Saturday, September 3, 2011

Celebrate Tokyo Disney Sea 10th Anniversary !

Ten years ago, a theme park now considered as one of the most beautiful theme park in the world - if not THE most beautiful - was opening its gates. Yes, today it's Tokyo Disney Sea 10th Anniversary and to celebrate it here is a video tribute to this stunning park, with videos of its making-of as well as new full ride HD videos of four great TDS rides. But before i remind you that you can also find a great collection of TDS original artwork on the artwork section of Disney and more HERE,

We'll begin this TDS celebration with a great special report filmed by Travel Channel ten years ago, a kind of making-of of TDS, in five parts below.

And now, what about an Indiana Jones ride? Here is a pretty good video filmed by Theme Park Review of TDS Temple of the Crystal Skull full ride.

Another TDS ride have a totally different story line than the U.S versions, and it's the Tower of Terror, as you will see in this next video showing both the pre-show and scenes of the show itself.

Near Lost River Delta TDS guests can explore Arabian Coast where they will find the Sindbad ride, here is the video of it, showing the new version.

But one of the best ride - and unique to Tokyo Disney Sea - is certainly the fantastic Journey to the Center of the Earth ride, designed by Tom Thordarson - don't miss the great article i did with Tom HERE. Here is a great HD video of the full ride.

If you're living in Tokyo i hope you will be able to join today's celebration. And if you can't, a great way to share the beauty of TDS for those of you having an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch is to discover my TDS Wallpapers HD application that you can download on the iTunes Appstore! I repost below in the second part of this article the app sneak preview article and you can also click HERE for a direct access to the TDS Wallpapers HD iTunes Appstore page

Since i've done the Disneyland Paris "From sketch to Reality" book i don't count all the people who asked me to do the same kind of book about Tokyo Disney Sea. I would love to do it and may be it will happen someday, but for now i've designed this great application which is a tribute to TDS which is largely considered as "the most beautiful theme park in the world".

The application works great on all iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, it includes hundreds of gorgeous high-res pictures of TDS and and is available now on the iTunes Appstore for the very low price of $1.99 or 1.59€, which should be an affordable price for everyone.

The app is called in the Appstore "TDS Wallpapers HD" and the app features include:
1. NEW user interface. Categorized Wallpapers. Ability to sort the wallpapers by land.
2. Optimized wallpapers for each iOS devices. Fast wallpaper download.
3. HD Pictures designed to take full advantage of the new iPhone 4 and iPod Touch retina screen! Looks gorgeous on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch screens!
4. Ability to save each picture to enjoy them offline
5. Save your favorite pictures in the favorite section
6. Caption for each picture and Wikipedia link for each land or attraction for full infos about each site
7. Ability to zoom in each picture. Simple swipe to advance / revisit the pictures
8. Share with your friends on Facebook!

You will find in the app fantastic pictures of each land and here are some examples: First, on the menu page - picture above - you'll have the choice between ten buttons designed as scrolls and depending of your choice you'll access to "all pictures" or pictures of each land. If you choose this last option then the first land will be Mediterranean Harbor with either pictures of the Renaissance Fortress and Galleon (picture at the top of this article)...or the great Venitian area, and many more...

The app includes day and night pictures and the night pictures are awesome! Here is two night shots of Mysterious Island, one with Mysterious Island volcano in the background...

...and the other one, a close shot of the Nautilus.

Approximately half of the photos were shot by me when i was invited at the press event, one week before the park opened, which means that the park was absolutely brand new, and the other half by a good friend of mine who is a brilliant photographer and a big TDS fan, too. Next examples pics are about the Arabian Coast with great view of the land...

...or closer shot on the Arabian decor. I remind you that these are just examples and that there is many pics for each land.

Considering that it is a wallpaper app we did the best possible picture choice so whatever the picture you'll choose to put on your device front page they will look great. Next land is Lost River Delta and you'll find many outside pictures of the land but also great pics of the unique Indiana Jones ride queue decor.

Some examples of the pictures you'll find in the Port Discovery section with this large view of the land...

...or the TDS elevated tramway arriving at Port Discovery station.

The Cape Cod part of the park is also present in the app with day or night pictures like the one below.

No need to say that American Waterfront and its gorgeous decor have dozens of pictures in the app whether it is the S.S Columbia...

...the amazing architecture of TDS Tower of Terror...

...or the great American Waterfront elevated tramway.

In addition to the day pictures the section also include fantastic pics of the land at night like this one...

...or this one of the S.S Columbia.

