Saturday, October 13, 2012

Journey of the Little Mermaid Opens at WDW Magic Kingdom !

Journey of the Little Mermaid is now open in soft openings at WDW Magic Kingdom New Fantasyland and guests can now discover why this new version is the best one, thanks to its amazing exterior decor and queue theming. No one is to blame to don't have done the same queue at the DCA version, for two very simple reasons: they didn't had the room at DCA to build a queue of the same size and, two, it wouldn't have fit with the Paradise Pier theme. That said, WDI Imagineers outdone themselves once again and created what is probably the best themed queue since the one for Indiana Jones Adventure at DL or TDS.

As usual, WDI renderings released last year were very accurate with the final result, and in some scenes, like the entrance, the real thing is even better than the one designed on the artwork. As you can see below on the artwork Ariel was just standing on a rock and now she is a figurehead of a ship.

Inside, the queue decor is stunning and you'll find the best pictorial report on it on the Disney at Works website. All what we can be seen on the rendering below is there...

...including a great audio-animatronic of Scuttle and plenty of visual effects with fun crabs that appear here and there in different decor elements. 

As you will see in the embedded video below, the boarding room is also very faithful to the original artwork, with a wrecked galleon and a great giant mural painting.

However, there is one scene which was envisioned for the queue and which apparently have been partly cancelled. The scene was called "Captive Lobsters" and was showing an audio-animatronic Max - Prince Eric's english sheepdog - with, close to him, fishes inside baskets and "captive" lobsters - some of them probably animated too. And, up the stairs leading to the castle kitchen, you would have seen the cook's shadow apparently ready to cut in half one of these lobsters. 

Although Max, the fishes and the captive lobsters have disappeared, the room with the staircase and plenty of props and barrels is still part of the queue decor as you can see on the picture below coming from the excellent review of Disney at Works. And you can even always hear voices coming from the kitchen, not sure though that it's still the cook voice.

Now, why Max and the lobsters have been cancelled? There can be many reasons for this, and the first one, as usual, might be a budget reason. May be the visual effects with the crabs were added to the original project and may be WDI Imagineers had to make a choice to stay in the budget allowed for the attraction. Or may be a WDC corporate thought that the animals defense association would have been outraged with the captive lobsters and the cook shadow? I know, it would be stupid as the lobsters would have been fake or audio-animatronics but corporate people can think like this. They are thinking in terms of image for the company, and they're quick to become paranoid with anything that could eventually bring a bad image. Most of the time it's over exaggerated but considering the number of people also always fast to sue Disney for any reason, i can understand that the corporate guys try to be cautious. That said, it's probably not the right reason here as the scene was more funny than cruel, and i would rather bet on a budget reason for the disappearing of Max and the lobsters. Nevermind, as even without this scene the queue theming is literally amazing and WDI Imagineers deserves our congrats for the fantastic work they did, and i mean it, really!

If you haven't seen yet a video showing this wonderfully themed queue, and the ride itself, there is already a few of them on Youtube and one of the best, embedded below, is coming from Inside the Magic. The video is very intelligently filmed and you will see everything including the crabs visual effects, and of course Scutlle AA. Oh, and the ride itself, you ask? Well, it's exactly the same version than at DCA - and i still miss a big scene at the end with the defeat of Ursula - but it seems that the lighting has been improved. And this time they got right from the start Ariel's hairs in the "Under the Sea" sequence!
So, go ahead, watch the video, and make sure to visit Inside the Magic for more great reports on WDW New Fantasyland.

Artwork: copyright Disney

Video: copyright Inside the Magic

Friday, October 12, 2012

Guess Who You Could See at Disneyland Back Stage Cafeteria, Circa 1961 ?

If you have young kids around you, it's time to move them away from your computer screen to don't break their princess dreams! This picture which appeared recently on the excellent Retronaut web site was shot at Disneyland back stage cafeteria in 1961. And who do we see on it? Snow White, an Indian from Frontierland (and a cow-boy sit on the right), an astronaut from Tomorrowland, a Polynesian girl from Adventureland, and Goofy, all waiting in line in their character costumes (!) to have lunch in the back stage cast members cafeteria. What? A picture of a fairy-tale princess pushing a tray in a self service like a regular guy? This for sure is a dream breaker!

