Friday, May 17, 2013

New " Planes " Trailer Released, It Looks Really Good... And Why The Movie Might Also Be A Trailer For A New Attraction Coming in 2016 At DCA and WDW Epcot !

Disney released at last a real trailer for the upcoming "Planes" movie and i wonder why it took them so long to show us something better than the previous "Top Gun" style shots.  Now it looks not only much better than expected but you will also understand why John Lasseter and Bob Iger decided to release Planes in theater instead than directly on Dvd or Blu Ray.

You can watch the trailer below and as you will see we learn more about the storyline.
Apparently there will be a planes race around the world...

...which will lead the different planes to fly over many countries... India and the famous Taj Mahal... Vietnam's Halong Bay ( or it might be a China landscape )... the north american national parks...

...or even New York.

The animation was done by Disney Studios - not Pixar - and looks really good, so that's a good point. But what is interesting in this planes race around the world is that i wonder if it's not also a way to introduce the new and long awaited  "Soaring over the world'" movie which is not yet officially announced but is in fact scheduled to replace Soarin' Over California at DCA and Epcot in 2016, one year after it will make its debut at Shanghaî Disneyland Adventureland under the title "Soaring Over The Horizon".

And, as i've been told recently that the Soarin' attraction might change its name and become a "Planes" attraction - although the ride system should remain the same - you understand why i make a link between this excellent trailer in which we see planes literally "flying over the horizon", and the Soaring ride itself...

That said, may be there is also another kind of "Planes" ride coming as Mark Hickson, former Imagineer, revealed on his excellent site Disney by Mark that he has been told by an insider source that the new WDI patent called "Twister Ride System" would be used for a "Planes" ride. You can see more patent sketches as well as an explanation of this twister ride system on Mark's site HERE.

I'm sure we will know more about all this pretty soon, may be at the next D23 Expo in three months.

Anyway, in the meantime here is the Planes trailer, hope you'll enjoy it!

Pictures and video: copyright Disney

Disney World furious after report of wealthy people hiring disabled to skip lines

It has been a tough week for Disney: first they had to withdraw their copyright filing of 'Dia de los Muertos" because so many mexican american were outraged that Disney tried to copyright a religious and cultural Latin America tradition, then arrived the Merida re-look problem and Disney finally announced today that the new look of Merida was cancelled - as a petition was signed by 200.000 people (!), and finally arrived the "rich hiring disabled people to cut lines at WDW" scandal, but this time it's not Disney which is to blame.

A company called Dream Tours Florida was proposing WDW guide tours for $1000 a day, which is already insane, but wait the best is yet to come as the guides were disabled people! ...thanks to whom the rich families were able to cut lines as disabled guests have a special access on all rides. It looks like a summit of cynism, and it is. Disney is of course furious and promised to take legal actions against this infamous guide tours but all medias are already talking about this. And this was revealed by Wednesday Martin, an author from New York that you can see in the CNN video below, who released this story curiously at the time of release of her new book precisely talking about the crazy "1%" rich people! Cynism is everywhere indeed.

Videos: copyright CNN, RT

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Editor's Note: HKDL Mystic Manor had its Grand Opening celebration today and you'll find below not less than four great articles with new pictures and videos to celebrate this event!

HKDL Mystic Point Grand Opening Celebration

Hong Kong Disneyland had its Grand Opening celebration today...under the rain as it was a rainy day over Hong Kong! That didn't stopped Guests of Honor the Honorable John Tsang, Financial Secretary, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Mr. Bill Ernest, President and Managing Director, Asia Walt Disney Parks and Resorts to declare Mystic Point officially open. Each of the guests of Honor then placed a key on the top of the box in front of them...

...and magically the box opened revealing Mystic Manor's music box, which is at the center of the ride story.

“Today we mark the completion of Hong Kong Disneyland’s current expansion project on a high note with the opening of Mystic Point. This one-of-a-kind themed area has never been seen in any of our Disney parks worldwide,” said Bill Ernest.“For the first time, guests can immerse themselves in a unique adventure of theatrical wonders that combines traditional storytelling with innovative technology and special effects. The ‘Mystic Magneto-Electric Carriage’ in Mystic Manor is by far the most sophisticated ride system in Disney’s history".  

