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

Friday, March 25, 2011

Pirates of the Caribbean 4 Sneak Peek debuts tonight at Disneyland Festival Arena

The Pirates of the Caribbean 4 Sneak Peek debut tonight at Disneyland and for a limited time, Captain Jack is in need of a few good scoundrels to join his crew. Embark on the Thunder Mountain Trail, become a member of Jack’s crew and view a 3D extended sequence from the upcoming Walt Disney release of Pirates of the Caribbean – On Stranger Tides.

Keep a lookout on weekend nights March 25 through April 14, 2011 and every evening from April 15 to May 1, 2011.

Prepare for Adventure

Your training starts when a group of rollicking, marauding misfits teach the basics of the buccaneer trade. Along the way, fortify your courage with a mug of pirate grog and purchase swords, hats and eye patches.

The Great Pirate Gathering

The Festival Arena has been transformed to evoke Blackbeard’s mysterious ship, Queen Anne’s Revenge. With training now complete, Capt. Jack Sparrow makes a visit and presents 3D Sneak Peek of Pirates of the Caribbean – On Stranger Tides., exclusive to Disneyland Park. But beware! Blackbeard may not be far off on the horizon.

The Attraction
Pirates of the Caribbean – On Stranger Tides: Sneak Peek is an interactive stage event featuring state-of-the-art projections, 3D film sequences and special effects that include bursts of flame, dramatic sound effects and theatrical lighting.

Picture and video: copyright Disney

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Editor's Note: You may have noticed that Disney and more was in "replay mode" this week. Due to a special webmasters meeting which is organized tomorrow at DLP - hopefully we will learn interesting things about the preparation of the 20th anniversary -
i had to delay my DLP update. I will post it with the latest news this week-end, may be tomorrow evening.

Main Street 1920's concept early draft and construction panoramic pictures

I thought that yesterday's article would have been my last D&M article but I had last evening a great surprise in my mail box with a mail from Eddie Sotto, show-producer of Main Street U.S.A at Disneyland Paris.

In the Disneyland Paris that never was Part 2 and 3 articles Eddie explained wonderfully what would have been Main street U.S.A 1920's first concept. Eddie found back the early draft of this 1920's version who describes in details what Eddie envisioned, back in 1987. It's a fascinating document as we discover what could have been Main Street shops, restaurants and attractions if this 1920's version has been chosen. In addition, Eddie also found great and never-seen-before panoramic pictures of DLP Main Street U.S.A's construction and the rare artwork above showing the EL Station, Main Street Station for the elevated tramway that never was. Here is the kind email from Eddie Sotto:


I was going through a box of old papers and ran across this 1987 memo and some photos. You have written so much about the Disneyland Paris that never was, I thought you'd enjoy sharing this early draft of what the 1920's Main Street could have been! there were many more drafts after this for sure, but it's fun to see what was being talked.

Here are some images from the summer before we opened from one of those kodak single use panoramic cameras. You'll notice the elevator cab for Walt's Restaurant was being threaded (brown box on it's side) through the doorway , stained glass and all, long before the doors went in to seal the space. The white surfaces you see are the ornamental pieces and primed moldings, some made of MDF, a pressed board material that although inexpensive, expands in the rain and bursts apart. So a year later much of that was to be replaced.

Eddie Sotto

Let's begin by the Main Street 1920's "script". Click on each image to see the three pages in larger scale.

Let's have a look now to these never-seen-before panoramic shots of Main Street's construction. Eddie shot the pictures in summer 1991, approximately 9 months before opening day. The first panoramics shows Town Square, the castle in the background is still under construction.

Next panoramic seems to have been shot from what is now the Walt's Restaurant, the Disneyland Hotel is in the background.

The two next panoramics are extremely rare pictures showing the arrival of the Walt's Restaurant elevator. It is so big that they had to wait to put it in place before they put the doors of the restaurant.

The last panoramic is vertical and is a rare view of the castle under construction!

I would like to thanks again Eddie Sotto for these great documents, i'm sure you were as fascinated as i was to discover them.

Tomorrow will be Disney and more "Grand Finale", and i have a last and great surprise for you, so make sure to come on D&M tomorrow!

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

Artwork and Main Street draft: copyright Disney Enterprises Inc

Panoramic pictures: copyright Eddie Sotto