Friday, April 8, 2011

Shanghaî Disneyland Groundbreaking Event Video !

Here is a great video showing yesterday's Shanghaî Disneyland groundbreaking event - in english and with french subtitles thanks to Disney Magic Interactive forum. In addition you'll find above the official Shanghaî Disney Resort logo. If you've not read it yet, don't miss my full report about yesterday's event with SDL artwork and pictures HERE.

The next video coming from a chinese TV channel is for my chinese readers. It's all in chinese language with no english subtitles and you'll see also in it some shots of HKDL as well as this SDL map.

SDL video: copyright Disney. Editing and subtitles by Disneymagicinteractive. com

Shanghaî Disneyland Groundbreaking Event !

Editor's Note: Apparently Photobucket is doing some maintenance and the D&M pictures will be back soon. Good news: you don't have to wait for their return to read today's article about SDL HERE as it doesn't include pictures!

That's the day we were waiting for: the Shanghaî Disneyland groundbreaking ceremony happened this morning and here is a full report about it! Disney also released new Shanghaî Disneyland concept-arts - you can see the castle above - and we will have a closer look at them. But first, pictures and videos of this historical moment!

Bob Iger, tom staggs, Shanghaî mayor, a lot of chinese officials and Disney characters were there for this groundbreaking event!

Before we look at the SDL artwork, here is the official press release. Among the important informations, the now official name of the park is Shanghaî Disneyland - and not Disneyland Shanghaî - the SDL resort will open in approximately five years and the castle will be the first "interactive castle" that Disney has ever built.


First Disney theme park to be built in mainland China

SHANGHAI (April 8, 2011) - The Walt Disney Company and Shanghai Shendi Group, its joint venture partner in China, have broken ground on the Shanghai Disney Resort following approval from the Chinese central government in Beijing. Both companies marked the start of construction on the first Disney resort in mainland China at a groundbreaking ceremony held earlier today.

"Today marks a significant milestone in the history of The Walt Disney Company," said Robert A. Iger, President and CEO of The Walt Disney Company. "Our Shanghai resort will be a world-class family vacation destination that combines classic Disney characters and storytelling with the uniqueness and beauty of China. Working with our Chinese partners, the Shanghai Disney Resort will be both authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese."

"We're incredibly excited to build a Disney resort in Shanghai, one of the world's most vibrant cities," said Thomas O. Staggs, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. "We are hard at work designing Shanghai Disneyland, which when complete will be a special place where guests of all ages will discover a world of imagination, creativity, adventure and thrills."

Today's groundbreaking ceremony paid homage to the culture and people of China. Traditional Chinese drum music, a female soloist singing in Mandarin, a 50-voice Shanghai children's choir and Mickey Mouse dressed in a traditional Chinese costume were on hand to mark this special occasion. Following the entertainment and remarks, Iger and Staggs were joined by Shanghai Party Secretary Yu Zhengsheng and Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng to officially break ground on the project.

The new Shanghai Disney Resort is slated to open in approximately five years.

The Shanghai Disney Resort will be home to Shanghai Disneyland, a Magic Kingdom-style park that will blend classic Disney storytelling and characters with all-new attractions and experiences tailored specifically for the people of China. The park will feature several themed lands complete with exciting, iconic Disney attractions and experiences. At the heart of the park will be an interactive Disney castle that is truly an attraction unto itself with entertainment, dining and performance experiences that will be unique to Shanghai Disneyland. The park will also contain other large-scale entertainment venues, indoor and out, that can be used for various purposes throughout the year.

A beautiful, 11 acre (46,130 square meter) green space at the center of the theme park will differentiate Shanghai Disneyland and reinforce the themes of sustainability and nature that will be integrated throughout the park. The space will also be a place where friends and family can enjoy local cultural celebrations and customs together.

On Opening Day, the Shanghai Disney Resort will be located on a 963 acre (3.9 square kilometer) site in Pudong, Shanghai, with additional room to expand in the future. At opening, the resort will include Shanghai Disneyland, two themed hotels, a large retail, dining and entertainment venue, recreational facilities, a lake and associated parking and transportation hubs.

There will be an initial investment in the project of approximately 24.5 billion yuan (US$3.7 billion) to build the theme park and an additional 4.5 billion yuan (US$0.7 billion) to build the other aspects of the resort, including the hotels and the retail, dining and entertainment area. The investment amounts will be split between Disney and the Shanghai Shendi Group with Disney holding 43% of the shares of the owner companies and the Shanghai Shendi Group holding the remaining 57%. Financing will be proportional to ownership. In addition, a joint venture management company will be formed with Disney having a 70% stake and Shanghai Shendi Group having a 30% stake. The management company will be responsible for creating, developing and operating the resort. (end of the press release)

Let's have a look now at the renderings. The one above is a bird eye's view of the park and there is no Main Street at the entrance as Iger confirmed it at a conference after the ceremony: "We decided this park would not begin with a typical main street because we simply believe that a Main Street USA might not be that interesting for people here. So the experience you get when you enter the gates will be quite different".

