Saturday, January 28, 2012

Disneyland Paris That Never Was !

As you know we are planning to reprint the great Disneyland Paris "From Sketch to Reality" book and we are now entering in the production of the book, the printing itself should happen in a few weeks. There is 750 pictures in the book including 250 renderings from Walt Disney Imagineering but those of you who don't already own the book might not know that you'll find also in the book many artworks showing the "Disneyland Paris that never was"! I will show you today some of them, beginning by the one above showing a winter scene of DLP entrance as envisioned by WDI Imagineers.

The next one below is part of the concept-arts for the very first concept of Main street, and we were at two fingers to have at DLP a really different Main Street than the one which exist now. Instead to have a “turn of the century” theming, Eddie Sotto, Main Street show-producer, had designed a Main Street set up at the 1920’s-30’s, at an era which was ruled by gangsters but also the golden era of jazz and cinema, and it would have been a totally different design as you can see on the Colin Campbell artwork below.

Another artwork, this one by Eddie Sotto himself, is showing the elevated tramway concept, going all along Main Street and inside the MS arcades. The idea of the elevated tramway was finally realized at Tokyo Disney Sea in the American Waterfront area.

Always in that 1930’s theming, a luxurious art-deco restaurant - a kind of private“club 33” -located behind the Main Street Transportation Co. building was envisioned and would have give you the feeling that you’re dining on a train.

One of the most amazing concepts for DLP castle was the one looking like a futuristic castle designed by Tim Delaney.

In Adventureland the Temple du Peril had several exciting ideas, unfortunately never realized like the one below...

In Discoveryland Star Tours almost had an AT - T at the entrance instead of the X-Wing fighter...

...but one of the greatest concept ever envisioned for DLP, the one that would have stunned all DLP fans, was the first concept of Space Mountain at that time called Discovery Mountain... which you would have found not only the Space Mountain coaster but also the Nautilus submarine as well as a Journey to the Center of the Earth drop ride - the vulcano that you can see in the background of this Tim Delaney artwork.

Mind you, the DLP concepts that never were were also envisioned for the outside of the park, like this incredible restaurant concept supposed to be build in what is now the Disney Village...

...or this amazing concept for one of the hotels of the park which was designed with the shape of an aircraft carrier by austrian architect Hans Hollein.

There is dozens more of these "DLP that never was" artworks in the Disneyland Paris book, all fascinating, and that's one more good reason to pre-order your collector copy right now, specially considering that during the pre-order period which will end in a few weeks you also have a 20% discount on what will be the final price of the book. I repost below the video showing you each page of the book and to know how to order and send your payment please go HERE. Paypal or bank wire transfer payments are accepted.

Artwork: copyright Disney

Video: copyright Alain Littaye 2012

Universal Orlando Announces New Cinematic Spectacular Fountain Show to rival World of Color

Although it hasn't been announced yet officially we know that Universal Orlando has the project to expand the Harry Potter land at Universal Orlando park, and not Islands of Adventure where the "part one" of the land has been built. We also know how damaging it has been for WDW and apparently Disney consider that because of the Harry Potter land guests are staying one day less at WDW.

Obviously the part two of the Potter land, if it's build at UNI instead than IOA, is going to be a nightmare for WDW executives as it'll mean that UNI guests coming for Harry Potter will probably stay two days instead of one, as they'll need a two parks tickets - and it will be hard for them to see the whole two parks in one day. Until now the only good news for WDW was not only the opening of the new Fantasyland later this year but also that their Potter part two won't open before 2014 or 2015.

But apparently Universal was not decided to wait 2 or 3 more years to have their guests staying longer in the parks and they announced a new nighttime show at Universal Orlando lagoon, called "Cinematic Spectacular". And guess what? It's a fountain show with projections on waterfall screens, and yes, it's the counter-attack of Universal to Disney's World of Color! Universal know that Disney have no plans to bring World of Color at WDW in a near future and apparently they decided to build their own "World of color" based on Universal phenomenal movie library. And the new show - as well as a new parade - will open...this spring!

