Tuesday, June 19, 2018

BREAKING: Jennifer Lee, "Frozen" Director Named Chief Creative Officer at Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pete Docter, “Inside Out” Director Named Chief Creative Officer of Pixar Animation Studios

Disney announced that Jennifer Lee and Pete Docter will split John Lasseter’s duties at Disney, as the studio’s animation division tries to move forward after the tumultuous departure of John Lassseter.

Jennifer Lee, the director of “Frozen,” has been named chief creative officer at Walt Disney Animation Studios, while Pete Docter, the director of “Inside Out,” has been tapped as chief creative officer at Pixar Animation Studios. John Lasseter stays at Disney until the end of the year, without office, as creative consultant. Jim Morris, president of Pixar Animation Studios, and Andrew Millstein, head of Walt Disney Animation Studios, will continue to report to Ed Catmull, who runs Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios.

 “I am deeply grateful to everyone at Walt Disney Animation Studios and The Walt Disney Company for this opportunity,” Jennifer Lee said in a statement. “Animation is the most collaborative art form in the world, and it is with the partnership of my fellow filmmakers, artists and innovators that we look ahead to the future. My hope is to support the incredible talent we have, find new voices and work together to tell original stories. The great films of Disney Animation — the films I loved as a kid and my daughter has grown up loving — are magical, timeless and full of heart, and it is our goal to create films that carry on and grow this 95-year legacy for future generations.”

Pete Docter said in a statement of his own, “I am excited and humbled to be asked to take on this role. It is not something I take lightly; making films at Pixar has been my chronic obsession since I started here 28 years ago. I am fortunate to work alongside some of the most talented people on the planet, and together we will keep pushing animation in new directions, using the latest technology to tell stories we hope will surprise and delight audiences around the world.”

Disneyland Paris Phantom Manor Will Not Re-Open Before January 2019

DLP Phantom Manor Reopening at Disneyland Paris has been pushed to January 2019. And it is now official from DLP: "Refurbishment of the Ravenswood Mansion is taking longer than we expected because of the playful spirits. We look forward to welcoming guests to our re-imagined Phantom Manor attraction in early 2019."

Okay, so the reopening will be three months late. It's disappointing, but we will survive. Just three months more is not that dramatic.

Below, Imagineer Tom Fitzgerald announcing the upcoming changes in Phantom Manor.

Picture and video: copyright Disney

Monday, June 18, 2018

Tokyo Disneyland Expansion Aerial Views - Plus: More about Tokyo DisneySea Expansion

Following the spectacular Tokyo DisneySea expansion announcement last week, as the press release was saying that TDS guests will access the new "port" through a pathway between Arabian Coast and Lost River Delta i wanted to check all this and went to Google Maps where, at my good surprise, i found new satellite views showing Tokyo Disneyland Fantasyland expansion! We're gonna have a look at these ones first and we'll be back to TDS after.

So, first let's remind that the TDL expansion will include in Fantasyland a Beauty and the Beast land with Belle Village, a state-of-the-art Beauty and the Beast E-Ticket ride under Beast Castle, a live entertainment theatre, a Minnie Meet and Greet house and also, with direct access from Tomorrowland a Big Hero 6 "Baymax" attraction.

That said, keep in mind the above rendering and have a look now at the satellite view below. Ive indicated on it where are the three main attractions of the expansion. The Belle village is not built yet, though there is some building already on the right.

Let's zoom in now and the next picture shows the Beauty and the Beast E-Ticket ride show building, the Beast Castle which will come on the top of it - near the entrance on the top right - is not built yet.

If you've never seen artworks of this Beauty and the Beast attraction, here is the one released by TDR.

Next, is the new live entertainment theater and the model picture below shows how the show buildings of the Beauty and the Beast E-Ticket ride and the live entertainment theatre located on its right are close one from the other.

Here are the artworks released showing the future live entertainment theater.

And here is the satellite view with indication of where is what.

