Saturday, March 12, 2011

First Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea videos filmed during Japan Earthquake - 3/14 : Updated with new videos

The first videos filmed inside Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea during the earthquake or the aftershocks are appearing on Youtube. As the damages in the parks appears to be relatively minors - which is good news - don't expect to see a collapsed Tower of Terror. The cast members in the parks seems to be well prepared for this kind of dramatic event and it seems that the instructions from TDR cast members to the guests during an earthquake is: "Everybody down!".

The earthquake happened while TDL guests were waiting for the day parade and as you can see on the first videos above and below everyone has been asked to remain sit on the ground. The message coming out TDL loudspeakers is not the one you generally hear in a Disney Park: "Ladies and Gentlemen, your attention please, we have just experienced an earthquake...Please move away from the buildings to an open area..."

New and interesting video showing what happened to the poor TDL guests who were stuck in the park and the cold weather during all the afternoon and early evening. Apparently the guests were allowed to leave the park five hours after the earthquake.

Inside Tokyo Disney Sea now with this video filmed during the earthquake while the show on the lagoon was happening. The show stopped almost instantly.

NEW VIDEO: During the earthquake, near the Tower of Terror. At TDS too, everyone was asked to sit down, wherever they were.

NEW VIDEO: JTCent of web site was at Cape Cod in TDS when the earthquake happened, here is his video and you can have more infos on his site HERE.

This next TDS video was filmed during the earthquake aftershocks.

This next one shows TDL guests inside the Tower of Terror after the first earthquake.

Hours later, at sunset, TDL guests stuck in the park as the main rail line from Tokyo to TDR, Keiyo Line, has been damaged. "We"re all homeless!" say the video title.

NEW VIDEO: On this next video entirely from TDR monorail going all around the resort you'll see clearly at 4.10 minutes the liquefaction damages in TDR parking lot. TDL and TDS buildings looks in good condition.

Two other videos showing minor damages on the ground, apparently in the streets around the parks.

On this second video, recorded near Tokyo Disneyland Maihama-Station, TDR workers are already repairing the damages due to the earthquake.

However, another threat may come from the North as Japan nuclear agency announced that the Fukushima nuclear plant exploded this morning and there is fears of a nuclear meltdown after the plant blast. The blast happened while workers tried to cool nuclear rods as the plant have been damaged by the earthquake. A huge radioactive cloud - as you'll see on the video below - came out from the nuclear plant and dozens of thousands of people living nearby have been evacuated. As it happened when Tchernobyl nuclear plant exploded in 1986 the radioactive cloud will move and it's not known yet in which direction - but whatever the direction it will move it will be bad. This earthquake was already a tragedy of gigantic proportions, now it seems that the gates of hell are open.

Also, and i don't want to be too pessimistic, but all earthquake experts are saying that yesterday's earthquake probably had effects on another tectonic plaque located in the south, closer to Tokyo. It's too soon to tell how big the effects will be and if the earthquake had increased the tension on this other plaque but the experts seems to be afraid that it might increase the chances of another earthquake, this time close to Tokyo who didn't had a major quake since 1920. Yesterday's earthquake was really big but it might be nothing in comparison with the "big one" that earthquake experts are awaiting and afraid of. As always, no one can predict when this "big one" will happen although quake experts are saying they might be able to know more about the risk when they will have finished to study the infos collected from yesterday's earthquake.

Finally, it seems that the official TDR web site has deleted all opening hours until March 21 which could mean that both TDL and TDS might be closed until March 22.
I'll try to post more TDR videos when they will be available. Yesterday's article with the latest news about Japan devastating earthquake and its effects on Tokyo Disney Resort is HERE and you'll find below a new video to be watch full screen of the massive tsunami destroying a whole town of north-east Japan.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Danny Elfman video reveal HKDL Mystic Manor scenes model

This week, Hong Kong Disneyland released an interesting video. The goal was to announce a great news: Danny Elfman - who did the music of most of Tim Burton's movies - will compose the music for Hong Kong Disneyland's Mystic Manor attraction. WDI Imagineers could hardly do a better choice and Elfman who is a Haunted Mansion fan accepted instantly with great pleasure.

