Saturday, February 13, 2010

D&M Innoventions : A New Kind of Haunted Mansion

Here is a new article in my week-end Innoventions series but first a little story about the top picture. When WDI Imagineers created Innoventions at Epcot they were asked to find a Innoventions logo. Several people suggested a design and Hani El Masri - whom my D&M faithful readers know well thanks to my previous articles about his artwork - also did a proposal, and that was the logo you can see in the picture above, re-drawn specially for Disney and more by Hani.

And guess what happened? During the logos presentation to Michael Eisner it was Michael's favourite choice! Due to internal politic reasons another logo was chosen but the final logo that one can see at Epcot is partly inspired by Hani's first concept.

In this new Innoventions article we will have a look to a new kind of "Haunted Mansion" created by Alterface a company specialized in interactive theater and based in Louvain, Belgium. Actually you can ride the first version of "The House" as Alterface call it in a U.S theme park based in Branson, MO where the attraction is named "Castle of Chaos".

Here is the pitch of the attraction storyline: "It’s the 1920s and Carli Winepeg, a young actress and silent movies star who focuses on horror films, has disappeared with all her film crew in a dark medieval castle in Transylvania. The shooting of the movie "Castle of Chao" will not be completed. Eighty years later, the mystery has still not been solved and has in fact given rise to a legend. The inquiry revealed that Carli Winepeg was a rather strange character. She was for example always accompanied by her loyal and mysterious big black dog, which behaved just as aggressively as its mistress. If she is alive now, Winepeg could still terrify many people. But here’s the question: Is she really dead?"

Combining Clostermann Design’s audio-animatronics and themed scenery with Alterface’s expertise in interactivity, this interactive haunted house offer fans of this type of popular attraction thrilling new sensations. The adrenalin flowing in the veins of up to 30 spectators is taken to boiling point thanks to a show that combines in theatre special effects (wind, water, low smoke, smells…) as well as in the seats (neck- and leg-tickler, buttkicker), audio-animatronics, surround sound system and interactive 3D Full HD 3D. In a large room, sitting in themed armchairs fixed to a revolving platform, the players/spectators experience all-round stimulation of their senses and lose their spatial awareness as the platform rotates. Guests also have laser guns and are able to shoot at all ghosts coming out of almost everywhere during the show. This interactive haunted house open doors to astonishing worlds – ones that evolve as the story unfolds and in line with the audience’s interaction.

Alterface did a good trailer video, and here it is below!

This next video will show you the attraction model.

As you've seen, it sounds not bad at all, and if one of my reader did the ride in Branson's Castle of Chaos and can let us know how good it is, he is welcome!

And, as we are talking about Haunted House today, a great news for all Disney's Haunted Mansion fans revealed by the O.C.register yesterday as "a Newport Beach company, Candella LLC, has bought worldwide rights to develop and sell the illusory flickering candles in Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion.

President Peter Smith promises that these rechargeable, false-flame candles will be on the market by May under the name Dream Candles. The price will be comparable to real candles but last longer.

Disney Imagineer Gary Schnuckle created these LED candles specifically for the Haunted Mansion. But the false flame’s random movement and other details that make it realistic is more difficult than you’d think, which is why the flame illusion has numerous patents." You can read more about it in the O.C Register full article HERE and below the video interview of Peter Smith, President of Candella LLC where you'll see these magic candles!

Looks definitely a great idea to bring this on the market for everyone isn't it?

See you next week-end for a new Innoventions article!

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

Screen captures and The House Videos: copyright Alterface

Other video: copyright O.C Register

Innoventions logo from Hani El Masri

Disney's California Adventure World of Color Tests Videos

World of Color is now in test mode and it's getting more and more interesting as they are now testing the lights colors system.

Two videos below will show you more and the first one even have a audio-sync with the World of Color original theme! The show is supposed to open with soft openings in March 2010 and a grand opening event in late April.

Youtube Videos: All my thanks to coolrider560 and SwnyTdd

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Special Note about Universal Studios Singapore Opening : If you're a Disney and more reader who intend to go at Universal Singapore sneak preview, please contact me by email at: as i am looking for a photographer to shoot pictures of the park's opening. Any pictures from my faithful readers are welcome!

D&M Exclusive : Universal Studios Singapore Grand Pictorial Report - Panoramic Pictures

As it was announced yesterday Universal Studios Singapore is finally opening next Sunday, February 14th, for one week of sneak preview. Disney and more have a great pictorial report for you today with fantastic panoramic pictures which will give you the feeling to visit the park, just like if you were there. A kind of sneak preview before the "real" sneak preview!

Most of the pictures you will see today are new pictures. There is 34 new pictures, but to make sure you'll have a view of all different lands i've added some pictures posted previously. Two or three pictures were shoot while the park was still under construction just some weeks ago, specially the New York Streets pictures, and of course all building machines you'll see on the pictures are removed now and guests of the sneak preview will see a park totally finished, even if some rides are not yet operational.

Also, you will notice on some pictures lot of people just like if the park was already open, especially in the Mel's Drive-In restaurant shots. That's because some of the pics were shoot two weeks ago during the "family employee preview" day. For any theme parks there is always a "family day" before the park's opening where employees and people who helped to built the park can invite their Family members.