The story of Mystic Point follows the adventures of eccentric explorer and art collector Lord Henry Mystic, who invites guests to board the Mystic Magneto-Electric Carriage for a tour of his private museum located within his Victorian manor. When Lord Henry’s companion, his monkey Albert, mischievously opens a newly acquired magical music box, the enchanted Music Dust within is released and, accompanied by a haunting tune created by renowned composer Danny Elfman, a mysterious journey begins.

Here is the whole HKDL press release and do not miss below my three others articles posted today to celebrate the opening of Mystic Point, with new pictures and videos: 

With the addition of Toy Story Land in 2011, Grizzly Gulch in 2012 and Mystic Point this year, the size of Hong Kong Disneyland has increased by almost 25%, further enhancing its appeal with over 100 attractions, entertainment facilities and shows.

Since April, the Park has arranged a series of preview days for more than 30,000 guests, including Magic Access members, trade partners, business partners, Cast Members and their families, media, bloggers and celebrities. The preliminary feedback from guests has been overwhelmingly positive, with many describing Mystic Point as a truly mysterious journey that is full of surprises. Guests were particularly intrigued by the Mystic Magneto-Electric Carriage, the dark ride within Mystic Manor, which blends beautiful visuals with fascinating special effects.Based on a survey conducted among 2,700 travel trade partners who attended the three-day trade preview, 94% of  agents believed their clients will like Mystic Point and 89% of them felt their guests would choose a trip to Hong Kong Disneyland because of this new themed area.

To celebrate the opening of Mystic Point in Hong Kong, a creative advertising campaign will be launched to bring viewers on a journey to unlock the mystery of Mystic Point. In addition to traditional advertising medium such as TV, print and out-of-home media, the resort will also leverage interactive media to create an innovative communications strategy to entice consumers to visit Mystic Point. These include an online video with illusions and surprises to netizen, a TV program allowing viewers to interact using their smartphones and the use of convenience store displays as interactive gallery walls.

The mystery of Mystic Point will extend
 its reach to select overseas markets. A consumer event will be held at the end of May in Jakarta, Indonesia – the first of its kind in this location. Publicity activities in other markets, including Taiwan, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and India,are also in the pipeline. For the travel trade community, over 2,000 partners will be engaged through webinars and in-market trade launch events in Mainland China, Taiwan and Korea.The Park will also collaborate with some prominent TV programs in Mainland China.

 “The successful completion of the three new themed areas marks a milestone for Hong Kong Disneyland and the travel industry. We are confident that Mystic Point, along with Toy Story Land and Grizzly Gulch, will be the key drivers of growth for our ResortAs Walt Disney once said, ‘Disneyland will never be completed as long as there is imagination left in the world.’ The same applies to Hong Kong Disneyland, which will continue to grow, contribute to Hong Kong’s economy and create countless magical experiences for guests of all ages and origins,” said Andrew Kam.

Mystic Point is comprised of the iconic Mystic Manor, which features one of the most sophisticated ride systems ever built by Disney; a themed photo area called Garden of Wonderswith mystifying 3D illusions; the Explorer’s Club Restaurant, which offers international cuisines ranging from Korean and Japanese to Halal food in exotic surroundings; The Archive Shop, where guests can purchase exclusive novelty items and collectibles; and the Mystic Point Freight Depot, where Lord Henry’s grandnephews share with guests stories from their adventures with Lord Henry. 

Pictures: copyright Disney

HKDL Mystic Point Grand Opening : The Explorer's Club Restaurant and Archives Shop

In this third part of my today's Mystic Point article series celebrating the opening of Mystic Point at HKDL we will have a closer look at the Explorer's Club restaurant and Archives merchandise shop.

