Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Disneyland Paris Summer Update, All about DLP 20th Anniversary E-Ticket, and more !

It's the top of the high season for Disneyland Paris, and as usual in summer the park is more beautiful than ever. Those of you who like Disney's vegetation theming would be in heaven. There are flowers everywhere whether it's at the entrance and in front of the Disneyland Hotel...

Or in Main street and in Fantasyland...

One of the most amazing "vegetation theming" success at DLP is obviously in Adventureland. Frankly, when the park opened 17 years ago i would not have bet that a lush "tropical" vegetation was possible in Adventureland. The park is located in an place where it's reaaaaly cold in the winter but the genius of WDI vegetation specialists succeed over all expectations. Bamboos and other tropical trees are now so high that in some areas it's a real jungle!

Let's go back to Main Street where guests are now welcome again by the Main Street marching band. Quite a while since the last time i saw them, i think they're only here during summer season.

On Central Plaza the Mickey's Magical Party show is now entertaining the guests in the afternoon and it seems that DLP visitors really enjoy the show.

However, something less cool is also happening now at DLP. And considering that we are not in winter but at the top of summer season it was hard for me to believe that such a thing was possible.

Until last year, and just like in any other Disney theme parks, the attractions were open until the park's closing time. But this year a lot of attractions are closing before park's closing time, and considering that it was a week-end day in july AND that the park was closing at 11pm it was unbelievable to see that a LOT of attractions were closing at 6 or 7pm, i.e four or five hours BEFORE closing time!!! Let me tell you which one - the time indicated below is the closing time for each of them:

The Nautilus : 5.30 pm ( FIVE hours and 30 minutes before park's closing time! )

Honey i schrunk the audience ( and this one is not a "B" ticket! ) : 6 pm !

Frontierland's Riverboat: 6pm (it normally closes at sunset, but right now the sunset in Paris is not at 6pm but 9.30pm!)

River Rogue Keelboats: 7pm

Story Book Land: 7pm

Casey Junior: 7pm

Alice's Labyrinth: 7pm

Snow White: 6pm

Pinnochio's attraction which is next door close at 10pm but is NOT open before 3pm!!

Autopia: 9pm

Star Tours: 10pm

Swiss Robinson Tree: 10pm

And ALL Adventureland AND all Fantasyland are closed at 10pm, the "alibi" being that the areas must be clear for the 11pm fireworks.

Which means what? It means that from 7pm there is only Big Thunder Mountain and Phantom Manor with also the Keel Boats open in Frontierland, POTC, Indiana Jones and the Swiss Robinson tree in Adventureland, Pinnochio, Peter Pan, Dumbo, the Tea Cups and It's a Small World in Fantasyland, Space mountain, Buzz Lightyear, Star Tours and Autopia in Discoveryland. A total of 15 attractions. Which may seem okay as all the major rides are still open, but we must remember that we are in July, a week-end day, right at the top of the high season! Also, as the Walt Disney Studios are closing at 7pm it's not possible to move in the second gate for the rest of the evening.

And, believe it or not, from 10pm there is only 5 attractions open in the whole park! Incredible.

Of course it is deliberately done to save money but if we look closely, most of the attractions which are closing early do it at 7pm, i.e almost at "dinner time". And if visitors want to see - and wait - for the night parade and fireworks but already did all the big E-Tickets what can they do? That's right: just go to have dinner and spend money!

This would happen in january or february where park's attendance is low i will understand, but a week-end of July, it's a shame, really. Let's hope that enough visitors will complain at City Hall so this will not happen next year...

The only good news in all this is that all the money the park will save will hopefully be use in the next big attraction...which leads me to the second part of this update.

DLP 20th Anniversary E-Ticket Attraction

Forget about Splash Mountain, Indiana Jones Adventure or the Little Mermaid, the next Disneyland Paris big E-Ticket will be the Ratatouille attraction! This awaited E-Ticket which will be build at the Walt Disney Studios has been approved by the park's management and it's now confirmed - not officially, of course - that Ratatouille will be DLRP 20th anniversary E-Ticket.

