Friday, March 8, 2013

Shanghaî Disneyland " Gardens of Imagination " Model Picture Released

The big news of the week came during the WDC annual stockholders meeting when was released a picture of the Shanghaî Disneyland model - here below in high-res - and more precisely the portion of the model related to one land of the park which will be called "Gardens of Imagination".  Right in front of the castle this land will be a 11 acre green space at the center of the park in front of Enchanted Storybook Castle.

As i was away from home the last two days you probably already read articles about it on other websites but there is more to say about this model picture. Of course it will be there that SDL guests will find the Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride...

...but also the Carousel that you can see on the right of the model picture. Most of you probably think that it will be the usual carousel which is normally located in others Magic Kingdom at Fantasyland, but it won't be the case. In fact, at "Fantasia Carousel" SDL guests won't find the classic wooden horses as, instead, WDI Imagineers have designed a brand new and unique carousel entirely composed of Disney movies characters. SDL guests will be able to ride - literally - famous Disney characters like, for instance, Aladdin's Genie or also others Disney creatures including some coming from under the sea. If horses are include in the carousel it might be mythological ones who may come directly from Fantasia, like the centaurs. And from what i've been told, this new Carousel looks absolutely beautiful.

If you look well at the very bottom of the picture you'll see that a Walt with Mickey statue similar to the one placed last year at DCA will be located near the lagoon and in front of SDL castle, for sure a future popular photo location.

Another thing interesting on the picture are the lampposts which seems to be already equipped with loud speakers, and this is no big surprise as you can see fountains in the lagoon, and there is little doubts that a fountain show is envisioned for a SDL night show. A SDL version of DLP Disney Dreams show or a SDL World of Color? Future will tell but for sure a fountain night show will happen at Gardens of Imagination.

Always in this land visitors will find several gazebos and will be able to meet Mickey and his friends and also some gift shops, all this in beautiful gardens that chinese for sure will love as there is a long tradition of gardens in China. Talking about gardens, we can note a difference between the model picture and the rendering released two years ago: the long path with the trees which looks on the rendering like cherry trees in blossom was relocated more on the right...

...when on the rendering it was more in front of the castle.

I guess that the relocation was done to avoid that the trees hide in part the castle and you can see also how the lagoon has changed since this artwork was done - the Dumbo ride was also moved up. Finally, the famous Center Plaza usually in front of the castle will also be in front of SDL castle and chances are that a stage show will happen during the day on what seems to be a stage over the castle moats. You'll also note, as there won't be a Main Street U.S.A at SDL - so, no Town Square - that the Christmas tree will be located on the castle plaza, slightly on the right to don't hide the view of the castle.

I know that some of you would like to see more of the other SDL lands but for this you'll probably have to wait until next D23 Expo in August. Or simply book a plane ticket for Shanghaî Disneyland when it will open its gates, at the end of 2015!

Pictures and artwork: copyright Disney - Shendi

Temple Run "Oz" iPhone - iPad Game Now Released On The iTunes Appstore

Imanji Studios' Temple Run App is one of the most successful app game sold on iTunes Appstore. Not only they've sold hundred of millions of it but the new Temple Run 2 released last month became a new hit instantly, and millions were sold in three days after it was released.

Disney already did a special edition of the popular game with Brave and now a new one based on Oz, the Great and Powerful is now available on the Appstore. But this time  instead to run in the jungle chased by giant gorillas you're running on the yellow brick road being chased by flying monkeys!

The "rules" of the game are almost exactly the same than in Temple Run so anyone who is already addicted to the previous versions will know what to do.

However, there is a new feature with this Oz version and it's the magician balloon in which you'll be able to jump and fly to the emerald city!

Below, you'll find a video showing you the game, and then go ahead, you Temple Run addicts, and download it right now for $0.99 or 0.79€ only on the Appstore right HERE!

Pictures: copyright Disney - Imanji Studios

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Rare WDW Magic Kingdom Circa 1971 Pictures

As promised last week - and i'm a little bit late, sorry! - here is fantastic pictures of WDW Magic Kingdom shot in 1971,  after the park opened. It's very rare to find good shots - or, simply, photos - of the Magic Kingdom after its opening and i'm sure you will enjoy these great b&w pictures!

Let's start as usual by 1971 guests walking in Main Street U.S.A, towards the castle .

Two interesting things to note in all the pictures: first, you'll see that in any lands there is not a lot of people. Now it would be unthinkable to have such few people in the Magic Kingdom but in fact, just like any others Disney parks, it took some years for WDW Magic Kingdom to have the attendance that they have now.
And, two, also note how the people are dressed,  only with this we can feel how this era is now far from us.

Arriving at the castle...

Liberty Square in 1971!

Walking towards the Haunted Mansion...

Liberty Square River Boat sailing on Frontierland river...

In Frontierland, a meet and greet with the bear character from Song of the South, which will be later one of the main character of Splash mountain.

The Davy Crockett Canoes!

Let's move to Fantasyland! Again, note how there is a few people only in the land.

The Fantasyland shot above was probably shot from the skyway that we can see on the pictures below.

Sorry, unfortunately no pics of Tomorrowland. However i have a few more with this one of guests on their way back to WDW Monorail...

...and this great one of the Contemporary Resort...

...and this last one showing guests in the small boats of Seven Seas Lagoon. But i don't know what are the buildings sin the background, does someone know? Is it the Polynesian Resort?

