Once upon a time, a theme park called American Dream Park opened its gate in Shanghai in 1996. Only after a few years, the park was shut down completely. While sitting at another end of the Metro Line 11 is Disneyland, the so-called real Amercian theme park is filled with people all the time. The story will follow one person’s perspective.
Who: Our main character is one person that has been to the American Dream Park when he/she was young
What: We are going to begin our journey at American Dream Park. We try to enter the site which is under removing construction. We walk with the main character, talking about the past days when there were tourists. Probably we will talk with the construction worker to see if they know about the history of the site. We will talk to the security guard, to know how many people are trying to enter the park after shutting down. We will then follow the Metro Line 11, all the way to Disneyland. After experiencing the Disneyland, we ask the main character about which one is more special to him/her, why, and which is the real Amercian dream park. We’ll probably insert drone footages of other theme parks in/around Shanghai, make comparisons and leave an open end for the audience to think about the future of dream parks in China.
When: As soon as possible, before the stuff in the site is removed completely.
Where: The American Dream Park, Disneyland, and other theme parks nearby. Scenarios along Metro Line 11 will be shown as Timelapse or montages.
Why: One thing can have very different meanings to different people. American Dream Park is in many places, inferior to Disneyland. But it became a very special place for a certain group of people because of its post-apocalypse look, and potentially dangerous adventure. Maybe Disneyland is the real American dream park for many people, for people that have been to the American Dream Park before and after the shutdown, that disappearing park is more memorable to them. This aerial/ground combined story is a good way to preserve people’s emotions and thoughts about something that has to fade out in the history.
So what? It may not make sense to many people, but one day people living in the apartment built on the site of American Dream Park will be able to know the history and how special it means to some people. It is more important to document, preserve, and make people think, rather than entertaining.
Style: Ramping up from the beginning, our main character is really willing to get into the park again. We can talk about the park, about what he saw and experienced to heat it up. Once we get to the site, the almost removed theme park makes it shocking and sad. And then we make our way to Disneyland, getting excited again, but can’t find the passion and feeling we had about American Dream Park when we are there. Showing more people are going to the popular Disneyland while some other interesting local theme parks are facing serious challenges, we end to leave the question to the audience to answer.
What we can bring to Disneyland, what we can’t: https://www.shanghaidisneyresort.com/rules/
How special it is to people that have been there: http://finance.eastday.com/consumption/m5/20121018/u1a6928871.html
NYTimes article about the park: http://www.nytimes.com/1999/08/03/business/international-business-even-if-you-build-them-chinese-may-not-come-theme-parks.html