Friday, May 5, 2017

Disneyland Paris Update: Soft-Opening Starts at Hyperspace Mountain as the Ride Gets Ready for its Official Opening on May 7 !

Hello everyone, today we'll have a new Disneyland Paris update, always thanks to Max, D&M contributor and DLPWelcome webmaster. And this new update is all about the Hyperspace Mountain soft-opening that happened last week-end, but a very strange one as no visual effects were working and riders had to agree that the ride will happen in total blackness! I suspect they did this both to test the new trains and to train Space Mountain cast-members to precisely these new trains, and may be also to keep the exclusivity of the discovery of Hyperspace Mountain for guest of the Star Wars evenings on May 5 and 6.  Anyway, the soft-opening happened and Hyperspace Mountain will start for real on May 7, i..e in two days from now but thanks to the Star Wars evenings today and tomorrow we may have ride videos before it actually officially open!

Inside, the terrible posters of the planets disappeared to make room for posters with the spaceships of the Star Wars universe. Minimalist changes, partly because of the layout of the building.

During the Soft Opening, guests also discovered a new «Space Mountain : Mission 2» video presentation of security measures. This new presentation is much better than the previous one with a true Steampunck atmosphere and Visual effects that works. The fact that it is a "Mission 2" video probably also shows that Hyperspace Mountain is temporary.

Here’s a first look at the new decor of the boarding room, with Star Wars colors on the new banners for «Hyperspace Mountain: Rebel Mission».

The new Vekoma trains, the "MK-1212", were of course the reason for our coming to this soft-opening. What can we say? The seat is better, the on-board audio system is latest generation and promises an amazing sound. New harnesses make us forget the head who was previously knocking like a punching ball. The ride now happen smoothly. Some may find the new harness system not comfortable for breathing, but to avoid this make sure when you move in to don't tighten the harness up upon you at its maximum, you will be very well hold on your seat anyway. One thing is sure, the experience is much better with these new trains. About the trains theming, Max think it’s perfect, inspired by Jules Verne and the land steampunk theme, all present. Even the colors of the trains who can surprise because they don't match the ones on Space Mountain dome, but it's quickly forgotten between the Columbia cannon icon on the harness, the Sun design from the Cannon and all others designs reminding the style of the land. In resume, the new trains and the quality of the experience is superior to the previous trains. The use of this Vekoma MK-1212 train should be widespread on all these types of Vekoma coaster in others Disney parks in the world.

nHyperspace Mountain will open officially in Discoveryland on May 7 but the first launches with all effects are awaited for tonight and Saturday, so stay tuned to D&M for more about this and first videos!

Pictures: copyright DLPWelcome, Disney

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Great Interview of Imagineer and Disney Legend Tony Baxter by Disneyland Paris Ambassadors

When Tony Baxter came at Disneyland Paris last month the park did an exclusive interview of Tony with DLP Ambassadors, and here is this great interview of Tony remembering the creation of Disneyland Paris!

Picture and video: copyright Disney

WDW Disney's Hollywood Studios Celebrate Its 28th Anniversary - Rare Original Artwork

WDW Disney's Hollywood Studios celebrates its 28h Anniversary and here is a great artwork article with plenty of original artwork for a park which at that time was known as Disney MGM Studios. The first artwork above below is of course a park overview, without the Sunset Boulevard which will be added later. Next rendering is another one showing the whole park, from a different angle, and probably an early concept...

...just like this one, showing the soundstage and support buildings.

This one shows DHS Hollywood Boulevard...

And on this one we can see a "Pooh Hollywood corner"...was the shop really built? I'm not sure, but tell me if i'm wrong...

This next one is a bird's eye view of the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular building.

And this rendering shows the final explosion scene.

Now, here are some interesting renderings, as i think - once again, please correct me if my wrong - that they're showing never realised attractions. And the one below shows a kind of "filming tour" where guests would have looked the real shooting of a movie behind windows,  just like in the animation tour you were able to watch Disney artists working.

Here is another one, probably from the same attraction concept.

Does anyone know to which attraction this next one is related - it seems to be the filming of a tv show...

As well as this one, maybe the preshow of the one above...

The caption on the original slide for the one below is: "Sounds effects theatre"

This one is for the Tram Tour attraction, moving in New York Street.

And here are three renderings for the Catastrophe Canyon scene.

Next, is a rendering for the now extinct Honey i Shrunk the Kids playground.

