Saturday, April 6, 2019

Universal Studios Singapore : Where in the Park Will Be Built Minion Park and Super Nintendo World ?

Universal Studios Singapore and Resorts World Sentosa  announced this week that a Minion Park and a Super Nintendo World will come to USS in the next years - see D&M article HERE. The announcement of two new lands for a park which has a such limited space is an important one, so where in the park will they build them?

For the first land - Minion Park - it was revealed that it "will replace the current Madagascar area". For those of you who are not familiar with Universal Studios Singapore you have the current park map above and i did some Google Earth screen captures as well. At the top you have one showing the whole park and the one below is showing the Madagascar land.

As you can see the Madagascar land - including the huge show building for the Madagascar flume ride is not small at all. Personally i will regret it for its lush tropical theming, its giant baobab, and even the flume ride, which was not perfect i agree - the ride was originally supposed to have some falls but from what i've been told they had huge problem of water leaking and had to redesign the ride and cancel the falls.

I'm not really enthusiastic to have the Minion park as the first land that USS guests will enter when they'll turn on the left at the end of the entrance Hollywood street, but i'm afraid we don't have the choice...

The other land coming to Universal Studios Singapore is of course the big Super Nintendo World and this one they didn't revealed where they'll put it. My guess is that it will be built where the  Waterworld area with the stunt show arena currently is. They certainly won't delete the Jurassic Park "Lost World" land, neither the Ancient Egypt land with the popular Mummy coaster and also Sci-Fi City because of the highly popular Transformers ride and Battlestar Galactica coaster. They won't touch also to the New York area and neither the Schrek - Far Far Away land where they built recently the new Puss the Boots Giant Journey family coaster. This leave as the best option to find room for the Super Nintendo World the Waterworld area.

As you can see on the above screen capture, the size of the area is surprisingly big, much bigger than it shows on the park map, almost 80% of the Jurassic Park land nearby, the main reason is that the stunt show and its arena are taking a huge space. So, i put my bets - an easy bet, i agree - that the Super Nintendo World will be built there. The Waterworld stunt show is still quite popular for a movie not really known in Asia, but it won't stop it to get the axe anyway.

Pictures: copyright Universal Studios, Google Earth

Friday, April 5, 2019

New Renderings for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, First Look at Resistance Supply and First Order Cargo

Disney released again two new renderings for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and this time you can have a first look at two Galaxy's Edge shopping locations, dark or light side whether you belong to the Resistance or to the First Order!

The artwork on the top is for Resistance Supply;

Rendezvous with other Resistance allies in a forested area near the ancient ruins. There, members of the Resistance have set up a secret makeshift post where you can join the cause to defeat the First Order. Stock up on essential gear and supplies so you’re prepared for your next mission, wherever it may take you.

And the second rendering above is for First Order Cargo:

The First Order has recently arrived in Black Spire Outpost in pursuit of the Resistance. Report for duty and make your way to Docking Bay 9 where the First Order has set up a temporary post next to their shuttle to win the hearts and minds of the locals. Browse for gear and other products to show your support for the First Order.

Pictures: copyright Disney

Thursday, April 4, 2019

BREAKING: Universal Studios Singapore and Resorts World Sentosa Announced S$ 4.5 Billion Expansion Plan With Super Nintendo World and Minion Park, More...

Universal Studios Singapore and Resorts World Sentosa announced today a major S$ 4.5 Billion expansion plan with Super Nintendo World and Minion Park coming to Universal Studios Singapore, and much more for Sentosa Island! Full press release and renderings below!

Resorts World Sentosa Embarks on Mega Expansion Plans

History-making investment of S$4.5 billion will see RWS expanding by about 50%, cementing RWS as the region’s most exciting and iconic leisure and lifestyle destination SINGAPORE, 3 April 2019 – Bigger, bolder and more engaging will define a new era of fun and experiences at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) as it announces major plans for a history-making expansion and transformation to create a new wave of tourism growth for the next decade. At a total development investment of S$4.5 billion, RWS 2.0 will see an expansion of about 50% new Gross Floor Area (GFA), adding over 164,000 square metres of new and exciting attractions, entertainment and lifestyle offerings. This major expansion will be delivered in phases with new experiences opening every year from 2020 to a projected completion around 2025. RWS 2.0 represents a vote of confidence in Singapore as RWS embarks on the next exciting decade of its journey that will unlock the full potential of the Sentosa waterfront.

