Friday, July 10, 2009

New Hong Kong Disneyland Artwork !

Hong Kong Disneyland released three new artwork for each of the awaited new lands -
Grizzly Trail , Mystic Point and Toy Story Land - and here they are! Click on each to see them in bigger size!

Very interesting artwork as we can see more of these three new lands. Grizzly Trail and its Audio-Animatronic bears looks promising and Mystic Manor artwork is even more exciting as the theme and the inside of the manor looks really different than the others Haunted Mansions.

Also, here are bigger files of the previously released artwork for the three new lands.

I remember you that you can now find this article and ALL others artwork articles about HKDL and all others Disney theme parks on the new Disney and more Artwork site HERE

All Artwork: copyright Disney

Hong Kong legislative council approved Hong Kong Disneyland expansion plan

Hong Kong legislative council approved today the Hong Kong Disneyland expansion plan...but the government insists to build Toy Story land, and claims that the concept art disclosed last month were not the final version.

Right now the president, Mr. Kam, is doing his press conference, and i will let you know about it later as soon as infos will be available.

Edited 5.05 PM Paris Time: According to my D&M Correspondant in Hong Kong "In his press conference, Andrew Kam welcomed the result of the council's approval. The content of the press conference was "really crap", but they hang behind him new concept arts of the three lands.

It seems that Mr. Kam did not really know the timeline of the opening of the new attractions, he just said the design is still in progress. When asked when the first new land will open, Andrew Kam answered it would be 2 and 1/2 year from now, while claimed the construction work will begin later this year.

So strange that they are not going to build TSL as soon as possible to fill the gap without new addition of rides in 3 and 1/2 years."

So, it seems that NEW renderings were shown this morning. I'll try to check this and if i can find images to post them here.

Edited 3.10 PM Paris Time
: Reuters press agency confirms that HK lawmakers approved the $468 mln Disneyland expansion. Here is Reuters text:

HONG KONG, July 10 (Reuters) - Hong Kong lawmakers approved a government plan on Friday to spend HK$3.63 billion ($468 million) expanding the city's Disneyland theme park with Walt Disney (DIS.N), boosting the smallest of Disney's five resorts.

With attendance falling short of targets, the government has been seeking ways to boost the number of visitors in the long term, given the threat from a rival Disney theme park planned for Shanghai.

Hong Kong will convert a significant amount of its HK$6.89 billion outstanding loan to the park into equity, while Walt Disney will invest HK$3.5 billion to help finance the construction cost and also convert its outstanding HK$2.76 billion loan to the theme park into equity. [ID:nHKG53329]

After Disney's new investment and Hong Kong's debt-to-equity swap, Hong Kong's stake in the park will fall to 52 percent from 57 percent. (Reporting by Nerilyn Tenorio and Alison Leung; Editing by Dan Lalor) ($1 = HK$7.75) (End of Reuters text)

Edited 4.47 Pm Paris Time: here is the new Hong Kong Disneyland official announcement:

The Hong Kong SAR Government and The Walt Disney Company Applaud The Legislative Council’s Approval of the Hong Kong Disneyland Expansion Plan

The Hong Kong SAR Government and The Walt Disney Company (TWDC) today applaud the Legislative Council’s approval of the financial arrangement relating to the Hong Kong Disneyland (HKDL) expansion plan. Three new themed areas will be added to HKDL, bringing the total number of attractions, entertainment, and interactive experiences at the resort to over 100 by 2014 and further establishing Hong Kong as one of the world’s premier international family tourist destinations.

Financial Secretary, Mr John C Tsang commented that, "HKDL, as an important tourism infrastructure, has brought substantial economic benefits to Hong Kong. With the proposed expansion and realignment of the financial arrangements, we believe that HKDL would rise up to the keen competition in the region on the tourism front, attracting more family visitors from round the world. This will generate streams of benefits to our tourism and related sectors, further reinforcing the tourism industry’s contribution as a major pillar of Hong Kong’s economy."

"We are pleased that the financial agreement relating to the HKDL expansion has been approved and we are eager to begin work on this exciting new chapter for Hong Kong Disneyland," said Jay Rasulo, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts. "This substantial investment represents our continued commitment to and confidence in Hong Kong Disneyland and solidifies our partnership with the Hong Kong government helping assure the resort’s long-term success."

He continued, "This expansion will further enhance HKDL’s position as a world-class family tourist destination, provide immediate and long-lasting benefits to Hong Kong and add unique and thrilling new experiences for our Guests."

