Friday, September 5, 2008

Hong Kong Disneyland 2008 Halloween season introduce Adventureland's Demon Jungle frightful experience

Hong Kong Disneyland announced its new Halloween season, beginning September 26. The Halloween season last year was a success, and the Darkness of the Haunted Halloween will take over even more of Hong Kong Disneyland this year with the new "Demon Jungle" in Adventureland - picture on top.

The press event itself was done with a scary touch. Below, the creepy Bell Hop of the Main Street Haunted hotel leads members of the media to their seats, creating a fear filled environment.

A terrifying zombie did also debut appearance during the media briefing, giving Maple Lee, Vice President, Marketing, Hong Kong Disneyland a frightful scare.

Maple Lee, along with the ultra scary ghosts and demons of the Haunted Halloween at Hong Kong Disneyland, introduced the upcoming dark spookiness.

The official press release below will give you more infos about this HKD awaited event.

Beginning September 26, 2008, for 37 heart-pounding and haunting days until November 1, 2008, an expanded and intensified dark force will rule over the Resort during the Haunted Halloween at Hong Kong Disneyland. The Darkness will return stronger than ever, extending its reach into Adventureland, daring adrenaline junkies, scare fanatics and the curious to step into this uncharted territory. This never-before-seen frightful experience will come to life at Hong Kong Disneyland this Halloween season.

The Dark Forces Expand Their Territory – All-New Haunted Experiences in Adventureland

With the dark forces expanding their domain into Adventureland, Guests will encounter the recently discovered Demon Jungle. Treasure seeking, tomb raiding explorers made their camp on a sacred burial ground enraging the demons below, who are now seeking vengeance on all those who enter. Guests will need all their willpower to escape, and finding the exit will definitely be a challenge. This terrifying experience is specially designed for Hong Kong Disneyland!

If Guests are lucky enough to escape, they will face another unexpected challenge on the Adventureland Haunted Trail. A Halloween-themed photo hot spot by day, it will be transformed into a mist shrouded trail on Friday and Saturday nights, inhabited with creatures such as Zombies, Gatekeepers and Pirates, as well as grinning Pumpkin Men that will have Guests jumping with fright.

More Traces of Intensified Darkness Found

Back by popular demand, the Resort’s exclusive Glow in the Park Halloween Parade will feature more spectacular UV lighting effects as it glows in the dark, creating engaging experiences and spectacular effects. Jack Skellington as the Pumpkin King, Dr. Finklestein together with Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas, Disney’s Villains, zombies and acrobatic Red Devils are all part of the scare. Watch out for the rousing finale as the Ghost Pirate Ship makes its premiere in this year’s parade!

The Main Street Haunted Hotel will reopen this year. The ghost of Victoria Maxwell will be up to her ultra scary antics at the hotel; there will be new spine tingling scares as she welcomes new and returning victims. Even Guests who escaped last year are welcome to check-in, but will they manage to check-out…?

More traces of darkness will be found at Tomorrowland as Space Mountain is transformed into Space Mountain – Ghost Galaxy. Get lost in the terror of a frightening soundtrack and the hair-raising visual effects, with scary apparitions and ghoulish monstrosities around every treacherous bend.

The immersive experience begins the moment Guests enter the Resort with all-new spooky décor including Pumpkin King Jack Skellington and Sally greeting Guests from the Main Gates. In addition, there are 160 all-new merchandise items as well as Halloween themed menus and drinks.

“The Haunted Halloween at Hong Kong Disneyland was an overwhelming success last year and it was only through the Disney Difference that Guests were able to experience a totally immersive and interactive Halloween event,” said Maple Lee, Vice President, Marketing of Hong Kong Disneyland.

Photos and Press release: copyright Disney

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Rare Marc Davis Pirates of Caribbean artwork

What can be better than to discover rare artwork of a Disneyland beloved attraction? Today, here is a collection of rare Marc Davis renderings created for Pirates of Caribbean. Below, a picture of Marc in the 1960's at work.

You may know some of the renderings below, but a lot of them are pretty rare and the main reason is because they show scenes ideas that were not used in the attraction. So, enjoy them!

