Though Shanghai Disneyland broke ground back in 2011, progress on this new park has been slow, and we’ve only been getting the slightest of hints of what this new theme park will entail in recent years, which has made the wait that much more agonizing. However, late Tuesday evening, Disney finally unveiled its big plans for Shanghai Disneyland, and we have to say that some of their announcements left us a little perplexed. Though this park looks like it will have a solid lineup of attractions going into its opening day (which still is listed as Spring 2016), there are some new ideas at work at this park that could pan out to be hit or miss.
Here are some of the strangest revelations from yesterday's announcement that we definitely did NOT see coming.
1. Main Street gets a Mickey makeover
There are certain parts of a Disney park that fans expect to see, no matter where they go. Even though Main Street USA has taken on many different forms in different parks (and even goes by the name ‘World Bazaar’ in Tokyo Disneyland) this familiar-but-different land is a mainstay of Disney Parks.
However, Shanghai Disneyland will be eschewing the Main Street concept almost entirely, instead opening for an entry land named Mickey Avenue. This all-new land is described as “inspired by the colorful personalities of Mickey Mouse and his pals. In the neighborhoods of this welcoming, whimsical avenue, guests will share a hug and get a photo with some all-time favorite Disney characters.”
From what it sounds like, Mickey Avenue will essentially be a new version of Toontown, pushed up to the front of the park. This is certainly an interesting idea, but we can’t help feeling like not including a Main Street-like entry land will make Shanghai Disneyland feel a little less familiar for longtime Disney fans.
2. Tomorrowland has a Tron Lightcycle roller coaster… and not much else
Though there have been fair criticisms levied at Walt Disney World’s Tomorrowland for failing to stay up-to-date, at least this themed land has plenty of attractions. However, it looks like the same cannot be said of Tomorrowland at Shanghai Disneyland. While this area is anchored by an amazing-looking Tron Lightcycle coaster (seriously, check out the video below and try not to be impressed), it looks like there won’t be much else to this land.
The video above showcases a spinner-style flat ride in Tomorrowland, and we know a Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue ride is also coming to this area, but on the whole the offerings still seem rather anemic when compared to the Tomorrowlands of other Disney parks. Though it looks like there are a few shops, a stage with lights and some character meet and greets in this area as well, this abbreviated Tomorrowland will be pretty small, at least when the park first opens next year.
3. A new (and terrifying!) water ride
We know that Disney has a penchant for creating terrifying ride experiences. However, Roaring Rapids, the new E-ticket attraction in the Adventure Isle area of Shanghai Disneyland looks like it is going to be the most terrifying water ride since Universal’s Jurassic Park River Adventure. Though the official attraction description (“discover the underworld realm of a mysterious, fearsome creature”) seems vague enough, the concept art above looks quite frightening. A first look at the animatronic that will be used in the attraction (below) also looks quite fearsome as well (and check out its massive size)!
Although many are excited for the Tron attraction mentioned above, this unique new ride (which is based on an original concept without any film or existing property tie-ins) looks like it could be the real highlight of Shanghai Disneyland.