Saturday, March 26, 2011

Disneyland Paris Update : Part One: The Return of the Molly Brown

Friday's meeting organized by DLP for webmasters was great and we learned lots of infos, most of them in relation with the refurbishment of parks and hotels so everything could be neat and pretty for DLP's 20th Anniversary in 2012. Great presentation by Imagineer Peggie Fariss who is now at the head of DLP Imagineering and i'll tell you all about this meeting in the next days as i'm still waiting for visuals that should be delivered early next week.

Part one of this DLP update will be essentially about the big return of the Molly Brown, with a total renovation of the ship as it was in pretty bad condition since he was on fire two years ago. The boat will be sailing on Frontierland's Rivers of the Far-West in about two weeks as it still needs a "final touch" but they did friday a new "inauguration" of the boat with Disney Ambassadors, William "Buffalo Bill" Cody...

...And of course Mickey and Minnie to cut the ribbon!

Here is a video of the full ceremony filmed by Mouetto from the Disney Central Plaza forum.

Afterwhat it was "all aboard" for the first cruise of the "new" Molly Brown.

A country band was also there and played music all along this "inaugural" cruise on the Rivers of the Far-West.

As you will see on the pictures above and below, they've changed the colors and the new one are more in warm brown palette. As i was part of those who liked a lot the old colors i was a bit skeptical when i saw some pictures on the web last week but now that i've seen it in real i honestly think that they did a really good job. They also did a change on the side of the ship. Previously it was written "Molly Brown - Queen of the River" and now it is "Molly Brown - Western River Line". Here is a picture of the Molly Brown with the previous colors and title...

And here is the Molly Brown with its new colors.

These changes might look not so important for you but there was a historical reason why the ship had its colors in the first version as it was more accurate with how this kind of steamship looked back at the end of the 19th century. Also, the Mark Twain was supposed to be the "king" of the river and the Molly Brown the "queen" that's why it was written "Queen of the River" on the side.

I asked Peggie Fariss why they've changed both colors and title. The new "Western River Line" title is because the ship is supposed to sail on a "river of the west" and the new warm brown colors were choosed to fit with the colors of the American west. Okay...but there is still a problem of accuracy with how these boats were historically painted as the letters on the side were painted on a white background and not on a light brown one as it is now. The colors were changed not only on the exterior but also inside and if we except this unfortunate historical mistake the colors palette looks really nice.

You'll find also brand new "old" american flags and these have only 38 "stars" like the real flags when Molly Brown was living.

Next time you'll do the cruise listen carefully to the narration as they've recorded a brand new one in which you'll hear elements from the original one but also more from Molly Brown! The narrator and captain speaks in french but on the new recording Molly Brown is now speaking in english.

Along the Rivers of the Far-West the scenes are the same, nothing was added and nothing will be in a near future which is a bit a pity as there is much less scenes to see than in others Magic Kingdom. They could do it easily, it's only a matter of money, as usual.

Old Joe is still fishing but the geysers are still not working and don't expect to see them working again anytime soon. They didn't talked about this during the presentation but apparently all the underground pipes system is in such bad condition that everything must be replaced and the cost would be as expensive as the one to repaint the castle. DLP management had to make a choice and in pure logic they've decided that the castle was the most urgent for DLP 20th anniversary. So you'll have a beautiful castle next year, but no Frontierland geysers.

I'll talk again about this in my next update but, good news, as they will totally clean again Big Thunder Mountain later this year and part of it will even be repainted.

Let's hope they will not forget the arch which really needs to be totally repainted, even more than BTM.

The Mark Twain was stopped during our cruise but was back as soon as the Molly Brown had finished its inaugural cruise.

The Molly Brown will be back in some weeks and next time you'll come at DLP don't miss it! See you soon for the part two of this big DLP update!

May be it doesn't look like but posting daily articles on Disney and more is always a lot of work. If you enjoyed this DLP update, why not doing a little Paypal donation? You'll find the Paypal donation button below. Thanks!

All pictures: copyright Disney and more

Video: copyright Mouetto - Disney Central Plaza


Anonymous said...

Thanks Alain for this update.
I'd be very curious to know how much WDI (glendale, not paris) was involved on this project, and how much they usually are -or not- on DLP's rehabilitations additions.
Because I don't get why sometimes they seem to care a lot about details, and sometimes it's like they don't even care about the project (just think about the integration or should I say intrusion of Buzz Lightyear Laserblast in the steampunkish discoveryland : )

Does anyone have a clue?


Joel said...

Don't even start to try and say the Glendale team doesn't care about details. That's just a silly argument that quite frankly does not make any sense. In my opinion, the old colors were UGLY and screamed 1990's even though they were historically correct. The new look fits great and I'm sure they are aware of the historical significance but opted for something that will really add to the atmosphere they are going to.

Sea World Fan said...

Lets just hope its kept in good condition... It seems sometimes DlP guests dont treat the parks very well! Its so beautiful now please dont destroy it!