For a cost estimate between $120 M and $150M this is a unique attraction which will exist only at DLRP, and that's good news. Located where stands now the costuming building or more probably right behind it, WDS guests will have access to the new facility thanks to two roads, one from the Toon Studio and the other one going through a small tunnel at the west exit of Toy Story Playland.

Of course expect on the outside some Paris decor, but also inside the building as the queue line decor will put the guests on the rooftops of Paris with breathtaking height feeling, thanks to forced perspective. I don't know why, but i'm ready to bet that Gusteau's restaurant sign will be include in the rooftop skyline - or on the outside facade...

Guests will then board in what will be probably LPS controlled vehicles - the same technology used at the TDL Winnie the Pooh attraction - and will be "reduced" at the size of Remy. No Mighty Telescope here, but a ceiling probably as high as the one inside Pirates of Caribbean as WDI imagineers will build giant decor to give us the feeling that we are as small as a rat.

The ride will begin inside Gusteau's restaurant kitchen where we will be chased by some of the cooks and especially Skinner, the chef. I don't want to tell you too much about the storyline to don't spoil you the ride, but what i can tell you is that the ride itself will not follow the chronological order of the movie scenes, although WDS visitors will be pleased to find some of the key scenes from the movie.

Of course we can expect Audio-Animatronics figures during the ride. As guests are supposed to have the size of a rat, any rat Audio-Animatronic will not be a problem (in terms of dimensions), but what about human figures which in all logic should be gigantic to respect the proportions. Well, WDI imagineers found an intelligent answer to this problem and sometime we will see - just like Remy in the movie - only the legs of a cook...

Or sometime only a giant face like the one of Skinner.

Considering that the LPS technology will allow the vehicles to don't follow a track and to have more freedom for the vehicle's movements including 360 degrees rotation i think it's fair to say that we can expect a real major E-Ticket, the great dark ride which was missing at the WDS.

Now, it's time to remember that 2012 will be indeed the WDS 10th anniversary but also the 20th anniversary of the Disneyland Park. The WDS will have a major attraction with Ratatouille, but what can we expect in the first park? Certainly not another big E-Ticket like the Little Mermaid as the park can't afford two $150 M attractions. Of course they can create new shows or parades but it's hard to imagine a Magic Kingdom 20th anniversary with no attraction at all. Nothing of course is announced yet so what will follow is pure personal prospective, but may be Star Tours 2 could be a good candidate for Disneyland Park 20th anniversary attraction. The cost will be probably affordable - not cheap, but certainly under $100 M - and in 2012 the new Star Wars live TV series will be aired on TV channels all over Europe which could be perfect on a marketing point of view. So, for now, i will put my bets on this one and we will see what the future will bring!

O-Kay, that should do it for today!

Thanks to leave a comment or discuss this article on D&M english forum on Mice Chat

Pictures: copyright Disney-Pixar or Disney and more


Anonymous said...

Wow what a Beautiful Park with all the flowers in bloom. I always enjoy a nighttime cruise aboard the river boats at Disneyland, where one can appreciate the fireworks display. That's really a shame PDL doesn't let the guests enjoy the same vistas after sunset.

SimonK said...

Rides closing early isn't new. It was the same last year during the summer. The park just has a major over capacity in the evening, so it would be irresponsible to keep all the rides open. When the fireworks are about to start everone moves to central plaza anyway, leaving the rest of the park virtually empty, with no waiting time at all. At least that's how it was last year, and I enjoyed walking through Frontierland as if we were the only ones in the park.

Anonymous said...

"it would be irresponsible to keep all the rides open" --

isn´t it amazing with what Disney can get away with? Come on, people, stop doing the calculations for Disney - it´s time to act like the paying customers we are - start complaining!

Brian said...

Great to read about DLP's future! It looks like the Ratatouille Darkride could become a nice E-ticket I think. The current costume-building is quite big, will they demolish that one first, or will they build the ride inside the building?

