Wednesday, May 22, 2019

TEA and AECOM 2018 Theme Index - Global Attractions Attendance Report

The TEA - Theme Entertainment Association - and AECOM have published today the 2018 Theme Index: Global Attractions Attendance Report and you can download the full DPF Report HERE. Now, let's have a closer look to the numbers as, as you'll see, they bring interesting informations.

First, about the TOP 10 Theme Parks Groups worldwide. No surprise, Disney is in first position with an attendance of 157.311.000 visitors ( all parks together ) but Universal is not No 2, instead it's Merlin Entertainment Group, and Universal is No 3 with 50.068.000 visitors. Six Flags is No 7 and Sea World No 9.

Next, the always awaited TOP 25 for Theme Parks worldwide. WDW Magic Kingdom is No 1 with 20.859.000 visitors and Disneyland Anaheim No 2 with 18.666.000 visitors, followed by TDL and TDS in Japan with 17.907.000 and 14.65.000 visitors and Universal Studios Japan as No 5 with 14.300.000 visitors. Shanghaî Disneyland is doing very well with 11.800.000 visitors. WDW Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios and California Adventure are No 6, 7, 9 and 12. HKDL is No 16 with 6.700.000 visitors.

But as you see Disneyland Paris parks are not in the first 12, and Disneyland Paris Park is No 13 with 9.843.000 visitors. As for DLP Walt Disney Studios it is No 23 with 5.298.000 visitors only... it's more than time that works begin to make out of this park a full day park, and a real good one if possible. Europa Park, DLP main competitor is No 21 with 5.720.000 visitors, Efteling No 22 with 5.400.000 visitors and Tivoli Gardens No 24 with 4.850.000 visitors.

Next is the Top 20 for Water Parks worldwide and Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach are No 2 and 3 with a bit more of 2 Million visitors for each. Chimelong water park in Guangzhou, China, is No 1 with 2.740.000 visitors. Universal Volcano Bay is No 6 with 1.725.000 visitors, not bad for a new water park.Aquaventure Atlantis in the Bahamas is No 5 and Aquatica Orlando No 7.

The three next pictures shows the TOP 20 Amusement / Theme Parks for America, Asia and Europe.

Again, i strongly recommend to download the full PDF HERE which has plenty more of precious informations about how 2018 was globally a very good year for theme parks around the world.

Pictures: copyright TEA

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Tokyo DisneySea Reveal Name of New Themed Port : Fantasy Springs - New Concept-Arts Released !

Oriental Land Co., Ltd. announced that Fantasy Springs will be the name of the eighth and newest Tokyo DisneySea themed port which is being developed together with a new Disney hotel. The themed port and hotel are scheduled to open in fiscal year 2022 as part of the large-scale expansion of Tokyo DisneySea Park. For this project, Oriental Land is investing 250 billion yen, the largest additional investment to date for existing facilities.

Themed to a magical spring that leads to a world of Disney fantasy, Fantasy Springs consists of three areas inspired by Disney films that are beloved by Guests of all ages—Frozen, Tangled and Peter Pan. Stepping into this new themed port, Guests will find waterfalls and ponds flowing with the magical spring waters. The themed port’s attractions and restaurants will give Guests the opportunity to experience the story of each film. Overlooking Fantasy Springs and situated inside Tokyo DisneySea will be a Disney hotel that offers deluxe and luxury level accommodations.

The four attractions, three restaurants and one shop in Fantasy Springs, as well as the new Disney hotel, have all been newly developed exclusively for this expansion. With the opening of Fantasy Springs, Guests of Tokyo DisneySea will enjoy a first-of-its-kind, new world of fantasy in the only Disney Park themed to the myths and legends of the sea. Fantasy Springs will be connected to other areas of the Park through a pathway between Arabian Coast and Lost River Delta.

Bob Iger, Philippe Gas, Shanghaî Disneyland President as well as Tokyo Disney Resort President and executives were there for the groundbreaking ceremony and name reveal.

New concept-arts were also released, the first ones below showing the entrance to Fantasy Springs, day and night...

