Saturday, February 4, 2012

Editor's Note: I am pleased to confirm that the printing order for the Disneyland Paris book has been sent to the printer, which means that the book publishing is now sure! If you didn't order your collector's copy yet, do it now as copies of the book are still available in english or french and placing a pre-order also allows you a 20% discount on the final price!

The Disneyland Paris Book "From Sketch to Reality" publishing is now confirmed, order your collector's copy now !

Important Note: For the french version of this article click HERE. Pour la version française de cet article cliquez ICI.
Please note that copies in english of french edition are always available. As long as this message stays here it means that copies are available, so you can place your order directly. For those of you who have never seen a copy of the book you'll fin below a video presentation of the full book which will show you each of the 320 pages of the book.

So, I have a great news for all of you who are looking desperately to find a copy of the acclaimed "Disneyland Paris, From Sketch to Reality" book, out of stock since more than a year. The book will be reprint in March - which means that its released in April is now sure! - and not only it will be republished but it will be reprint in its very rare collector's edition, the one impossible to find since eight years, so rare that it is sold on Amazon Market Place or eBay for prices between 500 and 1300 U.S $ !

Thanks to read all the lines below to well understand how to order a copy of this limited collector's edition of the book.

First, a few words to explain you how this re-publishing is happening. As you know the book was impossible to find whether it was in the park or anywhere else at a reasonable price, and obviously the publisher who had the rights wasn't planning to reprint the book. As this publisher wanted to sell the rights after long negotiations i've succeeded to find him someone interested by republishing the book. A new publishing company has been specially created for this and is called Neverland Editions.

In my talks with the new publisher he asked me if, at the first printing, the book had different editions. I told him that we did a collector's edition, and when i looked back in my 2002 files - the year the book was first published - i realized that at that time we've printed only 550 copies of the french collector's edition and 1270 copies of the english collector's edition. This collector's edition being limited at 2000 copies in french and 2000 in english there is still 1450 copies in french and 730 copies in english which are allowed to be reprint and commercialized. These are the one which will be reprint and only these collector's edition will be reprint, not the "regular" edition.

For those of you who don't know what is the collector's edition here is more details: the collector's edition is printed on a luxury glossy paper, it has a gold printing on the cover and dust jacket, is limited at 2000 copies in english ( and 2000 in french ), each copy has a number, AND each copy include four beautiful "lithographs" of WDI artwork for the Walt Disney Studios. Each of these lithographs can be put under frame. Also, the contents of the book will be exactly the same than the first collector's copies printed ten years ago.

We have began to take pre-orders on the book rand this not only will allow you to pre-order a valuable collector's edition copy but also to help this legendary book to be reprint and have a new life. The pre-order period is still running until late february and for those of you who haven't pre-order the book yet it's the right time to do it as placing a pre-order also give you a 20% discount on the book final price!

Here is how to do to order the book, and first a real good news: although the printing costs are not anymore what they were ten years ago ( the cost for the paper is specially higher ) i have convinced the new publisher to keep the collectors's edition at the same price that it was sold ten years ago for each one who will pre-order the book. In two words, each one of you placing a pre-order for a collector's edition copy will pay it exactly the same price that it cost ten years ago, in 2002, i.e 100 euros. When the pre-orders will be over and the book issued this collector's edition will be sold at a price between 120 and 130 euros, which means that pre-ordering the book help you to have more or less a 20% discount on it.

The book is expected to be released late April 2012 as of course we wish to have this collector's edition released during DLP 20th Anniversary, and everyone who will place a pre-order will be kept informed of the printing and the release date, as well, of course, of the shipping date. Please note that the book will NOT be sold at Disneyland Paris. The merchandise department, for reasons which are difficult to understand has decided to don't order copies of the book. We'll be happy if there is any changes but apparently the merchandise products plan for 2012 is now finalized and it's too late to change it.

So, how to pre-order a copy of this collector's edition? First, send an email at: ( with as subject: "dip book order" ) to let us know that you want to pre-order a copy, how many copies you want, in which language ( english or french edition? ) , and your shipping address. Please also note that a pre-order needs to be paid to be consider as an order.

The price for a pre-order of a collector's edition copy is 100 euros, plus 15 euros only for shipping to any country, including U.S. If you live in France, shipping is 10 euros (only for France).

How to proceed for your payment: We prefer a Paypal payment. Paypal is a very safe way to pay without giving your credit card number. For a payment with Paypal the total amount ( 115€ including shipping or 110€ if you live in France ) must be sent through Paypal at the email adress:

If you don't have a Paypal account: either you know someone who have one and through whom you can send the payment, or you can pay with a bank wire transfer ( no foreign checks, sorry ). If you want to do a wire transfer please let us know in your email and we will send you the bank infos.

