Saturday, March 16, 2013

Only This Week-end : Order Your Collector Copy of the Disneyland Paris Book and Save $45 on the Normal Price !

It's DLP WDS 11th Anniversary today and i remind you that i'm doing a special price on the Disneyland Paris, From Sketch to Reality book all the week-end! Anyone who will order the book before sunday evening, midnight california time, will order it at the special price of 85 euros only + 15 euros for shipping wherever you live on the planet! You can use the Paypal one-click button below if you wish or send me an email at:

Choose quantity and enjoy additional discount!

Official : Awaited HKDL Mystic Manor Will Open in May !

It's official, Hong Kong Disneyland has announced it on its Facebook page, Mystic Manor will open in May! They don't say "when" exactly in May but you are welcome to come and visit Lord Henry & Albert at Mystic Manor as soon as this highly awaited ride will open! 

Picture: copyright Disney

Discover the Old Faithful Inn, the inspiration for WDW Wilderness Lodge

As i always say, i defy anybody who enter Walt Disney World Wilderness Lodge stunning lobby to don't stop and say: " Wow! ". And it's true that the gorgeous work on this spectacular lobby leaves everybody breathless.

But where the imagineers did found their inspiration for the Wilderness Lodge? This is what we will see today, but first, i want to say a big thanks to Eddie Sotto for his pictures and his exceptional contribution today at Disney and more. Eddie was the show producer of Disneyland Paris Main Street - simply the best Main Street ever built for a Magic Kingdom - and, among many other projects he worked on when he was a WDI imagineer, Eddie was also the creator of the Sci-Fi City project, a new and fantastic vision for Tokyo Disneyland's Tomorrowland.

Recently, Eddie went at Yellowstone Park, Wyoming, at the Old Faithful Inn. And, as we will see, it seems that this Old Faithful Inn was the source material in many ways for WDW's Wilderness Lodge. Note that the Yellowstone Park also inspired many years ago Disneyland now extinct attraction "Mine Train through Nature's Wonderland".

The pictures below - a mix of Eddie's photos of the Old Faithful Inn and official pictures of the Wilderness Lodge will show you how the Old Faithful Inn was inspirational for WDI Imagineers. But as usual, they didn't made a simple "copy" of the original. Although the Old Faithful Inn is beautiful, i think it's fair to say that the imagineers transcend it to give us an even more spectacular version of this 100 years old hotel.

A bit of history, first: The Old Faithful Inn, located in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, was built by architect Robert Reamer, an architect for the Great Northern Railway. The structure is the largest log hotel in the world - possibly even the largest log building in the world.

With its spectacular log and limb lobby and massive (500-ton, 85-foot) stone fireplace, the inn is a prime example of the "Golden Age" of rustic resort architecture, a style which is also known as National Park Service Rustic. It is also unique in that it is one of the few log hotels still standing in the United States.

Initial construction was carried out over the winter of 1903-1904, largely using locally-obtained materials including lodgepole pine (the bark was later removed in 1940) and rhyolite stone. When the Old Faithful Inn first opened in the spring of 1904, it boasted electric lights and steam heat.

The Inn has been expanded and modified several times. In 1913 the East Wing was added to the 120-room original structure, and in 1922 the dining room was enlarged. In 1927-1928 the West Wing was built, and the front of the main building extended.

The facility was closed for the duration of the Second World War and on August 17, 1959 the Old Faithful Inn was shaken by the Hebgen Lake earthquake which collapsed the dining room fireplace chimney and damaged the huge lobby fireplace. The Old Faithful Inn was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987.

The first pictures below show the Old Faithful Inn exterior...

...and the Wilderness Lodge building.

Here is some views of the Old Faithful Inn lobby, with its huge fireplace chimney...

And here is the lobby of the Wilderness Lodge, also with a huge chimney.

A close-up on the chimney of the Old Faithful Inn...

...and the one of the Wilderness Lodge.

Another view from another angle of the Old Faithful Inn...

...And one of the Wilderness lodge.

When we look at the ceiling, it's amazing how all these logs were assemble together one hundred years ago.

A view from almost the same angle, shoot at Christmas at the Wilderness Lodge.

One of the restaurants of the Old Faithful Inn...

...And the Whispering Canyon Cafe and the Artist Point Restaurant at the Wilderness Lodge.

