Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Editor's Note: Hello everyone! I'm taking a break until Oct 25 ( but i might post during it so keep looking for new articles ) and because there is no reason that i'll be the only one to have some fun i'm doing a contest in which there is TWO copies of my Disneyland Paris book to win as well as ONE copy of the "DLP, 20 Years of Dreams" published recently by the park to win! There is just five questions to answer and you'll find below all about this contest!

Disney and more Contest ! Two Copies of "From Sketch to Reality" and One Copy of "DLP 20 Years of Dreams" to Win !!!



Hello Everyone, Here is a great contest thanks to which YOU might WIN either a copy of the Disneyland Paris "From Sketch to Reality" book in its collector edition or one copy of the "Disneyland Paris 
20 years of Dreams" book! 

The THREE prizes of the contest are: 1st prize: a collector's edition copy of Disneyland Paris "From Sketch to Reality" ( english or french edition ). 2nd prize: a copy of "Disneyland Paris 20 years of Dreams" ( the book is both in english and french ). 3rd prize: a copy ( english or french edition ) of Disneyland Paris "From Sketch to Reality" collector's edition. AND, in addition to this, EVERYONE who will answer to the five questions below will get a special gift and also a coupon thanks to which you'll be able to order - if you wish - the Disneyland Paris "From Sketch to Reality" at a "special christmas price"! 

There is this FIVE questions to answer - all related to Disneyland Paris - and to win you have to find the right 5 answers. There is no tricky questions and they're not that difficult so you should succeed! There is only one good answer for each question and an "innocent" hand will choose the three winners for the three prizes among all the right answers we will receive.

Who can play: Everyone, wherever you live on the planet, and only one time. 

How to play: Once you’ve found what you think are the good answers, send them to me by email with your name at:

IMPORTANT NOTE: For each answer, don’t tell me only the “number” of the answer, but also the name who goes with it, thanks.

Answers and contest Deadline : All answers must be sent by email before thursday October, 2012. The contest ends Oct 25 at midnight, California time. 

Below, the introduction in French, and the questions are right after it!

Bonjour à tous! Voici un concours dans lequel il y a à gagner deux exemplaires collector de "Disneyland Paris, de l'Esquisse à la Création" et un exemplaire de "Disneyland Paris 20 ans de Rèves"

Il y a donc trois prix: Le premier prix est un exemplaire de l'édition collector du livre "Disneyland Paris, de l'Esquisse à la Création" ( édition française ou anglaise, au choix ). Le deuxième prix est un exemplaire de "Disneyland Paris 20 ans de rêves". Le troisième prix est un exemplaire de l'édition collector du livre "Disneyland Paris, de l'Esquisse à la Création" ( édition française ou anglaise, au choix )ET toute personne qui répondra aux cinq questions ( qu'elles aient trouvées les bonnes réponses ou non ) recevront par email un "spécial gift" et un coupon leur permettant d'avoir une réduction à un prix "spécial Noel" sur l'achat d'un exemplaire du livre Disneyland Paris, de l'esquisse à la création!

Les règles du concours sont simples, il suffit de nous envoyer un email à: avec les cinq bonnes réponses. Merci de ne pas nous envoyer uniquement le numéro mais aussi le nom qui va avec chaque réponse. 

Pour chaque question il y a une seule bonne réponse parmi les trois proposées et evidemment il faut trouver la bonne à chaque fois, mais les questions ne sont pas si difficiles que ça et il n'y a pas de question piège. Tout le monde peut participer quelque soit la nationalité et vos réponses doivent nous parvenir par email avant le 25 Octobre  à minuit, heure de Californie ( soit le 26 à 9h du matin heure de Paris ). Un tirage au sort départagera les gagnants pour les 1er, 2éme et 3ème prix.

Everyone ready? There we go!

Vous ètes préts? Allons-y!

Question 1: A different Main Street U.S.A concept, set in the 1920-30's era was formerly envisioned by imagineer Eddie Sotto. Among the great ideas unfortunately cancelled there was one idea which was: 

1 ) An elevated tramway, idea which finally appeared at Tokyo Disney Sea American Waterfront.