Note the Peter Pan, Frozen and Tangled characters sculpted in the rocks, on left, right and center of the entrance to Fantasy Springs.

...and the two others are showing springs within Fantasy Springs, also with characters sculpted in the rocks, here i think Cinderella.

The next picture below shows the area where Fantasy Springs and the new hotel will be built.

The expansion at Tokyo DisneySea will create an eighth themed port that is inspired by a magical spring leading to a world of Disney fantasy. The themed port will be comprised of three distinct areas recreating the worlds of the Disney films Frozen, Tangled and Peter Pan, as well as a deluxe hotel with a one-of-a-kind luxury wing that will be the most luxurious accommodations ever at Tokyo Disney Resort. Four new attractions will be developed just for this expansion. Operations are projected to begin in fiscal year 2022. Oriental Land will invest about 250 billion yen in this project, the largest additional investment to date for existing facilities

Tokyo DisneySea Large-Scale Expansion Project

1. Overview of “Tokyo DisneySea Large-Scale Expansion Project”
a. Site to be developed: the Guest parking area adjacent to Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, which will be relocated so that the Tokyo DisneySea property can expand into that space
b. Number of facilities: four attractions, three food facilities, one shop, one hotel
c. Development area: about 140,000 m2 (about 100,000 m2 for the theme park and hotel)
d. Completion of project: in fiscal year 2022 (tentative)
e. Investment amount: about 250 billion yen (tentative)

2. Overview of new themed port

Themed to magical springs that lead to a world of Disney fantasy, the new port will consist of three areas inspired by Disney films that are beloved by Guests of all ages—Frozen, Tangled and Peter Pan. By entering the new themed port and exploring its numerous springs, Guests will discover Anna and Elsa’s kingdom of Arendelle; the forest and tower where Rapunzel lives; and Never Land and—the home of Peter Pan, Tinker Bell and the Lost Boys. Guests will be able to experience these wonderful, fantastical worlds as no one has before.
The four attractions and the Disney hotel have been newly developed expressly for this project. This new themed port is certain to enhance the appeal of Tokyo DisneySea, the only Disney Park themed to the myths and legends of the sea.

3. Overview of the three areas

Area themed to the Disney film Frozen:

This area is set in Arendelle after the events in the film when Queen Elsa has embraced her magical power to control snow and ice. She has since opened the castle gates so that Guests can freely visit the Kingdom. Located here will be a heartwarming attraction that tells the story of Elsa and her beloved sister, Anna. Guests will board boats and experience the sisters’ heartfelt journey while enjoying iconic songs from the film and encountering surprising thrills. Also located in this area will be a restaurant set inside Arendelle Castle at the foot of beautiful, snow-capped mountains.

Area themed to the Disney film Tangled:

Guests visiting this area will discover Rapunzel’s tower rising above in a charming forest. The area will include an attraction that follows Rapunzel to the lantern festival and a restaurant inspired by the hideout of the humorous band of thugs who appeared in the film. In the attraction, Guests will board gondolas for a romantic boat tour of Rapunzel’s “best day ever” as she journeys with Flynn to the lantern festival. Countless flickering lanterns illuminate the attraction’s climactic scene while Rapunzel and Flynn sing an iconic song from the film, building to an unforgettable finale.

Area themed to the Disney film Peter Pan:

Home to two attractions and a restaurant, the Never Land area will feature landmarks that make that fantastical world so memorable, including verdant mountains, Captain Hook’s pirate ship and Skull Rock. One attraction will fly Guests over the jungles of Never Land into a battle with Captain Hook and his crew of pirates. Guests will join Peter Pan in an adventure to rescue Wendy’s younger brother, John, who has been kidnapped by Captain Hook and his pirates. Guests board boats and follow the Lost Boys down a river. When Tinker Bell sprinkles the boats with pixie dust, Guests find themselves flying through Never Land on an unprecedented adventure that features iconic music and dynamic 3D imagery of the characters from the film.

A second attraction immerses Guests in the oversized world of Pixie Hollow where Tinker Bell and her fairy friends live and work. The restaurant is inspired by the Lost Boys and their hideout, affording lovely views of Never Land that Guests can enjoy while they dine.

