Saturday, July 7, 2007
It’s Cool, Animated and Wild: It’s Mickey’s Summer Blast! Hong Kong Disneyland Launch the new water works parade today July 7th, and we have already photos and video to show you, thanks to Bennett Shiu, our new special correspondant in Hong Kong and to the Youtube video by "Marlonerni".
Mickey’s Summer Blast, which is hot, hot, hot and yet so refreshingly cool, will kick off on July 14 and continue until the end of summer.
Here’s a look at what’s in store during Mickey’s Summer Blast:
Created exclusively for Hong Kong Disneyland, Mickey’s WaterWorks is a splashy, new day parade designed to bring some waterful fun during the summer months.
Bursting with water-fuelled energy, the parade showcases just how Mickey and his pals keep Hong Kong Disneyland’s landscape looking so beautiful and lush. But watch out! Onlookers are likely to get caught up in the “splashy” fun of the cavalcade.
A medley of favorite Disney characters, some of whom have never appeared in Hong Kong Disneyland before, including Big Bad Wolf and Pinocchio, entertain guests with a water-filled extravaganza of music, dance and colorful floats.
Classic Disney characters like Goofy, Donald Duck, Buzz Lightyear and of course Mickey and Minnie join a cast of hundreds in setting the stage for the lush, garden backdrop of the parade.
A host of themed floats are joined by 100 performers, including 30 characters, dancing to an original score to make this parade a must see splashtacular extravaganza!
Also new for “Mickey’s Summer Blast”, the Main Street Water Brigade, comprising three comedic “firefighters”, will delight and surprise guests several times a day with an all new humorous performance sure to create a “splash” along Main Street U.S.A.
Splash-tastic fun and waterful good times with Goofy will be on tap whether guests want to get soaked or just enjoy a little sprinkling to keep cool from the Hong Kong sun. Located in Tomorrowland, UFO Zone is an alien oasis which delights guests amidst a futuristic spaceport where keeping cool is the number one rule.
Animation Academy is the newest attraction to add to the fun at Hong Kong Disneyland and is set to inspire creativity in every guest.
Located next to “The Disneyland Story” on Main Street U.S.A., this attraction features an interactive experience that is both entertaining and educational. Here, guests can pick up a pencil and be part of the Disney creative experience.
In Adventureland, guests can continue to “Get Wild” at the Pirate Takeover – by popular demand, the totally immersive and interactive pirate experience will continue to sail through the summer until the end of August.
Guests of all ages can participate in activities such as Captain Jack Sparrow’s Pirate Boot Camp to learn how to be a pirate; or sing and dance to rowdy pirate music in Pirates Procession. For the truly adventurous, sail down the Rivers of Adventure on the Jungle River Cruise, Pirate Takeover! where surprises lurk around every corner.
As a new addition to the swashbuckling action of the Pirate Takeover, Captain Jack Sparrow has ordered his zany crew of buccaneers to wash the planks of Pirateland in Swab the Deck, a new comedic performance filled with splashy antics. In the cleaning frenzy, guests will get wet as well!
All photos: copyright Disney for photos 1,2,4,8 and Bennett Shiu, our new special correspondant in Hong Kong for photos 3,5,6,7. Many thanks, Bennett!
Video Youtube by Marlonerni. Thanks, too!
This new Tokyo Disney Sea wallpaper pictures will delight those - 20% - of you who have said in my poll that you like "artwork articles" AND the 12% who love "wallpaper pictures article"!
Click on each picture to get them in bigger size.
All Artwork: copyright Disney
Friday, July 6, 2007
A looong time ago, i.e at the opening of Disneyland Paris, back in 1992, when one bought a map of the park, you could see a Little Mermaid attraction in the Fantasyland area with these words "future attraction". Well, it was such a "future" attraction that it never opened, and probably will never will, at least in DLP.
But all is not lost as the idea to bring a Little Mermaid attraction at Disneyland, Anaheim is seriously in talks.
But before we talk about this, let me tell you more about the attraction itself.
First, this Little Mermaid attraction concept is a dark ride. I should say a GREAT dark ride, i mean as "dark" as Peter Pan's flight or Snow White can be, but much much better.
Then, the vehicles, designed like a shell, looks great, and will be hold by the top , just like Peter Pan's flight.
Two , the ride will bring you under water AND over the water, and back again, thanks to the "dry for wet" WDI technology, a mix of lighting, lasers and smoke effects that give you the feeling you are under water, even if you're not really.
But the great design begin by the outside decor, with the Little Mermaid "castle",
a wonderful theming - who would have been a great addition for DLP's Fantasyland in front of the Pizzeria Bella notte restaurant...
The first scene will be over the water with the Little Mermaid meeting Eric for the first time.
Then, as you hear the Sebastien character singing "under the sea" the vehicle will "dive" under water for a great "under the sea" concert scene, obviously full of audio-animatronics...
We will find back Ariel - the Little Mermaid - in her grotto, before entering in Ursula's threatening cave , the famous scene where she try to het Ariel's voice.
Some rotating circles effect will give you a kind of vertigo illusion when you will enter the cave...
The next sequence "kiss the girl" will be right after this one, but although it can look peaceful, Ursula's marine eels will be there to remember us that something dramatic is on its way to happen, as the creatures will try to stop the first kiss between Ariel and Eric...
