Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year to all Disney and more readers !

Hello Everyone! That's it, we're in the last hours of the year - actually from where i'm writing you we're already in 2011(!) and i send to all of you my very best wishes for this new year!

In terms of Disney fan great new rides will open this year - can't wait for DCA's Little Mermaid or the new Star Tours 2 and HKDL will get its own Toy Story Playland! Highly awaited movies like Pirates of Caribbean On Stranger Tides and Cars 2 should be memorable, too.

But who say new year say Season's Greetings card and a friend of mine Imagineer sent me this old WED Enterprises - now Walt Disney Imagineering - Season's Greetings card which is a nice way to end the year and begin a new one!

Again, all my best for 2011!

Pictures: copyright Disney

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas to all Disney and more readers !

We are December 24th and Walt is joining me to wish all of you a very merry Christmas. Wherever you are may this evening brings you joy and peace to you and your family... and be as magical as possible!

Picture: copyright Disney

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Star Wars posters : Design at its best

I'm still in my Christmas break but when i find something nice and interesting, i try to post it. Have a look at these three gorgeously designed Star Wars posters above and below. They were designed by Artist Olly Moss - who apparently is not part of Lucas Film - and are printed in a limited edition of 400 for a price of $50 each. Released two days ago, i'm sorry to say they are already out of stock!

While we are in a kind of arty-sci-fi topic here is another jewel: Modern Times is a 3min50sec short movie directed by Richard Mountney, "made with no money, just a little time and a lot of passion" as they say on their site. It's a tribute to both Charlie Chaplin and Stanley Kubrick. As a matter of fact the tribute to Kubrick's 2001 is even more obvious. Frankly, this short movie is a real little jewel and you better don't miss to watch the video below. And for those of you who wish to know how it's possible to realize such a thing without (almost) any money, you'll find also the making-of video.

Enjoy, and have all a great Christmas!

MODERN TIMES from BC2010 on Vimeo.

Behind the Scenes from BC2010 on Vimeo.

Pictures: copyright Olly Moss

Videos: copyright Richard Mountney

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Pirates of Caribbean On Stranger Tides First Trailer !

Editor's Note: Okay, i know, the HKDL Christmas article was supposed to be my last one before next January...but, frankly, could i really leave you without these first pictures and trailer of POTC On Stranger Tides?

So, here it is, the awaited first official trailer of Pirates of Caribbean On Stranger Tides trailer! Enjoy!

Trailer: copyright Disney

First pictures from Pirates of Caribbean "On Stranger Tides" !

One more article for the road...with these first pictures of Pirates of Caribbean "On Stranger Tides" just released by Disney. It's interesting to note that in the third and fifth pictures the action seems to be in a city, Which seems to indicate that all the movie won't necessarily be at sea or on an island...the first trailer should be released later this month and although i am in my Christmas break, i'll try to post it if i have an internet connection where i will be.

Pictures: copyright Disney

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Editor's Note: This HKDL article will be the last one of the year on Disney and more as i will take a Christmas break until mid January. I'm sure you will miss my regular updates but don't worry i have plenty of good one for you when i'll be back. In the meantime don't forget to explore Disney and more archives where lot of treasures awaits you. I wish to all of you a Merry Christmas and the best possible year for 2011!

Hong Kong Disneyland Christmas Season 2010

Just like all Disney theme parks Honk Kong Disneyland began its Christmas season recently and let's have a look at what's new this year with the official press release and high-res pictures.

Holiday Enchantment Sparkles at Hong Kong Disneyland with Gingerbread Village, Parade and Snowfall

A Storybook Fantasy Comes to Life as Duffy the Disney Bear Marks His Debut at the Park(Hong Kong, November 18 2010) When it comes to enjoying the magic of the holiday season with family and friends, there’s no place like Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. The holidays will shine brightly throughout the resort from November 19, 2010 through January 2, 2011, as it transforms into “A Sparkling Christmas – A Storybook Fantasy”. Guests will be immersed in the storybook setting as they walk through snowy Main Street, U.S.A. Christmas Town and catch a glimpse ofthe larger-than-life Gingerbread Village.

The Procession of Toys will bring all the lovely toys to life as Duffy the Disney Bear makes his appearance on stage. Guests can also pick their favorite Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers from a range of Duffy merchandise and more than 100 exclusive Christmas items. A series of shopping and hotel offers will also be launched this season for more surprises and holiday fun!

