Friday, August 7, 2015

New Shanghaî Disneyland Aerial and Model Pictures

We've got new aerial and model pictures of Shanghaî Disneyland and the first one above and below is showing the Shanghaî Disneyland 5 stars hotel as well as SDL lake in the background. Now, this is an interesting one as if you have a closer look you'll see that many trees are already in place whether it's near the lake or on the main avenue of the resort, in the foreground. The SDL Hotel looks almost finished, at least for the outside and we can guess the different gardens areas around it.

Next is the one below and what you see in the foreground on the left is in fact Disney Town - SDL shopping, dining and entertainment area - with SDL park entrance on the right and SDL park in the background. The big green building in the foreground at the entrance of Disney Town is most probably the World of Disney store.

The other "drone" picture below shows the whole park with SDL gardens of Imagination in the foreground and of course SDL castle.

Next one is a closer shot on Enchanted Storybook Castle with Fantasyland right behind it.

Let's have a look at new pictures of the SDL model, shot on different angles than the pics we've seen before. The two first ones show Shanghaî Disneyland entrance.

A close-up shot on the entrance building. I remind you that although this one looks a bit like DL train station, that there won't be any SDL railroad moving around the park, and no monorail either.

Next is a picture of SDL castle model, but not the one placed on the full SDL model, a separate one.

And on the two next pics the SDL castle is part of the whole model with Fantasyland on the left and behind, and Alice's Labyrinth on its right.

One more shot showing the castle on a different angle...

A closer shot on Roaring Rapids mountain and Camp Discovery trail.

Another great picture, showing Adventure Isle on the left and Treasure Cove POTC land on the right.

Two pictures of Tomorrowland model, the first one of the TRON cover structure...

...and the other of the Jet Packs, located near the entrance of the land.

And this last one shows the Grand Walt Disney Theatre in Disney Town where will play The Lion King in Mandarin language for the first time.

Last but not least the first Shanghaî Disneyland merchandise items have been released at the new Disney Store in Shanghaî and you can see pics of them on the D&M Facebook page HERE on which i remind you i post every day.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Did the Walt Disney Company Board Rejected Star Wars Land Plans ?

According to someone posting on Twitter and called Dre the Walt Disney Company Board has rejected "the initial model and proposed concept of Star Wars land at the most recent stage of development". And Dre adds that it is good news "because the comments of the Board were mainly "unimpressive for what it needs to be". He also says that "as a theme park fan you have to admire a core group of investors who are unwilling to settle for mediocrity and second-rate concepts". But according to Dre this, of course, brings a bad news and it is that "it puts the adjusted timetable ( they basically have to restart from scratch ) out of the window of the D23 Expo" which is coming soon.

What to think about all this? First, of course it's either true or not, so it's a fifty - fifty as usual and if there is no Star Wars land announced at D23 Expo in ten days from now, then we'll know that what Dre is saying is probably right. In the meantime let's give him the benefit of the doubt. But if it's true then the WDC Board deserves our thanks, not only if they think that the Star Wars land concept they've seen is not good enough and can be improved but also because, from the start, the idea to create a Star Wars land inside Disneyland was not necessarily the right one. Specially if they need to destroy Toon Town to have enough land available which will put a Star Wars land right in the back of Fantasyland and It's a Small World on one side and Frontierland and Big Thunder on the other. We know that WDI Imagineeers can do miracles and i don't doubt they would find a way to have an acceptable transition between these three lands, but the truth is what we all know from the start, i.e that the best way to do it would be to create a third theme park which would include Star Wars and Marvel lands. As a matter of fact there is enough material in Star Wars mythology to have a whole park dedicated to Star Wars. When we see what Universal succeeded to do with Harry Potter, thinking that Disney - one of the wealthiest corporation in the world - can't do at least the same for Star Wars means they're is something going wrong somewhere, and i can tell you that it's not at WDI.

Hopefully we should know where is the truth in all this during the Disney Parks presentation at D23Expo so we'll talk again about this soon!

Picture: copyright Disney

Monday, August 3, 2015

Disneyland Paris Future : All About What You Can Expect ...or Not

Not a lot of big Disney news recently because Disney is now keeping all announcements for the D23 Expo happening in two weeks from now. Until that date don't expect any special news from the Mouse. Thanks God, Disney and more is here to bring you fresh and exciting news about the future and we'll have a look today at what you can expect - or not - for DLP and the WDS in a near future. As i know there are a lot of expectations from DLP fans i think it's better that you know what should really happen - and what will not - to don't put your expectations too high and will be then disappointed. That said, there are plenty of good news below which will be for sure exciting for DLP fans.