But there is something else that the Old Faithful Inn and the Wilderness Lodge share together: geysers! the Old Faithful Inn got his name, precisely, from the "Old Faithful" geyser which erupt regularly nearby...

The Wilderness Lodge also have a geyser, but it's an "imagineering-made" geyser!

As you saw, it's quite obvious that the Old Faithful Inn was the inspiration for WDI imagineers when they've designed the Wilderness Lodge. But as i've said at the beginning, it's also true that Imagineering did with the Wilderness Lodge a new version of unbelievable grandeur. This last picture, a beautiful sunset shot of the Wilderness Lodge, is a perfect example of what i mean.

Old Faithful Inn pictures: copyright Eddie Sotto (except pictures 3 and 8 from the top)

Wilderness Lodge pictures: copyright Disney

Hey, i remind you that this week-end the acclaimed Disneyland Paris book is at 85 euros only instead of 120€! Order your collector copy and save $45 / 35€ on the normal price!
Shipping wherever you live on the planet is 15€ only and you can pay with Paypal using the one-click Paypal button below!

Choose quantity and enjoy additional discount!

Tom Staggs Comments on WDW Disney Springs Model - Video

Orlando examiner has posted this interesting video showing Tom Staggs giving some comments about the upcoming WDW Disney Springs in front of Disney Springs model. have a look!

Picture: copyright Disney

Video: copyright Orlando examiner

Friday, March 15, 2013

DLP Walt Disney Studios Celebrates Its 11 Anniversary !

Eleven Years ago, on March 15 and 16, 2002, the Walt Disney Studios park at Disneyland Paris was opening. A great evening celebration happened with french and american stars and the next day Roy Disney, Michael Eisner and Jay Rasulo did the official opening ceremony. For those who were not there here is the video of it! And let's hope that the next years will be the one who will make of the WDS a real full-day park. The Ratatouille ride will open next year, a not-yet announced Marvel Land should open too later, and may be an Avatar ride too... we'll see!

And, to celebrate this WDS 11th Anniversary i'm doing a special price on the Disneyland Paris, From Sketch to Reality book all the week-end! Anyone who will order the book between now and sunday evening, midnight california time, will order it at the special price of 85 euros only + 15 euros for shipping wherever you live on the planet! You can use the Paypal one-click button below if you wish or send me an email at:

Choose quantity and enjoy additional discount!

Picture: copyright Max Fan

Video: copyright Disney

Thursday, March 14, 2013

WDW Disney Springs Officially Announced

WDW Disney Springs which will replace Pleasure Island at Downtown Disney is officially announced! You have artworks of it above and below and here is the press release:

"Our fundamental goal is to create a welcoming, comfortable space where families can enjoy time together and instantaneously feel right at home. We want to give them opportunities to relax, to be entertained, to wander in and out of unique and distinctive shops or enjoy a world-class dining experience. And because we are Disney, we’ve anchored the entire experience around a story that gives us the ability to deliver on the legendary place-making and creativity for which we are known. The result is Disney Springs, a timeless and vibrant place that celebrates the turn-of-the century lakeside towns that dotted the Florida landscape.

The story of Disney Springs begins at our new Town Center, which is oriented around a series of bubbling natural springs that first attracted settlers to the area. From there, the town grew to encompass three additional neighborhoods: The Landing, Marketplace and West Side – each with its own distinct charm and atmosphere. Once complete, Disney Springs will expand from 75 to more than 150 shopping, dining and entertainment venues, featuring some of the world’s most iconic brands and restaurants. Construction is set to begin next month. The expansion will open in phases and we expect to complete our development in 2016."

So, goodbye Adventurer's Club and Pleasure Island discos, instead you will have plenty of shops - see the pictures below with the supposedly selected brand logos - to spend your dollars, including an Apple Store and a Marvel store. Oh, and you'll have too a Trader Sam Enchanted Tiki bar, probably similar to the great one at Anaheim, which is may be the best news in all this.

You can download the Disney Springs PDF HERE. Artwork: copyright Disney

Walt Disney in Rio de Janeiro, circa 1941 - Part One

I don't know if you've noticed, but there is so many pictures of Walt now available on web sites that it's more and more difficult to find never-seen-before pictures of Walt Disney. I mean, real good one, of good quality and shoot by a great photographer.