On the video - that you'll be able to watch at the end of this article - Danny Elfman is filmed looking at Mystic Manor's miniature model but as always in the video editing the shots are going pretty fast - mainly because they want to show you more of the project and in the same time they don't want you to see too much of it! So, we're going to "stop the time" once again with interesting screen captures.

As you may remind the main character of Mystic Manor's ride is a monkey who will open the "Pandora box" and the first screen capture of the model is a close shot on his face.

The first scene model that we can see on the video is the one of the "music room". Just to remind you which one it is here is the rendering of it.

And here is a picture of the model. Click on it to enlarge the picture.

The next scene of which we can see the model is "The Armory", here is the rendering...

...and here is a picture of part of the model.

In that scene a canon will blast at Mystic Manor guests, with a "ring of smoke" effect. In the video we see the effect but this time i think it's not from the model but a test done by Imagineers in a WDI facility.

The last model scene that we can see on the video is in fact one of the first scenes of the ride, the "cataloguing room".

Below, the model of that room from different angles.

And now that we had a look to this interesting models it's time to listen to Danny Elfman himself talking about his future score. By the way, Danny reveals that Mystic Manor's ride will last four and a half minutes. Good to know!

Finally, i remind you that you can see ALL the renderings of Mystic Manor in my previous article HERE. Have a great week-end!

Devastating 8.9 Earthquake hit Northern Japan - Tokyo hit by Tsunami - Minors structural damages in Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea

Breaking News: An 8.9-magnitude earthquake AND a major tsunami hit northern Japan this Friday morning sending a massive body of water filled with debris that included boats and houses inching toward highways. The epicenter was 373 kilometers (231 miles) away from Tokyo, the United States Geological Survey said. This is a MAJOR earthquake which have already (and will have) important "replicas" . If you are in Japan, i hope you're safe. All my thoughts and prayers are with the people of Japan and those of other countries who will be hit by the tsunami.

No news yet about TDL and TDS. Did the park have been damaged by the earthquake? Did Tokyo Disney Sea which is close to the sea been hit by the tsunami? If you're a D&M reader living in Japan, thanks to let us know!

Update: According to Jiji, press agency TDR parking lot is completely flooded.

According to JoeInJpn, a mice chat member currently inside TDS "In this part of TDS, lots of people shaken up but no one hurt. No visible damage anywhere. Had a big aftershock 30 minutes after the first quake. I'm still stuck in Cape Cod in front of Aunt Pegs... We are just waiting outside for further info from CMs. It's currently 3:50pm sun is shining with some clouds, cool weather still.

From another person: "I'm looking at Sendai airport where the terminal looks like it is in the middle of a lake. People all on the roof of the terminal...". Here is a short video of the devastating tsunami in Sendai.

Steve Davison is saying on his Facebook fan page: "Rehearsal for Fantasmic tonight has been canceled due to the earthquakes here in Japan. It was crazy. The team is fine here. A little shaken up but doing fine. The parks have shut down".

Steve Davison posted two Tweeter pics HERE and HERE, the last one showing damages from the quake.

You can see HERE a picture of TDL visitors waiting out their fate after the 8.9 Earthquake. Right now TDL and TDS have been shut down which is probably the best thing to do, knowing that important quake replicas will happen in the next hours.

Those of you who live in countries or islands at risk to be hit by the tsunami in the next hours you can find the "tsunami arrival time" HERE . Just scroll down once on the page.

Update: "TDR Crowds are being properly evacuated. The tsunami only reached the parking lot and has seemed to settle. The park will most certainly be closed for an extended period of time".

Update: "Lots of structural damage in both Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea. Parking lots flooded, can't confirm the carpark was destroyed, No injuries reported. The evac and process has been very organized".

