Saturday, October 24, 2015

Shanghaî Disneyland Update : New Treasure Cove Artwork !

All-right, it's the week-end so it's time for the Shanghaî Disneyland update and i have new great artworks for you as SDL released new renderings for the Treasure Cove land!

Above is the Treasure Cove map as displayed on the Shanghaî Disney Resort website. Now, the first picture below shows you the pirate ship that SDL guests will see in Treasure Cove lagoon, not so far from the entrance of the Barbossa's Bounty restaurant.

Next rendering is showing the start of the Pirates of Caribbean ride during which, precisely, the riders will see others guests having lunch or dinner at the restaurant. A scene quite similar to the one at DLP with the Blue Lagoon or at DL with the Blue Bayou.

Now, as you know, SDL Pirates of Caribbean ride is called "Battle for the Sunken Treasure", which mean, basically, a battle for a treasure now underwater. And here is the rendering showing the ride scene with the treasure underwater. Which also mean that, yes, your boat will need to go underwater too. But this was announced officially last July when Iger said that the ride will take guests both over water and under water. What he didn't say is that your boat will be supposedly hit during the battle between the two huge pirate ships and that your boat will be supposed to sink (!) ...and so going under water. Well, not really under water as the effect will be done thanks to some dry-for-wet lighting from WDI wizards but it should be impressive anyway. And, hey, it will be the first Pirates of Caribbean ride in which you'll go underwater!

This next rendering is showing what most probably is the pre-show scene of the Pirate stunt show in El Teatro Fandango.

And last but not least here is another never seen before rendering showing Treasure Cove Explorer Canoes, which will be the only kinetic element in Treasure Cove Lagoon!

See you soon for a new Shanghaî Disneyland update!

Artwork: copyright Disney, Shendi

Friday, October 23, 2015

All You Need to Know About Disneyland Paris Upcoming Renovations

Here is some important piece of infos for those of you planning a trip next year to Disneyland Paris. DLP  released an updated schedule of upcoming refurbishments with all closure dates up to 2017. As we know the whole park is under renovation and, land by land, one attraction after another are under refurb and in some cases will have an update. Have a closer look at the picture below to make sure your favorite attraction will not be closed during your next visit.

As you can see Big Thunder mountain as well as Thunder Mesa Riverboat Landing - i.e the river boats - will be closed starting this November 2015 and until ... January 2017! It looks a long time, and it is, but it's because they will do the biggest renovation in Frontierland since 24 years. Not only they will empty the lake, repaint Big Thunder and the stone arch, add in BTM the new finale with the mapping projection effect of the dynamite explosion and apparently enhanced the queue, but they will also renovate the geysers so these should finally work again during your next cruise on the Rivers of the Far-West. And the price to pay for all this is to have them closed during fifteen months.

It's a Small World is currently closed for refurb but a reopening on December 19 was announced yesterday and there should new surprises in it, others than the usual Christmas version. Main Street Station is also closed currently and will reopen in March 2016.

Peter Pan's Flight will close starting next January until July 2016 and strangely they apparently don't plan to introduce the new projection effects like they did at Disneyland, neither the new interactive queue like the one which opened at WDW. Instead this long closure will be for many technical renovations and may be a change of the track itself. Swiss Robinson Family Treehouse and Adventure Isle will also be closed from January until September 2016. And Pirates of Caribbean from January 2017 until Summer 2017. When the ride will reopen the Jack Sparrow Audio-Animatronics and other special effects should be installed.

Star Tours will closed for not only a refurb but also to install Star Tours 2 : The Adventure Continues from March 2016 until March 2017, so a whole year. And Space Mountain will go through another refurb from January 2017 until March 2017, and with a bit of luck may be this time they will install the new trains or the new harness system...

At DLP WDS the Rock'n Roller Coaster will be closed from late February until July 2016 which will make with Big Thunder Mountain two major DLP coasters closed during this period. Studio Tram Tour will also be closed from late August 2016 until April 2017 and there should be plenty of major changes on this one, including a new Star Wars scene where is currently the Dinotopia scene.

As for DLP hotels, after the long renovation of the Newport Bay it will be the turn of the Hotel Cheyenne to be renovated starting February 2016 and apparently at least until September 2017.

Yes, all this seems a lot of closures, specially considering that a lot of favorite rides are included in the list but this also happen only each 25 years and for DLP 25th anniversary you'll have a park which will look brand new - and that's a real good news!

Picture: copyright DLP Welcome, Disneyland Paris

Thursday, October 22, 2015

D&M Exclusive Soaring Over the World Movie !

