Saturday, June 30, 2007

Great Walt Disney World high-res wallpaper pictures!

As it seems that a lot of you like this "wallpaper" pictures section, here is a selection of great high-res Walt Disney World wallpaper images. Don't forget to double-click on the one you like to get it in bigger size.

I must remind you as it is written on the "terms of use" page that, in the event you download any material from The Disney and more blog, the download of the material, including any files or images must be for your personal, noncommercial home use only. You may not and cannot sell, print or reproduce in any way any material downloaded from The Disney and more blog, and specifically any material copyright Disney , Walt Disney company or any other companies.

All photos: copyright Disney

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Disneyland Paris that never was - Part two

Here is the awaited part two of this Disneyland Paris that never was article.

Adventureland’s Indiana Jones temple du péril was built in 1994 , shortly after the opening , and , although it’s a very popular ride with perfect theming , the following renderings, as well as the one above, will show you that it could have been even better. This is probably a good example of management’s cut for budget reasons - or may be , a question of construction timing, as ,in 1994 , the park needed to add new attractions urgently.
Anyway, the two first pictures and the one above will show you some never done additional decors, with the train entering a giant asian statue head.

These scenes with a loop around a giant gorilla statue or going through this stone eagle would have been great, too...

And what about this audio-animatronic tiger - coming right out of the “jungle cruise” ? it would have been great! May be they will add it one day, it’s not a so expensive addition...

...As well as those baby tigers audio-animatronics in the queue outside decor.

Close to the Indiana Jones coaster , stands the former “explorer’s club restaurant
( now “colonel Hathi “ ) . In this John Horny rendering , if you look closely, you’ll see Jacques-yves Cousteau and Ernest Hemingway in the front , and in the background, but hard to see, Indiana Jones and Crocodile Dundee, all famous explorers indeed!. Note the parrott over the bar tender, actually there is really audio-animatronic parrots in the restaurant, and there is a good reason for that, as the place is a reminiscence of the old Tiki room restaurant concept , as it was supposed to be in the 50’s , before it was decided that the Tiki room will be a show only. 35 years later the John Hench concept partly live, here, at DLP.

The DLP Pirates of carribean version is known to be a great one , and here is a map of the ride

Let’s have a look at Fantasyland, beginning by the castle. On this concept-art by Frank Armitage , here is the castle how it is right now.

But who knows that the great Herb Ryman had also designed a different and smaller one ( note on the right the presence , here, too, of the main street elevated tramway concept. )

And here is probably the most revolutionary castle concept with this futuristic castle imagined by imagineer Tim Delaney...may be too futuristic for some, but what a great idea.

In Fantasyland, this early rendering of Alice’s curious labyrinth shows a different one than the actual one , and , inside the castle of the king of heart, children coming down with the slide from the tower ( now closed, unfortunately ) would have come out through the mouth of the queen of heart .

Of course, everyone have heard of these two never done attraction concepts - the little mermaid dark ride and the beauty and the beast show - they were even announced during the tv special for the opening of the park! The one that we all miss is the Little mermaid ride ,as guests would have board inside shell designed vehicle , hanging from the top, like in Peter Pan’s ride. Actually, you can find a special feature in the Little mermaid collector’s edition dvd , describing the whole ride concept for those of you who want to know more about it. The attraction was supposed to be built in front of the pizzeria della notte , near it’s a small world.
But may be all is not lost, as it seems that there is some talks to build a Little mermaid attraction at Disneyland, Anaheim...let just hope they will choose this wonderful concept...

The Beauty and the beast musical would have been built behind Cinderella restaurant , and would have involved Audio animatronics and special effects, but i’m afraid that we will never see this one . That’s the sad theme park reality: some concept will come to life, other will stay forever in our dreams. Well, it looks like real life, doesn’t it?

Don’t miss the part three where i will take you to the Discoveryland that never was, as well as stunning concept for the hotels of the park, and you wil not believe your eyes.
Most of the renderings that you saw here are coming from my book “Disneyland Paris, from sketch to reality” who tell you all about the creation of the park, thanks to 750 pictures of the park including 250 renderings, and a great text by Didier Ghez.
You can order easily the book to me or through Amazon, see on the right column how to do it.