Now, any of you who already was a Disney and more reader in 2008 may remember this great article called "Walt Disney and Animation Artists in South America - 1941" posted November 19, 2008. These pictures were shoot by a LIFE Magazine photographer who was with Walt and his team of animators during their 1941 tour in South America. Most of them were coulour pictures and definitely great.

When i did this first article in 2008 i thought i have posted all the LIFE pictures available on this South american tour. But last week, back to the fantastic LIFE archives i realised that they added many more of them, this time all in black and white - and gorgeous black and white by LIFE photographer Hart Preston! In fact, there is so many new "old" pictures that this article will be divided in two parts.

Ready to go back in time for a fantastic time travel in Rio de Janeiro with Walt and his "Grupo"? Okay, so there we go! I strongly recommand to double-click on each picture to see them in big size.

On the top picture above Walt and Disney Studios animators stands on one of Rio's beach. The rare picture below show Walt in the streets of Rio de Janeiro.

As we know there is a lot of great beaches in Rio and Walt filmed many scenes with his camera.

I never thought i would see one day a picture of Walt lying on a beach, shooting a picture of nine young and handsome Cariocas!

On this next one, always on the beach, Walt is shooting a picture of a man and his dog, or may be it's only the sea...

Walt was not the only one of "El Grupo" to take pictures on this beach...

Two famous Disney animators - Frank Thomas and, i think, Mary Blair (correct me if i'm wrong) - enjoying the waves...

A little bit later - or was it before? - Frank thomas and Mary Blair on the beach and if anyone knows what they are doing on the sand, please let me know!
Edited: A good friend Imagineer told me that "They are sculpting a Mickey Mouse on the beach as you can see Mickeys feet the farthest away, his ear and button".

legendary artists Herb Ryman and Lee Blair (i think) having fun in a motor boat.

Always near the beach, Walt giving an autograph to a young Carioca.

All the group enjoying a drink, may be near Rio's beach.

Two rare pictures of Walt playing tennis - topless! - in Rio.

On a new location, may be a botanical garden, with the group.

Walt seems to be fascinated by these giant bamboos...

If you're looking for Walt on a picture, it's very simple, generally he is the one holding the camera!

I don't know what was Walt's problem on this next picture, but obviously there was one!

Walt enjoying a meal, probably the same day according to Walt clothes. Mary Blair is in the background.

But let's not forget that Disney animators came in South America first to find some material for the making of Saludos Amigos. On these next pictures you will see that they did sketches of almost anything, whether it was a fountain...

...or an amazing Brazilian bird...

...or waterfalls...

..or flowers - here, Lee Blair doing a sketch...

...or ducks - probably Herb Ryman standing...

...but also a monkey...

...or more simply the sea!

Six of them having some rest and a beer.

Walt and his group took a lot of boats during their trip in Brazil, all kind of boats. On the next picture they arrive on a pier to board on a kind of "Riva". Walt is on the right.

...and Walt (sit in the back of the boat) looks happy!

Another day, it was another kind of boat on which the group did a little cruise. No motor boat this time!

And Walt keeps filming!

Another day, in the bay of Rio, the group discovered pedal boats !

It seems that Walt was decided to try them!

...but with a drink it will be even better!

Frankly, Walt, drinking a beer while riding a pedal boat, is it reasonable?

A pedal boat race between Walt and...Lee blair?

But Walt didn't came to Brazil only to enjoy a good beer on pedal boat in the bay of Rio (!), he was also there - remember it was early 1941 before U.S. entry into World War II - because the United States Department of State commissioned Disney for a goodwill tour as part of the U.S Good Neighbor Policy. On this next picture Walt have a cup of coffee with what seems to be a high Brazilian official, and the "cup of coffee" looks very diplomatic!

Walt thanks his host after his official meeting.

This next picture is incredible. Obviously it shows a business or "power" meeting and i've never seen a picture showing this kind of meeting where you can feel a tension like the one which was in this room on that day. Everybody is around Walt!

Same day, probably same room, and Walt, with some dust in his eye!

We will end this part one of the article with this picture. Apparently Walt is listening to an audio-recording.

The PART TWO of the article with 50 never-seen-before pictures of Walt and his group is now on line HERE!
And check my other article below which also talk about Rio and how Disney might come back in Brazil more than 70 years after Walt and his group!

Thanks to leave a comment or discuss this article on D&M english forum on Mice Chat

All pictures: copyright LIFE Magazine - All pictures by Hart Preston