Both RWS major attractions, Universal Studios Singapore and S.E.A. Aquarium, will see substantial increase in size. The expansion of Universal Studios Singapore will unveil two new, highly themed and immersive environments based on hugely popular entertainment concepts – Minion Park and Super Nintendo World. These new and expansive areas will feature all-audience and family-friendly attractions as well as themed shops and restaurants. The award winning S.E.A. Aquarium will be expanded to more than three times its present size, and proposed to be rebranded as Singapore Oceanarium. The expansion will see its transformation to an exciting blend of specially curated marine life and additional exhibits of prehistoric marine life and deep sea creatures that will be part of the story of the history of evolution, exploration and how mankind has to embrace conservation.

A new Waterfront Lifestyle Complex helmed by two new destination hotels, together with the expansion of Central Zone, will add up to 1,100 more keys. The additional keys will encourage international visitors to our attractions to stay longer and enjoy more of our night activities. Together with the significant expansion of our MICE capacity, the extra room capacity will allow RWS to garner more top tier events. The entire waterfront promenade will be completely renewed, anchored by a spectacular public attraction that will set the scene for vibrant seafront activities that include eclectic dining and lifestyle activities. Replacing the Resorts World Theatre will be a new Adventure Dining Playhouse where fun dining will never be the same again. A new Driverless Transport System will provide last-mile connectivity between the mainland and Sentosa with better efficiency and capacity, hence encouraging more visitors to RWS and the rest of Sentosa Island. The expansion plans, when completed, will integrate with the transformation of the future Greater Southern Waterfront and continue to be the tourism leader in this region.

Since opening in 2010, RWS has played an instrumental role in driving the transformation of Singapore’s tourism sector. RWS has been welcoming more than 20 million international and local visitors annually, accounting for more than one-third of all international visitor arrivals into Singapore and thereby contributing greatly to the GDP of Singapore. This has propelled the growth of Singapore’s international visitor arrivals by nearly two times to 18.5 million in 2018, enabling it to surpass its 2015 goal of 17 million visitors.

The mega investment and expansion of RWS is expected to have significant impact on the Singapore economy. Today, RWS is one of Singapore’s largest private sector employers and home to over 13,000 employees. The expanded RWS will result in approximately 2,800 new employment created across a wide diversity of trades, professions and career opportunities. Through the adoption of technology and innovation, higher-value roles will be created for the PME segment. RWS will nurture and mentor team members to provide them with multi business unit cross-training that generates meaningful jobs and careers.

Mr Tan Hee Teck, Chief Executive Officer of RWS said: “RWS has been a major game-changer and growth engine in the last ten years in transforming Singapore’s tourism landscape. This major re- investment and expansion here in Singapore underlines our belief in the business model and the future opportunities that lie ahead when we complete the development. An even brighter future will lie ahead when RWS will form an integral part of the future Greater Southern Waterfront and become a centrepiece of the transformative journey to enliven the southern corridor. In the year of Singapore’s Bicentennial celebrations, RWS is excited to be embarking on this makeover to ensure that we continue to be the top Integrated Resort in this region. The journey has been fulfilling with RWS providing strong leadership in the Singapore tourism industry. Our achievements are the fruits of the dedication and passion of all our talented team members, happy customers and all stakeholders from both the private and public sectors who have contributed their resources to make RWS a success. We are confident that all these valued people will continue to support us to make RWS 2.0 a resounding success.”

Expansion of Universal Studios Singapore

As Universal Studios Singapore gears up to embrace the next generation of theme park entertainment, it will welcome two highly themed and immersive environments – Minion Park and Super Nintendo World – marking its first expansion since its opening in 2010. The two new environments, one inspired by Illumination’s blockbuster Despicable Me franchise and its sweet but subversive Minions, who have become a worldwide phenomenon, and the other by Nintendo’s globally popular games, beloved characters and adventures, will feature new rides and attractions for all audiences.

