Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas to All Disney and more Readers!

That's it, it's Christmas day and i wish to all of you a magical Christmas wherever you live! And, as there is no Christmas without gifts you'll find below two high-res pictures related to Shanghaî Disneyland opening sometime next Spring 2016 in China.

The first one is the full map of the park in the highest definition ever with all rides and attractions...

...and the second one is the now famous bird eye view of the resort, also in the highest definition ever available. I'm sure you'll enjoy both and stay tuned to D&M as we'll be back to SDL in my next article!

Pictures: copyright Disney - Shendi

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Disneyland Paris New Show at Chaparral Theater, and much more about DLP Future with Daniel Delcourt, DLP COO

It's Christmas tonight and i have for you plenty of news about DLP future, thanks to our good friends of ED92. And i also have a Christmas surprise for you at the end of the article, so don't miss it!

On Monday, December 21, Daniel Delcourt, COO of Disneyland Paris, invited representatives of nine fan sites / pages to a Q&A session. A quick roundtable first identified the participants: in order of appearance: Disneyland Paris Bons Plans, DLP Welcome, DisneylandBerry, Tinkly, Radio Disney Club, Disney Central Plaza, ED92, Chroniques Disney and DLRP Express.

You'll read in a few seconds the interview of Daniel Delcourt but let's stop first on one of the main announcements: a new show is coming soon at DLP Frontierland Chaparral theater! The presentation of their new show titled "The Forest of Enchantment: A Musical Adventure Disney" was done by Aur&lien Berda, Show Director Jr, and here are the main points you need to know:
The Disney characters who will be part of the show are: Pocahontas and John Smith, Rapunzel and Flynn Rider, Baloo and King Louie, Tarzan and Mérida.
The show will last 20 minutes and is sung from the beginning to the end, the principle for the decors is inspired by children's pop-up book and so will be change constantly ( Btw: the Frozen decors will not be removed and remain hidden in the back of the stage, waiting for the return of the show in May ).
The centerpiece of the decor will fold and turn and will include a staircase and decorations.
The show is currently in pre-production and rehearsals will take place after the holidays.
On stage there will be a total of 19 performers and most of the songs will be sang in English, and there will be an opening orchestrated by the mistress of ceremonies accompanied by four singers connected with nature followed by the Pocahontas scene, then will come The Jungle Book scene, Tarzan jungle and then the rebellious Rapunzel and the final scene. The scenes evolve along the songs to review the elements of nature like water lily represented the man, fired by Ragina, the air by Lucille Dragonfly and earth by Lézardo, there will be acrobats dancers of the plant world: Grass Man, Man and Roots Flower Man and the animal world: Man Fox, Frog and Lady Bird Man.
The guests flow CM will have a costume themed in relation with the show.
This is a 100% unique creation for Disneyland® Paris which will last 20 minutes and will take place at Chaparral Theater 5 times per day.
The show include a new music creation from Gordon and Lisa Goodwin, artists rewarded by a Grammy Award.
I have personally a very good feeling about this show. I always loved pop-up book and if the idea of a "pop-up book show" works well technically it could be truly magical. And now, here is the Interview of Daniel Delcourt, DLP COO, thanks to ED92. You can read the FRENCH version directly on ED92 HERE.
Picture of Daniel Delcourt below thanks to Max - DLP Welcome who also did his review of the interview.
At the start of the Q1A, Daniel Delcourt starts with a light opening; announcing “I am here for you!”.
1) How was the decision to close the parks after the November 13 2015 terrorist attacks taken?
There was no debate. After the decision of the French President regarding national mourning, it was decided to respect it.
On an operational level, Guests arriving at the Resort had to be taken care of: artists that were scheduled in the two parks (Disney Characters, drawing artists…) came to meet the residents, which was well received.
2) What is the status of the Guests satisfaction during this wave of numerous refurbishments leading to the 25th Anniversary of the Resort ?
Daniel Delcourt first thanks the Cast Members for the work already accomplished. Indeed, the results of the satisfaction surveys “are almost all better” despite the closure of major attractions, and the results are even above expectations. He adds that this is only possible through the Cast Members, who are the “key to success”, a “bit of paint”, while necessary, is not enough.
On this topic, he shares a project that he is working on, called “Join the Disney Attitude”: it is based on the “Courtesy” key of the four Disney service keys (Security, Courtesy, Show, Efficiency) and involves 9000 Cast Members in order to consolidate these good results.
Additionally, the Disney Characters presence will be increased — when he arrived (June 2014), the satisfaction on Characters had been getting lower for over a year. “I went to have a look — I like to go on site — nothing better to see than go on the ground..”.
In the parks, he notes that there were only four fixed photo locations while other Characters “moved”. Now, the photo locations are fixed, and are clearly marked in the schedule and the official app for smart phones, to make it official. By January, there will be 15 fixed photo locations.