And one more thing: due to a mistake during the shooting the "date stamp" appeared on some pictures. And because it's panoramic pictures made of four or five different pictures put together there was four date stamps! No big drama but as these date stamps were really un-esthetic and as i really want to pay tribute to the fantastic work done by Universal creative people i did my best to hide them. In some cases i had no other choice than to put a colored rectangle on these damn' date stamps. It was a huge work but most of the time you won't notice them, and if you do just remember they're here to hide a date stamp, and of course that they don't exist in the real decor.

So, let's have a look at these great panoramic pictures showing all the different areas of the park. As usual click on each panoramic picture to see it in big size and explore the park in details.

The first picture at the top is of course the park's entrance with the Universal Studios famous revolving globe. Same for the picture below with the tickets booths.

This next picture show the grand entrance of the park.

Let's enter the Hollywood area. On the picture below the camera is looking towards the entrance you saw in the previous picture.

A panoramic view of Hollywood Blvd, the entrance of the park is on the right.

Inside one of the shops. Could not located where it is exactly, but might be in the Hollywood area.

Exiting the Hollywood Blvd, on the center of the picture. On the right the Madagascar land, where the big ship is, on the left looking towards New York Streets.

The Brown Derby shop where guests will find great headwear is located on the right when you exit Hollywood. The big building structure behind it is 1500 seats Pantages Hollywood Theater fully equipped to host major Broadway musicals. Guests will watch the Universal Monsters Revue with a rock and roll style.

On the picture below it's Universal Singapore Central Plaza, with the Mel's drive-In restaurant on the right. You can see Ancient Egypt and Sci-Fi City lands on the other side of the lagoon.

Another exterior view of the Mel's Drive-In.

These vintage cars are parked in front of the Mel's Drive-In restaurant.

The two next pictures were shoot inside the Mel's Drive-In during the "family day". Sorry, they're not perfectly sharp.

Located on the left when you exit Hollywood is the Madagascar land, with this huge tree.

Welcome to Madagascar! Here is a picture of the entrance of the land.

But if you turn on the right when you'll exit Hollywood you'll enter the New York Streets area.

This next panoramic show the other side of the New York Street. As usual with Universal the quality of the sets is stunning.

The next shot is also showing the New York area, looking towards the Hollywood area.

Always in New York, the facade of the Palace Theater.

The 1940's style decor of the KT's Grill restaurant where guests will find grill entrees and sea food!

Another restaurant of the New York streets is Loui's NY Pizza Parlor.

A last picture of the highly detailed sets of New York streets.

Another picture of a shop. Sorry, i couldn't locate in which land it is, may be New York?

Let's move to Sci-Fi City, the next land. It's here where guests will be able to ride the giant Battlestar Galactica Dueling Coaster. Here are three different pics of it, the first one also showing the entrance of the ride.

On the picture below Sci-Fi City looks a bit empty but no doubt that when there will be plenty of guests or with the night lighting it will look great.

On the right of this next panoramic, the "tea cup style" Accelerator ride.

On the panoramic below the Ancient Egypt land is across the lagoon on the left, Sci-Fi City with the Battlestar Galactica dueling coaster in the center and the New York area on the right.

Next stop: Ancient Egypt land, where Universal Creatives built a gorgeous decor!

Another area of the land with the giant Anubis statues and the Lost World land in the background.

Right at the border of Ancient Egypt and The Lost World.

A picture of a shop which, considering the items sold and the deco, is probably the Carter's Curiosities shop in Ancient Egypt.

Let's move to The Lost World, home of Jurassic Park raft ride. On this first picture, the entrance to Ancient Egypt is on the left and the Discovery Food Court in the background, inspired by Jurassic Park's Discovery Center.

Two other views of the same area with Jurassic Park entrance on the left.

Another panoramic showing the vegetation inside The Lost World and the Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure entrance on the right.

The entrance of Canopy Flyer on the left and the Dino Soarin ride on the right.

A Lost World area for young kids: the Raptor Nest.

Another picture of a shop, probably located in the Lost World area. Sorry, not perfectly sharp picture.

Our last stop will be Far Far Away land, home of Shrek and other characters from the animated movies. This panoramic below show the entrance of Far Far Away, shoot from the entrance of the Lost World land.

The next shot below is a picture of the "Far Far away" "Shrek" castle.

On the picture below the New York area is on the left (with a bit of the dueling coaster), the Hollywood area in the center and the Enchanted Airways coaster of Far Far Away land on the right.

And one more panoramic for the road, which is the least i can say as it shows the giant car park where you will have to find back your car at the end of the day! You better remember where you will park your car!

Hope you've enjoyed this pictorial report of Universal Studios Singapore. Once again everybody who built the park did a fantastic job and i'm confident it will be a success from day one.

Let's end with a special note: if you're a Disney and more reader who intend to go at USS sneak preview days, please let me know as i am looking for pictures of the park's opening. Any pictures of USS sneak preview are welcome and you can send them at:

See you next week for more news about this great park!

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

All pictures: copyright Disney and more

Toy Story 3 Final Trailer Released !

The Toy Story 3 Final Trailer has been released and it looks GREAT! you'll discover all the new toys/characters and more about the movie story line! Here it is below, enjoy it!

Picture and Trailer: copyright Disney-Pixar