Universal Studios Singapore: Minion Park Concept Rendering of Minion Park at Universal Studios Singapore Credit: Universal Parks & Resorts

Despicable Me Minion Mayhem at Universal Studios Singapore Credit: Universal Parks & Resorts

The area’s main attraction will be Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, an award-winning, immersive motion-simulator thrill ride. Join Gru, his daughters, and the mischievous Minions on an unpredictable 3-D ride, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem. Join the ranks of the Minions, literally, as part of Gru's latest scheme. But when things don’t go as planned, you’re launched into an unforgettable journey through his super-villain laboratory. It's heartwarming and humorous family fun for everyone! There will be other attractions as well as themed dining and merchandise shops. The new Minion Park area will replace the current Madagascar area.

Universal Studios Singapore: Super Nintendo World

Super Nintendo World will bring the fun, characters, action and adventure of Nintendo games to life within a highly themed environment. Guests will enter an exciting world filled with highly themed attractions, shops and restaurants where they will feel as if they have stepped into a larger- than-life Nintendo adventure. More details will be announced later.

Singapore Oceanarium

Artist’s impression of Evolution & Extinction zone at Singapore Oceanarium Credit: Resorts World Sentosa

RWS will expand its popular S.E.A. Aquarium, taking over the adjacent Maritime Experiential Museum, and elevate the aquarium to the next level by creating a three times larger Singapore Oceanarium. The Oceanarium will be the first of its kind in the world, commanding a larger scale and depth of content than before, and featuring a seamless and exciting blend of marine life collection and history about the ocean and evolution of its inhabitants – brought to life using state- of-the-art digital innovation and interactive technology. Offering an immersive experience designed for the 21st century audience, the Oceanarium will demonstrate its thought leadership in marine education, conservation and research efforts. Ocean history and marine biology will meet in a fresh and exciting way in three zones: (1) Evolution & Extinction, (2) Exploration & Deep Ocean, and (3) Conservation.

Artist’s impression of Exploration & Deep Ocean zone at Singapore Oceanarium Credit: Resorts World Sentosa

Guests begin the journey in ‘Evolution & Extinction’ by walking on a simulated ocean floor and experiencing prehistoric marine life from cradle to grave, before proceeding to ‘Exploration & Deep Ocean’ where they meet famous Asian ocean navigators, embark on deep sea exploration and view life-like holographic images of rare ocean creatures, get up close and personal with live marine creatures at a borderless discovery pool and interact with the local intertidal ecosystem through digital mapping. Completing their visit at ‘Conservation’, guests will be inspired to take actions to protect the majestic yet fragile oceans through special installations highlighting the threats to marine biodiversity such as climate change, over-fishing and pollution.

New Adventure Dining Playhouse

Artist’s impression of the stage designed like a pirate ship (top) and pre-show experience through a ‘secret passage’ (below) Credit: Resorts World Sentosa

Building on its strong capabilities in creating and delivering live entertainment and original production, RWS will introduce a new immersive Adventure Dining Playhouse, a concept that is quickly gaining huge popularity worldwide. The first-of-its-kind immersive dining and performance concept in the region on the adventures of Asian pirates, guests will be actively engaged and drawn into the performance that features an original storyline about these courageous seafarers overcoming turbulent thunderstorms and treacherous sea creatures to conquer a giant octopus sea monster.

The new entertainment sensation, comprising pre-show, multi-course meal and lots of audience participation, will keep guests at the edge of their seats with exhilarating live stunts, thrilling acrobatic acts, special effects, project mapping technology and spectacular mechanical effects. Guests will brave stormy seas, audacious pirates and lots of swashbuckling action at this all-in-one entertainment sensation.

Waterfront Lifestyle Complex

Artist’s impression of promenade along Waterfront Lifestyle Complex

The new Waterfront Lifestyle Complex with iconic design and architecture will house two destination hotels, retail and F&B choices, and a new public attraction, giving the existing promenade a complete makeover and transforming the RWS waterfront into an exciting all-day, all- night premium lifestyle venue for both tourists and locals.

Two new destination hotels, one luxury and the other upscale, will be built as part of the complex. They are envisaged to continue the signature RWS hospitality of premium accommodation, personalised gold standard service and lifestyle pampering such as spa facilities, with each hotel owning its unique character and concept differentiated from existing RWS hotels. Together with the expansion of Central Zone, they will add up to 1,100 more keys and grow in-resort accommodation by more than 70%.

