Saturday, May 19, 2018

So, Is DLP WDS Acclaimed "Mickey and the Magician Show Coming to WDW, Yes or No?

So, is DLP WDS acclaimed "Mickey and the Magician show coming to WDW, yes or no? In my yesterday's D&M article about DLP InsideEars event, i had put it in the title, but then someone said that it was a translation mistake and that it was not the case, so i deleted it.

Where is the truth? Here is what happened and where it all came from: during his presentation at the InsideEars event yesterday DLP Daniel Delcourt said exactly this ( below, transcript in French followed by the right English translation, and we have the tape for those who doubt ):

"Nous avons des produits qui nous sont enviés - aux Etats-Unis: Ratatouille, Mickey et le Magicien, ils nous ont demands “comment on pourrait l’importer aux Etats-Unis?”. Mickey et le Magicien, lorsque Georges Kalogridis - le Président de Disney World - est venu, il n’y a pas longtemps, , il a vu Mickey et le Magicien et il a dit “Mais moi je veux l’avoir à Disney World”… …Mickey et le Magicien va surement partir de l’autre coté ( à WDW ) et Ratatouille aussi."

English version:

"We have products that are envied - in the United States: Ratatouille, Mickey and the Magician, they asked us "how could we import it ( Ratatouille ) in the United States?”. Mickey and the Magician, when Georges Kalogridis - the President of Disney World - came not long ago, he saw Mickey and the Magician and he said "But I want to have it at Disney World"... ...Mickey and the Magician will probably go to other side ( of the Atlantic, at WDW) and Ratatouille too."

As you see, WDW President George kalogridis came at DLP and was enthusiastic by the Mickey and the Magician show and wanted to bring it at WD ( the one at the WDS will stay of course, they will duplicate it at WDW ). Does what Daniel Delcourt says mean that Mickey and the Magician will come for sure at 100% at WDW? No, but i'll say that you can reasonably put your bets on it.

Picture: copyright Disney

Friday, May 18, 2018

BREAKING NEWS: DLP InsideEars Event LIVE: Mickey's Philarmagic Coming This October to Discoveryland Theatre, Mark Twain Riverboat Back in 2020, and much more!

The first event of Disneyland Paris new "InsideEars" is currently happening at DLP Hotel New York and it almost look like a mini D23 event as plenty of good news have been announced by Daniel Delcourt and other people from DLP! Delcourt announced that the Disneyland Paris Hotel will go in renovation in 2020 ( picture on top ), soon after the Hotel New York retheming to The Art of Marvel will be over, and the Disneyland Paris Hotel will receive a new theme that will bring Disney characters back to the hotel.

First, a "new" attraction is coming at DLP Discoveryland Theatre and will open this October! It's the 3D attraction Mickey's Philarmagic which, 15 years after its first opening at WDW Magic Kingdom, is finally coming at DLP! Our friends in the U.S, Japan and Hong Kong know the attraction since years but i've seen it years ago at HKDL and it's an enjoyable 3D attraction. Most of all with the Marvel stunt show coming at WDS in July it will make TWO new attractions for DLPR, one in each park, so just enjoy this good news and don't be too difficult!

Below, first official visual for the Mickey's Philarmagic attraction, with the title in its French version.

Don't go away as there is more good news! Starting by the full renovation of the Mark Twain which will start - at last - next year and will be back sailing on the Rivers of Frontierland in 2020!

DLP Phantom Manor is currently in a long renovation until this fall and Imagineer Tom Fitzgerald gave InsideEars more infos with this video below!

Always at Phantom Manor a new photo location with characters will come in October and a new book about it will be released soon!

At Adventureland the Colonel Hathi's Pizza Outpost will close soon to be transformed with apparently a surprise too that will await us later, and will become a buffet restaurant. Talking about restaurants, the Pizza Planet in the back of Discoveryland will be replaced by a convention tent for events like tonight during the Hotel New York renovation.

The long awaited transformation of the Disney Village will begin and the project will be presented soon.

In the hotels no more coupons ( like "breakfast coupons", etc ) they will be replaced by the Magic Pass you see on the picture below. But NO Magic Bands for DLP, most probably for a question of cost.

During the "Rendezvous Gourmands of Disneyland Paris from July 26 to Sept 30 six new "chalets" will be added where guests will find culinary specialties from Italy, Spain, Belgium, Antilles, and more.