Overview of the new Disney hotel:

Themed to Disney fantasy, the new Disney hotel will be located inside the Park. The hotel will rise above and around the magical springs that serve as the core of the new themed port’s story. Park-facing rooms will provide beautiful views of the port’s majestic landscape, affording Guests a magical experience that can only be had at this hotel. The Disney hotel will offer 475 deluxe-type and luxury-type guest rooms, with the latter providing the finest accommodations in Tokyo Disney Resort. A merchandise shop that helps share the story of the magical springs will be found on the hotel’s first floor, facing the Park.

Facility Details:
(As of the date of this release. Details subject to change.)
Area themed to Frozen:
One attraction One restaurant
Area themed to Tangled:
One attraction One restaurant
Area themed to Peter Pan:
Two attractions One restaurant
Merchandise facility
One shop
Disney hotel:
Guest Rooms: 475
Facilities: Two restaurants
One lobby lounge One parking area Other facilities
Note: This information is subject to change.

Pictures: copyright Disney - Oriental Land Co

Monday, May 20, 2019

Star Wars Galaxy's Edge Cast-Members Celebrate the Land Soon Opening on One Group Picture

Disneyland Resort president Josh D’Amaro offered a sneak peek inside Disneyland Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge with a group photo of the land’s many cast members. What is interesting is that the picture also gives a pretty good idea like never before of how big the Millenium Falcon is, bigger than i thought in fact.

Cast member previews started on Monday and will run May 20-22 and May 26-27, allowing eligible resort employees the opportunity to experience the land in four-hour windows ahead of its official opening May 31.

Picture: copyright Disney

Saturday, May 18, 2019

First "Full Look" Picture of Disneyland Sleeping Beauty Castle Re-Opening on May 24th

Disneyland released today a new picture providing a full look to Sleeping Beauty Castle with its new colors ( picture above ). It's of course a big change with the preious castle colors ( picture below ).

Mmmmh, may be a little bit too much gold, specially on the arch entrance? I don't have anything against the gold color but there is a big rule saying that "If everything is special.....nothing is special”.

If you want to see how it will look without the gold on the arch entrance, this picture from Blog Mickey shot just a few days ago provides a good example as the gold entrance arch is hidden by the fences. Without it, it work not too bad, though i still think that the turrets top blue color is a bit too “electric blue".

In a O.C Register article WDI Kim Irvine who was the lead Imagineer on this renovation tells us more: "“People when they come to Disneyland they expect something that’s different than what they would see on their city streets or in their downtowns, We have to push the color, we have to push the fantasy. People get used to seeing it faded. Even if we painted it the original colors, it would look strikingly different. These are not far off of the original colors at all. The only thing that’s quite a bit different is the roof. The pinks are all very much the same and the trim colors are exactly the same."

"All our other castles keep getting bigger with more towers, even our sister castle in Hong Kong, they’re adding onto it and making it gigantic. We’re never going to do that to our castle. It’s always going to be this little castle. It’s the charm and the centerpiece of Disneyland. But what we can do is push the colors a little bit more and add a little pixie dust.”

In a January video below Kim Irvine was also paying tribute to Herb Ryman original rendering for the castle ( picture above ). Watch Kim telling us more about the new colors. The castle reopen May 24, just in time for Star Wars Galaxy's Edge opening on May 31.

Pictures and video: copyright Disney, Blog Mickey

Friday, May 17, 2019

Tokyo DisneySea Released First Look Inside the New Soaring : Fantastic Flight Attraction !

Tokyo Disney Resort released two videos today, one providing a first look inside the new Soaring : Fantastic Flight attraction opening in July at Tokyo DisneySea, and the other being a promotional video for the new ride. The movie will be for the most the same than Soaring Over the World that we know at SDL, DCA or Epcot, but i think there is a new exclusive sequence.

As usual TDR got the best version of the attraction with a highly impressive theming for the buiding and the queue decor, and even a theming for the ride seats with a "wood" style as well as an extremely brilliant idea in the show room itself with a balcony giving the feeling that you'll fly over it for a trip around the world. Pure Imagineering genius.

