Saturday, March 7, 2009

Editor's Note: Don't miss the fantastic new UP! trailer, right after the Stitch's Supersonic Celebration article below!

Stitch's Supersonic Celebration will bring Stitch Live! technology into a Tomorrowland show

Stitch's Supersonic Celebration is a new interactive show for WDW Magic Kingdom's Tomorrowland. Actually, the stage construction already began near the Carousel of Progress area.

What is interesting in this show is that it's a new adaptation of the "Turtle Talk with Crush" interactive technology. Hong-Kong Disneyland and DLP's Walt Disney Studios both have a popular interactive attraction with Stitch, where young guests can ask questions to Stitch who will answer to them.

The official release that my good friends at WDW marketing sent me with the rendering above give more details about this show:

Stitch’s SuperSonic Celebration is a musical stage show that celebrates Galaxy Day in the Tomorrowland area of Magic Kingdom Theme Park. Get ready to party with a high-energy dance troupe and a very special live video appearance from Stitch. Stitch’s SuperSonic Celebration is scheduled to debut late spring 2009.

A live broadcast of the Tomorrowland News Network, with your host Tip Trendo, is interrupted by a video transmission from Stitch, who has “borrowed” a space cruiser assigned to cover Galaxy Day—a special celebration where everyone around the galaxy celebrates everything worth celebrating.

Stitch is always up for a good party! Join Stitch, Tip, the singing Galactic Girls and some surprise guests for an out-of-this-world party filled with music and dancing. Learn some space-age dance moves and groove to old favorites and original songs with the intergalactic crew on stage.

Just because Stitch appears on a screen, don’t think this show is the same every time! Stitch interacts with the audience, and every show is a unique experience filled with fun and surprises.

So, there we are: WDI has succeed to mix the "Stitch Live!" technology used at the WDS with a Tomorrowland show, and i can't wait to see the result, coming soon at the Magic Kingdom!

Artwork: copyright Disney

New UP! Trailer show at last all the characters !

Pixar has released a new "UP !" trailer and this time it shows all the characters, including Dug the dog, Kevin the bird and the "villain" Muntz!

Until recently UP ! was a mysterious movie and even for a huge Pixar fan like me it was difficult to "feel" the movie and have an opinion about it. Thanks to this new trailer, we can have a more precise idea of the look and the "tone" of UP!

Now i know: UP! will be great and i can't wait for its release!

Have a look at the trailer below or on Yahoo Movies HERE

Thursday, March 5, 2009

HORIZONS tribute - photos , artwork and video

Here it is at last, the grand tribute to Horizons that i've promised to you four months ago ! And this one is going to be a really big tribute to this Epcot beloved attraction, one of my favorite. Lot of pictures, for the first time in big size, plenty of artwork, and great video of the whole ride at the end of the article, with the links to the previous Epcot original attractions artwork articles.

Horizons, designed by imagineer George Mc Ginnis and Collin Campbell opened on October 1, 1983 and was about the future!...and more specifically, Horizons was dedicated to "humanity's future" with this principle "If we can dream it, we can do it!".
Not only the building was huge, but the 14.45 minutes ride was one of the longest one ever created by Walt Disney Imagineering. Lot of audio-animatronics - 54, exactly , and 770 props all along the ride, not to mention the 12 film projectors, the two Omnisphere screenshow, and a huge capacity of 2784 guests per hour.Everything was great: the story line, the theming, the music, everything!

During 10 years - from 1983 to 1993 - the attraction sponsor was General Electric, as we can see on this picture of the entrance.

Right after the entrance, the Futureport announced the "destinations"

It's time to board in one of the Horizons vehicles

First, we had a look back to some of the great visionaries like Jules Verne, then to how the future was dreamed in the 30's.
Here is a picture of the model of that scene.

And here are pictures of the real thing.

The next scene was a vision of the future from the 50's.

After these opening scenes the Horizons vehicle moved to the Omnimax film sequence with images of the DNA chain, or the space shuttle lift off. The next scene was the 21st century Habitat sequence , also called the Nova City living room.

A huge backdrop painting was done for that scene, here is three close shots of this artwork.

The next scene brings the guests at Mesa Verde, a desert farm of the future...

And then to a submarine habitat...

But also inside a space colony and the "crystal lab"...

The Holographic "happy bithday" party line was the next scene, and the special effects were at that time really impressive.

The guests had then the possibility to "choose their tomorrow" with a choice of three destinations: Space , Desert, and Undersea. A screen came in front of the vehicle and a short movie was played. A good idea, but the image definition was not as good as it would be today.

Before we arrive to the videos below, i have more rare pictures for you. First, a model of the building.

Then some artwork for the "Main Shuttle port"

Here is a fantastic painting showing a city of the future.

But one of the biggest backdrop painting was the "Looking back at tomorrow". Here are some very rare photos showing the painter at work - Robert McCall, a famous artist who worked mostly for NASA - and details of the painting.

And now it's time for you to board inside a Horizon vehicle and enjoy this fantastic ride, thanks to this 3-part youtube videos from Century3Horizons, that i thank a lot, and congratulate for the high quality of the filming.

