Saturday, August 20, 2011

Full Report of D23 Expo

Editor's Note: D&M is of course covering the D23 Expo and please note that the articles will be posted and updated all along the week-end with new pictures and videos.
D23 Reports already online:
D23 Expo : New Shanghaî Disneyland Artwork !

Andy Castro photo report on Disney Parks Carousel of Projects - Edited Saturday 7.30pm with new photos and the Pre-Show video!

Tom Staggs Presentation on the future of Disney Parks with new artwork and videos.
Note: Tom Staggs article now edited with three new videos showing the New Fantasyland part of his presentation with CGI footage of the future Lumière Audio-Animatronic, Georges Kalagridis talking about future DL experiences and Bob Weis show-producer of Shanghaî Disneyland talking about SDL! Scroll in the article to find these new videos!

Aulani Resort and Spa opening August 29 in Hawaii!

D23 Expo: Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs Presentation

Twelve hours ago Tom Staggs, chairman of Disney Parks and Resorts, did his awaited presentation at D23 Expo. If you have a read at fans discussion boards it seems that many Disney fans were disappointed as they awaited announcements of major attractions - specially at the U.S parks - but to be fair and considering that some of the big projects announced by Jay Rasulo two years ago are still in the works there is some logic that the WDC don't announce new E-Ticket rides right now. In two years WDW new Fantasyland and Cars Land will be open and for sure new rides will be announced at 2013 D23 Expo.

Still, Tom Staggs didn't came with empty hands and as you will see below he gave more details on upcoming rides, the announcement of a new area to open at Disneyland and more infos on Shanghaî Disneyland castle!

Tom's presentation began with a fun video. Just like what Billy Crystal was doing for the Academy awards ceremony opening, Tom Staggs did this video where you'll see him as a Disney cast-member who, well, uh...don't really fit for the role...

Then he talked about Disneyland where a new experience called "Fantasy Faire experience" will come to Fantasyland. To achieve this, "the boundaries of Fantasyland are expanding with a brand new experience called Fantasy Faire. For this project, Carnations Plaza Gardens Stage is being reimagined into an enchanting village square that will immerse guests in the stories of their favorite princesses in exciting new ways.

"Guests will travel through a village square surrounded by fairytale cottages and pavilions to the heart of the square – Tangled Tower, inspired by the film. The village square will come alive with activities and entertainment, including a Royal Ribbon Parade where guests can dance and interact with Belle or Rapunzel. Guests can visit the their favorite Disney royalty from such films as “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “Cinderella,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Tangled.”
‪The Fantasy Faire Stage will be a new entertainment venue where the stories of Disney’s fairy tale heroes and heroines will be brought to life, letting guests become part of the story as well.
‪And at night, the Fantasy Faire Stage will come alive with the classic music and dance offerings that Disneyland park guests have loved for years".

Edited: With Georges Kalogridis Tom Staggs taked about future Disneyland experiences, and here is the video.

Tom Staggs then talked about WDW New Fantasyland and specially the Seven Dwarfs mine train ride where guests will take a journey through the diamond mine of the Seven Dwarf and how the train wagons will include a new ride system never seen before in a Disney coaster ride. This new ride system designed by Walt Disney Imagineering "will allow each mine car to swing back and forth individually as the train twists and turns along the track". You can watch below the short video that D23 guests saw yesterday in two versions. The first video is the film itself, with ho sound and the other one was filmed during Staggs presentation and this one have the seven dwarfs song on it. I put both of them because the music helps to understand why these new cars swinging back and forth will fit perfectly with the music theme. Also, another video filmed by WDWFanBoys inside the Carousel of Projects area is showing more about these new train cars, from the Imagineering.

Staggs also detailed the attractions and dining experiences that WDW guests will discover when New Fantasyland will open next year:

Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid where guests will get to experience what it’s like to go under the sea with Ariel and her friends.
Enchanted Tales with Belle where families and children will have the opportunity to meet Belle with a whole new degree of interactivity and personalization.
Dumbo The Flying Elephant, complete with an interactive queue under the Big Top and not one but two Dumbo attractions.
Gaston’s Tavern, a place where guests can dine in splendor and pay tribute to the manliest of men…Gaston himself!
Be Our Guest Guests can dine in three separate dining rooms in the Beast’s castle. The main dining room is the Ballroom, where Belle and Beast had their first dance, in the West Wing or in the Castle Galley during lunch hours.

