Saturday, May 26, 2012

Carthay Circle Theater Fountain Unveiled

You probably heard that the walls around the Carthay Circle Theater are down and although the Carthay restaurant won't open before June 15th at DCA each guest can discover this recreation of an old Hollywood iconic theatre in all its outside beauty. From what i can see, not being at DCA, the Imagineers did a pretty good job, the only thing that i don't like is this "Premiere Cuisine" title on the
front which, seen from a french point of view, sounds a bit ridiculous. It's also strange that they've been all that way to recreate the theater and then used 1950's plastic letters on a white plexiglas instead of the black rear lit letters that are true to period and classy.

Although they did a good job, as i've said, one big thing which existed on the original theater is missing, and it's the big neon sign that you can see on the picture below. There is no doubt that WDI Imagineers choose deliberately to don't reproduce it for esthetic reasons, and personally i think they were right as the sign would have been too big, visually speaking, for California Adventure.

But today, the new Carthay Circle Fountain was also revealed and Disney Parks released a short video to introduce it. Have a look!

Edited: A D&M reader left in the comments: "What a missed opportunity for DCA!!! Such a beautiful building ... and then only use it as a restaurant!?
Does anybody know why they didn't put an attraction in it? After all it is supposed to represent a theatre ... so it could have been the perfect place to show the great Cinémagique for the first time in a US Disney park".

I must say that it is an absolute brilliant idea. No other place in any other U.S Disney theme park could be a better choice than the Carthay Circle Theatre to introduce the wonderful Cinémagique attraction which is a tribute to cinema history! An attraction in tribute to Walt was envisioned for the Carthay and unfortunately cancelled, probably to reduce the costs of DCA placemaking.

Picture and video: copyright Disney

Marvel / Pixar Super-Heroes !

Here is a short but cool post for the week-end. In these times of Marvel / Avengers mania a talented fan had fun to transform three iconic Marvel Pixar characters!

So, above you'll have a Captain America / Mr Incredible...and below a Wolverine / Sully...

...And here is a Hulk / Carl Fredricksen!

One more for the road - and for action figures fans - with this Iron Man / Buzz Lightyear action figure!

Pictures: copyright Worth

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Here is why WDI will not disclose any details about Shanghaî Disneyland rides before 2015

Disney fans were a bit disappointed at D23 Expo last year by the Shanghaî Disneyland model and i have to admit that SDL Imagineers have been pretty smart in what looked like a brilliant "We're-happy-to show-you the-SDL-model-but-without-revealing-anything" demonstration. But you know what? They were right to do it this way. Sure, for Disney fans it was quite frustrating but when you watch the video below filmed one year ago at the Suzhou Amusement Land in China you'll get why the less concept details of Shanghaî Disneyland WDI reveal, the best it will be.

As you will see in a few seconds Suzhou Amusement Land did a perfect copy of It's a Small World. Well, perfect is not really the right word as almost none of the figures are audio-animatronics, but they didn't care about copying the ideas, design, etc...almost everything! And when i mean "everything" its really everything as they even took the It's a Small World song! No kidding. And in complete impunity. That said, let's be fair: all chinese don't spend their time to copy occidental concepts, but for those who do it, nothing is stopping them! As Shanghaî Disneyland is a joint venture between Disney and chinese officials the plagiarists may think twice before stealing SDL designs - may be they're not afraid of occidental corporations but they're probably more of their own officials...

So, i'm sure that after you've watched this video you will accept to wait two or three more years to discover the SDL concepts in details, that's the price to pay to have unique rides that won't be seen anywhere else before SDL opening day. And that's also the reason why i don't post any SDL renderings that were not disclosed officially - but i don't have any secret one anyway...

Go ahead and discover this infamous copy of IASW, just to be aware of how big the copycat problem can be.

Video: copyright Theme Park Review

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Important Editor's Note about the HKDL and TDS Iphone - iPad Apps: We have a problem since 10 days on four of my iPhone - iPad applications, including the one about HKDL and TDS. I noticed the problem only last monday when i received some mails from customer who have bought the apps. What happened is that the server of the programmers who did the program of the apps had crashed. They are trying to put in place a new one and we hope to have it working by the end of the month. When i learned about this i was not happy, of course, and all the apps created with them are for now not anymore on sale on the iTunes Appstore until the problem will be resolved. I will post a message here to let everyone know when it will be working fine again. Again, deeply sorry about this problem and hope everything will be fine soon. If not, everyone who have bought the app since May 1st will of course get a refund. Thanks for your comprehension and patience.