In Tomorrowland the new Big Hero 6 ( Baymax ) attraction - a new adaptation of the Mater's Junkyard Jamboree ride with a Baymax theme - will be located in fact very near from Fantasyland Belle Village, but of course guests will access it from Tomorrowland.

Here is the satellite view of where it is currently built.

Now, let's come back to Tokyo DisneySea expansion which was the start of my research as i told you.
First, one word about the incredible price of 250 Billion Yen ( $2.2 Billion ) for three medium size lands with four attractions ( plus restaurants and shops ) and a new hotel. They've built the whole Disneyland Paris park plus the six hotels for almost that price - sure, it was 25 years ago, but still... One of the reasons of the price is because costs at TDR are around 20% higher than in others Disney parks either because of lots of structures which must be build according to anti seismic regulations and also because Disney is not the owner of TDR parks and of course Disney needs to take its commission when they're selling new lands or attractions to TDR.

Anyway, to come back to the reason why i was looking for satellite views of the new TDS "port" it's because, just like many of you, i thought that this Frozen, Tangled and Peter Pan mini lands would have fit better in TDL Fantasyland rather than at DisneySea, so there must be a reason why they didn't put the three lands at TDL...

...specially considering that the new TDS "port" will be right next door to TDL Fantasyland as we can see on the map below released by TDR.

Now, here is a satellite view of the new TDS port where i've written where will be the three lands and the new hotel - that's my guess, but i think i'm right - as well as showing the announced entrance pathway between Arabian Coast and Lost River Delta..

So, why didn't they attached this new lands to TDL Fantasyland instead than to TDS? There is several reasons for that. First, one could think that it's may be because, from TDL, there is two roads to go over - the backstage roads which go all around each park, only used by TDR cast-members and workers. But in fact, if you look well, there is also a road that the announced path from TDS will have to go through, meaning that this is not really the problem.

Then, we could think that they couldn't do a path going from TDL Fantasyland to the new area, but it's also not true. They certainly couldn't do it from the right of Toon Town ( as view on the picture below ) but they definitely could create a pathway between the new Beauty and the Beast ride show building and Toon Town Gadget's Go coaster. It would need to go over two roads instead of one but we've seen things more difficult to achieve.

But this would mean having an incredible concentration of Tokyo Disneyland guests in this area of the park when both expansions would open, and we all know that there is already a lot of people daily inside Tokyo Disneyland. So, they obviously needed to balance the number of guests between TDL and TDS to make sure that guests won't precipitate in one park only when expansions open. But in fact, there is also another reason why they choose to put the three lands at Tokyo DisneySea, and it's because TDS needs attractions for young children related to Disney Classics.

We all love Tokyo DisneySea because it's such a masterpiece of theming but apparently families with young children rather go to TDL than TDS because they can find at TDL many more attractions with classic Disney characters beloved by young children. Sure, there is at TDS shows and lagoon parades with Mickey and the gang and plenty of Disney characters, but if we except Mermaid Lagoon and the Sindbad ride there is a lack of attractions for youngers and TDR is trying to balance that - the new "Nemo" ride which opened last year at Port Discovery was a first attempt - and the Frozen, Peter Pan and Tangled lands will help to create a kind of "TDS Fantasyland" with family attractions with an appeal for youngers.

Yes, it will be probably at the expense of a break in the coherent theming of TDS. The "alibi" for the new DisneySea port is that it will be "magical springs that lead to a world of Disney fantasy" and, well, let's hope they'll find a way to integrate the new lands without breaking this perfection of coherent theming that Tokyo DisneySea currently is.

