Thursday, August 12, 2010

Now that Toy Story Playland is opened, what will be DLP's next attraction ?



Toy Story Playland will open officially next tuesday - big pictorial report about it coming very soon on D&M - and with less than two years before Disneyland Paris 20th Anniversary it's time for a new update about DLP's future. In two words, here is the program: no Little Mermaid ride - may be and hopefully it will come later, Star Tours 2 most probably coming at Discoveryland, and the highly awaited Ratatouille dark ride is, as we will see, "double confirmed" although not yet officially.

Two words about Star Tours 2, first. Although there is no signs that Star Tours 2 is on schedule for Discoveryland i still put my bets on it mainly because it's pure logic: there is not one good reason that the park won't have it in a very near future. The ride definitely needs a new version to boost the attendance, the cost won't be too high for something which will be almost a new attraction, and it's the less expensive choice for DLP's management for a new ride in the park to celebrate the 20th Anniversary.



And we must remember that it's Disneyland Paris park 20th Anniversary - not the one of the Walt Disney Studios. However, as we saw during the 15th at DLP the Anniversary party don't last only one year but generally at least two. It's a marketing trick to keep guests coming at the park to enjoy what is supposed to be a big Anniversary party and generally it works well. Which means what? It means that Star Tours 2 could be very well scheduled as a "20th Anniversary" attraction not opening in 2012 but...in 2013, which will be already DLP's 21th Anniversary but "officially" always the 20th Anniversary celebration, if you see what i mean...

Anyway, in the meantime you can have a look at this new video - released today by the Disney Parks Blog - which will appear in Star Tours 2 queue next year!

Whether Star Tours 2 will come or not one thing is sure: the awaited Ratatouille attraction will be THE 20th Anniversary E-Ticket ride. And this time, folks, there is no more doubts about it. Only a worldwide financial break down could have some effect on DLP's management decision to build the ride. The budget - translate: the money needed to build the ride - was approved by the banks early this year and, more important, works have began on the location that DLP Imagineers reserved for this future attraction.



We're going to talk about this but first let's have a look to what we know now for sure about the ride itself. And i'm not talking about rumors here. By the way, the Disney Central Plaza forum - DLP's fans biggest forum - did recently a pretty good résumé of what is non-officially confirmed and it matches perfectly with what i've learned from my own other sources.

As i told you in a previous article the attraction cost should be between 130 and 150 $M which is indeed pretty expensive and there is good reasons for that, i mean good technological reasons: the Ratatouille dark ride will use WDI latest high technology with trackless vehicles thanks to the same LPS technology that Imagineers used on the Winnie the Pooh ride at TDL or in the future and awaited Mystic Manor at HKDL. But there is more as WDS guests will have to wear 3D glasses to enjoy the 3D projection effects that DLP imagineers have designed for the ride. And some of them should be really amazing. Recently an external manufacturer designing a huge steel dome for the ride unintentionally revealed that the dome will be used for projection effect in the Ratatouille dark ride. For sure the 3D scene inside this hemispherical dome should be a pretty immersive experience - see picture below. A trackless 3D ride with projection effects? For some of you it may sounds like the Spiderman ride at IOA and it's interesting to note that part of the technology for the Spidey ride was supposedly brought to Universal years ago by a former WDI Imagineer...no need to say that WDI was not happy...



But the Ratatouille ride at DLP's Walt Disney Studios will be more than a sophisticated ride. In fact it's a whole Parisian area that will be build. From a typical parisian path starting on the right of Toy Story Playland, lay with cobblestones like the one you still can walk on in some of Paris streets. And when WDS guests will arrive in the Ratatouille area they will find not only the attraction itself but a shop, a small plaza, probably a Paris backdrop painting and even eventually rest-rooms all themed in a perfect parisian style. A restaurant would be perfectly logical in a Ratatouille area but nothing is confirmed yet on that one.



Talking about parisian style the queue area of the attraction should be perfectly themed as the queue line decor will put the guests on the rooftops of Paris with breathtaking height feeling, thanks to forced perspective. At least that's how it was envisioned by Imagineers one year ago and if WDI Imagineers didn't changed their plans for the queue decor - which sometime happen to reduce the costs - it should be a perfect introduction to the ride. An interesting fact about the queue area is that it will be designed for a pretty long queue. Don't panic, it doesn't mean that you'll have to wait hours before boarding in the vehicle, but Imagineers who always know how successful will be an attraction can estimate how long the queue might be and theme the queue area on this appraisal. To give you an idea, the queue of WDS Crush Coaster was designed for a 45 minutes queue but the attraction is so successful that the queue always start outside the ride entrance. Without any doubt DLP Imagineers have learned from this and the queue area for Ratatouille should be designed for a longer queue, which means more theming before you board in Ratatouille vehicles, and this is generally good news.

As what will happen during the ride itself, and although the ride is of course inspired by Pixar's movie, as i told you in my article posted in July 2009 it should not be a dark ride which will follow the chronological order of the movie scenes (like Snow White or Pinnochio rides)...but i can tell you that WDS guests should be immersed in some of the movie key scenes.

I told you at the opening that works already began and it's right. And i'm not talking only of the path leading to the Ratatouille area but about the ride location which will be behind the costuming building where until recently stand trees, part of a little wood. As you will see on the pictures below posted recently on the Disney Central Plaza forum most of the trees have been cut and by the end of the summer - or 2010 last quarter - foundations works should begin.







