Monday, September 22, 2014

DLP Update : Very Bad News From Disneyland Paris Rivers of the Far West !


Here is a new Disneyland Paris update and, folks, i'm sorry to say that this one is bringing you bad news from the park, and more precisely from Frontierland Rivers of the Far West attraction. Let me tell and show you what it's all about.

Recently the Molly Brown went again in refurbishment and the other riverboat - the Mark Twain was removed from the hangar where it was staying. We now can discover the appalling state in which the riverboat currently is and you won't believe how bad is the condition in which the Mark Twain currently is. In fact in such bad condition that if Disneyland Paris don't start a complete renovation anytime soon it might be too late to save it. As they say a picture is better than thousand words, so have a look at the pics below and i warn you that it's really depressing to see this magnificent riverboat in such terrible condition.  









But that's not all because at the other end of the Rivers of the Far West another major problem awaits visitors when the Molly brown - when it is sailing - arrive at the geysers. As we know, the geysers don't work since many years - which in itself is extremely regrettable - but now the state of the outside of them is appalling. Not only the original paint of the geysers has almost disappeared everywhere but now it's the concrete part beneath the paint which is attacked and it is hard to believe that a Disney park could leave a major element of an attraction in such terrible state (something that would NEVER happen in American parks and even less at Tokyo Disneyland ). 







If you don't remember how the geysers looked at opening day, here is a picture showing how they looked and how they SHOULD look now if DLP was doing the necessary refurbishment they haven't done since years.



Finally, just a few meters from the geysers, the stone arch that guests can see before arriving to Big Thunder Mountain Island when they are sailing on the river boats is also in terrible condition and didn't had any refurbishment since a looong time, including when Big Thunder Mountain was in renovation. As you'll see the arch is unbelievably dirty.





Here is how the arch looked at opening day to show you the difference.



Since months, if not years, the park is supposed to renovate the geysers and have them working again, and same for the Mark Twain, but nothing is coming and if nothing is done anytime soon - translate: if DLP don't decide to finally put the necessary budget to do it - there is a real risk that one day they'll finally announce that both were in too bad condition to be renovated and just had to be destroyed. And believe me, they can do it. This reminds me when 12 years ago i saw backstage an old plane - i think it was a DC3 , the legendary plane from the 1930's - which was supposed to be used for the Indiana Jones temple theming when they built it and the plane was finally not used. They left it in open air backstage for years and years and one day as i was not seeing the plane anymore i asked what happened. And the answer i had was: "well, it stayed outside during ten years and then the plane was in such bad condition that it was thrown away! ". I couldn't believe it...

The other reason why it's urgent that DLP do something is because, if the geysers disappear, there won't be a lot to see anymore when DLP guests will sail on the Rivers of the Far-West. Even with the geysers there is much less elements to look at than at DL, WDW or TDL Frontierlands where you have all along the river Indian camps, many AA animals, the famous burning house, etc... By the way, you may not be aware about it but the WDI Imagineers who created Frontierland had actually designed a real - and spectacular - "show" for the geysers, and i mean a real show, much better than what we saw when the geysers were working. And Wilderness Island - the island that is on the left when the boats are heading to the geysers - was supposed to welcome an Indian camp as well as river animals ( such as beavers, etc ...) all audio-animatronics, of course. To save money on the initial budget at park opening this was postponed to a later date, but nothing prevents to finally do an update of Wilderness Island, which would provide to the attraction many additional visual elements sorely lacking , especially when compared to its counterpart in the U.S and Japan Disney parks. 

Also, to tell you how the "Rivers of the Far West" have become the shadow of what they were when the park opened in 1992 i remind you that at park opening day the Indians Canoes, the River Rogue Keelboats and BOTH riverboats - Mark Twain and the Molly Brown - were sailing on the Rivers of the Far West bringing life and "kinetic" elements to Frontierland. A few years later, the Indian Canoes were removed, then it was the turn of the River Rogue Keelboats and then the Molly Brown went under renovation and once restored the Mark Twain was withdrawn from circulation. Right now there is NO boat at all sailing on the Rivers of the Far West...

In the current situation, there is two options for the park: the first is to continue to leave things as they are and to let the Mark Twain and the geysers to rot, and the second is to finally put the necessary budget to bring back to the Rivers of the Far West their original splendor. 

Tom Wolber, as you've seen in my previous update, is now the new DLP CEO and although we can't blame him for the situation - he just arrived last week - i think we need to catch his attention on how serious the problem is before it is too late. So i hope that the DLP team looking at the articles posted on the net will forward to him this one and that we will have good news from Tom anytime soon, which i will let you know.