Just like everybody who did the ride at Epcot, you will love Horizons instantly, it was Imagineering at its best! And don't forget: If we can dream it, we can do it!

You can know more about Horizons, read the original script and listen the great music theme on the excellent Horizons web site HERE

I remember you that you can find the previous articles about Epcot's original attractions artwork: for Spaceship Earth HERE, for The Living Seas HERE, for Communicore HERE
, for The Land HERE, and for Journey into Imagination HERE. More coming next week about Universe of Energy!

Photos and artwork: copyright Disney Enterprises Inc

Youtube videos thanks to Century3Horizons

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

First look at Shanghaî Disneyland future location

The Theme Park Guy web site did a photographic report on the Shanghaî Disneyland's future location near Chuansha town. River, wood, meadows, small villages, and they even have already a kind of "monorail" with the Shanghai’s - Pudong International Airport Maglev train! No doubt that a special Shanghaî Disneyland stop will be add if they build the park here.

I remember you that we're still waiting for China's Central government green light to the project which hopefully should happen in the next months. Opening date if Disney and China reach a final approval is scheduled for 2014. In the meantime, have a look at the Theme Park Guy web site article HERE.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

DLP Update : A Delight of Palisades

Winter is usually the refurbishment season at Disneyland, but Disney Theme Parks are probably the only places where palisades means good news. And right now at DLP and the WDS there is quite a lot of palisades! And as we will see it also means good news!

First, for those of you who are planning to visit the resort i must admit that i'm a bit exagerating. Palisades are not everywhere in the parks, and some of them will be removed at the end of this month. So don't worry, the Disneyland Paris visual pleasure is still there.

There is in fact different kind of palisades at Disney theme parks: those which are there to hide a refurbishment, like this one on the Studio 1 facade. Since almost a year they keep repainting this facade and i must say it's quite odd that it takes so long - may be they've stop the works during the winter...

In this same category, the WDS Front Lot shop is also partly surrounded by palisades, also for repainting.

You have also other kind of palisades, surrounding some land where something is supposed to be build but who-knows-when, like these close to the WDS parking lot...

...where originally they've kept the space to build a huge "World of Disney" store. As you can see on the picture below, they have plenty of room to build it.

Then you have also another kind of palisades who are hiding the works for new attractions announced officially like this one for the "Playhouse Disney Live on Stage", opening soon, at the end of this month, April 4 at the latest.

And then there are others which are the most interesting palisades as they indicate that works for a new attraction NOT announced officially will begin soon. These one are generally the best confirmation a Disney fan can expect. And these palisades surrounding the land which was available between the exit of the Toon Studio and the Tower of Terror confirms that the Toy Story playland project that we've talked before is definitely on its way for a 2010 opening.

Here is a previous picture of the land available behind these palisades.

Now, for this project, the Tram Tour Station including the Tram Tour road will have to move up north, which is not a problem as the station was designed to be removable. This is why you can see these palisades in front of the station...

...or along the Tram road. A small part of the little forest will need to be cut down, but the park got the authorisation to do it (they needed it as this wood is normally protected).

At the Magic Kingdom guests can also see palisades all around Central Plaza. These one will be removed soon as they are here hiding the works for the multi-stages of the new Mickey's Magical Party show also beginning April 4.

There will be small or big stages all around the plaza and this is why you also have palisades in front of the Plaza Gardens restaurant or Casey Corner.

But the main stage, surrounded by smaller one is of course located at the center of the plaza.

Here is a photo-montage to give you a better idea, click on the panoramic pictures to see it in big size.

By the way, there was a LOT of guests this week-end in the park - here they are waiting for the late afternoon parade - just as many people as there is usually in July or August, except that we are in the beginning of March. And this is real good news, specially in these times of economy crisis.

There is no palisades in Discoveryland but there is a nice little addition with this information point, perfectly designed in the "theme" of the land.

I've kept the most interesting info for the end. As you can see on the picture below, there is no palisades in front of the Fantasyland Festival Stage, but come back at the end of this year and there should be some all around it as the destruction of the stage is planned by the park for the end of 2009.

And why could this be good news? Well, as i've told you before, if the Little Mermaid attraction is build it should be on a land available behind the Fantasyland train station. And the first thing they will need to do destroy the Fantasyland Festival Stage which is right in front - and under - the station. So, the beginning of the stage destruction could very well mean that the Little Mermaid attraction is a "go". And by the way, the "end of 2009" date for Fantasyland Festival Stage destruction makes perfectly sense in the Little Mermaid construction timing, as the attraction would be the perfect E-ticket for the park 20th anniversary in 2012 and that imagineers need at least two years to build it, exactly the time between the end of this year and 2012.

Now, keep in mind that the final decision will depends of the world's economy crisis and its effect on the park. As i've said, people are keep coming at DLP, so so far, so good. But we all know too that the economy crisis is very unfortunately only at its beginning and that it WILL get worst. Which means that any news should be taken with caution until an official announcement....or a new rising of palisades.

All pictures: copyright Disney and more

Last picture: copyright Google Earth