Saturday, September 21, 2013

Editor's Note: A great DLP Update awaits you below, but first, for those of you staying in Hong Kong, here is the latest news about giant hurricane Usagi which will make landfall on Hong Kong tonight. According to the latest forecast from Hong Kong Observatory are expected "Northwest winds force 7 to 8, becoming cyclonic force 12 later. Frequent heavy squally showers and thunderstorms. Rough to very rough seas, becoming phenomenal later." 
With winds up to force 12 (!) and "phenomenal" seas awaited later today, you probably understand why it might be better to stay at your home during the next 48 hours. Sunny weather is expected to be back at HK starting next thursday or friday.

Disneyland Paris Update : Officials Announcements about DLP Future, First Ratatouille Visual and Final Title Unveiled, and more !

Here is a new DLP update but as Disneyland Paris unveiled today on their Facebook page a series of news about the future as well as the first visual and the official name of the Ratatouille ride, i've combined them with my pictorial update that i had scheduled to post this week-end. 

So, let's start with DLP official news and the first one is of course the one which was awaited by DLP fans, i.e a first visual and the official name of the WDS Ratatouille ride which will be called in french: "Ratatouille: L'Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémi". DLP announced that "This world-first adventure uses state-of-the-art technologies that will reduce you to the size of a little rat … Plunge into the heart of a particularly excited Parisian kitchen!" The picture above shows clearly the ride vehicle and the fact that guests will be indeed "reduced" at the size of a rat with oversized decors all along the ride. Also note that there is a play on the word "toquée" as "toqué" means crazy in french but the word "toque" also means the hat of a cook. So, in this case one of the translation in english could be "Ratatouille: Remi's totally crazy adventure". They probably won't use this one but it seems that the original english title " Ratatouille Kitchen Calamity " may not be used finally, we'll see...

The next DLP official news is about the Halloween Season : "Do you like to shake with laughter? Our first surprise is about to begin! As of 5 October, make way for the Disney Halloween Festival. Mickey and his Friends have prepared an unforgettable party for you in the Park, more invaded than ever by pumpkins and ghosts! Come meet Uncle Scrooge and his nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie for a brand new Cavalcade before learning to sew at Minnie’s Costume Couture. And if you have a sweet tooth, Goofy will adjust his remarkable candy-making machine to make your "mouth water!" 

I'm adding that Jack and Sally as well as Disney villains will always be part of Halloween as well as the Disney Dreams! show which will play every night too!

And now, the news about the Christmas season which confirm that there will be a special Christmas version of the Disney dreams show with new sequences! : 
"Would you rather shiver when a snowflake falls on the tip of your nose? Right! Well then come join us as of 10 November for the most magical Christmas at Disneyland Paris. Come meet the heroes of the next Disney animation movie “Frozen, the Snow Queen”, admire our new Christmas Cavalcade and dream of the presents you would like to discover on Christmas day at the foot of our brand new 24-meter tall Christmas tree … Last –but not least- make the dream go on and on by staying wide awake in front of our unique and mind-blowing nighttime show “Disney Dreams ! of Christmas”. You have now understood that at Christmas time, more than any time, Disneyland Paris slips into its most beautiful light costume and piles on the presents, all for you!"

Another news about the future, but this one was NOT unveiled today by DLP but by the Disney Gazette forum and it is a plan showing a project scheduled for between 2015 and 2020 of a new hotel and convention centre as well as a new bus station will be built near the Disney Village and the Vinci parking lot.

And now, here is the DLP pictorial update thanks to pictures of Max Fan, D&M contributor and Dlrp Welcome webmaster. As we had today a special announcement about the Ratatouille ride let's start with the latest picture of the Ratatouille construction site.

The scaffoldings have been removed on the part of the show building where will be the ride entrance!

Here are some closer shots... well as pictures of the others building on the right.