Edited: And Walt Disney Imagineering will create a new Audio-Animatronic of Lulière which promise to be astounding. Here is a video shot during Tom Staggs presentation of WDW New Fantasyland, in which you'll see a WDI Imagineer showing a CGI footage of how should move the future Lumière AA.

Tom also talked about Disney's California Adventure and the new Buena Vista Street where DCA guests "will be able ride the Red Car Trolley up Buena Vista Street to the new icon of the park, Carthay Circle Theatre — a recreation of the original theater where “Snow White and Seven Dwarfs” premiered in 1937. Guests will also be able to experience the park’s charming period architecture, mix of stores, eateries and guest services — it will be a whole new entry way into the park that immerses guests into the experience". Here is a fly-though video over Buena Vista Street which will open next year.

Last but not least Staggs also provided great details about Shanghaî Disneyland "Enchanted Storybook Castle". We already knew that SDL castle will be the biggest castle ever built in a magic kingdom, what we disnt knew was that it will be that big with four floors, a restaurant, shops and a unique flume ride with a boarding room located under the castle.

Here are some renderings in high-res and screen captures from the video you will see below.

From the official release "The Enchanted Storybook Castle is going to be the largest and most immersive castle at any Disney park around the world and it will be the first of our castles not dedicated to a specific princess because it represents all of them. Inside, guests will be able to explore the multi-level castle, which will feature a princess meet and greet, the first ever Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique princess makeover experience inside a castle and Once Upon a Time Adventure, a large-scale, walkthrough experience. Also for the first time, the castle will be part of a boat ride attraction that will be one of the anchor experiences of Fantasyland."

Below, you will see the very first rendering showing one of the boats, here under the castle before moving out for a slow ride all around SDL Fantasyland.

When you see these four different floors, all that guests will find inside the castle - and although i don't doubt that the theming will be stunning - i sincerely hope that WDI will have well thought the guests flow as obviously each SDL guest will rush inside the castle to explore each of its floors. And i don't know why but i have the feeling that it's gonna be crowded in there if the only way to go up and down is the beautiful spiral staircase...we'll see.

This next video provide a sneak peek around and inside Shanghaî Disneyland Enchanted Storybook Castle.

Edited: Bob Weis did an appearance at Tom Staggs presentation, talking about SDL. I remind you that Bob Weis is the show producer on Shanghaî Disneyland, so he's the right guy to listen to, and here he discloses more secrets about the SDL enchanted Storybook Castle.

Being chairman of Disney Parks AND Resorts, Staggs also talked about the Disney Cruise Line and of course the new Disney's Aulani Resort in Hawaii opening August 29. Here is a new great video with Imagineer Joe Rhode for a video tour of the resort as the finishing touches were being finalized, showing the amazing theming work done at Aulani. Don't miss also two other videos posted in friday article HERE.

Edited: And now, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, for those of you who wish to see the whole presentation of Tom Staggs, here is it, in three parts filmed by thebugger2000:

All pictures: copyright Disney

Videos: copyright Disney or WDWFanBoys or WellConnectedMom or 1screamvideos or thebugger2000. Thanks a lot to all of them for their great videos!

Click HERE for direct access to the TDS Wallpapers HD iTunes page
or READ my article first HERE.

Friday, August 19, 2011

D23 Expo Carousel of Projects - Pictorial report by Andy Castro

That's it, the D23 Expo is now officially open and just like two years ago Andy Castro kindly provided D&M some great shots. Note that most of the pictures below were shot during the press event which happened thursday evening, that's the reason why there is no crowds on the pictures below, but for sure there will be a lot of fans during all week-end. Today, we'll have a look to what Disney fans awaited the most, the Disney Parks Carousel of Projects area. Please note that this article will be updated as soon as i receive new pictures from Andy.

Edited Saturday morning with the Carousel of Projects pre-show video! Scroll down to watch the video!

The two first pictures show the outside of the Anaheim convention center and the entrance of D23.

This next one show the entrance of the Disney Parks area.

