Thursday, July 28, 2011

D&M Time Machine : WDW Magic Kingdom 1972

Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom opened October 1st, 1971, and LIFE magazine did a great issue on it - see cover above. So, today, let's go back in time one year later, in 1972, with this great home movie shot by the father of "asdTubeU". As he says on the Youtube video description: "My first visit to Walt Disney World was in October 1972. My father shot one roll of 8 mm film -- that's about 3 minutes of film -- of our visit (though I've cut out the family shots except for me interacting with a blinking Goofy).

In this silent digitized video (with music by YouTube's AudioSwap) of that film, you'll see: Topiaries in front of the Contemporary Resort on the Seven Seas Lagoon.

A sign for the "World Cruise" on the Seven Seas Lagoon & Bay Lake.

An outdoor band stage with Bambi's friends Flower and Thumper dancing.

The 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Submarines

Brief views of Frontierland, Liberty Square and Adventureland from near where Splash Mountain now sits, including a view of The Haunted Mansion which is no longer possible from the original Walt Disney World Railroad station in Frontierland. Of course, there was no Big Thunder Mountain either.

The river was drained during this visit, so there is no steamboat in the Magic Kingdom, but the burning cabin was ablaze, some of the scenes along the river are in place near the railroad tracks, the skyway's 90º turn is completely unobstructed and operating and the speedway has no Space Mountain next door."

Video: copyright asdTubeU

More about Trader's Sam Tiki Bar

I'd like to talk again about the new Trader's Sam Tiki Bar at the Disneyland Hotel - see my previous post with videos here - as it seems that it is the hidden jewel of this summer season. I mean, there was big press events for the Little Mermaid ride and Star Tours 2 but nothing special for the Trader's Sam Tiki bar. Okay, it's only a bar but since its opening news about it are not only good but extremely enthusiastic, and there are good reasons for that.

The Trader's Sam has reminiscences of the Tiki Room, the Jungle Cruise and the now extinct WDW Adventurer's Club and it seems to be a wonder of WDI perfect theming. In two words: if you go at the Disneyland Resort to experience the new rides, don't forget to go to Trader's Sam to have a drink and enjoy the theming when you will get out of the parks!

I realised that i didn't posted the WDI official rendering and you have it on the top. Below, three pictures shot by the excellent Theme Park web site who have done the best review so far about the Trader's Sam. Even better they, have an exclusive interview of WDI Imagineer Kyle Barnes that i strongly recommand you to read.

Below, from the top, an interesting picture as it is shot exactly on the same angle than the rendering above and shows the "reality". Next is a picture showing some of the great theming inside Trader's Sam, and the last one shows the volcano diorama which will erupt regularly.

Theme Park Adventure also shot a great video showing both the outside and the inside of Trader's Sam. It is embedded below and, again, don't forget to go on their site to read the Imagineer interview and to discover dozens of more pictures of this great Tiki bar!

Pictures and video: copyright Theme Park

Artwork: copyright Disney

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

SDL Latest News : Work Halt at Shanghaî Disneyland Site !

Work was halted on Shanghai Disneyland on Saturday when earth movers being used on the project were found to be both overloaded and operating without a proper license. Apparently the catch was made as part of the city's latest campaign against overloaded or speeding earth mover vehicles, an under appreciated threat. Indeed it's not a big problem and works should resume very soon at the SDL site but it's the kind of thing that Disney may face in China where chineses are not really known for their full respect of regulations... More about this in the full Shanghaî Daily article below:

"Some work at the Shanghai International Tourism and Resorts Zone, the site of the city's future Disneyland, has been halted temporarily because local authorities found that the earth-moving equipment being used was overloaded and not licensed.

Violations were found at the site in the Pudong New Area on Saturday. Fines will be imposed on the construction company based on the amount of the soil it dumped so far. The authority is still investigating the amount.

"Inspectors found the trucks of up to 25-ton capacity carried more than 30 tons of soil in general," said an official with the city urban management team. "The overloaded trucks were unable to close their canopies."

It will take about one week for the company to get licensed after application, the city's public sanitation officials said yesterday. The unlicensed trucks were caught in the city's latest campaign against overloaded or speeding earth-moving trucks which claimed many lives years ago. The inspectors were surprised that such a high-profile project lacked the required licenses.

Construction on the long-sought Disneyland, the first on China's mainland, began in April. The theme park is in the heart of the 20-square-kilometer Shanghai International Tourism and Resorts Zone. The first phase of the Shanghai Disneyland project, to cover 3.9 square kilometers, is expected to open in 2015.

A lot of pedestrians and moped riders fell victim to construction trucks in 2009 when many projects were carried out before the World Expo 2010. Some truck drivers travel too fast and carry excessive loads of construction waste to finish more trips - and thus earn more pay. This has prompted authorities to periodically launch campaigns against speeding and overloaded trucks."

Text: copyright Shanghaî Daily &

Click HERE for direct access to the TDS Wallpapers HD iTunes page
or READ my article first HERE.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Disneyland Paris Update

Here is a new Disneyland Paris update with pictures shot this month by my good friend Mouetto of Disney Central Plaza forum. We'll begin with pictures of the latest refurbishment all around the park. Above and below some pictures of Sleeping Beauty Castle still under repainting although it will be finished very soon. I still think that the new pink-blue-gold colors are a bit too strong and makes the castle look a bit like a "Barbie" castle but it's also true that Paris weather will tone down all the colors along the years, so...