Bob Iger also said this morning that Shanghaî Disneyland will be "both authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese. Our Shanghai resort will be a world-class family vacation destination that combines classic Disney characters and storytelling with the uniqueness and beauty of China". The least we can say is that Iger is right. If we have a closer look at the entrance you'll see that instead of the traditional Main Street SDL guests will find lush 11 acres of green space including water, trees, small chinese pagodas and costumed characters. Obviously WDI Imagineers didn't forgot chinese's love for parks and trees in blossom. This 46,000 square meter green space at the centre of the park is also designed to be a cultural hub and a reminder of "the themes of sustainability and nature that will be integrated throughout the park."

I've tried to enlarge the artwork to see more details and it was not easy as Disney - to avoid that any SDL concepts will be copy before the park opening - has released these artworks in good definition but small size. However, let's have a closer look at the castle first. Surprise! it's not a "chinese" castle but a new version of a european castle, closer to the one at TDL than to a "Mulan" castle.

Also released this morning, this other artwork supposedly showing SDL castle...

...and if this artwork reminds you another one it's may be not a coincidence as Herb Ryman did a long time ago a painting for Tokyo Disneyland who looks really a lot like this one (without Cinderella's coach).

Always about the castle, we saw in the press release that it will be an "interactive" castle - no more details for now about this interactivity - but Iger also revealed that Shanghaî Disneyland castle will be "the largest and tallest "Story Book Castle" of any Disney park".

As we'll see it's such an unusual concept that, at first sight, it will be hard to find any Disney's iconic attractions in it. But at least we can find two classic Disney rides, just in front of the castle. The first one is the Dumbo ride...

...and the other one is the famous Fantasyland Carousel.

We can see nearby others carousels which might be more of a chinese inspiration and the idea to have include classic Fantasyland rides in this huge "green space" area is interesting. But the details about SDL attractions will stop here as it's impossible to identify on the artwork others classic Disney attractions. This is not going to stop us to have a closer look at the different areas and let's begin by the lake, the boats and the pier.

Let's move to Shanghai Disneyland's entrance area.

Water is the other element of Shanghaî DisneylandLand we can see it everywhere as you'll see in these next pictures showing the right part of the park. The dark mountain on the foreground seems to be a water ride with a big drop and you will also notice the building behind with what seems to be giant crystals included in its architecture.

And here is a closer look at the left side of the park. And don't ask me what it is as i have no idea! It could be a kind of Tomorrowland or it could be anything else!

Finally, Disney also launched this morning the new Shanghaî Disney Resort web site! You will find it HERE. No more artwork in it but Tinkerbell is already there! Put it in your bookmarks for the future!

Edited: Don't miss the others video of the groundbreaking event in my new article HERE.

And that's all what we can say in this historical day. Details will come later but one thing is sure: Shanghaî Disneyland works have now began, the park looks big - obviously Disney learned from HKDL "size" mistake - and we can't wait to walk in to discover this very unusual disney theme park!

Pictures and artwork: copyright Disney

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Disney and more 4th Anniversary !

We're already April 7th in France and that's the anniversary date of Disney and more. Yes, it's already four years since i did my first post on D&M! Last year, a little bit after the 3rd anniversary i was so tired that i even announced the end of Disney and more but finally D&M is still here, and so am I.

If you're part of the Disney and More faithful readers who were there from the start you know that i generally bring something new each D&M birthday. Last year it was the great Tom Scherman web site and this year i also have something new for you! A new section of D&M is opening today and is all dedicated to an upcoming and highly awaited Disney attraction.

For now, you will find on this new site all the related articles previously posted on D&M but all new articles about this great ride will be posted on this new web site - and don't worry, i'll let you know on D&M when i will do so, so you won't have to check both sites.

I can hear you think "what ride are you talking about, Alain?", so the best is to let you open the door of this new room in the D&M mansion, and it's very easy, all you have to do to discover it is to click HERE.

Thanks again to all of you for your support during these four years!

Alain Littaye

Monday, April 4, 2011

Little Mermaid Attraction: Ariel Audio-Animatronic unveiled !

Two weeks ago WDI unveiled the impressive Ursula audio-animatronic and yesterday they released a video showing the one of Ariel. The Ariel AA is not the same size, of course, than the Ursula Animatronic but it looks really good as you will see in the video below!

Picture and video: copyright Disney

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Disneyland Paris Update : Disney Magical Moments Festival Opening

The official launch of DLP Disney Magical Moments Festival happened last Saturday and i have for you a full report about what's new in both parks for 2011. No more concept-arts, these are pictures and videos of the real thing!

Main Street station as you can see on the picture above has now new decorations and we will begin the tour by Adventureland where guests can find two new photo locations. The first one is themed on Aladdin and the magic lamp and is located on the right when you exit the Adventureland Bazaar area and walk towards Pirates of the Caribbean. Nice little decor and of course the Aladdin characters are doing regular appearances.

The next new photo location is located near the Hakuna Matata restaurant. A bit behind, in fact. You will find Kaa and Zazu...

