Tuesday, April 22, 2014

DLP Fans Report Unveil in Details Plans for DLP Future

Geoffrey Von Ruffenach, a Disneyland Paris fan, has posted on Sunday an incredibly detailed report about DLP future. This report is coming out of a long investigation during several months and he got the infos from different sources. It includes plenty of good news about DLP future and, as i received many emails asking me what i think about it, i will tell you in a few seconds my feeling about this long report which is available in french in a PDF file on their Facebook page HERE and in english with a pretty good translation and summary HERE.

But first, what is he saying in this long report? I post below a summary of it and you can read a longer version in english HERE or in french HERE

Probably the most important thing from the report is the fact that the WDC, and Tom Staggs in particular, would have agreed that there was no other way to resolve the DLP problem than to offer to DLP a big financial plan ( "offer" is not really the right word here as the WDC will probably do a new kind of loan to DLP ), something that should have been done since a long time if Disney didn't had to resolved first the placemaking of Disney's California Adventure and the expansion of Hong Kong Disneyland. Now that it's done the last theme park problem - and the last big mistake from the Eisner era - are the Walt Disney Studios. According to their report an announcement of this big plan should be done in the coming weeks or months.

In terms of attractions, now, what are the plans? At the Disneyland park Space Mountain should be closed for six months early 2015 and get new trains, as well as new show elements and effects. The storyline might return to the original one "From the Earth to the Moon" and, if confirmed, this will be indeed a very good news ( let's hope they'll also put back the original music score ). 

From the mid 2015 to 2016 Star Tours should be - finally! - upgraded to Star Tours 3D : the Adventure Continues. Note that this won't mean a Star Wars Land will be built at the same time as it is scheduled for later.

Big Thunder Mountain will have a long refurbishment between early 2016 to early 2017 which will include the addition of one more wagon per train to increase the ride capacity. Rumors too about an interactive queue that could be installed, like they did at WDW MK. Hope, if they do it,  that they won't destroy Pat Burke wonderful queue theming...

Others rumors are saying that Frontierland Rivers of the far West could be drained which could allow the geysers effect to be back as it was on DLP opening day. From what i know they don't really need to empty the rivers to resolve the geysers effect, but let's say they need it...

The financial plan from the Walt Disney Company will serve, first, for a major placemaking at the WDS with a re-themed Backlot which will have a new theme and new storyline around Marvel Super Heroes. Nothing new so far as i told you about this since a long time. But what i didn't told you is what they add in their report, i.e new facades in the area will make it look like Times Square. The Rock & Rollercoaster's facade will also be rethemed to look like the Daily Bugle and riders will soar amongst NY skyscrapers with Spiderman in this re-themed ride. The coaster track should remain exactly the same so we're talking here only about a re-theming of the ride. The Moteurs, Action stunt show will also receive a new theme around the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, and the Armageddon attraction nearby should be rethemed to the Fantastic Four. 

Why the Fantastic Four? First, a new FF reboot movie will be coming soon and, two, because if you remember it well in the Fantastic Four origins everything start when they're in space going through a storm of cosmic rays which provoke their mutation. So, may be they're thinking to keep the Space Station decor but with a totally different theme and storyline, as well as new effects. So far, this Backlot re-theming may look like good news - and it's not bad ones, i agree - but it will bring only a retheming and not really brand new attractions so don't get too excited about that part.

However, a new attraction should come to Toy Story Playland and it's the long rumored Toy Story Mania. I have to say that i'm not very enthusiastic about that, as even if TSM is pretty popular with DCA, DHS and TDS guests i think that it would have been better to use the budget for it for another ride. Anyway, i'm not the one choosing the rides for the WDS so let' go for Toy Story Mania.

Always thanks to the WDC financial plan the WDS Front Lot and Studio 1 will be reimagined to create a better immersive experience, closer to what were the Disney Studios in the 1930's. Placemaking is awaited too on Hollywood Blvd, la Place des Stars and Animation Courtyard to make them more immersive.