Depending of your computer screen the pictures above will look probably good but i can assure you that it's nothing in comparison of how they look on an iPhone or an iPad screen thanks to the screen devices technology. And for each picture you'll find a Wikipedia link for more details on each land or attractions, not to mention the other features listed above.

TDS Wallpapers HD is also a GREAT app for those of you who are planning to visit the park and there is links to the TDS site for your reservations, if needed.

TDS Wallpapers HD is now available on the iTunes Appstore for $1.99 or 1.59€ and you will find it HERE. One last important thing: after you've downloaded the app thanks to leave a comment on iTunes, as we know good comments are always needed and welcome. Thanks by advance, and enjoy the app!

TDS App Pictures: copyright Park Lane Editions

Videos' copyright Disney or Theme Park Review

Friday, September 2, 2011

New WDI Artwork for WDW New Fantasyland

Is there a better way to end the week than with new artwork from Walt Disney Imagineering? Probably not, and thanks to Disney Parks here are some new renderings for WDW New Fantasyland. Well, half of them were unseen before but i also re-post others which are now released in better definition.

The first one above is of course showing a scene of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and it's an interesting one as it reminds me what i've seen and told you in a previous article called "A closer look at New Fantasyland artwork". On the big rendering showing the whole New Fantasyland, once enlarged, i noticed that scene showing the seven dwarfs "coming back home", standing on a big tree trunk - see picture below. On the artwork above you still have the tree trunk but the seven dwarfs are not there anymore. Does this mean that there won't stand on it when the ride will open in 2013? Not necessarily, as WDI might want to keep some scene details secret...

Close to the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, there will be Story Book circus and this new artwork shows the entrance of the new Dumbo ride with its interactive queue.

This next one shows the Princess Fairytale Hall - previously the Snow White dark ride location - where young girls will be able to meet and greet with their favorite princess.

Another artwork, this one showing the Ursula's Lair scene in the Little Mermaid attraction.

But most of the new renderings are showing scenes of Belle's village. This first one below was known...

Once inside Maurice's cottage guests will be able to engage in a playful story time with Belle and Lumière...

This next artwork shows the inside of the Bonjour Village Gift shop.

In Gaston's Pub, another highlight of Belle's Village area...

...WDW guests - and according to the artwork even young girls - will be able to enjoy a good ol' beer. Wait, you say, even young girls and boys? My guess is that it won't be real beer - i mean, not beer with alcohol and probably it will be Disney's version of Harry Potter highly successful "Butterbeer"...

And as it will be Gaston's Pub, in pure logic this portrait of Gaston will find its natural place in the pub.

All artwork: copyright Disney

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Some "video news" of HKDL and TDS

A new video update of HKDL expansion was posted on Youtube by michael20183 and things begin to take shape in the new lands, specially in Grizzly Gulch, HKDL small "Frontierland". Mystic Manor main building is also under construction, and Toy story Playland is now finished and all attractions in test mode. TSP should open in November and Grizzly Gulch in the middle of 2012.

In Tokyo, Tokyo Disney Sea will celebrate in a few days its 10th anniversary and a promotional clip was released to invite to "be magical"! Have a look!

Hat tip to Blue Sky Disney for the TDS video.

Videos: copyright michael20183 and Oriental Land co

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

Awaited Transformers ride will open next December at Universal Singapore

It's official: the new Transformers ride will open next December 2011. Not at Universal Studios Hollywood but at Universal Studios Singapore! And not only it's official but Universal Singapore has opened a blog where news about this highly awaited ride will be post regularly.

I remind you that the ride is expected to use the same technology than in Spiderman ride at IOA and should be incredibly spectacular. Universal Singapore also released this first video clip which include the footage shown at ComicCon last month, and in which you'll see what is probably a few seconds of some of the ride's projection movies. My feeling is that this one will be a major E-Ticket ride.

Picture and video: copyright Universal Studios

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hong Kong Disneyland Halloween will start Sept 22 !

Get ready to “lose your head” at Hong Kong Disneyland’s Haunted Halloween as the intriguing Headless Horseman reported to be haunting the town anywhere, anytime! Now officially announced
Hong Kong Disneyland Halloween will start Sept 22 and here is the menu of this 2011 edition which will introduce the famous Headless horseman character.

(Hong Kong, August 25, 2011) Frightful fun is in full force this year at Disney’s Haunted Halloween as the Headless Horseman is on a rampage and is loose in the park, searching for the fiend who took his head. Every Thursday through Sunday night after 6:00 pm during September 22 to October 31, as well as October 4 and 31, Guests can have their choices of how they will “lose their heads” with a HK$228 night ticket at Hong Kong Disneyland.