The new offerings, designed to significantly add to the overall Guest experience at HKDL, are expected to open in phases over a five year period. Work is expected to commence later this year, spurring the local Hong Kong economy by creating more than 3,700 jobs in terms of man-years in Hong Kong from 2009 to 2014, including 850 expected within the first year of construction. After the completion of the expansion, the project will continue to serve as a major economic driver with HKDL adding approximately 600 new positions, and bringing the total number of HKDL Cast Members to more than 5,500.

Two of the three new themed areas, "Grizzly Trail" and "Mystic Point," will be exclusive to HKDL for the first five years after their respective openings. The third, "Toy Story Land," will be exclusive within Asia for the first five years after opening.

Under the approved plan and current business projections, TWDC would contribute approximately HK$6.25 billion in new capital and debt conversion and the Hong Kong Government would convert a like amount in debt principal and interest. The Hong Kong Government would retain the majority ownership of 52 percent in the joint venture and TWDC would own the other 48 percent.

(End of HKDL text)

Also, you may remember that in the "Glacier Bay" case - see previous article - the proposed land was banned by Hong Kong officials because of the similar "Polar Adventure" land currently being built at Ocean Park, Hong Kong other theme park, partly owned by....hong Kong Government.

No Glacier Bay artwork is available, but i found for you some concept-arts of this future Ocean World's Polar Adventure, so at least we can have a look to the rival project. Click on the image below to see it in big size.

Picture: copyright Ocean World

Text: Copyright

Did Walt Disney Imagineering planned to build an Epcot center AND a monorail at Disneyland Paris ?

If you ask almost anyone working at DLP, they will probaly tell you that, no, the addition of a monorail or an Epcot theme park was never planned for the Disney Paris resort. Never.

Hmmm...may be, but every DLP fan knows that the land for a third theme park exist in front of the Newport Bay and Sequoia Lodge Hotels. In the last 15 years, nothing was built on it, and nothing will be, except, precisely, a third theme park or, eventually, the famous "Lava Lagoon" water park.

Except that ONE rendering exist, a very rare one, in fact the only one that i ever saw showing both a monorail AND an Epcot "Spaceship Earth" icon.

If you look well at the artwork, you will see the facade of the Newport Bay Hotel, and in the background the one of the Disneyland Paris Hotel. But the silver silhouette of the Epcot icon is located exactly in that piece of land i was talking about, in front of the Newport Bay.

So, may be DLP will never have for real an Epcot theme park, and even more certainly no monorail, but one thing is sure: somebody at WDI, many years ago, did think about it.

Artwork: copyright Disney Enterprises Inc

I want to thank the excellent Webcot web site who gently provided me the artwork for this article.

Leave a comment or discuss this article on D&M english forum on Mice Chat

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Remembering "Snow White - An Enchanting New Musical"

Here is an "eye-candy" pictorial article for those of you who have missed or never been able to see the “Snow White - An Enchanting New Musical” show at Fantasyland theater, with a special high-res photo tribute.

The show began in 2004 at the Disneyland's Fantasyland theatre, and ended some years later.

Great decor and costumes, and award-winning actor Patrick Stewart - best known for his roles on “Star Trek” TV series - was the voice of the Magic Mirror.

The high-res pictures are beautiful, so enjoy them!

Here is the video of a Disney commercial released at that time to promote the musical. You can also see videos of the show on Youtube HERE.

All photos and video : copyright Disney

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Editor's Note: Yesterday, Disney and more passed the mark of one million readers since its opening in 2007. To celebrate this, i introduce today a new D&M web site called Disney and more Artwork where you will find soon all "artwork" articles, past, present and future!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Introducing the new " Disney and more Artwork " web site !

Hello, all. Today I have the pleasure to introduce a new Disney and more web site called "Disney and more Artwork". As promised recently, this is the first of a series of new D&M sites, one for each main sections that you can see on the right column.

You can discover "Disney and more Artwork" HERE.

And now, some explanations about why i am creating these new D&M sites: Although Disney and more looks more and more like a site than a blog, the Blogger structure is still there, "behind", and some things are impossible to do. For instance, on a real web site, if you click on a button to go to another section - let's say for instance the "pictures" section - you can have a different design on that page or a different header, colours, etc... With a blog structure it's different. If you click on any link on the side bar, you'll arrive on the page of the article, but with the same header image, etc...

And, as i would like precisely to change the design, header, colours, for each section, the question was: how to resolve this problem. I found the solution and this will allow me to begin the "phase two" of the D&M new design. In fact, the trick is to create new blogs for each section (artwork, pictures, Disneyland Paris, etc...) and that's what i'm doing. Little by little i will transfert each article of each section of the "home" blog to its new blog - the "artwork" articles in the "Disney and more artwork" blog, for instance - and once it'll be done, all the "artwork" articles links you have on the side bar will disappear except one link to the "Disney and more artwork" blog. A normal reader won't even notice that he's sent from a blog to another one, but most of all it will allow to have different colours, a different header, etc... in all, there should be more or less ten different "Disney and more" blogs, just as many sections you'll have now on the side bar.