Finally, the quickest we'll be able to have the needed amount for the printing, the quickest the book will be reprint. So, thanks to don't wait for the last minute to place your pre-order and also because the number of copies of this collector's edition are limited. Also, if you have friends or DLP fans who are desperately trying to find the book, thanks to let them know about this reprinting.

Thanks to all of you for your help and below you'll find a description of the book as well as visuals of the inside pages ( click on the mosaic pictures to see them in larger scale ).

Although you've probably heard about this beautiful book, many of you may have never seen a copy of it. So we've done a video presentation of the full book which will show you each of the 320 pages of the book! The book includes 750 pictures of the park, including 250 gorgeous renderings of Walt Disney Imagineering and stunning pictures of the park seen from above. The book is so big that it took us seven and a half minutes to show you the full book, and that's without stopping turning each pages! So, if you want to have a closer look at a page don't hesitate to stop the video. Finally, because we didn't had any more a collector edition copy the video is showing the regular edition of the book, not the collector's edition that you will receive if you place your order, but the inside pages are exactly the same.

Alain Littaye

Description of the book:

The book is a gorgeous "coffee table book" with 320 pages and 750 pictures - of which 500 are park and attractions photos and 250 are Walt Disney Imagineering renderings!

The size is 9 x 12 inches, all pages are in color and it's hardbound with a glossy dust jacket. The text (by Disney historian Didier Ghez), was written after more than 75 interviews he conducted with all the Imagineers who created the park. He goes into just about everything you wanted to know about this unique place that many describe as the best "Magic Kingdom" ever created by WDI.

It took five years to create the book, but it was worth all the time we spent on it, and the book looks just as good as we had hoped for at the beginning - in fact Imagineer Bruce Gordon told us that it was "probably the best book ever done on a Disney theme park". Coming from Bruce who did with David Mumford the great "Disneyland, The Nickel Tour" book, it was more than a compliment.

The first chapter about Main Street has 52 pages and introduces the reader to the "legend" of Main Street, USA. You'll learn all about the Disneyland Paris Railroad, the unique "Discovery" and "Liberty" Arcades; find out about the architecture, the restaurants (like "Walt's," a tribute to Walt Disney, but also inspired by Club 33 in Anaheim) and the shops; with dozens of photos, renderings, models, and reproduced for the first time here, all the "cities of the future" posters located in "Discovery Arcade."

The second chapter on Frontierland discusses the park's western side with extensive sections about its major attractions, "Big Thunder Mountain" and "Phantom Manor." In fact the book has the longest sections ever put together in a book on all the major attractions. The Pirates of Caribbean section in the Adventureland chapter is 26 pages, Phantom Manor has 16 pages devoted to it, as does Space Mountain, it's a small world, etc. The photo material was so great that we kept adding more pages to the book, which was supposed to have only 240 pages when we started... we ended up with 320 upon completion!

The Frontierland chapter also covers the Mark Twain, the River Rogue Keelboats, Fort Comstock, all the restaurants, the shops and Cottonwood Creek Ranch.and featuring stunning photos of Disneyland Paris from the air by Yann Arthus Bertrand, author of The Earth from Above that make spectacular "double-pages," and allow the reader to discover the park from a whole different angle.

The Adventureland chapter is even more interesting, as many elements of the land exist only in Paris - such as the Bazaar and Aladdin to Africa and the ex-"Explorer's Club." Plus there's a long section about "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril," "Adventure Isle" and "The Swiss Robinson Treehouse" and, of course, "Pirates of Caribbean" the land's major attraction and featuring its amazing Audio-Animatronics! All in all there are 56 full pages about Adventureland, and as in the previous chapters, there are dozens of photos, lots of concept art, and many shots of Imagineers at work. There's even a great bonus here, with the Marc Davis artwork for "Pirates" also included.

56 full pages are also dedicated to Fantasyland. There's an extensive look at Sleeping Beauty Castle, sections on all the dark rides (Snow White, Peter Pan and Pinocchio), as well as a look at "Alice's Curious Labyrinth," the "Mad Hatter's Tea Cups," "Storybookland," and "Casey Jr." There are even 14 pages about "it's a small world" with stunning photos of nearly all the scenes in it. Here the reader can discover a new attraction that exists only at Disneyland Paris, with a great view from above of Alice's Labyrinth.