All of this above was for what should come between 2015 and 2017. Their report also detailed what is envisioned for after 2017 but this is less certain due to changes that time and reality often bring.

In two words: A Halloween and Christmas season might be introduced in the WDS and a former "California Dream" festival might do its come back. 

Star Wars Land should finally come in the back of DLP Discoveryland ( no date specified ) 

A new 2000 seats theater might be build on the right of It's a Small World to allow shows all year long ( i think they should keep the money and the land to build something more interesting, if you ask me )

Soarin' which was originally envisioned to be built at WDS between Ciné Magique and Stitch Live could come at DLP Adventureland in its Shanghaî Disneyland "Soaring over the Horizon" version and its location would be between the Indy temple and POTC.  This might look like a good news but it's also a bad one as the land on which they intend to built it is the one that was kept to build Indiana Jones Adventure. It means that IJA will never be built at DLP, and this is probably the biggest mistake that DLP can do. We know they are reluctant to build it because of the attraction cost and the maintenance cost but, still, it's a mistake. And when i hear like i did recently that the cost of Toy Story mania could be up to $200M because apparently they would like to double the track for a bigger ride capacity, i can't stop thinking that these $200M would be better used by building Indiana Jones Adventure at DLP instead than TSM at the WDS. 

Anyway... always in Adventureland the Jack Sparrow Audio-Animatronics might be installed finally in POTC... not sure if it wouldn't be a better idea to keep the original version...

At the WDS, and always after 2017, a big E-Ticket ride themed on the Avengers should be introduced and rumor is saying that it could use the same technology than the one Universal used for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, which in the case of an Avengers ride could be indeed an excellent idea. 

A new hotel integrated to the WDS park - like the one at DCA or at TDS - is also envisioned.

Hollywood Blvd might become a real street leading to a hub and have its own Tramway with shows and restaurants, too.

And, last but not least, an Avatar Land might be built at the WDS and would be the final part of the WDS enhancements, i.e don't expect it for tomorrow. 

In terms of entertainment, now, the Disneyland Park will host 4 distinct seasons each year and you can read more about this in english HERE or in french in the PDF HERE as well as very interesting things about the multi years refurbishment plan for the hotels, which is still going on, and what they intend to do in the Disney Village. 

Now, what do i think about all this? I think it's all true, i think he didn't invented anything and i think the report is reliable and that he did a real good job of investigation. And i know he didn't invented anything mainly because i knew by different sources almost all of what they're saying in this report ( apart the Soarin' over the Horizon at Adventureland which was the only thing i didn't know ). So, yes, it's good news and DLP fans can be happy, especially for what is announced in the report between now and 2017. But anything after 2017 must be taken with caution as it's more "blue sky" projects than anything "dead sure". It doesn't mean that what he says in the report will not happen as some of the "after 2017" plans will very probably happen - like the Avengers ride, for instance - it just mean that what this report is saying is a view of what DLP has in mind at the time Geoffrey has written it, in this case April 2014. So don't come to blame him in some years if what he's said don't happen because it won't be his fault. Again, he's just reporting what he's been told, and what he's been told are the current DLP - or WDC - plans at the time we're talking. 

Picture: copyright Max Fan - DLP Welcome

Monday, April 21, 2014

It's Disney and more 7th Anniversary !

Guess what, it's Disney and more 7th Anniversary this week! I can't believe that it's been 7 years since i started D&M... I enjoyed a lot doing it as well as creating new sites like D&M Artwork, Star Tours, the Innoventions Blog, the Tom Scherman site, the D&M Facebook page, and more recently Disney News Central. I know that for a lot of you these 7 years of Disney and more have been a lot of enjoyment too and i want to thank you again for your support to Disney and more.

Doing new updates each day is always a lot of work, more than one can think when you read it mainly because it's not just putting text and images together, you also have to do it with "spirit". As for the future i'm currently working on great projects which are very exciting and if i succeed to make them a reality you will love them, really! More about this as soon as possible.