The goal, finally, is to give you an even more pleasant web site, but also more beauty, with a simple, classical but timeless design, as you will see when everything will be finished. The first articles on D&M Artwork are the "Disneyland Paris that never was" articles posted two years ago. Even if you have read them before, i'm sure you'll take pleasure to re-discover them again. All along this week i will transfer little by little all the other archives artwork articles, and normally it should be finished by the end of next week. Hope you will enjoy this new "Disney and more Artwork" site - some details still have to be improved - and thanks to let me know in your comments what you think of it!

PS: By the way, talking about artwork, two new artwork articles are coming soon on D&M!
Editor's Note: Today's article will be post later tonight, but in the meantime don't miss Al Lutz new update on Mice Age - lot of news, and good one - about Disneyland and DCA's future!

Monday, July 6, 2009

UP! box-office is flying hiiiiigh !


Believe it or not, but UP! is on its way to become not only one of the highest grossing Pixar movie but ALSO one of the highest grossing Disney movie of all time!!!

With $264 Millions UP! box-office rise above the B.O of: A Bug's life ($162 M), Toy Story ($191 M), Ratatouille ($206 M), Wall-E ($223 M), Cars ($244 M), Toy Story 2 ($245 M), Monsters Inc ($255 M) and The Incredibles ($261 M)! The only Pixar movie with a bigger box-office is Finding Nemo with $339 millions.

Also, UP! already did better than ANY Disney movie of the "new animation era", i.e since The Little Mermaid. Yep, better than Aladdin, Tarzan, Beauty and the Beast, and all the others except the Lion King who did $312 M.

Incredible, isn't it! And, considering that UP! was released only five weeks ago, we can reasonably think that UP! may do better than Nemo or The Lion King. With $339 M and all the upcoming summer blockbusters (Harry Potter, etc...) Nemo record may be hard to beat, but i wouldn't be surprised if UP! finally beat the $312 M of The Lion King.

Now, remember all these "prophets" who keep saying some weeks ago that with such a story (old man, etc...) UP! could be Pixar first failure? And not to mention toy manufacturer Thinkway who decided to don't produce ANY toy inspired by UP!
What a clear vision these guys have! Congratulations, folks! Next year, please keep for you any prophecy to avoid being ridiculous!

Anyway, i'm curious to see how long UP! will keep flying high, and of course i send my best congratulations (and without irony, this time) to Pete Docter, Bob Peterson, John Lasseter, and everybody at Pixar who worked on this wonderful movie!

Picture: copyright Disney Pixar

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Disney World monorails crash, killing 21-year-old monorail driver - Edited with crash explanation video

Very sad news from WDW today. For the first time in 38 years a deadly accident happened between two monorails and a 21 years old monorail driver died.

"A monorail train at Walt Disney World crashed into the back of another train early Sunday, killing one driver, according to an amusement park spokesman and a witness interviewed by CNN.

The crash occurred about 2 a.m. at one of the monorail stops at Disney World in Florida, said the witness, who requested anonymity.

Walt Disney World spokesman Mike Griffin said the crash happened at about 2 a.m. Sunday, on one of the monorail's last runs of the day.

Austin Wenneberg, 21, a Disney employee who was piloting one of the monorails died at the scene of the accident, the Orange County Sheriff's Office said. One other employee was transported to Florida Hospital Celebration. The second driver's injuries were not serious, Griffin said.

"Today we mourn the loss of our fellow cast member," said a statement by Mike Griffin, Disney's vice president for public affairs. "Our hearts go out to his family and to those who have lost a friend and co-worker."

The statement said the monorail was shut down, "and we will continue to work closely will law enforcement to determine what happened and the appropriate next steps."

The witness said one monorail train rammed into the back of a stationary train. A photo of the crash provided by the witness showed the front car of a train badly damaged where it hit another train at a station.

According to the witness, a family of six in one train was freed from a damaged car. The witness said the family was shaken but uninjured."

All Disney and more condolences goes to the family of the cast member who died in this dreadful accident.

You can read more infos about what happen on Mice Chat or the Orlando Sentinel. However a former WDW monorail pilot just released this interesting video explaining how the accident probably happened.

Leave a comment or discuss this article on D&M english forum on Mice Chat

Text From and Orlando Sentinel

Picture from

The former video shoot seconds after the crash has been removed from Youtube. The original video is at