Disney Gathers Local ‘Friends’ for First Shanghai Disneyland Attraction

"Garden of the Twelve Friends' will feature Chinese Zodiac signs represented by Disney and Pixar characters

Disney Gathers Local Friends for First

The Walt Disney Co. has revealed a first look at “Garden of the Twelve Friends,” one of the first attractions being built at Shanghai Disneyland, set to open in late 2015.

The project, located inside the 11-acre collection of gardens branded the “Gardens of Imagination” at the center of the theme park, will feature murals made of mosaic tiles celebrating each of the 12 Chinese zodiac characters. Each sign will be represented by a Disney or Pixar character. The Year of the Rat will be signified by Remy from “Ratatouille,” for example.

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Disney also has secured the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China as its first alliance partnership for the park to create the gardens. Company sees sponsorships with local businesses as a way to better integrate Disney into the local community.

“The ‘Garden of the Twelve Friends’ is an excellent example of how we are creating experiences and attractions that are designed with our Chinese guests in mind, and rooted in Disney characters and storytelling,” said Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “Since the opening of Disneyland in Anaheim nearly 60 years ago, we have sought to establish strong partnerships with businesses that are well-respected leaders in their industries and the communities in which they operate.”

ICBC will sponsor the “Garden of the Twelve Friends.” The “Gardens of Imagination” will also feature a grove of peach trees and provide guests with views of the Enchanted Storybook Castle.