The Explorer's Club is Mystic Point main restaurant. Although i've been told that some of the artifacts of the beloved WDW Pleasure Island Adventurer's Club have found a new home at HKDL Mystic Point, the Explorer's Club is just what it is supposed to be, i.e the land restaurant with different rooms themed on different countries, Egypt, Morocco, Russia, China, and more...

Next to the Explorer's Club is The Archives shop, Mystic Manor merchandise shop, and this one looks pretty cool and with an interesting architecture and theming.

Even better, it seems that you'll be able to find some really cool merchandise at The Archives shop, including some inspired by a scene of the ride like this darts game with Albert the monkey, inspired by the ride tikis room scene.

Inside the Magic has posted a video in which HKDL Imagineers will tell you more about the new land and the Explorer's Club as well as The Archives shop!

Pictures: copyright Disney

Video: copyright Disney - Inside the Magic

HKDL Mystic Point Grand Opening : Mystic Point Garden of Wonders

Here is the second article in my Mystic Point series articles to celebrate the Grand Opening today and tomorrow of HKDL new land. The part one is below, and in this part two we will have a closer look to the other magical area of Mystic Point, the Garden of Wonders, a garden with antiques artifacts delivering optical illusions that HKDL guests can enjoy.

In the Garden of Wonders, several ancient sculptures and mosaics with unbelievable 3D illusions are displayed. Guests must view them from particular angles to unlock their mysteries, which offer the most bewildering and mystifying photo-taking experiences! Anamorphic sculpture and bas-relief anamorphic pylons which looks separated in three pieces but when one look at them from a precise angle the pieces magically come together like if they were one. 

As vast as Lord Henry’s collection is, precious artifacts from different historical backgrounds are temporarily stored at the Mystic Point Freight Depot, artifacts with which guests can have fun by putting their face at the right place. 

Mystic Point Freight Depot is also the place where Lord Henry’s grandnephews share stories with Guests from their adventures with Lord Henry. They have also invited friends they have met along the way to join them, and cultural ambassadors appear in traditional Native American, Egyptian, Bulgarian, Indian and Mexican attire, further enhancing the exotic international flavor of Mystic Point.

I have a great new video to share with you, probably the best i've seen so far showing Mystic Point and you'll see the Garden of Wonders as well as the whole new land like never before. The video also include the show at Mystic Point Freight Depot as well as the whole Mystic Manor ride!

Pictures: copyright Disney

Video: copyright stgemmy

HKDL Mystic Point Grand Opening : Mystic Manor Ride Vehicles : How It Works

Mystic Point is having its Grand Opening today and tomorrow at Hong Kong Disneyland and we're going to celebrate this new land with several articles with new great pictures and videos. In this first article we will have a closer look at the vehicle ride system and more specifically the routes of the different vehicles thanks to a perfect video from Mightymightykyt

As you may have seen in the previous Mystic Manor videos posted here the attraction use a trackless ride system and four vehicles enter the opening scene before moving next to the others scenes. But how do they move exactly, and in which order, this is what the well done video below will show you! 

By the way, Disneyland Paris fans should have a closer look at this video as the Ratatouille ride opening next year at the WDS will use the same kind of ride system...

Picture: copyright Disney

Video: copyright Mightymightykyt

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

WDW Magic Kingdom "A Pirate Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas" Scavenger Hunt Looks Really Cool

The new WDW Magic Kingdom interactive game "A Pirate Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas" opened recently and i have to say that it really looks pretty cool. One of the reason might come not only from the "Pirates" theme but also that it is located in Adventureland. I think that this kind of scavenger hunt fits better in Adventureland. 

Of course the Pirates theme is just perfect for this but i have to say that WDI Imagineers did a really great job and all the special effects whether they are small ones or others more sophisticated are wonderfully done. Yes, it's just a scavenger hunt, but it's the one you could dream of when you were a kid, with a bit more of technology in it. 


So let's have a look at it with some Youtube videos recently filmed and i also repost below the great concept-art, this time in high-def, so click on it to see it in big size.

The first video is from Walt Disney Imagineering with WDI Imagineers  Jonathan Ackley and Matt Beiler talking about this new interactive quest.