Discoveryland also gets 52 pages of special treatment, with sections on the Visionarium, the Nautilus, Star Tours, Space Mountain, and everything you wanted to know about the other attractions in this land – Autopia and Orbitron. In fact the Nautilus chapter takes you on a visit with photos of every room of this detailed walk-through and two double page photo spreads, one which makes you feel you're inside Captain Nemo's grand salon, and the other showing you a unique view of Discoveyland featuring the Nautilus and Space Mountain in a kind of "CinemaScope" view.

When the book was released in early 2002, the Walt Disney Studios didn't exist, so you won't see them in the book. But there's still one last chapter about the hotels of the park, and Disney Village too, with the great Buffalo Bill Wild West show that entertains hundreds each evening.

And because every day in a Magic Kingdom should end with a parade and fireworks, we have the Main Street Electrical Parade that close the book, with also an Herb Ryman gorgeous painting in the very last pages!

Pictures: copyright Disney

Video: copyright Alain Littaye 2012

Friday, February 3, 2012

Why the new Disneyland Explorer iPad app is both brilliant and frustrating at the same time

Disney released two days ago their new iPad app called "Disneyland Explorer" and we'll have a closer look at it as there is more to say about this new iPad app than what you may have read on others sites.

First, the design and layouts are definitely brilliant, they did a superb job on these and visually the app is at the height of what you can expect for an app about the Disneyland Resort. That said, any Disneyland fan must be prepared to be disappointed with the features of the app simply because it's not an app that was done for Disneyland fans but more to advertise the park. The whole app is a huge Ad for the Disneyland Resort and as you will understand the target is obviously the families with young children.

Let's begin by the good part, the visuals. When you open the app you have first the title page - picture on top - and then you arrive directly on the Disneyland castle.

You also have a nice menu page on which you can choose and go directly to your favorite destination in DL or DCA.

You can take a spin around the whole resort, all you have to do is to swipe on the iPad screen. Again, the graphics are brilliant with some animated elements and all this is very enjoyable.

Have a better look at this with this Disney promo video.

Now, let's have a look at the interactivity part: when you stop on a destination. Whether it's a DL or DCA attraction, hotels or restaurants, either you'll be able to see a picture of the place, a (very) short movie, or a little game . If it is a picture, let's say for instance of the Pinocchio dark ride, the app will show you ONE picture of it. Not two or there, just one. C'mon guys, was it that difficult to give us the choice between at least 5 or 6 pics?

Sometime you can have an interesting pic like this one showing Mr Toad wild ride decor but mostly it's official marketing pictures that you probably have seen before.

Then, for some rides you will have a short film. And when i say short it's really short, i.e generally a video not more than one minute long. And most of the time it's the ride promotional video which you also have probably seen before and not specially interesting at the exception of those about Jungle Cruise or Indiana Jones Adventure which are also promo videos but are filmed with sepia color and a 1930's style.

The third possibility is the little games. Not all the rides have a little game but mostly major DL or DCA rides, i.e POTC, Haunted Mansion, Big Thunder, Splash Mountain, It's a Small World, Matterhorn, Star Tours, Tower of Terror, Soarin', World of Color, Art of Animation, Little Mermaid, Tower of Terror and the Castle Fireworks. Now, if you're more than 8 years old there is big chances that you will find the games not only simple but lame but that's normal as, as i have said, the app was designed for young children. Let's have a look at some of them: the one that goes with Pirates of Caribbean might look the coolest - you fire others ships with a cannon - but not only you will necessary win in less than five minutes but chances are that you won't play at it again as the game is not interesting enough - except if you're 6 years old, of course. And by the way the same kind of game was used on another Disney app released for the POTC movie early last year.

The game going with Splash Mountain is also simple - you have to send water on falling logs with bee hives...

...and the one for the Haunted Mansion is not really a game but invites you to play Grim Grinning Ghosts on an organ.

Now, the first time you discover these little games you'll probably think "oh, that's cool" but the truth is that you will have done all of them in less time than it took me to write this article. Others incredible mistakes can be find in the Star Tours and Soarin' games. In both you have to move your iPad to get closer to a California destination or a Star Wars planet and then a postcard with "Greetings from...the Death Star, Naboo, Hoth, etc..." will appear and you'll be able to send them by email to your friends. Even if we don't mention that Disney is using you to do more publicity for the attraction/resort there is a problem which could have been extremely simple to resolve and make each game not great but at least less lame: each "postcard" you'll get in the Star Tours or Soarin' games have all written "Greetings from...". Frankly, was it that difficult to change the text and have "Best Wishes from..." or anything else instead to have the same "Greetings from..." on EACH postcard. Someone has been lazy on this one...

