Today we continue our series of previews at Shanghai Disneyland with some photos from Disneytown. Much like Downtown Disney and Disney Springs in the United States, Disneytown is a shopping and dining district located within walking distance from the front entrance of Shanghai Disneyland.
As many of you know, Shanghai Disneyland will be home to a theater devoted to Disney’s Broadway version of The Lion King.
The theater will be accessible from Disneytown and will have an entrance from within the park as well.
Disneytown is crammed with details representing Disney history, hidden Mickeys and nods to Disney movies.
Nearly all of the stores and vendors at Disneytown are run by third party contractors. You’ll see everything from The Cheesecake Factory to the Lego Store being represented.
Disneytown is divided into several districts, kind of like lands of a theme park. Each with their own unique theming and soundtrack.
The World of Disney Store is modeled after a transportation hub (like a train station) and has theming of characters traveling throughout.
There are Disney-themed eateries like this Spoon Full of Sugar bakery.
Lots of details emerging from The Lego Store as well!
Located at the end of this street is a watchtower you can go inside.
I’ve been told that this was originally designed with a staircase that you could climb that would look over Wishing Star Park. At the last minute, Imagineering cut the staircase, but you can still walk inside and admire it.
Those of us from the west may be in for a bit of a shock as the stalls inside Disneytown are more of a traditional “squatting” version, while around 10% are actually toilets that we are used to in North America and Europe.
You’ll notice scattered around Disneytown are dates on the top of many of the buildings, each of them have significance in Disney history.
In the photo above, you’ll notice the year 1938 and an apple below it. This is to recognize the premier of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs!” Keep in mind that these subtle nudges to Disney history may be common to you and me, but the Chinese didn’t grow up with Disney, so these discoveries are brand new to them!
Obviously 1955 signifies the year Disneyland open in California.
We have a lot more to cover in the upcoming weeks. Shanghai Disneyland is known as being “authentically Disney, but distinctly Chinese” and you’re going to see a lot more examples of that as we inch closer to opening day.
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