Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Farewell to all D&M readers , with a final surprise

That's it, my friends, it's Disney and more last post. And just like at Disneyland where each day ends with a firework, Disney and more also have its final fireworks as you can see above. But at Disneyland before the firework there is generally a great show or parade. I don't have any parade for you but i have a final surprise: a brand new website, dedicated to a great man who was also a WDI Imagineer: Tom Scherman.

Without Tom we won't have the almost real-size Nautilus at Disneyland Paris. He was without a doubt the Nautilus world specialist and a genius model maker. Since he saw "20000 Leagues under the Sea" at 17 Tom found in love with Harper Goff's submarine, did his first Nautilus model and many others later, became Harper Goff friend and even designed his own apartment with a gorgeous Nautilus style!

So, let's have a look to what you will find in the Tom Scherman's web site that i've tried to design with a Nautilus theming. First, the url to put in your bookmarks is: There is a slide show of fourteen different header images and four of them shows Tom at different ages of his life. On the right side bar you have the links to each article and the front page article is a tribute to Tom Scherman and will learn you more about his life and career.

There is a lot of never seen before documents in the site and the first of them is the incredible scrapbook that Tom did when he redesigned his apartment as a submarine at the end of the 1960's.

Rowland Scherman, Tom's brother who provided most of the documents for this site also found back great Nautilus paintings that Tom did a long time ago.

Before he passed away in 1995 Tom sent to me exclusive pictures that he shot while he was creating DLP Nautilus at WDI facility. This article will tell you everything on the making of DLP's attraction.

For this project Tom did a lot of "napkin sketches". Some of them were reproduced in my DLP book but here you will find an extended selection of Tom's sketches.

And because "Les Mystères du Nautilus" attraction is Tom's masterpiece you will find a full pictorial report AND a brand new 10 minutes video of the whole Nautilus walk through that i've filmed last week at DLP!

Tom did also some great sketches for the Discovery Bay project which inspired TDS Mysterious Island.

I've added to this new web site previous articles posted on D&M before, like this one about the amazing Nautilus Two model.

You will find also others great articles about 20000 Leagues under the Sea, the now extinct WDW attraction and also all about the beautiful eFX Nautilus Replica model available for pre-order and which will be released next month!

Finally, in the "Vulcania Treasures" section you'll be able to order beautiful limited edition prints of Tom's artwork. Now, and although i might add one or two more articles to this new site, this will not be a site where i will post daily articles as i did the last three years on Disney and more. The Tom Scherman site is pretty complete as it is right now and we tried Rowland and I to give a totally deserved tribute to a great man, in a elegant way. I hope you will enjoy this new site, let me know in your comments!

Before i end this final post i want to thank all of you to have been so faithful to Disney and more during the last three years. All i've tried to do was a really good web site and the best possible tribute to Walt Disney Imagineering. I'm glad that so many of you enjoyed it and i'll try to comeback from time to time when there will be a new attraction or a major announcement - like Shanghaî Disneyland. A last and good news for those of you who were not there from the start of Disney and more and missed a lot of good articles: a best-of of Disney and more articles will run on Mice Age each Sunday, beginning in some weeks from now.

If you miss Disney and more articles, remember also that you'll find all D&M archives on the right side bar, or on Disney and more Artwork, or on Disney and more Movies. Don't forget too the new Innoventions Blog with interesting tech articles.

Again, many thanks for your loyal support, and i wish you all the best for your life and future projects.

Alain Littaye
Editor's Note: It's an exceptional document that you will discover today: the early draft of the Main Street 1920's version "that never was"! Also, all the beautiful 113 D&M header images are now in a slide show! If you want to see all of them it'll take you 5 min and 39 sec only! And tomorrow do-not-miss the final and great surprise that i have for the end of the daily posts on Disney and more!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Main Street 1920's concept early draft and construction panoramic pictures

I thought that yesterday's article would have been my last D&M article but I had last evening a great surprise in my mail box with a mail from Eddie Sotto, show-producer of Main Street U.S.A at Disneyland Paris.

In the Disneyland Paris that never was Part 2 and 3 articles Eddie explained wonderfully what would have been Main street U.S.A 1920's first concept. Eddie found back the early draft of this 1920's version who describes in details what Eddie envisioned, back in 1987. It's a fascinating document as we discover what could have been Main Street shops, restaurants and attractions if this 1920's version has been chosen. In addition, Eddie also found great and never-seen-before panoramic pictures of DLP Main Street U.S.A's construction and the rare artwork above showing the EL Station, Main Street Station for the elevated tramway that never was. Here is the kind email from Eddie Sotto:


I was going through a box of old papers and ran across this 1987 memo and some photos. You have written so much about the Disneyland Paris that never was, I thought you'd enjoy sharing this early draft of what the 1920's Main Street could have been! there were many more drafts after this for sure, but it's fun to see what was being talked.

