The area we’ll be taking a look at in this week’s Countdown to Shanghai Disneyland is the Gardens of Imagination. Appropriately enough, this week the park launched a commercial that not only shows the power of imagiation but will surely serve to get yours working overtime.
Take a look:
Excited now? Then let’s take a stroll through the Gardens of Imagination:
Attractions & Entertainment
The Garden of Imagination will occupy the land just in front of and to the left of Enchanted Storybook Castle. While some of the attractions are ones we here in America might associate with Fantasyland, Shanghai will actually have a Fantasyland in addition to all of this. Let’s take a look at how your imagination will soar in this area:
Dumbo the Flying Elephant
Official Logline: “Fly the fantastical skies with Dumbo, the spectacular new superstar at Gardens of Imagination!”
My Thoughts: Dumbo is an undisputed theme park classic. That being said, I’ll have to pass on this one simply because there’s so much else to do and see.
Official Logline: “Climb aboard Pegasus for a whimsical spin filled with the grandeur and symphonic bliss of Disney’s Fantasia!”
My Thoughts: First, this carousel looks gorgeous. Second, this area is sounding more and more like the stateside Fantasylands, isn’t it? However, once again, I may take a gander but I will probably not be riding this (but I’ve been wrong before).
Garden of the Twelve Friends and Meet Mickey
Official Logline: “Discover an oasis where the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac are depicted by popular Disney and Disney-Pixar characters” and “Get ready for your close-up—visit an enchanted gallery exhibit before a face-to-face with the world-famous Mickey Mouse!”
My Thoughts: Is this not the coolest theme for a meet and greet area ever? Judging by the list of characters, this will also feature references to some films rarely seen in the Disney Parks. All in all, this sounds like a homerun.
Official Logline: “Delve deep inside the Marvel Universe—and you just might encounter some of your favorite Marvel Super Heroes!”
My Thoughts: This is apparently where the Fantasyland vibes end. As a Marvel fan, I’m excited to check this place out even if I don’t have time to wait and meet any heroes (well, depending on who they are, of course).
Golden Fairytale Fanfare
Official Logline: “Celebrate the songs and stories of beloved Disney Princesses in a breathtaking performance at Enchanted Storybook Castle.”
My Thoughts: Considering this is a castle show, I’m guessing it will be pretty hard to miss. With that in mind, count me in for a performance or two.
Ignite the Dream
Official Logline: “See Enchanted Storybook Castle transformed when Disney magic lights up the night with stunning special effects!”
My Thoughts: Two words: I’m sold.
Mickey’s Storybook Express
Official Logline: “All aboard for a train-themed parade that’s loaded with fantasy, fun and music — led by Mickey Mouse himself!”
My Thoughts: Just as they say “don’t judge a book by its cover,” it’s probably wrong to judge a parade by its promotional artwork. However, this image is sorely lacking. On the other hand, it is somewhat touching that the parade is themed to trains and so I hope there’s a solid Walt reference in it as a result. This may not be the entertainment offering I’m most looking forward to, but it’ll probably still be pretty cute.
Can you imagine meet and greets, fireworks, and parades without some cuddly and fun souvenirs? I didn’t think so. Here’s where you can buy your memorable merchandise:
Casey Jr. Trinket Train
Official Logline: “Casey Jr. is coming to town… and he’s bringing the circus along to the Gardens of Imagination! Come take your pick from a spectacular showcase of souvenirs—including accessories, headwear, plush and many other pieces of magical merchandise.”
My Thoughts: Who doesn’t love Casey Jr.? Clearly that means I have to at least check out his shop, right?
Scuttle’s Shiny Things
Official Logline: “As you head through Shanghai Disneyland to the Gardens of Imagination, dive ‘under the sea’ at a cart inspired by Ariel’s seagull friend from The Little Mermaid — featuring cuddly plush and other souvenirs you can make ‘part of your world.'”
My Thoughts: A cart full of plushes sounds adorable, but, with suitcases to pack (and no kids to give them the plushes to…), I’ll sadly have to pass.
Official Logline: “Celebrate some of the most legendary stories and characters of all time with a stop at this shop in Marvel Universe. No matter who your favorite hero — or villain — might be, you’re sure to unmask a mighty selection of toys, apparel and headwear!”
My Thoughts: Now this shop sounds up my alley. All the more reason to visit the Marvel building.
A stroll in the garden isn’t complete without a snack or picnic. Here’s where you can grab a bite in the Gardens of Imagination:
Official Logline: “As you wander through the beautiful pathways of the Gardens of Imagination, relax and unwind with a quick stop at Picnic Basket — a flowery kiosk featuring items to eat both savory and sweet, like tea-smoked duck legs and pineapple puffs.”
My Thoughts: Umm… those both sound fantastic! That’s it — “eat a tea-smoked duck leg” is officially on my to-do list.
Wandering Moon Teahouse
Official Logline: “Steep your senses at this timeless teahouse infused with hot dishes like Wagyu beef noodle soup, Shanghai pork belly rice, Fujian seafood noodle and food you’ll only find in the Gardens of Imagination. Vegetarian options are also available.”
My Thoughts: I hope this place lives up to its name and serves a lot of teas. This sounds like a perfect location for the area and one I’m excited to check out for sure.
Official Logline: “Savor a sideshow of classic American flavor! Run by Timothy Mouse — close friend of Dumbo the Flying Elephant — this circus-car snack bar serves up a hearty selection of hot dogs. For even more flavor, enjoy yours with chili or bacon and cheese!”
My Thoughts: Am I the kind of guy to fly all the way to China and then eat bacon and cheese hot dogs? Yes, yes I am. #noshame
That’s it for the Gardens of Imagination, but be sure to join us next week as we explore another area of Shanghai Disneyland!
Miss any of our past features? Here’s where we’ve gone so far:
Kyle is a writer living in Springfield, MO. His deep love of Disney and other pop culture finds its way into his stories, scripts, and tweets. His first book “The E-Ticket Life: Stories, Essays, and Lessons Learned from My Decidedly Disney Travels” is available in paperback and for Kindle. http://amzn.to/1CStAhV