Saturday, July 25, 2015

Disneyland Paris Update! : Discoveryland Space Mountain and Nautilus Re-Open After Six Months of Renovation

It's been a long time since i've posted my last Disneyland Paris update but i'm back on Disney and more as you know, and so are the DLP updates thanks to Max, D&M contributor and DLP Welcome webmaster. Space Mountain and the Nautilus re-open today after six months of renovation and in the part two that i will post on Monday we'll have also a look at others areas in the park which are in refurb or just reopened too.

But first, i remind you that i do a Special Summer Offer on the Disneyland Paris book until August 15 and it's the best offer ever! Not only you can order a book copy in its ENGLISH or FRENCH EDITION at 60€ ( + 15€ shipping worldwide ) but for the first time you can have a signed copy for the same price, 60€ instead of 90€ which was the regular price for a signed copy! The copy will be signed by me at your name or another name of your choice if you wish to offer the book to anyone you love. You can order the book easily by sending me an email at:
and specify if you want an english or french edition.

You can use the Paypal button below if you wish and you have  a video showing you the whole book at the end of this article. If you don't have a Paypal account you can pay by credit card or bank transfer.

Disneyland Paris From Sketch to Reality - Include shipping

O-Kay, there we go for the latest news. Disneyland Paris celebrates Space Mountain 20th Anniversary and after a renovation and technical refurb during 6 months, since January 12, the shareholders members and fan websites were invited to rediscover the attraction and attend a conference in celebration of these 20 years.

Yes, it's already 20 years since Disneyland Paris beloved attraction opened and we can tell you that the technical renovations will help to give to DLP guests an amazing journey beyond the stars. Truth be told it's a long time since we've seen the attraction with so much special effects. With time and wear, some had been lost but after six months of renovation all works great and big surprise, all projectors have been changed for better HD visual effects. In addition, some projections have been updated (such as the SuperNova effect) with a better contrast to make it more visible and bring out the details.

Apart the projections, the decors lighting is all operational and Space Mountain is now fully equipped with LED lights. Audio embedded is still the same, no change there. The ride is also the same ( Mission 2 version  ) and the trains haven’t been changed yet and won’t be before 2017. The cannon smoke effect is back as well as the window opening on its side but the cannon still don’t go backwards at the moment of the launch. And i wouldn't bet it will work again even after the second rehab in 2017 as it has always been the effect on which they had a lot of problems and maintenance.

Some Changes are visible right from the ride entrance. The « Space Mountain Mission 2″ sign was restored and decorated, a new « single rider » line was added near the normal entrance and the single rider queue passes under the Columbiad cannon before going up to the mezzanine and then go down to the loading station.

DLP Nautilus also reopen today and legendary Nautilus specialist and Imagineer Tom Scherman would be proud to see his beloved submarine in such good condition, always "floating" in Discoveryland lagoon.

As i told you an event was organized for the reopening and although i couldn't attend the eventMax was there and here is "collectible" credential.

They also give a highly collectible Space Mountain brochure telling the full story of the ride! It would be a good idea if the park merchandise could release it in the park for everyone...

Then it was time for DLP Imagineer Laurent Cayuela who told the story of the ride in the Discoveryland theater, and Max has the full video of it. Plenty of original renderings ( which are all in my DLP book ) were shown and Laurent even talked about the Discovery Mountain project BUT the whole video is mostly in french only, except around 31 min during a video clip.

As you know it's nay Space Mountain and the Nautilus which have been renovated but Videopolis too and the Hyperion looks nicer than ever.

While we are in Discoveryland we'll have a look at the Jedi Training Academy which started recently, to the joy of all the young padawans facing Darth Vader and Stormtroopers. The decor built inside Videopolis is quite impressive but i still think the room is too big for a show which is more an happening than a real sophisticated show. But children love it, which is the most important.

Nearby at the Discoveryland Theater DLP guests can now enjoy a preview of Ant-Man.

Nothing else in the pre-show room except a countdown, they've been a bit cheap on this one, they could have put at least some TV Monitors with behind the scenes of the filming, for instance...

Don't miss the part two of this DLP update on Monday and in the meantime i remind you the Special Summer Offer on the Disneyland Paris book until August 15 and it's the best offer ever! Not only you can order a book copy in its ENGLISH or FRENCH EDITION at 60€ ( + 15€ shipping worldwide ) but for the first time you can have a signed copy for the same price, 60€ instead of 90€ which was the regular price for a signed copy! The copy will be signed by me at your name or another name of your choice if you wish to offer the book to anyone you love. You can order the book easily by sending me an email at:
and specify if you want an english or french edition.