Here is something else which will interest you, always about the Ratatouille ride: the pictures below were posted by Disney Magic Interactive  and shot at the EAS show recently and show decors made by the PnP company. What is interesting is that PnP previously worked for DLP on some floats of the Once Upon a Dream parade. Max think - and me too - that these might show some of the oversized decors elements which will be inside the Ratatouille ride. I remind you that the guests are supposed to "have" the size of a rat during the ride. And by the way the caption on the left "Major theme park, 2014 attraction" confirms that this is very probably for the Ratatouille ride.

At the Disneyland Park, nothing special except that they already started to put the Christmas lighting on Sleepy Beauty Castle - but you won't notice it from the ground.

Another good news is that Peter Pan's Flight is open again...

...but the Carousel de Lancelot is now in refurbishment!

Outside the parks, works are still going on on the new esplanade gate, the one leading to the Vinci car park, as you can see on the pics below from Disney Central Plaza and Dlrp Welcome.

And a small bad news to end this update as the new Lego Store at Disney Village will have a delay in its opening as a fake ceiling fell down during the installation and now all works have been stopped.

O-kay, that's all for today's DLP update and i'll be back soon with a new one. In the meantime I remind you that the Disneyland Paris book - in which you have the whole park in 320 pages with 750 photos including 250 WDI renderings - is still available in its collector edition but that unfortunately there is now less than TEN copies of the Disneyland Paris From Sketch to Reality book available in its ENGLISH collector's edition - the FRENCH edition is also available - so if you don't own the book yet, it's really now or never! 

And there is a special price right now with a $45 / 40€ discount on the normal price, so order your collector copy while there is still copies available as it's really the last english collector copies. You'll find below a one click Paypal button as well as a video showing the whole book. Also, you can have more infos about this gorgeous 320 pages book HERE

Disneyland Paris From Sketch to Reality - Include shipping

Click on the image below to jump to the book presentation.

Picture: copyright Disney, Max Fan - DLRP Welcome, Disney Central Plaza

Last News About Super Typhoon heading Towards Hong Kong Disneyland

Here are the last news about super typhoon Usagi: So far, it seems that the 1000 km large monster typhoon is always heading towards Hong Kong  - and so Hong Kong Disneyland - and should be there in the next 48 hours. The good news is that Usagi winds should be less strong but still probably around 150 km/h which is still enough to be devastating. 

And here is what the park will do if Usagi don't change its path. Practically, all the outdoor and semi-outdoor attractions ( like for instance Fantasyland Carousel ) will be closed when "typhoon signal number 3" will be announced ( i.e a sustained wind speed of 41-62 kilometres per hour (km/h) with gusts which may exceed 110 km/h). 

However, Hong Kong Disneyland will announce an early closure of the park 2-3 hours before "typhoon signal number 8" ( i.e a sustained wind speed of 63-117 km/h and gusts which may exceed 180 km/h) and the park will reopen in the next 2 hours after typhoon signal number 8 will be off. Apparently this is HKDL regulation each time there is a hurricane, and this one should make no exception. 

Again, if you live in or are currently visiting Hong Kong, stay safe as a 1000 km large typhoon is no joking!

Jerry Bruckheimer to End Deal With Disney

From the N.Y Times : "The Walt Disney Company and Jerry Bruckheimer announced on Thursday that they would end a movie deal under which Mr. Bruckheimer has produced hits like the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series, and a notable flop in “The Lone Ranger.”
Mr. Bruckheimer, one of Hollywood’s most respected senior producers, has been making movies with Disney since the early 1990s, when he was executive producer of “The Ref.”
In a statement, Disney and Mr. Bruckheimer said they would end their existing deal when it expires next year. The statement said Mr. Bruckheimer intends to produce “more mature films” than those for which he has been known at Disney, while the studio plans to focus on pictures from its Pixar, Marvel, LucasFilm and Walt Disney units".
BUT, as none of them are fools, Jerry Bruckheimer said in the announcement that he planned to continue working with Disney on future “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “National Treasure” movies. So, end of the alert, POTC movies are still coming, and all what we ask them is to make good ones!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

RED ALERT for Hong Kong Disneyland as 1000 Km Large Monster Typhoon Usagi is Heading Towards Hong Kong

RED ALERT for Hong Kong Disneyland as Monster Typhoon Usagi is Heading Towards Hong Kong !!!

