Saturday, February 2, 2013

Haunted Mansion Holiday Version HD Video

Disneyland Haunted Mansion is now back in its "normal"version but the good guys of ThemeParkHD have filmed a fantastic video of this year's Haunted Mansion Holiday version and you should have a look at it as it is the best video i've seen so far. Make sure to watch it in full screen mode and to choose the 1080P  definition!

Picture: copyright TheHatboxGhost - Mice Chat

Friday, February 1, 2013

Breaking News : Legendary Imagineer Tony Baxter Leaves WDI And Becomes Part-Time Advisor

Although we're still waiting for Disney's statement, it's now almost official: Legendary Imagineer Tony Baxter, currently Senior Vice President Creative Development at WDI anCreative Executive for Disneyland, has announced today in "an open letter to fellow imagineers" that the time has come for him to evolve his role at Walt Disney Imagineering: "Beginning this February, I will be transitioning to a position as a part time advisor. While I will not be here on a regular basis, I will continue to be available to any and all of you as needs arise. Though my time will be limited, my passion for the magic WDI creates will be just as strong." 

Although Tony will become a part-time consultant for WDI, it's an extremely sad news for all Disney Parks fans. As Jim Hill says in his today's article Tony Baxter "ate, slept and breathed theme parks" and, for me, Tony is probably the Imagineer who is the closer to Walt's spirit, with the same passion for Disneyland that Walt had.  

Tony Baxter started his career at Disneyland at age 17, scooping ice cream on Main Street, U.S.A. After several years of odd jobs at the park, he garnered attention through a portfolio of attraction concepts and was hired at WED Enterprises (now known as Walt Disney Imagineering), where he has remained since. His roles on his first projects were relatively minor, but he was then given extensive creative control and we will have a look now at all the greta things we owe to him. 

Big Thunder Mountain debuted at Disneyland in 1979. Since, four different versions war built in Disney parks around the world, the biggest, fastest and best one being the one standing on its own island at Disneyland Paris Frontierland.

In 1983 Tony was in charged of Disneyland New Fantasyland...

...and at Epcot opened the great - and unfortunately now extinct in its original version - Journey into Imagination attraction and pavilion, with Dreamfinder and the beloved Figment character.

In 1989 Splash Mountain opened at Disneyland and Tony succeeded to designed one of the most perfect attraction ever - and one of the happiest one!

But Tony's biggest masterpiece came in 1992 with the opening of Disneyland Paris. With the help of DLP show-producers Eddie Sotto, Jeff Burke, Chris Tietz, Tom Morris, and Tim Delaney, Tony designed the most beautiful Magic Kingdom in the world!


Last April, for DLP 20th anniversary, Tony was back at DLP and gave to all DLP fans a memorable master class at Discoveryland Videopolis.

In 1995 Tony's other masterpiece opened at Disneyland: Indiana Jones Adventure, which i personally consider as one of the three best attraction ever done if not THE best one. 

In 1998, always under the creative eye of Tony, it was the year of Disneyland New Tomorrowland.

I can't resist to re-post Eric Heschong beautiful artwork for this new Tomorrowland, done under Tony's supervision.

In 2007 Tony's latest creation was the new Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage at Disneyland...

...And 2008 was the year of the new Sleeping Beauty Castle walk-through at Disneyland.

Tony was also the inspiration for many others major rides, from Star Tours to the Little Mermaid, and also, as any WDI Imagineer, Tony had some concepts "that never were". Among them, one of the most famous is indeed his Discovery Bay project for Disneyland which partly found a new life at DLP Discoveryland.

On March 12, Fantasy Faire will open at Disneyland and it will be also the last project supervised by Tony Baxter while he was "full time" at WDI. But when Tony will leave WDI he will also leave others great concepts which might become real someday. And if you are a Tony Baxter fan and want to see one of them become reality the best thing you can do is to rush in theaters to see OZ, the Great and Powerful when it will be released next month. Why? Because if the movie is a big success then Disney might give its green light to build in the back of Frontierland what will be Tony's latest concept during his WDI career: a whole new land based on the Wizard of OZ... and probably a new Tony masterpiece.

I've said it before and say it again: it's a real pity that occidental countries don't have the same notion of "living treasure" that japanese have for someone older. The experience that someone like Tony Baxter has acquired during his career at WDI is priceless and i sincerely hope that younger imagineers will remember that Tony IS a living treasure and will not hesitate to ask him assistance in their projects when they will need it. As for us, Disney fans, we all have to thanks Tony from the bottom of our heart for the infinite joys and thrills that Tony's creations gave to us since 4O years. We will all miss you dearly, Tony! 

You can read Tony's full open letter on former imagineer Mark Hickson website HERE.