On the other hand I'm a little disappointed that there probably won't be very much attention for the Main park during its 20th anniversary. I really hoped for either Splash Mountain, or Indiana Jones ride, or Little Mermaid. Though there is still a possibility that Disney can build one of these rides by getting a big sponsor to help financing.

Anonymous said...

Quelle deception si cette nouvelle est officielle :(
Encore un dark ride de plus, même s'il sera "unique" à DLP c un peu light pour un 20e anniversaire. De plus toutes les attractions Pixar, pour les avoir testées, sont (contrairement aux films) assez décevantes et peu innovantes. Triste aussi de voir le Magic Kingdom abandonné et sans nouvelle "veritable" attraction depuis Space Mountain.

A suivre et bravo pour la qualité de ce blog.

john321 said...

So, it's going to be Ratatouille then? I think it would be a great addition to the park. The costuming building and the way it was integrated into the Studio Tram Tour really was a joke. It was ugly, cheap and really a bit to far behind the magic...

The only pity is they are leaving the original park behind. There hasn't been one major addition since the opening of Space Mountain. Yes, we got Buzz and yes, Captain EO has been replaced and enhanced with some new effects (I preffered EO), but nothing really big ever happened since Space Mountain (yes, we got a questionable makeover on that one too).

Actually, every time there is a fireworks display, they close the whole back of the park, Fantasyland becomes totally inaccessible and the railroad is either closed or it will not stop at Fantasyland (in off-seasons they usually close the whole railroad). Most mortar launchers are located on the buildings on the left and the right of the castle, so the security problems aren't that far fetched. But I've also heard the same argument when they closed Temple of Doom an hour earlier, while Pirates was still running. Pirates, is of course, closer to the action than Temple of Doom...

If you've already seen the fireworks display, this is THE time to get some "near-ERT" on some major attractions. If you're lucky, you can easily up your "credit count" on BTM or Temple of Doom and Space Mountain with 3 or 4 continuous rides, often in any position you like. (Front, back, etc.).

It has been practice for years to start closing attractions and restaurants about an hour before park closure. They start closing the park in sections, roping off all the closed parts and push all guests towards Main Street. Also, many park restaurants do not take any reservations one or two hours before park closure. Most stores on Main Street stay open about a hour and a half after park closure.

I can live with some of the smaller attractions closing earlier on a long day, but closing them at 6pm with still 5 hours to go is way to early in my opinion.
Before it fell into the current state of disrepair, Alice's Labyrinth was a truly magical place after sunset. It is also one of the easiest attractions to keep open, how many cast members could you possibly need for it?

Also, closing the Studios at 7pm while the main park is open until 23pm really is a pity. Tower of Terror looks really stunning after sunset. I also prefer the ride experience in the dark, the view you get is quite stunning with all the light-shows going on.

The Studios have plenty of space to organize some open-air events. Why not organize some kind of dance party or concert after-hours inside the studios every weekend during peak season? They have done this on certain special occasions and it was a huge hit.

On the other hand, we like to complain a lot of course... Most other parks close way earlier than most Disney parks during high season.

Nicholas Tucker said...

When is the U.S. going to get one of these trackless ride systems?

MarkTwain said...

"When is the U.S. going to get one of these trackless ride systems?"

Yeah! I'm starting to feel left out! Haha. But it does sound like the only Disney resorts without a trackless system will be the American ones.

nojarama said...

Three words: Fab-U-Lous (except for the rides closing early)!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the great report!

Sorry for the early closing... what are they thinking???????!!!!!

Great pics! Thanks bunches! :)

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the early closing... what are they thinking???????!!!!!

Need I remind you that the world's economy is still in the toilet?!

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Brian said...

With the ratatouille ride they could possibly make a new boulevard street. At the end of the hollewood boulevard, the can make a street on the right leading towards ratatouille, possibly called French Boulevard or Boulevard a France. However they need to put the tram tour a little more backwards. The new street would be going directly behind the new Toy Story Playland.
Would do you thnik about it?

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mickey_nl - Disneyland Parijs said...

Going forward to the 20th anniversary, the park will do lot’s of referbs!

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