Tuesday, September 8, 2009

More infos about the Al Weiss - Mack secret meeting at Europa Park

Remember this very intriguing August 28th meeting between Al Weiss (Walt Disney Parks and Resorts), Philippe Gas (CEO Euro Disney), Georges Kalogridis (Chief Operative Officer), Andrew de Csilléry (Vice President Strategic Planning) and MACK ride manufacturer at Europa Park in Germany - supposedly for an "exchange of experience"? If you've not read the part one of the story, you can read it HERE.

Well, i have more news about it, and it's even more intriguing! It seems that Disney executives were interested by different flume rides technologies developed by Mack. Last time, i told you about the flume-ride-with-no-splash-in-the-winter which could be perfect for a Disneyland Paris Splash Mountain. Well, they may have been at Europa Park for that, which mean that Mack no-splash technology could have been looked at for a Splash ride in Paris. But there was something else in Mack flume rides that Disney executives were interested by.

You see, one of Mack flume rides include a "turning table" with a backward drop. In two words, at some point the boat stops on the turning table, is turning, and just like at Epcot Norway Maelstrom's attraction, the boat goes down backward. Then there is another turning table where the boat is turn again and there is a new drop, forward this time. By the way, back at the time they built the Norway ride, WDI imagineers liked very much that effect. And every guest like it too, generally. At Europa Park, unfortunately this flume ride is pretty boring, but the technology works well and used with more genius and a better theming it could deliver an impressing effect.

Now, where it's becoming really interesting is when you will know in which attraction WDI Imagineers may envision to use this turning table and backward drop effect.

If you have a look at the rendering above, you will recognize the now famous Pirates of Caribbean land once envisioned for Hong Kong Disneyland before being refused by HK officials (I don't know how somebody can be enough fool to refuse such an incredible concept, but that's another story). The POTC ride/land won't be build in HKDL but big chances are that it will be part of the highly awaited Shanghaî Disneyland.

And yes, as you may have guess by now, this turning table-backward drop might be used in this new Pirates of Caribbean ride - which by the way is supposed to be more inspired by the Jack Sparrow movies than any other POTC versions previously built. We know already that this new version should have a final big drop (simulating the "At World's end" scene when they search Jack Sparrow to the end of the world and drop from the huge waterfall). Personally i don't think that this backward drop - if there is one - could be used for this big drop. This kind of "Splash Mountain" huge drop needs a maximum security, and it's enough frightening-but-fun when you do it "forward".

So, i may be wrong, but i don't think that Imagineers will use this backward effect on the big drop. BUT i will not be surprised if they use it in another part of the ride - after all Pirates of Caribbean usually have two "little" drops, don't they (except at WDW)? So, i can envision a scene where the POTC boat would stop on a turning table before being sent backward for a "medium" drop. And, but that is pure speculation from me, i think that this could happen after a face-to-face with the Flying Dutchman - although this may look like a too obvious replica of the "Troll" scene in the Maelstrom ride. Or they could also use the backward drop effect after a pirate ship fired all its cannons in direction of our boat. There are a lot of scenes that could be imagined in the story line to legitimize a backdrop effect...

Although a backward drop in a POTC attraction sounds like a pretty exciting idea, don't take all this as 100% sure infos. They are not coming "from the horse's mouth" but as usual with me the source is very reliable, which mean that it could be the truth. To end with a resumé, the Mack no-splash technology could interest Disney executives for a splash ride at DLP and the turning table-backward drop tech could interest them for the Shanghaî Disneyland POTC version. The Future will tell us where is the truth in all this.

Artwork: copyright Disney

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Brian said...

Interesting Alain... I am wondering, how long, do you think, will it take to build Splash Mountain in Disneyland Paris? In other words, when would they have to start building in order to make sure it opens when Disneyland Paris celebrates its 20th birthday?

Alain Littaye said...

Brian, first, nothing is sure that they will build Splash Mountain for the 20th birthday. Until now, the 20th anniversary attraction is supposed to be Ratatouille at the WDS.

However, to answer your question, whenever they will build Splash Mountain (if they do) they will need two years to build it.

Anonymous said...

Et pourquoi pas un splash mountaon avec le système de réductions des éclaboussures et le système de table tournante et une descente en arrière.