Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Will Mickey's Philarmagic replace Walt Disney Studios Animagique attraction in a near future ?

If there is one attraction which will have its place at the Walt Disney Studios Toon Studio, it's Mickey's Philarmagic. First, it's all about animation, and, two, it's a 3D movie and there is no 3D movie at the WDS.

The Animagique show using dark light effect is okay - just okay - but Mickey's Philarmagic will be a big hit with the WDS guests. And the two shows use Donald as the main character!

So, why don't they replace Animagique by Mickey's Philarmagic ? After all, they already have the building, it's already a theater, and the seats are already in place. So, why?

You, see, they have indeed a building, but they don't have the CEILING. I mean, the ceiling height that the Mickey's Philarmagic show effect need.

Let me explain you more. When they've built the WDS, it was in the Michael Eisner era - well, actually, the end of his era. I'm sure you remember it, it was those times where the WDC choose to don't spend too much money in new theme parks ( to say it elegantly! ). The imagineers who built the WDS did absolutely their best with the budget they had, but ,to stay in the "budget", some choices had to be done.

So, for those of you who have never been to the WDS, the "Studio 1" is a full real building - front, back, walls and ceiling are in "hard" - but Studio 2 and 3 have only the front and the bac , and the floor, of course, which are "in hard" everything between is a huge inflatable canvas ( i think it's inflatable, if it's not, sorry about the mistake ) , just like a huge tent hold on each side, with an invisible metallic structure.

As it's not easy for me to find the right english words, the best is that you have a look at the picture below. Here is what you can see on the left...

And here is a closer look...

Now, let's come back to that ceiling problem. Those of you who have seen Mickey's Philarmagic may remember that, at the very beginning of the show, the screen have a kind of "frame" around it. And when it begin, the frame goes up, to "disappear" in the ceiling - see below a screen capture of a youtube video. And here is the first problem. Because of this damn' hemispheric structure, they simply can't do it! No way to have the frame disappearing in the ceiling!

The other problem is with the screen itself. If you saw the show, it begin with a "small" screen which enlarge after five minutes to reach a kind of "cinemascope" size. Same problem, because the walls are not square, it's another difficulty.

I know, you're going to tell me: " why the hell don't they put out this damn' structure and built real walls and ceiling? It's not THAT difficult..." You will be right, it's not difficult, but it's not cheap. Because not only you have to almost build an entire new building - except the front and back walls, but you have to re-install all the security , fire system, etc...And, believe me, it's always a big part of an attraction budget.

On the other hand, the cost of the Animagique show is not that cheap for the park. The show need many performers which means a salary cost, that would be reduced with a movie attraction which need less cast-members.

So, we'll see in the future, but Mickey's Philarmagic is a really good "D+" ticket, WDS guests will enjoy it immensely, and it will be a real good choice for the WDS Toon Studio.

Animagique and Mickey's Philarmagic show Photos: copyright Disney

Exterior photos: copyright Alain Littaye


Anonymous said...

I haven't seen Philarmagic yet and I'm sure it would be a great addition to WDS, but I would hate to see Animagique go as it is such a beatiful and unqiue show!

Anonymous said...

There can't be a scren because there are no walls ?Hum... what about Cinemagique ? And about the frame in the ceiling... Where do you think Animagique sets (The Vault etc...) are during the show...

I love Animagique I don't know Philarmagic but what you're saying has no sense...

And about the "not hard" walls it's because the old cinemas studios were like this to have the possibility to use sun light...