As you've read in one of my last updates translated from an ED92 report Frontierland BTM and Rivers of the Far-West will enter in renovation mode at the end of the year. A few days after ED92, and although not announced officially, we had from DLP the confirmation dates of all renovations to come, something you can read in my previous article HERE if you've missed it. But here below is the picture which was in it with all the refurb dates.

But what DLP didn't said explicitly was what changes you can expect in the upcoming renovations. For Star Tours 2 we all know they will install a similar version than Star Tours The Adventure Continues that DL and WDW guests enjoy in the parks. 

Now, according to my own personal source, and a reliable one, here is what is quite confirmed, and there are some good and less good news about the upcoming Frontierland renovations: The renovation of Big Thunder Mountain is a go and will last 13 months ( they will empty the Rivers of the Far West lake, too ) and they will install the new BTM final with the mapping projection explosion effect like at Disneyland as well as others things - like probably an interactive queue and new trains - as well as a lot of technical "invisible" works which should make the ride even more safe and with less "101" then it had until now, which will allow a faster restart of the ride when a technical problem will happen. 

The other good news is that Frontierland geysers should be back too, one way or another depending of the technical solution they will choose to create the geysers effect, meaning they eventually could use another tech than the one which was used 23 years ago. BUT, and here is the not-so-good-news, the renovation of the Mark Twain river boat is NOT yet in the plans - currently up to 2017 - and won’t be done during this big BTM refurb. But all is not lost for the future of the river boat as DLP still want to do it and in fact they want literally to rebuild the Mark Twain, so they probably don’t really care about its current self destruction state that you’ve seen on the pictures. All we have to do is to wait and hopefully if they don't change their mind it might be done for the end of the decade ( but that date is my prediction ).

If you don't remember the new BTM explosion finale here is a video showing it at Disneyland.

Now about Phantom Manor. Although ED92 is often right, apparently what they said about the new scene which would be created at the start of the ride with an Audio-Animatronic bride standing on the staircase in the loading room at the start of the ride is not in the plans and they don’t plan either to do major changes in the ride like they did for instance at WDW. The ride should stay exactly the same except that it will go through a major technical rehab. 

About Peter Pan's Flight, now, which is closing during the first six months of 2016. Almost everybody - including me - is hoping that they will enhance the ride the same way they did recently at DL Anaheim and eventually add the new queue decor with visual effects as they did at WDW but i'm sorry to say that neither one or the other will happen and the ride should remain exactly like it is right now, with no upgrade although of course a lot of refurb, or changes in the ride mechanical parts, something that will be invisible for DLP guests even if the ride should be smoother when it will reopen in 2016.

For Pirates of Caribbean a good news which may also be a bad one depending of your point of view of the question: yes, the ride will close the first six months of 2017 and Captain Jack Sparrow Audio-Animatronics will be installed in the ride as well probably as the others effects existing in the U.S updated versions. Now, some of you will be happy about that and others will find it sacrilege, thinking that the DLP POTC version was one of the last "genuine" POTC ride and that it won't be the case anymore. I let you judge if it's a good idea or not. It'll probably be a good one commercially speaking because the Jack Sparrow character is so popular but if you ask me, personally i would have prefer an updated version of what is already existing with eventually new effects but i'm not a big fan of these Jack Sparrow AAs as i think it's two different stories which knock together. 

There is also another reason why they finally add the Jack Sparrow AAs in DLP POTC. As you may have heard Johnny Depp was recently filming a new POTC movie in Australia. Titled "Pirates of Caribbean : Dead Men Tell no Tales" it tells the story of Captain Jack Sparrow in search for the Trident of Poseidon and the movie will be released in ...2017 just at the same time that POTC refurb will end and reopen with the Jack Sparrow AAs. What a coincidence! In Disney language it's called "synergy" and remember this word as if you want to know how they think at the WDC and how the company do to be so wealthy, it's all about synergy. Believe me, synergy is probably the most important word in Disney's strategy. 

