Sunday, March 27, 2011

Disneyland Paris Update : Part Two : Getting ready for DLP 20th Anniversary

Here is the part two of the DLP update. If you didn't read the part one you'll find it HERE. Also, please note that all what you will read in this article are NOT rumors, but the real thing.

The meeting organized by DLP for the webmasters last friday was to keep us informed about all the refurbishments of parks and hotels which will be done this year to make sure everything will be as beautiful as possible for DLP's 20th Anniversary. We had a great presentation by Imagineer Peggie Fariss, who began to work at Disney in 1965 and is now at the head of DLP Imagineering. Here is a picture of Peggie in the lobby of the Walt's restaurant, close to the Walt Disney bust. And a little bit of trivia about Peggie's scarf as it is a WDI limited edition designed by Julie Svendsen and Hani El Masri for John Hench 55th Anniversary at the Disney Company.

The presentation happened in Walt's Fantasyland room on the first floor of the restaurant and Peggie began her presentation with news about Sleeping Beauty castle, currently repainted once again. This time, though, DLP Imagineers changed a bit the colors and some of the towers will be more blue with also more gold on the top, closer to the original colors. Painters teams are working day and night on the castle and works are expected until the end of August.

The castle won't be the only one to be refreshed as Big Thunder Mountain, the Orbitron and Colonel Hathi Pizza Outpost will also be partly or totally repainted. On Main Street where most of the buildings were refreshed in the previous years the Walt's and the Gibson Girl facades will be the next one to be repaint, with little differences from the original colors.

Inside the Disney & Co shop many changes will happen too. DLP will use some characters visuals that WDW WDI team sent to them and in exchange DLP sent the Disney & Co band organ (picture below) to Florida. If you go at WDW in the future you'll be able to see it in the Story Book Circus area located in the new Fantasyland.

Here is a video filmed inside Disney & Co by DLRPStuff in which you will see this band organ.

Talking about Main street i was happily surprised last Friday morning to see that most of the Main Street vehicles were working. If we except the double-decker bus all the vehicles were there.

DLP fans noticed recently that the benches in front of the Sleeping Beauty theatre were removed. Some of them located near the trees will stay but most of them won't come back to have a bigger room for people watching the parade. Good news: the rumor saying that the Sleeping Beauty castle would be destroyed are not true, there is no plans to remove the stage which might be useful for future shows or special events. The other reason why the benches were removed is because they are currently re-paving all the area and up to the parade entrance doors near It's a Small World. The cobblestones are coming from the best manufacturer in Europe, located in Germany, and they will have different colors. We had a look behind the fences and here are the pictures.

In Fantasyland we had the luck to see the works on the new Princess Pavilion where young children will be able to meet their favorite princess. Located in what was previously the post-show of It's a Small World it's going to be done with a Disney quality touch and although they didn't communicate on the price it seems that the cost of it will not be cheap. DLP guests will enter the pavilion through a corridor leading to the main room in which will be placed stained glass windows, each of them showing one different castle related to each princess. And between each stained glass window an iconic item - for each princess - will be display inside specially designed alcoves. For instance, for Cinderella it will be her famous crystal shoe, etc... Even better, each of these iconic items will include fiber-optics effects!

At the end of this queue decor a wooden door will open and children will have the choice to meet two princess - or one only if there is too many people. Each princess will stand in front of a day or night background and of course parents will be able to take pictures of their children with their own camera. Or to ask DLP photographer to take the picture. In this case, the picture will be sent directly by WIFI to a place outside where guests will be able to buy the picture if they wish.

We were not allowed to take pictures of the works but we had the opportunity to see visuals and renderings and, frankly, i think this new Princess Pavilion, although smaller than the one which will open in 2012 at WDW Magic Kingdom in the previous Snow White building, will look really nice. As for the opening date, even if this Princess Pavillion is announced as being part of DLP new season starting next month, no date was given, probably because they don't know yet when the works will be finished. But, considering what we saw and all what remain to be done, i think that it won't open before next summer.

In Adventureland, guests will find soon a brand new Captain Hook's Pirate Ship. And when i mean new i mean a real new one as they won't repair or repaint the current one which is in real bad condition. Instead a brand new one is coming which will have the same design but with some differences in the colors - a bit more black on the sides of the ship, and also more gold color. What they're trying to do with these new painting is to have a pirate ship which might fit both for a Peter Pan or for a Jack Sparrow theme. Works are expected between April and September of this year.

At the entrance of Discoveryland, the fountains are now in full refurbishment. Hopefully the smoke effect will be back but not the original fire effect. The Orbitron, just like they did recently at Disneyland, Anaheim, will be dismantled to be repaint. A moving part of the Orbitron - which was not moving anymore since many years - will move again once the ride will re-open. It's the kind of detail that guests don't necessarily notice when it's not working but which makes a big difference when it does.

Lot of renovations, as you can see, inside DLP Magic Kingdom but also at the very entrance. Not the entrance of the park but the entrance of the parking lot which will have a new design, more gold colors and paintings of Disney characters.

At the Walt Disney Studios new pergolas will be build on each side of the entrance, as well as a new pavement in front of the ticketing. The Rock and Roller Coaster will have a new lighting and a new smog machine inside the ride, all this with a new technology more efficient and ecological.