I don't say this often but this time i think the "red alert" is justified, so let's be clear: Super Typhoon Usagi is Earth's most powerful typhoon of the year, has explosively intensified in the last 24 hours to reach the equivalent of a type 5 hurricane with winds over 230 km/h, and is heading towards Hong Kong where it should arrive late Sunday. In two words, if the typhoon don't change its path, it's potentially an extremely dangerous storm coming right towards Hong Kong Disneyland. It's "the perfect storm", and it couldn't be worst.

This is serious, we are not talking here about a regular typhoon, this one is really a monster storm, 1000 km large, and to give you a better idea the size of Usagi equals the size of France AND Germany together - see picture above. It's a monster storm with winds right now over 150 mph ( over 230 km/h ) and  if it was in the U.S it will be considered as a hurricane type 5 , the highest one. I strongly recommand any of you who are planning to visit HKDL this week-end to cancel your trip and to watch closely the weather reports if you're already in Hong Kong or South East Asia. Taiwan apparently will have the luck to avoid the typhoon but even if Usagi change its mind and avoid a direct land fall on Hong Kong, considering its 1000 km large diameter there is no way to escape to the usual heavy rains which comes with a typhoon.

Again, don't underestimate Usagi as it is Earth's most powerful typhoon of the year and let's hope that Hong Kong will be spared as with winds over 230 km/h it will be hard for Hong Kong Disneyland to avoid serious damages. If Usagi stay on the same track i wouldn't be surprised if the park was closed when the typhoon will land in Hong Kong as i don't see them leaving the park open with 230 km/h winds.

Best luck to all of you staying over there and stay safe as the "big one" is coming in two days from now.

Pictures: copyright Joint Typhoon Warning Center

Big changes in U.S release dates of upcoming Disney / Pixar movies, and more WDC news...

Big changes have been announced in the U.S release dates of upcoming Disney / Pixar movies and one of the reasons of all this is apparently linked to Pixar's Good Dinosaur as Pixar needs more time to finish the movie after Bob Peterson was removed as Director of the animated feature.

So, The Good Dinosaur previously scheduled for a release on May 30, 2014 will be released November 25, 2015 and then it's a kind of game of musical chairs as Finding Dory - Nemo's sequel - originally scheduled for November 25, 2015 has been pushed back to June 17, 2016.  And, Maleficent - this one a non-animated movie starring Angelina Jolie - previously scheduled for a release July 2, 2014 will be released earlier on May 30, 2014. All this means that we'll have two Pixar movies in 2015 - the other one being the awaited "Inside Out" and apparently no one in 2014. That said there will be a 3D animated film as the "Planes" sequel is scheduled for 2012.

Talking about movies Disney also announced that, starting 2015 each year should see the release of one or two Pixar movies, two "Marvel" movies, one Star Wars movie - new SW Episode or spin-off , one Walt Disney Animation movie, and two or three Disney "live" movies.

Some days ago Jay Rasulo also announced that "the sky is the limit" for Star Wars future, adding that the Star Wars license is an "evergreen property" and that "the market is extremely hot for everything Star Wars" something i can agree with him. Rasulo also announced that Disney will reduce its investments in the years to come - something which might be a mistake considering that Disney's biggest competitor Universal Studios announced their plans to build new attractions each year thanks to a $500M budget per year! - but considering all the expenses they did recently with two new Disney Cruise Line ships, the new lands at DCA, the new Fantasyland at WDW MK and Disney's Aulani Resort in Hawai, it's hard to say that they didn't spent any money... However that is no good news at least for the immediate future and also unfortunately confirm what i told you recently about Disneyland Paris future.

Let's end these news with the new teaser for the Toy Story of Terror short animated to be aired on ABC on October 16.