The last question is of course the opening date. As i told you above this 20th Anniversary is the one of the first park but the WDS are such a problem that DLP's second gate have the E-Ticket ride priority. Mind you, it doesn't mean necessarily that the ride will open in April 2012 (i remind you that April 12 is the park's opening anniversary date). Just like they did for the 15th Anniversary when Tower of Terror opened only in December 2007 and not April, the Ratatouille dark ride might open later. Why that you ask? Well, it's mainly an accountancy trick: Disneyland Paris fiscal year always ends in September. Which means that an attraction which opens after September 30th, 2012, will be counted in the 2013 budget and fiscal year. Of course, as it always take two years to build a big E-Ticket part of the budget is spent before the opening of the attraction, but probably a big part - and i'm talking here about WDI's invoice to DLP - is probably paid when the attraction is complete, which by the way would be logical. With an opening at the end of 2012 instead of April 2012 most of the budget will be count in DLP's 2013 fiscal year instead of 2012 fiscal year. And, as there is probably new parade or shows also envisioned for the 20th, not to mention other projects like the big World of Disney store, all of them having a cost, it might have some sense on an accountancy point of view to delay a bit Ratatouille's opening to have a big part of the attraction cost counted on the 2013 budget and fiscal year. My guess is that Ratatouille might open late 2012 if not in April 2013 to boost again the 20th Anniversary celebration. In this case, may be Star Tours 2 might open in 2012 as its cost will be much less expensive than the Ratatouille ride and as it is also difficult to consider a 20th Anniversary without no new attraction at all. But i sincerely hope DLP fans will not have to wait that long if we don't want them to become hysterical!


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Pictures: copyright Disney, Disney Central Plaza

All my thanks to Disney Central Plaza for some of the pictures.

15 comments:

Mark Taft said...

Alain, don't you think it is about time this trackless technology makes it to the States? Any plans for that? Guess I'll have to return to DLP. ;)
Great article-
Mark
www.InsightsandSounds.blogspot.com

Robert/Cologne said...

Nice to see that DLP are getting an original attraction for the park and not a copy.
Shame to see that OUR ride is being built in dl and wdw as Im certain that what Dlp needs is an immersive dark ride.
Star tours needs to be redone it can get very empty .
Id like to see MSEP return to Dlp for the 20th as I believe its one of the best parades from Disney and is perfect for the intimate streets at dlp

Alain Littaye said...

Mark, so far i've not heard anything about an attraction with trackless technology coming to the Disney parks in the U.S...but - and correct me if i'm wrong - i think that Toy Story Mania is using trackless vehicle technology, doesn't it?

Mark Taft said...

Not from what I could see last year when I rode it. Seems more like a omnimover with different carriages.

Mark
www.InsightsandSounds.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Je continue de penser de Ratatouille n'est qu'un dark ride de plus, arrive 4 ans apres la sortie du film et que personne n'attend avec impatience... mais je me trompe sans doute. Quant a son arrivée en 2013, c'est pas grave puisque DLP a fêté son 15eme anniversaire pendant 3 ans a grands renforts de pub. Sûr qu'ils continueront de fêter le 20e bien au dela de l'année 2013...

Pour Star Tour, c'est un peu la même chose, ca arrive combien d'années après la sortie du dernier film...

Il y a egalement une rumeur sur le changement de film a discovery, un film en 3D sur Tron remplacerait Captain EO... Peut-être pour le 20e anniversaire mais qui pour le moment, semble bien pauvre en evenement...

Anonymous said...

You say that Ratatouille and Star Tours 2 will open during fiscal year 2013 but DLP needs to open a new attraction in 2012, that's more logical to open Star Tours 2 in april 2012 and Ratatouille later.

robert said...

there are have room for 3rd park after expansion of walt disney swtudios park where they but next to ? alian they have space for momorail and ome more thing they are ready to bult tsm yet ?

Thomas said...

Gusteau's head is now covered up.
Is the Ratatouille ride project cancelled or delayed?

Anonymous said...

J'espère que ce n'est pas un signe d'abandon du projet Ratatouille ;(

Anonymous said...

OMG Ratatouille is cancelled. :(

Marco Antonio Garcia. said...

How long ago the film in which the attraction is based was released is irrelevant, as these films are ageless classics. One of the biggest E ticket attractions that are being built in the US is based on the little mermaid that was released more than 20 years ago, and is still a very popular Disney princess, as is Snow White from the 1930's and Cinderela from the 1940's.
A Tron based 3-D movie would be awesome, both Honey I shrunk the kids and Captain EO needs to be replaced.
What Disney really needed to do is, instead of spending on building a new Theme Park in China, to buy all the shares from Euro Disney SCA, pay its very large debt, capitalize the resort and make a major expansion with new original E ticket attractions in both parks and a new revolutionary park like Disney Sea. No monorail tough, it is only really useful in the huge WDW Resort.
If Disneyland Paris continues to pay a lot of interest from its debt, and a lot of royalties to the Walt Disney Co. it is never going to be a profitable and viable business, able to keep constantly expanding and modernizing, like a theme park needs to do in order to keep competitive.

Marco Antonio Garcia. said...

The ratatouille ride sounds great, and Spiderman at IOA is one of my favourite theme park attractions.
Regarding the Parisian area, a fancy Gusteau restaurant would be a very nice addition to the park, as there are no good restaurants in the DSP as there are in its neighbour park. I love Walts and Blue lagoon restaunrants at DLP, and having a meal on them is always one of my favourite experiences at the Parisian Resort, to have a similar one at the DSP would be great, but seriously, I bet that a typical parisian path and a Paris backdrop scene is probably something that most DLP guests have never seen before!

Jack said...

I don't understand what is happening with Gusteau...

Pierre said...

Me neither, and I'd like to know... I hope they will uncover it soon.

Anonymous said...

The Cat is out of the bag but as usual Eurodisney tries uncucesfully to hide the fact that this Attraction is on the way