Don't miss the videos below!

TDR also released pictures of merchandise and food items linked to the attraction.

This new version of Soaring looks like a fantastic addition to a park which is already considered as the best themed park on Earth and it will open in July!

Pictures: copyright Disney, Oriental Land

Thursday, May 16, 2019

New Video Showing Progress Made on the TRON Attraction Coming to WDW Magic Kingdom in 2021

Disney shared a short video showing WDW Imagineers building the TRON Lightcycles Power Run attraction at WDW Magic Kingdom! The steel columns you'll see will serve as the framework that’ll support the coaster’s track in Tomorrowland.

As we know, the TRON attraction is based on the favorite TRON Lightcycle Power Run ride at Shanghai Disneyland. Disney say that "this coaster-style attraction will allow riders to board a train of two-wheeled Lightcycles for a thrilling race through the digital frontier" but in fact there is no race ( at least in the SDL version ) but an illusion of race. The ride will open in 2021 for WDW Magic Kingdom 50th Anniversary. Check the video below!

Picture and video: copyright Disney

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

First Full Pictures of the Inside of the Millenium Falcon at Disneyland Star Wars Galaxy's Edge

Disney released a cool 360° video of the Millenium Falcon inside that guests will see when they'll enter it at Disneyland Star Wars Galaxy's Edge during the attraction Smuggler's Run. You have the video below and you can explore the main room by pointing your mouse on it, and turning any direction when you click and hold.

I did some screen captures and sticked them as good as possible to get the first full views of the inside of the Falcon, just like if you were placed in the middle of the room, looking in front and then turning to see what was in your back. It's not perfect because it can't be, because the 360° lens distort, which is normal, but it's the best possible considering this problem, and so far the only views of the whole room.

Move your mouse in the video below!

Pictures and video: copyright Disney

Monday, May 13, 2019

Disneyland Paris, From Sketch to Reality eBook UPDATED Edition is a Fantastic Update of the Beloved DLP Book and is NOW Available on Apple And Google Play eBooks Stores!

The acclaimed Disneyland Paris, From Sketch to Reality book is now released in ENGLISH eBook edition on Apple iBooks Store and Google Play Books, and you'll be able to have the book all the time with you and read it on your mobile, tablet or computer, and inside the park! This is a fantastic update with all the pages of the original English edition, plus 40 new pages and 116 pictures more! And, yes, just like the French eBook edition, it includes a selection of 60 best videos about the park, Imagineering, hotels, and more! Don’t miss it!

Link Apple iBooks Store:

Google Play link:

There is new pages for all attractions which have been updated in the park recently, or have been added since the book was published 17 years ago, i.e new pages for Pirates of Caribbean, Star Tours 2, Hyperspace Mountain, Buzz Lightyear,  Big Thunder Mountain, Meet Mickey, Mickey's Philarmagic, Hotel New York, and of course Phantom Manor which reopened recently with 16 new pages for Phantom Manor only! And because it is a digital edition i.e we don't have to care about the number of pages, i've put back the full pages on the Visionarium which were cut in half when we did a short update some years ago. The 320 pages book is now a 364 pages book ( not counting the front and back cover ), and, yes, just like the French eBook edition, it includes a selection of 60 best videos about the park, Imagineering, hotels, and more!

In addition to the new pages - and there is new oness for each land chapters - i also did an update of the whole layouts. Just slightly increase the size of pictures when i thought there was too much “white’ on a page, and on some pages, even changed the position of pictures. You might not even notice it if you already own the book, but the layouts are better than ever.

One of the others best reasons to order this eBook edition is that the pictures have never looked so beautiful, and there is a reason for that. It's because the eBook reproduces the original pictures files exactly as they were, meaning that the pictures look 100% like the original files as you don't have the usual loss or slightly change of colors that usually happen during a printing, as good as the printer can be.

