Saturday, September 29, 2007

Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney studios update

Hello all, here is a new DLP update. So, let’s begin by the Walt Disney studios where all the works on both the Tower of terror and Hollywood boulevard placemaking is going really fast.

Since my last update , the “Hollywood tower hotel” letters are now in place, and we can say that all the exterior painting of the tower is almost finished.

As we know, the WDS have the california adventure version of the TOT , and the interior decor is expected to be the same. During the ride itself , the two “stops” before the fall will use the same special effects, but there will be one difference - at least with the florida version - in the ghost hallway sequence. In Florida after the ghosts appear/disappear in the hallway, and after the hall itself disappear there is this effect of the window at the end of the hall which moves a bit before exploding ( a reminiscence of a “twilight zone” series main title ). In Paris, no more “exploding window” , but the image of an elevator (with the ghosts from the past inside ) who fall down. It seems to me that it’s a good idea as - although the european audience know the Rod Serling series - i am not sure that they wiill have remember the main title image of this window.

One thing that i’ve always wondered since they announced the building of the TOT at the WDS is how they were going to justify this huge “hotel” with the theme of the park, i.e supposedly some movie studios set. Finally, it seems that the chosen “alibi” is this one: “the Tower of terror is a movie set, and today, we are filming an episode of the Twilight Zone”, and that’s it! For me , the explanation seems a little bit short, but i suppose that there was not a lot of “options” !

The famous gardens won’t be as big as in Florida, and, due to Paris weather, it seems that the trees will be of different species, too. On these pictures below, of oourse the garden is not finished yet.

The Hollywood boulevard placemaking will probably be finished in one month from now, and already new buildings are ready and some “El Capitan” signs have appeared on the facades.

The trees behind Walt statue located at the exit of studio 1 have been removed , as they were hiding the perspective of the new boulevard. It’s really much better, now, and guests can have an idea of what will be this new part of the park.

However, this Hollywood boulevard will be not as long as it looks. When you look at the picture, it seems to be 300 feet long. In fact , due to the magic of “forced” perspective and very well done “surface glitter” , the “boulevard” is only 60 feet long - from the sorcerer’s hat of the animation building to the end of the street.

If you look closely to these buildings below , they look pretty real and 3D, aren’t they?

But in fact they’re almost totally flat , it’s pure “surface glitter” , but it’s wonderfully done and the optical illusion works perfectly, until you see them on a different angle where the trick begin to appear...but nice work, really.

One of the best view one can have of the TOT is when you exit the Toon studio towards the Tram tour station.

In fact, at the end of the Hollywood blvd , guests will walk inside a small tunnel . Over it, a backdrop painting of the hollywood hills in two parts - to give more perspective illusion - will be place - the metallic structure are already there, waiting for the backdrop which will arrive soon.

Another interesting view of the TOT is from the animagique building .

And Peter and Wendy seems to fly over the Hollywood hotel!

The Tower of terror and the Hollywood blvd are scheduled to be ready for november 16 and the official opening for the guests is december 22. Of course, there will be soft opening the week before for the annual passholders, etc...but the surprise is coming from the date of the opening event with the press and vip as it will be on ......april 5th, 2008 !..., 3 months and a half after it open to the guests!
For sure a premiere in a Disney inauguration history - it was scheduled first for january. The marketing dept probably realize that january was the coldest month in Paris and that it was a better idea to keep the official opening for the 16th anniversary in april and the beginining of the high season. It’s also a way to have the 15th anniversary celebration last six more months. However , don’t expect the park to open the Tower of terror in december without letting the rest of europe knowing about it, and a big advertising campaign will be launch probably in december.

In the first park the Halloween season will start soon, and already some decor elements are in place on the top of the Lucky Nugget saloon

As well as this huge structure - already there last year and the year before . For those of you who missed the previous update last year this kind of pipeline is supposed to collect the “orange” paint coming from big thunder mountain.

A “Halloween hair style “ for kids will take place in this specially designed building.