All artwork and photos: copyright Disney

The Disneyland Paris that never was - Part one

Hello all. Here is the first part of a four part articles about the "Disneyland Paris that never was".
As you know, when WDI imagineers begin to think about a new park or attraction, the phase one is call “blue sky” , everything in this phase one can be imagined, as there is still no limit that the future budget will put inevitably. Then , from the blue sky , comes the comeback to earth , and choices must be done . Mind you, it’s not that the imagineers love to do some “cut” in their wonderful concepts, as they are always pleased to enhance any project, or put more theming details when it’s possible . The best example is tokyo disney sea, although, even in this one some choices had to be done , i.e wth the “Voyages of Sindbad attraction as the first concept looked more like pirates of caribbean with man-size real audio-animatronic than the actual one with its oriental “small world puppet” theming.
To come back to DLP, and although the budget for the park, back in 1990 , was high, the imagineers had to make choices. Most of the time, they’ve kept the best. Sometime, as we will see, the project they had in mind was really too expensive...others were not really that expensive, but the park’s management obviously decided to do some “cut”.
It’s always the same thing when we look at renderings of “never done “ projects: we want this one to be built immediately! .........and we forget that what we already have is great! So, most of these coming projects will never exist, although, as they say at WDI “a good idea never die”. Let’s just dream about them, leave your mind enter the art-work and imagine that it’s real.

To begin by the beginning, the first picture show you a model of the park, and, that’s how it looks before the imagineers decided to add Autopia, with the disneyland paris hotel at the entrance.

Now, this first rendering show you a pretty different entrance, with two small lake where the fantasia gardens are now, and a big one at the bottom with a wharf and a boat where now stands a big boulevard.

the next one is a “winter” version of the previous one, where imagineers have imagined the small lake frozen , and where people can do ice-skating on them ( Actually, this is possible in front of the New York hotel , so all is not lost )

This town square rendering shows main street entrance with coconut trees....probably somebody forgot to tell the artist that paris weather was not exactly the same than the one in florida...!

Here we come to the really interesting one. It’s not very known, but we were at two fingers to get a really different main street than the actually, regular one. Instead to have a “turn of the century” theming, imagineers had designed a main street set up at the 20’s-30’s , ruled by gangsters, jazz, cinema, with a totally different design.

The imaginers envisioned an elevated tramway going all along main street and inside the arcades. This would have been great, and it’s the kind of idea that we would love to see it real.

However, it’s also the perfect example that “good ideas never die” as this elevated tramway was finally the other side of the world, in the new york area of tokyo disney sea !

Always in that 30’s theming , a luxurious and art-deco restaurant , a kind of private“club 33” located behind the Main Street Transportation Co. building, would have give you the feeling you’re dining on a train.

And a tribute to cinema would have been done with a circle-vision theater inside a classic 1920’s cinema located on main street.

Inside discovery arcade, here is an early walk-through concept that would have been dedicated to automats - early mechanical figures, full of real antiques. This one could still be done one day with the will of the park’s management, as it should not cost millions of dollars - although antiques are not that cheap...

Some time, it’s a shop concept that disappeared, like this early concept rendering for a Main Street confectionery

In frontierland, most of the original concepts were realized, but sometime , small changes makes big difference. Take this early model of Phantom manor, for instance. Next to the manor you can see a barn where now instead stands a totally different queue building.

But what i miss the most is the great voice of Vincent Price who was recorded - as Phantom Manor ghost host. For a little while , at the opening of the park , visitors were welcomed by Price’s voice, until it was realised that this only english version was not understand by the french audience.....But the ghost laughs that you can hear during the ride are still Vincent Price laughs! A little story about the recording session: when it was recorded , Vincent Price was already at the end of his life , and really tired, physically speaking. So, the agreement was that Price could come for the recording , but just for one hour. Everything was ready, and Price arrived at the recording studio. He look really tired and everybody hoped that he could do it right....then he begin to read the text, and , all of a sudden , it was magical. A few takes were done, and that was it! Probably one of the last thing that Vincent Price did with all his genius. However, all is not lost , as this recording was released on the Haunted mansion anniversary cd , that you can still find easily.

In the next article, we will talk about the Adventureland and Fantasyland that never was, so stay tuned on Disney and more!

Most of the renderings that you saw here are coming from my book “Disneyland Paris, from sketch to reality” who tell you all about the creation of the park, thanks to 750 pictures of the park including 250 renderings, and a great text by Didier Ghez.
You can order easily the book to me or through Amazon, see on the right column how to do it.

All artwork and photos: copyright Disney

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Your attention please!

Hello, all. Due to an internet breakdown in my neighborhood, i was unable to post new topics since two days. If everything is going on again, i should be able to post a new one tonight. If not, it will be tomorrow. Sorry about that and come back soon!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

A video farewell to Islands of Adventure's Lost continent

The announcement by Universal Studios of the future Harry Potter's land at Islands of Adventure have confirmed it: a big part, if not all, of the Lost continent land will be destroyed to create the world of the young wizard. The Sindbad show will go for sure, and with a bit of luck, Poseidon's fury area will be saved...

For those of you who never had the luck to see this wonderful land and its two main attractions "Poseidon's fury" and the Sindbad stunt show, here are five youtube videos from artattackbvba and filmfreak11.

The first one shows "Poseidon's fury" and the next four the Sindbad stunt show, in four parts.

Enjoy them all!

youtube videos by artattackbvba and filmfreak11

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, 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, 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!