Here is Universal official statement about this Cinematic Spectacular lagoon show: "Narrated by award-winning actor and recent Golden Globe - Cecil B. DeMille honoree, Morgan Freeman, Universal Orlando’s brand-new nighttime show, Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular, will celebrate the most powerful and emotional moments from Universal Pictures’ most iconic films – all on cutting-edge waterfall screens within the Universal Studios lagoon and surrounded by colorful fountains and pyrotechnics. The experience will take guests on a journey through epic cinematic moments filled with heroes, horror, laughter, good vs. evil and triumph. The new show opens this spring, runs all summer and then on select nights through the end of the year".

And here is the video announcement by Universal.

Now, as if this was not enough, Universal Orlando also announced a new "Superstar Parade which will feature familiar animated characters with all-new floats through the streets of Universal Studios Florida"...

...and a new 3D attraction called "Despicable Me Minion Mayhem", "which will take guests on an unforgettable 3-D adventure with their favorite characters from the hit film – Gru, Margo, Edith, Agnes and the mischievous minions. The experience begins when guests enter Gru’s home, where they learn that they’re being recruited to become minions and undergo “minion training.” Things don’t go as planned, and guests find themselves on a wildly hysterical journey with Gru and his daughters. Once guests make it through training, they join an interactive, minion-inspired dance party where they can show off their best is the video announcement". here is the video announcement...

...AND they also announced a major upgrade of the beloved Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man ride at Islands of Adventure: "Universal Orlando is transforming what is already one of the most amazing attraction experiences ever created into what will feel like an all-new adventure. The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man will soon feature all-new, 4K digital high-definition animation, new high tech 3-D glasses and upgrades to the set, audio and lighting systems. The re-animation of the ride film will include an entirely new level of detail for guests to discover, including a cameo by legendary comic book icon and Spider-Man co-creator, Stan Lee". Here is the video announcement as well as an example of the new animation of one scene of the ride.

All of these are opening this year and obviously Universal intend to be ready for 2012 to face WDW New Fantasyland opening...

With Disneyland Paris 20th Ann Disney Dreams! show in front of Sleeping Beauty castle it will be the second major fountain show to open in 2012. By the way, talking about the DLP show, although i have no doubt that Disney Dreams! will be great there is a good news and a bad one coming with it: the good news is that the Disney Dreams! show is here to stay, even after the 20th anniversary. Now for the bad one: as i told you quite a while ago DLP had the project to build a small lake at the Walt Disney Studios to install the World of Color show. It would have been a night time show, but now that they will have the Disney Dreams fountain show at DLP i think we can say bye-bye to have a World of Color at the WDS as it will be very surprising that they decide to have two fountains show using more or less the same technology in both parks. Not to mention that WOC would have been probably more expensive to build than the upcoming Disney Dreams show...

To come back to Florida we'll see what the next round will be between WDW and UNI - and from who it will come - but it promise to be interesting!

Pictures and videos: copyright Universal Studios

First Composite Cars Land Picture !

Disney has released a first picture of Cars Land Radiator Springs Racer, a composite picture that is, meaning that there is a lot of photoshoping on it! That said the picture looks great and will remind to those of you who may have forgotten that two cars will race side by side during the last part of the ride. Click on it to see it in larger size!

Picture: copyright Disney

Friday, January 27, 2012

Tokyo Disneyland : Perfect Cast-Member or Audio-Animatronic ?

Wr already knew that Tokyo Disney resort have a perfect park maintenance but now we know they also have amazingly perfect cast-members as you will see on this short and definitely hilarious video filmed at the exit of the Snow White dark ride at Tokyo Disneyland.