Video: copyright Disney

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Vehicle On Track

Some fresh news from the even Dwarfs Mine Train construction at WDW Magic Kingdom with, first, the picture above showing ride workers and Imagineers surrounding one of the train vehicle in what seems to be the future boarding room, and you'll note that part of the vehicle is under the platform. I'm not 100% sure of the reason why but may be this is due to the fact that the part of the vehicle where guests will seat will be able to move and they probably had to find a trick to avoid the upper part of the vehicle to topple when guests will board inside the train.

Also, the first pictures showing one of these mine vehicle on track "outside" have been posted by Mouse Steps and they also did the video below.

Picture: copyright Disney

Video: copyright Mouse Steps

Disneyland Haunted Mansion Holiday Version Making-Of Video

Disneyland Haunted Mansion is now in its holiday version, paying tribute to Nightmare before Christmas, but how Disneyland Imagineers do all the changes and how long does it take to them to do them, that's what this always too short Disney Parks video will show you!

Picture and video: copyright Disney

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

$16M Upgrade For Tokyo Disneyland Jungle Cruise in 2014

A short but good news from Tokyo Disneyland as the park will do a 1.6 billion Yen ($16.1 million US) upgrade on Jungle Cruise that will close on January 6, 2014 and reopen Fall 2014. According to TDL press release, “The revamped version of the attraction will have new lighting effects and other special show effects. In addition, a specially written musical sound track will be heard throughout the attraction for the first time in any Jungle Cruise. Also, an after-dark only “night cruise” will provide a unique take on the jungle adventure. 

The new Jungle Cruise will offer Guests an adventure that is even more thrilling than before. From on board the attraction’s boats, Guests will explore jungle landscapes full of wild animals with the help of their daring and comical skipper who guides them through the beauty and dangers of this exotic world. The adventure includes a startling encounter with one of the animal spirit guardians in the ruins of a lost jungle temple!”

I remind you that as announce in my previous update TDL apparently cancelled Cars Land and will build instead major additions in Fantasyland. More details in the full article HERE.

Picture: copyright Tokyo Disneyland

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Disneyland Minimalists Attraction Posters

Disneyland released on its Facebook page a series of five attraction posters and these are specially designed in a "minimalist" style, using only a visual element that instantly identify the attraction.  Not bad, not totally exceptional, but nice work.

They've also released three others visuals, less minimalists this time but cool anyway, related to Jungle Cruise, Splash Mountain and Peter Pan's Flight. Here they are!

Pictures: copyright Disney

Thor: "Treasures of Asgard" Opening at Disneyland Innoventions Nov 1st Will Teleport DL Guests to Asgard !

Thor "The Dark World" will open in theaters this November, and on November 1st "Thor : The Treasures of Asgard" an interactive experience will open at Disneyland Innoventions! 

The Disney Parks blog released more details about this Thor experience: "Astrophysicist Jane Foster, who established a special relationship with Thor, has been studying the “Bifrost,” a cosmic bridge that allows Thor to travel between the Nine Realms, including Earth. She has determined that the Bifrost is set to open again in Southern California and pinpointed the precise location as Innoventions at Disneyland park".

"Inside Innoventions, Foster and her team are preparing for the opening of the Bifrost with the installation of Thor: Treasures of Asgard, a collection of objects brought to Earth straight from Asgard. After viewing the exhibit, you’ll be invited to enter a chamber where the Bifrost will transport you to Asgard for an audience with Thor himself!"

So, it seems that you have to be ready to be teleported to Asgard this fall for a meeting with the almighty Thor himself, thanks to amazing special effects from WDI wizards. And just like you, i'm very curious to see how they will do this!

Picture: copyright Disney - Marvel

Tokyo Disneyland Update : No Cars Land for TDL , Major Additions Coming to TDL Fantasyland

May be you remember the Mice Age article posted by Al Lutz last November. In his update, called "Cars Land in Tokyo", Al was revealing that TDL was planning to bring Cars Land at TDL Magic Kingdom but at a cost: "Much of Tokyo’s “Westernland” would need to be repurposed and the Rivers of America section would be removed entirely..." although "...Big Thunder Mountain, the Country Bear Jamboree and the original frontier town buildings would remain at the front of the land, with the Western River Railroad continuing to circle the property. But towards the back of Westernland the entire Rivers of America would be leveled and turned into Cars Land." 

