Saturday, June 16, 2012

Walt and Mickey “Storytellers” statue unveiled today at Buena Vista Street

The new “Storytellers” statue of Walt with Mickey showing Walt at his arrival in L.A in 1923 was unveiled today at Buena Vista Street, in the new hub of Disney California Adventure. Ray Spencer, creative director for Buena Vista Street, explained last year on the Disney Parks Blog the story behind the statue when the model was unveiled at D23 Expo:

How does this statue help tell the story of Buena Vista Street?

It is a young Walt Disney as you would have seen him when he just stepped off the train from Kansas City in 1923, arriving in California to pursue his dreams. The street is set in the time period between 1923-1937, the time when Walt arrived and subsequently innovated, risked and created the studio that is the origin of all that The Walt Disney Company has become. He is located on the ground, not on a pedestal or planter, so that he is accessable to guests – “one of us.” Early Los Angeles (Buena Vista Street) is Walt’s land of opportunity and dreams at this time, and metaphorically it is for our guests as well!

Tell us what is going on in the scene depicted in the statue.

Walt has just arrived in California from Kansas City, and as he looks around in wonder and optimism, the world is his oyster to realize his dreams.
The statue is also an amalgam of young Walt and early Mickey Mouse. Mickey Mouse – although not created until after Walt’s arrival in Los Angeles – was, according to story, created on a train and was part of Walt’s travels and his muse, and is a fitting travel partner.

How does this statue compliment the iconic Partners statue at Disneyland park?

It could be considered a “bookend” in that in Disneyland park, the Partners statue is a mature Walt and Mickey, already wildly successful and the guests are the benefactors of their effort. Walt has realized his dreams and is sharing with us. Also, the Partners statue is more of a “monument” at Disneyland park.
In Disney California Adventure park, the statue is of young Walt as he arrived in Los Angeles, and at this point in time nobody knew who he was. He is one of us, and his optimism and enthusiasm are yet to be proven. In a way at this point in his life he is “everyman” but you can see it on his face, and in Mickey’s, that through this remarkable individual’s dreams and efforts, something great is going to happen.

How did you decide on the placement of the statue?

We wanted it in the new Hub, facing the center and on the street corner, so that he is one of our guests. We also wanted him near the Carthay Circle Theatre so that he could be part of that scene as well."

Except if i'm wrong, i think that a smaller size replica of the statue is on sale in DCA Stores, as you can see above on this picture from Andy Castro from Mice Chat, which might interest those of you who like it,.

Pictures: copyright Disney, Andy Castro

Ray Spencer interview: copyright Disney

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cars Land Officially Open ! Day and Night High-Res Videos

Cars Land is officially opening today and i have some beautifully filmed Mega HD videos for you who will show you the land "just like if you were there". The videos shot by SoCalAdventureHD1 are filmed so smoothly that sometime i thought he used a steadycam!

But let's begin first by this cool Cars Land TV Ad which include some nice piece of animation by Pixar.

Cars Land entrance is literally jaw-dropping when guests suddenly discover Ornament Valley mountains...

The videos i posted some days ago of Radiator Springs Racers were really good but the quality of the image on these two, showing the two versions, is so "crystal clear" that you'll be able to see amazing details of the ride.

Same with this new video of Mater's Junkyard Jamboree...

...and this new one of Luigi's Flying Tires.

SoCalAdventureHD1 also filmed the great Flo's V8 Café Restaurant and you're gonna discover the stunning view on Ornament Valley that the restaurant guests have while they are eating. Definitely the place to eat when you are in Cars Land!

Right in front of Flo's V8 is the Cozy Cone Motel Snack Stand which looks pretty cool too!

When night comes the Cars Land Neon Lighting moment is a wow and not to be missed as you will see on this Mouse Planet video.

Want to see how great Radiator Springs Racer looks at night? Here is two great videos, the first one by Da

...and the second one by Theme Park Review.

I also updated my previous Cars Land and Buena Vista Street with new videos that you may haven't seen yet. Check them HERE, HERE and HERE.

Videos: copyright Disney, Mouse Planet, Da Mouse, Theme Park Review and SoCalAdventureHD1 whom i congratulate a lot for the quality of their videos!