As we know, 2016 will be the year of a new Soarin' movie so be prepared to soar over the world at DCA and Epcot with "Soaring Over the World" and at Shanghaî Disneyland where the attraction will be titled "Soaring Over the Horizon". And all this in glorious 4K, if not more "K" with the newest and best digital projection system. At Epcot the attraction will be closed from January 4, 2016 until Summer and when it will reopen it will be with a third theater and technical upgrades in the two others existing.

Now, for those of you who are Soarin' fans - and who is not? - and can't wait for the new movie i've got some Soarin' awesomeness for you today, and that is thanks to ...Apple who, in their new Apple TV box included some gorgeous video screensavers for your TV, filmed exactly the same way WDI is filming the Soarin' footage ...and in different locations around the world! So, when i saw these i thought that not only the footage was awesome but also that it would be perfect for a Soaring Over the World "home made" movie, and that's exactly what i did.

Before you jump to the video one or two things you need to know. First, i used the beloved Jerry Goldsmith score from Soarin' Over California. The problem was that the score has been written for what was happening in the Soarin' scenes, and i had to do the editing with new footage which was not only not filmed for the purpose of an attraction movie but also not at the right speed! The Apple screensaver videos are voluntarily extremely slow, just what you need for a screensaver to create something hypnotic on a TV screen. So, i had not only to accelerate each video but to find the right speed which fit with Jerry Goldsmith music. Additionally, the Apple videos are all silent so i also had to found some "outdoor sounds" to add some life to the whole thing like seagull sound, or sea waves sound, etc... The last thing was to give to the movie the same sensation than we has watching the first Soarin', i.e a mix of contemplative beauty and spectacular shots delivering an exhilarating feeling. You'll tell me if i succeeded!

What you won't have is the kind of mini-script you had in the Soarin' Over California scenes in which there was not only beautiful landscapes but also humans skiing, surfing, etc... And of course, no golf ball coming right at you or no orange grove scent, and no Disneyland fireworks finale as there was no such thing in the Apple footage. But even without all this, and considering that this is literally the cheapest Soarin' movie in history with a cost of $0.00 (!) i'm quite happy with the result and i hope you will enjoy it too.

Here are the destinations over which you'll "soar" in the video: The video open with San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate bridge, a tribute to the opening of Soarin' Over California, then we'll fly West and soar over Hawaii, the Great Wall of China, London, Buckingham Palace, New York then enjoy a sunset over Manhattan, and end with stunning night shots of San Francisco Bay and London Thames river. As i said, no Magic Kingdom at the end and no fireworks but i've added a small visual effect...

Some of these locations, by the way, may be included in the "real" Soaring Over the World movie next year, starting by the Great Wall of China which is already announced. May be not Hawaii but New York and London could be part of the different destinations... So, have a look at the video, definitely watch it in HD and full screen, and don't go away as right after i'll tell you how to install these video screensavers on your computer to enjoy a never ending Soarin' day!

Hope you enjoyed the video, and now here is how to download and install these awesome video screensavers. Apple included 34 screensaver videos in the Apple TV and you can download them at this site HERE. Next, you'll need to download a small software called SaveHollywood which is a screensaver software using videos, exactly what we're looking for. It's totally free and it's downloadable HERE. Please note that this is a software for Mac, so if you're on a Windows PC you might have to use another one, which i don't know. If you have a Mac, after you installed the software the system preferences window should open. Check that it is SaveHollywood which is selected in the sidebar and go to the last step, click the "Screen Saver Options" to be displayed in this window.

Finally, you will need to add the videos in the options area. You can drag files from the Finder, or click the "+" button just below and select the files later, or even a folder if you have saved all movies in a subfolder. As for other options, the ones recommended to activate are "Playing in random order" and "Occupy the full screen" to find an interface similar to the one of the Apple TV. If your Mac has multiple screens, an option exist to restrict saver on the main screen only. If you do not check, you will have two different videos, as unfortunately there is no option to display the same file on both screens.

Picture and video: copyright Apple, Disney

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

AMC Theaters Exclusive Star Wars: The Force Awakens Poster

AMC Theaters unveiled an exclusive poster for Star Wars: The Force Awakens which is part of a AMC “Star Wars Sundays” promotion. Each Sunday, from December 20th to January 10th, guests who will purchase a ticket to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens in IMAX 3D at AMC theaters will receive an exclusive Star Wars: The Force Awakens print with exclusive artwork from artist Dan Mumford. The poster above is the first one of these prints, a new one is expected to be revealed each week.

Picture: copyright Lucasfilm

As Cool as They Look, Are These Themed Planes Introducing Advertising in the Sky Really a Good Idea ?

