Thursday, February 4, 2010

Walt Disney Studios : The Hollywood Boulevard Illusion

Since mid 2009 Disneyland Resort Paris is on Google Earth in 3D, and so are the Walt Disney Studios. It's pretty well done and thanks to it i'm able to show you today what i call the WDS Hollywood Boulevard illusion.

Guests enter the Hollywood Boulevard at the exit of the Studio 1 and anybody who has been to the WDS since 2007 know what i'm going to show you. So, this article is more of interest for those of you who have never been at DLP's second gate.

So, when you exit the big WDS Studio 1, just in front of you is the Walt and Mickey statue and, behind, the Hollywood boulevard with its art-deco buildings. And at the end of it, the big Hollywood sign with, behind, the Tram Tour station. If you stop from this point, at the Studio 1 exit, looking towards the Hollywood Boulevard, it looks like it is a 150 meters long street. As we are going to see it is not at all that long.

WDI Imagineers used in fact both the technique of forced perspective and the famous optical illusion of trompe l'oeil paintings. The first buildings are real, in 3 dimensions. But the buildings at the end of the street are not, they're totally flat and attached to a metallic structure behind. When you walk closer to them these buildings at the end on the right and left begin to look smaller. And not as long as they were looking when you saw them from the Studio 1 exit...

And of course, as soon as you're moving behind them you discover the trick and the metallic structure holding them.

The trick is an old theatre technique and WDI Imagineers used it previously for the same kind of illusion specially for the New York Street of Disney's Hollywood Studios and also at Disney's California Adventure. But because it is perfectly well done it always works well, even if you see it from above.

But when you're in the park in the small street in front of the Tower of Terror you can see that the last buildings don't look real...

To come back to the question of the length of this Hollywood Boulevard, which, i remind you, looked like a 150 meters street when you saw it from the Studios 1 exit, the picture below will show you that it's in fact probably not more than 35 meters long from the beginning of the "boulevard" to the Hollywood sign!

While we are flying over the Walt Disney Studios thanks to Google Earth, here is a last interesting picture. The big land with no building and plenty of grass in the foreground is exactly where is currently built Toy Story Playland opening next summer. The Tram Tour station is very close to it, and they will probably move it in the future when the Hollywood Boulevard will be expand, but for now the station is staying here.

As you can see this Google Earth 3D of the park is very detailed and it's a great way to have a look at the park while you're at home. And at least the sky will be always sunny and perfectly blue!

Make sure to read below my special offer for the awesome Disneyland Paris book if you don't own it yet. Not only you will order the best book ever done on a Disney theme park, but your purchase is also a great way to bring your support to Disney and more!

Thanks to leave a comment or discuss this article on D&M english forum on Mice Chat

All pictures: copyright Google Earth, and Disney for the 3D buildings.

3 comments: said...

Hey there, I just wanted to say that I love your blog but unless it changes I can't read it anymore... There's too much stuff on the main page and my computer locks up because I can't download it fast enough. I waited a day to leave this comment as my computer is that slow. I'm not sure if you would look into changing it but I love your blog, there's just too many pictures on the first page.... Hope you can take some advice.... thanks

Alain Littaye said...

Blake, the problem this week is coming from the Harry potter high-res pictures, it makes the page "heavy" for download.

The problem is not really that there is too many pictures but mostly from the weight of them. And sometime, like with the Harry Potter article which is "heavy" in images weight, it's the case.

I've reduced the number of articles by page and tomorrow the Harry Potter article won't be on the front page so it should be quicker for download. Sorry about that.

jeffk said...

I'm having similar problems - I think the globe in particular is really causing a lot of stress on my browser. I can't load your main page at all - only individual articles. Even those are approaching 10MB with all the stuff in the right-hand column. It really makes navigation difficult.