Saturday, October 25, 2014

Why "Into the Woods" Might Be Great, After All

I was not specially interested by "Into the Woods", this new Disney movie with a mix of famous fairy tales, even with a great cast including Johnny Depp playing the Wolf, and Meryl Streep a witch... Until today, when i saw this featurette in which i learned that in fact the movie is also a musical directed by Rob Marshall who directed the Academy Award winner "Chicago".

But there is more, as music and lyrics have been written by the great Stephen Sondheim! Stephen Sondheim is a genius, he is one of the greatest song writers of our time - if not THE greatest and THIS changes everything for Into the Woods which suddenly becomes much more exciting!

Have a look at this featurette which also include tons of new footage!

Picture and video: copyright Disney

Friday, October 24, 2014

Disneyland Paris Update : Nothing but theTruth About Frontierland Rivers of the Far West

I've got a big Disneyland Paris update for you with as usual great pictures shot by Max Fan, D&M contributor and DLPWelcome webmaster.  Today, we'll go back to Frontierland as the Molly Brown has finished its refurbishment and is now sailing again on the Rivers of the Far West. So, i asked Max to jump on the Molly Brown and to shoot every inches or so of everything that guests can see during their trip on the Molly brown, this to finally have for once and for all pictures showing us exactly the condition of the Rivers of the Far West, which as we know have a serious problem of bad condition on some of its elements. ALL pictures of this article are in high-res so click on each to see them in big size. 

So, all aboard the Molly Brown which is now arriving at Thunder Mesa Riverboat Landing! 

Let's start by the good news, i.e by pictures showing the excellent condition of the Molly Brown riverboat now that it's back from several weeks of refurbishment. They did a real good job as you will see.

Looks pretty neat, isn't it? So let's start the cruise with views of Big Thunder Island on the left and Thunder Mesa buildings on the right. 

Big Thunder was repainted some years ago and is not in bad condition but a repainting of the back facade of the building below - in which is the shooting gallery - will be welcome. Note that they've removed the benches which were in the little space, under the small roof, in the center of the picture, which is incredibly stupid as it was a unique place to sit and relax away from the guests and to watch peacefully the boats and scenery of the Rivers of the Far West. Let's hope they will put it back! 

A few meters from there guests can see the authentic props that great Imagineer Pat Burke installed near the Big Thunder building, bringing authenticity to DLP Frontierland. Here too a little refurb and cleaning will be welcome.

We're arriving now at the River Rogue Keelboats and you can see one the boats on the picture. Unfortunately the attraction is closed since a looong time, mostly because operation cost, and i don't think they plan to reopen it anytime soon which is a shame, let's say it.

Talking about River Rogues, the river rogues cavern REALLY needs urgently a refurbishment as you can see.

Max also shot this close shot picture of the banks which indeed would need some repainting too. I remind you that DLP is apparently thinking to empty all the lake to have an easy access to clean and refurb everything all around but so far no decision was taken because of the cost of the operation. If they can find a way to do all the refurb without having to empty the lake it's okay for me as long as they do a real good job.

More shots of Big Thunder Mountain...

Arriving near the fisherman cabin...

The fisherman was hidden some days ago under a canvas but DLP guests can clearly see him now, though the AA dog normally on the left is still missing. That said, the small building itself needs some refurbishment if they don't want to find it one day in the same bad condition as the Mark Twain is...

Talking about the Mark Twain, now that the Molly Brown went out of refurbishment,  it went back inside the dry dock, and is now almost invisible for DLP guests. We're still waiting for ( good? ) news about its fate.

After a turn on the left the Molly Brown is now sailing towards the geysers and what you see on the left hand side is Wilderness Island. DLP Imagineers choose the right name for it as the trees and vegetation have grown up so much that it's now indeed a real wilderness!

You see only trees below but if the original plans would have been done, by now you would see a trapper cabin similar the one below in a scene from how the West Was Won. It's not too late DLP folks to add it and it won't cost you that much and will improve the show!

And on the right hand side, facing Wilderness Island the plans, as i told you in my previous article HERE , was to have a bisons ( buffalos ) herd! The idea was to have around fifteen bisons, including some baby-bisons, and most of them would have been placed near the river's edge and two or three near the train track, just like i've put them on the pics below.

The bisons would not be Audio-Animatronic figures - as they would froze during winter - but some of them would be mechanical figures with small motors placed in their heads and butts to have their ears and tails moving, to give "life" to the buffalos. Eventually some would also have their head slowly moving left and right. The bisons would be made in fiber glass - probably the same material than the three mooses and as you can see these are in pretty good condition after 22 years - covered by false fur, the rest of the body being paint to look like real bisons. 

The three mooses are always here, thanks God, and them too need a bit of refurb or repainting.

O-kay, we're arriving now to the geysers area and these are the BIG problem which will require a real budget from DLP as they won't be able to do the refurb for two cents. 

As they say, a picture worth a thousand words and, to make a long story short, everything which looks grey and not white on the pictures below - i.e almost everything - is simply the concrete structure itself as all the painting is gone. This is what happen i presume when you don't take care of an outdoor set during 22 years. It looks now unbelievably ugly and the irony is that the only one which seems to always have its original color is the skeleton dinosaur!

It's hard to believe that we are in a Disney theme park, isn't it. Go ahead, there is more geysers pictures to see! Click on each to see them in big size.

No need to say that the geysers themselves are not working since years and that the whole thing is very, very, VERY far from the normal standard quality of a Disney park. Apparently they intend to do a major refurb, probably because it reached a point where it's not only a shame or outrageous but simply completely ridiculous to leave the geysers in this awful condition at the sight of millions of DLP guests sailing each year on the Rivers of the Far West. 

The Molly Brown is now sailing towards Rainbow Arch which, with the Mark Twain and the geysers,  is the OTHER big problem, although this one should be more simple to resolve if they do it before the stone arch finally collapse. As you'll see on the pictures below, whatever is the arch side you're looking at it, it needs urgently a serious refurb and, most of all, an entire repainting.

The coyote is always here, standing on rocks which also needs a repainting as soon as possible.

We're now arriving close to Phantom Manor which is not specially in bad condition although the facades have aged. But here the danger is to don't do anything and consider that it's fine and adds to the theming as it is supposed to be an uninhabited manor...

We're back now at Thunder Mesa Riverboat Landing where guests can still enjoy the Halloween season, still running until early November. Young guests can enjoy a meet and greet with Jack and Sally the two beloved characters from Nightmare Before Christmas, as well as the Phantom Manor Halloween band. 

See you soon for a new DLP update, and in the meantime may i remind you that there is still signed copies of the Disneyland Paris From Sketch to Reality book available with a special offer running this month at 75€ only instead of 100€ ( = 15€ shipping worldwide ). The book include 750 pictures with 250 WDI renderings and it's a perfect gift for you, the one you love or for Christmas and you'll find all details and a one click payment with Paypal HERE or below.
You can also send me an email with your order at :

The book is also available on ebay in its english signed edition HERE and in french signed edition HERE.   

Don't forget to send me an email with your shipping  address AND the name to whom you wish the book to be dedicated! 

You can use the Paypal buttons below for the english edition, or for the french edition. If you don't have a Paypal account you can also pay directly with your credit card with these buttons without opening a Paypal account. If it don't works please send me an email at:

Paypal button for ENGLISH Edition :  

Paypal bouton pour Edition FRANCAISE : 

Don't know yet the Disneyland Paris book? Have a look at the video below or on the book website HERE.

Pictures: copyright DLPWelcome