...and the African drummers are normally seat there but they were in pause when i came.

Later in the afternoon, strangely, i found them playing in front of the restaurant and not at the new photo location which is may be a bit too much "off the main road".

Undeniably the best novelty this year in Adventureland is the new Peter Pan show. It's a small show located in front of Skull Rock, on the other side of the lagoon. Children and guests from the audience are asked to participate - children play the lost boys - and part of the charm of this show is coming from the fact that everything was done without any pretention. It's a nice, cute little show and quite close finally of the "spirit" of the original movie.

The right title of the show is "Follow the leader with Peter Pan" and they've themed a small pirate decor including parrots and a show poster too.

As for the show itself i have better for you than high-res pictures as here is a high-res video of the full show!
Spoiler Warning! If you're planning to come to the park this year it may be better to keep the surprise and don't watch the video, specially considering that this Peter Pan show is one of the best new things at DLP this year! But if you decide to watch it, then watch it in full screen mode!

While we are in Adventureland, remember that i told you last week that they're going to replace the Captain Hook ship as it is in bad condition? Well, here is two pictures of it and the least we can say is that the sooner the new boat will arrive the better it will be. And i didn't cheated on the colors of the pictures, the boat have really lost all its original colors.

Let's move to Fantasyland where an open air photo exhibit is waiting you near the Fantasy Festival Stage. It's all pictures of the park shot by VIP people from many european countries.

Also near Alice's Curious Labyrinth entrance you'll find the Mad Hatter photo location where Alice and the Mad Hatter will do regular appearances.

As you can see when i came last saturday they were not there, but that's because they were inside the labyrinth for a photo shooting with VIPs !

Always in Fantasyland here is a picture of the photo location decor of Raiponce - without her as i was not in luck that morning!

Some few yards from it is a temporary Disney Princess meet and greet. In my previous DLP update i told you about the works on the future Princess Pavilion which was supposed to open this year but obviously they're a little bit late on this one. On the next picture the entrance of the future pavilion will be where the fences are now.

But for now it's only under a "royal tent" that children can meet and greet their favorite Disney Princess.

Let's go back now through the castle to Central Plaza and as you can see the back of the castle is also in "repaint mode".

These big white balls that you can see on Central Plaza will be used later that day for the special event evening show projection effects. Of course they won't be here for your next visit.

There is a new show on Central Plaza stage this year and you'll be happy to learn that it is in my opinion a better one, less hysterical than last year's show. As it is a Disney show there is of course lots of Disney characters and if, just like me, you're a fan of the Sword in the Stone, you'll be pleased to see Merlin, in one of its rare appearances.

Before we move to the Walt Disney Studios, let's stop at the Disney & Co shop for a last goodbye to the band organ. As i've told you last week this beautiful band organ will be send to Florida and placed inside the Story Book Circus area in the new Fantasyland.

On the way to the WDS let's go first to Disney Village to have a look at the works on the new Earl of Sandwich restaurant which will open later this year. Some of you asked me pictures of it so here they are!

At the Walt Disney Studios we will have a look first at the Moteurs Action stunt show as Lightning McQueen is now appearing in the show. McQueen appears for a 3 minutes scene and it begins by Mater on the giant screen warning McQueen about a spy car. McQueen is coming out of a truck, quite unexpectedly (which is good) and try to find the spy car. Last saturday the McQueen car didn't worked on the first show but worked on the two others. McQueen is definitely not moving at a "lightning" speed but i suppose that the car is too precious to do real stunts. Anyway it's a pleasure to see him and here is the video of its full appearance and - Spoiler Warning again - if you prefer to keep the surprise do NOT watch the video!

At the other end of the WDS the green soldiers appear now regularly inside Toy Story Playland. The best location to see them is near Parachute Drop entrance. Last saturday they were only three but hopefully they will be more on your next visit. Here is the video with, of course, the same spoiler alert.

Before the big evening show every guest of this special event had dinner in the Disneyland park and I with others webmasters had a table reserved at the Agrabah restaurant in Adventureland Bazaar. And we were really lucky as Philippe Gas - DLP CEO - and Jeff Archambaud - Vice President Communications - had dinner with us. Yes, we talked about a lot of things including the future but some things must remain secret for now! Here is our table.

After the dinner the big press event show happened and you can see the full video of it in the next article below. Once the show was over it was time to go back but a last surprise awaited us on Town Square: Lightning McQueen himself! Look well the picture below as you won't see McQueen back on Town square anytime soon!

DLP "normal" guests will probably be pleased with this Disney Magical Moments Festival and there is some good things in it like the Peter Pan show and the new show on Central Plaza but i will understand that Disney fans waiting for new rides might be a bit disappointed. 2011 is clearly an "in between" year and hopefully next year and DLP 20th Anniversary will bring something new in the "attraction" section.

That's the end of this big DLP Magical Moments Festival update, hope you've enjoyed it and see you soon to talk about the future!

Pictures and videos: copyright Disney and more or copyright Disney