About refurbs: scaffoldings will arrive on WDS Tower of Terror starting May 26 and the Ratatouille attraction will close between August and December 2018. Apparently there is some problem in the smoke effect at DLP Big Thunder Mountain due to a leak in the pipes and DLP maintenance team is trying to find a way to resolve the problem without having to empty Frontierland lake...

New themed food is also coming in DLP or WDS restaurants or carts!

New Merchandise products are coming soon, whether it is in clothes...

...or in collectibles, and it seems that they asked the great Jody Daily and Kevin Kidney to designed some of the products!

One more good news: the GREAT book in tribute to Pirates of Caribbean which had a limited edition last year and given only to webmasters and happy fews will be available for everyone anytime soon!

The "Photo Pass Day" will also be back this year at DLP on August 19 during the "photographer day". And talking about pictures, most of the pictures in this article were shot by D&M faithful reader Robert Stallard so make sure to visit his Facebook page HERE.

Pictures: copyright Robert Stallard, ED92, Disney Central Plaza, DLP Welcome and others.

Theme Entertainment Association Awaited 2017 Annual Attendance Report

The Theme Entertainment Association (TEA ) has posted the PDF of its awaited Annual Attendance Report for 2017 that you can download HERE. Disney Parks are of course always at the top with more than 150 Million visitors ( + 6,8% from 2017 ) and right behind we find the parks of Merlin Entertainment ( 66 Million visitors + 7,8% -and then Universal Parks ( 49.45 Million visitors + 4.4% ). WDW Magic Kingdom is No1 with 20.45 M visitors. The first Universal park is Universal Studios Japan with nearly 15M visitors and Disneyland Paris is no 12 with 9,66 M visitors. But the report detail the attendance for the parks in each continent so let's have a look with these screen captures below, please click on each pic to enlarge the pictures.

Attendance numbers by Theme Parks Groups worldwide:

Top 25 Theme Parks worldwide

Top 20 Waterparks worldwide:

Top 20 Amusement / Theme Parks in North America:

Top 20 Water Parks in North America:

Top 20 Amusement / Theme Parks and Water Parks in Latin America:

Top 20 Amusement / Theme Parks and Water Parks in Europe:

Top 20 Amusement / Theme Parks and Water Parks in Asia / Pacific:

I'm also adding the Top 20 museums worldwide as it is included in the TEA Report.

It's really worth downloading the TEA report HERE which include more details and analysis that should interest you!

Pictures: copyright TEA

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Will Universal Hollywood New "Kung Fu Panda: The Emperor's Quest" Attraction Use Dynamic Attractions Stunning Motion Theatre ?

A new rendering was released three days ago for Universal Studios Hollywood newest attraction which will open June 15 - "Kung Fu Panda: The Emperor's Quest" - starring the beloved Panda from Dreamworks animated films and cutting-edge projection-mapping that will place guests in the middle of an action-adventure happening in China. It's a theater experience "featuring seats that gyrate and shift to bring the story to life — with water, smoke, wind and other effects to boot". Okay, that means another projection attraction for Universal and it looks like a 4D theater like "Honey i Shrunk the Kids" but in fact it's may be not really. First, it replaces the Shrek 4D theatre attraction which was already a projection attraction, so it's not really like if Universal was destroying a ride with plenty of Audio-Animatronics to replace it by a projection-only attraction. Yes you'll have the usual "water, smoke, wind and other effects" but technically it might be much more sophisticated.

The real star of "Kung Fu Panda: The Emperor's Quest" will be in fact the seven high-definition projectors that will project moving images on a 180-degree surface. The mapping technology has become popular everywhere but the tech that should wow the guests should be the theatre itself. I'm not totally "dead sure" that it will use this but Universal may use the new Dynamic Attractions incredible Motion Theatre, see rendering below.

Dynamic Attractions unveiled this new motion theatre in 2016 at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions and it was a game changing concept. Back in November 2016, TPU did an article about it, describing the system as "a large circular theater of seats that can not only spin 360 degrees, but can also pitch and tilt as well. What makes the Motion Theater, created by Dynamic Attractions, really spectacular is the ability to combine movie screens with practical effects. Imagine entering a circular theater that is completely surrounded by movie screens. The seats can pitch and turn with the action on film. However, those screens can be wheeled away at key moments revealing practical sets filled with lighting, special effects and animatronics, if you choose."