From the DLP Lava Lagoon Water Park That Never Was to the Villages Nature Project, at WDI a Good Idea Never Die

In a recent interview to the french news magazine L'Express, Philippe Gas DLP CEO answered to the journalist question about "a water park at DLP ?" : "For this we will have Villages Nature, a holiday destination which will include the biggest water park in Europe. It took us some years to finalize the project with Pierre & Vacances and we asked Joe Rhode, who created Animal Kingdom, to work on the project. The water park will be based on geothermal and you'll be able to bathe all year long in Icelandic geysers! The commercialization will start at the end of 2012 and the opening is scheduled for mid 2015."

That sounds good, isn't it? Now, as you may know, another famous water park project was envisioned for DLP by WDI Imagineers. It was called Lava Lagoon, was supposed to be build on a land more or less in front of the Sequoia Lodge Hotel and for years DLP fans have hoped that Lava Lagoon will be finally built. Unfortunately there won't be any Lava or Volcano rising in front of the Sequoia Lodge as it is now an extinct project. However, as we will see, some of the ideas which were included in Lava Lagoon might find a new life in the Villages Nature water park.

But, as i realized that i never did an article about this Lava Lagoon project, let's begin first by having a look at how it would have been as the concept looked great! Basically, the idea was to have a "two in one" water park, themed around a Hawaian volcano, with one part covered by a giant dome and the other one, open air which would have been open only during the spring and summer season. Originally the water park was supposed to have an access only for DLP hotel guests and Annual passport holder, and this is probably why its capacity would have been of only 1600 people for the "under dome" part with an addition of 1500 more people during the summer days when the open air part and slides would have been open. On the renderings above and below, coming for a big part from the Westcot website, you'll see clearly what would have been the open air part and the one under the giant dome.

At the center of Lava Lagoon, according to the Webcot article written by Grandmath in 2007, the giant volcano would have been called "The Big Kahuna" and all around it WDI Imagineers had planned to recreate a tropical forest, with bamboos, coconut trees, tikis dedicated to hawaian gods, and fake lava flows who would have served as slides. Apparently it would have been also possible to walk through and explore the volcano. Lots of slides, so, as well as exotic paths at the base of the volcano, with a lazy river going all a round the water park going through a bamboo, palm tree and orchids forest and even going through the "Big Kahuna".

What kind of water activities guests would have found at Lava Lagoon? Well, of course the classic wave pool called the "Great Pacific", located on the west base of the volcano and on the volcano itself guests would have climb stairs going up to the top of the Big Kahuna from where they would have found different type of slides called "Pele’s Plumett", or "Lava Loop", "The Spouting Horn", or "The Sizzling Stones"!

However Lava Lagoon guests would also have found other attractions all around the volcano, one called the Kahuku Falls, a kind of rafting slide, or another slide called "Aloha Falls". Another interesting detail: all around the Big Kahuna would have been beaches of dark "black" sand - like the one you can find near real volcanos - with other beaches of white sand in the open air part of the water park.

In this exterior part guests would have found others slides - artwork above - called "Waimea Canyon", "To a Needle", et "Waihia Falls" but also large pools with evocative names: "Hula Hula Bay", "Alakoke Pond", "Hanahuma Bay", "Koko Cove"... all linked to each others then to the others pools located in the "under dome" inside part thanks to a small river.

And where is the link in all this with the Village Nature water park, you ask? Well, what Grandmath didn't said in its 2007 Westcot article - probably because he didn't knew it - was that WDI Imagineers had also envisioned in their concepts for Lava Lagoon an area which would have been inspired by the natural hot pools that you find naturally in countries of the north of Europe, in two words a part which would have been more "geothermal", as you will see on the renderings below, and for a big part in "open air".

So, even if no "Big Kahuna" volcano or tropical forest with bamboos and orchids will be part of the Villages Nature water park, DLP fans will probably be happy to know that some of the ideas developed for this Lava Lagoon that never was will finally become reality in 2015 when the Villages Nature water park will have its opening, confirming the famous Walt Disney Imagineering quote that " At WDI, a good idea never die ".

Pictures: copyright Disney - All my thanks to the Westcot web site for the pics previously posted on their site in 2007.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

DLP Update : World of Disney Super Store and France 14th Apple Store to open at Disneyland Paris !

The awaited World of Disney super store located at the entrance of Disney Village will open normally July 12 and most of the exterior is now finished. The giant dome is now in place as well as Tinkerbell on the top of it, and outside two statues of Mickey and Minnie were added recently as you will see on the pictures below from Moueeto and DLRP Welcome. Above, a new concept-art showing the upcoming store.

When World of Disney will be open the plans are to closed the current Disney Store inside Disney Village and the whole shops of DLP dining and entertainment area should change and receive a new theme.

In these times of Apple hype, the opening of a new Apple Store is always a big event and, although it's not officially announced yet, Mac Generation, the best and more reliable non-official french Apple news blog has confirmed that the 14th Apple Store to open in France will open at Disneyland Paris.