You can also learn to draw characters in the game of the Art of Animation, create fireworks with a touch of your finger over Disneyland castle ( lot of apps are doing this effect and here the effect could have been done better ) and also "program" the sequence of World of Color and have the fountain "dancing".

However there is a simple but smart idea with the Matterhorn game. Basically you have to snap a picture of the elusive Abominable Snowman while you try to find him on the Matterhorn thanks to a binoculars effect. Now, when you succeed to see him clearly, you get the shot before he disappears and at the end of the game you 'll be able to send these "rare shots of the Abominable Snowman" to a friend. But what is happening is that the shots that appear on the email are blurred! And i think that's smart, because in the legend no one ever succeeded to take a clear shot of him, and so did you even if you have seen him clearly... So the world will still have to wait for a clear picture of the abominable snowman...

At California Adventure others games can be find for the Little Mermaid ride as well as Tower of Terror. It's not really games by the way but more an interactivity with what's on the screen. Nice graphics but not extremely interesting.

At Toon Town however, in Mickey's house, you'll find something that could have been great. You enter Mickey's home and you have the choice of eight old short animated Mickey cartoons. Looks pretty cool until you realize that the one embedded are SHORT versions of these already "short animated". That is to say that they've "cut" in their own cartoons, probably because the files weight was less heavy. But there is also, on most of them a real problem of definition as the definition is simply not good enough for the iPad screen, and you can see it. It's a pity because it would have been simple to do it perfectly.

I want to say one more thing about the hotels and downtown Disney sections as it is there that you will find one of the coolest feature. At the Disneyland Hotel you can have a look inside each of the new themed suites thanks to 360 degree pictures that allow you to look wherever you wish in the suite, and you can also zoom in the pic, etc... It's simple but here it's perfectly done.

So, why will you be frustrated by this app? Not because of the price as, good news, the app is free on the iTunes Appstore! But because of what it could have been if it had been done not only with talent but also with a bit of genius. Disney have tons of documents, renderings, pictures, etc... for each place of the parks, so they could have done easily an app which would have been extremely interesting for everyone, with Imagineers interview, artwork, model pictures, etc... Sure the app will have been even more heavy - the app weight already 429 Mb! - and probably not free, but personally i wouldn't mind to pay for an app which would include real interesting features.

But, again, the app was not designed for you or me but is simply and mostly a marketing product, and on this angle it's a brilliant one. But the "perfect" Disneyland App remain to be done.

App screen capture pictures: copyright Disney

Disney's California Adventure Animated Map

Disney Parks released recently a video of the DCA animated map that guests can see at Blue Sky Cellar. It's a pretty cool one with lot of elements - the monorail, cars in Cars Land, fountains of WOC, etc... - moving on the map and i suggest you to watch it full screen to explore this cool animated map in details.

Talking about DCA they also released yesterday in an article about upcoming DCA merchandise a visual of the new Cars Land pin's. What is interesting in the picture is that the pin's shows for the first time the new attraction posters for each Cars Land attraction. Click on the picture below to enlarge it.

They also released last month a funny ad that you may have missed and this one was done to advertise the "Wild for 3 Pass for FL Residents" which allows entrance for 3 theme parks for $99, one theme Ppark per day. Have a look, it was filmed in the Jungle Cruise and it's a cool ad.

Video: copyright Disney

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Disney strengthen its position in India

I've told you in previous articles that Disney was looking to India and one more proof of it is coming in a recent move from Disney as reported by Zachs website in an article called "Disney Eyes Bollywood Expansion":

In a bid to gain further traction in the Indian market, The Walt Disney Company (DIS) is set to acquire a controlling interest in UTV Software Communications Ltd. (UTV). One of the largest entertainment companies in the world is expected to enhance its presence in India through this deal. The strategic move on the company’s part will also enhance its position compared to its peers with respect to movie offerings. The company currently owns three leading children's television networks - Disney Channel, Disney XD and Hungama, which are performing well in the (India) market.

UTV is one of the leading producers and distributors of cinema and television programs in the rapidly growing Indian entertainment industry. UTV operates in five verticals, including Broadcasting, Motion Pictures, Interactive, Games Content and TV Content. Post acquisition, Disney would become India’s leading broadcasters catering to more than 100 million viewers weekly.

Through the acquisition, Disney will also gain access to "Bollywood" and other programs including gaming. The company will operate both UTV as well as Disney brands in India.

Although the financial terms of the deal remained undisclosed, UTV and Disney are progressing well on its integration process. Disney has started the process of delisting the shares of UTV from Indian bourses. In addition, the CEO of UTV, Mr. Screwvala will head the Indian operations as a managing director of Disney. Screwvala has a track record of successfully delivering content rich programs to the viewers.