A new public attraction will replace the current Crane Dance in the form of a multi-functional event zone that can be decked out for different festivals and events. An iconic structure will function as a meeting point by day and the focus of an evening show by night. Commanding high visibility within RWS and as far as across the waters from the promenade at Harbourfront and VivoCity, the attraction comes alive at dusk with a spectacular nightly show.

The complex incorporates lush greenery and beautiful landscaping, paying homage to the natural terrain of Sentosa and the island’s green tropical features. A network of pedestrian thoroughfares, generous open green spaces and public meeting spaces across three levels of walkway from the Sentosa Boardwalk will provide fresh visual and physical porosity to the new waterfront.

Driverless Transport System

Finally, RWS will introduce a seamless, efficient and accessible ‘last mile’ connectivity in the form of a Driverless Transport System (DTS) running in both directions along the Sentosa Boardwalk, offering commuters the fastest, shortest and most comfortable route to reach the new RWS waterfront and other parts of Sentosa.

A strategic initiative by RWS in support of the future Greater Southern Waterfront and to enhance ‘first-impression’ visitor experience for guests travelling to Sentosa, the new system will contribute additional commuter capacity with a peak ridership of 1,800 passengers per hour per direction for visitors to Sentosa and RWS. It is also an energy efficient solution with low environmental footprint to significantly improve the accessibility of Sentosa.

Occupying a dedicated track of about 600 metres lining the Sentosa boardwalk, the DTS will shuttle between a station at the start of the boardwalk outside VivoCity and another at the new RWS waterfront. It will run alongside the existing travellator, and adjacent to the pedestrian stretch of the boardwalk.

Pictures: copyrigth Universal Studios Singapore, Resorts World Sentosa

DLP Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril Attraction Poster

David Goebel did this proposal of an attraction poster for DLP Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril coaster which i think is good, DLP should release it. Actually, David had "aged" the artwork and i did some enhancements thinking that the doc was no good before seeing that it has been done by him, so, sorry David (!)

You can see the original at the bottom of this page HERE where there is plenty of great fan-made Indy posters.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Amazing Recreation of Full Ride and Queue of Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland

Fans will always amaze me! TommyT 067 did wih Planet Coaster this amazing recreation of the full ride and queue  of Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland. I can't imagine how long it took him to recreate all this but the result is awesome, don't miss it!

Picture and video: copyright TommyT 067

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge : New Concept-Art Provide a First Look at Kat Saka’s Kettle

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open late May at Disneyland and Disney released a never-seen-before concept-art giving a first look at Kat Saka’s Kettle, the popcorn stand that will be serving colorful out-of-this-world popcorn called the Outpost Mix.

Here is the description released for Kat Saka’s Kettle: "Venture into the market to find this colorful snack shop, where grains from all over the galaxy are on display. Order a generous, piping-hot helping of this popular and flavorful local specialty popcorn and enjoy it as you explore Black Spire Outpost. Refreshing beverages are also sold here. Run by grain merchant Kat Saka, this stall offers customers a unique taste of Batuu."

Picture: copyright Disney

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Disney Villains After Hours Nights Events Coming at WDW Magic Kingdom From June 6 to August 8

Disney After Hours has been a huge success with guests looking for the opportunity to experience the magic at Magic Kingdom Park after the sun goes down. Today, the Disney Parks Blog unveiled a new reason to delve into the delights of Disney After Hours this summer – Disney Villains will add a wicked twist to Disney After Hours event nights June 6-August 8!

In case you aren’t familiar, Disney After Hours is a special event that’s open to a limited number of guests and offers low wait times at more than 20 attractions and experiences after the park closes to day guests, from classics like the Haunted Mansion, Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Space Mountain, to newer favorites like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, plus many more. Event tickets also allow entry as early as 7 p.m., which gives you time to enjoy fireworks before heading off to the attractions. Ice cream novelties, popcorn and select bottled beverages are also included in the cost of admission.

