Shanghai Disneyland – Mickey Avenue
In the Summer of 2017, I visited the Shanghai Disney Resort for the first time. We brought back home lots of incredible memories, far too many to discuss all of them on this website. But certain experiences were so magical that I must talk about them with you. That’s why I already wrote about the “Gardens of the Twelve Friends” and the “Shanghai Disneyland Hotel” . In this article, I’m going to tell you about “Mickey Avenue”.
Mickey Avenue is the first area one encounters when entering Shanghai Disneyland. It leads you to the center of the Park. Mickey Avenue makes you think of Main Street USA. But they are distinctly different. While Main Street USA resembles a turn-of-the-20th-century American town, Mickey Avenue is a tribute to the classic Disney Characters and cartoons. According to the area’s background story, Mickey Avenue is the hometown of Mickey Mouse and his friends.
This new approach was most probably taken because certain architectural and historical elements of the traditional Main Street USA concept are too western for Chinese people to know of. Furthermore, the Mickey Avenue area allows for the introduction of the Disney Characters to an audience that might be not or less familiar with them.
While Main Street USA is a perfect representation of Victorian architecture and interior design, Mickey Avenue is a melting pot of architectural styles. It’s what you get when you combine Main Street USA and Mickey’s Toontown, add a splash of Buena Vista Street and sprinkle the result with (not so) Hidden Mickeys and references to Disney’s corporate identity.
Mickey Avenue mainly consists of shops and restaurants. They are partially located along the main thoroughfare. Some establishments can also be found in little side streets and on the central hub. Mickey Avenue consists of four neighborhoods. Let’s take a look around!
Celebration Square is located at the entrance of Shanghai Disneyland. It’s considered the heart of the community. There’s a railway station but, oddly enough, no railway service. This neighborhood has three shops and one food kiosk.
Carefree Corner sells pins, Disney PhotoPass prints and photographic souvenirs. Inside, items related to and pictures of the construction of Mickey Avenue can be found.
Sweethearts Confectionery is a candy store build in the Queen Anne style. It represents the childhood home of Minnie Mouse. It features artwork that tells the story of Minnie growing up and her courtship with Mickey Mouse. The confectionery has a real-life candy kitchen.
The American Queen Anne style was one of the architectural styles that was popular during the Victorian era. It represented the culmination of the romantic movement of the nineteenth century. The style is based on the premise of “decorative excess”. Houses that were built in the American Queen Anne style are characterized by (amongst others) a large wrap-around porch with spindlework, towers and turrets, multiple gables and dormers, overhanging eaves and patterned shingles. The style is different from its British namesake.
Chip & Dale's Treehouse Treats is a corner market that offers snacks like crisps and biscuits.
Avenue M Arcade is the largest shop in Shanghai Disneyland. Just like the Emporium, it’s one single facility with many storefronts. The main entrance is located underneath the octagonal tower of the Carthay Circle Theater. The checkout area is beautifully themed as the First Bank of Scrooge McDuck.
Park Place lies near the Gardens of Imagination. A bakery and ice cream parlor can be found here.
Remy’s Patisserie is a French-inspired bakery that offers breads, pastries, muffins and fresh desserts (like a “Lumière” cupcake). If you look closely, you can see Remy at work in the kitchen.
Il Paperino sells soft-serve ice cream and waffles shaped like Disney characters. Inside, one can examine the Italian family tree of Donald Duck (illustrated by the talented Janice Rosenthal).
The Market District is located close to Adventure Isle. It’s home to a shop, merchandise cart, counter-service restaurant and… Duffy the Disney Bear (this is Asia, after all).
Mickey & Pals Market Café is a counter-service restaurant that has five themed dining rooms: Mickey’s Galley, Tony’s (from Lady and the Tramp), Daisy’s Café, the Three Caballeros and the Covered Alleyway. Close to the entrance, there’s a beautiful mural depicting the agricultural heritage of Mickey Avenue.
The Whistle Stop Shop sells toys, plush and “Duffy the Disney Bear” merchandise. It is housed in the former train station of Mickey Avenue. In front of the Whistle Stop Shop, one can find the Lucky Express . It’s a merchandise cart that pays tribute to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. According to the area's background story, Oswald was one of the first residents of Mickey Avenue.
The Theatre District is the artsy neighborhood. It’s on the outskirts of the avenue toward Tomorrowland. Here, you can find the only attraction of Mickey Avenue: Mickey's Film Festival . It’s a small cinema showing vintage short cartoons featuring Mickey Mouse and his pals.
I’m a huge fan of Eddie Sotto’s Main Street USA at Disneyland Paris. It allows you to learn a lot about history and architecture in a fun way. Furthermore, the historical and architectural references allow for an immersive experience that takes you back to a long-gone era. This is not really the case for Mickey Avenue. But nonetheless, I really enjoyed strolling around this beautiful place. Because the lack of historical and architectural references is fully compensated by the fact that you can go on a true treasure hunt to find all the (sometimes subtle) references to classic Disney Characters and cartoons.
Three Little Pigs.
Big Bad Wolf.
Benny the Cab from ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’.
Lambert the Sheepish Lion from the 1952 cartoon.
Flintheart Glomgold from ‘Ducktales’.
Humphrey the Bear who first appeared in the Goofy cartoon ‘Hold That Pose’.
Flowers and Trees, a 1932 Silly Symphonies cartoon.
Ludwig Von Drake.
Mickey Mouse in the cartoon 'Clock Cleaners' / Floyd Norman & Carl Barks.
Magician Mickey, as seen in the 1937 cartoon.
Big Toot and Little Toot, as seen in the 1948 film ‘Melody Time’.