Now, would you like to see color pictures, shot a decade later? Of course you want! So, come back in a few days for the third part of the article!

Pictures: copyright State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory,

Monday, March 4, 2013

Sesame Street Spaghetti Space Chase Grand Opening At Universal Studios Singapore

Universal Singapore Sesame Street Spaghetti Space Chase had its official opening and here is some videos showing the celebration opening with Seame Street characters as well as interviews of KBCreative Ride Designer Kevin Barbee!

First, the video of the short opening celebration...

And next the video with KBCreative ride designers.

And for those of you who haven't yet seen the ride here is a NEW video which, this time, will show you the ride to the last scene!

Picture and videos: copyright Universal Singapore

Sunday, March 3, 2013

A Third Gate For Disneyland Anaheim ? Yes, But Where ?

If you've read recently Al Lutz updates as well as forums posts you might be aware that the WDC could envision to build a third park in Anaheim. Now that the WDC owns the Star Wars and Marvel licenses they surely want to use them in all kind of way including in theme parks and build new lands and attractions. And obviously at Anaheim they don't have a lot of room available whether it's at Disneyland or DCA. 

Also, Universal will build soon its Harry Potter land at Universal Hollywood, and you can be sure that WDC execs, after the Potter effect at Orlando, knows now that they shouldn't underestimate the opening of a Potter land at Universal Hollywood. And they better be ready to counter attack with a concept stronger than WDW New Fantasyland. So, may be this idea of a third park will become reality, after all, as they could create in it both a Marvel land and a Star Wars land, even if others rumors are saying that they might keep a Star Wars land for Disneyland Tomorrowland.

Anyway, if this third park was built, where would it be? As you can see on the picture above there is not a lot of choice as the land that Disney owns in the area is either the small parking lot on the top right... or the big one on the bottom right, which is south of Katella Blvd and east of Harbor Blvd, in the space that was called the Strawberry Farm and is now the Toy Story Parking Lot and Cast Member Lot

But the good news is that this big space, as you can see, is not only as big as Disney California Adventure but also just next door to DCA and Disneyland, "on the other side of the street", and not miles away! So, yes, if Disney decides to build a third park at Anaheim, chances are that it will be there. 

Thanks a lot to Mark Hickson from Disney by Mark for the picture!

Picture: copyright Google Earth

Shanghaî Disneyland : Nearby SDL Residents Complain That Future SDL Fireworks Will Increase Pollution In The Area !

Disney did some fireworks test on the Shanghaî Disneyland site - where the park will be built - and, guess what? , the park is not even built yet that nearby residents already complain that future SDL fireworks will increase the air pollution in the area! Sure, China as we've seen recently has a serious air pollution problem but, c'mon, it's not SDL fireworks that will really make it worst, may be it's a bit exaggerated... Also, what the residents don't know is that Disney uses an airlaunch system which is cleaner than traditional fireworks and pollutes less. Disney will probably counter with that.

Have a read of this Global Times article just released:

"Regular fireworks displays at the planned Disney resort in Pudong New Area will increase the air pollution in the area, though not enough to affect the health of nearby residents, a local expert said Sunday.

Shanghai Disneyland, which is expected to open by the end of 2015, sparked complaints about air pollution after it spent several days shooting off fireworks in Chuansha, where construction of the resort is currently underway.

Residents worried that the fireworks would pollute the air in the area, exacerbating the city's already troubling air pollution problems, according to a report in the Shanghai Morning Post Saturday.

A Disneyland representative said that it shot off the fireworks to collect technical data so it could prepare to put on future fireworks displays at the resort, the report said.

The fireworks will cause a spike in the level of PM 2.5 in the area, said Zhuang Guoshun, the director of the Center for Atmospheric Chemistry Study at Fudan University.

PM 2.5 stands for particulate matter smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter. It is considered a potential health hazard because the small size of the particles allows them to lodge deeply in the lungs, where they can cause or aggravate respiratory illnesses.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), average daily PM 2.5 levels above 20 micrograms per cubic meter can be harmful.

However, it remains unclear how much a daily fireworks show would add to PM 2.5 levels in the city.

The connection between fireworks and air pollution grabbed the public's attention during this year's Spring Festival, when the city's Air Quality Index jumped after residents across the city set off fireworks to celebrate the holiday.

Still, the short duration of the pollution will likely only increase PM 2.5 levels for a short time, Zhuang said. "The human body will suffer respiratory disease in a polluted environment over the long-term," he told the Global Times. "It can't happen over a short period."

Disney resorts typically hold large fireworks displays at night to entice visitors to stay late. Disney's resort in Hong Kong puts on a 20-minute fireworks show every night around 8 pm.

Still, the PM 2.5 levels in cities where Disney has resorts are low, often below 15 micrograms per cubic meter, so the fireworks aren't likely to put them over the WHO's threshold, Zhuang said.

Shanghai already suffers much higher PM 2.5 levels than many other cities, so any increase from the fireworks isn't bound to make much of a difference, he said.

The resort also said that it only uses the most environmentally friendly fireworks, according to the report.

"Even the best fireworks still produce PM 2.5," Zhuang said."

Text: copyright global Times
Editor's Note: I'll be back tomorrow with new updates and also soon with never-seen-before pictures of WDW Magic Kingdom in 1971, but in the meantime don't forget to have a look at the D&M Facebook page where i've posted cool additional posts.