2)  An underground tramway leading to Fantasyland

3)  A restaurant in tribute to rock and roll

Question 1 French version:

Question 1: Un concept de Main Street USA basé sur une autre époque avait été envisagé par l'Imagineer Eddie Sotto mais finalement écarté. Parmi les idées annulées l'une des plus intéressants était:

1) Un tramway surélevé, idée reprise finalement à Tokyo Disney Sea American Waterfront

2) Un tramway souterrain menant à Fantasyland

3) Un restaurant sur le thème du rock and roll

Question 2: At DLP Frontierland, a show concept never realized, without audio-animatronics, was supposed to be created where the Pocahontas stage stands now, in the back of Frontierland. What was it?

1) A Western stunt show, kind of Wild Wild West stunt show

2) A Zorro show

3) A Country Bear Jamboree show 

Question 2 French version:

Question 2: A Frontierland, un concept de show sans audio-animatroniques, avait été envisagé à la place ou se dresse actuellement le Pocahontas Stage. Quel était le concept de ce show?

1) Un show de cascades western

2) Un show Zorro

3) Un show Country Bear Jamboree

Question 3: At DLP Adventureland, WDI Imagineers had envisioned to transform the Swiss Robinson Tree in another attraction. Which one was it?

1) An Aladdin ride

2) A Tarzan roller coaster

3) An open air Tiki Room

Question 3 French version:

Question 3: A Adventureland, les imagineers avaient éventualisés de transformer l'Arbre des Robinsons Suisses en une autre attraction. Quelle était-elle? 

1) Un attraction Aladin

2) Un roller coaster Tarzan

3) Une version de la Tiki Room "en plein air"

Question 4: According to Jim Hill, in DLP Fantasyland, instead of the Casey Jr ride, 
WDI Imagineers had envisioned to build another kind of ride, at the same location. What was it?

1) Seven Dwarfs mine train, like the one currently being built at WDW Magic Kingdom.

2) The legendary Candy Mountain

3) A Disney Villains ride

Question 4 French version:

Question 4: D'aprés Jim Hill, à Fantasyland, les Imagineers avaient envisagés de construire à la place de l'attraction Casey Jr une autre attraction. Quelle était son nom:

1) Une attraction Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, comme celle qui est en train d'être construite au Magic Kingdom de WDW.

2) Une attraction "Candy Mountain"

3) Une attraction dédiée aux Méchants des films Disney

Question 5: At DLP Discoveryland, WDI Imagineers had previously envisioned another name for the Space Mountain ride. What was it?

1) Space Horizons

2) Discovery Mountain

3) Mission Space

Question 5 French version:

Question 5: A Discoveryland, les Imagineers avaient au départ envisagés un autre nom pour l'attraction de Space Mountain. Quelle était ce nom?

1) Space Horizons

2) Discovery Mountain

3) Mission Space

That's it for the questions! I remind you that all answers must be sent to before October 25 at midnight California time! Also, if you are a forum member, thanks to let the others members of your forum know about this contest and to post the link of this page! Good luck to everyone, and remember: it's just a contest, the most important is to play and have fun, and with a bit of luck you will even win one of the three prizes! 

Et voilà pour les questions! Rappellez-vous, les réponses doivent nous doivent me parvenir par email avant le 25 Octobre à minuit, heure de Californie ( soit le 26 Octobre à 9h du matin heure de Paris ) par email à: 

Si vous êtes membre d'un forum, merci d'indiquer ce concours aux autre membres de votre forum avec le lien de cette page! Bonne chance à tous et rappellez vous: c'est juste un concours, le plus important est de jouer pour le plaisir de jouer, et avec un peu de chance vous gagnerez un des trois lots du concours!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Disneyland Paris / Ratatouille Ride Update

We're back at DLP with a new update and let's start by pictures of the works on the Ratatouille dark ride area. As you will see on the pics below shot by Max Fan from DLRP Welcome and D&M contributor, it's amazing how the construction has gone fast since last week. May be they are running against time to make sure that all the major works are done before the harsh winter months... I have also the feeling that the big white wall that you'll see on the picture below will mark the limit of the ride show building. A themed facade will of course be added later.

Meanwhile, at the Disneyland Park, they are already preparing the castle for the lights of Christmas that will give this unique "frozen" lighting to Sleeping Beauty Castle.

