Saturday, April 28, 2007

DLP Once upon a dream parade photo and video

Here are photos and video of the new - and fantastic - Once upon a dream parade at Disneyland Paris.
This one is probably the best parade the park ever created, and each float represents a "dream"
The dream of imagination , with Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy
The dream of joy and madness with Alice in wonderland and Pinnochio
The dream of friendship with Toy story and Winnie the pooh
The dream of fantasy with Peter Pan and Mary Poppins
The dream of power, a special "villains" float
The dream of adventure with the Lion king and the Jungle book
The dream of love with the Little mermaid and Aladdin, Beauty and the beast, Snow white, Sleeping beauty and Cinderella, all with their charming prince

The video below is in three parts , and was filmed in april 2007 , on a sunny day!
You can see more photos of the parade on a previous article that i did for the miceage web site at:

Photos: copyright Disney

Thursday, April 26, 2007

New Spaceship Earth and Project Tomorrow Post Show at Epcot

Inside the Epcot icon, remarkable changes will be taking place over the next several months. A re-imagined Spaceship Earth presented by Siemens will combine the magic of the iconic attraction's time-travel adventure into the past with a new finale which provides guests the opportunity to imagine their futures.

On a trip through time inside the Spaceship Earth attraction, guests discover how each generation of mankind has invented the future for the next generation, and how the spirit of innovation has moved people from the caves to the cosmos.

Enhancements to the time-travel attraction will encompass changes to each of the ride scenes. New show scenes will be added to the attraction's story along with new lighting effects, costumes, set decoration, narration and musical score.

This adventure through time leads ultimately to the very top of Spaceship Earth's geodesic dome, where guests arrive at the present. The time travel adventure will be enhanced through new, interactive touch screens installed aboard each "time machine" that will enable guests to create their own visions of the future and see themselves in that future.

As guests disembark the time travel experience, they are invited to visit "Project Tomorrow: Inventing the World of Tomorrow," where interactive exhibits bring to life the ideas and technologies Siemens is developing to help make the world a better place for the future.

The space is filled with fun, interactive games and displays that showcase innovative technologies. Here guests step into the world of tomorrow and glimpse the future of medicine, transportation and responsible energy management across the globe.

Now open to Epcot guests, the first completed phases of Project Tomorrow include:

  • An illuminated globe measuring 20 feet in diameter that will offer an ever-changing collage of inspirational images that invite guests to imagine the wonders of tomorrow.
  • Body Builder, a 3-D game that enables users to assemble a digital human body, simulating the Siemens technology developed to perform remote surgeries.
  • Super Driver, a driving simulation video game that showcases motor vehicle accident and avoidance systems developed by Siemens.
  • With phased renovations occurring through the year, Spaceship Earth's makeover is scheduled to be fully completed in early 2008.

    Below is a great youtube video filmed by Matt Roseboom

    Disneyland Paris Discovery Mountain project

    When the imagineers decided to built Disneyland Paris Discoveryland , a land tribute to visionaries like Jules Verne or Leonardo da Vinci, they wanted a whole different concept than the usual tomorrowland, and above, top picture - is an early concept for Discoveryland’s entrance.

    On the next one you can see a whole view of the land , including what was then Discovery mountain. It's difficult to imagine something more huge than this Discovery mountain project. Not only the building was going to be 100 meters in diameter ( instead of the 61 meters of the actual Space mountain ) , but you will have found inside a large version of the Nautilus, an underwater restaurant themed on the Nemo's "grand salon", an atttraction named “Horizons” , a café, the Disneyland railroad station, and the roller-coaster itself, of course! Not to mention aerial tubes that linked to “cine magique” ( now closed ) and videopolis.

    Many different designs were produced for the exterior of this huge building as you can see on photos

    But the closer to the final version would have been this one - photo 8.

    One of the reasons of this all-in-one-building attraction concept was to keep the guests
    as dry as possible . Because of the global warming it’s now less raining than it was before, but 18 years ago, when the imagineers worked on the concept, the rainy season in Paris could have been pretty long. So, the guests with this concept could have stay undercover. And, talking about water, one of the other great idea was that Discovery Mountain's entire interior was supposed to be lit from lights that were under water , which would have give this incredible atmosphere

    Once inside, the guests would have the choice between take the line to ride the roller coaster

    ......or go all the way around the lagoon to enter the Nautilus. At that point , guests with reservation would have been able to dine in the fantastic “Nemo grand salon” restaurant , and through the Nautilus windows , one would have seen the ruins of Atlantis! idea that dates back to Tony Baxter’s Discovery bay concept in the 70’s

    Mind you, this huge inside volcano you can see here with the track going out of it, was probably the first free-fall concept imagined by the imagineers , another tribute to Jules Verne and his “Journey to the center of the earth story . At one time , the guests were supposed to been blow up to the top of the building - just like in Verne’s story where they escape the center of the earth through a volcano chimney - and had a brief look to the outside of the park before they fall down. We know the rest of the story: this “journey...” was not built, another one - and better - exist now at tokyo disney sea , and tower of terror was finally the first free fall attraction really built by WDI

    Of course the cost of this Discovery mountain project became so expensive, that some cuts became inevitable. We had finally this victorian version of space mountain - always with the huge cannon - and the nautilus is now outside - unfortunately without the Nemo restaurant, and this one is probably what i miss the most.....Here is a final rendering of what was finally built.

