Friday, February 13, 2009

Tokyo Disney Sea Behind the Scenes Videos

You've always dreamed to visit Tokyo Disney Sea? This five-part videos filmed for a TV special by the Travel channel will show you everything of this fantastic park, including interesting behind the scenes shots!

Enjoy the show and have all a great week-end!

Youtube videos: copyright Travel Channel and Disney Parks

Photo: copyright Randie Soul

Tokyo Disneyland special report - Part Three : Adventureland

Randie Soul is back with more pictures of Tokyo Disneyland! This time it's all about Adventureland, and we'll begin by the new skow at the Tiki Room with Stitch. The marquee at the entrance clearly indicate the new show title: "Aloha e komo mai!".

A nice addition is the Stitch vehicle in the Tiki room garden. Guests can immediately understand that Stitch landed at TDL!

Some of the Tikis located around the building or in the garden...

Visitors are also informed about Stitch thanks to other outside elements like this one.

The Stitch audio-animatronic during the show is pretty big - may be a little bit too big in comparison with the birds?

Here is an excellent Youtube video of this new Stitch show filmed by the always good JTcent - and with english subtitles!

Tokyo Disneyland also have a Polynesian Terrace.

Even food carts are themed, and each of them in the park have their own specialty. For instance, this one is selling chocolate popcorn, and it is the only one selling these.

Some pictures of scenes of the Swiss Robinsons Tree. I am always amazed with the maintenance quality at TDL. If you look at the plates, fruits, and other elements on these three scenes everything is incredibly clean, no dust, nothing, just like new. Incredible.

The Tiki Room building, as you can see it from the Swiss Robinsons Tree.

Actually, you can see pretty far from the tree, including Space Mountain...

Or even the Tower of Terror located far away, at Tokyo Disney Sea!

Here is the Jungle Cruise entrance!

...And some inside decor.

The entrance of Pirates of Caribbean...

Here is an interesting poster at the entrance, with old renderings and pictures of imagineers at work on the attraction.

A Tokyo Disneyland New Orleans Square street...

...and the marching band walking through New Orleans Square!

All the pictures above are in hyper high-res and some would be great as wallpaper for your computer screen! More of this Randie Soul Tokyo Disneyland report coming next week!

All pictures: copyright Randie Soul whom i thanks a lot!

Youtuve video by JTcent whom i thanks a lot, too!

The Disneyland Paris Frontierland Stunt Show that never was

Recently , i found on the excellent Mark Taft Insights and Sounds web site this rendering below. It's labelled "EDL - for Euro Disneyland which means that this concept-art was done in the early 90's when the park was still called by this name. And it shows the facade of a stunt show arena envisioned for DLP's Frontierland - a "western" stunt show, of course.

In his article Mark was wondering "How seriously was a stunt show for Frontierland considered?" and hoped that i may have the answer as i am the one who wrote the book about the park.

Unfortunately, i just discovered Mark's March 2008 article yesterday (!) and i am a little bit late for the answer! However, i asked Jeff Burke who was Frontierland's show-producer if he ever heard about this project. And here is his answer:

"I don't recognize this specific illustration, but there were discussions, after the Park had opened in 1992, to build a stunt show arena where the Chapparal Stage now stands. The discussions of Frontierland's own stunt showplace ended when operations said it would be too much of a repetition of the "Buffalo Bill Wild West Show" in Downtown Disney."

Another former imagineer friend sent to me these additionnal infos: "There were a number of discussions concerning a live western show in Frontierland, including a small rodeo which was not done due to the strict animal protection laws in France. This is why the animals in the original petting zoo were moved behind a fence after opening so that the guests could only pet an animal when it approached the guest on its own.

As to the stunt show, this was developed under the Entertainment department on their own rather than Imagineering which was probably why it was not well known. An outside consultant was brought in and I seem to remember a model might also have been done. It was essentially a comic gun fight with exploding buildings and such but, as Jeff said, it was cancelled because of the clash with the Buffalo Bill show.

After that, the Chaparral stage came into existence to house any number of live entertainment shows."

So, there we have the answer about this mysterious rendering. The park DID envisioned a stunt show in Frontierland, but they finally cancelled it because of the Disney Village dinner show - translate: if we have a stunt show in Frontierland, people won't come - and pay - for the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show.

Although i must admit there is a kind of logic in their decision, i think it's a pity that a "western" stunt show don't exist in Frontierland instead of the Chapparal Stage. A western stunt show is a classic in theme parks - think about the Universal's Wild Wild West stunt show - and it would have give more life in the back of Frontierland...

And you, what do you think about this Frontierland stunt show that never was?

Artwork: copyright Disney

Many thanks to Mark Taft for this interesting rendering. I strongly suggest you to have a look on Mark's site Insights and Sounds, it's always interesting with rare pictures or renderings and Mark is posting new articles almost every day!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

New " 20000 Leagues under the Sea : Captain Nemo " movie coming soon ?

You may have heard about this 20000 Leagues under the sea prequel that Disney want to produce. Well, it seems that they really want to do it, and as soon as possible!