Next, let's move to Adventureland where Captain Hook galleon is also in refurbishment and even more than that as they're not going to repair the galleon but literally replace it by a brand new one which will be put in place with the help of a crane in the next months. The previous one is in such amazing bad condition - as you will see on the pictures below - that in fact they didn't had the choice. Works were supposed to begin last April to end next September but apparently it took longer than expected.

From what i've been told, one of the reason of this delay might be that the company which is building the new galleon was waiting for the original blueprints...and it seems that they were lost (!) Whether this is true or not DLP guests should have soon a brand new galleon, build in stronger materials (let's hope that it won't be built in full fiber glass instead of wood) with more dramatic colors, a mix of red and black, with red color on the cannons instead of black, and front and rear of the boat will be painted in gold. All this to give to the galleon a look which will work both for a "Captain Hook" or a "Jack Sparrow" theming... Right now, the scaffolding that you can see on the pictures is there to prepare the old structure to be lifted properly.

Good news, in Discoveryland the Orbitron is back and this time the "planets" are moving again! On the picture below shot early July the Orbitron was still waiting for its planets...

...but on the videos below filmed July 12 and 13 everything was there. If you look at the videos you'll see that these planets are now turning as they were on opening day.

With this next video of the Orbitron, shot on a sunny day, you'll have a better view of the moving planets.

And what about DLP future, you ask? What about Star Tours 2 or the awaited Ratatouille ride at the WDS? Well, nothing. I mean, nothing new, no official announcement yet. The last rumors are saying that the ride is now green lit as the funding had finally been secured but i will believe it totally when it will be officially announced.

However, something interesting happened recently when John Lasseter came to the park. On the official picture below you'll see him in front of DLP castle and there is no doubt that John was there for the promotion of Cars 2 now opening in France, but John Lasseter was also spotted at the WDS on the new Ratatouille road, near Toy Story Playland, close to the future Ratatouille area...and he was not alone as Tom Fitzgerald, Executive Vice President and Senior Creative Executive, and Chrissie Allen, Senior Show Producer, joined him for this very private meeting - see photo HERE. There is no doubt that a meeting in this location is in relation with the Ratatouille ride, so may be it's a good sign. WDI Imagineers will need 18 months to build the ride and mini-land, so let's hope the works will begin soon if they want to be ready for a 2013 opening.

Let's end with a crazy story which happened last saturday at the Disneyland park where a man was arrested for "fake bomb alert". Basically, it was raining that day and the french guy was upset to have been waiting under the rain - and he didn't wanted to sit in the vehicles because they were wet... Then the 57 years old guy, becoming more upset, didn't found anything better than saying that he had a bomb with him! DLP security arrived, and soon the guy was arrested. The ride was stopped for one hour, they searched if he had really a bomb with him and of course no bomb was found as it was just a stupid joke. The only problem is that under the french law the guy can be punished for this fake bomb alert by two years in jail or a 30000 euros fine! Next time he'll be more patient, although a lot of french are totally unable to be patient... More about this bomb hoax HERE.

See you soon with a new update!

Pictures: copyright Mouetto or Disney

Click HERE for direct access to the TDS Wallpapers HD iTunes page or READ my article first HERE.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Tokyo Disney Sea Fantasmic! Show

With all these earthquake / tsunami / nuclear plant disasters in Japan the new Fantasmic show at Tokyo Disney Sea didn't had the promotion he deserves on Disney blogs. Even me, i confess, totally forgot to do a topic about it. So, today, here is a great video which will show you the full show, also part of TDS 10th Anniversary celebration.

Steve Davison, who designed and directed the show, has called this new version of Fantasmic as "Fantasmic 2.0,". The show's score was completely recorded by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios, composed by Don L. Harper, as is, Bruce Healey's theme to the original Fantasmic! The new version has new scenes and plot, accompanied with a new song titled "Imagination". This is the only version of Fantasmic! to not have a stationary stage, since Mediterranean Harbor is located in the center of the park. Instead most of the show takes place on barges and boats.

Okay, it's time to enjoy the show, thanks to this HD video filmed by Theme Park!

Talking about Tokyo Disney Sea, if you have not download yet the great TDS Wallpapers application for iPhone or iPad - see below - it's still time to do it!

Click HERE for direct access to the TDS Wallpapers HD iTunes page
or READ my article first HERE.

Video: copyright Theme Park

" Nice to meet you, Steve "

Here is a short but fun story from a book by Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller called Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN. First, i remind you that ESPN is owned by Disney. Now, the story goes that "ESPN president George Bodenheimer attended the first Disney board meeting in Orlando, Florida, just after Disney had bought Pixar and spotted Apple CEO Steve Jobs in a hallway. It seemed like a good time to introduce himself. “I am George Bodenheimer,” he said to Jobs. “I run ESPN.” Jobs just looked at him and said nothing other than “Your phone is the dumbest fucking idea I have ever heard” then turned and walked away."

The ESPN phone was the one you can see on the top. It was built by Samsung and Disney at that time expected to sell 230.000 of it but at the end they sold only 10000 "ESPN" phones. That year, Disney's mobile division wound up losing $135 million.

Six months later, Steve Jobs introduced to the world the first iPhone. So, for sure, when he talked to George Bodenheimer he knew how dumb the ESPN phone was!