Just in time for the Chinese New Year, Shanghai Disney Resort today unveiled more details of its Garden of the Twelve Friends, a whimsical area of the theme park that recasts twelve beloved Disney and Disney•Pixar characters as members of the Chinese zodiac.
“Introducing the twelve Disney zodiac characters to our guests is one way of conveying the best wishes of Shanghai Disney Resort during this traditional festival of family reunion in China,” said Philippe Gas, Shanghai Disney Resort General Manager.
Continuing the tradition of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts worldwide, Shanghai Disney Resort will welcome guests to immersive, magical, multi-day experiences. Garden of the Twelve Friends blends Disney’s signature storytelling with traditional Chinese elements and pays homage to the central role of the Chinese zodiac in daily life in China. The garden will offer resort-goers with fantastic photo opportunities and the chance to create everlasting memories with their families, friends, and favorite zodiac characters who represent their own Chinese zodiac sign of the year.
Shanghai Disney Resort selected 12 Disney characters to accurately symbolize each element of the Chinese zodiac, while retaining their own distinctive traits. For example, Shanghai Disney Resort settled upon Remy as the Year of Rat. From the Disney-Pixar film Ratatouille, Remy is the rat-turned-chef, who embodies cleverness, determination and a remarkable sense of smell — the true spirit of the zodiac sign with a fresh twist.
In honor of 2015, the Year of the Sheep, Shanghai Disney Resort is excited to present this year’s zodiac character: the “Jolly Holiday” lambs from Disney’s Mary Poppins. These lambs represent the elegance, charm, and gentleness of the Sheep, as well as the ancient Chinese saying, “San Yang Kai Tai,” or, “Three Sheep Bring Good Luck.”
In the Garden of the Twelve Friends, the garden wall is decorated with flowering vines and colorful mosaic vignettes where every character of the Chinese zodiac is rendered in Disney style. The beautiful glass mosaics are created in close collaboration with local Chinese artists and craftsmen. The serene interior, designed to resemble a classic Chinese garden complete with lush cherry blossoms, represents the perfect place for families and guests to gather and relax together.
The Twelve Disney Characters of the Chinese Zodiac include:
The Rat: Rémy. In Disney•Pixar’s Ratatouille, Rémy is a rat with big dreams – he longs to be a chef! With cleverness, determination… and a remarkable sense of smell… he turns the culinary world of Paris upside down.
The Ox: Babe The Blue Ox. Loyalty is important to Babe. This colossal hero of Disney’s Academy Award nominated short film Paul Bunyan devotes his life to helping his friend – a giant lumberjack – tame the wilderness.
The Tiger: Tigger. Winnie the Pooh’s friend Tigger is confident and cheerful. As he exuberantly bounces about on his springy tail, it’s easy to see that he is proud to be the only “tigger” in the Hundred Acre Wood.
The Rabbit: Thumper. Sometimes the first friend is the best friend, especially when he is a rabbit! In Disney’s film Bambi, Thumper befriends a newborn fawn, and stands by him as he grows to be a prince of the forest.
The Dragon: Mushu. The fast-talking little dragon named Mushu may be small in size, but he is big in spirit. His enthusiasm and bravery make him the perfect guardian for Disney’s Mulan on her quest for family honor.
The Snake: Kaa. The wily python from Disney’s The Jungle Book, can be charming like other snakes. And he hates to fail, although his hilarious attempts to hypnotize other jungle creatures never work.
The Horse: Maximus. This determined, quick-witted guard horse from Disney’s Tangled will not give up until justice is done! Which is why he helps reformed thief Flynn Rider free Princess Rapunzel from her tower.
The Sheep: Jolly Holiday Lambs. The lambs featured in the “Jolly Holiday” song of Disney’s Mary Poppins represent the qualities that make those born in the Year of the Sheep so special – elegance, charm, serenity, and gentleness.
The Monkey: Abu. The hero of Disney’s Aladdin is lucky to have a loyal friend like Abu. Sure his “Monkey Business” gets him into plenty of trouble, but his agility and cleverness are handy in dangerous situations.
The Rooster: Allan-A-Dale. This charming and melodic rooster narrates Disney’s Robin Hood. But Allan-A-Dale is also Robin’s trusted ally, joining him and his “merry men” in fighting injustice and helping the poor.
The Dog: Pluto. Like all dogs, Pluto is honest, faithful and friendly. His cheerful demeanor makes him a perfect companion for the optimistic Mickey Mouse, and he has become one of Disney’s biggest stars.
The Pig: Hamm. In the Disney•Pixar Toy Story films, Hamm plays a wisecracking plastic piggy bank, but he’s a loyal and trustworthy companion to the end. He’ll keep your extra coins safe too!
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