Photo: Andy Castro from Mice Chat

Cars Land Grand Opening Ceremony Video !

Yesterday evening was the big day for Cars Land as it was the grand Opening Ceremony with Bob Iger, Tom Staggs, John Lasseter, and many others special guests! This video is a wrap-up of the Grand Opening Live streaming event. Some of the songs and dances sections of the performance have been removed so you can get down to the speeches by Bob Iger, Tom Staggs and John Lasseter, as well as the grand opening of Cars Land where Tom and John "flip the switch" to light up Cars Land, with a really cool presentation.

Enjoy the Grand Opening ceremony and tomorrow i'll be back with new stunning HD "crystal clear" videos of the land and rides, so good that you'll feel you'll be there!

Many thanks to ThePixarPost who uploaded this video on Youtube!

Video: copyright Disney

HKDL Grizzly Gulch Update: Interview with Ali N. Rubinstein, Creative Director at HKDL Walt Disney Imagineering, with first official pictures !

HKDL Grizzly Gulch opening date seems to be decided now for July 14, which would mean that the Grand Opening Event will probably happen on July 13, in just a month from now. Also, HKDL has released the first official pictures of the land - that you will see above and below - and launched its Magic Access website. The site provides updated information and everything fans love-to-see features about the new Grizzly Gulch! Among the new features, Magic Access did this interview with Ali N. Rubinstein, Creative Director at HKDL Walt Disney Imagineering for Grizzly Gulch, telling how Imagineers bring an immersive western Gold Rush town to life:

MA﹕How unique is Grizzly Gulch to Hong Kong Disneyland?

Ali: Grizzly Gulch is a completely new and original land to Hong Kong Disneyland, and in fact to Disney itself. Though we have Wild West themed lands in other Castle Parks, this is a completely new and original story, for both Hong Kong and Disney.

MA﹕What is the big idea behind Grizzly Gulch?

Ali: Story-Storytelling is Disney’s foundation. We wanted to put imagination into action and create a brand new land with a brand new theme for Hong Kong Disneyland. In a nod to some of the great Disney rides like Big Thunder Mountain, and lands like Frontierland and hotels like the Wilderness lodge in Orlando, we created a story with the theme of Man versus Nature. Located in the High Sierras of California, Grizzly Gulch is a Boomtown set in the great American West, during the Gold Rush in the late 1800s.

MA﹕How do you bring an immersive experience for Guests through the creation of landscape for Grizzly Gulch?

Ali: Grizzly Gulch is inspired by the gorges and canyons of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains and the gold rush towns of Northern California. The imagineered landscape is a composite of the best of the West, brought together to tell a tale about another time and place.
We used various species of plants that are available in the region and can thrive in the Hong Kong climate to represent the authentic looking trees, shrubs and grasses that make up our landscape, and the distant pine forest that surrounds Big Grizzly Mountain. For instance we use Camphor trees as stand ins for the stately old Oak trees that would normally grown in Gold Country.
To enhance the placemaking, we planted shorter trees on the mountain and taller trees on two sides of the paths, in order to create the right visual perspective, which make Big Grizzly Mountain look majestic as the story told.

MA﹕How important is rock crafting to the creation of the real setting in Grizzly Gulch?

Ali: The over 27-meter tall Big Grizzly Mountain is the icon and main feature of the land. It looms over the entire town and outlying areas of the land, so it was absolutely necessary that our rockwork carving be as realistic as possible, but with a Disney flair. So we brought in the most experienced Disney Rockwork carvers from all around the globe to help create this rockwork masterpiece.
A team of nearly 100 talented Imagineers and local and international craftsmen from around the world is formed to create the spectacular setting, including artisans from Hong Kong, Mainland China, Japan, Britain, Nepal, Malaysia and Thailand. For the rock carving alone, about 30 professional sculptors and more than 20 painters contributed their skills.

MA﹕What were the challenges you encountered in bringing Grizzly Gulch to life?

Ali: The biggest challenge was recreating a realistic Northern Californian environment in Hong Kong. The foliage, rockwork and architecture all had to be authentic to the place and time period.
We had to create the right visual effects and textures in the different landscapes, but at the same time maintain the functionality across different structures to cope with the needs on safety and durability.

