Thursday, April 22, 2010

Looking for a great Disney book ? Then, the Disneyland Paris book is the perfect gift for any Disney fan !

If you're looking for a great gift to offer to anyone you love - including you! - my "Disneyland Paris, From Sketch to Reality" book with its 320 pages and 750 pictures - including 250 renderings from Walt Disney Imagineering - would be a GREAT gift for any Disney fan!

I still have copies of the book, and, as i am one of the two authors of the book, each copy will be sign specially for you or anyone you wish. Of course, don't forget to tell me the name to whom you wish i dedicate the book.

An important note before i go further: If you're not in a rush to get the book, choose the flat shipping option (also indicated below) which usually takes between 3 to 6 weeks delivery (depending if you're living in Europe or in the U.S) and is also much less expensive.

And now, here is a description of the book and everything you need to know to order one of the last signed copy of this beautiful book. Please note that NO re-printing of the book is scheduled, and these last available copies may be the REAL last one!


Price for one copy of the english updated edition is 87 Euros and Shipping: is 15 euros.

If you have a Paypal account you can proceed to the payment by paypal - paypal payment including your choice of shipping must be sent to the email adress:

Important: Note that the price is in Euros, not in U.S $, so you have to choose the "euro" currency when you do the paypal payment.

If you don't have a Paypal account, a bank wire transfert is possible, just let me know.

And, of course, thanks to confirm me your order and payment AND the shipping adress by email at the email adress:


As i am the one who designed the book, i'm not really at the good place to send compliments about it, but if you are a reader who already own the book, please leave a comment at the end of the article to let other readers know what you think about it.
Previous comments can be read at the bottom of this page where the article below was previously posted.

So, here is a little description of the book, now - See below some pictures of the book pages - click on each of them to see the photo-montage pictures in big size.

The book is a gorgeous "coffee table book" with 320 pages and 750 pictures - of which 500 are park and attractions photos and 250 are Walt Disney Imagineering renderings!

The size is 9 x 12 inches, all pages are in color and it's hardbound with a glossy dust jacket. The text (by Disney historian Didier Ghez), was written after more than 75 interviews he conducted with all the Imagineers who created the park. He goes into just about everything you wanted to know about this unique place that many describe as the best "Magic Kingdom" ever created by WDI.

It took five years to create the book, but it was worth all the time we spent on it, and the book looks just as good as we had hoped for at the beginning - in fact Imagineer Bruce Gordon told us that it was "probably the best book ever done on a Disney theme park". Coming from Bruce who did with David Mumford the great "Disneyland, The Nickel Tour" book, it was more than a compliment.

The first chapter about Main Street has 52 pages and introduces the reader to the "legend" of Main Street, USA. You'll learn all about the Disneyland Paris Railroad, the unique "Discovery" and "Liberty" Arcades; find out about the architecture, the restaurants (like "Walt's," a tribute to Walt Disney, but also inspired by Club 33 in Anaheim) and the shops; with dozens of photos, renderings, models, and reproduced for the first time here, all the "cities of the future" posters located in "Discovery Arcade."

The second chapter on Frontierland discusses the park's western side with extensive sections about its major attractions, "Big Thunder Mountain" and "Phantom Manor." In fact the book has the longest sections ever put together in a book on all the major attractions. The Pirates of Caribbean section in the Adventureland chapter is 26 pages, Phantom Manor has 16 pages devoted to it, as does Space Mountain, it's a small world, etc. The photo material was so great that we kept adding more pages to the book, which was supposed to have only 240 pages when we started... we ended up with 320 upon completion!

The Frontierland chapter also covers the Mark Twain, the River Rogue Keelboats, Fort Comstock, all the restaurants, the shops and Cottonwood Creek Ranch.and featuring stunning photos of Disneyland Paris from the air by Yann Arthus Bertrand, author of The Earth from Above that make spectacular "double-pages," and allow the reader to discover the park from a whole different angle.

The Adventureland chapter is even more interesting, as many elements of the land exist only in Paris - such as the Bazaar and Aladdin to Africa and the ex-"Explorer's Club." Plus there's a long section about "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril," "Adventure Isle" and "The Swiss Robinson Treehouse" and, of course, "Pirates of Caribbean" the land's major attraction and featuring its amazing Audio-Animatronics! All in all there are 56 full pages about Adventureland, and as in the previous chapters, there are dozens of photos, lots of concept art, and many shots of Imagineers at work. There's even a great bonus here, with the Marc Davis artwork for "Pirates" also included.

56 full pages are also dedicated to Fantasyland. There's an extensive look at Sleeping Beauty Castle, sections on all the dark rides (Snow White, Peter Pan and Pinocchio), as well as a look at "Alice's Curious Labyrinth," the "Mad Hatter's Tea Cups," "Storybookland," and "Casey Jr." There are even 14 pages about "it's a small world" with stunning photos of nearly all the scenes in it. Here the reader can discover a new attraction that exists only at Disneyland Paris, with a great view from above of Alice's Labyrinth.