Latest from TDL: The latest twitter reports are saying that people are not allowed to leave Tokyo Disneyland and have to spend night in the park as the main rail line from Tokyo to TDR, Keiyo Line, has been damaged. Picture of people stuck in TDL HERE and HERE. According to a TDL cast member, there is a huge logistics issue at the parks with so many people stuck there with no where to go.

You can watch live video coverage of tsunami hitting japan on HERE.

Today's earthquake is now supposed to have been the strongest earthquake in Japan's history. If you're living in countries that are supposed to be hit by the tsunami be extremely cautious. You can see on the picture below the arrival time of the tsunami wave, depending where you're living. And yes, this also include U.S California coast.

Considering that this is the biggest Japan earthquake in decades, if not in history, there is no doubt that TDR will have to check and test all rides and infrastructures in days to come. I will not be surprised if the parks remain closed during the next days. If you were planning a trip to TDL and TDS this month it might be a good idea - if you can do it - to postpone your trip.

Latest: TDR confirmed that both parks will be closed tomorrow and probably Sunday too. No injuries were reported by TDR management and apparently damages could be minor - although this remains to be confirmed.

More news on Mice chat HERE.

WDI unveil Ursula huge Audio-Animatronic

The Little Mermaid ride will mark the return of great Audio-Animatronics in Walt Disney Imagineering grand tradition. The infamous evil sea witch Ursula that DCA guests will see inside “The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure” attraction will be 7 ½ feet tall and 12 feet wide, i.e a HUGE Audio-Animatronic!

Currently, the Ursula Audio-animatronic is being installed inside Ursula's lair - renderings above and below - one of the Little Mermaid ride eerie scene...

Others special effects in that scene will include a bubbling cauldron in front of Ursula and, all around, projection effects of "unfortunate souls" captured by her. At the entrance of the lair, if the plans hasn't changed, expect to see others unfortunate souls stuck inside bottles, another projection effect.

The video below was filmed for a big part at WDI North Hollywood facility with WDI Imagineers explaining the complexity of their work on Ursula's AA. Thanks to stretch velvet and flexible rubber for her body and the genius programming of WDI Imagineers be ready to be amazed when you'll see how Ursula will move in this awaited dark ride. In the meantime, don't miss the exciting video below!

Pictures and Video: copyright Disney

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Cars 2 Update: New High-res Pictures, Great Retro Posters, and Fantastic Trailer 3 !

New high-res pictures of Cars 2 were released yesterday as well as two different trailers 3 of the animated movie and great retro posters. Let's begin with the high-res pictures and above, one from the Paris sequence. Below, Mc Missile in action and Lightning McQueen and Mater.

The new trailers - the U.K and U.S versions - looks fantastic as they center on the spy theme. As you will see some of the scenes looks as great as they can be in a real espionnage movie. The two are different and first below is the U.K version. Full screen mode highly recommanded!

And, below, the U.S version.

Pixar also released four different retro posters, one for London, Paris, Tokyo and Porto Corsa, and as usual they look great, too!

See you soon for a new Cars 2 update!

Pictures and videos: copyright Disney-Pixar

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Official Shanghaî Disneyland Plan Unveiled

An official map of Shanghaî Disneyland resort was made public yesterday and you can see it above. Four hotels are indicated on the plan, and one of them is so close to the theme park that it may be another hotel with "view on the park" like the Miracosta at TDS or the Disneyland Hotel at DLP. Also, no need to be a genius to understand that SDL second gate will be build in the future where the white space is, on the right of the first park.

I think we are close to the big final announcement during which the whole project should be unveiled! In the meantime you can read below what Shanghaî Daily reports about this SDL plan:

"The planned area covers 7 square kilometers, with the location of the theme park, hotels and parking areas clearly marked.

Two Metro lines, Line 2 and Line 11, will converge at the area. Line 11 is included in the project's first phase while the Line 2 stretch will be introduced later. They will share a station inside the area, according to the plan.

