Walt Disney Imagineering has released a great behind the scenes video, with Imagineer Larry Nicolai, WDI creative director, explaining the new special effects added to Disneyland's Peter Pan's Flight. Let's have a look first at the video and i'll tell you more right after it. I also add two different videos of the full ride in its new version, for those of you who haven't seen them yet.
First, the new WDI video.
Next, two HD videos of the full ride with the new effects, filmed by SoCal Attractions 360 and Mouse Info.
Now, although the new effects makes a great upgrade for Peter Pan's Flight - and most probably will be added at Disneyland Paris during the scheduled closure of the attraction at DLP Fantasyland next year - some effects originally envisioned have been cancelled in the new version of the ride. Also, the nursery scene in the queue like they did at WDW is apparently not part of the new DL version, may be they didn't had enough room to do it.
Let's start by what has been cancelled and that's a good news. WDI Imagineers had thought to introduce the rear head projection effect for most - if not all - the main characters faces - the same effect which has been used for the dwarfs faces in WDW Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride - and, wisely, they've probably thought that it will not be satisfying on PPF characters. When the effect was introduced in Seven Dwarfs Mine Train there was a big debate and half of the fans liked it when the other half hated it. Personaly, i think that it works quite okay on the dwarfs. But i also think that it has been a good idea to don't do this rear projection effect of PPF characters faces. They surely would have been able to do it technically and i don't know the reason why WDI Imagineers changed their mind, but it may have been also because of the light that this projection effect introduces on the characters faces, and this degree of light was may have been too much light for the other ride elements and their dark ride lighting.
Let's see now what others effects have been envisioned and cancelled. In the London Town scene some projection effect on the windows showing interior action was considered and this might be in place in the new version but it's hard to see on the ride videos. The scenic with Peter Pan, Wendy and the boys on Big Ben is part of the new version. In the Neverland scene the projection and special effects for the waterfalls, sea, and erupting volcano have been introduced but a proposal of adding an air blast effect to Hook's ship cannon and a scrim to show the cannon ball apparently was cancelled - NDR: if you've ride the new version and if i'm wrong, please let me know. In the Skull Rock scene with Tiger Lily the waves crashing on the rocks projection effect is done and in the Pirate ship scene the rear head projection effect on Wendy, Peter and Hook, as well as Michael, John, Smee and the pirate faces has been cancelled, which, again, is a good decision. In the final scene "Mermaid Lagoon" the waterfalls projection effect is there but they've initially thought to remove the Pirate ship and replace it by a scenic projection of the ship flying, and apparently the idea didn't made it in this new version.
So, as you can see, most of the effects that were in the original plan are part of the new version. The main big effect cancelled is for what they call "expressive faces" for the ride characters faces but as i've said it's probably much better to don't have done it.
Videos: copyright Disney, SoCal Attractions 360, Mouse Info