Here are some images from the summer before we opened from one of those kodak single use panoramic cameras. You'll notice the elevator cab for Walt's Restaurant was being threaded (brown box on it's side) through the doorway , stained glass and all, long before the doors went in to seal the space. The white surfaces you see are the ornamental pieces and primed moldings, some made of MDF, a pressed board material that although inexpensive, expands in the rain and bursts apart. So a year later much of that was to be replaced.

Eddie Sotto

Let's begin by the Main Street 1920's "script". Click on each image to see the three pages in larger scale.

Let's have a look now to these never-seen-before panoramic shots of Main Street's construction. Eddie shot the pictures in summer 1991, approximately 9 months before opening day. The first panoramics shows Town Square, the castle in the background is still under construction.

Next panoramic seems to have been shot from what is now the Walt's Restaurant, the Disneyland Hotel is in the background.

The two next panoramics are extremely rare pictures showing the arrival of the Walt's Restaurant elevator. It is so big that they had to wait to put it in place before they put the doors of the restaurant.

The last panoramic is vertical and is a rare view of the castle under construction!

I would like to thanks again Eddie Sotto for these great documents, i'm sure you were as fascinated as i was to discover them.

Tomorrow will be Disney and more "Grand Finale", and i have a last and great surprise for you, so make sure to come on D&M tomorrow!

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

Artwork and Main Street draft: copyright Disney Enterprises Inc

Panoramic pictures: copyright Eddie Sotto
Breaking News: Disneyland Paris officially announced today that Captain EO will re-open at DLP Discoveryland on June 12th. AND also at Epcot on July 2 ! Considering that Captain EO will also open on July 1st at Tokyo Disneyland, we can say now that EO will be back in all the parks where he used to be twelve years ago.

The Disneyland Paris that never was - Part Seven : Hotels and Disney Village

Here is the last part of this “Disneyland Paris that never was“ series, in tribute to this wonderful park. And this one should make happy those of you who like never realised projects.

For this last article we go outside the park to have a look to what was formerly known as “Festival Disney “ - now “Disney Village” - the nightime entertainment and shopping area. On our way, let’s stop a minute. One of you once asked me if there were a big fountain project for DLP - i mean, a big one like the one in Epcot, for instance. Well, it’s true that unfortunately there is no big fountain at DLP but WDI imagineers did think about having one as you can see on the picture above.

The entrance of the WDS are up front, the Magic Kingdom is on the left and Disney Village on the right. The concept with the sorcerer’s hat was okay, but i must say the dimensions were by far too big.

This rendering show the entrance of the Disney Village. The metallic tower were done, but not the guitar or the hat theming.

More regrets, however, for this incredible restaurant concept....

And the hotels, you say? Well, here is some incredible hotels-that-never-were concepts. First I have to tell you that some of the most reknown architects in the world were asked to propose different hotel concepts. And the central theme for all the hotels was: America. Weeks later , they all came back with their own proposals: For Austrian architect Hans Hollein, Amercica mean “war”, so he proposed an hotel with the shape of an aircraft carrier (!) as you can see below.

Jean Nouvel, a famous french architect proposed an all-transparent hotel.

Architect Ron Koolhass concept was pretty modern, too.

Robert Venturi proposed another original concept, a tribute to “Fantasia”.

But one of my favorite is this unique concept by Bernard Tschumi with an inside marina.

All of these projects were not developped, and, frankly, if the central theme was “America” , the hotels that were finally built were obviously a better choice. Hope you enjoyed these Disneyland Paris "that never was" articles!

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

All photos and artwork: copyright Disney

Monday, April 26, 2010

Captain EO will be back at Tokyo Disneyland on July 1st

Breaking News: After Disneyland, Anaheim, and Disneyland Paris where he will be back on June 25th Captain EO will be back at Tokyo Disneyland on July 1st and will run until June 30, 2011. Micro Adventure will close on May 31st so if you want to do this 4D attraction one more time you still have four weeks to do so.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Disneyland Paris that never was - Part Six : Discoveryland

Let’s have a look today to the early projects for Discoveryland. As you will see, WDI Imagineers had to do big choices but first let’s say that DLP’s Discoveryland is beautiful. Could had it been better with some of the first concepts, like “Discovery mountain”? I am not that sure. For instance i think that the Nautilus is better outside than inside, and that the current size of Space Mountain is perfect.