Where will be who? The above map indicate the Disney characters location in the park starting January 8!
He then moved on to the return of the Disney Characters in hotels: “that’s what is going to make the difference”. A three month long study was done so that Daniel Delcourt could present his vision to bring back the Characters in the hotels.
Other entertainment and refurbishment highlights discussed include:
- A new show at the Chapparal between the two Frozen seasons, called “The Forest of Enchantment, a Disney musical adventure”,
- The Lucky Nugget will get a new stage show,
- A new show for Animagique,
- Improvements for the seasons — Last year’s Tree Lighting Ceremony was considered not up to expectations and without Characters by Daniel Delcourt. He finds this year’s more touching and successful. There are more performers. All of this is aimed at growing the seasons to offer the best possible experience to Guests. “It’s moving forward, going the right way”,
- The Main Street facades: Main Street and Lucky Nugget facades were repainted.
- Attractions have been rehabilitated and renovated. Sometimes, some things don’t work. Daniel sees it and reports it to the teams right away. “Hard work will be needed for all this to improve”. “Attention to detail will make the difference”.
3) What time frame do you give yourself to get to the “perfect” Guest satisfaction level?
First goal: 25th Anniversary. Everything must have improved for this date. The park must be in shape, entertainment must be up to par, restaurants must have been upscaled, and higher satisfaction in hotels.
Currently, guest satisfaction is higher in Disney Village, Parks and Hotels, and Daniel Delcourt is proud of this.
After the 25th; there will be new goals, new innovations.
4) Walt Disney Studios : when will they get a Halloween and Christmas season ?
The first goal is to fix Disneyland Park.
But there are plans for the Studios for the 25th Anniversary. Seasons at the Studios won’t be until after the Anniversary.
5) Are you nervous for the 25th Anniversary ?
Not at all ! Tom and Daniel share the same vision. His time in California inspired him. The timing of his return was perfect.
6) When will you start communicating about Animagique ?
There is still a lot of work to be done, it is an ambitious endeavor. The artistic direction will be set in January.
The name will change and it will no longer be in black light.
Will it be in the Pixar universe ? No.
7) What about the Disney Village re-development ?
Disney Village is not in accordance to the vision that we have for it anymore. Work on a rehabilitation plan is in progress. A re-investment into quality and image, a “ family place where life is good, in a nice setting”, connected to the Disney Magic. No more discos and concerts.
8) Will the maintenance be increased ?
Yes. We can no longer recreate things and then not take care of them.
In Marne-la-Vallee, we must adapt to the weather (cold, rain, ice…). The Newport Bay Club Hotel, for example, was entirely redone in composite materials, instead of wood which gets old quickly.
The other hotels will be redone with similar materials instead of wood.

9) Is there a plan to build a new hotel?
Projects are underway, but Daniel Delcourt cannot tell if they will materialize or not.

10) Announcements (Spiels) have been played in the parks. Is the goal to inform visitors?
One was agreed to by Daniel: the one about RATP (Paris transport). During a strike, 2500 Guests were stuck at the train station with no RER (commuter train), replacement solutions had to be found, it was a headache. In order for this to not happen again, Daniel agreed to the announcements during other RATP strikes, so that Guests would not be stuck again.

11) Will you try the Star Wars Night experience again ?
The lighting, the photo-locations, the Star Wars characters.. “It was fun, pretty”. But the feedback is mixed, “Not enough product”. If it happens again, the product will be stronger.

12) Will Cast Member selection criteria change during castings ?
During the “Journées Tradition”, emphasis will be on courtesy. It will be closely evaluated during the trial period.

13) Comment from participant:
The Christmas Season 2015 really put the emphasis on the shows, the characters, and Guests like it. It was a demand fro, Guests. Same thing for the food: increase quality at the restaurants (buffets, table service, fast food) upon Guests demand.

14) Will there be another film after « Ant-Man », at Discoveryland Theatre ?
A plan was in the works for Discoveryland Theatre, but it could not happen. So two solutions: keep it open or close it. Daniel wants to keep it open for the cold winter season. New content is expected for March/April.

15) Is there an “Ambassador” type of program in the “Courtesy” project ?
A jury selected Cast Members who volunteered to become “Courtesy Representatives” (non-official term).Daniel wanted Cast Members — and not representatives higher up — to deliver the message on courtesy to their fellow Cast Members. “It can only come from Cast Members, not from us”.