“In the past few years, the Resort has brought to Guests countless magical holiday experiences. According to a survey conducted earlier this year, Guests love the unique snowy Christmas experience and recommend Disney’s Sparkling Christmas as the best seasonal event to overseas tourists,” said Frederick Chan, Director of Marketing, Hong Kong Business, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort.

“To celebrate our fifth anniversary, we have specially brought Duffy the Disney Bear to Hong Kong to meet our Guests this Christmas. Duffy is extremely popular in Tokyo Disneyland and their merchandise items often create frenzy among fans. Guests regard their Duffy toy as the best companion to visit the Park. They love to snap pictures of him in different backgrounds! I’m sure he is going to be a big Christmas hit here in Hong Kong,” he added.

Holiday highlights at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort include:

Duffy’s Debut in Hong Kong!
Hand-made by Minnie to be Mickey’s companion, the beloved Duffy the Disney Bear will be greeting Guests at Main Street, U.S.A. Christmas Town. Do not miss the exclusive Duffy merchandise, including Duffy key chains, Duffy Plush and Duffy’s festive Christmas costume.

Snowed in at Main Street, U.S.A. Christmas Town

From the glistening 60-foot tall Christmas tree in Town Square to the street complete with falling snow, candy canes and gingerbread, a storybook fantasy comes to life along Main Street, U.S.A. Christmas Town. Friendly elves bring Christmas cheer to Guests on the street, while the Carolers sing lovely Christmas songs you are sure to know. The whole town is filled with whimsical Christmas ambience!

Be immersed in a Storybook Fantasy at Gingerbread Village

Discover the Gingerbread Village at the end of Main Street, U.S.A., where the houses are decorated in jolly Disney style with sweets and candy canes everywhere. As Guests meander from house to house, they can look into the windows for a peek at colorful settings of Disney friends preparing food and gifts for the Christmas season. This is where the Christmas spirit of A Storybook Fantasy comes to life.

Christmas Dreams brought to life at the Procession of Toys

When the Christmas lights on Main Street U.S.A. dim, the magic of A Sparkling Christmas brings the toys to life and creates a dream-like Procession of Toys. To the tune of delightful Christmas carols, the dream-like toy procession will crescendo with an illumination and the charm of snow falling in Christmas Town. Don’t miss out on this magical moment every evening when Minnie surprises Mickey with Duffy the Disney Bear under the sparkling Christmas tree!

Shopping Discount on Exclusive Christmas Gifts

Duffy merchandise and over 100 new holiday-themed goodies make the perfect Christmas gift for family and friends. Limited to an edition size of only 300, Christmas 2010 Jumbo Pins will be available for HK$220 per set from December 3 while supplies last. From November 19 to December 17, Guests will receive a shopping coupon upon entering the Park to enjoy a discount of HK$100[1]Hong Kong International Airport. when they spend HK$800 or more by presenting the coupon at designated merchandise stores throughout the Park, Disney’s Hollywood Hotel, Disneyland Hotel and

Meet with Disney Friends in new Christmas Costumes

Inspired by Duffy, Disney friends are also in the Christmas mood with their most imaginative costumes. Mickey and Minnie Mouse dressed as Santa and Mrs. Claus; Pluto dressed as a reindeer; Donald and Daisy wearing candy cane inspired costumes; Chip and Dale as gingerbread men and Goofy as a toy soldier. Guests should have their camera ready for these memorable meets & greets.

Find a whole new world of festive fun at it’s a small world Christmas

The storybook fantasy continues as Guests set sail around the world on it’s a small world Christmas. Look for Disney characters along the ride and see them in preparation for the holiday celebrations.

The spectacular “Let It Snow” Christmas Parade is back by popular demand to bring yuletide cheer like no other. Join in the merriment as hundreds of dancers perform a glittering procession. Get ready for unexpected weather as we have word that snow is forecasted throughout the show!