All Artwork: copyright Disney Enterprises Inc

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Hurricane Lagoon

I know that you're coming on my site to get Disney news or artwork - and not "weather" news, but we are in the middle of the Hurricane season, and the situation right now is quite exceptional. And i personally think it's important to let each of you who planning to go to WDW know about it.

Right now, including Hurricane Gustav who is now a simple tropical storm - but could become again a hurricane in the next 48 hours, there is four big tropical storm in the region. A 2000 miles long "Hurricane lagoon", for real. Say like this, it looks like a joke, but it's not, unfortunately.
Remember the tropical storm i told you about some days ago and which was very probably going to transform in a hurricane? Well, that's it, it IS a new hurricane, and this one is called "Ike" .
Yes, "Ike" like Ike Eisenhower, the president of the United States.
This new hurricane is heading towards Cuba and South Florida, and is now a "force 4" hurricane.

Hurricane Hanna is also always there, but cameback to a "tropical storm". And, guess what? another tropical storm is coming right behind "Ike", and this one is called "Josephine" - who also may become a hurricane in the next days.

As you will see on the National Hurricane Center wind speed map below the three hurricane or tropical storms are arriving one behind another.
First countries to be hit will be the Bahamas, Haiti, and south-east Cuba and all our thoughts must go to them. Also, most of Florida including WDW will be trap in these hurricanes "side" effects. So, i don't know what are your plans for the next ten days, but if you're planning a sunny vacation at WDW, i would say: forget about it, unpack the luggages, and wait a little bit that the weather situation down there become less hysterical...

Photo: copyright National Hurricane Center

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Will the future WDS Ratatouille attraction use a GPS ride system, or a " LPS " system, or something else...

Since i've mentioned it in a previous post, everybody is talking about the future Ratatouille attraction for the Walt Disney Studios . Some days later the excellent Lauphing web site released more infos about it, and in the forums everybody look excited about this future WDS addition.

One of the reason is because of the trackless technique that will be use. The Ratatouille attraction is supposed to use the same system that WDI imagineers used for the Winnie the Pooh attraction in Tokyo. Which, for everybody is an attraction using GPS. But is it really the case? I mean, is the TDL Winnie the Pooh attraction REALLY using a GPS system to control the vehicles?

May be not, if we believe this well informed Wikipedia article about the attraction. Here is what they say:

Although track-based traditional dark rides based on Pooh do exist at Disneyland, Hong Kong Disneyland, and the Magic Kingdom, Pooh's Hunny Hunt is a different attraction entirely and is exclusive to Tokyo Disneyland.


The ride vehicles are fashioned to resemble honey pots; though these pots have wheels, they are completely hidden, giving the pots the appearance of "gliding" across the show scene's floors. Traditionally, dark ride vehicles are guided along an easily-visible track, and move at a (more or less) constant speed. The Pooh's Hunny Hunt vehicles have no visible means of guidance and appear to move through the attraction independently. Wildly stopping, starting, reversing direction, and even spinning, giving the ride its trademark whimsical and dreamlike visuals.


This 'trackless' ride system is achieved not by GPS, as widely rumored, but by a custom LPS (local positioning system). The patented system works by directional data being relayed from a master control computer directly to each individual honey pot car through a complicated matrix embedded within the actual floor tiles. Every few seconds, the master computer generates a random path and ‘steers’ the honey pot in real-time, so as the cars roll through the ride the vehicles are, in fact, being told where to go. Because this system is in real-time, they can maneuver accordingly in just fractions of a second. This also allows for spontaneous yet synchronized ‘honey pot choreography’ with groups of honey pots (as many as 8 in a single show scene) appearing to ‘dance’ with the others, often timed with ‘beats’ in the music. Due to limitless variations possible, each journey through the attraction is unique.