Disney fans reactions were not specially enthusiastic at the idea to see TDL Rivers of America disappearing from Westernland, specially in a park which don't have that much spaces with water, even as Al said if "the Rivers of America takes up a huge amount of space but delivers very little in the way of attraction capacity for that crowded park". And God knows how Tokyo Disneyland can be crowded all year long. So, i suppose that WDI Imagineers had a point on this one when they did in Glendale their presentation to Oriental Land top executives, including OLC President and CEO. As Al noted in his update "additional capacity is a huge selling point for the Japanese executives" and for sure we can't blame them to try to add capacity to Tokyo Disneyland. 

But i have a good news for TDL fans who were furious at the idea to can't sail anymore on Westernland Rivers of America as from what i've been told the project to build Cars Land at TDL has been cancelled. I don't know the precise reasons, but may be TDL execs finally understood that the idea to remove a big part of Westernland was not that good after all, or may be it is because of the cost, or may be it is not possible to build Cars Land for technical reasons. As you may know Tokyo Disneyland was built on landfill, and the weight of Carsland rockwork may have been a cost issue in firming up the ground beneath it. Another reason could be for earthquake regulations, the weight and height of the rockwork might have been a problem in case an earthquake happen...

So, except if TDL execs change their mind, Cars Land won't come to Japan - at least at Tokyo Disneyland. But the story has a good ending as in exchange Tokyo Disneyland envision a major Fantasyland expansion, apparently pretty big in size, similar or almost to WDW New Fantasyland. No news yet on which attractions will be part of it but, as OLC pretty much only copy in TDL what has previously been done in U.S parks and go for cute things the most, the Little Mermaid or Seven Dwarfs coaster rides could come soon at TDL Fantasyland. Though with Mermaid Lagoon next door at TDS it's may be not sure that the Little Mermaid ride will come finally to TDL... 

That said, the big question is: where these Fantasyland additions will be built? Because the problem of the available land remains the same and there is not that much spaces available at TDL. Have a look at the Google Earth screen capture above - click on the picture to enlarge it - as it will help you to understand the problem. The picture shows TDL Fantasyland with Westernland on the right, Toon Town on the bottom left with part of the parking lot, and Autopia and Tomorrowland on the top left. The show buildings in the bottom center are those of It's a Small World, Haunted Mansion and Splash Mountain.

As you can see there is not a lot of choice. Something is going to be removed to make room for these Fantasyland additions and either it will be Autopia, or it could be Toon Town, or they might take a part of the parking lot behind Toon Town. Although Westernland is close to Fantasyland i can't imagine they will build their new Fantasyland there as it will mean that we'll be back to the previous problem, i.e the disappearing of a big part of Westernland. Removing Autopia would be the logical choice, as Autopia always take a lot of land, but this will mean to reduce Tomorrowland and TDL might be interested to keep this space for a future Star Wars or Marvel lands. Another option would be to take away only a small piece of the Rivers of America near the Haunted Mansion. You could make the river loop smaller and gain some land that way, but it may not be enough. Losing Toontown might also be the easiest fix. Removing Toon Town and Autopia next to it would make available a big piece of land. On the right of Toon Town is a Small World, but i wonder if they would ever get rid of It's a Small World, the ride is almost sacred! So far, i don't have the answer so is suppose that for now all we have to do is to wait for more details about this exciting Fantasyland additions!

Pictures: copyright Disney, Google Earth

Monday, September 16, 2013

Planes Characters Introduced in DCA Soarin' Pre-show Movie

Remember one of my previous articles about Soarin' in which i was telling you about this rumor saying that the characters from "Planes" could be introduced in the attraction? Well, since this week-end the Planes pre-show at DCA includes a pre-show movie with them as you will see on the video below filmed by

I was not a big fan - to say the least - to have Planes characters introduced in the show movie but as long as they stay in the pre-show it should be fine. They even can add a full size plane of a "Planes" character outside near the entrance if they want, it'll be okay too.