Pictures: copyright Disney and more, Altitude, Disney

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

C'est Disneyland Paris.... Malheureusement tout le parc est comme ca. Le labyrinthe d'Alice est pareil

Anonymous said...

Ces qq photos ne sont malheureusement que le reflet du parc tout entier ! Les attractions vieillissent (Peter Pan, Star Tour…), le décor est en ruine, pas de nouveauté, plus de spectacles, des zones entièrement désertes, un 2e parc mal thématisé… Ma dernière visite fût une grosse déception et je me suis décidé à ne plus y retourner pour le moment.

Anonymous said...

They should just close the entire resort. Waste of money going. DLP hasn't had a new ride in 10 years, and Walt Disney Studios should NOT be labeled as a park when it's just about as big as Discoverland!

Anonymous said...

Sadly, as previous comments have stated DLP is becoming a 2nd rate park, the original rides are falling to bits, Phantom Manor and Star Tours (Star Tours had duct tape holding the seats on a previous visit) - their is no entertainment, no atmosphere.... until a big rescue plan like for CA, I don't think I'll return... hence booking for WDW

Anonymous said...

To make it more hilarious, just now the official DLP account tweeted that "quality first" is a "perennial priority" for the park, but the link they tweeted was to a dead page. Unbelievable. The jokes write themselves.

https://twitter.com/Disney_ParisEN/status/513998234318929921

Mr Tambo said...

It is very very sad that it has got to this state. When it was originally built the attention to detail far surpassed it's Orlando Big brother. This is what made me fascinated with the park. The up keep of most aspects including hotels have made me lose interest in the resort, as I feel the quality isn't there anymore.
In recent years Walt Disney World has pretty much added more detail and depth to the resort, which previously had been skimmed over.
Sad times.

Jones said...

What I simply don´t get is this: The attendance figures are fine, in fact quite impressive. I refuse to believe that the average theme park visitor is as stupid as a lot of people at Disney believe he or she is - but there is growing evidence that they are more right than wrong...

I really thought that after the financial restructuring, things would improve. and Dreams was a good sign. But it seems that I was wrong again. Seriously, I could just cry - this was once the most beautiful park in the world (and that even includes TDS) - what a shame, and what a disgrace to the Disney brand. At least I have 2 copies of your magnificent book on DLP (one for reading, the other one safely stored away for future generations...)

Anonymous said...

Sad state of affairs. I thought DLP was getting on top of their maintenance issues.
Does DLP need 2 riverboats? I believe all the other parks only have one steam ship. If they are not going to repair it I hope they put the money into fixing the other issues you've pointed out.

Colin Prijn said...

I thought the geysers were going to be removed for a new ride called geyser mountain like the one which was once planned for Disneyland

M. Eisner said...

Good thing they found the budget to destroy the camera shop and turn it into another generic DisneyStore.

EuroDisney Management and WDI-Europe should be embarrassed and ashamed by these kinds of things. Their legacy will be to have allowed something that was once so great to become something so disgraceful.

Jeffrey Burke said...

Excellent coverage of what Frontierland was like when it opened in '92 and its shameful appearance 22 years
later. Unless new CEO Tom Wolper and his team make
some renovation decisions soon, Thunder Mesa and its environment will continue to fall into disgraceful
decay.

mr.Lime said...

In stead of complaining about the (too many) things that are (still) wrong in DLP, why not focus on what they have already done since 2011. Refurbishment of Indy, Pirate ship, Colonel Hathi's, castle, labyrinth (unfortunately already in bad state again), Molly Brown, treehouse, a few hotels. Sure there is still a lot (!!!) to do, but they just can't close the entire resort for a year to fix everything at once. At least the park is slowly improving.

For those who complain about the size of WDS ... sure it's no TDS (but which other park in the world is this good? none) ... but it's a lot more fun and thrilling than EPCOT (boaring!!!!!) or DHS (5 times bigger than WDS, but 10 times duller - apart from TSMania, which will also come to Paris).

Anonymous said...

Hi, I have emailed this artice to dlp.actionnaires@disney.com and to tom.wolber@disney.com. I urge as many as possbile to do the same. I don't know tom wolber's email address, I am just assuming it is correct. So far it hasnt bounced back. DLP mangaement should be ashamed of themselves.

Ethan R said...

They said at What's New What's Next that they will never fix the Geysers, and something equally as unique will replace it in the near future.

Maybe the shipwreck of that riverboat...

Anonymous said...