The 24.5 billion yuan (US$3.73 billion) phase 1 will cover 3.9 square kilometers, while the rest is listed as reserved land for future development.

Four plots in the phase one project are marked as hotel compounds, but the plan doesn't specify how many hotels it will contain. Two hotel compounds will be built by the southern side of the inner lake.

The amusement facilities and the inner lake are separated by support facilities including a parking lot, a hotel and recreational facilities.

Water will be a prominent feature of the amusement park. A river, about 10 kilometers long and 60 meters wide, is being created around the park area and a 0.39-square-kilometer lake will be inside.

The theme park is close to the Zhangjiang High-Tech Park, Kangqiao Industry Zone and the International Medical Zone, according to the blueprint.

The park will have two main entrance boulevards - Xiupu Road will lead to the western entrance and Liufeng Road to the southern entrance.

The theme park, in the southeast of Shanghai, is about 21 kilometers from People's Square, 18km from Lujiazui, 12km from Pudong International Airport and 30km from the Hongqiao transport hub."

Text: copyright Shanghaî Daily

Tokyo Disney Sea Behind the Scenes Videos

You've always dreamed to visit Tokyo Disney Sea? This five-part videos filmed for a TV special by the Travel channel will show you everything of this fantastic park, including interesting behind the scenes shots!

But first, the gift of the week with this great scan of the Mysterious Island artwork. I knew i had it somewhere in my artwork collection and since three years i could not put my hands on it! I finally did, and here it is above, clik on the picture to see it in big size!

Below are the videos, enjoy the show!

Youtube videos: copyright Travel Channel and Disney Parks

Photo: copyright Randie Soul

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Disneyland Paris Update : " Magical Moments Festival " official visuals

The new "Magical Moments Festival" will begin at DLP anytime soon and i have for you DLP's official visuals which will be used all along the year for marketing purposes. For those of you who have missed my previous article i also repost the Magical Moments Festival press release, this time without my comments and explanations which you can find in the article HERE where you will also find "real" pictures.

Also include below some of the concept-arts - for what will be simple photo locations - found on the forum. You'll note how the marketing visuals embellish the reality in comparison of what we can see on the concept-arts. But, to be fair, the real thing should be in between, i.e less glamorous than the marketing visuals and better than the concept-arts.

2011 Jumps into Disney Magical Moments Festival

This year, Disneyland Paris offers its guests more than a new festival, but the promise to live and relive a series of everlasting “Disney Magical Moments.”

Disney Magical Moments Festival: more emotion than ever before:
During Disney Magical Moments Festival that launches 6th April 2011 at Disneyland Paris, magic will reach great new heights. In 2011, guests enter the spotlight, starring in adventures inspired by Walt Disney Pictures films. From Fantasia to Alice in Wonderland, by way of Peter Pan, The Jungle Book and The Lion King guests take center stage and star in the stories. Girls get wrapped up in the classic Princess stories from Snow White to Tangled, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella or The Princess and the Frog. Children and parents alike take part in the adventures of the new Disney-Pixar generation from Ratatouille, Cars, Wall-E, Monsters, Inc. to the very popular and recent Toy Story films. And each guest will create his own adventures based on his own personal Disney experiences. All-new moments to be lived in enhanced reality for memories that will last a lifetime.

Come get swept away by the whirlwind of “Disney Magical Moments!”
In 2011, get ready to experience endless magical moments, full of action, adventure and emotion! Moments like no others, which will take you on a dream getaway alongside family and friends. There’s something for everyone: all styles and all ages... Moments you create and experience, and which will be engraved forever as some of your most emotional memories.

A sparkling array of magical moments just waiting to be lived, captured and later retold by you! Precious instants in life that only Disneyland Paris knows how to create and which always begin with a simple yet emotional plea: ‘let’s go to Disneyland this year!”