The movie will not be a "remake" of the unforgettable Richard Fleischer's movie, but essentially a Nautilus origin story, covering the construction and launch of Captain Nemo's nuclear-powered sub. Good idea or not? It's going to be hard to find an actor as good as James Mason to play Captain Nemo, but if you want to know more about this project, check this Empire article.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Disneyland Paris stockholder annual meeting report

The Disneyland Paris stockholder annual meeting happened today at the WDS in the Cinémagique theater, but the review about it is going to be short: Absolutely no new project for the future was announced - except, of course, this year's Mickey Magical Party at DLP and the Cars parade and Playhouse Disney at the WDS. They're still looking to build a new hotel but don't know when. Nothing about the Toy Story Playland coming in 2010 - i suppose they need to keep something "new" to feed the stockholders next year...They're expecting a fall in the results this year due to the economy crisis - no kidding? - and that's all there is to say about this meeting...

Disneyland Paris High-Res wallpaper pictures - by Maureen Chaffurin

It's been a while since i did a wallpaper article, and, knowing that lot of you love them, here are some great Disneyland Paris wallpaper pictures, all shoot by the young and talented Maureen.

From the top: Discoveryland entrance, Main Street, Sleeping Beauty Castle, Big Thunder Mountain and Phantom Manor, Swiss Robinson tree, Hakuna Matata restaurant, Story Book Land, Discoveryland marquee, Astroport at the exit of Star Tours.

Some of the pictures were shot at the "magic hour", one hour before sunset, when the light is soft and beautiful. No doubt it will be beautiful too on your computer screen.
There will be a part two next week. Of course, double-click on each picture to get them in big size, and enjoy them all!

Photos: copyright Maureen Chaffurin whom i thanks a lot!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Theme park special effects coming in real life anytime soon ?

Are theme park special effects coming in real life anytime soon? Will we have Hologram video conference - just like in Star Wars - in a near future?

Probably, and in six months from now special effects which usually could be seen only in theme parks should arrive in our "real" world. It will begin in big corporations who'll have enough money to afford it, but i won't be surprise if in some years, the technology becoming more affordable, we will have holograms communications inside our home.

In the meantime, check this CNN video below to see how it look!

Video: copyright

Monday, February 9, 2009

" Playhouse Disney Live on Stage " will open April 4 at the Walt Disney Studios

There will be plenty of new parades, shows, and only one new attraction this year at DLRP, and it's the "Playhouse Disney Live on Stage". Frankly, personally i consider it as a show, but DLP will "sell" it as an attraction, so, let's say it is one.

It will open at the Walt Disney Studios and very probably will be similar to the one that exist at the Disneyland Resort. The show "will feature characters from four Disney channel programs in one unique story-line" as they say in an article from the cast member magazine "Backstage" that a kind reader sent to me. Here it is below, please click on the image to read the text and discover which characters will appear in the show.

The show is definitely for (very) young children and will be located at the WDS in the Disney Channel building, close to the Stitch Live! attraction. To be kind, let's say that this Playhouse Disney will be one more attraction for children under 7, and God knows that the park desperately need some.

Now, if you don't have any idea how this "Playhouse Disney Live on Stage" look like, here is a three part Youtube video of the DLR show - the one we will have at the WDS should be, as i've said, almost identical. Oh, i've forgot the most important: it's opening at the Walt Disney Studion on April 4!

Photos and "Backstage" article: copyright Disney

Youtube videos: Many thanks to trainboy96

Breaking News : Disney inks distribution deal with Dreamworks

Walt Disney Studios confirmed that it had entered a long-term, exclusive film distribution agreement with DreamWorks Studios principals Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider.

Disney said in a statement on Monday that it would distribute and market about six live-action films per year for DreamWorks as part of Spielberg and Snider's partnership with Reliance BIG Entertainment.

The company will release the DreamWorks movies under its adult-oriented Touchstone Pictures banner. The first such title is set to hit theaters in 2010.

Please click HERE to read the full Reuters article about this important news.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

LIFE Magazine at Disneyland Special Events : Prince Akihito's visit and 1959 Inauguration

LIFE photographers came also at Disneyland during special events, and today we're going to have a look at two of them: the "state visit" - if i can say - of young Prince Akihito and his wife at Disneyland in September 1960. These rare pictures should specially interest my Japanese readers!

Grey Villet, LIFE photo reporter shoot these picture above of Prince Akihito and his wife on Peter Pan's flight...or riding Autopia. Have a look to the paparazzis on the picture fighting to get a picture of the royal couple!

On this picture the Prince is talking with Walt Disney. Paparazzis are still there, right behind!

One year before, on June 1959, LIFE photographer Ralph Crane was there for the big Disneyland 1959 inauguration. Here is Walt riding to parade bleachers with his grand children.

Some minutes later, Walt Disney, Vice-president Richard Nixon and his family watching the Disneyland parade.

It's the grand opening of the Matterhorn and here is the Swiss ballet!

Richard Nixon and Radio-TV Art Linkletter ( bottom, center ) watching the Matterhorn act at Disneyland.

Same day later, on the opening of the Monorail with Nixon, his wife and daughters, and the scissors that didn't want to cut the ribbon! Remember that funny sequence?

All pictures: copyright TIME - LIFE Magazine