Olivier S. (NDD#263) (27 Posts)

Born in France (and still living there) I discovered WDW in the mid 1970's when I was 10 during a trip to Florida with my parents. Since then, I am a Disney fan, but also a WDW fan with EPCOT as the prefered park. The Contemporary is my "mythic" hotel even if I never stayed there: it´s because of its futurist look. By the way, I also encountered space exploration during the same trip by visiting KSC. And I am today working as the chief editor of a space news website for a scientific park in France. Guess you can see the importance of this Florida trip and the others after...


Shanghai Disneyland is the multi-billion dollar project that Disney has been working on with the Chinese government for years. The theme park opening was delayed and given the scope of the task, that was not so surprising. The official public opening is due June 16. However, right now, Shanghai Disneyland is in a sort of soft opening trial operation mode with guests coming on an invitation-only basis.

With video devices being more and more easy to use, and video sharing websites like YouTube, it is already possible to have quite a good glimpse (even full ride POV!) of what this theme park has to offer. And it’s clear that Disney Imagineers have done a tremendous job, especially on Tron or Pirates of the Caribbean, two rides that are making the buzz on the web.

So, here is a selection of some interesting videos done by visitors. Feel free to search for more on YouTube as new ones are going to be uploaded by the lucky first guests.

One of the most talked about is this POV (Point Of Vue) of the Chinese version of Pirates of the Caribbean. At 01:38, don’t miss the incredible transition between a skeleton Jack Sparrow and its flesh version. After, you will witness an very effective blending of animatronics, props and giant screens HD projection (if you look closely, you will notice that the biggest projections are in fact done with multiple projectors, each one doing a part of the job). This type of know-how is said to be the basis of the future Star Wars ride (in California and Orlando) where guests will be in the middle of a battle opposing the First Order and the Resistance.

Long (90 minutes!) but full of very interesting moments, is this amateur video of a tour of the park and rides. You will see that Pirates is not so well filmed, the camera used having difficulties in the dark. However, there are other worth seeing sequences (Frozen show, meet and greet, Soarin, etc.).

Another much-talked about is this POV of the Tron Coaster. It is difficult to know who is really the one who filmed it and put it on YouTube (or on the Chinese equivalent) as lot of fans download these videos and put them on their account. Well, the good thing is to be able to enjoy these!

YouTube user Matthew Finnemore (The Pirates ride) has done a lot of videos. Here is a parade named the Storybook Express.

Again from Finnemore, a POV of the Buzz Lightyear ride.

As you may know, the very-loved Soarin ride is going to get a new version in California and in Epcot in Florida. The Chinese version is already playing in Shanghai Disneyland. Notice how the music is paying a clear tribute to the original and glorious Jerry Goldsmith score. Keep in mind that the US version could be different. Looks like it is from the 90 minutes video previously presented (at 09:59).

Another ride POV and another great classic, Shanghai version: Peter Pan.

You could ask why Disney is tolerating these videos. After all, as all these rides and park views are filled with Intellectual Properties, Disney lawyers have just to send e-mails to YouTube to get these films banned from YouTube for copyright infringement. However, Disney has never (or very rarely) used this legal possibility. Why? Because it is providing a free and huge social media publicity! No doubt that some Disney fans are right now already putting Shanghai Disneyland on their to-do list. If they can’t afford a trip to China, this will maintain their will to go back to their nearest Disney park.

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