In order to re-create a Wild West town, the team traveled all over California’s Gold Country to study the landscaping and architecture. We found new ways and used multiple materials to unite technology and art to replicate natural rock formations like those found in Yellowstone National Park.

MA﹕What is your favorite part at Grizzly Gulch?

Ali: It's hard to pick any one thing, as the land overall is the best part. It’s the scenery and of the majestic landscape that makes for a fully immersive environment transporting you back in time that is so fantastic.

But of course, the attraction itself is the greatest fun of all in the land. If you love thrills you are going to love riding the “Runaway Mine Cars”. This is the first time Disney has created a terrain-style coaster that races throughout an entire land. Guests will be immersed in the ride, without having to ride it. Or, they can actually board a mine car for the wildest ride in the west!

I hope guests will also enjoy all the rich storytelling, especially in the ride queue where there are many fascinating props and design details that help tell the story of the Big Grizzly Mountain Mining Company and the history of the town overall. (end of Ali Rubinstein interview)

Michael20183 just posted today his new monthly video update which i add to this article!

And for those who are interested by merchandise products, HKDL also released the two pictures below showing upcoming Grizzly Gulch merchandise.

Pictures and text: copyright Hong Kong Disneyland

Video: copyright Michael20183

Don't miss the new HKDL Wallpapers HD App for iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch!
Direct iTunes link HERE!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Rare 1955 Disneyland 20000 Leagues Under the Sea Exhibit View-Master Color Pictures

These extremely rare color pictures of the 20000 Leagues Under the Sea exhibit which opened at Disneyland Tomorrowland in 1955 and in which were displayed the original decors from the 1954 movie are View-Master pictures. Photos of the DL 20000 Leagues exhibit - specially in color and in this definition quality - are almost impossible to find and it's thanks to Todd Popp that i am able today to share them with you. These 20000 Leagues Under the Sea exhibit photos were released by View-Master in 1955. At that time color photography was not as common as it became later and while Todd was doing his research for his upcoming book, he learned that View-Master was one if not the only licensee permitted to photograph Disneyland at its opening in 1955. View-master then released sets of View-Master packets which at the start were sold exclusively at Disneyland as "Park Souvenirs".

Below, a picture showing the entrance of the 20000 Leagues Under the Sea exhibit in Tomorrowland in 1960.

The next picture is a Tom Scherman and David Holman artwork showing the different rooms of the exhibit.

On the left after the entrance was displayed a Nautilus model that was used in the film, in front of a Vulcania matte painting by Peter Ellenshaw...

...and on the right the first decor that Disneyland guests could see was the Nautilus wheelhouse.

One of the highlight of the exhibit was of course Captain Nemo Grand Salon in which Disneyland guests could see Captain Nemo's famous pipe organ, which is now in Disneyland Haunted Mansion ball room.

Another picture of the Grand Salon, with Captain Nemo library.

Of course, what amazed Disneyland guests was the giant squid that they could see through one of Nemo Grand Salon window.

A little bit further in the exhibit was the Nautilus diving chamber.

And right in the center of the 20000 Leagues exhibit was the "Nautilus resting place" with a giant Nautilus.

I'd like to thanks again Todd Popp for these rare 20000 Leagues exhibit View-Master pictures, and his high-quality scans! Those of you interested by View-Master will find a whole chapter in my friend Pascal Pinteau excellent book about cult toys called "Jouets Cultes", here.

Pictures: copyright View-Master. Scans by Todd Popp.

Thanks to Daveland for the 20K Exhibit entrance picture.

Artwork: copyright Disney, Tom Scherman

Buena Vista Street and Red Car Trolley Videos

Editor's Note: Disney and more celebrates the opening of the new Disney California Adventure and Cars Land with video updates and a new slide show header as you can see above. Hope you'll like the new header!

So, the D&M coverage of the new DCA is going on today with a look at the new Buena Vista Street with some great videos. The two first videos are coming from ThomasTheImagineer and disney1218 and are a walk through in Buena Vista Street.