Here is a picture of the model, with two WDI Imagineers...

And another picture, shot during the making of the HISTK playground.

This rendering is also related to an attraction based on the Honey i Shrunk the Kids movie, and i don't remember if it was finally built or not...i think it was - or was it not? Anyone knows?

Next is a tribute to the Great Movie ride and the Chinese Theater replica, always with original artwork and great behind the scenes photos of imagineers at work.

Above is the artwork for something that was probably a mural painting, and below a rendering of the Chinese Theatre area.

Another artwork showing the Hollywood Boulevard with the Chinese Theatre in the background.

Next artwork is a rare rendering for the Singing in the rain scene.

And of course, this one is for the John Wayne scene.

Here is the artwork for the gangsters scene.

And this is the artwork for the final Wizard of Oz scene.

Before we have a look to some behind the scenes pictures, here is a great story told to me by a friend imagineer about the "Casablanca" scene of the ride, and more specifically about the real plane one can see in the decor:
"The Casablanca scene has the real Casablanca Lockheed Electra plane used in the movie - and the tail section is in the WDW Jungle Cruise. The plane was located by Malcolm Cobb of WDI/ California, in Texas. Malcolm got the Lockheed registry of all the planes and their history and present owners and set out looking. On this Texas plane, no one had any idea it was the real plane until they ran its serial numbers and found it had been registered to the movie studio that made the film at that time. This was done after the purchase was completed. When Malcolm found it, it had been sitting for some time and not running. Another owner nearby owned three of these planes and wanted much more money for his as they were flyable. Malcolm didnt need one that flew and bought the cheapest one, being the real on. When the man who owned the three planes found out what he had missed, he was pretty upset at himself, as it had been right next to his backyard."

The first behind the scenes picture below shows an Imagineer at work on the Busby Berkeley opening scene.

When we think about an Indiana Jones attraction, we generally think about Indiana Jones Adventure, or the Epic stunt spectacular, or the Temple du péril but we often forget that there is a great Indy scene in the Great Movie ride! Here, one WDI Imagineer is at work on one of the giant Anubis statues.

Other Imagineers at work in the same room.

Final touch to the Ark of the Covenant scene.

Inside WDI workhouse, an Imagineer measuring the beautiful Ark of the Covenant replica.

Putting in place the Egyptian mummies...

Final touch on the same mummies...

Almost cheek to cheek between a lovely Imagineer and a pretty well done mummy...

No, it's not Tarzan and Jane, but two Imagineers at work on the vegetation of the Tarzan scene.

Some years later, the Sunset Boulevard and the Tower of Terror were added to Disney MGM Studios, here is the original artwork for it.

First is a series of renderings for the Sunset Boulevard facades, and note that the one above shows a building that was never built.

On the next one is the Carthay Circle Theater, which was replicated at Disney-Mgm and which is now the icon of Disney's California Adventure

Here is another one, showing the Tower of terror in the background, and the Carthay Circle Theater on the right.

This next one is a beautiful night view, and the Carthay Circle Theater is now on the left!

This rendering seems to indicate that a "Disney film festival" was envisioned by WDI Imagineers in the Carthay Circle Theater. Just like on the rendering above, note the red tramway on the right. Never built, guests can find it now at Disney's California Adventure.

On this next rendering, have a close look at the "orange grove" area on the top left, envisioned but finally never realized.

Let's have a look now to Tower of terror renderings, beginning by these two early concepts. As you can see , the building had a very different design.

Here is another TOT concept art, pretty rare, too.

The next renderings are others concept, closer to the final version that we know.

This next one is really interesting as it shows how the ride was previously envisioned and, as you can see, the Twilight Zone room was supposed to be in the basement and not at the top of the building.

Let's end with a picture of the model that you probably already know, but always beautiful.

Before i leave, i would like to answer to some of you who asked me where i've got all these Disney's Mgm Studios artworks: Almost all Disney MGM artworks you can see on D&M was delivered to me during WDW 25th Anniversary press event by WDW photo library.
At that time it was still possible for the journalists to go at the photo library, choose the slides they wanted and ask if it was possible to get them. These ones, showing original artworks and making-of pictures needed an approval from WDW Imagineering, but they gave their approval and the slides were sent to me in Paris. That's the whole story, and for the choice of the renderings themselves, you just have to thanks my good taste!

All artwork and photos: copyright Disney Enterprises Inc.