    Art-work: copyright Disney

    Wednesday, April 25, 2007

    A "different" Walt Disney - photos and video

    The photos above and the video below are really interesting as they show a different Walt than the usual - although often wonderful - corporate shots.
    On the pictures above, so, three "different" Walt : on the top, Walt is driving a Main street vehicle , and he seems to have real fun playing the milk man. In the middle, a picture that i like a lot: can you imagine this? Being a teenager and be able to speak in the more un-formal possible way ( difficult to be more un-formal than to talk with Walt standing around a garbage can! ) , and the last one is showing a more "lonely" Walt , sitting alone in Town square. He looks as tired as we can be after a day in Disneyland.....or may be he is thinking about something to improve on Main street...we will never know what he had in his mind at that moment, but one thing is sure: in these three pictures he look totally human.

    Now is the time for a great video with Walt and comedian Jack Benny. In the story line Jack Benny come to see Walt in his office to ask him 110 "free" tickets to go to Disneyland!
    Although Walt is standing in his famous office, this sequence is not coming from one of the Walt Disney tv shows, but from a 1965 Jack Benny show. The tiger you will see is here to advertize the "A Tiger walks" movie released months before, and the bird , of course , is coming from the Tiki room.
    But these 5 minutes of "comedy" between Benny and Walt are really fun.

    This youtube video was embedded with the kind authorisation of Jim who have many other great videos on his youtube account at:

    Photos: copyright Disney
    Video: copyright Jack Benny productions

    Walt's People - a fantastic book series

    Didier Ghez , author of the text of the "Disneyland Paris, from sketch to reality " book is publishing a fantastic book series called "Walt's People". The fourth volume of that series is now available - the three first volumes are still available, too - and each of them is a collection of the best interviews ever conducted with Disney artists, animators or imagineers.

    In this volume 4 , you will find interviews of Marc Davis, Peter Ellenshaw, Joe Grant, Floyd Norman, John Hench, Stan Green , and many more!

    Not only the interviews are great, but it's also a unique in-depth in the story of the Walt Disney company, and Walt himself, from people who worked with him during many many years.

    The books are on sale on, and here are the links:

    Volume 1:
    Volume 2:
    Volume 3:
    Volume 4:

    Tuesday, April 24, 2007

    A Special Alien encounter - Stitch's great escape tribute

    When the ExtraTERRORestrial Alien encounter open in WDW , some years ago, it was quite an event. Not only it was part of a new re-themed Tomorrowland, but "Alien" was supposed to be a real frightening attraction , the first of its kind in a Magic Kingdom. Well, for the adult audience, it was really fun, and not-so-scary. But for the 12 years old young girls, the 3D sound ,the darkness and in-theatre effects were may be a little bit too scary!
    No need to say that WDW executives didn't like at all to see these young girls exiting the attraction theatre crying...
    This is probably why this brand new WDI attraction - that was supposed to be built in other Disney parks - remains the only one of its kind...Mind you, still in 1994, Tim Delaney, DLP Discoveryland show producer was still expecting to built it right at the entrance of the land where the room has been kept , on the little hill on the right, between the "Constellations" shop and Autopia.
    We all know what happened next: the attraction was re-themed around the Stitch character and is supposed now to be less scary than before. On the pictures above, the difference between the two pictures of the same scene is interesting: on the Alien one the boys are yelling, but on the Stitch one, the boys are younger and smiling. The message is clear: no need to be afraid of this attraction any more, come on in!
    Also, note the difference between the two photos of the pre-show sequence , with the small teleportation experiment. On the Stitch version, the S.I.R robot - one of the best programmed AA i ever seen - is now dressed in a more cartoonish way.
    But the really interesting shot above is the sixth from the top, as this rendering show a kind of pre-show "laboratory" scene that finally was never built...
    And, last but not least, you may have noticed on the Alien encounter marquee that the attraction was supposed to be a " sensory thriller from Disney AND Georges Lucas ".
    What is Georges Lucas doing in all this, you ask? Well, apparently, and if i'm not wrong , it seems that the concept/idea of the attraction came from him during a meeting, and when Lucas have an idea, you better not forget that it came from him...which, i must agree is perfectly legitimate.
    Here below are youtube videos of the two versions. The two first one shows the pre-show and the show of Alien encounter - Video images : copyright Martin Smith
    And the two last one shows the pre-show and the show of Stitch's great escape - Youtube Videos from SaveTheLastRide

    Photos and Art-work: copyright Disney

    Monday, April 23, 2007

    Phantom Manor: a 3D re-creation

    David Will is a Phantom Manor's fan. I mean: a real big big fan. And he love the attraction so much that he's currently re-creating it in 3D. All of it. No kidding. And not only he's doing it, but his work is a wonder. You can see some pictures of his work-in-progress above, and the ghosts of the manor will be add later. And, yes, all this is done to create at the end a 3D animation of the whole ride.
    What is really astonishing here is that David is doing this about an attraction that still exist - and for a long time! - not about an extinct attraction like other people did it about "journey through innerspace " or the WDW "Mr Toad's wild ride".
    So what? So, David is a real BIG fan of Phantom Manor, because, as you probably know , doing this 3D re-creation is a very hard - and long - work.
    Recently David received the congratulations - the blessing , i should say - of Jeff Burke, DLP Frontierland's show-producer.
    And believe me, he totally deserves it!
    Have a look on his web site where you can see more of his work at:
    You also have a direct link on the right in the other web site links section

    All photos: copyright