As you can read, if Universal newest attraction use the Dynamic Attractions motion theatre, it should be a totally new kind of experience for Universal Hollywood guests. Nothing is better than a video to understand perfectly, so here is the official one from Dynamic Attraction presenting their motion theatre.

Looks cool, right? Now, we'll know in less than a month if this motion theatre will be used for "Kung Fu Panda: The Emperor's Quest", but if it is not there is high chances that this new motion theatre will be used ( though some are saying that Universal won't use it to meet deadline ) for the other new attraction coming at Universal Orlando replacing the great Terminator 2 3D attraction, which should be the next big announcement for Uni Orlando and should have a new theme based on the Jason Bourne license movies. In this case this new motion theatre would be perfect for a Jason Bourne attraction, with action probably close visually to the kind of scene we can see on the above Dynamic Attractions rendering and video!

Pictures: copyright Universal, Dynamic Attractions

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

WDW Update: Will Disney Build Black Panther Wakanda at Disney's Animal Kingdom? And Where? Also: Will Indiana Jones Adventure Replace Dinosaur Attraction?

As we all know Marvel Black Panther is a phenomenal success worldwide - currently the Worldwide B.O for Black Panther has reached $1,342 Billion, putting the movie at the third rank for "all time domestic" in the U.S and the 9th for "all time worldwide". There is no doubt that a second Black Panther movie will come soon, and WDI Imagineers are probably already thinking about a Black Panther attraction - though this one may be called "Wakanda" as it seems that Disney may not have the rights for a Black Panther attraction, at least in Florida because of the famous deal that Universal signed years ago with Marvel giving them the rights to use Marvel super-heroes in Universal theme parks "East of the Mississippi".  But the kingdom of Wakanda is now so famous that it won't be a problem, everyone will make the link with Black Panther.

Recently, the repainting of Epcot Wonders of Life pavilion dome had fans thinking that it might be for a future Black Panther attraction. We'll learn soon if it'll be the case or not, but the other rumored location would be at Disney's Animal Kingdom and we'll have a look today to where they could build Wakanda at DAK. Yes, i can already hear you screaming that Disney's Animal Kingdom is an ANIMAL PARK!!! and that would be a valid point indeed. On the other hand DAK have lands called "Africa", "Asia", or "Pandora", so having a new one called "Wakanda" would fit well and would help to resolve easily the "no-Black-Panther-in-the title" problem. And it happen, as we're going to see, that the best area to build at DAK a Wakanda Kingdom would be close to the Africa land - and after all, Wakanda is supposed to be in Africa, right?

So, let's have a look at the location where i think they would build Wakanda at DAK - if they do it. The first satellite view below shows the whole Animal Kingdom park.

Now, let's zoom on it and as you'll see on the second satellite view below there is a huge piece of land located west of Africa Kilimandjaro Safaris and North to the Asia land which is still available - the one circled in orange color. A very long time ago, shortly after Animal Kingdom opening i think i've heard they wanted to build an Australia land there but chances are that the idea has been cancelled since a long time.

Now, if we zoom more on this area we can see small buildings on it...

What are these? Well, you probably don't know it but in fact they rotate most of the animals of Kilimandjaro Safaris over night and they move them in giant cages, may be located in that area. Basically, animals that guests see on Kilimandjaro Safaris get rotated every day, go back to the cages and then out to roam for the day. The animals are really well taken care of backstage with cast members playing with them and feeding them to make it a positive experience. It’s not so much the larger animals like the elephants that are rotated but more the smaller ones of Kilimandjaro Safaris. Elephants are family and have to be together. So they do not remove all animals at night, but others animals do get rotated each day or maybe every other day. They get medicine and also fed backstage during the rotation so they are not always on stage. I don’t have the list of the animals which are rotated, and it's definitely not the more dangerous ones like crocodiles or hippos, but Kilimandjaro Safaris animals all get rotated, and as you will see on the picture below showing very high cages for Giraffes, they also move out the Giraffes. Cast-members are saying that "they are on their vacation for a day before they go back onstage". Well, I guess it’s a good break for them.

