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

Shanghaî Disneyland News

Shanghaî Daily revealed today a short but interesting news about Shanghaî Disneyland:

"An exclusive Metro line serving Shanghai Disneyland visitors will be built and put into service in 2015, the same year the amusement park opens to the public.

The new line is a 9.15-kilometer extension of Metro Line 11, starting from Luoshan Road Station in Pudong and ending at the Disney Resort with three stations in between.

The planned Disneyland Station will feature cartoon figures, such as Mickey Mouse. Passengers can enjoy the park's views through large vaults of the semi-underground station. The project has been approved by authorities, according to a report in today's Jiefang Daily".

In two words it means that you'll be able to see the park even before you've entered it, which means that the train station will probably be not too far from the park entrance. Will they have a special train like they have in HKDL with Mickey shape windows? (picture above) We'll probably have to wait a bit more to know about that!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Hong Kong Disneyland Update : "A Sparkling Christmas"

There we go for a new Hong Kong Disneyland update! HKDL like all Disney parks is now in its Christmas season and this year it's called "A Sparkling Christmas"! We will have a closer look at this but, before, some news about the opening date of the highly awaited Mystic Manor attraction.

I told you previously that Mystic Manor was supposed to open in spring 2013 - and it was - but HKDL apparently decided to delay the opening to next summer 2013. No precise date is known but it might be either next July - like they did with Grizzly Gulch - or eventually in June if they are ready before. I'll let you know when i will know more about the exact date.

Also, you may have read recently on other web sites some posts about HKDL second park - and it's true that the land itself is ready - but in fact don't expect a second gate at HKDL before the end of the decade. Apparently the park decided to use first all the land which is still available in the first park - which make sense - and we probably can expect new rides at HKDL magic kingdom before a second park will be built. No news yet about when this happen or what will be the new attractions.

So, HKDL started its Christmas season and they even did a press event for it last month - picture below.

Sure, HKDL will meet the Disney characters in their Christmas costume...

...but the park also introduced others characters like the gingerbread men below.

There is of course a Christmas parade called "Santa Mickey's Toy-riffic street party"... addition to the regular Flights of Fantasy parade.

There is also Christmas Carols singers on Town Square, in front of the Christmas tree. well as the HKDL band, also on Town Square, playing Christmas themes.

And of course the Christmas Illuminations ceremony with Mickey and friends.

In Fantasyland Royal Banquet Hall don't miss the Christmas buffet! By the way, talking about banquet hall, do you see in the background this statue of Belle with the Beast?

Well, now have a look at the one which is inside the new Be Our Guest restaurant in WDW New Fantasyland. It's exactly the same, except that the one in Be Our Guest is painted with colors and the one at HKDL is not.

The HKDL Hotel also have Christmas decoration including this cute gingerbread house...

...and a bit of christmas theming in the rooms.

Let's end with this pic showing a selection of HKDL Christmas merchandise!

See you soon for a new HKDL update and in the meantime follow me on the new Disney and more Facebook page where you will find each day additional posts that you will enjoy. It's right HERE, and make sure to "Like" the page, thanks!

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

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Editor's Note: Today's update is all about Walt Disney as it is Walt's birthday, but you'll find much more on the new Disney and more Facebook page with rare artwork for the walt Disney Animation Don Quichotte project that never was,  picture of DLP Visionarium Timekeeper model, the plot of Pixar's Monster University, and more! Don't forget to "like" D&M Facebook page if you didn't did it yet!

It's Walt Disney's Birthday !

On December 5, 1901 Walt Disney was born at 2156 N. Tripp Avenue in Chicago. If Walt was still alive he would be 111 years old today! In tribute to Walt's birthday here is a selection of pictures and the first one below shows Walt at the Animation Studios.

The two next pictures shows Walt at WED Enterprises - now Walt Disney Imagineering - with Rolly Crump and a model for the 1964 World's Fair...

...and with Imagineer and animator Marc Davis and Sculptor Blaine Gibson discussing about Pirates of Caribbean audio-animatronics.

On the picture below Walt is surrounded by the famous Mouseketeers!