See you soon for a new DLP update, 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: Max Fan - DLRP Welcome

Monday, October 15, 2012

Designing Disneyland Paris Phantom Manor

In my previous articles showing you "why the Disneyland Paris, From Sketch to reality" book is so great i've show you the kind of documents you will find inside. In this new article to introduce you to the book if you don't own it yet i'll show you what kind of visuals you can expect on a specific chapter, and i choose the part about Phantom Manor, one of DLP most beloved attraction. In addition to great artwork and pictures you'll find an excerpt of Didier Ghez text - Didier being the one who wrote the text of the book. There we go.

Above:  a Julie Svendsen painting depicting what Phantom Manor would have looked like before it fell into ruin. I didn't reduced the size of the original scan on this one, so it's a "mini-poster" size, just click on it to enlarge the picture.

Below: a picture of Jeff Burke, DLP frontier land show-producer with Phantom Manor model.

Excerpts from Didier's text: "...As we continue to follow the story of Thunder Mesa, the town that surrounds Big Thunder Mountain, we stumble upon a rather frightful domicile—what might be considered the second scene of this “grand western”—the terrifying haunted house known as Phantom Manor.
Mr. Ravenswood was the wealthy owner of the Thunder Mesa Mining Company, the company that, so the story goes, operates the Big Thunder mine. Like many entrepreneurs who made their fortunes in this era, he built a mansion out West, inspired by the architecture of San Francisco—a style that certainly stood out in this little mining town.

Above: A model of the attraction. Notice the difference between the building on the left and the rendering below. The original barn concept has been cancelled.

Phantom Manor sits at the edge of Thunder Mesa, in the well-to-do part of town. In its heyday, the Manor was a truly magnificent residence. In the ballroom, a painting by Walt Disney Imagineering artist Julie Svendsen shows the Manor as it appeared, according to legend, before the mine had played out and the house fell into ruin.
A dilapidated house inside a Disney park? It was an idea that Walt Disney had always rejected, preferring the immaculate façade of the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland in California. “We’ll take care of the outside of the mansion,” he once said, “and the ghosts will take care of the inside.” However, the Imagineers knew that in Europe the language barrier would make it very difficult to use descriptive signs. Communicating with symbols would be essential, so they designed the exterior of Phantom Manor to send the message that it has fallen into decay and that something mysterious might be waiting inside.

Above: a rendering for the Seance Room with Madame Leota by Christian Hope. Below: Phantom Manor ballroom by WDI artist Fernando Tenedora.

But the “decayed” façade would still be inside Disneyland Paris, so it would have to be aged carefully and artistically by adding a patina over the painted surfaces. The subtlety of this process was crucial to Ron Esposito. “Since bad weather comes in from the East, we aged the right side of Phantom Manor quite a bit, to give the appearance that harsh weather had been hitting the building for dozens of years. Brighter colors were used on the parts of the building that would have been more protected from the bad weather.”

As Jeff Burke notes, “The magnificent splendor of the Phantom Manor interior is a reminder that the owner was still at the height of his success. The mine was thriving, and he was proud that he had a beautiful daughter. She had fallen in love and was preparing for her wedding, but her fiancé had plans to take her away from Thunder Mesa and live in another town, which enraged the young woman’s father. No one really knows what happened next, so I’ll leave this part of the story to your imagination. The stretching portraits in the Manor’s doorless chamber depict the bride-to-be and give some telltale signs of the fate that awaited her. As for her young man, he can be found in the same chamber...hanging by a rope.”

Above: Concept design by Fernando Tenedora of the cemetary scene inside Phantom Manor. Below: Some of the skeletons that guests can meet when the doom buggy is going down in the cemetary scene of the ride.

We pass by the disembodied head of Madame Leota, floating in a crystal ball while she presides over a séance. Just as in the American versions of this attraction, the face is still that of late Imagineer Leota Toombs, but the French voice belongs to Oona Lind. Along the way, we meet up with the bride again, along with the lord of the manor, dubbed the “Phantom,” whose rage only increases over the course of our journey. By the end of the attraction, both the bride and the Phantom invite us to join them".

Above and below: Concept designs depicting the interior of Phantom Manor "Ghost Town".