And, as the vehicle will come "out" of the water again, we will discover that the surface of the sea is now under a frightening storm. The "giant" Ursula is there, soon to be defeated, just like in the movie. A really powerful scene in terms of sound and lighting effects...
The last scene will show Ariel and Eric living happily, a usual end for this kind of fairy tale.
Looks like a great dark ride, doesn't it? Now, why was it never built at DLP? Well, back in 1993, when the park desperately needs some additions, the main problem of the park was to increase the capacity of the park. And they needed more than one attraction to do so. That's why they opened the Indy's temple du péril, Story book land, Casey Jr's train and Les mystères du Nautilus in the next two years. Then came Space Mountain, and once all of this was done....no more money was left to built this Little Mermaid dark ride!
For many years, i thought that we will never see it built, that the project was dead, at least for DLP. Then one month ago, at the opening of the Finding Nemo's submarine voyage at Disneyland, Ed Grier in an interview to a web site cited "...his personal favorite as The Little Mermaid... "The Little Mermaid continues to be a Disney classic," he said during a roundtable talk at Main Street's Opera House, noting that the animated version of the Hans Christian Andersen story has been adapted for Broadway. "Imagineer Tony Baxter has done great work on a Little Mermaid-based attraction. Have we officially drawn plans up? No, we haven't. But I think we can one day."
Mind you, this doesn't mean that a definitive decision has been done to bring the Little Mermaid attraction for sure at Disneyland. So don't get too excited right now.
But the good news is that legendary imagineer Tony Baxter was recently named as the Imagineer in charge of Disneyland - to supervise Disneyland's development. And, as the Little Mermaid project was created by Tony Baxter AND that it is a great dark ride project, my feeling is that it's time again to cross our fingers and hope that Ed Grier will make the right choice between eventual different concept around the same theme.
Those of you who bought the Platinum edition of the Little Mermaid dvd last year may have seen the special feature about this attraction project - the images you've seen on this article are screen capture done by the very good dlrp.fr web site - you will find a direct access link to it in our "links" section on the right.
In that special feature it was possible to see a video of a "virtual creation" of the ride, and it's time for you now, to have a better look below to this Little Mermaid attraction concept. You won't get any closer to it until its eventual creation at Disneyland.
Photos and video: copyright Disney.
Screen capture by www.dlrp.fr
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
Here is the awaited third part of this “Disneyland Paris that never was“ article, in tribute to this wonderful park. And this one should make happy the 17% of the 220 voters of my Disney and more poll - the one you can find at the bottom of each page - who have said that they like on "Disney and more" articles about "theme park and attraction artwork". If you didn't vote yet, it's still time to do it!
So, let’s have a look today to the early projects for Discoveryland, as, as you will see , big changes - i should say “choices” - have been done. But first let’s say that DLP’s Discoveryland is beautiful. Could had it been better with some previous concept, like “Discovery mountain”? I am not that sure. As we will see below, i think that the Nautilus, for instance , is better outdoor than indoor, and that the size of Space Mountain is perfect.
When the imagineers decided to built Discoveryland in Paris , a land tribute to visionaries like Jules Verne or Leonardo da Vinci, they wanted a whole different concept than the usual tomorrowland,and , above, here is an early concept for Discoveryland’s entrance.
On these other pictures one you can see a whole view of the land , including what was then Discovery mountain.
Let’s talk about this Discovery mountain project: it’s difficult to imagine something more huge than this project. Not only , the building wasgoing 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 “Nautilus” theme, an atttraction named “Horizons” , a café, the Disneyland railroad station, and the roller-coaster it self, of course! And not to mention aerial tubes that linked to “cine magique” - now closed - and videopolis.
Many different designs were produced for the exterior of this huuge building.
But the closer to the final version would have been this one.
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 go in 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!
...an idea that dates back to Tony Baxter’s Discovery bay concept in the 70’s.
Mind you, this huge 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 all 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 huge, that some cuts became inevitable. We finally have this victorian version of space monutain ( always with the huge cannon) , and the nautilus is now outside - without the Nemo restaurant, this is probably what i miss the most.....Here is a final rendering of what was finally built.
Talking about Jules Verne, a scene where he was supposed to appear in the walk-through of the “mission one” has been cancelled, too. And those of you who remember Epcot’s wonderful “Horizons” attraction will notice a similarity with this scene of Verne inside a giant bullet.
Sometime , it’s even some attraction poster that disappeared : this gorgeous one done for the first version of space mountain is now replaced by the new “mission two” poster, not as good as this one.
And sometime, it’s a concept of attraction poster who don’t go the end , like this sketch for the “les mystères du nautilus” attraction poster.
At the entrance of star tours, now stands a big X-Wing fighter, but concept to put the huge AT walker , like the one at Disney-Mgm studios were done.
Here is some concept-art showing some Autopia futuristic billboards , some of them were done...
...But unfortunately not this huge UFO landing in the middle of the attraction.
Talking about Ufo and flying saucers, did you know that they though - at least a little while - to re-birth again the now long-extinct flying saucers attraction from Disneyland? Hmmm, i wonder if these small saucers would have work better than it did in the 60’s.
In the next part of this article, i will show you amazing concepts for some Disneyland Paris hotels that were never done, so don't miss it!
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: copyright Disney