Picture: copyright Disney

Thursday, October 11, 2012

WDS Ratatouille Ride Update

We're back at Disneyland Paris, and more precisely at the Walt Disney Studios for an update about the works on the awaited Ratatouille dark ride, scheduled to open in 2014. What you see above is not an official logo but one that i did two days ago and i'm sure that WDI will come with a much better one! However, you'll find in it different elements related to the attraction: the ride title "Kitchen Calamity", the kitchen set in which a big part of the ride will happen, and a fleeing Rémi who should be part of the ride as well.

Let's have a tour now on the construction site with different pics coming from DCP forum members who kindly provided the pictures. At the end of september Dr_iik shot these pics over the fences. The black structure in the back will be the ride building.

But now that the structures have reached a certain height guests who do the Tram Tour ride can have a backstage look at them as you will see on these others pictures by Dr_iik.

You'll note that the black structure - the ride building - was still "open", but a few days later it was not anymore the case as you can see on these others pics shot by OliMatt.

And on this last picture coming from iBuzz and shot just a few days ago you can see how fast the works are going as new walls appeared which were not there just ten days ago!

Of course there is still a lot to be done before the exterior will be finished so don't expect to see the final decor before many months, but so far the construction is going fine. 

While we are talking about DLP, two more news: first, the brand new Apple Store will open at the Val d'Europe mall this saturday! If you are a Disneyland Paris fan AND an Apple fan living near the park that's good news for you. As for the park it shouldn't have an effect on the park attendance, but it will not hurt.

The second news is the DLP 2013 - 2014 Ambassadors Ceremony which happened on Oct 5th and you can watch the whole ceremony on the video below, filmed by Max Fan. 

See you soon with more news from DLP and and in the meantime those of you who are interested by the great DLP book might have a look at the presentation article on the book web site HERE
Order your copy of the acclaimed Disneyland Paris, From Sketch to Reality book while there is still copies available! You'll find all infos to order an ENGLISH edition HERE and for the FRENCH edition it's HERE. Watch below the video showing the whole book!

Choose quantity and enjoy an additional discount !

Pictures: copyright Disney-Pixar, Dr_iik, OliMatt, iBuzz

Videos: copyright Max Fan - DRLP Welcome

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Disneyland Paris Halloween : Part Three: Frontierland

Here is the part three of the Disneyland Paris Halloween Update, and this time we're moving to Frontierland where guests will find less than usual Halloween decorations. Some pumpkin men here and there, the photo location with Jack Skellington... there is definitely some Halloween deco in Frontierland but not in the dimension than the previous years and apparently most of the budget this year went to the new ghosts in Main Street USA. That said, let's have a look, thanks to the pics of Max Fan from DLRP Welcome whom i thanks a lot once again.

And that's it for Frontierland! Hope that you liked this Halloween update and see you tomorrow for fresh news of DLP future and in the meantime those of you who are interested by the great DLP book might have a look at the presentation article below or on the book web site HERE

Order your copy of the acclaimed Disneyland Paris, From Sketch to Reality book while there is still copies available! You'll find all infos to order an ENGLISH edition HERE and for the FRENCH edition it's HERE. Watch below the video showing the whole book!

Choose quantity and enjoy an additional discount !

Pictures and videos: copyright Max Fan - DRLP Welcome

Monday, October 8, 2012

Paramount Park Unveil £2B U.K Theme Park Project To Rival Disneyland Paris

When we think about Disney theme parks biggest competitor we generally think about Universal Studios. And it's true that in the U.S and Asia they definitely are Disney competitors. But in Europe it's different. Although there is great theme parks like Alton Towers in the U.K or Europa Park in Germany, Disneyland Paris doesn't have a real competitor like WDW have in Orlando. But this might change in six years from now as Paramount Parks announced yesterday a £2Bn project which will be build in the U.K, not far from London. The proposed project would create up to 27,000 jobs and transform an 872-acre brownfield site in the Swanscombe Peninsula in Kent. Have a look below at the first unveiled picture of the project.

