Saturday, January 12, 2013

10th Anniversary of Hong Kong Disneyland Ground Breaking Ceremony

Ten years ago, on January 12, 2003, Hong Kong Disneyland ground breaking ceremony happened. At that time Michael Eisner was still CEO of the WDC ( not for long, thanks God ) and of course Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy were there too, along with chinese officials, and chinese dragons!

Ten years later,  the park is doing well, had many additions and will have more in the future starting with the highly awaited Mystic Manor attraction which will open next summer. More additions not yet officially announced will come soon as well as a second park around the end of the decade. And probably more hotels too as they have the land available to build them.

You and I were probably not there for this 2003 ground breaking ceremony, but i've found for you the video. Funny ceremony with a giant model of Sleeping Beauty Castle in the middle of a field which looks in the middle of nowhere!

If you don't know it yet, it's time to discover the great HKDL Wallpapers HD App for iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch!
Direct iTunes link HERE!

Video: copyright Disney

Friday, January 11, 2013

ILM Behind the Magic Avengers Visual Effects Video

Probably to celebrate the Avengers Academy Awards nomination in the "Visual Effects" category, ILM just released a cool 4.45 min video showing how the visual effects were done in Disney's most successful film of the year. Have a look!

Video: copyright Disney - ILM

Disneyland Golden Horseshoe Revue is back for a limited time

At Disneyland's Frontierland the beloved Disneyland Golden Horseshoe Revue is coming back in its original saloon stage, but for a limited time! Above, a picture of the original show and below a short Disney video paying a tribute to this long time favorite show. And then, if you want to see the show which started yesterday, you have the full video in today's Mice Chat Article HERE. 
Hey, it reminds me that it would be a great idea to bring back at DLP Frontierland the Golden Nugget Saloon Revue!

Picture and video: copyright Disney

Will "Lincoln" Be 85th Academy Awards Big Winner ?

The nominees for the 85th Academy Awards were revealed yesterday and Steven Spielberg's Lincoln got 12 nominations! Including best movie, best direction, best actor, etc... But anyone know that it's not because you're nominated that you get the Oscar... That said i'm betting on Lincoln and i think he should win quite a lot of its nominations. But will it be the big winner of the Academy Awards evening? It seems that even its Audio-Animatronic version don't want to tell it to Walt ( yeah, i know, it's a stupid line! )

In the Animated Feature Film category, three Disney movies are nominated, i.e  Pixar's Brave,  Frankenweenie from Tim Burton and Wreck-It Ralph from Rich Moore. And in the Animated Short Film category it's  Paperman from John Kahrs who got the nomination. Who will win what? To have the answer you have to wait until February 24, evening of the Academy Awards ceremony!

Picture: copyright Disney

Thursday, January 10, 2013

TDS Journey to the Center of the Earth Queue Decor Artwork

Tokyo Disney Sea Journey to the Center of the Earth is undoubtedly one of TDS top E-ticket ride, a non-to-be-missed attraction - even if there is a two hours wait! - and today we will have a look at some of its artwork. Not the WDI "concept-arts" artwork - these you can see them in a previous article HERE - but some of the artwork that guests can see in the queue decor, part of the decor itself. They are done in the old fashioned way, like the 19th century images you could se in Jules Verne original printings, and they look great. The first one below is showing "the crystal caverns"...

...and this next one - i should say  three - are three artworks showings three different scenes of a journey going down to the center of the earth.

You're going to like the one below as it is showing the famous "Terravator", the elevator that TDS guests take to go down "to the center of the earth" where the ride boarding room is! Sorry, the picture is not perfectly sharp but these are located in pretty dark area and they were shots at TDS opening, more than ten years ago at a time where the high-def digital cameras that are available today didn't exist yet.

If you like Tokyo Disney Sea, i remind you that my TDS Wallpapers app for iPhone - iPad with hundred of stunning HD pictures is always available on the App Store HERE for $1.99 only! You can see a preview of it in a previous article HERE. 

Artwork: copyright Disney

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Disneyland Paris Update : 20th Anniversary Extended , and more...

Here is the first Disneyland Paris update of the year, and although this year will be the one of the "20th anniversary extended" as they call it, you'll still have to wait 2014 to enjoy a brand new attraction. That said, two news that will interest you: the first one is about the big POTC rehab. The ride will be closed during two months and i'm sorry to say that those of you who are expecting the new scenes with Jack Sparrow Audio-Animatronics to be introduced during this rehab are going to be disappointed as so far no insider news is confirming this. As a matter of fact what you can expect is a major rehab of the whole ride which is a good thing as the attraction didn't had any major rehab since years. With the scheduled two months DLPI will have plenty of time to make the ride brand new again for the opening of the 2013 season. Again, although they would certainly have also enough time to introduce the Jack Sparrow scenes there is no sign that it will be done, but it also mean that a last minute decision could make it possible, so we'll see what happen but just don't count too much to have this year a Johnny Depp AA smiling at you when your POTC boat will passing by.