As you know there is always a cast-member to greet the guests when the Snow White vehicle arrive at the end of the ride. Now at TDL they have a cast-member who is greeting the guests on each vehicle arrival, again and again, with an incredible perfection that normally only Audio-Animatronics are able to do when they repeat programmed movements. Here, of course, it is not an audio-animatronic but just a real human being doing an amazing job!

Video: copyright nextfive

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Disneyland Paris Update !

Here is a new Disneyland Paris update thanks to pictures shot recently by a good friend of mine and we begin by the fountains installation all around Sleeping Beauty castle for the awaited 20th anniversary Disney Dreams! fountain show. Little by little the fountains mechanism are being installed in the castle ditches and, as the show is supposed to have its premiere at the beginning of April or the very last days of March, rehearsals should begin anytime soon. Below, pictures of some of the already installed fountains.

The World of Disney store located at the entrance of the Disney Village area is also part of what will be new at DLP this year. The scaffoldings that were still all around the building last month are down and we can now have a better look at the World of Disney art-deco sculptures and architecture. Note that the art-deco style will fit well with the backside of the Gaumont movie theaters but not the front side which will be partly hidden by the WOD store as you can see on the first picture below.

In the Disneyland Paris park, a small refurbishment can be seen on the Mark Twain - Molly Brown pier in Frontierland...

...but what each DLP fans is waiting for are the beginning of the works on the Ratatouille attraction at the Walt Disney Studios. On a picture shot by Theme Park Zone you can see the area located behind the Costuming building where DLPI Imagineers will build the ride. All trees of the land have been removed so the land is clear and works should begin anytime soon. Talking about its construction it's more official than ever now as we can see on all official notice boards like the one below. But if you have a closer look at it you'll note that is written "construction of an attraction AND a restaurant.." as it is now also official, thanks to a new construction permit, that a restaurant will be build in the Ratatouille area. Its name will be "La Ratatouille" and it's supposed to be a table service restaurant which will be more than logical if they want to stay in the theme of the movie.

Finally, as you might know we're preparing the re-print of the beloved Disneyland Paris book "From Sketch to Reality" - the printing should happen next march - and if you didn't came on Disney and more last week you might have missed a great video showing you each page of the book. You can watch it below and, as it is not too late to place your pre-order and have a 20% discount on the final price, please go HERE to learn how to pre-order and send your payment for a collector's edition copy! Note that the pre-order period will stop in February so don't wait too much to order your collector's copy to make sure you'll get it at the pre-order special price.

Pictures and video: copyright Disney and more, Disney Central Plaza

Monday, January 23, 2012

Editor's Note: The Year of the Dragon began yesterday and i have a double report for you on the celebration, at HKDL or Bangkok Chinatown with an exclusive video!

D&M Special Report : Year of the Dragon Celebration in Bangkok Chinatown

The Year of the Dragon began yesterday and the chinese new year was celebrated all around the world, and of course especially in Asia. I have a special report for you of the celebration in Bangkok, and even a short movie!

I recommend to those of you who would like to know more about the meaning and symbolism of the chinese new year - Asia biggest event of the year to have a look at this Wikipedia page HERE. That said, let's fly to Bangkok, Thailand in Bangkok Chinatown, and more specially Yaowarat road, Chinatown main avenue where happened yesterday the celebration. You'll see below a pictorial report and a video which i hope will give you an idea of how Bangkok inhabitants celebrated the Year of the Dragon yesterday evening.

Everyone was waiting for the arrival of the Queen Sirikit and her daughter who opened the celebrations - you'll see the Queen in her Rolls passing by in the video. To those of you who don't know Thailand King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit they're almost considered as gods, and i must say that personally, just like the Thais, i consider King Bhumibol as the greatest king on Earth.

Here is the video of this memorable evening of the Year of the Dragon celebration, and below some colorful pictures!

Yes, the Dragon was there!

People were praying in all Chinatown temples, hoping that the gods will bring luck and protection all along the new year...

Pictures and video: copyright Disney and more