The £2bn park is set to be built on the site of what was once Europe's largest cement works and the project is led by a consortium including French cement firm Lafarge, Britain's Development Securities and Canadian constructor Brookfield Multiplex. The trio has set up London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH) to bring a Paramount Pictures park to fruition and they said that LRCH "has signed a licensing deal with Paramount for the Hollywood studio's first UK theme park on the 872-acre site". The "world-class" venue "will feature Europe’s largest indoor water park, theatres, live music venues, attractions, cinemas, restaurants, event space and hotels and, if given the green light, will be twice the size of Olympic Park in East London". Below, an aerial view of the site as it looks right now.

LRCH who has signed an agreement with Paramount Licensing Inc giving them, as i've said, exclusive UK licensing for a Paramount entertainment resort is also in negotiations with a range of major British brands to sign licensing agreements. Tony Sefton, project leader for the development company London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH), said the plans were Britain’s biggest post-Olympic project and will take six years to build: "Our vision is to create a world-class entertainment destination, the first of its kind in the UK,' he said. We are at the start of a long journey, but have been encouraged by the support and buy-in we have had to date. We are particularly pleased with the appetite we are seeing from investors, who consider this a compelling investment proposition. Over the next 12-18 months we will be progressing the planning application, while embarking on a wide-reaching programme of community consultation, while securing further commercial agreements with third parties. Our timetable for delivery, including the planning application process and construction timetable, is geared towards completion and opening in 2018."

As we know another Paramount theme park is set to open in Murcia, Spain, in 2015 and company chiefs predict it will draw in three million visitors to the area every year. One of the main attractions in the pipeline is Titanic 4D, which will use state-of-the-art special effects to give guests a taste of the iconic vessel. Meanwhile a 4D Mission: Impossible ride will take visitors through action scenes in a military-style vehicle. paramount Studios also has others licenses from popular movie that might make great theme park rides.

Now, and that's may be the most important: the site will be at 17 min from London by train. Half of the time than it takes to parisians to go from central Paris to DLP. U.K guests coming from London generally comes with the Eurostar train and need two and a half hours to come to DLP. Sure, Disneyland Paris is a unique experience but when you have a new theme park and entertainment center built by one of Hollywood most legendary studio at 17min only from London, you don't need to be a genius to understand that it will surely have an effect on DLP U.K guests attendance.

However, if this Paramount project really happen this might be a good news for DLP fans as Disneyland Paris will surely counter attack. So far, this Paramount project is envisioned for 2018 and if the project really happen i'm ready to bet that DLP will unveil new attractions if not a major E-Ticket ride for 2018, just to make sure that U.K guests will be back at DLP that year. So far, DLP has been lucky and didn't had any big competitor like WDW have in Orlando with Universal. And in the same time it has been DLP's curse. If a Universal Studios had open in Melun at 30 min from DLP as it was envisioned in the early 90's before Universal cancelled their plans, the WDC - Disney, not only Disneyland Paris - would have done earlier what they're trying to do now, i.e to help Disneyland Paris to get out once and for all of DLP insane debt problem, and, hopefully, creating soon new rides an attractions.

 Pictures: copyright Paramount Studios, LRCH, Swins

DIsneyland Paris Halloween 2012 : Part Two

In this part two of the special report about Disneyland Paris Halloween we will have a look at what is happening around Central Plaza as well as Fantasyland! Just like last time all pictures are from D&M contributor Max Fan from DLRP Welcome. We begin by pictures of DLP castle and Central Plaza.

On the stage of Le Théatre du Chateau is happening the characters show "Mickey's Halloween Treat in the Street"!

Let's move to Fantasyland where guests can enjoy meet and greet with others Disney characters, the Disney Villains, in the castle courtyard!

It's not over yet as there is much more to see about DLP Halloween in Frontierland! Don't miss the next article coming soon, and in the meantime those of you who are interested by the great DLP book might have a look at the presentation article below or on the book web site HERE
Order your copy of the acclaimed Disneyland Paris, From Sketch to Reality book while there is still copies available! You'll find all infos to order an ENGLISH edition HERE and for the FRENCH edition it's HERE. Watch below the video showing the whole book!

Choose quantity and enjoy an additional discount !

Pictures and videos: copyright Max Fan - DRLP Welcome