Sunday, November 8, 2009

DLP Update : A closer look to the Last Chance Cafe Terrace - Panoramic pictures

Here is a "take two" on the new Last Chance Cafe terrace. In a previous article, i've told you what i thought about it, but now that it's totally finished with tables and chairs under the terrace, and guests too, i wanted to have a second look at it.

What i really wanted to see was the "visual intrusion" of this new terrace. I mean, before it was built, we had this soft curve of western buildings going from the Lucky Nugget Saloon to Phantom Manor's entrance. We still have it of course but now there is the terrace in the middle of it and the best way to show how it look and if there is a visual intrusion or not was to do panoramic pictures. As i didn't had a digital camera able to shoot panoramic pictures ( i will have one soon ) the panoramic were done by putting the pictures together with Photoshop. So, it's not perfect but it will give you a good idea - and i've shoot virtually on every angle outside the terrace but also inside to show what view you have when you're sit and enjoying a cup of coffee or chocolate.

Let's begin by the pictures showing the terrace fron the outside. I will come back on the making itself but right now we can see the visual intrusion and how the gentle curve of the buildings is broken forever. However,to be perfetly fair, there is also some good points as we will see in the pictures shoot from the inside. But for now, have a look to the panoramic pictures below, and of course double-click on each to see them in big size.

Let's have a look now at panoramic pictures showing you what one can see from the terrace. As you will see the view is pretty good and, depending of where you sit, you'll have a great view of Big Thunder Mountain or the riverboats arriving or beginning their cruise on the rivers of the far-west or on Phantom Manor if you sit on the left side of the terrace.

The next pictures are in normal size and we'll have a closer look on the decoration and the cafe itself. But first, it's time to tell you what is precisely the storyline of the Last Chance Cafe. In Frontierland's mythology Fort Comstock was the first building built a long time ago, then, thanks to the gold rush the first prospectors arrived to search gold on Big Thunder and the first buildings of Thunder Mesa to be built were those you find on the right side when you enter the land and, on the left, the Lucky Nugget saloon and all buldings until the Silver Spur Steakhouse.

The Last Chance Cafe was a place where cow-boys and prospectors came to have a good meal before they leave, for the cowboys to the flatlands of the far west, and for the prospectors before they go to search gold on Big Thunder. That's why it was called the "Last Chance Cafe", because the place was the "last chance" to have a good meal before they go outside Thunder Mesa.

The reason why i'm telling you the true story of the Last Chance Cafe is not only because it's interesting to know about it but also because, obviously, any theming should be related with this original mythology. Let's have a look now to the other pictures. The first one shows the entrance. It's the original sign that was before on the cafe facade and now on the front of the terrace.

When you're under the terrace you notice different props which will look to the guests perfectly "western style" - saddles, winchesters, mine lamps etc... - but the theming could have been more elaborate. For instance, it would have been more interesting to have done something based more on the idea of "last chance": the pans of Miners that were never seen again, or gamblers, etc...

Tables and chairs - and guests! - are now in place under the terrace.

The main problem with the terrace building is what i've told you in my previous article: the architecture does not perfectly match with the time era of the buildings behind. May be it look like a purist point of view and probably the guests won't notice it but if we don't search for perfection at Disneyland, where will we? Also, the wood was ovbviously paint - and there is no really a problem with the colors - but i'm not sure that they've tried to do some "aging" as they did on the buildings behind when the park was built. Time will "age" naturally the terrace but it's going to take some time, of course.

On the very back is the cafe entrance, just where it was before, nothing has changed but it's there where things get worse. The Last Chance Cafe was already pretty dark before the terrace and to avoid the lack of light due to the new building they've let a space between the terrace and the cafe.

Alas, it's still not enough to bring light inside the cafe which, even with the lights inside it, is now almost as dark as a cave. They are probably aware of the problem and all we can hope is that they find a way to bring more light inside it because this darkness is not really appealing. It's so dark that i was obliged to shoot the picture below using the flash mode, so you can imagine how it look in real.

The two next pictures show the left and right wall of the cafe with its famous old historical pictures.

Honestly, now that all is in place it looks a bit better than on the first time i saw it. Although it's true that guests will have a great view while they'll enjoy their meal and drinks, the visual intrusion of the terrace is too strong to get my full approval. Now the Last Chance Cafe terrace is there for a loooong time, so i suppose that all we have to do is to try to see it on its positive angles.

I'll have soon another DLP update but in the meantime make sure to read my "best Christmas gift" article below about the DLP book!

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

All pictures: copyright Alain Littaye and Disney and more.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update--it's good to see how it all came together.

My thoughts are along the same lines as yours. Overall it's not too bad, but it could be better.

I totally agree that the style and theming seems a little "off", and that the building would have benefited from some "aging" of the wood.

For me though, the biggest intrusion is not the building itself, but the tables and chairs situated *outside* the building. Yes, the curve is disrupted, but that is ok with me--building don't always follow the curves of water. The extra tables and chairs however--those really disrupt the view and the theming. Instead of seeing an outpost of last chance, I see an "outdoor cafe" that is pretty visually jarring. I doubt they'll remove them, but if they did--I think that would go a LONG way towards making this addition flow better.

Thanks for the great article,

Brer Dan