16) WiFi in the parks: what is the current state ?
WiFi will arrive in October-November 2016 at the Walt Disney Studios, then at Disneyland Park for the 25th Anniversary (April 2017). Daniel also announced the arrival of an RFID card that will group the equivalent of all the paper vouchers/cards used today (park tickets, hotel key at select hotels at first, restaurant vouchers, shops). The expected launch is January 2017. Also, starting January 2016, Guests in select hotels will have access to a card of this type to pay bills (restaurants, shops…).
It will not be a Magic Band per se. This card will simplify the life of guests and Cast Members.

17) Will the Newport Bay Club and the Disneyland Hotel be upscaled ? Will the Disneyland Hotel lose rooms in order to gain new suites ?
Getting more upscale is the goal for both hotels. For the Newport Bay Club, they are waiting for the inspectors’ opinion. For the Disneyland Hotel, studies are being conducted to “Completely revisit the Hotel” and “Deliver a higher level of service with a number of rooms matching the service we want to provide”.

18) Will the Walt Disney Studios receive a nighttime offering ?
Nothing has ben decided but it is being considered.

19) Are there any plans to revamp the Annual Passport offer?
Daniel says this does not depend on Operations, but Marketing.

20) What can you say about the rehabilitations, like La Cabane des Robinsons ? Will there be new effects ? Will there be any communication on this ?
At La Cabane des Robinson, a lot of effects that do not work anymore will come back, plus new ones. Persons with limited mobility will be able to visit, but not the entire attraction.
Daniel then talks about Big Thunder Mountain: the Geysers will come back, and the breakdowns will decrease — and their length diminish as well.

21) What is the future of the Mark Twain ?
“It is in my 10-year rehabilitation plan”. “It is in a terrible state”.

22) Let’s talk about It’s A Small World ?
All the dolls will be gradually changed. It is currently not planned to add Disney characters. The entrance sequence has changed, to accommodate people with reduced mobility. During the rehabilitations, measures to conform to French laws for accessibility are taken as much as possible.

23) How is the rehabilitation plan created ? What is the criteria ?
It depends on the state of the attraction (Daniel talks about Star Tours, Peter Pan), number of breakdowns (Big thunder Mountain). A lot of things are being looked into but not confirmed, so Daniel cannot say more.

24) Opinion of participant:
The recent video about the current rehabilitations was a great idea.
Daniel reminds us of the “Cast Member Forum” organized when he and Tom Wolber arrived in order to present the road map: “You know where you are going and everyone has the same vision”. It also allows Cast Members to be able to answer Guests’ questions. “Everyone knows what we are working on and where we want to go”.
The interview ends with those words. Participants thank Daniel Delcourt who answers “I thank you” and adds: “Let’s do it again whenever you want!”.

Again, let's thanks ED92 for their transition. 

In Fantasyland, IASW just reopened after a few months of renovation and here is the video of the freshly renovated It's a Small World filmed by Max from DLPWelcome.

And i have a "one more thing" for you.

The Disneyland Paris "From Sketch to Reality" book already has a great Christmas Special Offer - for its English updated edition or its French collector's edition and because it's Christmas tonight i'm adding a Christmas double promotion valid from today Dec 24 until January 1st thanks to which you can get for the same price of a regular copy - 75€ ( including worldwide shipping - except for Belgium or Italy for which shipping has an additional 15€ ) - a SIGNED copy which will be dedicated to the person of your choice.

You can pay by Paypal, credit card or bank transfer ( or by check for French bank account only ) and if you have a Paypal account you can send the total amount, including shipping, directly to: You can also pay directly by credit card with Paypal even if you don't have a Paypal account, just choose the option "pay with credit card" once you are on the Paypal website.

For all orders and specially if you want to pay with credit card, bank transfer or check, please send me an email at: and let me know if you want an english or french edition, and at what name you wish the book to be dedicated.

Make sure to check the video below which presents the whole book, page by page, and Merry Christmas to each of you!

Pictures: copyright Disney, DLPWelcome

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Is Oriental Land Thinking to Bring Star Wars Land at Tokyo Disney Resort ?

A statement both mysterious and interesting was released by Tokyo Disney Resort yesterday. Here is the TDR statement:

December 22, 2015
Publicity Department Oriental Land Co., Ltd.

Extension of Period to Consider Development Plans for Tokyo Disneyland® Park and Tokyo DisneySea Park

URAYASU, CHIBA— Oriental Land Co., Ltd. announced that it will extend the period to study the two-large scale development plans, the redevelopment of Fantasyland at Tokyo Disneyland® Park and development of the new themed port at Tokyo DisneySea® Park.
Oriental Land Co. has been examining these two major development plans including revisiting some of the plans and concluded that it requires the extension of the consideration period, which was originally scheduled to end during 2015, in order to create a long-term and sustainable value of the theme parks.
Oriental Land Co. aims to create a long-term and sustainable value of the theme parks and will continue to examine the development plans to bring completely a new value to Tokyo Disneyland Park and Tokyo DisneySea Park and offer more wonderful experiences to Guests.