Discoveryland also gets 52 pages of special treatment, with sections on the Visionarium, the Nautilus, Star Tours, Space Mountain, and everything you wanted to know about the other attractions in this land – Autopia and Orbitron. In fact the Nautilus chapter takes you on a visit with photos of every room of this detailed walk-through and two double page photo spreads, one which makes you feel you're inside Captain Nemo's grand salon, and the other showing you a unique view of Discoveyland featuring the Nautilus and Space Mountain in a kind of "CinemaScope" view.

When the book was released in early 2002, the Walt Disney Studios didn't exist, so you won't see them in the book. But there's still one last chapter about the hotels of the park, and Disney Village too, with the great Buffalo Bill Wild West show that entertains hundreds each evening.

And because every day in a Magic Kingdom should end with a parade and fireworks, we have the Main Street Electrical Parade that close the book, with an Herb Ryman gorgeous painting!

Pictures: copyright Disney

The Disneyland Paris that never was - Part Five : Adventureland and Fantasyland

In this new part of the "Disneyland Paris that never was" series we will have a look at Adventureland and Fantasyland projects.

Adventureland’s Indiana Jones temple du péril was built in 1994, shortly after the opening, and although it’s a very popular ride with perfect theming, the renderings below as well as the one above will show you that Imagineers had envisioned great scenes for the ride. These sketches are the original artwork for the attraction before it became a wild mouse ride with theming. Although some of these scenes would have been welcome in the final version, Chris Tietz and the Imagineers at WDI Glendale really did a great job but, in those early days, the budgets were a bit limited and could not allow to build the scenes below. For being a ride of this type, i think WDI Imagineers did a super job to squeeze a lot of magic into a normal fun park ride. For Disney, this was also the very first ride with looping which was a real risk as they had never done this type of "thrill" ride before. I think the success of this attraction made it possible for the future coasters such as Space Mountain and Rock & Roller coaster to be seriously considered.

The two first pictures below and the one above will show you some never done additional decors, with the train entering a giant Asian statue head. This would have been great, i miss this one...

These scenes with a loop around a giant gorilla statue or going through this stone eagle would have been great, too...

Remember Lao-Che Airlines in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom? So this idea of theming should mean something for you. For years a real plane - a Dakota - was backstage and stayed there for at least ten years under rains and winds. The plane was originally bought when entertainment was thinking about doing a Indy Stunt Show but that never happened. After opening, Imagineers wanted to put the plane in the open space on the left side of the railroad track before the train enters the tunnel of Pirates in the Caribbean. There is a jeep and tent there but they wanted to expand it. I've been told that Entertainment division had other plans for the Dakota plane so unfortunately that idea died. One day i noticed that the plane has disappeared from backstage, i asked what happened to it and if i remember it well i think i was told that because he stayed outside all these years it was in such bad condition that it had been throw away!!

Another great theming idea never realised with this Audio-Animatronic tiger - coming right from the “Jungle Cruise” ? It would have been great and they still can add it one day if they wish.

...As well as those Audio-Animatronics baby tigers in the queue decor. The tigers in the queue line were a suggested overlay of the existing scenes found in the walkway because there were discussions with Esso as a possible sponsor. In the end, the tigers were too expensive so they ended up putting some oil cans and barrels around plus a few more things with the Esso logo.

If you're a DLP fan you may know that TWO temples for Indiana Jones et le Temple du Péril were originally envisioned. The picture below of a 3D model is a rare shot showing both of the temples. This second Indy coaster was a part of a later enhancement program but when DLP Operations looked at the cost, the project died. That's when a DLP executive came up with the idea to just reverse the car. It was cheaper and they could still re market the attraction.

Another kind of Indian temple with a beautiful architecture was also envisioned. It would have been great but why not using this concept if they build someday Indiana Jones Adventure?

Close to the Indiana Jones coaster, stands the former Explorer’s Club restaurant. Have a close look to this John Horny rendering and you’ll see legendary explorers: Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Ernest Hemingway in the front, and in the background but hard to see, Indiana Jones and Crocodile Dundee, all famous explorers indeed! That great illustration from John was the original direction for the restaurant but some felt it was a little to realistic. It seems that the food division wanted a little less themeing and more space for guests and the bar was still a discussion point when the park opened as the whole alcohol in the park was not resolved. The original idea was that it is a former plantation house sitting at the edge of the jungle where explorers would use as a stop over after they found their way back to civilization. Then it became more upscale and cleaned up a bit but the props were still explorer type items.

After opening, when the park found that, unlike the survey results they took from French visitors at Epcot, people were not eating big lunches much as they thought, they changed Explorers Club from an upscale sit down restaurant to a Chinese buffet, complete with rickshaw in the rafters. That didn't prove too popular and then when pizza entered the park with the Pizza Planet, Explorers club became Colonel Hathi's Pizza Outpost, named for the elephant in the Jungle Book. Basically, it went from the true life adventure theme that the land was based on to cartoon character driven.