As the Euro is literally crashing since months it also mean that the book is now at its best price ever for our American friends as 60€ currently equals $68 only! It really is the best time ever to order the book as you save money thanks to the special offer AND you save money too thanks to the Euro / $US change rate!
To order your copy with this special offer just send me an email at: and specify if you want an english or french edition. Paypal, bank transfer or credit card payment are accepted.

Don't miss this special offer, and a GREAT surprise gift also comes in addition for all buyers! Watch the video below presenting the full book!

You can use the Paypal button below if you have a Paypal account or want to pay by credit card.

Disneyland Paris From Sketch to Reality - Include shipping

Pictures: copyright Max Fan - DLP Welcome

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Is Universal Studios Orlando Planning a Third Theme Park Based on Video Games? Edited with new infos!

According to Billy Donelly of This is Infamous website Universal Studios Orlando is planning to build a third theme park in Orlando on a land they'll buy anytime soon and "expand their footprint even further as a multi-day vacation destination to rival Walt Disney World."  For This is Infamous Universal is "in the process of acquiring the necessary land surrounding their currently developed areas with these parcels being a done deal in order to realize their designs on something bigger."

Now, you may remember the recent announcement in March of  the Universal’s deal with Nintendo and Billy Donnely is saying that this third theme park will be themed on famous video games. Rumors were saying that Universal will be using Nintendo to revive kiddie areas of  current parks but although it might be the case and Universal might split Nintendo into multiple parks a Mario Kart ride is although not announced yet officially is in the works, but This is Infamous is also hearing that "a Pokemon and a The Legend of Zelda rides would be created." And all these "may end up getting their own immersive worlds – and that cannot be done in the kiddie area alone."

The other big license Billy is hearing from his sources and which would be a part of this new park would be World of Warcraft, ""which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, given Legendary’s partnership with Universal now and the fact that the duo is heading up the release of Duncan Jones’ WARCRAFT movie next year."

As Billy notes, "with five on-site hotels open and Volcano Bay, their first water park set to cut the ribbon in 2017, the timing is lining up perfectly for Universal to make a valid attempt at stealing some of Disney’s thunder and their market share in Orlando." The name of this third theme park has not yet been chosen but Billy sources told him that according to Universal plans the envisioned date for its opening would be 2021. 

As Slash Film reports also today "Universal Studios Orlando was about the movies, while Universal’s Islands of Adventure was more about books and cartoons come to life — think about it: Jurassic Park, Doctor Seuss, Marvel comic books and Harry Potter are all based on books at their core. So it makes sense for a third Universal park to focus on another medium – video games." Slash Film also notes that "Universal Studios is of course producing and releasing the big screen adaptation of Warcraft directed by Duncan Jones, so that makes sense. There is also a very huge fan base behind the Warcraft universe that could drive a ton of traffic to an Orlando park if they were to devote an entire land (The Wizarding World of Harry Potter-style) to the property."

For people - just like me - who are not really specialists or hard-core fans of video games this idea of a theme park based on video games licenses may look odd but these games have been sold and have dozens - if not hundreds - of millions of fans around the world and i have to say that, if true, this idea might be one of the smartest ideas Universal had since the Harry Potter lands. 

One more news today which may be linked to this third theme park is coming from Parkscope which is saying that "on Monday, documents filed with the Orange County Comptroller indicated that a portion of the old land that Universal, then owned by Vivendi, once considered its next step in Orlando before being sold to a developer in 2003, had been bought by a company named AFF Universal. AFF Universal is what looks to be nothing more than a shell company, as it was only created at the end of last month. They paid 27 million for the property, so they shelled out a decent amount." As Parkscope notes he have "no idea if this is anything in substance" and it can be "nothing", but this added to This si Infamous report starts to be something and we'll keep an eye on what will happen next as it would make sense for Universal to create this third gate in Orlando.

Editing: A faithful D&M reader sent me the above map showing- in yellow - the piece of land that could be available for a Universal third park, ands not too far from the two others parks. Tis piece of land don't include Lockeed Martin, located just above. The yellow outline could be the new Universal new land. The green line could be some kind of peoplemover or monorail parallel to Universal Blvd. From the parking garage to the new land / park.

As i said abovea theme park about video games - which for the most i don't know - is not big excitement for me but i still think that it's a really smart move from Universal. There are dozens if not hundred of millions of young - and even less young - gamers and if Universal design for them attractions as good as he did for Harry Potter, it should be very successful. The move is even better than that as they target some specific people Disney didn't even thought about. If we take World of Warcraft only -  a massively multiplayer online role-playing game - according to Wikipedia it has grossed over 10 billion dollars, and is also the highest grossing video game of all time. In January 2014 it was announced that more than 100 million accounts had been created over the game's lifetime.