Pictures: copyright Disney - Oriental Land, Google Maps

Saturday, June 16, 2018

DLP Update : Permit Validated for the New "The Art of Marvel" Hotel at Disneyland Paris

A short DLP update for the week-end as this week the building permit for the renovation of the Disney’s New York Hotel with a Marvel theming has been accepted. « Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel » was the only announcement at the last D23 Expo regarding Disneyland Paris. This transformation of the Disney’s Hotel New York will bring a new visitor offer and experience including a completely redesigned decoration of the hotel and the rooms adding the Marvel universe in addition to modernizing the place. Works will start at the end of 2018 with a total closure of the establishment during the renovation.

Note: Looking for the other DLP update of the week about the Summer of Marvel Super Heroes Season with Marvel Super Heroes United Stunt Show? You will find it HERE.

Thanks to Jake Sully who shot the pictures of the blueprints below - as, according to the French laws these are available to be seen by anyone - we have a closer look to what will be the changes... or not. According to the blueprints nothing will really change for the exterior architecture, except a slightly change of colors of the facades.

As for the inside it will be different. In addition to the redesigned rooms and lobby, a new 137 sqm Lounge will be created in front of the already existing Skyline bar ( 1st picture below ) and something which look like a new restaurant but which could end to be only a new 258 sum Executive lounge with buffet will appear on the left side of the path leading to the convention halls ( 3rd picture below ). The 2nd blueprint below shows the swimming pool area. All this, in addition to the new Marvel inspired theming, will be there when the hotel will re-open late 2019 or early 2020.

As a reminder, here are the official pictures of the future new lobby and the rooms with the new theming.

If you've not read it yet don't miss the update about the "Summer of Marvel Super Heroes Season Debut at DLP Walt Disney Studios, FULL Video Report Including Marvel Super Heroes United Stunt Show" that you can see HERE.

Pictures: copyright Disney - Thanks a lot to Jake Sully!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Kung Fu Panda : The Emperor Quest Open at Universal Studios Hollywood - FULL Show Video !

The new state-of-the-art attraction "Kung Fu Panda : The Emperor Quest" has opened at Universal Studios Hollywood and thanks to a video filmed by Patrick Dougall you'll see all of it below, pre-show and show. As described by Screamscape, "the new 240 seats Dreamworks theater is stunning and comes alive through the magic of projection mapping technology, wrapping your forward 180º view in the action through the use of seven Christie 4K projectors and 360º surround sound.  No more 3D glasses, and the theater seats that can actually pivot and swivel to follow the action, combined with various in-theater physical effects like wind and water."

So, on with the show, and here is the first video showing the full pre-show and show of Kung Fu Panda : The Emperor Quest at Universal Studios Hollywood, filmed and posted on Youtube by Patrick Dougall.

Don't go away as there is more as Universal also revealed details about the brand new “Universal Orlando's Cinematic Celebration” nighttime lagoon show beginning this summer at Universal Orlando:

"Prepare to experience a brand-new nighttime lagoon show that’s a great new way to cap off an exciting day in the parks. “Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration” will debut at Universal Studios Florida this summer and take our lagoon show experience to the next level.

Located in the heart of the lagoon, “Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration” will bring thrilling and fun moments to life inspired by characters from popular Universal Orlando experiences and blockbuster films.

You’ll witness moments from the Harry Potter series conjured to life by way of spells, ear-shattering roars from dinosaurs in Jurassic World, the adrenaline rush of speed from The Fast & the Furious, mischief by the Minions from Illumination’s Despicable Me and so much more…

And, it’s all seamlessly projected on full panoramic water screens, accented by pyrotechnics and – for the first time ever – more than 120 dancing fountains with projection mapping. The entire waterfront of the Universal Studios lagoon and surrounding buildings will transform into a vivid celebration of epic movie moments and beloved characters.

We’re also building a permanent, dedicated viewing area for the show in the Central Park area of Universal Studios where you’ll be able to watch the lagoon come to life.

Get ready for an epic cinema under the stars during “Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration,” starting this summer. Bookmark the blog and sign up for emails to receive updates on the new show"

Pictures: copyright Universal - Dreamworks

Video: copyright Patrick Dougall, Universal Studios

Breaking News! Tokyo Disney Resort Announces DisneySea Expansion Plan Including a New Themed Hotel, a Frozen Land, a Tangled Land and a Peter Pan Land, with an Opening in 2022!

