Friday, December 7, 2012

WDW New Fantasyland Grand Opening, Flying Animatronic Dragon, First Picture of Avatar Land Model, and more

That's it, WDW New Fantasyland is now officially open and they did a grand opening in front of Cinderella castle! Tom Staggs was joined by actress Ginnifer Goodwin and singer Jordin Sparks...

...but have a closer look at Mickey on the video below filmed by Attractions magazine. Not only he is talking - but we knew already they can do it - but his eyes are also blinking! May be i'm wrong but i don't remember seeing this before. It brings more realism to the character and it's very well done!

As a matter of fact there was two ceremonies and the other one happened in front of Belle's village, always with Ginnifer Goodwin and Jordin Sparks - and Mickey always blinking his eyes.

But it's during the evening party that guests finally discovered the awaited flying dragon animatronic! WDI did a fantastic job on this one. Sure, the dragon is not flying totally by itself as it is in fact a ULM with a pilot but they did a really good job as not only they succeeded to hide the pilot and the ULM itself but also because the dragon wings are moving as well as its tail, neck, head and jaw, and you can be sure that it was not obvious to have all this elements moving up in the sky while flying. The dragon is also breathing fire and the whole thing, even if you know the "trick" is surprisingly convincing as long, of course, as it is used at night.

They also did a ceremony for the opening of Test Track new version - which deserves it - but the other VERY interesting thing that was revealed during a presentation by Imagineer Bruce Vaughn was the very first picture of the Avatar Land model. As you know the Avatar Land is supposed to open at Animal Kingdom in 2015 or 16 and this is the first picture.

Here is a video showing the presentation by Chief Creative Executive of Walt Disney Imagineering Bruce Vaughn.

Now, you look at the structure in the back which looks like giant rock with a kind of skeleton shape. On this next Avatar artwork - not released by Disney during the presentation- you'll see the same structure which might be the one that will serve as inspiration - may be for the entrance of the land?

Another Avatar artwork  may also be interesting in regards to the Avatar land's flume ride - as it seems there will be one as revealed by layout plans posted recently by Screamscape HERE. But not sure that WDI will recreate such a deep canyon...

That's all for today! Make sure to check the latest Shanghaî Disneyland news HERE and to follow me on Facebook right HERE on which you'll find daily additional posts!

Pictures: copyright Disney

Videos: copyright Disney, Attractions Magazine


The Architect said...

I believe this version of Mickey has always been blinking his eyes. I even think I've seen videos of non-talking characters who blink thei eyes (Donald, Goofy, etc).

The dargon looks really cool, although his colours are a little weird. It's almost like it's wearing a suit. I think I would have liked a plain green dragon better, but it's a very cool effect anyway!

Anonymous said...

He has been blinking for a long time. As long as he has been moving his lips.

Marco Antonio Garcia said...

The dragon effect is really awesome!!!