Spotlight on 14 Disney Magical Moments

1 - Mickey’s Magical Celebration
Who can resist the magic behind Fantasia, when Mickey becomes an incredible magician?
Each day, to celebrate Disney Magical Moments Festival, the Disneyland Park stages a spellbinding show in front of the Sleeping Beauty Castle. This fantastic new encounter stars Mickey surrounded by Disney Magicians, from Genie to Merlin, by way of Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother. Mickey becomes the illustrious Magician known the world over. An enchanting moment to share with all the dazzling Disney couples, as well. Anything is possible with a sprinkle of pixie dust and a little imagination.

2 - Disney Princesses: A Royal Invitation

Just as every little girl dreams of becoming a fairytale heroine, few men can resist the charm of meeting a true Princess.
Where else than in Disneyland can you meet your favourite Disney Princess? Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Tiana… they’re all waiting to meet you. A royal invitation to live and capture the most enchanting of Disney moments.

3 - Following the Leader with Peter Pan
Who hasn’t ever dreamed of skipping out on time to run away to Neverland and stay a child forever?
It’s going to be a real crocodile-snappin’ adventure for Lost Boys and Girls and absolutely anyone who’s never wanted to grow up. Help Peter Pan, Wendy and his band of Pirates give Captain Hook a real fright. A unique song and dance adventure with only one motto: “I won’t grow up!”

Apparently, a photo location, probably with appearances of the Jack Sparrow character, will be built near POTC.

4 - The Wonderful World of Alice and The Mad Hatter
Who can resist celebrating each day for what it is—an incredible “un-birthday?”
The Mad Hatter has already set the zaniest of tables to celebrate thousands of un-birthdays in Wonderland. A great chance to savour a succulent cup of imaginary tea not far from the Dormouse and his teapot before returning to pursue the White Rabbit in Alice’s Curious Labyrinth and taking a spin on the psychedelic attraction Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups.

5 - Adventureland rhythms of the jungle
For those who, like Baloo, only need the bare necessities!
The “Hakuna Matata” terrace has become the new hotspot for getting down in the jungle to the sound of tam-tams with the heroes of great Disney Classics such as The Jungle Book and The Lion King. Untamed winds are blowing over Adventureland and may bring along performances from characters such as Baloo, King Louie, Timon, or the wise old Rafiki for a frenzied dance or two. Their sidekicks Zazu and Kaa won’t miss the occasion to spice up your personal photo shoot.

6 - Moteurs… Action ! Stunt Show Spectacular featuring Lightning McQueen!
If you love thrills, spectacular special effects and the action of revving automobiles, then this show is for you…
The most exciting automobile stunt show welcomes a feisty new star! While the Disney-Pixar film Cars 2 is still in the makings, Lightning McQueen has decided to make a pit stop at the Walt Disney Studios Park! Lots of fast-paced memories await you during this exceptional appearance. Watch for the flag—Lightning McQueen is ready to hit the asphalt...moteurs ...action!

7 - Meet Rapunzel from Walt Disney Pictures' "Tangled"

The latest Disney heroine from Disney Studios has set a new trend for long hair—endlessly long hair... Decidedly modern from her temper to the tips of her magical hair, Rapunzel has a way of moving people... especially her beloved brigand Flynn Rider. Discover her story and world by stepping into a giant pop-up book decor for a magical photo. And great memories lie ahead on the ‘hair’izon when you might come across them around Fantasyland!

8 - Disney's Once Upon a Dream Parade with interactive show stops
Have you ever dreamt of being part of Disneyland Paris Parade?
This year, the Disneyland Park grants your wish and invites you into its fabulous Disney’s Once Upon a Dream parade. It’s revolutionary—the Disney films’ greatest stars and their friends encourage guests to take part as the parade moves along through numerous accessories, dance moves and other fantastic tricks!