The next videos are from Andy Castro who did a great photo update yesterday on Mice Chat and it will take you on a trip down Buena Vista Street aboard the Red Car Trolley.

This next one shows the Red Car News Boys take to Buena Vista Street.

Don't miss the great pictorial update of Andy Castro on Buena Vista Street with dozens of pictures, on Mice Chat HERE.

Buena Vista Street also include the first Starbucks Coffee Shop to open inside a Disney Theme Park. This Starbuck Coffee is located inside the Fiddler, Fifer and Practical Café and stick pretty well to the 1920s theme of Buena Vista Street.

This next video like the one above was filmed in beautiful HD by SoCalAdventureHD1 and will show you the Carthay circle and the new fountain.

This last video from ThomasTheImagineer shows the Carthay Circle and the new fountain at night, and it looks beautiful!

Videos: copyright Andy Castro, ThomasTheImagineer, SoCalAdventureHD1 and disney1218

Monday, June 11, 2012

Cars Land Walk-Through, Mater and Luigi Rides Videos, and more...

The Cars Land special preview for DL - DCA annual passholders happened last saturday, and that's the reason why the first videos of Radiator Springs Racer appeared on Youtube this week-end. Others videos of Cars Land rides were also shot, and that's what we're gonna have a look at today. Let's begin with a travelling in Cars Land main street.

Next video, the Mater's Junkyard Jamboree filmed by Andy Castro.

Here is two video showing Luigi Flying Tires. The first one shows the entrance and even the cast-members recommendations before the ride. The ride looks cool but i'm wondering if there is not a bit too many of these red and green italian beach balls!

This next video showing the entrance in Cars Land through another gate is particularly interesting to have an idea how huge and stunning - and immersive! - the Cars Land rock work is. Amazing, a big big WOW, really!

This last video by OCFamilyMag shows an interview of WDI Imagineer Kathy Mangum and Roger Gould from Pixar theme parks division.

Don't miss the big coverage of Cars Land from Andy Castro and our friends on Mice Chat with lots of photos! The Cars Land Info thread is HERE, the Test Driving Cars Land thread is HERE and the Cars Land at Night thread is HERE.

Videos: copyright dateline Disneyland, thebugger2000, ThomasTheImagineer, disneylandlive, OCFamilyMag

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Radiator Springs Racers - Full Ride HD Videos - Luigi's Tire Shop or Ramone's Paint Shop Versions

I knew it was coming soon, but i didn't thought that we would have a video of the full ride of Radiators Springs Racer available on Youtube before June 15! Not only the videos are excellent HD quality but danmcneely even filmed the both "versions" of the ride - as there is a moment in the ride where your vehicle is going either in Luigi's Tire Shop or Ramone's Paint Shop!

No need to say that if you're living in SoCal and intend to rush to Cars Land in the next weeks it'll be a very bad idea to watch these videos as it is a huge spoiler. Same for those of you living in others States in the U.S or anywhere in the world and who are planning to come to DCA in the next months: don't look at the videos!

That said, now that you're warned, i let you make your choice and all i can say about Radiator Springs Racer is: Oh my God, what a ride! It's a perfect ride, really, the theming is incredible, the audio-animatronics cars are amazing, everything is so damn' perfect, it's a true E-Ticket! Congrats to all WDI Imagineers who worked on Radiator Springs Racer!

Now, for those of you who can't wait to discover the Cars characters audio-animatronics without seeing the whole ride the video below should be perfect.

Here is the full ride video now with, first, the version with the car going inside Luigi's Tire Shop.

And here is the one with the car going inside Ramone's Paint Shop.

Here is a third video filmed by disney1218, its quality is a bit less than the two others but still interesting as you'll see a bit more of the boarding room and other decor elements.

In fact, each ride vehicle on Radiator Springs Racers is a moving mini-theater that delivers a show to the guests as they travel through the attraction. And - as with any theatrical experience - dialogue, music and sound effects play a key role in telling the story. In this next video released by Disney, Joe Herrington, Principal Media Designer for Walt Disney Imagineering, reveals how he's helped design, record, edit and install a compelling audio track for the attraction.

Videos: copyright danmcneely, disney1218

Picture: copyright Disney