Festive Buffet for a Warmer Christmas

During the Christmas period, festive food will be waiting for Guests in the Park and hotels. Besides the Christmas feasts, snacks and specialty drinks, from December 15 to January 2, Guests may also treat themselves to a Christmas Dinner Buffet at the Royal Banquet Hall for HK$198[3]enjoying the “Disney in the Stars Fireworks.” per head before

Magical Holiday Experience at Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel

Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel is bringing the spirit of Christmas into all of its Resort Suites for the first time to elate Guests with even more holiday delights. Guests who stay at any Kingdom Suite will be immersed in the yuletide spirit with complimentary holiday room decorations and a special holiday hamper!

Well, it looks like a real "candy" Christmas at HKDL, isn"t it? If you're in Honk Kong, tell us more in the comments!

All pictures: copyright HKDL and Disney

Gorgeous eFX Nautilus Replica now available for pre-order

I repost today this short article about the amazing new Nautilus replica which is now expected to be released in the first quarter of 2011!

Visitors of the 2009 Comicon and D23 Expo were amazed by the new and gorgeous 4 foot long Nautilus replica produced by eFX, and i've previously show you some pictures of it and now eFX is taking pre-orders for this highly awaited Nautilus replica to be released early 2011!

The pictures that i post today are official pictures from eFX, but two things will change - for the better - in the final version: first, the battery box with a cable that you can see under the Nautilus - needed for the lights inside the submarine - will be located inside the Nautilus, and, two, there will be a new design for the stand inspired by an architecture element of Nemo's Grand Salon.

Price of this stunning replica is $1799 and there is a possibility to pay the amount in four times, you'll get all details on the eFX web site.

I am a huge fan of Harper Goff's Nautilus, so of course i welcome this new limited edition replica, the best i've seen so far. And now, here is the press release with all details on this "ultimate" Nautilus. You can see additional pictures shoot at D23 Expo by Andy Castro HERE. And also on the eFX web site three pages of great pictures of the making-of of this replica by Scott Brodeen.

Ordering Begins Thursday for Capt. Nemo’s Nautilus, Inspired by Disney’s Classic 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

BURBANK, Calif. (December 7, 2009) – Disney fans will soon be able to add an element of epic adventure to their collections: On Thursday, December 10, eFX Inc. begins accepting orders at for its eye-popping, four-foot replica of Capt. Nemo’s Nautilus, inspired by Disney’s 1954 live-action version of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

Shipping is anticipated to take place in spring 2010 for the Nautilus, the first of three incredible replicas offered in eFX’s new Disney line. The Nautilus is priced at $1,799, and payments can be made in four installments. Full ordering and shipping details are available at

This four-foot replica of the Nautilus offers features not incorporated in any previous model of the iconic submarine. Produced at approximately 1/45th scale, the replica features finely detailed interior views of the wheelhouse and Capt. Nemo’s salon, as well as LED lights to illuminate those rooms as well as the circular salon observation window.

In addition to a removable skiff, the Nautilus incorporates a freely rotating propeller and pivoting rudder, and includes a custom display stand. Each Nautilus will have a numbered plaque and certificate of authenticity, and production will be strictly limited to 500 pieces worldwide.

Orders for eFX’s Nautilus can be placed at For complete details of the products, the ordering process and shipping information, visit the eFX Inc. website.

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

Pictures: copyright eFX collectibles or Andy Castro

Disneyland Paris unveils tomorrow the Village Nature project

Tomorrow, an official presentation of the awaited Village Nature project will happen for the stockholders club members. Concept-arts of the project and more will be revealed but Disney and more have a special preview for you! The whole project looks cool, including the water park, but don't expect a water park like Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach, though, which is not dramatic as winter or cold temperature in Paris can last up to six months. Right now it is snowing in Paris, and you don't really want to go in a water park with these temperatures unless, of course, if it's an indoor water park.

Here is the official press release, with the concept-arts of the project

Euro Disney and Pierre & Vacances unveil Villages Nature, a new, sustainable resort concept

Euro Disney S.C.A. Group (“Euro Disney”) and Groupe Pierre & Vacances Center Parcs
(“Pierre & Vacances”) are unveiling their new concept of a vacation destination based on the search for harmony between man and nature. The destination would be, in its design and in its operations, a unique model of sustainable development for tourism at this scale: Les Villages Nature de Val d’Europe (« Villages Nature »).