Pictures: copyright Disney, Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Mouse Planet

Escape from Tomorrow Soundtrack Now Available On Line

Those who desperately would like to see the controversial "Escape from Tomorrow" movie (which, by the way, didn't won any prize at 2013 Sundance Film Festival) might be interested to know that the CD movie soundtrack has been released and is apparently available for purchase ($8.91) and download online . 

It's always interesting to hear the soundtrack of a movie as he tells more about the mood of it and i have to say that i was surprised, just as they said in the production notes, by the romantic mood of Abel Korzeniowski score. To be honest, considering the film storyline i was expecting something more depressing... If you go HERE you'll be able to listen 30 sec of each track.

You'll find also below the album notes and on the top a picture of the (provocative?) CD cover!

Album Notes:

A deeply impressionistic yet sweepingly romantic musical snapshot of the pulse and passion of the Magic Kingdom, this collection of unapologetically old-fashioned cues from Polish composer Abel Korzeniowski – best known for his Golden Globe nominated original scores for A Single Man (2009) and W.E. (2011) – harks back to the style of such Golden Era Hollywood composers as Hugo Friedhofer and Fred Steiner, as well as later keepers of the flame like Jerry Goldsmith and John Williams. Wringing buckets of melodramatic inflection from his energetic orchestrations in tracks like “Gates of Tomorrow” and “Magic Kingdom,” Korzeniowski plunges the audiences into a swirling vortex of irony, setting them up for the psychological disconnect to ensue – brilliantly captured in the unexpectedly dissonant and minimalistic electronic tracks “Lost in Caves” and “Mystery Man”.

Randy Moore's ESCAPE FROM TOMORROW is a postmodern fairy tale about an overactive imagination and the dark-side of "family" entertainment. In a world of fake castles and anthropomorphic rodents, an epic battle begins when an unemployed father's sanity is challenged by a chance encounter with two underage girls on holiday.

score orchestrated and produced by: Abel Korzeniowski
composer's assistant: Mina Korzeniowska

score recorded at:

Warner Bros. Eastwood Scoring Stage in Burbank, California
orchestra: The Hollywood Studio Symphony
conductor: Abel Korzeniowski
recording engineer: Joel Iwataki
contractor: Peter Rotter

Martinsound Recording Studios in Alhambra, CA.
choir: National Children’s Chorus
conductor: Luke McEndarfer
recording engineer: Joel Iwataki

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Walt Disney Studios and Ratatouille Ride Update !

There we go for another long pictorial update, this time about the Walt Disney Studios. We'll also have a look at the latest pictures from the Ratatouille ride construction site, always thanks to the great pictures of Max Fan, D&M contributor and Dlrp Welcome webmaster. If you've missed the part one of this update showing DLP Magic Kingdom covered by snow, don't miss it, you'll find it HERE.

Let's start by having a look at the snow at the WDS - because you didn't thought that DLP second gate succeeded to avoid last week blizzard, did you?

Believe it or not but the harsh weather didn't stopped some of the characters to be there, from Mary Poppins to Cruella or Gaston.

While we are at the Rock and Roller Coaster, two pictures of the pre-show and launching rooms.

Let's move to Toon Studios and Toy Story Playland!

It's time to have a look at the Ratatouille site and because it was really too cold that day Max didn't shoot the pictures from the top of the Parachute Drop ride as he does usually but from the "ground", which also gives a look at the construction site from another angle.

The light yellow building on the right is the previous costuming building, which will be transformed and themed.

Some close shots on the show building. As you can see the big work on the facades is done and DLP Imagineers will be able to start the theming but we may have to wait for days with a better weather, i.e not before spring as it wouldn't be a good idea to begin painting with the harsh winter weather...

One last pic for the road and as you see there was not a lot of workers on the site, which is no big surprise considering the snow and cold temperatures.

I remind you that between now and February 14 i'm doing a great Winter sale / Valentine's day special offer on the Disneyland Paris book collector's edition that you can order at its lowest price ever, i.e 75€ / $100 (instead of 120€ / $160) plus 15€ shipping wherever you live on the planet!

You can order the book either in its english or french edition and if you have a Paypal account you can use the Paypal one click button below ( please use ONLY the Paypal button below not the one on the right bar which is not coded at the same price). No Paypal account? No problem, you can pay by bank wire transfer,  please send me an email at :
Also, please send me an email with your shipping address and also let me know if you order  the book in its english or french edition.

The book will make a GREAT valentine's day gift for the one you love. I can even say that it'll be hard in this kind of price to find a better gift for a Disney theme park fan, and it's true!

I remind you that only 50 copies are on sale at this special price, so order now your collector's copy while you can get it at its lowest price ever, and save $60 / 45€ on the book normal price!

Choose quantity and enjoy additional discount

If you've never seen the book the video below will show you the whole 320 pages of the book! For pictures and description details please go HERE.

Pictures: copyright Max Fan - Dlrp Welcome