If you don't own the book yet, this is definitely the not-to-be-missed "ultimate" edition. And if you do own the book already - and proabbly love it like everyone - then i strongly recommend this eBook updated edition because not only you'll be able to have the book with you at all time and read it on your mobile, tablet or computer, and even inside the park when you will visit Disneyland Paris!

If you've never seen the book watch the video at the link below showing each pages of the book ( not yet updated at the time the video was shot ).

First Official Teaser for Disney's Maleficent: Mistress of Evil !

Disney just released the first official teaser for Disney's Maleficent: Mistress of Evil released this October! Check it out below!

Picture and video: copyright Disney

BREAKING: Shanghai Disneyland to Get Marvel Land Expansion! ( and WHERE Will They Build It )

Shanghai Disneyland will get a new expansion with a big Marvel Land! I'm not the one saying it, Bob Iger did. To be perfectly honest, although Bob Iger did not announced it specifically during Disney’s quarterly earnings call but said this:
"Marvel has gotten extremely popular in China, and I think [Avengers: Endgame] has already done somewhere in the neighborhood of $600 million at the box office in China. So the idea of bringing the Marvel television shows to China as part of a direct-to-consumer platform ... is something that we're very, very interested in. As it relates specifically to [our park in] Shanghai, we think we have a huge opportunity for Marvel there. That's a hint to our parks and resorts group." And Iger added that WDI imagineers "...should be hard at work already designing and developing some Marvel presence in Shanghaî”. Last but not least, as the conference call was ending he added: “…in China, we don’t have any restrictions. So I imagine we’re, at some point, going to get very ambitious about what we do with Marvel at Shanghai Disneyland.” Couldn’t be more clear, right?

Building a Marvel land at SDL is almost a no-surprise as Marvel super heroes movies are very popular and make a lot of money in China, but even if a Marvel land won't open before years in Shanghaî, the first question to answer is: where in the park will they build it? A look at the land available thanks to Google Earth quickly reveal that there is not a lot of choice, specially if Disney wants to build a big Marvel land at Shanghaî Disneyland.

There is some land available near Adventure Isle but it was rumored that they keep it for a Pandora land, probably waiting to see if the new Avatar movies will be highly successful when they will be released in China. But that land is probably not big enough and anyway the transition from Adventure Isle to a Marvel land would not be the best.

The best place would be in front or near Tomorrowland but they won't build a Marvel land in the front or on the right because they don't have enough room and they won't build it right on the left either because they did the big mistake to build Toy Story Land there. I say "big mistake" because obviously the transition from a Tomorowland to a Marvel land would be more natural than a transition from Tomorrowland then to a Toy Story land then to a Marvel land. But nowthat  a direct transition from Tomorowland to a Marvel land is not possible anymore we'll have to do with Toy Story land in between.

As you can see on the screen capture below ( click to enlarge the picture ) the best place, by far, to build a Marvel land at Shanghaî Disneyland is on the big land available in the back of the park, behind Toy Story land, Fantasyland and Treasure Cove.

A zoom in the image allows to see better the land available and the polygon i did using Google Earth tells us that this land is as big as 102.326 square meters! No need to say that they have more room than needed to build a Marvel land there, even the big one that Bob Iger seems to envision.

Yes, but, wait, wasn't it there that SDL Imagineers envisioned to build an Expedition Everest as some blueprints revealed?

That's righ,t but i was never convinced that Disney would build Expedition Everest at Shanghaî Disneyland. Why? because of sensitive political reasons. When you say "Everest" it also means "Tibet" ( Mount Everest has one side in Tibet ) and although the Chinese are saying that Tibet is a province of China since centuries the question is much more complicated than the official statement so building an Expedition Everest at SDL might be a bit risky. I know we're talking only about an attraction, but the question of symbolism in China is important, so...

Anyway, this Expedition Everest was supposed to be build behind Treasure Cove and if - and that's a big "IF" Disney decide to build it anyway, they might have enough room to build both a big Marvel land and Expedition Everest. Although i don't put my bets on Everest, i put them on a Marvel Land , specifically using the left part of the land as shown in the above polygon, and time will say if i was right or not!

Pictures: copyright Google, Disney