The original parrot idea survived with the birds hanging in the trees. It's a reminiscence of the old Tiki room restaurant concept as it was first envisioned before Walt decided that Tiki room will be a show only. At DLP they are only animated to move from time to time rather than doing a show which would be kind of cool.

Two rare concept-arts for the African part of Adventureland. They show some of the shapes you can find in the Bazar. The idea of the Bazar facility was to take different architectural styles from the entire continent and give a cultural showcase by combining them as one.

Always for the "Africa" area Imagineers also had the idea of this typical house in a baobab, but i suppose that the proximity of the Swiss Robinson Tree made it impossible.

If you're a faithful Disney and more reader you've learned recently that a Jungle Cruise was envisioned in the early days of the conception of the park. Not a lot of artwork about it but at least these two John Horny renderings...

Behind the Indy temple where the Disneyland railroad is passing by, was envisioned what seems to be a bamboo bridge for guests who eventually had to go on the other side of the track for a coaster attraction.

Probably one of the most crazy idea (in the good meaning of the word) was for the Aladdin area with this concept of a inflatable Génie rising over the Bazaar! Although it looks a fun idea it was putting the cartoon layer over the true life adventure theme. But the success of Aladdin had everyone at Disney scrambling for ways to synergize with the success of the movie. I've been told that this idea came from the Entertainment division. Imagineers had to explore it and it meant they would have to move or remove the main dome on the roof plus strengthen the roof structure as well. I think they pointed out that the wind was a very big factor of problems. In the end, the genie pepper's ghost and the empty passage way on the left side of the facility became the Aladdin walkthrough and the inflatable Genie idea was moved to a live show on the Castle Stage where it had a few problems with inflating and the weather.

Let’s have a look at Fantasyland now, beginning by the castle. On this concept-art by Frank Armitage the castle looks like it is right now.

But probably the most revolutionary castle concept was this futuristic castle from imagineer Tim Delaney...may be it was too futuristic for some, but what a great idea.

In Fantasyland, this early rendering of Alice’s Curious Labyrinth show a slightly different labyrinth than the current one.

Inside the King of Heart castle children were able to slide down from the tower and come out through the mouth of the Queen of Heart. The slide was built but had to be closed as the kids were shooting out at the bottom of the slide which was unfortunately positioned in the middle of the walkway. After several adults were knocked down by flying kids, the slide was closed. Imagineers did do a study for a way to make it work but it involved too many structural changes.

Among the never realised scenes for Story Book Land there is this one with a huge and threatening Cyclops...

There is in the current attraction a scene with Night on Bald Mountain but this first concept with Chernabog with flames coming out of the water and fluorescent ghosts under the bridge was a good idea.

Of course, you all have heard about these two next attraction concepts - the Little Mermaid dark ride and the Beauty and the Beast show. They were even announced during the Grand Opening TV special. In this version of The Little mermaid ride guests would have board inside shell designed vehicle hanging from the top like in Peter Pan’s Flight. The attraction is currently being build at DL and WDW but we have good hopes that it will come one day at DLP. Back in 1992 the attraction was supposed to be built in front of the Pizzeria Bella Notte, near It’s a Small World.

The Beauty and the Beast attraction would have been built behind Cinderella's restaurant and this first artwork shows what i think might have been the entrance of the attraction.

The attraction was in fact a show with live characters and would have also involved Audio animatronics and special effects.

It looks great but i’m afraid that we will never see this one. That’s the sad theme park reality: some concept come to life, other will stay forever in our dreams.

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

All artwork and photos: copyright Disney Enterprises Inc

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Disneyland Paris Star Tours

Star Tours at Disneyland Anaheim will soon shut its doors. WDI Imagineers will begin to install the new and highly awaited Star Tours 2 scheduled to open in 2011. Will ST2 come to Disneyland Paris? Probably, if not very probably, in 2012 or 2013. So, let's have a special tribute to the current version while guests can still ride it at Discoveryland.

The picture on the top is a Star Tours entrance concept by Eric Robison, never realised. We know that a big X Wing fighter stands at the entrance, but did you know that Imagineers once envisioned to have instead a big AT & AT snow walker?

Or even a Millenium Falcon as you can see on this painting by Tim Delaney who did also the one above. Was it Space Mountain behind, with a Death Star design?

These two rare pictures show the making at a WDI facility of the X Wing fighter, standing now at the entrance of the attraction.

This next painting by Tim Delaney is famous, but you'll find it here in a very good quality.

Talking about pre-show, here is a great picture of C3PO...

...and of Admiral Ackbar...

..and of the little robots located in the Droids room.

Two others elements of the decor, including the Starspeeder 3000 plan.

The next picture is a high-res version of a well known image showing the Starspeeder in the final battle of the ride movie.

Let's end with a big gift with, below, this high-res pic of the Starspeeder Service poster. What will be the next Star Tours destinations? Answer in 2011 at Disneyland and WDW and hopefully at DLP the next year or 2013!

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

All pictures and artwork: copyright Disney