 The good news is that the Disney Dreams! show will continue this year - at least until September - and if you've never seen it yet in the park and want to see it in its original version you have until next April to do it as two new sequences will be introduced in the show! Apparently there will be a new Brave sequence as well as a Lion King one, and it seems that the Brave sequence won't replace a previous sequence but the Lion King one should replace the Mary Poppins sequence, very unfortunately. 

Remember that Disney announced that 2013 will be "the year of the ear"? Well, DLP is also planning to introduce the "Glow with the show" ears like they do in the U.S for World of Color so expect a lot of multi colored ears in front of you - or even at the top of your head - while you'll be watching Disney Dreams on your next visit! If you still don't know what the heck this "Glow with the Show" means, have a look at the video below.

 As i told you no new attraction are expected before the opening of the Ratatouille ride at the WDS in 2014 but the long wait of DLP fans for new attractions - and "long wait" is here an euphemism - might be soon over as apparently plenty of new things are scheduled for the years after 2014 and rides constructions should speed up, at last. More details in the future. Talking about Ratatouille, i'm sorry to say that fans wishes that the ride might open during 2013 winter will not be granted. So far, Ratatouille opening is still expected not before 2014 and when i say 2014 it probably will be "summer" 2014 and not for the season opening date which happen each year in April. Just remember that "patience is a virtue" it should help you to wait during the next 18 months...


O-Kay, let's have now a pictorial update thanks to Max Fan from DLRP Welcome and D&M contributor. Max went back at the park a few days ago on a sunny day with the kind of clear blue sky you can have in winter ( well, when it's sunny ) and there was lot of guests in the park as it was still the holiday season when Max shot these pictures. I've got also something else important to tell you after the pics, so don't go away.

Now, here is something important for those of you who don't own yet my Disneyland Paris, From Sketch to Reality book. We're really running low of the english collector copies and expect to be sold out of these ones pretty soon. You still can order your collector copy - and with a 20% discount - but sooner will be better than later if you don't want to pay $500 or more to Amazon resellers when the english collector's edition will be sold out. You can use the one click Paypal button below to place your order or send me an email at:  And if you don't know how the book look like have a look at the video below showing you the whole book which has 320 pages and 750 pictures including 250 WDI artworks!

Choose quantity and enjoy an additional discount !

Pictures: copyright Disney or Max Fan - Dlrp Welcome

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Editor's Note: Don't miss the new Al Lutz update today on Mice Age as it's all about Disneyland and DCA , including what is coming in both parks in a near future. Have also a look on D&M Facebook page where i've posted a few posts today, including the renderings for the previous "Carland" concept - at a time where it was much different and not yet called "Cars Land".

Monday, January 7, 2013

Why the Rumor of a WDW Star Wars "Boutique" Park Might be True

Last Saturday the Disney Gossip web site  has posted an article revealing that a  Star Wars "Boutique" Park might open at WDW, adding that "a few Imagineers have already been assigned to Florida to work on the project" and that "it would rely heavily on Next-Gen technology to make guests feel really immersed in the world... the first step is to start customizing that tech for Star Wars themed plot elements". So far so good, but could this rumor be true or not?

To have the answer we may have to connect it with another rumor, this one related to Disneyland Paris Discoveryland. You may remember my previous article HERE in which i told you that DLP Imagineers were working on a Star Wars land concept for Discoveryland. For DLP the plan is not only to bring Star Tours 2 but also to transform what is now Captain EO theatre in a Star Wars Academy, the Star Traders shop as well, and the Pizza Planet restaurant would become Star Wars famous Mos Eisley "Cantina" that everyone remember from the first Star Wars movie, now Episode 4 ( see the Cantina model picture below if you don't remind the Cantina, which i doubt ). I can't tell you here why my infos about the DLP project are sure enough to be almost coming "from the horses's mouth", but believe me, it's not a rumor. Since i've posted my article last April DLPI might have changed the project a bit considering the recent acquisition of Lucas Film by Disney, but so far that's how it was envisioned nine months ago.

Now, what kind of experiences this WDW Star Wars boutique park would offer to WDW guests? According to Disney Gossip: "The backstory would be that guests have been selected for Jedi-Training. You would build and learn to use a light saber, pilot a fighter, learn jedi-tricks, and explore the 'dark forest' where you use your skills to confront the dark side. There would be a graduation ceremony and then a chance to explore the Jedi Academy (think of an elaborate role playing area with individual and group games where you can compete and score points). Food options would include a reproduction of the Cantina (complete with band) and Jedi Academy cafeteria". 