On the previous D23 Expo the Disney Parks area had a pre-show before guests go through the "magic curtain" and enter the main room. This time there is also a great pre-show, with a movie which last five minutes on a 189 degrees screen, and it's a fantastic nostalgic tribute to all Imagineering projects since the opening of Disneyland. Then, Tinkerbell send some pixie dust and just like last time the magic curtain open to the Imagineering area. Here are some screen shots of the movie and hopefully i'll embed a video of it very soon.

After the Disneyland nostalgia, the movie shows WDW history and all other theme parks built since the Magic Kingdom including Epcot, Tokyo Disneyland, Disney-Mgm, Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, etc...

The magic curtain then open on the left of the screen and guests enter the Disney Parks area, with in front of them a giant replica of the front of the new Disney Fantasy ship, launching in 2012.

This pre-show was designed by Imagineer Tom Morris - Tom was the show producer on DLP's castle and Fantasyland and on Hong Kong Disneyland - and personally i absolutely love this Carousel of Projects pre-show! Everything in this pre-show - and i mean really everything - is perfectly set, i also loved the choice of the sounds, the way the voice who introduces and close the show sounds like the one in the 1960's, the music, etc… It's a wonder of nostalgia and you can feel it was done with spirit and heart! To check all this here is a video of the full pre-show filmed by GJMOON. Of course, if you're planning to go at D23 this week-end, don't watch it now!

Edited: Note that the video below is a newly embedded video showing better the 180 degrees Carousel of Projects screen.

Right on the left when guests exit this pre-show, a selection of WDI renderings of upcoming attractions. Note that in this new D23 edition WDI decided to display more props and models than artwork, so these are basically the only one you'll see.

Right after the artworks is the highly detailed WDW New Fantasyland model...

Next picture is a view of Seven Dwarfs Mine ride, with Little Mermaid's Eric castle and Beast castle in the background.

On the next pictures, a closer shot of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train model with Dwarfs cottage.

A real size Seven Dwarf train wagon was also on display near New Fantasyland model. You can see the virtual ride video in the Tom Staggs Presentation HERE.

Behind the Seven Dwarfs coaster WDW guests will find Ariel's Undersea Adventure and the architecture of Eric Castle.

On the next shot the rockwork on the center right will be Ariel's Grotto.

And right in front of it the merchandise shops of the attraction.

Beast Castle, up on the hill...

...and one of the cottages of Belle's Village.

A closer view on the new Dumbo ride, Great Goofini coaster and Story Book Circus area.

Here is a great video showing the model filmed by Jeff Lange. By the way, i remind you that Jeff is always doing great Dvd's of Disney Parks that you can find on his site HERE.

Next, was the Disney's California Adventure model. We'll begin by the part showing the entrance and Buena Vista Street with the Red Tram.

Next is the Carthay Theater and the new little fountain in the middle of the plaza.

A bigger model of the Carthay Theater was also display at Carousel of Projects.

D23 guests also attend a special DCA panel with WDI Imagineers talking about the future Buena Vista Street, and here is the full video of it, in three parts, filmed by thebugger2000.

Nearby, some Cars Land vehicles were there in real size, like Red...

...the Radiator Springs Racer car...

...and the one of Mater's Junkyard Jamboree.

Here is a video of Red, the Fire Engine shot by Andy.

Close to them, on a large screen, some panoramic great pictures of Cars Land...

...and a video of it, always shot by Andy.

If you haven't watched it yet, i strongly recommend that you have a look at the Cars Land preview panel with John Lasseter and WDI Imagineers Roger Gould, Kathy Mangum, Kevin Rafferty, Jennifer Mok and David Fisher. Here is the full video of it, in three parts, filmed by thebugger2000.

Last but not least, plenty of D23 guests enjoyed the great Destini, a small Audio-Animatronic reading in your future! Here is an excellent video of Destini also filmed by thebugger2000.

A model of Shanghaî Disneyland was also presented at Carousel of Projects and i will do a special article about it very soon.

All pictures: copyright Andy Castro. I remind you that you can find weekly Disneyland Resort reports by Andy Castro on Mice Age each monday!

Videos: copyright Disney or Andy Castro, or 1screamvideos, or thebugger2000, or Jeff Lange.

Click HERE for direct access to the TDS Wallpapers HD iTunes page
or READ my article first HERE.