Absolute "Breaking News" today as Tokyo Disney Resort just announced Tokyo DisneySea expansion plan which will include a new themed Hotel, a Frozen land, a Tangled land and a ...Peter Pan land with an opening scheduled in 2022! This looks extremely exciting and the budget is 250 billion Yen ( $2.27 billion / €1.9 billion ) which is huge for three medium size lands and a hotel. TDS guests will access TDS new themed port through a pathway between Arabian Coast and Lost River Delta, though guests of the new hotel will probably be able to have a direct access to the new lands.

Here is the full TDR Press Release with details on the attractions and artworks!

Agreement Reached on Plan for Largest Ever Tokyo DisneySea Expansion Project, Opening in 2022, The Walt Disney Company Licenses Extended

URAYASU, CHIBA—Oriental Land Co., Ltd. announced that an agreement has been reached with The Walt Disney Company on plans for developing a new themed port at Tokyo DisneySea, which will also include a new Disney hotel. With this agreement and upon the completion of the Tokyo DisneySea and Tokyo Disneyland expansions, the licenses for the Disney theme parks and other key licenses between The Walt Disney Company and Oriental Land, which currently run until 2046, will be extended to 2076.

The expansion at Tokyo DisneySea will create an eighth themed port that is inspired by a magical spring leading to a world of Disney fantasy. The themed port will be comprised of three distinct areas recreating the worlds of the Disney films Frozen, Tangled and Peter Pan, as well as a deluxe hotel with a one-of-a-kind luxury wing that will be the most luxurious accommodations ever at Tokyo Disney Resort. Also, four new attractions will be developed just for this expansion. Operations are projected to begin in fiscal year 2022. Oriental Land will invest about 250 billion yen in this project, the largest additional investment to date for existing facilities.

D&M Note: You'll note on the map above that the TDS available land located on the left of Lost River Delta and behind port Discovery will remain untouched, meaning that TDR will still have the room to build a new land there in the future if they want. 

Together with the large-scale enhancement of Tokyo Disneyland, scheduled to start operations in 2020, this new project marks a major step in the evolution of Tokyo Disney Resort into a one-of-a-kind themed resort where Guests will enjoy even more magical experiences.

In the 35 years since the Grand Opening of Tokyo Disneyland, Japan has undergone rapid growth and Oriental Land has consistently offered new experiences that can be shared by Guests of all ages that they can only have at Tokyo Disney Resort.

Tokyo DisneySea Large-Scale Expansion Project

1. Overview of “Tokyo DisneySea Large-Scale Expansion Project”
a. Site to be developed: the Guest parking area adjacent to Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, which will be relocated so that the Tokyo DisneySea property can expand into that space
b. Number of facilities: four attractions, three food facilities, one shop, one hotel
c. Development area: about 140,000 m2 (about 100,000 m2 for the theme park and hotel)
d. Completion of project: in fiscal year 2022 (tentative)
e. Investment amount: about 250 billion yen (tentative)

2. Overview of new themed port

Themed to magical springs that lead to a world of Disney fantasy, the new port will consist of three areas inspired by Disney films that are beloved by Guests of all ages—Frozen, Tangled and Peter Pan. By entering the new themed port and exploring its numerous springs, Guests will discover Anna and Elsa’s kingdom of Arendelle; the forest and tower where Rapunzel lives; and Never Land and—the home of Peter Pan, Tinker Bell and the Lost Boys. Guests will be able to experience these wonderful, fantastical worlds as no one has before.
The four attractions and the Disney hotel have been newly developed expressly for this project. This new themed port is certain to enhance the appeal of Tokyo DisneySea, the only Disney Park themed to the myths and legends of the sea.

