Friday, February 1, 2008

Be our guest in the Disneyland Dream suite - High-res pictures and Videos

That's it, the first guests of the new Disneyland dream suite had the pleasure to spend a night inside this gorgeous suite, located ,as we know, where the Disney Gallery used to be. Let's have a look how gorgeous it is with these new Disney pictures, and the original renderings. Take the time to double-click on each picture to explore each detail, it worth the look, really!

Christine Terwilliger of Salem, Oregon - fourth from left on the picture below, became the first-ever winner of an overnight stay inside Disneyland, California. Shown here entering the Suite with her family, she was randomly selected Thursday, Jan. 31 to spend the first night in the new Dream Suite, located above Pirates of the Caribbean in the New Orleans Square area.

The Disneyland Dream Suite has been restored using drawings created in the 1960s by Dorothea Redmond when Walt Disney himself was planning a luxury apartment inside Disneyland. Here the 1966 artwork of the dream suite living room.

Here is the 2007 artwork from WDI for the same room. Look at the changes...

And here is the final - and beautiful - result.

Other artwork was done in 1966, but as we will see, the new rooms are quite different, even if WDI imagineers tried tp preserve the "spirit" of the original artwork. “Our plan has been to use the renderings that Walt worked on with Dorothea Redmond and to replicate those as exactly as we can,” said Walt Disney Imagineering Art Director Kim Irvine. “Her illustrations were very specific, with a color and style for each room. “But to make it special for the guests, we want it to be more than just a beautiful suite.  We want it to be filled with things that might have inspired Walt as he dreamed of Disneyland.”
Here is the artwork for the adventureland master bedroom.

And the adventureland bedroom, finished.

At night, the lighting is fantastic, with a starry night sky, projection of waterfalls, and Peter Pan with the mermais right above your head when you're in the bed.

There is another bedroom, with a Frontierland theme. And with a train that goes all around the room. When it comes close to some decor element, these begin to move, magically.

The 1966 artwork for the same room...

And the one for an elegant "wash room" - although it looks more like what we call in france a "boudoir".

The master bathroom has a Fantasyland theme...

The bathtub with its gothic arches and the Aurora stained glass

One of the highly appreciated difference with the other dream suite inside WDW castle is the fact that guests can go outside not only on a central courtyard, but also have a balcony with a front view on Frontierland. First, here is the 1966 artwork.

The 2008 version include some chinese lampoons lighting.

On the other side, the balcony offer a perfect view on Tom Sawyer island, The river with the Mark Twain, and Big Thunder mountain...

...and the best place, at night, to enjoy the Fantasmic show!

Now, the question is: how does it feel when you're the winner and enter inside this wonderful suite for the first time ? Here is the answer with a video of Christine Terwilliger and her family, the first "winner" guests.

And what about having a look to the making-of, with special comments from WDI imagineers? Watch this!

The next topic tomorrow will take us not that far from that place, right below in fact, for another event, with another winner, about another kind of dream!

I must remind you as it is written on the "terms of use" page that, in the event you download any material from The Disney and more blog, the download of the material, including any files or images must be for your personal, noncommercial home use only. You may not and cannot sell, print or reproduce in any way any material downloaded from The Disney and more blog, and specifically any material copyright Disney , Walt Disney company, Disney Enterprises inc, or any other companies.

All photos, artwork and videos: copyright Disney Enterprises inc

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Discover Port Aventura, the best theme park in Spain - Part Two

In the first part of my Port Aventura article , posted quite a while ago, we’ve been around four on the five lands of the park : Meditterranea, Polynesia, China, and Mexico. The last land of the park is the “Far-West” , i.e a kind of “Frontierland”. To read part one of this article, click HERE.

But the artists which originally created Port Aventura had the genius idea to don’t make a simple “copy” of Disneyland’s original design. They just created a totally different “ Far West”. In fact, on a certain point of view they’ve built a TOWN!
No river, here, no Tom Sawyer island, too, but a real - probably even more “real” than in Disneyland -Frontierland. I mean: the original town in the far-west, probably looked more like this town in Port Aventura than Frontierland. But, at the end, that’s not the point. The point is that you have the delicious feeling to be in the “old west”, and not to see another “copy”.

Before i go further, i have to tell you something that will probably amaze those of you who didn’t knew about it. Could you believe that Spain is full of old “Far west” towns? and even, now, of “ghost towns”? No kidding. And specially the region of Almeria, in Andalucia, south of Spain. Why? Because the wonderful stone desert of the province of Almeria was looking so much like the vast lands of America’s original far west, that in the 1960’s most of the Italian western movies of Sergio Leone were filmed here. And the towns remains since then . If you go someday in this area, you’ll find lot of them which are now small “far west” theme parks...In fact, in the sixties, a lot of movies were filmed in Spain : Doctor Zhivago from David Lean was filmed entirely near Madrid! as well as “El Cid” with Charlton Heston, or “55 days of Beijing” also with Heston and Ava Gardner...

So, you see, Spain has a long history in movie decors, specially “far west” towns, and it’s probably why this one is so well done...

So, when you exit the “Mexico” land, and enter the far west town, you enter the land by what is supposed to be the other end of the town. And what do you see first? The cemetery!...which, as we know, were built at the exit of the towns. Right after, some yards away, here is the school! a real school, just like in the ol’ times. If you turn left, you’ll get into the main street of the town. But if you turn right, you’ll find one of my favorite attraction here , called “Stampede”. Stampede is a wooden roller coaster. Well, i should say “two” roller coasters, as the great idea here is that two trains depart together and race to arrive the first! So, sometime, the two tracks are side to side, sometime they separate, then join again, up to the arrival line. It looks pretty simple but you don’t have any idea how much fun this “race” is! It’s even strange that Disney never thought about it! Don’t miss this one if you’re there one day!