Other LPS Uses

Aquatopia (at Tokyo DisneySea just next door) is the only other ride in the world to use this groundbreaking ride technology. It is unknown if this ride system will ever be built outside of Tokyo, although a ride based on Disney's Beauty and the Beast using the LPS system (teacups instead of honey pots) was designed by WDI before Hunny Hunt, yet still remains unbuilt. Pooh's Hunny Hunt has been rumored at having a budget of around $130 million, although this cost included the development and testing of the never-before-built LPS ride system.

So, we've learned something: no GPS, but LPS , and this is what should be use in the Ratatouille attraction........although another rumor is saying that WDI was recently investigating a trackless system used by a company at an amusement park in Oregon or Washington or somewhere around there. The Imagineers seems to look for a trackless system without the headaches and expenses that the TDL Pooh attraction has...

If the imagineers finally choose a new system, let's hope that it will work as well as the LPS one they've used at TDL and TDS. Pleeease, no cheap version on this awaited attraction......

So, which system will be finally use by WDI imagineers in the Ratatouille attraction? I'm afraid we will have to wait for the opening to get the answer!

Photo: copyright Disney-Pixar

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Jack Skellington and Sally will join Halloween season at Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris officially announced that Jack Skellington and his friend Sally will be part of the Halloween season. Guests will be able to meet them in Frontierland, at Phantom Manor and Jack and Sally will be also part of the Halloween parade.

However, don't have too high expectations, Phantom Manor show is not going to be transformed in "Nightmare before Christmas" like they do at DLR and WDW Haunted Mansion. No, you will simply be able to meet Jack and Sally at Phantom Manor cemetary - and in the parade.

I know, it's not at all the same kind of experience, but it's a good start. Hopefully, it will prove to DLP management how popular Nightmare before Christmas can be, and with a lot of luck, may be, some day, they will put the Nightmare before Christmas show inside Phantom Manor!

Jack Skellington lovers will be happy to know the release of a collector's edition of the Blue-ray dvd. This edition will include a talking head of Jack, and you'll be able to change him in Santa Claus, thanks to the Santa's hat and beard include in the box!

Last but not least, the movie will be re-released in France in 3D on October 22, in a wider selection of theatres! Here below is the french poster.

All pictures: copyright Disney

May God help them...

Hurricane Gustav is approaching Louisiana and will hit Gulf coast tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. Although Gustav is now suuposedly a "force 3" hurricane, chances are that it will be a " force 4" when it will hit the ground. Even if it stays at "force 3", it is devastating winds, tornadoes and rains that will fall on not only Louisiana, but also Texas, Mississipi, Alabama and other states all around, including Florida.

And it's not because Walt disney World won't be in the eye of the hurricane this time that we must not have thoughts and prayers for those who - because they are too poor or for any other reasons - are stuck in their home, waiting for the arrival of the "monster". May God help them...

On the East coast, Hanna is still a tropical storm but its direction have changed and Hanna is now going towards North Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. It will take six days before Hanna hit the ground, but at that time the National Hurricane Center think that it may have transformed in a "force 1" hurricane...

But the "mother of all storms" as the mayor of New Orleans did called Gustav may not be this one, but another one that nobody is talking about. It's not yet a hurricane, and for now it still is at 400 miles of the coast of Africa, but it's coming from where almost ALL hurricanes begin their lives, i.e around the Cape Verde islands, West of Senegal.

Since three days the National Hurricane Center keep saying that there is a "high potential for tropical cyclone formation" in this area where you can see the red circle below with the number 2 ( the area of the yellow circle with the number 1 should not transform in hurricane ). And i have a bad feeling about it.

Four days ago, before it hit Haiti, Gustav was still a tropical storm. As usual, it's the hot waters of the Mexican Gulf - the perfect fuel for hurricanes - who changed it in a devastating "force 4" hurricane. But if what the National Hurricane Center is afraid of with this huge formation of clouds west of Cape Verde Islands become a hurricane in the next 48 hours, that will be something else. It won't be a tropical storm that will enter the Mexican Gulf, but an already monster hurricane, with all its huge power. And when the hot water of the Gulf will re-fuel him, chances are that this new monster will become for real "the mother of all storms". I sincerely hope that it won't happen.

Photos: copyright National Hurricane Center