So my guess, is that someone at Universal probably wake up one morning and had an epiphany, realizing that a theme park based about video games was "the new frontier". As i've said , as i don't know anything about all these games, so it'll be hard for me to have an emotional feeling in this kind of park, but potential millions of players will have and will be excited like young wizards can be when they enter Harry Potter lands. So if it's true i think it's a very very smart move.

Editing 2: More about this Universal mystery as the reader who's sent me the map you've seen in the two posts below reminded me that one year ago there was strong rumors ( and apparently talks between the two ) that Comcast / Universal was in discussion to buy Sea World, and not only Sea World Orlando of course but Sea World with all its parks.

Where it becomes interesting and you'll see why on the new map below that he did for me ( again ) is how it would look if Universal was the owner of Sea World in Orlando and building a third gate with attractions based on video games located at mid-way between Universal Orlando and IOA and Sea World. just like on the previous map, the part circled in yellow is the land which could be used for a third park and the lines in green could be a people mover / monorail or any kind of system you want to transport the guests between all the parks. And by doing this Comcast / Universal would have 4 parks to compete with Disney.

Remember that all this is just thoughts - if not wishful thinking - until further official announcement...
You can read HERE and HERE last year articles talking about a Sea World acquisition by Comcast.

Pictures: copyright Universal Studios, Nintendo

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Closer Look at Shanghaî Disneyland Adventure Isle Camp Discovery

One of the interesting feature of Shanghaî Disneyland Adventure Isle will be Camp Discovery. The official description say "Shanghai Disneyland is the first Disney park to offer Camp Discovery, a place where adventurers of all ages and abilities will gather to explore waterfalls, ruins and dig sites in search of ancient tribal relics. They may explore natural wonders and ancient legends, trek past waterfalls and discover tribal ruins in an elevated ropes course created specifically for this land. Guests will be able to choose their own expeditions at Camp Discovery, with some opting for the thrilling natural wonders of Roaring Mountain and others choosing to see the views and become immersed in science, nature, and history."

In the great rendering released last Wednesday the part of it showing Adventure Isle is more specifically this one below.

As you can see the "trek" part will go up and above the Roaring Rapids raft ride and these model pictures are even more explicit.

One of the best idea in my opinion is the possibility for SDL guests to come close to Roaring mountain waterfalls during their trek, as shown in the rendering below - though i doubt it'll be exactly as shown, without protection nets.

Anyway, this Camp Discovery could be the most exciting one built by WDI Imagineers and i can't wait for SDL opening day!

Pictures: copyright Disney - Shendi

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

First Trailer for Pixar's The Good Dinosaur !

The real first trailer for Pixar's animated film The Good Dinosaur is now on line, and it looks pretty good indeed! Go ahead, watch the trailer below!

Picture and video: copyright Pixar

New Trailer for Warner Bros Peter "Pan" Movie

We have a new trailer for the new Peter Pan movie -released into theaters on October 9th - and it includes lots of new footage to enjoy. Hugh Jackman is Blackbeard the Pirate and Levi Miller is Peter Pan. Jackman is going to steal the show, though.

Peter is a mischievous 12-year-old boy with an irrepressible rebellious streak, but in the bleak London orphanage where he has lived his whole life those qualities do not exactly fly. Then one incredible night, Peter is whisked away from the orphanage and spirited off to a fantastical world of pirates, warriors and fairies called Neverland. There, he finds amazing adventures and fights life-or-death battles while trying to uncover the secret of his mother, who left him at the orphanage so long ago, and his rightful place in this magical land. Teamed with the warrior Tiger Lily (Rooney Mara) and a new friend named James Hook (Garrett Hedlund), Peter must defeat the ruthless pirate Blackbeard to save Neverland and discover his true destiny—to become the hero who will forever be known as Peter Pan.

Pictures and video: copyright Warner

Amy Schumer Racy Star Wars Pictures Infuriates Disney

"Disney wants you to know it wasn’t involved with GQ’s racy Amy Schumer ‘Star Wars’ shoot". Really? And what did Amy Schumer and GQ? They did a photo shoot - racy indeed - with Star Wars characters - like Amy in bed with R2D2 and C3PO - and published them in the latest GQ issue. A studio spokesperson told Variety, “It’s not surprising that GQ would want to capitalize on the cultural cachet of ‘Star Wars,’ but Lucasfilm and Disney did not authorize, participate in or condone the inappropriate use of our characters in this manner.” GQ did not consult with Disney or Lucasfilm on the content of the shoot, a studio rep says, but because the photos are obviously parodying the iconic franchise, they’re covered under fair use. A source close to Disney admitted that there was no legal recourse for the parody — beyond social-media disapproval."

Frankly, there is much worse than that on this planet, and i'm sure that those of you who have the sense of provocation will enjoy them. All the pics here are in big size so don't hesitate to click on them to get the big files.

Pictures: copyright GQ Magazine