I don't think i have to explain you the similarities that exist between the DLP and WDW Star Wars land/park concepts, do I? it's pretty clear that in both cases guests would go through a Jedi initiation thanks to the Jedi Academy, and in both cases we find the Mos Eisley Cantina include in the concepts. Now, except is Disney Gossip has invented the whole story - and i don't think he did - or if it's fans rumors created/based on to the DLP concept, i think these similarities might indicate that the WDW Star Wars boutique park concept might be true. Because chances are that Bob Iger asked Imagineering to work on a Star Wars park concept as soon as the deal with Lucasfilm was done, and he probably added as he did for his Avatar rides request "and sooner will be better than later". It's may be at that point that WDI Imagineers reminded the DLP "Star Wars land" concept and how they might be able to adapt it for WDW. Considering that a big part of the concept research has been done for DLP it will probably save some precious time for them to adapt it, even if they have to add more elements for WDW as they will have more land available at WDW to build the Star Wars boutique park than DLP will have for its Star Wars land. 

My only concern is that i have the feeling that the "menu" might be a little bit light -specially without E-Ticket rides - for a Star Wars park, even for a "boutique park" concept. I can understand that they don't have the room to build a larger Star Wars land at the Disney Hollywood Studios, but it might be hard to convince WDW guests to pay $200 for a 4 or 6 hours visit - the price it is rumored to cost - and even with "photopass-esque' options and personalized merchandise available as add-ons". If there is nothing more in the program than what Disney Gossip is saying then may be the title of "Star Wars Experience" would be more correct than "Star Wars Park", don't you think so?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments or on D&M Facebook page HERE.

When Disneyland Had "The Eight Largest Submarine Fleet In The World"

You probably heard that Walt Disney once said that Disneyland had the "eight largest submarine fleet in the world". But when exactly Walt said this? Well, he said it when Nikita Khrushchev was supposed to come in Disneyland during a state visit in the U.S in 1959. 

Khrushchev, at that time Chief Director of the Soviet Union, wanted to visit Disneyland but he was denied admission to the park because the county could not guarantee his safety, and this of course made him very upset. This "submarine fleet" was of course a joke from Walt as Disneyland submarines are not "real" ones but i found back from you the video in which Walt is saying this now famous quote!

Video: copyright Disney

Sunday, January 6, 2013

WDW Fantasyland Princess Fairytale Hall Artwork

There is more to come at WDW Fantasyland this year, and as always it will be welcome: this Princess Fairytale Hall artwork shows the inside of what will the new addition to WDW Magic Kingdom New Fantasyland in 2013. Located in the Castle Courtyard this Princess Fairytale Hall will be the new home of Disney princesses and for WDW guests the perfect setting to meet Cinderella, Aurora and many others Disney princesses.

Artwork: copyright Disney
Editor's Note: Some great artwork from trendy artist SHAG to end the week-end will not hurt, specially if it is some that was created forHaunted Mansion 40th Anniversary!

SHAG Haunted Mansion Artwork

SHAG, the artist famous for his Adventureland and Tiki Room inspired artwork did three and a half years ago this great artwork for the Haunted Mansion 40th Anniversary celebration.

The items where released on August 9, 2009 during a Disneyland special event for the Haunted Mansion 40th Anniversary, and although i have to admit the great talent of colorist of SHAG each time i see one of his artwork, his style reminds me another artist of the 1950's and 60's called Miroslav Sasek - a genius artist, really. Sasek did a series of children's books about all the cities of the world that where immensely successful at that time. Sasek books are, by the way, currently all re-printed and, if you have children, one of the best gift you will ever do is to offer them one of Sasek's books.

People also like SHAG's artwork because of his 1960's retro-style, and if you look at any Sasek book it also look typically 60's except that Sasek CREATED the 1960's style! I've add them in my Disney and more Amazon store, where you can find and order them easily - and they're not expensive - only $12.99!

To come back to SHAG, if I meet him one day, i must remember to ask him if he knows Sasek's work. Because I won't be surprised if Sasek was his "non-official" mentor.

Anyway, let's comeback to SHAG Haunted Mansion 40th anniversary artwork as i think as you will see below that he did a brilliant job.

SHAG also did a Walt Disney World Haunted Mansion version of his "We're Dying To Meet You" painting.

All pictures and SHAG artwork: copyright Disney

The legendary Miroslav Sasek children's books on the major cities of the world are now on the Disney and more Amazon Store! The best one are the one about London , New York, Paris, Hong Kong, Rome and San Francisco. It's a vision of these cities how they looked in the 1960's, and it's fantastic AND full of humor! Believe me , it will be a great gift for you or your children at only $12.99!

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