- The new themed port will be connected to other areas of the Park through a pathway between Arabian Coast and Lost River Delta.
- The image above represents the current concept and is subject to change.

3. Overview of the three areas

1 - Area themed to the Disney film Frozen:

This area is set in Arendelle after the events in the film when Queen Elsa has embraced her magical power to control snow and ice. She has since opened the castle gates so that Guests can freely visit the Kingdom. Located here will be a heartwarming attraction that tells the story of Elsa and her beloved sister, Anna. Guests will board boats and experience the sisters’ heartfelt journey while enjoying iconic songs from the film and encountering surprising thrills. Also located in this area will be a restaurant set inside Arendelle Castle at the foot of beautiful, snow-capped mountains.

2 - Area themed to the Disney film Tangled:

Guests visiting this area will discover Rapunzel’s tower rising above in a charming forest. The area will include an attraction that follows Rapunzel to the lantern festival and a restaurant inspired by the hideout of the humorous band of thugs who appeared in the film. In the attraction, Guests will board gondolas for a romantic boat tour of Rapunzel’s “best day ever” as she journeys with Flynn to the lantern festival. Countless flickering lanterns illuminate the attraction’s climactic scene while Rapunzel and Flynn sing an iconic song from the film, building to an unforgettable finale.

3 - Area themed to the Disney film Peter Pan:

Home to two attractions and a restaurant, the Never Land area will feature landmarks that make that fantastical world so memorable, including verdant mountains, Captain Hook’s pirate ship and Skull Rock. One attraction will fly Guests over the jungles of Never Land into a battle with Captain Hook and his crew of pirates. Guests will join Peter Pan in an adventure to rescue Wendy’s younger brother, John, who has been kidnapped by Captain Hook and his pirates. Guests board boats and follow the Lost Boys down a river. When Tinker Bell sprinkles the boats with pixie dust, Guests find themselves flying through Never Land on an unprecedented adventure that features iconic music and dynamic 3D imagery of the characters from the film.

A second attraction immerses Guests in the oversized world of Pixie Hollow where Tinker Bell and her fairy friends live and work. The restaurant is inspired by the Lost Boys and their hideout, affording lovely views of Never Land that Guests can enjoy while they dine.

4 - Overview of the Disney hotel:

Themed to Disney fantasy, the new Disney hotel will be located inside the Park. The hotel will rise above and around the magical springs that serve as the core of the new themed port’s story. Park-facing rooms will provide beautiful views of the port’s majestic landscape, affording Guests a magical experience that can only be had at this hotel. The Disney hotel will offer 475 deluxe-type and luxury-type guest rooms, with the latter providing the finest accommodations in Tokyo Disney Resort. A merchandise shop that helps share the story of the magical springs will be found on the hotel’s first floor, facing the Park.

5 - Facility Details:
(As of the date of this release. Details subject to change.)
Area themed to Frozen:
One attraction One restaurant
Area themed to Tangled:
One attraction One restaurant
Area themed to Peter Pan:
Two attractions One restaurant
Merchandise facility
One shop
Disney hotel:
Guest Rooms: 475
Facilities: Two restaurants
One lobby lounge One parking area Other facilities
Note: This information is subject to change.

Pictures: copyright Disney - Oriental Land Co

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Shanghai Disney Resort Celebrates Splashing Summer with Cool New Entertainment, Seasonal Offerings and More

From June 16, Shanghai Disney Resort Celebrates Splashing Summer with Cool New Entertainment, Seasonal Offerings and More:
This summer, Shanghai Disney Resort is celebrating its second anniversary and welcoming guests to enjoy endless summer excitement with new seasonal sensations rolling out across the resort. Starting on June 16, Shanghai Disney Resort will create a brand-new summer atmosphere for guests to enjoy all the cool new summer entertainment, food and beverage offerings, shop for trendy merchandise with exclusive new looks and styles, and discover a host of activities in Disneytown.