Here’s a taste of what new elements to expect:

A Brand-New Disney Villains Stage Show – Hades and Meg from “Hercules” will set the castle stage ablaze in this all-new stage show, Villains Unite the Night, which will also feature appearances by Jafar, The Queen, Dr. Facilier and Maleficent.
Spot Maleficent the Dragon – Maleficent the Dragon, with her Steampunk style and signature wicked grin, will be let loose for the first time at night – breathing fire as she creeps through the park as a one-of-a-kind experience for party guests.
Villanous Enhancements: Discover surprising, villain-inspired additions at Pirates of the Caribbean and Space Mountain.
Wickedly Good Food & Beverage -A variety of special food & beverage offerings will also be available for purchase, including tasty desserts, drinks and dishes inspired by The Queen, Cruella de Vil, Maleficent, Hades, Dr. Facilier and even Emperor Zurg.
Event Merchandise – Event attendees can also purchase new logo merchandise, as well as items from a curated collection of the best Disney Villains merchandise available.
One Notorious Item to Note: Ever driven to stand out in their unpredictable and audacious fashion, while the Villains will be entertaining guests in the new stage show, they will not be participating in character greetings during the event.
If you really wanna get in on the action, feel free to show off your sinister side by dressing in attire inspired by your favorite baddie.

Disney Villains After Hours tickets cost $139 plus tax in advance, $144 plus tax on the event night. Keep your eye on the Disney Parks Blog in the coming weeks for booking details! Annual Passholder and Disney Vacation Club Members can take advantage of a $30 discount and purchase tickets for $109. Tickets for these specific Disney Villains After Hours event nights will go on sale April 29.

Picture: copyright Disney

Monday, April 1, 2019

Will Disneyland Paris Phantom Manor Re-Open for DLP 27th Anniversary on April 12 ?

Some Disney and more readers planning to come to Disneyland Paris on April 12 for the park Anniversary asked me if chances are that Phantom Manor would re-open for this celebration day.

I'll give you an answer in a few seconds but, first, a reminder of what happened last week when Disneyland Paris released what could be seen as indirect news about Phantom Manor reopening when DLP announced that Spirit Photography, located temporarily in front of Phantom Manor, will close on April 23. At that time i said that it probably meant that Phantom Manor will NOT reopen before at least April 24, because Spirit Photography is right in front of the entrance of Phantom Manor, meaning that it had to be removed to allow guests to move inside Phantom Manor. I then added that, from that date Phantom Manor could reopen ANY day between April 24 and May 11, the date that leaked recently.

And guess what? I was wrong! After checking it appears that DLP announcement of the closure of Spirits Photography is nothing more than a regular closure announcement like the park does when they close a shop, a restaurant or an attraction. And if it happened that Phantom Manor is ready for an opening anytime soon they'll simply move in one night this small Spirits Photography to allow guests to enter inside Phantom Manor garden and access the ride. Which means that potentially, and if the attraction was at last ready, Phantom Manor could reopen before April 24.

Now, back to the question about a Phantom Manor reopening on April 12. The short answer is "probably not" as there is still no certainty on the re-opening date. DLP Imagineers would love to have it ready for April 12 and they're working hard to have the ride ready as soon as possible but due to the past shifts on the date this time it has to be a "dead sure" re-opening date.

In addition, Today is April 1st ( and by the way this article is NOT an April Fools! ) and DLP Anniversary is now in 11 days. And except if DLP Imagineers finally resolve all the issues they had on Phantom Manor in the next two days, it'll be probably too short for DLP to have everything ready for the park Anniversary ( to train the ride cast-members and maintenance team about the changes and new effects, to prepare a media event, send invitations, etc ).

But there is a big "but" as on April 12 DLP also organize during the evening an InsideEars event during which all webmasters of fans websites will learn plenty of informations about the park future. And of course, there is little doubt that the date of Phantom Manor re-opening will be announced. I don't think that InsideEars members will get a ride preview during this InsideEars evening, but never say never as if the ride happen to be ready in a few days, DLP might be tempted to do a preview during the InsideEars event...

So, most probably Phantom Manor will not be open on April 12 but from what i've heard so far it seems that DLP envision an opening for the very beginning of May, may be shortly before the target date of May 11 that was leaked one month ago. Meaning that DLP fans definitely won't have too long to wait now to discover the updated version of Phantom Manor - and don't worry, all the big, major scenes you love will still be there.