9 - Green Army Men Meet & Play
Want to see what it’s like to be a toy?
Destination Toy Story Playland(3), the all-new land in the Walt Disney Studios Park with three new attractions: Slinky Dog Zigzag Spin, Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop and RC Racer! Andy’s Green Army Men enlist guests in an adventure in Andy’s extraordinary backyard and invite them to experience excitement alongside Buzz Lightyear and friends while reduced to the size of real toys.

10 - Smile and say "Cheese" with Remy and Emile
Saying “cheese” before a photo has just taken on new meaning!
Remy the gourmet and his gluttonous brother Emile have specially ordered a huge French cheese platter for guests of the Walt Disney Studios Park. Guests will love to pop their heads through the holes, while saying “cheese” for the photographer alongside the stars of Ratatouille. A fun food moment to remember forever!

11 - Monsters, Inc. Scream Academy
What if you could scream to the top of your lungs with no limits?
Sully, top scarer at Monsters, Inc. and his faithful assistant, Mike, encourage guests to participate in a terrifying screaming contest. Meet them at Toon Studios to break the decibel meter and experience a spine-tingling moment with the Monsters, Inc. Scream Academy.

12 - Aladdin’s Magic Lamp
What if you could have three wishes from a magical lamp just like Aladdin?
It has been said that Aladdin’s famous magical lamp is hidden somewhere near Adventureland, in the newly-installed market of Agrabah... What could be the best way to release the Genie and receive your three wishes? Posing for a magical souvenir photo while rubbing the lamp!

13 - Share the love with Wall-E and Eve!
What if there was proof that love would still exist 700 years from now?
Come to Discoveryland for an encounter with Wall-E, the most lovable and earth-friendly robot who can’t hide his love for Eve, the prettiest android in the universe. A timeless love story full of humour and romance shared by two heroes from the 28th century.

14 - Disney Dance Express
Feel like partying with your favourite Disney character?
The “Disney Dance Express” train crosses Main Street, U.S.A., several times a day, and invites guests to get down to the rhythm of Broadway. Goofy, Minnie, Donald, Chip ’n’ Dale, and even Daisy and Pluto... They’re all ready to bring the Disneyland Park atmosphere alive with the “Magic Movers”!

(end of press release)

In my previous article i've posted the emotional U.K TV Ad for DLP's new season. Here is another one based on the same concept - the kids reaction when they learn they're going to Disneyland - but this Ad was done by Disney Parks, not DLP. As the concept looks the same the question is: who had this (good) idea first, DLP marketing or Disney Parks marketing in the U.S?

See you soon for a new update!

All pictures, video and concept-arts: copyright Disney

Pictures: copyright Disney

Shanghaî Disneyland: Shanghaî mayor clarifies the real price of SDL project

Last news from Shanghaî Disneyland, and this time they're coming from Shanghaî mayor himself who clarified this morning the real price of the SDL project:

"The approved investment for the first phase of the Disneyland project in Shanghai stands at 24.5 billion yuan (3.7 billion U.S. dollars), Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng said Sunday.

"I have read some media reports about the Disneyland investment, but they were incorrect," said Han while attending the ongoing annual parliamentary session in Beijing.

"I thereby clarify the figure seriously. The approved investment for the first phase of the Disneyland project is 24.5 billion yuan," he told reporters.

The long-awaited theme park project in Shanghai was launched in November last year, when the state-owned Shanghai Shendi Group Co. Ltd. inked a deal with the Walt Disney Co. for the development of the project.

The Shanghai International Tourism Resort Administrative Committee will manage the project.

It will be the first Disneyland theme park on the Chinese mainland and sixth in the world, and the U.S. entertainment giant's third theme park in Asia after Tokyo and Hong Kong.

The first phase of the Disneyland theme park will be built and put into operation within the 2011-2015 period.

"I hope construction on the project can start soon. Currently, both sides are endeavoring to do some preliminary work," Han said.

Shanghai's Disneyland project received the green light from the Chinese authorities in 2009.

Disney and the Chinese side had been negotiating on and off for more than a decade, and the last round of negotiation took months."