A message of harmony between Man and Nature

Harmony between Man and Nature is central to the Villages Nature concept. As mixed‐use resort, Villages Nature will work with visionary landscape architects to develop new lodging and leisure experiences that will provide multiple opportunities for visitors to interact with nature. These activities would be centered on gardening, boating, hiking, horseback riding, visiting an organic farm, walking along discovery paths, and enjoying seasonal festivals and culinary events. The entire resort will be developed around its iconic 3,500m² geothermal lagoon, and the adjacent water park which will be the largest in Europe.

The Villages Nature site is located 6 Km south of Disneyland Paris, north of the Brie Forest (in French: Brie Boisée), in Seine-et‐Marne. This project, which could span up to 500 hectares and be developed over a 20‐year timeframe, will be launched depending on market conditions. The first phase would be comprised of 175 hectares and could open in 2015.

Complementary expertise on a shared project

Euro Disney and Pierre & Vacances have studied together the Villages Nature project. The two Groups have common values and complementary expertise, which serve as the foundation of their partnership.
Villages Nature is a resort concept designed to appeal to European consumers, offering them a unique experience based on connecting with nature. As a short and medium‐break vacation destination, Villages Nature will provide a relaxing and immersive experience in the heart of nature – with 90% of the resort retained as green space.
The destination will offer a number of recreational and learning activities that will inspire future generations to value conservation. For this project, the partners have created a 50/50 joint‐venture, with Companies’ respective CEOs, Gérard Brémond and
Philippe Gas, acting as co‐Chairmen of the managing entity, and Dominique Cocquet as General Manager.

A commitment to sustainable development

To develop a Sustainable Action Plan and position Villages Nature as a reference of eco‐tourism in Europe, the partners have been inspired by the "One Planet Living" methodology ( developed by BioRegional and WWF International.

The Sustainable Action Plan relies on the following 10 key, measurable targets aimed at reducing as much as possible the destination’s ecological footprint, ensuring social responsibility, and developing synergies with the local communities:
‐ Zero carbon
‐ Zero waste
‐ Sustainable transportation
‐ Local and sustainable materials
‐ Local and sustainable food products
‐ Sustainable water
‐ Natural habitats and wild life
‐ Culture and heritage
‐ Local partnerships and fair trade
‐ Quality of life and well‐being

The two Companies partner with experts to meet the Sustainable Action Plan and implement relevant solutions. For example, the destination’s overall heating needs will be provided by a deep geothermal source. Emanating from 1,800 meters under the project site, the 78°C water will be used for heating before it is recycled back into the water table, producing no greenhouse gas emissions.

An opportunity for institutional and individual investors

The first phase of Villages Nature would include the construction of 1,730 apartments or cottages, and measuring between 32 m² and 85 m², located within three villages: two villages around the lake and one village in the forest. Indoor and outdoor leisure facilities are also planned, for a total 70,000 m² area.

Based on the 40‐year proven real estate development model of Pierre & Vacances, the apartments and cottages would be sold to individual investors as tourism residences (in French : Résidences de Tourisme) while facilities would be sold to institutional investors. The housing units and facilities will be leased and managed by the Villages Nature operating company.

An economic project committed to its region

During various study phases of the project there has been an active dialogue with local stakeholders. Public officials from the local area presented their concerns, and many of their expectations have been considered in the project scope. Both the Seine‐et‐Marne General Council and the Ile‐de‐France Regional Council have voted their support to the project. In the months and years ahead, additional information will be shared and active dialogue will continue with surrounding communities to ensure the project remains well integrated into the community.
Villages Nature will aim to be a strong economic and social contributor to the region. When completed and fully operational, the first phase is expected to generate approximately €7 million in local taxes per year, and create 4,500 jobs, 1,600 of which will be direct. We will proactively work with local, public employment agencies to promote job opportunities for residents, and will reach out to local stakeholders for sourcing and synergies.

Pictures: copyright Disney & Pierre et Vacances

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Disney's Animal Kingdom Original Artwork - Part Two

Here is the awaited part two of the Disney's Animal Kingdom original artwork article , and if you've missed the part one you can find it HERE. Above, a great artwork showing different elements of the park!

We're back in Asia and we begin by Expedition Everest artwork! Below, a beautiful Dan Goozee concept-art.

Next, another early concept by Chris Turner showing the Tibetan temple where the train goes through on the first lift.