In Toy Story Playland the RC Racer car which was previously a photo location located near the ride will be replaced by a new photo location. The RC Racer car was removed because they had some accidents with children climbing on the car and unfortunately the car won't come back - you can see it now during the Tram Tour ride. Instead, the new photo location will look like a box - more precisely like a toy blister with a glass in the front so the people who will be inside could give the illusion that they are "inside" a real blister. Of course the box will be themed and will have a background design with RC Racer.

Here is how the RC Racer photo location looked before, with the characters...

And here is how it looked recently, before the new "blister" decor, coming soon.

Always at TSP a new and nice food cart will appear near the entrance of Slinky Dog and at Parachute Drop a pre-show video created by Pixar will play during the queue. Pixar created a short animated video to explain to the guests waiting in line what they have to do when they will seat in the "parachute". The video is designed like a 1980's video game with visible pixels and the design of the screen box will look like 1980's old Gameboy. We saw the movie, and it looks quite good.

Most of the hotels of the resort will also get a renovation beginning by the Sequoia Lodge. Works have began already on the small lodges and they're now renovating the room of the 1st and 2nd floors of the main building. It's really a brand new decoration with new colors and Bambi artwork on the walls, new flat screen TVs as well as inroom internet access. In 2011, 556 rooms of the Sequoia Lodge will be renovated and 445 roome in 2012. Then they will do the Santa Fe, then the Newport Bay, then the Cheyenne Hotel or the Disneyland Hotel and the New York Hotel will be the last one to go through a renovation.

At the Santa Fe hotel they intend to extend the "Cars" theming which already began in some of the rooms and at the entrance with the big Cars painting instead of Clint Eastwood. The dry vegetation theming of the Santa Fe could fit perfectly for a "Cars" theme but don't expect the hotel to look in the future like Radiator Springs. However, apparently they would like to introduce some of the Cars characters in the outside areas, the main obstacle being the security problem. If they can succeed to introduce the Cars characters without having guests accidents like they had with the RC Racer car at TSP then Lightning McQueen, Mater and others might appear at the Santa Fe hotel.

The Davy Crockett Ranch is also in renovation and the 595 bungalows will all be replaced by brand new one, this time not in wood but in a composite material which should be more resistant along the years than the original bungalows. New decorations inside as you will see on the pictures below, including framed Frontierland renderings! Outside the table and chairs originally put directly on the ground are now on an elevated terrace and it's unquestionably better like this.

That's the end of the part two of the DLP update, in part three - coming soon - we will talk about the 20th Anniversary!

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Pictures: copyright Disney and more

Sequoia Lodge pictures: copyright Disney


Thomas said...

Well, this is great news as the park will look fresh and new !
I'm just a bit sad about the organ which I really liked. It was a truly unique piece and its place was just right in the theme of the shop and I'm a bit worried about the style the character visuals will have (and hope it wont be the ones that got replaced in WDW's World of Disney store...)

As usual, thank you for your work !

DisWedWay said...

It's great to have a Veteran WED/WDI SQS Leader in Peggie at PDL. Would really love to see the Geysers going again as I know they have been looking and thinking on the subject. Besides all you Partners on foot, it's a great Spectacle for the train and riverboat patrons. Some parks have magic on the waters at night, but here we have magic on land during the day, if they get them going again for the 20th.

crivassan said...

Does this mean that during these renovations will still be going on during the first week of August..?
Because I just booked 5 days of dlp for me and my girldfriend, and a 1000 euros seems a bit much to be missing out on the regular disney charm (with all the good stuff being unavailable (pirate ship, castle,...))..

Owen said...

I have to agree - I am going 4 days first week August and it seems that a lot of work is planned for the 20th Anniversary and this festival is being left out!

I know that this is good for the park in the long run and that they are always developing. Also the 20th Anniversary is really important, however, they may not be considering that this amount of work all at once may be too much for people going beforehand - and this may deter them for returning for the 20th which is what they should be doing; particularly in the high seasons.

I am OK with the castle ongoing work and the ship but what about Big Thunder Mountain and Rock 'n' Roller Coaster - are these closed over July/August? Or will it be September - between seasons?

Alain Littaye said...

To Crivassan and Owen: Most of the works, hopefully, should be finished for this summer although the castle might still be in works in August.
I know it might look inconvenient for people who will visit the park this year but it's the price to pay to have a glorious 20th Anniversary!

Marco Antonio Garcia said...

It’s nice to know that they are taking good care of this beautiful park.

I also expect to see new attractions on the 20th anniversary. Hope you have good news to share with us on your next DLP update Alain!

By the way, I don't think that DLP made a good deal with WDW...

DisWedWay said...

I hope if they rework the Geysers in Fronteirland, they also get the bubbling mud pots installed that have been sitting idle for 20 years waiting for the really big show that was planned. It will make Henry happy along with many others.

Anonymous said...

I read somewhere else that most of the work will be done during night and Rock'n'Roller Coaster will not be effected during the day.

I think it's the same with Big Thunder Mountain.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the great update!
Did they also mention anything about Disney Village?
When the opening dates of Earl of Sandwich and World of Disney will be? And what the plans are for the wing between Anette's Diner and Café Mickey?

Anonymous said...

Dlp is going to look great next year!I hope those dear imagineers don't forget the details like the chimney that's been missing for more than a year in the back of the 'Cable Tram Bake Shop', or pollish the stains away from the 'Nautilus-fire place' at Walts'. Can't wait to see the new Pirate ship, however, waiting just a bit longer and the old ship would have transformed itself into the 'Flying Dutchman'...