The Dark Side of Disney has never before extended so far and wide, permeating every pathway of Hong Kong Disneyland. Morbid curiosity brings Guests to a traveling show, “Revenge of the Headless Horseman,” to visit its main exhibit – the head of the Headless Horseman. Don’t miss the prequel to the parade when the Headless Horseman rides down the street on his imposing horse, in search of both his head and revenge for the crime committed against him.

From the immortal lost souls of the townsfolk of America in 1900’s, still lifelessly roaming the pavements of “Main Street U.S.A – Ghost Town,” to the beings haunting the “Cursed Jungle” of Adventureland, haunted spirits cannot be avoided. “Tomorrowland – Party Zone” offers some great high energy games and entertainment which you and your friends are sure to enjoy.

If Guests are looking for Halloween fun the whole family can enjoy to entice giggles instead of screams, then Fantasyland is the destination for you with some great Trick or Treat fun.

“With our young adult Guests in mind, we have come up with new surprises for them to make Disney’s Haunted Halloween a must see again this year,” said Frederick Chan, Director of Marketing, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort (with blue trousers, picture above). “For the first time, we will launch an attractive group-buy promotion through “Yahoo! Deals” for early Halloween celebrators to be among the first to experience Halloween. Guests can also enjoy unlimited access to our Halloween festivities every Thursday from September 22 to October 27 by buying a HK$229 Thursday Night Pass at Circle K Convenience Stores. Just HK$1 extra on top of our night ticket entitles you to every Thursday!”

“Young adults are also very digitally-savvy these days. We have spent more time to think creatively in terms of content creation, whether it is weaving in interactive elements into the in-Park experience or creating innovative marketing ideas that allow our Guests to be immersed in our Haunted Halloween story anytime, anywhere. All they need is to download the ‘Disney’s Haunted Halloween app on their iPhones, and they will be surprised by what new experiences the augmented reality (AR) technology will bring to them. And, for the first time, Guests can enjoy watching a series of six “spirited” episodes created for the Web. They can map their faces on characters inside the video simply by uploading a photo of themselves. This will enable them to get to know the Headless Horseman back story before they come to the Park,” added Chan.

Revenge of the Headless Horseman

This traveling show is set up in the heart of Adventureland, and the con artist exhibitor claims to have the head of the Headless Horseman as the main exhibit. But you are not the only one attracted to this sideshow. The Headless Horseman himself has come to claim what has been stolen from him. Angered by the con artist exhibitor and his false claims the Horseman has come to seek revenge. You want to view his head - now he wants yours. Escape before you suffer the fate of those before you.

Glow in the Park Parade featuring the Headless Horseman

Once a year when dark forces prevail, this spooky sensation glows in the dark and rocks the Park. This year there is a new villain to pave the way. Don’t miss the prequel to the parade when the Headless Horseman rides down the street. Justice will only be attained when he takes a Head for a Head. Take care it’s not yours he seeks.

Be amazed by the floats as they transform and glow right before your eyes. Join Jack Skellington and his creepy Pumpkin Men and behold the horror of Dr Finkelstein’s Lab. Scream with the Disney Villains and gasp at the shocking Red Devils with their spine-chilling acrobatics. Don’t miss the rockin’ dance moves as the Ghostly Pirate Ship creates a rousing finale.

Adventureland – Cursed Jungle

As darkness rises so do the nocturnal mythical creatures and ghoulish souls exiled for eternity and trapped for centuries in Adventureland. Black magic and ancient incantations have released the unearthly beings to once again prowl among the living and instill fear in anyone who dares trespass on their territory. Explore cautiously as it's inevitable that you will come face to face with the many new jungle inhabitants as they lie in wait around every cursed corner. Be daring and remember to capture a photo of your spirited adventures.

Tomorrowland – Party Zone

Engage in the infectious energy and array of activities at this year’s Halloween party zone. Enjoy music, roving entertainment, stage performances and interactive fun with your friends. There will be special appearances of celebrity DJ’s who will interact with Guests on selected evenings with fun-filled activities and more. A Party Squad is also on the prowl to reward those with the best dressed Halloween costumes. Guests should also drop by the Boo-tique and unleash their Halloween spirit with a spooky makeover and a spray tattoo from HK$ 250 upwards. The popular Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy will also return, with more eerie screams piercing the night air.

Main Street U.S.A. – Ghost Town

The moment you enter Main Street USA you will immediately be transported back to the 1900’s – a seemingly simpler time. The only difference is all the inhabitants of this town have been dead for hundreds of years. From nearly every doorway, ghosts of a forgotten era emerge stumbling and staggering into the street to mingle with the living.