The most famous of all Expedition Everest artwork, as it was the one chosen when the announcement was officially released.

Below, a Ray Spencer rendering showing the village of Serka Zong.

A rare rendering showing the beginning of the Expedition Everest ride.

This next one, an early concept by Chris Turner shows a never-realised scene, and all i can say is that i regret it as it looks really great!

Below, a beautiful painting by Joe Rhode of the yeti.

This Chris Turner concept shows a giant yeti. There is still a first encounter with the yeti and projection effect, but the size is smaller.

There is one more early concept for this ride scene with this Joe Rhode painting.

Just like in the part one, you will also find some pictures of the imagineers at work. Here a WDI imagineer is working on the tea train locomotive model.

A close shot on the locomotive itself.

It's time to move inside Dinoland, U.S.A and this first rendering is a Joe Rhode early concept for the Boneyard.

Here is another one by James Wong, closer to the final result. Note the coaster in the back. It was never build and should have been called "The Excavator"...

But i've found for you a rare rendering of it!

Next is an early concept by Chuck Ballew for Dino-Rama!

A "Triceratops Spin" concept by Victor Post...

...and another one by Jenna Goodman.

Below, a Dinoland entrance concept-art by Tom Gilleon.

Here is a rendering showing the entrance of the "Dinosaurs" ride - formerly known as "Countdown to Extinction".

This next painting was released as a postcard at the park's opening.

A rare rendering showing the ride vehicle and the dinosaur to be rescued.

The Carnotaurus attack is the climax scene of the ride.

These next three renderings are particularly interesting as they are showing scenes that were NOT realised. This first picture by Joe rhode seems to indicate that at one point the attraction was envisioned as a walk-through, or at least a part of the attraction.

And this velociraptor attack never happened too.

This next one shows a gorgeous scene that we can regret, and i have a story about it: In 1997 or so i was at WDI for a series of interviews and in the office of a an imagineer friend i saw this painting. I asked him if it was in relation with Animal Kingdom - not open yet at that time. He answered me that it was indeed for the "Countdown to extinction" attraction and that "we would be lucky if it looks like that at the end...". He was unfortunately right, and this leads me to the biggest problem with "Countdown to extinction" - now "Dinosaur": the cuts in the budget. Personally, i still like the attraction, and i quite liked it the first time i've ride it, but when you see this kind of concept and know how great it could have been, you really not in the mood to thanks the suits who were Disney executives at that time. One more Michael Eisner "mistake" - and i'm kind - that we still regret today.

The next picture shows a WDI imagineer at work on one of the dinosaurs that we can see in the first scene - it's the one "eating" a smaller dinosaur.

The two next one are showing imagineers at work on the Carnotaurus or programming the Audio-Animatronic.

Theater in the Wild is also in the area, and the next rendering was done for "Nemo, the Musical" show.

Now, there is a land that we all regret that it was never built: Beastly KIngdom. When Animal Kingdom opened, even the Beastly Kingdom land logo was at the entrance of the park and renderings of it were printed in the AK making of book. And then, we know what happened: this Beastly Kingdom project disappeared and chances to see it built one day are more than low. Thanks god, the artwork still exist, and here are some of them just to dream and see how good it could have been.

First, a bird-eye view of the whole land.

The castle, supposedly inhabited by a dragon...

The next artwork shows the labyrinth - the maze...

..and this is one of the mythical animals - a Griffin - that guests would have encounter.

The goal would have been to find the Unicorn, in a grotto at the end of the maze.

And a Fantasia flume ride wold have delight young children.

Let's not forget the dragon firing at the river cruise boats.

This Animal Kingdom article won't be perfect without some renderings of the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Here are two of them showing the entrance and the lobby.

While we're here, i join two other renderings of the Disney Vacation Club Animal Kingdom Villas.

That's the end of this Animal Kingdom artwork article!

All artwork: copyright Disney - WED Enterprises.

Many thanks to Mark Taft for some of the renderings. 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!

Some of the renderings are coming from the great "Imagineering Field Guide to Disney's Animal Kingdom" where you will learn all the WDI secrets in the making of the park. It's a "must" and you can find it on from only $3.87!

Some other pictures are coming from Jason Surrell's fantastic book "The Disney Mountains", full of WDI artwork. You can find it on from only $8.90 and it's also a "must"!