There are many others areas of the park currently in renovation, starting by It's a Small World which closed its doors last month and you can follow all of them in pictures on the ED92 Facebook page HERE or soon on the D&M Facebook page HERE.

Let's move now to the DLP Walt Disney Studios as there is some good news about them. These news are coming from ED92 but i've been told that ED92 is right on these ones, even if nothing has been announced officially. The text below is an adapted translation of ED92's post and the french version is HERE.

In the plans for DLP WDS for 2017 - 2018 new scenes in the Tram Tour - the Tram Tour station will be moved, too, adding room for Toy Story Mania! By the way you'll note on the picture above that DLP has indeed planned something for the Tram Tour with works starting around June 2016.

About the new scenes, and knowing that the project is in very good progress and although ED92 do not have all the details on each scene yet, they can reveal what will happen to already existing scenes:

- Dinotopia scene : The decor will be transformed and will pay tribute to adventures of a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away ... Yes, say farewell to Dinotopia and welcome to Lucasfilm as DLP Imagineers will propose a scene in the heart of Star Wars! Just to play, ED92 think that Naboo might fit well with the stone facades of the existing decor although requiring additions to make it a full experience. Personally i hope they will rebuild everything and won't be cheap on this one.

- The Catastrophe Canyon is currently the central highlight of the Tram Tour. But what to do with a Canyon in a Rockies decor? Luckily, the studios already offer the solution, and yes, the Pixar Cars would be entitled to their own stage. 

If i understand well what ED92 is saying it should mean that Cars characters will be placed in Catastrophe Canyon, instead of the ones currently in place. They can do this quite easily i agree and it might introduce  a fun element in a show which, although always spectacular, needs desperately a "soul".

- The last change should happen in the Reign of Fire scene. No surprise here, as you'll understand easily why it will be replaced by a Marvel scene with the decor being  reviewed ( no more London, probably ) and revised to accommodate not anymore invisible dragons, but the famous Avengers Super-Heroes! It makes sense, after all the Reign of Fire decor is the one of a damaged city, the kind of set that we've seen either in Avengers 1 or 2 so by changing the London elements and replacing them by New York ones or so they can create an Avengers scene easily. What we still don't know is what kind of special effects they will use and, here too, lets hope they will have a comfortable budget for this scene and won't be cheap.

As i told you things won't stop there as the Tram Tour Station will be removed and  Toy Story Mania is added to the list of attractions expected for WDS for 2018.

Here is a picture ( click to enlarge ) showing too the future new route of the Tram Tour and Toy Story Mania, thanks to the indications from ED92.

And the Star Wars Land or the WDS Backlot placemaking with an Avengers land, you ask? Well, they're still in the plans of course but according to what i've been told no dates have been approved yet which doesn't mean they won't be built but that it's not in the plans for a near future. With the addition of Star Tours 2 at DLP and the Star Wars and Avengers scenes in the WDS Tram Tour the risk is that DLP and WDC execs might think that it should be fine for a few years to keep everybody waiting. However, if as everyone is expecting the Star Wars lands for Dl and DHS are announced at D23 Expo in two weeks, look closely to their opening dates. It probably will be between 2017 and 2019 and from these dates you'll know that a Star Wars land at DLP will NOT open until after these opening dates. Why? Because as usual it's all about money and for now the WDC has to pay for Shanghaî Disneyland  ( 2016 ), then Avatar Land ( 2017 ) and then the Star Wars lands which probably will cost half billion dollars each. And once all these will be built and paid then they might have some money to add a Star Wars land in Paris, but certainly not before.

O-Kay, that should do it for today and in the meantime don't forget the special offer on the Disneyland Paris book as i do a "special special offer" to celebrate the 5000 Likes of the D&M Facebook page! Until August 5 on each order of my Disneyland Paris book the shipping will be FREE which means that you will save an additional 15 euros on what was already the best offer ever! 

Which means that not only you can order a book copy in its english or french edition at 60€ - with free shipping worldwide - and still 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:

More about the book here:

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, and the name to whom you wish i dedicate the book.

Paypal, bank transfer or credit card payment are accepted. Do NOT use the Paypal button on this site or on the book website as they are not coded for this limited time special offer. If you want to pay with Paypal just send directly the 60 euros to:
Don't miss this special offer valid only until August 5, and a GREAT surprise gift also comes in addition for all buyers!

You can also watch below a video showing the whole book!

Pictures: copyright Disney, D&M