We will come back to DLP halloween event in a next update, but before we fly to Hong Kong, let’s have a last look at the other end of Frontierland . At the previous “critter corral” location, works are almost finished for .......for what, by the way? Depending on the sources , some are saying that the new totally-wood buildings are for a “Halloween village “ and then a “Santa Claus” village. But others say that a Woody round-up inspired by the Toy Story character will open soon, probably similar to the one at Disneyland , Anaheim.

See you soon for a new update!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Hong Kong Disneyland Halloween event - Haunted house walk-through & glow-in-the-dark parade - Photos and Videos !

It's been a while since the last topic , but here is a full article about the new Halloween event at Hong Kong Disneyland with photos and videos.
Note that all photos are high-res wallpaper photos, so don't forget to double-click on each to see them in big size!

As i am in Paris and not in Hong Kong, here is a "Disney" description on this new annual event at HKD:
"The spectral energy at Hong Kong Disneyland has reached a fervent level, as the Park launch the Haunted Halloween, a totally immersive and intense never-before-seen Halloween experience that will take guests to the edge of their sanity and back again, from September 25 until October 31, 2007.

A premier concept among all Disney theme parks, the Haunted Halloween combines avant-garde technology with rich Halloween tales. The Dark World and its characters will come to life in highlights such as, the Main Street Haunted Hotel, the Glow in the Park Halloween Parade and Space Mountain – Ghost Galaxy

Appearing in his premiere parade, the larger-than-life heart throb Jack Skellington leads this all-new spooky seven float parade along with his friends. Watch out! This hair-raising parade will undergo a complete transformation under mysterious UV lights and reveal frightening Halloween surprises along the way. With world class choreography, spooky costumes, innovative outdoor UV technology, an all-new musical score and scary hair and makeup on Cast Members, guests will be frightened out of their wits while taking part in the “glowing antics”!

The once peaceful Sleeping Beauty Courtyard has been taken over by The Haunted Tree and its sinister branches, as well as the scary Pumpkin People. A terrifying new location to take photos, Guests may find a few surprises when they see their pictures…

With Disney Villains gathered in full force, these are indeed evil times! Villains including Cruella de Vil (101 Dalmatians), Jafar (Aladdin), Captain Hook (Peter Pan) and our very own Grim Gatekeepers will scare guests like never before! With special photo locations, it will be easy to catch your favorite Villain and snap a scary photo!"

And here is video of the full Halloween parade , in two parts!

I must add that the floats looks terrific, the Jack Skellington animatronic - or "puppetronic"? - is fantastic. Also , it's the first time that a float is dedicated to the laboratory of this NBC character that i've forgot the name. The villains float looks great, too.

The Main Street Haunted Hotel is the first ever walk-through haunted house in a Disney theme park. You probably know that the first concept of the Haunted mansion was supposed to be a walk-through. Finally, it ended to be the ride we know, but today, the Hong Kong Disneyland guests can really walk-through in a Haunted house - probably because the Haunted mansion doesn't exist yet in the park - it will in the future.

"As the edgiest walk-through Haunted Hotel experience ever presented by a Disney theme park, living haunts and specters will appear around ever corner of this hotel. A Hollywood class production team created this thrilling attraction filled with eye-opening scene settings, audio and theatrical effects and spooky show direction. With multiple heart pounding scenarios, Guests will creep fearfully through this once graceful and elegant hotel that has not seen the light of day for a century!"

Here is the official advertising video about the Haunted House. Hopefully we'll have a youtube video soon.

They succeed to create a "Haunted" Space Mountain, too! : "Space Mountain – Ghost Galaxy: Possessed during the Haunted Halloween only, the supersonic roller coaster ride through the dark depths of space has become a heart pounding scream fest filled with ghoulish monstrosities. With an all-new soundtrack and eerie 3-D visual effects, guests will meet ominous apparitions and spine chilling phenomenon around every corner!"

As usual there is great Halloween merchandise and if you're a big fan of Nightmare before Christmas, you'll find a lot of themed merchandise about it in the shops of the park

Photos and Haunted house video: copyright Disney / Hong Kong Disneyland

Youtube parade video thanks to billionwins