Relax, it won't open IN the park but at the Val D'Europe shopping mall located at 2 km from the park and part of the DLP "area". Very nice mall, by the way, probably even the best in France and from what i've been told in the past it seems that DLPI Imagineers gave some help for its design. Actually the team who was in charge of its design may be the same one who did the Celebration town in Florida. The place is not only a cool place to do some shopping but is also very popular, so popular in fact that there is going to be an expansion of the mall.

Edited: Thanks to a D&M reader we know more about this upcoming Apple Store location: "The Apple Store will be located in the existing part of the mall. "La Chaise Longue" boutique and GAP has both closed. GAP will be refurbished and downsized as it was really huge. The Apple Store will be taking the space left by "La Chaise Longue" and a part of the GAP store". I've found for you the map of the mall and succeeded to find where exactly will be located the Apple Store. On the map below ( click on it to see it in bigger size ) the GAP and Chaise Longue shops were located at number 83 and 24 on the top right, where i've put the Apple logo. Actually, the store will be extremely close to the FNAC shop ( very famous stores in France selling books, music, dvds and electronics products ) and the popular Vallée Village, so it couldn't be better located - except for the FNAC store, of course, who will see the opening of an Apple Store at 20 meters from them as a threat for their Apple sales - and they're right!

Below, a picture shot recently and posted on the DCP Forum Facebook page and showing the two closed shops currently at works for the Apple Store.

Although this is not really a Disney news, it's a good news for the park as all the Apple Store in the world always brings a lot of customers. It's true that when you just bought a new iMac your first thought is to go back your home to enjoy it and not to go to Disneyland, but still, with all the Apple hype at each new products it won't hurt the park to have an Apple Store nearby! Don't ask me the opening date as i don't know it, and probably none knows for sure, but it might take some months before its gates will open for the frenzy of Apple fans!

Pictures: copyright Disney, DLRP Welcome, Le Vrinch or Mouetto whom i thanks a lot.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

DLP Update : Meet Mickey - "Rencontre avec Mickey" - Now Open at DLP Fantasyland ! - Updated with new Pictures and Video

Yesterday's article about Disneyland Paris was all about something going wrong in the park restaurants, and today's article will put a weight on the other pan of the scale as the long awaited "Meet Mickey" is now open at Fantasyland. Works to transform what was the Fantasyland Festival Stage were quite long but as you will see on the video below the final result worth the wait!

Honestly, i think that DLPI Imagineers did a real good job in the transformation of the Fantasyland Festival Stage. For what i can see on the video it looks elegant and the theming is very good. My only concern is that the whole decor have a kind of style that you probably expect to find more in Main Street than in Fantasyland, but that's not a big problem.

The meeting itself with Mickey is short of course but, again, Mickey's dressing room looks very well themed. During the wait before the meet with Mickey guests can watch eleven classic Mickey cartoons, alternatively in french or english, and the loop apparently last 40 minutes which should be fine. Apparently these are shorter versions but had a 5.1 remix and the surround effects as well as the animated short definition is excellent.

From what i've read this new Meet Mickey version looks much better than the "Backstage Magic with Mickey Mouse" in Florida but it's a bit a pity that - probably for cost reasons or too many different European languages - DLP didn't took the opportunity to introduce the great "talking Mickey" as they did in Florida. However, although it's not really an attraction as there is nothing to ride i think that this new meet and greet location was done with the genuine magic touch that WDI Imagineers only can put when they create something new in a Magic Kingdom.

During the short meeting with Mickey, DLP guests - as you will see on the video below - can film or take pictures but a DLP photographer is also there to shoot a digital picture that guests can buy at the exit. The only problem is the pictures price and many guests will probably find it a bit high - 1 picture: 15€ ( $19 ! ) - 3 pictures : 25€ ( $30 ! ). I'll be curious to know how many they will sell per day at this price... That said, no one is forced to buy one if they don't want, so just make sure your have enough battery in your camera when you'll get inside this new great looking place to meet with Mickey. And now, discover the real thing with this video filmed by Jess21070609, whom i thanks a lot.

And, talking about DLP, The Disneyland Paris "From Sketch to Reality book" which will tell you all about the creation of the park with 320 pages and 750 pictures and WDI renderings always has a special offer and is now available with immediate shipping! Reviews from all those who have already received the book are "over the top" so, place your order now for a gorgeous collector's edition copy while you can get a 20% discount on this wonderful book! To know more about he book and how to order and send your payment please go HERE or use the Paypal one-click purchase button below.

Photos: copyright Romain / Disney Gazette, DLRP-Welcome

Video: copyright Jess21070609