Disney is expanding its global footprints in the developing markets such as India, Russia and China. The acquisition of UTV is a step forward in its expansion process with a strong boost in Indian operations. In Russia, Disney will begin broadcasting a free-to-air channel this year following its acquisition of 49% stake in the Russian media group UTH".

And from a N.Y Times blog: "UTV is one of India’s biggest producers of movies and television shows; it also owns six TV channels. Most importany, however, is UTV’s substantial mobile gaming division, Indiagames. With about a million new cellphones being activated a month in India, the potential for Disney to sell content that can be downloaded and played with is enormous.

Disney decided to buy market share in India rather than pursue organic growth in part because of the quick pace of consumer change in the country; by the time Disney got its footing, the market would have most surely moved on. The Indian middle class, for instance, is expected to grow to 500 million by 2025, up from roughly 50 million people today, according to UTV-provided estimates."

There is no doubt that Disney intend to strengthen its position in the huge India market and if one of your question is: "Will they build someday a Disney theme park in India? " the answer is: probably, all the question is: when?

Text: copyright zachs website, N.Y Times

Picture: copyright Disney

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Cars Land Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree Recording Session

Disney Parks has put on line a new video related to Cars Land attraction Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree. During the attraction guests will hear Mater’s favorite songs and of course they will be sung by the one doing Mater's voice, Larry the Cable Guy.

The Disney Parks video below shows the recording by WDI Imagineers of a voice-over session of Larry the Cable Guy singing seven original songs for Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree as a well as new images of the ride in test mode!

Video: copyright Disney

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

All aboard Disneyland Paris Nautilus ! High-res pictures and Videos

After yesterday's article about the bad condition of the Nautilus - the exterior part - i thought you might be pleased to have a look at the inside of the submarine with great high-res pictures. All the pictures are high-res wallpaper pictures, which mean they will do great wallpaper for your computer. Double-click on each of them to see and get them in high-res. However, please note that pictures of the inside may be a little bit less sharp than the one of the exterior, as no tripod was used. You will also find at the end of the article a walk-through video filmed inside the sub as well as three others videos showing amazing models replicas of the Nautilus including one going under water like the real one!

Opened in 1994 thanks to the beautiful work of Discoveryland show-producer Tim Delaney and Nautilus specialist Tom Scherman along with dozens of WDI artists and sculptors. The attraction is a delight for any Nautilus fan. Some of you, dear readers, never had the luck to visit DLP, and you should like today's visit of the Nautilus walk-through.

Here we go, and let's begin by some exterior views.

Before the entrance, guests can have a look to this Nautilus map.

Here is a picture of the entrance hallway where you can hear the voice of Captain Nemo welcoming you.

The entrance of the submarine, with the treasure room in the back.

The first room is Captain Nemo's bedroom. Here is different views of it.

The next one is the beautiful map room...

....where guests can also see a map of Vulcania Island.

Next room is the diving room - the diving suits were made by Tom Scherman himself.

We arrive then, in the famous Grand Salon of Captain Nemo where guests can watch a giant squid attack...

...and hear the sound of the organ...

...where Captain Nemo appear regularly.

Right behind is the Machine room...

And then the exit...

Guests go back to the surface by walking through this hallway.

Beautiful view of Discoveryland await them as soon as they go out.

Let's end with more pictures of the Nautilus outside.

I did recently a video showing you the whole Nautilus and you can watch it either below or also in larger size on my Tom Scherman site where you'll find also some panoramic pictures HERE.

Now, as we're talking about the Nautilus here is a video of what is probably the best Nautilus model i've ever seen, with mechanical parts, etc...done by a great modeler named Bob Martin, don't miss it!

Bob has already received the fantastic Nautilus replica released by EFX collectibles, and he's even doing some enhancements on it! Since two years i've let you know about this EFX Nautilus replica, the production took quite a while but it looks like a great collectible piece!

And guess what, he also did a Nautilus which is not only floating and moving in the water but also diving under water like the real one! Check this on this next video. Bob Martin also have a web site that you can check HERE.

Hope you've enjoyed this Nautilus visit and, by the way, there is dozens more of even more beautiful pictures of the Nautilus in the Disneyland Paris book that will be reprint for sure next month, and that's one more good reason to pre-order your collector copy right now, specially considering that during the pre-order period which will end in a few weeks you also have a 20% discount on what will be the final price of the book. I repost below the video showing you each page of the book and to know how to order and send your payment please go HERE. Paypal or bank wire transfer payments are accepted.

Photos: copyright Daniel

Giant squid attack picture: copyright Disney

Nautilus and DLP book Video: copyright Alain Littaye