Now, if the area you saw on the satellite view is where they store the animals, to build Wakanda there would need to move in another location these giant cages. It seems that they could easily move them but they definitely need these to move the animals there during hurricanes and, as we saw, because they rotate the animals. Thanks God, they have tons of room at Animal Kingdom backstage to re-locate these if needed.

Back to Wakanda, now. As you've seen, and although i agree that on the "animal park" angle it won't necessarily make sense to have it there, if they decide to build Wakanda at Disney's Animal Kingdom they have enough land to do it as actually that piece of land is twice bigger than the one of Pandora, and being close to the Africa land could help to justify it.

Now let's have a look to the other rumor about having an Indiana Jones Adventure attraction replacing the Dino Land "Dinosaur" ride. I don't know yet if this will happen or not but a new Indiana Jones movie is coming, they don’t really have the room in Hollywood Studios for creating an Indiana Jones land and i admit that this change would be easy to do as the track layouts and vehicles of the Dinosaurs ride are the same. That said, considering how tiny the queue of Dinosaur is compared to Indiana Jones in Anaheim - and how popular the attraction will be at DAK - they probably would need to double the queue size, at least. As for the ride itself, considering that the track is the same, basically all they’ll have to do would be to take out all the vegetation and dinos and build all around the track the Indy decor and effects. And give to the cars the Indy jeep theming. Not even needed to build a new show building or ride system, although it seems that the Indy show building is higher at Disneyland Anaheim as Mark, D&M reader said  in his comment on the D&M Facebook page two days ago: "If they were to truly clone the Indiana Jones Adventure, a large portion of the Dinosaur show building would need to have its roof raised 15-20’. Because of high water tables and the desire to hide the building from being seen in Dinoland and the parking lot, Dinosaur’s show building needed to to be built with a shorter height. Where the large feature show scene in Indy is (rope bridge/fire), Dinosaur’s building would need to be raised to install the scene or I fear the impact wouldn’t be the same." I've also been told that some sets of DL Indiana Jones Adventure were built while the show building itself was being built, which means that the change of ride might not be that easy to do if they decide to do a clone of the Disneyland version ...which might not be the case.

The Indiana Jones rumor may be strong, but i've also heard that “if we were to place exactly what is on the Tokyo and Disneyland 1995 version of the Indy ride, it would be disappointing to today’s guests expectations“. Meaning that, if they do it today it would be more high tech and may be a different story linked to the new movies. Not to mention eventually a new kind of vehicles as the Indy jeeps always required a lot of maintenance, and the costs which goes with it, it's even one of the reasons we still don't have an Indiana Jones Adventure ride at Disneyland Paris Adventureland.

On the other hand the Dinosaurs ride had recently a big renovation and upgrades which make it much nicer than it was. So why would they have spent money on a renovation if they are planning to change the ride?  Also, the reason they are re-theming Dinoland into Donald Dino Bash may be to draw the line between the Dino institute and “Dinoland” because they can easily re-themed it as well as the surrounding area. That said if the new Indy movie is a success i can see Bob Chapek green lighting the project.

BUT, there is a big "but" as Expedition Everest will be getting a major refurbishment late this year or beginning 2019. Expedition Everest was supposed to go down after Pandora opened, and they can’t have Expedition Everest and Dinosaurs closed at the same time. So the timeline of both things are conflicting. Either Expedition Everest stays in its horrible condition while an  Indy makeover takes place or Expedition Everest gets its renovation first and Indy will come after, which probably will be the right order - this, of course, IF the Indy rumor is right.

And the Expedition Everest renovation won't be done in two weeks, that's for sure, as the ride hasn’t had a refurbishment since 2009 or so. The animatronic bird has been broken...

...the yeti is as we know broken since years and is almost for sure on track to be fixed during the refurb, but this one is going to be costly and a hell to repair...

And we can expect the projection scene to be probably updated. Let's hope they'll also bring back the fog effects and do some lighting upgrades. So, plenty of work to do during this Expedition Everest renovation. To come back to the Indy ride i don't see them making an announcement before the next D23 Expo in Anaheim, in 2019, so i'm sure we have plenty of time to talk back again about it! In the meantime you can have a read of the fun April 1st article on the Wakanda subject done by Parkeology and from where the picture on top is coming.