One of the most famous (and beautiful) picture of Walt at Disneyland, here inside the Disneyland Railroad locomotive...

...and one, less known picture, with Walt inside a car of Autopia with his daughter Diane Disney Miller and his grand son Christopher Miller, circa 1957.

A last picture shot for LIFE Magazine showing Walt and all the famous Disney characters.

Jump to Disney and more Facebook page to discover today's exclusive D&M Facebook posts!

Pictures: copyright Disney, LIFE Magazine.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Disney and more Launch Its Facebook Page !

That's it folks, Disney and more is on Facebook! It took me some time but here we are! Plenty of surprises awaits you each day, including pictures or renderings never posted on Disney and more yet. And for the beginning of the Disney and more Facebook page you'll find this album of Marc Davis renderings that Marc did for the beloved Country Bear Jamboree attraction! 

So, thanks to go on Disney and more Facebook page which is HERE and to "LIKE" it. 
And of course to come back on it every day to discover what's new, as i promise that i have a lot of good surprises for you! Thanks also to "share" the links with your "friends"! 

Monday, December 3, 2012

New Test Track With TRON Inspired Design Now In Soft-Opening at Epcot, And It Looks Awesome !

The awaited new version of Test Track is now in soft-opening at Epcot and it looks awesome! With its TRON inspired design and a new pre-show and post-show it's now a totally new attraction that will re-open officially in a few days. Sure, the track itself is still the same and some of the scenes - the heat, cold and painting sequences as well as the crash test scene - have been replaced by others but the industrial theming is also gone forever and, good lord, what a good news!

Although i was impressed by the technology i was among those who hated the theming of the first version, specially considering that they had to get rid of World of Motion and all its animatronics to build Test Track. Now, with the new futuristic theming, at least the attraction belongs totally to Epcot Future World and some scenes have shortly some  reminiscences of scenes from Epcot extinct attractions like Horizons... Of course, if you don't like TRON you're going to be disappointed but the truth is that WDI Imagineers did a fantastic job with this new version. Let's thanks too Chevrolet, the new attraction sponsor, who gave the money that WDI Imagineers needed for the new theming. On the picture below you can see WDI Imagineers with people from Chevrolet around the new Test Track model.

Full ride videos already appeared on Youtube and once again it's the good guys from Inside the Magic who did the best one not only showing the full ride but also the pre and post show. It's very important to watch the pre-show so don't miss it on the video below.

One more thing before you launch the video: i wouldn't be surprised if this new Test Track version was the second WDW attraction to open in less than two weeks which will also serve as a technical rehearsal for an upcoming Shanghaî Disneyland ride. I told you recently in my previous article how Disney Hollywood Studios "Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow" could be a rehearsal for some techniques that WDI might use in SDL POTC new version. Here it's different, Shanghaî Disneyland will not have a Test Track ride but a TRON motor bike coaster will apparently replace the usual Space Mountain in SDL Tomorrowland. And i have the feeling that the TRON theming in Epcot Test Track might be a technical rehearsal for WDI Imagineers for the SDL TRON attraction. Keep this in mind when you'll watch the video and you'll see how some of the lighting effects and projection techniques could be used in a TRON ride, of course with different scenes. That said, go ahead and watch the video, of course in full screen mode!

If you want to see how different this new version is from the first one Orlando Attractions Magazine had the good idea to upload a video showing side by side the two versions. But do NOT watch this next video before you've watched the one above.

Finally, here is a series of WDI renderings specially done for the new version. They were released three weeks ago and i still don't know why i missed them as they look great. Click on each to see them in high-res and if you want to see pictures of the ride jump to the Inside the Magic web site. 

The first ones below are showing the queue and pre-show areas.

The next artwork shows the pre-show design stations with which you can design your car. Your design will appear on screens placed all along the ride.

The new design of the Test Track vehicles.

Two renderings for ride scenes, but it looks way much better in real.

Some artwork for the post show, the first one showing the Chevrolet showroom also includes a game called “Showroom Showdown”.

All this looks great, doesn't it? Thanks to let me know in the comments what you think of this new Test Track!

Pictures: copyright Disney

Videos: Copyright Inside the Magic or Attractions Magazine.