As we've seen recently the Japan All Nippon Airways company has themed a Boeing 787 with a Star Wars theme. So far, everybody thought it was cool and it looks cool indeed. If you've not seen this Star Wars plane yet, i post below a video showing the unveil to the press of this Star Wars 787... well as its approach to Paine field, some weeks ago.

Now, the first flight happened last week and we have pictures of it. Young padawans,  Chewbacca and Storm Troopers were on this inaugural flight but i wouldn't bet it will be the same on each flight..

Now, someone at Disney probably thought that it was an interesting way to promote movies and West Jet will have soon a custom-painted Disney “Frozen” themed plane featuring Anna, Elsa and Olaf.

Disney artists, cast members and WestJetters collaborated to design the “Frozen”-themed aircraft. And similar to the earlier Magic Plane, Disney wanted the outside of the aircraft to tell a story.

On the tail of our aircraft, Anna and Elsa celebrate sisterhood and the magic of snow. From the aircraft tail along the fuselage, the magic travels to warm the front of the aircraft where Olaf can be found enjoying a summer day on the beach.

The inside of the plane has a design that matches the outside. In the rear of the aircraft, the overhead bins and headrest covers have a cold theme. As you move towards the middle of the plane, the interior decoration transitions to become warmer, ultimately arriving on a warm, sunny theme at the front of the plane.

Disney Parks released a video showing the painting of the plane.

Now, as cool as these planes can look, for Disney it's not only a new way to make money - you can be sure that ANA and West Jet companies are paying for that - but it's also opening a "gate" of a new kind of advertising, this time in the sky... although there is not a lot of people up there to watch the planes and the outside theming can be seen mainly when they are on the runways or waiting for new passengers at the airport gates. Sure, if you're a Star Wars or a Frozen fan it must be fun to fly in a plane themed with your favorite characters, and so far it's just a couple of planes but, frankly, don't you think there is already enough advertising like that without having to introduce more in the vast and immaculate horizons of the sky?

Pictures: copyright Disney, All Nippon Airways

Monday, October 19, 2015

First Star Wars : The Force Awakens Full Trailer!

And here it is, the awaited Star Wars trailer now on line in all the galaxy! The picture below is from the new poster, and if you look well on the right you'll notice a kind of new Death Star... Apparently this is our first look at Starkiller Base, which has an official description at with some intriguing information:
"An ice planet converted into a stronghold of the First Order and armed with a fiercely destructive new weapon capable of destroying entire star systems." 

So the First Order literally transformed an entire planet and converted it into the most destructive weapon we've ever seen in the Star Wars universe. And the Starkiller Base probably also serve as a dock for The First Order's Star Destroyers and other ships from their fleet. As this weapon was converted out of a planet, there's no thermal venting port for anyone to shoot anything into to destroy it. The weapon can vent heat naturally through the surface of the planet...

Anyway, enough talk, here is the first Star Wars : The Force Awakens full trailer!

So, you've watched the new trailer and you've seen that Han Solo / Harrisson Ford, Princess Leia / Carrie Fischer appear in it but not Luke Skywalker who remain invisible, right? Well, not really. Luke IS in the trailer. And in what scene, you ask? In the one below, when we see a robotic hand from a man we don't see the face touching R2D2. I bet you it's Luke who, i remind you, had his hand cut by his father / Darth Vador at the end of The Empire Strikes Back, and since has a robotic hand. Watch the trailer again to double check if you wish!

Pictures and video: copyright Lucasfilm

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Shanghaî Disneyland Update : New Spectacular Drone Video !

We'll stay at Shanghaî Disneyland to start the week as a new video filmed last week from a drone over the park has been released by the Chinese! As usual i did screen captures for you - make sure to click on each to see them in big size - and you also have the video at the end of the article.

This time the drone did apparently its lift-off from behind Fantasyland...

...providing a great view of the whole park and resort, with the lake and SDL Hotel in the background. Tomorrowland is on the right.

...flying over Fantasyland with Seven Dwarfs Mine ride on the bottom left.

SDL Castle, Journey to the Crystal Grotto on the bottom center and Alice in Wonderland labyrinth on the left of the castle.

The video then turn left towards Treasure Cove and we have a closer shot of Seven Dwarfs Mine ride mountain. But look at the "back" of the mountain which is surprisingly "open". Very strange, i wonder if it'll stay like this or of they will "close" it later. Not sure, though, as it's strange that they didn't did it already. Probably it'll stay open for an easy technical access, especially if that side won't be seen by the guests. Still, i find it this odd...

The building roof at the bottom left is the one of the Pirates of Caribbean show building. On the middle left is Treasure Cove  Lagoon, not yet filled with water.

And here is the video as i'm sure you'r dying to see it! See you soon for a new Shanghaî Disneyland update!