Behind the Magic of Disney100: Experience Wonder at Jewel

Feb 2023

By Julia Jemangin


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This year, the world pays tribute to 100 years of iconic storytelling from The Walt Disney Company, whose stories has touched millions of fans globally.  In Singapore, Jewel Changi Airport (Jewel) had the honour of opening the Disney100 celebrations on 12 January 2023 with breathtaking displays for visitors and travellers to rejoice, reflect on the past, and make lifelong memories. Changi Journeys speaks to the team behind Disney100: Experience Wonder at Jewel, on what it took to bring out the sparkle.

At the entrance of Jewel’s Shiseido Forest Valley, a spectacular Disney100 platinum archway stands tall to welcome and delight guests. Past this archway into the lush greenery, a four-meter-tall platinum statue of Mickey Mouse, symbolic of 100 years of Disney, stands grand for fans to admire and snap pictures with


Charmaine Chia, Manager (User Experience) at Jewel, is part of the Disney100 team.  She recalled the team’s riveting experience in putting together all these iconic installations. One of the first challenges was finalising the perfect shade of platinum for the Mickey Mouse statue. “The vendor could only do a small-scale mock-up for us to compare the different shades, so the rest was completely up to our imagination! We had to visualise how Mickey Mouse would look in a particular shade, at 100 times the size of the mock-up, and also take into the account the colour of the surroundings, which included light reflections and the greenery in the Shiseido Forest Valley, both during the day and at night.” 


(left) A large vehicle was used to transport Mickey Mouse from the factory 

(right) Bollards had to be removed in order for Mickey to enter Jewel via the roadway.


“Mickey Mouse was built using a single block of material, thus moving the entire structure from the factory into his new home at the Shiseido Forest Valley was very challenging! It took a 20-men crew to hoist Mickey Mouse up very carefully onto a special platform, as we could not use any machinery at this location.” 


Disney’s Encanto is one of the 10 beautifully designed photo installations at Jewel


Visitors can also experience the wonder of Disney and explore 10 exclusive Disney-themed photo spots, each specially designed for display in Singapore at Jewel’s Shiseido Forest Valley and Canopy Park. These include iconic scenes such as Mickey Mouse in his debut film Steamboat Willy (1928) – the very first Disney animation with sound – and memorable scenes from other popular films such as Disney’s Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs (1937), Winnie The Pooh (1977) and Disney & Pixar’s Toy Story (1995). 


A water projection of Disney’s favourite character, Mickey Mouse, at the HSBC Rain Vortex


The Jewel team also had to work closely with Disney and WET (a renowned water feature design firm) to  choreograph a special six-minute Disney100 inspired Light & Sound show at the HSBC Rain Vortex, to feature a plethora of beloved Disney characters to a medley of classic tunes such as ‘When You Wish Upon A Star’, ‘A Whole New World’, ‘You’ve Got A Friend In Me’ and the theme soundtrack from Avengers: Endgame movie.  This creation had its own challenges, shared Charmaine. “It was the first time that Jewel was using highly recognisable images when previously, we relied on abstract animations and generic images to create our shows. We not only had to ensure the sharpness of the images on a water projection screen, we had to create storyboards for the show, to ensure that the variety of characters can be featured seamlessly.”

The team conducted multiple tests and fine-tuning sessions nightly for two consecutive weeks before the launch to resolve various issues which popped up, such as double vision from the combination of multiple projectors all around the forest valley and the use of 2D images . Despite the challenges, Charmaine found comfort that the team’s efforts were validated every time the occasional guest excitedly shouted out names of the projected Disney characters during the tests.


Jewel’s User Experience team posing for a fun shot at the launch of Disney100


With the clock ticking down to the launch set for mid-January 23, and three major international holidays during the crucial period in November and December, the Disney, WET and Jewel team raced against time and time zone differences, to put everything together for the launch.  Charmaine quipped, “Despite all the challenges, we ran full speed ahead at the start of January to tie up all loose ends. End result – we made it to the finish line just in time as planned!”


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