Pictures: copyright Google, Disney.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Video : Universal Spectacle Night Parade Debut at Universal Studios Japan

The new and spectacular Universal Studios Japan night parade had its premiere with giant floats and mapping projections. The parade include floats paying tribute to the worlds of Harry Potter, Transformers, Jurassic World and Despicable Me / Minions, with plenty of effects and a giant T-Rex Audio-Animatronic, and here is the video of the whole thing, with the mapping projections effect visible in the second half of it!

Video: copyright Haru USJ Channel

WDW Magic Kingdom Festival of Fantasy Parade Dragon on Fire - Video of the Moment They Tried to Stop the Fire

By now, you all now that the steampunk Dragon of WDW Magic Kingdom Festival of Fantasy parade was on fire last Saturday and you've probably seen videos on others websites. But i've found for you what are probably the most interesting videos as they don't only show the Dragon on fire in the parade but also the moments when the Disney folks tried to stop the fire.

What is really surprising is that they were using small fire extinguishers... which look like a joke, specially when you want to stop a fire which is 4 meters above you.  I hope this doesn't mean that mean Disney doesn't have one or two professional fire staff on 24/7 duty specially during a parade where they have a Dragon breathing fire all along the parade route? And if possible equipped with the proper equipment...

The first video below will show you the Dragon on fire in Main Street...

...while the second one is showing the moments when they ere trying to extinguish the fire and apparently not very successfully...

Videos: copyright Darkaxian, ViralHog

Sunday, May 13, 2018

All Aboard for "A Journey to Egypt" in Real "Indiana Jones" Locations !

Today's D&M article is not about theme parks but don't go away as you'll travel in Egypt to pure "Indiana Jones" locations - and with Hera, a beautiful Icelandic girl!

You may not know it but in a previous life i was a photographer working for photos agencies, and  travelling around the world for pictorial reports about, let's say, some great "Adventureland" locations. Egypt - the country of "the great childhood" as Sigmund Freud used to say - always has been one of my favorite and i've been in Egypt many times at a time it was perfectly safe, enjoying playing the Indiana Jones in Ancient Egyptian tombs.

Now, i'm happy to announce that i will release a series of great eBooks with these photo reports and if you like Ancient Egypt and beautiful women, my first eBook titled " A Journey to Egypt", now on sale on Apple iBooks store or Amazon Kindle store, should be a feast for the eyes. You have more details and sample pictures below and you can see them even in bigger size on the eBook page HERE.

A Journey to Egypt is an elegant 200 pages pictorial book telling the voyage of Hera, a beautiful, intelligent and sensitive Icelandic girl, for a photo shooting in the land of Pharaohs. With stunning pictures of Ancient Egypt temples, and along with Hera, you’ll discover the beauty of Luxor and Karnak temples, the mysterious tombs of the Pharaohs in the legendary Valley of the kings, Ramesses II Ramesseum temple, Medinet Habu temple, Kalabsha and Philae temples in Aswan.

And then, embark for a cruise on the Nile river to discover the rarely seen Nubian temples and up to the legendary Abu Simbel temple, the greatest of them all!

When i did the photo report years ago Lara Croft Tomb Raider was the big thing and i asked Hera to have a Lara Croft look when we were on archeological sites.

Half of the pictures of "A Journey to Egypt" are with Hera, and the other half shows the Ancient Egypt locations without her.

A Journey to Egypt" also include gorgeous views of Luxor temples from above, shot from a hot-air balloon, like these of the legendary Valley of the Kings or Medinet Habu temple...

...You’ll discover also with Hera - "Hera", by the way, was the name of a Greek Goddess - two of Egypt most romantic hotels - the Old Winter Palace in Luxor and the Old Cataract in Aswan - which opened at the end of the 19th Century and are the last presence of a fascinating bygone era.

"A Journey to Egypt" is now available for those of you who have a Mac or an iPhone or iPad on the Apple iBooks store HERE at $9.99 or 9.49€ - which is a reasonable price for a 200 pages book - and on Amazon Kindle store HERE for those of you who don't have an Apple device. Amazon Kindle books can be read both on Apple, PC or Android devices. As you know, Disney and more currently needs your support, and buying "A Journey to Egypt" - a 200 pages book with almost as many pictures for a reasonable price - will be a great way to bring your support to D&M!
Hope you'll enjoy the book,Ancient Egypt, and Hera who is beautiful!

All Pictures: copyright Alain Littaye - No use of reproduction of the pictures is authorized without written agreement.