Also, although i rarely ask, today being a special day you're more than welcome if you wish to do a kind donation to Disney and more for its 7th birthday. Those of you who have a Paypal account can do it easily through the Paypal donation button below and whatever will be the amount of your donation i thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Thanks again to have been so faithful to Disney and more during these seven years, and see you very soon for a new great update!

Great Short Animated " Bat.tutty.ry " by François Heysen

I've got a new nice short animated for you - very short, less than 1.30 min! Directed by François Heysen, it tells the story of a robot, apparently lost in a kind of desert who is running out of battery and will try to recharge it on a much bigger robot.
Until... ...well, you'll see! The whole thing reminds me a lot - whether it's the colors or the theme - and the location - in a desert - the universe of genius artist Jean "Moebius" Giraud. Those of you who know Moebius will understand why.

Picture and video: copyright François Heysen

Saturday, April 19, 2014

DLP Update : Spiderman Arrives at WDS Backlot, Ratatouille Ride Update, and more

Here we go for the second part of this DLP update, this time it'll be all about the WDS with great pictures thanks to Max Fan, D&M contributor and DLPWelcome webmaster.

We'll see the latest pictures of the works on the Ratatouille site but first let's make a stop at WDS Backlot as Spiderman arrived this saturday morning in a new photo location specially built for him. You'll find it near the Blockbuster Cafe and very unfortunately it seems that this is a temporary photo location, only until July 14. Why not at least all summer season ?!? Don't ask me why...

Plenty of guests were there this morning to meet Spidey as you will see on the pictures below and the waiting time even reached 80 minutes (!)

Anyway, once they arrive at the entrance WDS guests are waiting in a themed hallway with giant Daily Bugle front pages, in different languages... as DLP have guests from all over Europe.

...and there he is, Spiderman! Families can join Spidey "inside" the Daily Bugle decor and, according to Max, Spiderman costume is very well done. The picture is then shot by a DLP photographer to make it look like a Daily Bugle front page. Below, some pictures of Spidey "alone" in the Daily Bugle decor.

And, yes, Max has filmed a video of Spiderman in "action" for you, and here it is.

Let's move to the Ratatouille area to have now a look at what's new since last time, thanks to fresh pictures shot by Max this morning... so it couldn't be more "fresh"! Also, i suppose you didn't missed this week DLP official announcement saying that the Ratatouille ride opening date - as well as the "Chez Remy" restaurant - will be on July 10. A great video showing the huge sets and props inside the ride was also released and, for those of you who missed it, i post it again below. The previous article also included HD screen captures and you can see the whole thing HERE.

As you'll see on the pictures below, new trees have been introduced on the Ratatouille plaza, including in front of the ride entrance.

Fast Pass Tickets signs as well as those which will indicate the waiting time are now in place.

The fountain at the center of the plaza should be finished soon!

Note the curtains who have been installed behind the windows, a nice detail to give the illusion that people are living inside!

You'll note also the cobblestones still waiting to be put in place...

If you've not seen yet the great WDI video showing the sets inside the Ratatouille ride, here it is.

O-kay, that should do it for today! See you soon for a new DLP update and in the meantime i remind you that, to celebrate Disneyland Paris 22nd Anniversary, i'm also doing a special offer price on the great Disneyland Paris "From Sketch to Reality" book - for both ENGLISH or FRENCH editions - and in addition to the special price valid until April 30 it also include a "surprise gift" that everyone who will order the book will receive, and believe me you will love it!  Thanks to this special offer you will save $50 on the normal price, so if you don't own the book yet i'm sure you don't want to miss it! Paypal and credit card payment are accepted, so make sure you to place your order now! 

You can use the Paypal button below for the english edition, and for orders of the french edition or for credit card payment please send me an email at: neverlandeditions@gmail.com

Disneyland Paris From Sketch to Reality - Include shipping

Don't know yet the Disneyland Paris book? Have a look at the video below or on the book website HERE.

Pictures: copyright Max Fan - DLPWelcome