Above: some of the ghostly inhabitants of the ghost town. Jeff Burke used for the town mayor, above, the same audio-animatronic who was used for Dreamfinder, the main character from Epcot's beloved Journey into Imagination attraction! 

Hope this article gave you a good idea of the kind of documents you will find in the book. All the pictures and renderings you saw in this article are inside the Disneyland PAris, From Sketch to reality book. And these are just a small selection of those include in the Phantom Manor chapter, in which you'll find many more. All along the book you'll see 250 WDI renderings - and 500 pictures of the park and attractions. There is so many pictures of every ride and attraction in this book that, virtually speaking, when i designed the book i remember that i did it so the one who will buy the book in the park will come back home with the park "under his arm"! That was the idea. Below, two more for the road!

Above: A concept design showing the last scene of Phantom Manor "Ghost Town".
Below: A picture of the Phantom, in his last appearance at the end of the ride.

One last thing: i realized recently that we begin to don't have that much copies available of the english edition. We still have some so you can place an order but i won't bet that we will have any of them in two months, so if you are interested by purchase a copy of this great book the sooner will be the better! Those of you who want to learn more about the 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 or you can pay with the one-click Paypal button below. Also, watch below the video showing the whole book!

Choose quantity and enjoy an additional discount !

Pictures: copyright Disney

What an amazing and historical exploit !

Editor's Note: Except if you're living on another planet you probably heard about this incredible achievement that Austrian parachutist Felix Baumgartner did yesterday by jumping from an altitude of 128000 feet ( 39 km ) above the Earth - the edge of space and almost five times the height of Mount Everest! - and broke the sound barrier at a speed of 1 341,9 km/h. After a long free fall he successfully opened his parachute and landed near Roswell, New Mexico. Whatever one can think about this, Felix Baumgartner is an amazing exploit that require to be extremely bold - and of course a perfect training and impeccable preparation, technically speaking. 

In the world we're living in which people are more and more ( and sadly ) blasé, Felix Baumgartner succeeded to stun everyone. And for those of you who didn't watched any video of Felix exploit i've found for you the best available and embedded them in my article on my Innoventions Blog, and you better don't miss them as knowing about it is one thing, but watching Felix jump will help you to understand how amazing his jump was. Go ahead, jump to my Innoventions Blog, it's right HERE.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Editor's Note: The awaited Journey of the Little Mermaid and Be Our Guest Restaurant are now in soft-openings at WDW Magic Kingdom New Fantasyland, and you'll find two pictorial updates about them below!

Be Our Guest Restaurant Opens at WDW Magic Kingdom New Fantasyland! - Edited with new WDI Video !

After "Journey of the Little Mermaid" which began its soft opening yesterday, today was the turn of the awaited "Be Our Guest" Restaurant. Although it seems that it's not possible yet to have lunch or dinner inside the restaurant, WDW guests were able to have a walk through visit, and the least we can say is that WDI Imagineers did a superb job. We will have a look at it thanks to the video shot by sfgam2775br, and it's a "night" video which, according to me, is probably the best time during your next visit at WDW New Fantasyland to go inside the restaurant. The picture above, though, was shot by daylight by Cory Disbrow for his Dateline Disney World update on Mice Age last friday, where you will find plenty of others great pics.

Anyone who will enter the Be Our Guest restaurant won't miss on the right this great heraldic hall with standing armors and medieval flags above them...

...and you won't miss too on the left this great mural with the famous rose and Belle and the Beast.

On your way to the ball room you'll notice these impressive statues, apparently supporting a wooden beam above them.

And there it is, the restaurant main room which looks amazing, isn't it, with its huge chandeliers and a painted ceiling.

But there is more to see as behind the high windows that you can see in the back WDI Imagineers placed a giant painting showing the landscape as the Beast would see from its Castle, and all this with a "snow" effect! Yes, behind the windows of this great ball room it is snowing! You might not see it clearly on the picture below but you'll see the effect better in the video.

And, talking about the video from  sfgam2775br, here it is! Enjoy the visit, and welcome at Beast castle!

Edited: WDI just released a 4min long video which will show you more of the Be Our Guest restaurant, with areas that WDW guests couldn't access during the soft opening last week-end. Have a look!

Video: copyright  sfgam2775br whom i thanks a lot!

Top picture: copyright Mice Age - Cory Disbrow

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 !