"In the game, the fate of piracy in the Caribbean rests in the hands of new pirate recruits, who, armed with magic talismans and treasure maps, embark on five different pirate raids throughout Adventureland to collect valuable treasures, while Captain Jack Sparrow’s magic compass guides them".

There is five different Pirates raids and the videos below shows four of them with, of course, what's happening and the different effects, so spoilers ahead.

Each guests receives a talisman - a RFID card - and a map and here is an example of one, click on it to explore in in big size. Picture from

There we go for the videos and the two first ones are from the always excellent Jeff Lange and show the "Heads You Lose" raid and then the "Blackbeard" raid.

The two next videos are from WDW News Today and show the "King's Ransom" raid and then the "Guardian's Curse" raid, and you better don't miss the cool final effect of this one.

I don't know what you think of all this but personally i really like it a lot. And i think that it would be very welcome if they would introduce something similar at Disneyland Paris Adventureland!

Artwork : copyright Disney

Videos : copyright Disney, Jeff Lange, WDW News Today

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Disney Withdraw its "Dia de Los Muertos" Trademark Filing

Here is something pretty incredible: in the upcoming film projects of Pixar Animation there is one called "Dia de Los Muertos". If you live in South Cal you certainly know that Dia de Los Muertos is related to a popular religious and cultural tradition in  Mexico and Central America which also become more and more popular in the U.S. 

BUT, because it was supposed to be the title of this new Pixar animated movie, Disney tried to trademark the words "Dia de Los Muertos". Disney filed not less than 10 requests in the U.S. Trademark and Patent Office this month to coin the phrase. Disney's filings were mainly for merchandise, presumably connected to an upcoming film. The areas Disney was hoping to secure included “education and entertainment services,” “fruit preserves; fruit-based snack foods,” “toys, games and playthings,” “clothing,” “footwear,” “backpacks,” “clocks and jewelry” and more.

 A concept-art for the upcoming Pixar animated movie, at that time still called            "Dia de Los Muertos". 

Although that i can understand on a corporate point of view that they try to protect their movies titles, in this case it was a bloody bad idea and what had to happen happened: as soon as the news was known many reacted angrily on social media with some accusing Disney of trying to profit from a sacred Mexican tradition. A petition was launched on which got more than 21000 signatures in a few days asking "Robert A. Iger, Chairman/CEO and the entire Board of Directors to stop the procedure seeking trademark applications and their attempt to secure ‘Dia de los Muertos’ across multiple areas". And a mexican cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz, even did the cartoon at the top of this article

In two words, this trademark filing became a big affair in just a few days and finally the mouse announced last week "that the company will be withdrawing its trademark filing". And that the Pixar animated movie will have a new title. Seriously, all this for that? They couldn't guess before filing that it was going to uproar the mexican community? 

Picture: copyright Lalo Alcaraz

Monday, May 13, 2013

Disneyland Paris Frontierland Update

D&M contributor Max Fan is back today with a short update about Disneyland Paris Frontierland Cowboy Cookout Barbecue Restaurant as the country musicians are back in it and Max even filmed a video of them playing.

From opening day the Cowboy Cookout Barbecue Restaurant has always been one of my favorite, not only because its theming but also because of the great lighting inside. The exterior of the building was entirely repainted two years ago. 

Great WDI Imagineer Pat Burke beside buying all the historical props that you can see all over Frontierland worked mostly on designing the exterior of the barn and finish applications of themed period materials on roofing and siding. Pat was not involved with interior placement of props, it's Imagineer Barbara Wightman who did that. Karen Armitage should also get a lot of credit for designing the Cowboy Cookout and Cecil Dover who did much of the lighting fixtures for it and other restaurants in Frontierland's Thunder Mesa. Ron Esposito was the man who gave the Cowboy Cookout the beautiful ageing and final paint finishes as well as in all of Thunder Mesa. 

Pat Burke also did the Corn Mill Shed, the Circle D Ranch and pond, the windmill and pump house and all the farm wagons like the one for the bandstand, water wagon and horse drawn field graders. He also worked with landscaping on the placement of rocks for the stream and fencing layout and themed gates. Pat also wish they would put back over Frontierland front gate Fort entrance the moose antlers which Michael Jackson approved of in 1993 during his midnight visit.