When WDI Imagineers decided to build Discoveryland, a land tribute to visionaries like Jules Verne or Leonardo da Vinci, they wanted a whole different concept than the usual tomorrowland. Above, an early concept for Discoveryland’s entrance.

The next pictures show a view of the land, including what was then Discovery Mountain. Second artwork by Tim Delaney.

Let’s have a closer look to the Discovery mountain project: it’s difficult to imagine something more huge than this project. Not only the building would have been 100 meters in diameter - instead of the current 61 meters of Space Mountain - but guests will have found inside: a large version of the Nautilus, as well as an underwater restaurant themed on the “Nautilus” theme, an atttraction named “Horizons”, a café, the Disneyland railroad station, and of course the roller-coaster itself! Not to mention huge tubes linking Discovery Mountain to “Cinemagique” - now closed - and Videopolis.

Many different designs were envisioned for the architecture of this huge building.

But the closer to the final version would have been this one.

One of the reasons of this all-in-one- building attraction concept was Paris weather. Because of the global warming it’s now raining less than it used to, but 18 years ago when WDI Imagineers worked on the concept the rainy season in Paris used to be pretty long. So, this concept was great to keep dry DLP guests. Talking about water, one of the other great idea was Discovery Mountain's interior lighting as it was supposed to be partly lit from lights underwater, giving this incredible atmosphere, as you can see on these renderings by Tim Delaney.

Once inside, guests had the choice between going in line to ride the roller coaster ...

......or go all the way around the lagoon to enter the Nautilus. At that point , guests with reservations would have dine in the fantastic “Nemo's Grand Salon” restaurant, and through the Nautilus windows they could see the ruins of Atlantis! idea coming from Tony Baxter’s Discovery bay concept.

The huge volcano you can see on this artwork with the track going out of it was probably the first free-fall concept imagined by the imagineers, another tribute to Jules Verne and his "Journey to the center of the earth" story . In this attraction the guests were supposed to be blown up to the top of the building (just like in Verne’s story where they escape the center of the Earth through a volcano chimney) and had a stunning view of the park before they fall down. We know the rest of the story: this “Journey to the Center of the Earth” was never built, another one - and better - now exist at Tokyo Disney Sea , and Tower of Terror was finally the first free fall attraction in a Disney theme park.

Of course the cost of this Discovery mountain project was so huge that cuts were inevitable. DLP finally have this victorian version of space monutain - always with the Columbiad cannon, and the Nautilus stands now outside without the Nemo restaurant. I'm missing this one a dinner inside the Nautilus for sure would have been is a rendering by Tim Delaney of the final version of Space Mountain.

Talking about Jules Verne, a scene where he was supposed to appear in the walk-through was cancelled, too. Those of you remembering the great Epcot’s "Horizons" attraction will notice how similar this next scene with Verne is.

Sometime , it’s an attraction poster which disappear: this gorgeous one was done for the first version of space mountain and is now replaced by the new “mission two” poster, unfortunately not as good as the first one.

And sometime it’s only a concept of an attraction poster like this sketch for "Les Mystères du Nautilus" attraction poster.

The next concept-art is showing Autopia futuristic billboards, some of them do exist in the final version...

...but not this huge UFO "landing" in the middle of the attraction!

Talking about UFO and flying saucers, did you know that Imagineers also envisioned to re-birth Disneyland's extinct Flying Saucers attraction? I'm wondering if these small saucers would have worked better than they did in the 1960’s...

In the last part of this article, i will show you amazing concepts for Disneyland Paris hotels that were never built, so don't miss it!

Most of the renderings that you saw in this article are coming from my “Disneyland Paris, from sketch to reality” book who tell you all about the creation of the park, thanks to 750 pictures of the park including 250 WDI renderings, and a great text by Didier Ghez. Don't miss below my special offer on this book!

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

All artwork: copyright Disney
Important Note to all Disney and more readers: Disney and more will stop in four days from now, after what i will unfortunately stop posting new daily articles on the site. If you don't own a copy of the Disneyland Paris book and wish to order one it's now or never! If you like Disney and more, you will LOVE the book full of high-res pictures and LOT of WDI artwork! Please read the article below to learn how to order the book.