If Geyser Mountain ever comes to Thunder Mesa, it will need the 1992 Geysers and possible original boiling mud pots that were originally planned. Maybe the steam trains are no longer slowing down to look at them, but instructed to speed up instead. If you like You Tube videos, there is a great one by former EDL Fronteirland's Cast Member David Goebel who also has a fantastic web site on Thunder Mesa. The video shows just how rich the Mark Twain looks when maintained and transporting guests along the rivers. Maybe OLC or DL can help in restoring Thunder Mesa's. I just noticed the wind mill seems to be missing over in the Circle D Ranch which is another great visual and kinetic element when allowed to work. The Historic 3 stamp mill from the Mill Building on Big Thunder Island, which is one of the most photographed sites, is also still missing after a rebuilding was promised. Please don't loose this Historic 150 year old Mining Artifact. Maybe they shouldn't build new additions to DLP until the original park is in 1992 shape as TDL maintains with their park. Rusty1

Anonymous said...

"but it's a lot more fun and thrilling than EPCOT (boaring!!!!!)" -
you cannot possibly be serious!!!!?

Anonymous said...

This is inexcusable. Out of all the Disney theme parks, the European parks are the only ones that's been slipping in attendance; and I can see why.
I always said that Disney need to pick up their game in the Orlando parks but frankly they need get their s*** together in the Paris park. And what's more outrageous is they spent the budget that would bring new life to these attractions in order to reconstruct the temple in Indiana Jones ride in stone. Really Disney?

Rich said...

I was at the park last week and had a great time, BUT the maintanence and general up keep in some areas is very poor.

As a quick example, on It's a Small World, possible one of the most popular attractions, I noticed that when exiting the boat. You know when you have to wait for the 4-5 boats in front of you to unload so your pretty well stationary for a few minutes. The state of the edge of the ride, which is now at the riders eye level is appalling, thick dirty mould and grime. The chain link barrier/fence is filthy and covered in cobwebs. I guarantee this area hasn't been cleaned for MANY years, yet just a so simple wipe down each morning would transform this problem, I wish I'd took some photos now.

While we were there they were painting railings on main street and several areas had been boarded off for maintenance i guess, but the park isn't looking great and many ares look 'faded' and past their best.

One last thing, not sure if this is standard practice at other disney parks, but the people who were doing maintenance work where walking round in jeans/old sweaters and carrying tools/ladders etc around while the park was open, it looked a bit strange not for them to be in some sort of disney work clothes/jumpsuits, felt like a building site crew were in the park. Perhaps on this i'm being picky but it seems to destroy the illusion of being in a Disney park.

Like another person has said, they have been some improvements, but they have a long way to go before it's back to the standard you'd expect for a Disney Park

Anonymous said...

Ach! Mon Dieu.

Thank you for posting this very depressing article but it had to be done. Is the Mark Twain actually receiving guests or is it just there as a prop while the Molly Brown is refurbished? Surely it can't receive guests in that condition...

I know that DLRP blames the harsh weather for many of it's maintenance issues but I believe WDW has the same problem and doesn't suffer as badly..one is heat, one is cold...both can do damage but both can be controlled...so very sad. I haven't been to DLP since 1993 and now I am afraid to return!

Marco Antonio Garcia said...

I'm currently at DLP and I think that the resort really need a better maintenance and management.
There are many issues, liike half of the park restaurantes are closed and the other half is full (it's evento hard to book a table one day before in the best restaurants), the mens changing room of the Disneyland hotel's spa is closed,there is only one ares to scan the bags and entre the parks/ hotel area ( the most far away from Disneyland park), it is visível that the maintenance is far behind other disney parks standard, some cast members really don't care, disney vilãos is in terrível shape (corvette in front of Annetes in terible shape, disney store smelly.... Just to name a few things that are bothering me here.
I'm still having fun and it's still a great plaçe to visit! But they need improve many things a lot!

Marco Garcia said...

I hate writing from an IPad as the automatic corrector changes most of the words! What I meant is that Disney village is in terrible shape...

Anonymous said...

Sachez qu' il y'a un devis qui est en train d'etre fait pour voir s'il est possible de remettre en état le mark dans le cadre du projet sparkle ;)

Marco Antonio Garcia said...

I've been to Disneyland park and I've seen what you are saying Rick, small world have more cobwebs than Phantom Manor, other áreas of the park are In a similar situation, like Alice labyrinth where many figures also have cobwebs; how hard is it to clean thofe places?! The Nautilus is also very dirty, but at least the giant squid attack is working well...
Many areas also need some paint. No boats are active on the rivers of the far west, but Ive seen the geysers and the Mark Twain from the train and even from a distancie I could see the terrible shape that they are in.
Looking on the big picture it's still a beautiful park, but there are many issues and things that need to be improved urgently...