Guests can now meet Pluto who signs some autographs...

...but what make stem charm of the Cowboy Cookout Barbecue is indeed the country music played at the center of this huge barn while you enjoy your meal.

Here is Max video where you'll see and hear them playing!

I remind you that the Disneyland Paris, From Sketch to Reality book, in which you have the whole park in 320 pages with 750 photos including 250 WDI renderings is still available in its english or french edition. French collector signed copies are also always available. And we do a special price right now on it with a $45 / 40€ discount on the normal price, so order your collector copy while we still have copies available as we're really running low on the english copies. You'll find below a one click Paypal button as well as a video showing the whole book. And you can have more infos about this gorgeous 320 pages book HERE.

Choose between french or english edition -Price include shipping

Pictures: copyright Max Fan - Dlrp Welcome

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Editor's Note: Below, plenty of new great pics of DLP from above as well as my Star Trek into darkness review, but don't forget too to jump to the D&M Facebook page on which i've posted many others posts today! I remind you that you don't need to have a Facebook account to see the D&M Facebook page.

Star Trek Into Darkness Review - With No Spoilers

I saw in theaters this afternoon Star Trek Into Darkness, directed by J.J Abrams and i just have three words to define the screening: Oh. My. God.  Star Trek Into Darkness is extremely, incredibly, amazingly good. For me - but i'm not a Trekkie so i suppose that Trekkies might prefer another one - it's by far the best Star Trek movie i've seen since a loooong time. The first one four years ago was already great, but this one will be a dream for any Star Trek fan. And not only for them as the movie was done in a way that even someone who have never seen a Star Trek episode should enjoy it. It's immensely entertaining and Star Trek Into Darkness probably will be a huge success at the box office, and it deserves it.

And by the way, what a ride. Star Trek Into Darkness is a thrill ride from the start to the end with stunning action scenes, exhilarating special effects and gorgeous sets. And i don't mention the opening sequence which looks like an Indiana Jones opening scene. But Star Trek Into Darkness is also excellent because of its 5 stars script - which, just like in Iron Man 3 include a big twist except that here it's not a letdown - and its impeccable cast. I'm always amazed how chris Pine and Zachary Quinto, the two actors playing Kirk and Spock, not only look like Shatner and Nimoy but also have the same "energy". Benedict Cumberbatch who plays a villain called John Harrison is memorable and Simon Pegg playing Scotty brings the needed touch of humor between action scenes.

                                                    " My name is..... "

Actress Zoe Saldana - playing Uhura - and charming newcomer Alice Eve playing scientist Dr Carol Marcus  - yes, i know, she don't look like a scientist on the picture below! - are just perfect, too.  Composer Michael Giacchino is back to write the score and does a great job. Although you won't hear the legendary original Star Trek theme during the movie, don't worry, you'll have it at the end, during the end credits.

                                         " Can you turn around, Captain? "

But most of all, Star Trek Into Darkness is incredibly elegantly filmed. Action scenes - and even all the scenes are stylized and J J Abrams proves once again that he's not only a gifted director but also that he has understood "everything". What is great with Abrams is that he is not only talented but also a fan, and a fan who understands fans expectations. For instance, he knows how much Star Trek fans love the Enterprise and all the sets outside or inside are absolutely fantastic, gorgeous, spectacular.

But there is something else that you will understand watching Star Trek Into Darkness and that's how you can expect Star Wars episode 7 to be really really good.  The choice of JJ Abrams to direct the new trilogy couldn't be a better one - there is even a chase scene in "Into Darkness" which looks like a Star Wars scene - and i'm now expecting this awaited episode 7 to be as good as The Empire Strikes Back, which is generally considered as the best of the first six episodes. I'm sure JJ Abrams will do a great job, and that's another very good news indeed.

If you've not seen them yet, here are two different trailers showing different scenes.

Pictures and videos: copyright Paramount Studios