Vidoe: copyright

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Disneyland Paris Update !

Let's start the week with a Disneyland Paris update thanks to a pictorial report by Max Fan, D&M contributor and Dlrp Welcome webmaster! 

The first Autumn rains have arrived in the north of France but DLP can still expect not too cold temperatures - and why not an indian summer - until the end of October, so it's not too late for you to visit the park if you're planning to do so.

In Main Street U.S.A, at Town Square,  the works on the ground are over and the Parade is now back on its normal route...

...But if you look well you'll see on the top of Main Street Transportation Co building a strange net. First, i thought it might be there to avoid pigeons coming on the roof, but it didn't had much sense...

In fact a rehab on the building is scheduled for next quarter and the net is here to make sure  that in the meantime parts of the top won't eventually fall on the guests.

Let's move to Frontierland, one of DLP guests' favorite land! The picture below shows the entrance with the Fort - which is in good shape - but something which was there at park's opening has disappeared since many years and it's the moose horns over the Fort entrance gate. And guess what? Michael Jackson was in the park the night they were attached to the overhead beam, and liked them a lot! Now, these moose horns are gone, God knows where and why...

On the teepees, the smoke effect appears too white and it looks more like a steam smoke. Oil mixture should make it blacker to fit what the reality was.

Anyway, here we are in Frontierland and the sky was blue again over Big Thunder Mountain Island.

What is a little bit less "blue" however is what is also missing: a large timbered 3 stamp mill on Big Thunder Island at lower mill building is completely missing. On the trains locomotives, Big Thunder Engine's front driving light is missing and although the bracket is still there Big Thunder engines large drive wheels are also missing.

At Phantom Manor, some maintenance is currently happening at the exit of Phantom Manor's ride

Talking about Phantom Manor a good news for DLP fans as DLP merchandise has introduced new products themed on Phantom Manor. They already released some months ago these T-Shirts...

...and now they released these others cool items for sale in the Park or at the Disney Gallery inside Disney Village. Some if not most of them are adapted from Disneyland's Haunted Mansion merchandise products but rethemed on Phantom Manor,  like the coasters below.
( Photos: forum Disney Central Plaza )

 Let's move to Adventureland, and on the way we notice fences who have been placed between Frontierland and Adventureland entrance.

Nothing special in Adventureland, where the Temple du Péril was working fine...

It's also the time of the year during which Adventureland vegetation is at its best and you will feel being really immersed in a tropical land...

Not much more is happening too at Fantasyland, where Peter Pan's Flight is also surrounded by fences for the refurbishment which is going on...

...and Toad Hall restaurant, one of DLP Fantasyland less known and best themed restaurant, is reopen again!

At Discoveryland's Space Mountain,  you may be asked - like it happened for Max - for a bit of help. Space Mountain cast members might give you - if you accept - a badge at the entrance of the queue line that you will give then at a CM before boarding in the train.

This is done to determine the queue waiting time.  The CM will "bip" the badge on a terminal and the waiting time will appear automatically at the entrance of the ride. 

O-kay, that's all for today's DLP update and we'll be back soon with a new one. In the meantime I remind you that the Disneyland Paris book - in which you have the whole park in 320 pages with 750 photos including 250 WDI renderings - is still available in its collector edition but that unfortunately there is now less than TEN copies of the Disneyland Paris From Sketch to Reality book available in its ENGLISH collector's edition - the FRENCH edition is also available - so if you don't own the book yet, it's really now or never! 

And there is a special price right now with a $45 / 40€ discount on the normal price, so order your collector copy while there is still copies available as it's really the last english collector copies. You'll find below a one click Paypal button as well as a video showing the whole book. Also, you can have more infos about this gorgeous 320 pages book HERE.

Disneyland Paris From Sketch to Reality - Include shipping

Click on the image below to jump to the book presentation.

Picture: copyright Max Fan - DLRP Welcome