Summer entertainment to offer fresh surprises and memorable experiences for guests:

Cool Zones will be ready throughout Shanghai Disneyland where guests can escape the heat of summer and be energized in the fun and refreshing misty areas. Part of the brand-new Disney - Pixar Toy Story Land will be transformed into a water-blast-world with Farmer Al’s Splash Around designed to delight and cool off guests. At several points throughout the day, a number of Andy’s favorite toys will host an interactive water play performance designed to fully immerse guests in the colorful new world of toys.

The extremely popular “Summer Blast” will return to the stage at the Enchanted Storybook Castle, with a number of performances held every day. The exciting show features energetic performers, classic Disney characters, and a fun dose of water, and several new showery surprises.

Duffy’s Splashing Pre-Parade is also set to delight guests as they gather to witness Mickey’s Storybook Express this summer. The pre-parade procession, led by Duffy and ShellieMay, will give guests a welcome bout of cool spritzes as they, along with a host of dancers with hand-held soakers, traverse the parade route cooling guests off. This year StellaLou and Gelatoni, Duffy’s friends, will also join the parade on a brand-new float. Lucky guest families have the chance to get in on the watery fun along the parade route aboard the two grand marshal cars that are part of this summer celebration.

Seasonal menus deliver a refreshing summertime experience all their own:

This summer, guests will find many cool drink offerings throughout the resort, including the StellaLou Fantasy Dreamer served up in a StellaLou souvenir cup, Mickey honey pomelo slushes in Mickey souvenir cups, Toy Story Souvenir Sips and more, like Donald’s Special Cooler, set to roll out later this month. New kiosks desserts, like the Stitch spiral sundae and the mango frozen yogurt sundae, or the Mickey marshmallow brownie and Olaf strawberry fruit tart at Remy’s Patisserie, will really hit the spot for any guest with a bit of a sweet tooth.

The Toy Box Café is also serving up new dishes like braised seafood rice and roasted pork ribs and wheat grass with potato chips, while Mickey & Pals Market Café, Pinocchio Village Kitchen and Wandering Moon Restaurant feature fresh additions, like tomato beef brisket rice, soup noodle with prawns and salt duck leg with pork noodle soup. Royal Banquet Hall’s new seasonal menus include gourmet appetizers and entrees—with a special lobster menu, plus sweet finishes like the StellaLou frozen ice cake. Hotel guests can also enjoy new a-la-carte additions at Aurora, and summer holiday beverages at Lumiere’s Kitchen.

Brand-new products to help guests stay cool and stylish this summer:

Shanghai Disney Resort will offer more than 50 new, exclusive seasonal merchandise products and limited editions pin. The tropical, beach-inspired collections feature Mickey and friends with summery seaside images. Guests can find the exclusive new apparels with Disney Character Images, stylish accessories such as new blue summer Mickey sunglasses and the popular Millennial Pink Minnie sequin headband. This summer also sees an all-new Duffy and friends summer merchandise line, which includes Duffy and ShellieMay plush, a ShellieMay headband, foldable shopping bags, ShellieMay and StellaLou tees and more.

Other hot new items to help guests soak up all the fun of summer include an exclusive Shanghai Disney Resort family beach towel, misty fans, stylish straw and bucket-style sun hats and plus the popular pink Minnie UV-proof umbrella.

More summer entertainment and experiences in Disneytown from sunset to evening:

Disneytown is another perfect place for families and friends to have fun together where a variety of summer-inspired activities will be hosted.

During the 2018 FIFA World Cup, a football camp will be held every weekend from June 23 to July 15 where guests can come and have a training. Once the World Cup comes to an end, the area will be transformed to allow guests to work out and practice Body Combat and Yoga in the cool evening air between July 21 and September 2. During the same period, on Friday and Saturday, a lawn movie night will be held to showcase some of your favorite Disney movies out on an open-air screen.

Pictures: copyright Disney - Shendi