Without warning the music will turn to a heart-throbbing beat, supernatural energy will fill the Zombies and their deadly dance begins. Be part of the chilling fun if you dare by playing along and engaging the spirits in some ghostly photo moments. When the Halloween atmosphere on the street reaches its climax, their time will be up, and the ghosts will vanish in a blink. Night time is their time so beware… they will return from the depths when you least expect it!

Main Street Haunted Hotel

Over a hundred years ago, something went terribly wrong with the hotel situated in Main Street U.S.A., and it became haunted thereafter. The reason has always remained a mystery. Only recently has it been discovered that Victoria Maxwell was taken by the dark force and her ghostly soul now roams the rooms and corridors of the hotel, hungry for new victims and eager to scare guests with new antics. So, if you seek a spine tingling experience, check into the Hotel. We hope that you’ll be able to check out.

Be sure to download the Main Street Haunted Hotel app for another unexpected ghostly encounter.

New AR technology offer to our Guests

With the young adult Guests in mind, Hong Kong Disneyland has come up with new surprises for them to make Disney's Haunted Halloween a must see again this year. All they need is to download the "Disney's Haunted Halloween app on their iPhones, and they will be surprised by what new experiences the augmented reality (AR) technology will bring to them.

Trick or Treat Spooktacular at Fantasyland

Don’t miss the Halloween high jinks we have for the whole family in Fantasyland this year. This spooky Halloween setting is just right for adults and children alike. As night falls, come and see what playful festivities we have in store for you. Visit all the Trick or Treat locations to collect some candy and meet and greet with Mickey, Duffy and the whole gang, who are waiting for you in their new Halloween costumes. Remember to join in the frightful merriment by dressing up for the season – you may even be rewarded for your efforts.

Ghoulish goodies & devilish bites

All-new Haunted Halloween souvenirs are the perfect way to remind Guests of all the laughter they’ve shared with their friends and family. The over 130 merchandise items specially designed for Disney’s Haunted Halloween this year will only be available for a limited time, so be sure to purchase them while they are still available!

After hours of scary fun and ghoulish adventures, satisfy your appetite with our tempting Halloween-themed menu served throughout the Park and Resort. You can enjoy our wide selection of scrumptious International style cuisine, plus lots of Halloween fun with your friends and family!

“Lose your head” your way – Halloween Themed Hotel Room and Wicked Tour

For just HK$500 on top of the hotel room or “Room and Ticket Package for 2 Persons*,” Guests can extend their frightful fun to their hotel rooms with some Halloween-themed surprises and also receive priority entrance to one of the two haunted houses.

Join the new Haunted Wicked Tour for HK$3,388 for a group of up to six people where our hosts will customize your experience and include priority entrance to the Haunted attractions. Guests will also get a private meet and greet session with a haunting Disney character so be ready to grab the camera for a frightfully good time.

1-Day tickets and night tickets are available at the Hong Kong Disneyland Ticket Express in the MTR Hong Kong Station, the Hong Kong Disneyland Main Entrance, the two themed hotels, “Hong Kong Disneyland Ticketing Booth” at The Peak Tower, Avenue of Stars Kiosks in Tsim Sha Tsui, all Circle K Convenience Stores in Hong Kong and selected travel agents. Simply visit or call the Disney Reservation Center at +852 1830 830 for more details on tickets and hotel reservations.

Text and pictures: copyright Disney

Sunday, August 28, 2011

" The Anachronism " , great Steampunk short and charming tribute to 20K

"The Anachronism" is an award winning short movie which should delight 20000 Leagues under the sea and Jules Verne fans. But most of all it's a wonderful Steampunk story about two children who discover the wreck of a giant squid submarine on a beach near their home...

Reviews of the movie were very good and Quiet Earth said “A Beautiful Steampunk Vision comes to life”. For Daily Gumboot the movie is “As haunting as it is beautiful” and Gizmodo web site declared “The Anachronism is more than worth the 15 minutes you need to set aside to watch it.”

For sure, this delightful children tale directed by Matthew Gordon Long worth the 15 minutes it'll take you to watch it, and so i've embedded it below. Watch it full screen of course, and hope you will like it!

The Anachronism (Full Film) from Anachronism Pictures on Vimeo.

Video: copyright Anachronism Pictures.

Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular Behind the Scenes

Who don't love the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular stunt show? Great stunts and explosions recreate famous scenes from Raiders of the Lost Ark, and recentlycDisney Parks released a short "behind the scenes" video. Here is is!

Video: copyright Disney