't go out of your way to be at the park today.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

An Eco-Friendly Autopia?

So, as nothing really happens these first few months of the year at Disneyland, I kind of got to thinking.

It's no secret that Autopia, one of the most classic and beloved rides at Disneyland, isn't very environmentally friendly. You enter Tomorrowland and right off the bat you're able to smell the emissions from those gas-powered vehicles. According to Wikipedia, Autopia workers are even compensated an extra 20 cents an hour for health reasons. Something needs to change.

In the year 2000, Autopia had a major remodel. The cars were updated, they got a pretty hefty sponsorship from Chevron, and lots of waiting activities were installed. But they didn't do anything to make the engines run on a more efficient fuel than gasoline. Could we perhaps see another remodel in the future, and substitute the current Autopia cars for hybrid or even solar-powered cars?

It doesn't seem too unlikely a change. In fact, every Disney Park so far has Autopia. And they're all equally hazardous to health and the environment... Except for Hong Kong Disneyland, that is. The Autopia at Hong Kong Disneyland features electric cars.

Hong Kong Disneyland's Autopia Sign
Obviously this is a step in the right direction. But it's not like we can just drop electric cars into every Autopia. Things like this take time and money, and it seems that Autopia isn't Disneyland's top priority at the moment.

Tomorrowland needs an upgrade, everyone knows that. Autopia should be the first place to start. Environmentally-friendly cars are becoming such a major part of our everyday lives, it only seems appropriate that Autopia adapt to the ways of the future in just the same way. The aforementioned makeover that Autopia has every few decades may be ahead of us -- and alternative fuel sources should be the focus.

Hopefully we'll see some eco-friendly Autopia cars in the near future.