So, now, let’s enter the main street. You’ll find here all what you could find in these kind of streets, restaurants, shops, all perfectly well themed. In one of the building , there is even a medium, which will tell you everything about your future - quite good medium, by the way, as well as a very nice girl!

And, yes! there is a train station! “ Penitence station” as it is called, where you can embark in the train which goes all around the park...

Not so far, you’ll find a really good “wild wild west stunt show “ The show decor, stunts and explosions are as good as the one you can find in the states.

And when you’ll exit the show, just go to the saloon at the corner of the street. Folks, this one is a REAL saloon, a great one, really, with a show, a good show, and lovely girls, everything is perfectly themed - including the girls!

Not that far from the saloon, here is the hotel of the town. You won’t sleep in it, but you can dine here , in the restaurant.

When you approach the other end of the town, you’ll find a lot of attractions : a mine train
- like “big thunder”, but with no mine, and a log-flume ride housed in a huge and greatly themed wooden building, with a bridge nearby which lead to the entrance of the land.

Finally, right at the exit of the land, here is the inevitable “raft ride” called “silver river flume”, and all set in a kind of colorado canyon theming.

So, as you might have noticed, this is a quite different “frontierland” they've built here, and , honestly, their “imagineers” or whatever they call them have done a damn good work!

Spain in the summer can be hot, really. So, when Universal bought the park some years ago, they had the good idea to create, next to Port Aventura’s entrance a “water park” called “ Costa Caribe” , where guests can refresh and have fun.

Don’t expect a “typhoon lagoon” or a “blizzard beach” here, but you’ll find some elements of good theming, like this giant plane floating over the heads in the “in door” section.

Universal built , too, two very good hotels, one with a “meditteranean” theming and one on a “mexican” theming, and both are big, and good - my favorite is the meditteranean one built like a meditterranean village.

Hope this little flight to spain was pleasant to you, and, next time, instead to go “east”, we will go “west” for some different destinations!

Monday, January 28, 2008

First picture of Pixar 2009 animated " UP ! "

The excellent Upcoming Pixar web site at posted the first picture of Pixar 2009 animated movie " UP ! " . In fact, the artwork seems to be currently on display at Disney's Hollywood Studios and the picture was shoot by the epcotservo update blog and then enhanced by the guys of Upcoming Pixar.

What about the story line? Director Pete Docter described " Up ! " in an i issue of Time magazine as a "coming-of-old-age story" about a seventy-something guy who lives in a house that "looks like your grandparents’ house smelled." He befriends a clueless young Wilderness Ranger and gets into lots of altercations. Says Pixar: "Our hero travels the globe, fights beasts and villains and eats dinner at 3:30 in the afternoon."

No doubt we want to know more about it, and you can count on me to post new infos when they will be available. UP ! is Pixar’s tenth animated film and scheduled for theatrical release June 12, 2009.

Artwork : copyright Disney-Pixar - Photo by

Infos from

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Create a fantastic " wall of Disneyland images " on your computer screen with the new PicLens plug-in !

Today, we will have a "technical" topic as i would like to introduce you to a fantastic plug-in for Firefox. It is incredibly easy to install, it won't take you more than three minutes, and once you've done it you will be able to transform your computer screen in a stunning Disneyland "wall of images" or slide show from any other image search on Google, Yahoo, AOL , Flickr, Facebook, My Space, etc...and it's totally free!

This fantastic plug-in comes from PicLens, and it's a new version of it for Firefox. It works only - for now - with Firefox, and later probably with Safari or Internet Explorer. So, if the Firefox navigator is not yet install on your computer, that's the first thing you have to do to enjoy what will follow.

Also, the PicLens plug-in needs: for a MAC : a MAC OS X Tiger 10.4.11 or Leopard, and for a PC Windows XP or Vista. If you don't have this on your computer, sorry, it will not work.

Now, if you do have all this, including Firefox, all you need to do is to launch Firefox and go at:
If you have a PC, click on "click here" under the Firefox icon on the download window on the right.
Now, click on "download" or on the Firefox icon under "download". If Firefox tell you that it don't allow the download, go on the top right and click on "edit..." , a window will open, then click on authorize, close the window, and click on download again.

Once this is done, scroll down on the Piclens page to the section "Get into your favorites site", where is written all the sites where the plug-in works with, and click for instance on Google images. A regular Google images page will open, type any search word, let's say "Disneyland" and click.
The "Disneyland" search page will open as it does usually. Nothing new apparently, but put your mouse on any image and watch closely: a small grey and white arrow is now appearing on the bottom left of each image. Choose any one you want, and click on the arrow...and boom! the magic is here! the wall of images is now on your screen, and you can go further in the google images search just by moving right or left your mouse on the screen. The great thing is that it avoids you to click on "page 2, page 3, etc.." like we do usually on Google images to see the next results of the image search. ALL the images found by Google are appearing little by little on the wall of images.

Now, if you click once on any picture, it will make the image bigger, if you double-click, you'll have it full screen. You can launch a slide show with a simple click on the bottom left "play" arrow or you can choose to look to any other image, or comeback to the wall of images.

If you want to download an image you cannot take one and slide it on your desktop like we usually do. But don't worry, here is the trick: double click on the image you would like to download, then on the top left of the page you'll see "Piclens view for Google" and a little arrow. Click on it, and it will send you instantly to the Google image page from where is coming the image you have chosen...and where you'll be able to download the image!

May be it don't looks easy, but i can assure you that it is! And to help you, i've done a little video that will show you how it works! There is two versions : one in english just below with a "Disneyland" image search

And now, the video with a french version with a different image search on "Egypt"

Hope you will enjoy this fantastic plug-in, and please leave your comments once you've experiment it, i am curious to have your feedback!