- The review process for the development plans was scheduled to be completed by the end of 2015 in the release announced on April 28, 2015.
- The extension of the consideration period has not been determined at the moment. 

( end of TDR statement )

So, what all of this mean, you ask? It mean they are extending the study of the previously announced development plans at TDL Fantasyland and TDS ( with the new Frozen land ) and my feeling - wrong or right - is that they extend the "consideration period" to most probably reconsider their previous plans, meaning that the new rides or lands that were announced could eventually be changed. 

Now, the main problem of TDR is, as we know, the lack of space available. Which mean they really need to be sure when they build something new, not only because of the cost but also because each square meter is precious. At Tokyo Disney Sea they still have some land available behind Port Discovery and on the left of Lost River Delta, but at Tokyo Disneyland it's not the case, they have to sacrify something already existing to build new attractions.

We'll see what will be announced in the future but i wouldn't be surprised if they were considering to build a Star Wars land at TDL or TDS instead of something else previously announced. The problem is where. I've never be a big fan to have a Frozen land at TDS because i think anything "Frozen" should be in Fantasyland, so TDL, but Frozen is hugely popular in Japan too, so if they don't build the Frozen land at TDS they'll probably need to find another place at TDL. A Star Wars land won't have really its place either at TDS because SWL it's not a "port", not even an extra-terrestrial one, at least with the design it has now. And i'm not sure they have the room available at TDL Tomorrowland to build a Star Wars land, and if they have it it will anyway create some serious issues of visual intrusion. 

So? So, i wouldn't like to be at the place of the Oriental land execs right now as IF they want to build a Star Wars land the choice is not gonna be easy... Well, i suppose we'll have the answer in a few months from now.

Picture: copyright Disney

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Shanghaî Disneyland Hotels Update - With New Artworks !

I've got a new Shanghaî Disneyland update for you today and this time it's all about SDL Hotels as new renderings of each hotel were posted on the Shanghaî Disney Resort website!

We'll start by the Shanghaî Disneyland five stars "art nouveau" style hotel.

First picture shows the SDL hotel lobby. Nota that all pictures were shown as a digital book with half of them on each page so i had to stick the two parts of each image together, that's why the pics have a kind of vertical line in the center.

The next picture below shows some of the artworks that will be displayed in the hotel, with an art nouveau style.

Next is the elegant art-nouveau restaurant.

I'm adding this next picture showing the bar which was released previously.

First picture showing a room of the SDL Hotel!

The swimming pool of the SDL Hotel, with a Little Mermaid theme.

...And the Grand ball room which will be perfect for wedding celebrations!

Let's have a look now at the Toy Story Hotel.

The hotel has of course a Toy Story theming.

The pictures below shows the entrance of the hotel and the hotel lobby.

Next is a picture of a room of the Toy Story Hotel.

A rendering showing the outer areas of the hotel.

Next artwork shows the outdoor area with a giant Woody as well as Rex and the Pixar ball.

And here is the artwork for the other outdoor area with a giant Buzz Lightyear.

That's all for today's SDL Update, more coming soon so stay tuned on D&M!

Pictures: copyright Disney - Shendi

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Shanghaî Disneyland Construction Update

Here is a short Shanghaî Disneyland update with some pictures found here and there. The first one above is great picture posted by jeremiahgood - with the rendering as reference - showing the Journey to the Crystal Grotto outdoor decor. The vegetation is already in place and it's starting to really take shape!

The next Shanghaî Disneyland picture below was shot recently "by a cold day of winter" as written in the caption on Instagram, and showing the TRON ride dome in Tomorrowland. As you can see, from the elevated walkway from where the picture has been shot, the TRON "cube" show building painted in a light blue can be seen behind the TRON outdoor dome. It would have been better if it was not the case and if the TRON dome would have been a little bit higher to hide it.

Michael Chase posted on Instagram this next picture showing for the first time the inside of SDL Walt Disney Grand Theatre in Disney Town. With this comment: "This is a photo inside Shanghai Disney Resort's, Walt Disney Grand Theatre, during an internal WDI Town Hall Meeting held in October. COO Tom Staggs was there as well to address a room full of 900+ Imagineers. This is the theatre I started with on this project, it's been an honor to work on the development of this".
One thing is sure: at least the Walt Disney Grand Theatre is ready if the park is not yet!

A last picture related to SDL and showing what seems to be apparently a kit given to people part of SDL opening team including a Big Hero 6 Dvd, a SDL pen AND an "Opening Team" pin! These are the folks to whom we should ask when will be the opening! :-)
Pictures: copyright Disney, DR