Sunday, June 24, 2007

Hong Kong Disneyland Part Three with interview of Show-Producer Imagineer Tom Morris - Artwork and Photos



Here is the part three of the exclusive interview of Tom MORRIS, executive creative show producer for the park. Tom , senior show producer at Walt Disney Imagineering was previously the show producer for Disneyland paris Fantasyland. He was also the show producer for the gorgeous sleeping beauty castle at DLP. And this time he tell us more about hong kong disneyland’s Fantasyland.







ALAIN LITTAYE: There is a lot of Fantasyland’s favorite attractions which don’t exist at Hong kong Disneyland. Is it because the Asian people are not aware about the old animated features ?

TOM MORRIS: It was partly that. We wanted to introduce a dark ride with the character which we thought will be the most popular out here, which is winnie the pooh. Winnie is really close in popularity with mickey mouse. Everyone knows winnie the pooh out here. So we wanted to test the dark ride notion first with that attraction. And we reserved space for future dark rides once we know what it is what the local audience wants...









A.L: The attraction of winnie the pooh is it identical to the one in united states, or the one in tokyo?

T.M: It’s similar to the one at walt disney world. it’s a pretty close approximation of the one of the magic kingdom in orlando.






A.L: There is something really unique in HKD Fantasyland, which is the “fantasy gardens”. My question is: why this choice,, and is it also a kind of tribute to the tivoli gardens in europe which were inspirationnal for walt disney for disneyland in anaheim?

T.M: Some of it might be tribute to tivoli gardens, but that’s really next door to the story book theater , as his architecture was inspired not only by tivoli gardens, but all of the big musical pavillions in music palaces that you would find in the european pleasure gardens, like tivoli gardens, or others in european cities. So story book theater really is a “hommage” to that. Fantasy gardens may be is a little bit tivoli gardens, too, but it’s really kind of a classic “english “ garden with different “folies” pavillion where guests will encounter the popular characters in a pleasant and relaxing environment








A.L: Talking about the story book theater, there is a show inside, the “golden mickeys”...

T.M: Yes, a very good show. It’s a musical revue, a retrospective in some respects of some of the great musical numbers, of some most famous disney animated features, like beauty and the beast, little mermaid, mulan, etc....

A.L: Does it looks like the “Encore” show at tokyo disney sea in the broadway theater?

T.M: Well, it has some similarities to that, but it’s most closely to the show of the disney cruise ship. It’s really based on that, but we made some adaptations...






A.L: What about the shops in fantasyland ?

T.M: We have some really good shops, the “merlin’s “ shop is very whimsical, it’s quite different than the one in paris, it’s more literally themed to the film “the sword in the stone” , may be a little more colourful, more playful than the one who is inside the castle at DLP... The one here have a lot of merlin’s inventions inside, some interesting special effects and lighting things inside...




T.M: I would say the most dramatically different space in fantasyland, from an interior stand point, is the “Banquet hall”. It’s a huge restaurant, i think it’s the biggest restaurant we’ve ever done in a fantasyland, and it is a kind of idea of “king stephen’s banquet hall”, but bigger, and a little more grand...Of course we couldn’t put king stephen’s banquet hall inside the disneyland castle, so we wanted that space for people really kind of feel that they’ve gone to a royal banquet or a royal feast...so, we’ve got tall ceilings, gothic architecture, and tapestries recreated from the “sleeping beauty”, glass windows, royal paintings, and sculptures. It really is a beautiful space and spectacular restaurant...







We also have a new bit of architecture, with “mickey’s philarmagic”, which takes place in what we wanted to make very clearly look like the village concert hall. So, in fact, the building is called the “fantasyland concert hall” , and it’s another kind of iconic piece of architecture for the land...







A.L: It’s a small world, one of Fantasyland’s famous attraction is not there, as pirates of carribean, haunted mansion or other e-ticket...Will they be added in the future?

T.M: There is a lot of area set aside reserved both outside and inside the boundaries for additional favorite attractions, but we have not decided which one yet. We reserved spots, “places at the table” for many of those classic attractions, plus new ones...but i don’t think we’ll know until after we open which direction we’re gonna go for the next first big attraction...now, we’ve already decided on smaller attractions that will open up in 2006 and 2007, the only one who’s been announced so far is the “autopia” , the first “all-electric” autopia (Note: the interview was done at the opening of the park before Autopia opening) . In addition to the autopia there will be three or four smaller attractions in the next two years, that will bring to the park a variety of different guest needs, such as inter-activity and high-tech technology, and that sort of thing...But we have not decided yet which of the bigger attraction we are going to do for 2008, 2009 or 2010. But certainly some of the favorite one ( NDR: like it's a small world ) are the one who are the most discussed...






We will meet again Tom Morris on a upcoming article about HKD hotels, but don’t miss next article with an exclusive interview with Tim Delaney, the show producer of HKD Tomorrowland!

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