Friday, May 3, 2019

BREAKING: DLP Phantom Manor Original Score Is Now Back on Ride !

GREAT news: ALL the original music written by John Debney for the ride has been put back in DLP Phantom Manor ride! When the ride reopened for the special event five days ago, the music had been changed with music from the Haunted Mansion, specially during the Mrs Leota and ballroom scenes. DLP fans were absolutely furious and even here at D&M i said in my review how big mistake it was. Anyway, now only remain from the Haunted Mansion some sound bites in the hallway with doors and the piano scene.

Max has filmed a new Phantom Manor video this afternoon and as you'll hear the original score is played from the start and is back especially on Mrs Leota and the ballroom scenes, and afterwards until the end. I'm not totally sure though that the original score is back between the piano scene up to Mrs Leota scene. You can check this with the previous videos, see links below. And i think that this might be due to a new visual effect where you see the shadows of the fingers of the Phantom hitting the piano keys. The shadows had to be synchronized with the moves of the keys of course and i suspect that the Imagineers took the programmation that had been done on the same effect at WDW or DL Haunted Mansions. And of course the piano keys ( and so the fingers shadows ) are synchronized with the theme played, so eventually they're stuck with that. Anyway, for most of the ride it's of course much better with the original score back, check it out, and as usual the video is available in 4K only using the Chrome browser.

Today's video below.

Five days ago reopening event video here: 

Phantom Manor original version video here:

Listen to the full Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge Symphonic Suite by John Williams!

Listen to the full Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge Symphonic Suite by John Williams: Surprisingly it sounds a lot more like John Williams scores for the Indy movies rather than Star Wars. Let's say that it's in-between. It last a bit less than 5 minutes and it will make an epic entrance music to the Galaxy's Edge land EDIT: You can now listen to it for free on the DisneyMusic VEVO Youtube channel below or buy it on iTunes.

Music: copyright Disney

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Photos, Video : Stunning Footage of Star Wars : Galaxy's Edge !

Some fantastic footage showing Disneyland's Star Wars Galaxy's Edge was released yesterday during Disney's Hollywood Studios 30th Celebration. You Have the video below and as usual i did some great screen captures of the best shots!

Guests will be able to see the Millenium Falcon from above while in the queue for the ride.

Star Wars fighters near the Rise of the Resistance ride, which will open later, in a few months.

Entrance of the Rise of the Resistance ride.

The "roof" of the open air market.

Yes, it's a Landspeeder!

Pictures: copyright Disney

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Phantom Manor Re-Open at Disneyland Paris - Full Ride 4K Video and Scene-By-Scene Review and Pictures !

Phantom Manor preview event happened yesterday evening at Disneyland Paris and it has been a great evening with between 3000 to 4000 guests awaiting to discover the new version of their beloved attraction. D&M has the best 4K video of the new version of the ride, as well as great pictures and to avoid spoilers, i suggest that you see the ride videos first before reading my review about it.

So, below the video of Max, D&M contributor and DLP Welcome webmaster and because Max filmed the video using a 21mm wide angle lens you'll be able to see more than on any others videos. This is a 4K video and if you want to watch it in the highest definition you need to watch it using the Chrome browser as Safari or Firefox will play it in Full HD only.

If you wish to see the ride filmed with a less wider angle this video filmed by Loopings is also pretty good, though Full HD only.

As you've seen - and hear - in the above videos some important changes were done in the ride. According to Max, visually the new version is superb, whether it is the lighting or the Audio-Animatronics who have never looked so smooth, some of them have even been re-programmed and their moves look better then before. However, always according to Max, the new audio is less an improvement, specially because the original score of John Debney is no longer played from start to the end, being replaced by sounds and music from The Haunted Mansion. From others fans comments it seems to be "the" major mistake in the new version, especially during the ballroom scene. The new voices are good however and the voice of the great Vincent Price is back at last! The mix of his voice with the other one speaking French is okay and the new spiel when the Doom Buggies need to  stop momentarily is good, too.

Now, let's talk about the visual changes which happened in some scenes. What you need to know first is that from the moment you enter Phantom Manor foyer a flashbach happen. The portrait of Mélanie and her father - as well as the lighting - is changing and shows what life was before. From that point it will be a flashback until guests board in the Doom Buggies.

In the streching room Mélanie, the bride, has now four lovers who, each, will have a fateful destiny. This doesn't fit really with the original story line and the supposed personality of Mélanie, but that's how it goes. Imagineer Julie Svendsen was the one who did the original paintings for the stretching room, and here it is a different artist. I'm not a big fan of the art style of the new paintings but there is a very good visual effect that i like a lot with Mélanie disappearing from the paintings before the elevator starts to go down, leaving her boy friends alone facing their fate. Meaning that Mélanie who in each painting looked to be really painted was in fact a projection effect. But it's so well done that you can't notice it. Note that, according to Max, in one of the paintings there is also  a subtle effect of smoke coming out of chimneys.


Exiting the stretching room guests enter the portraits room, where they'll discover three new portraits, including the one of Henry Ravenswood, Mélanie's father, who magically transform in the Phantom.

All others portraits also change with a clap of thunder, and the effect is very well done. At the start, excepting the new portrait of Henry Ravenswood, i was less enthusiastic with the two others new ones, but Max explained me their meaning and finally i think it's okay. The other two new portraits show in fact the fate of Mélanie's previous boyfriends, on one where the character seems to be struck by lightning we can see Big Thunder mountain in the background, and on the other - a duel in front of the manor the lover is shot by the father.

The painting with the boat has changed too. Previously its sails were torned because of the storm, and now the boat catch fire. In the same room, note that the original bride portrait by Imagineer Julie Svendsen is still there, thanks god.

The next new scene is the presence of the bride at the top of the stairs in the boarding room. That scene works very well, but as they took the bride Audio-Animatronic - which was at the start of the ride - to put it on the stairs, the bride is of course not visible anymore when the doom buggy enter the manor and has been replaced by  ...a slightly moving armor, which was probably one of those who were there five meters further on the left or right of the endless hallway scene. Note that the bride at the top of the stairs is strangely not moving, even a bit. She just looks outside.

Moving deeper inside the house, we arrive in front of the endless hallway scen in which Mélanie always appears holding a candelabrum but now the Phantom also appear behind her.

The piano scene now has four portraits of Mélanie's lovers on the piano and it's also more or less from that point that the change of music happen, and the one we can hear for the piano sequence is bad, really. Taht said, there is a very good new small effect with the shadows of the fingers of the Phantom when he touch the piano keys.

Not a lot of changes in the Leota spirit seance, except the lighting and, good news, according to Max  the cloud/smoke effect on the walls between the gargoyles is back again. Apparently the crystal ball is not floating in the air like it does at WDW, so fans who were expecting it might be disappointed. The face and hair of Leota has changed, i think for the better, she looks more "mystic" than before.

In the ballroom scene, the Phantom is now placed in a new location close to the bride, i'm still not sure it's the best idea. All the music you hear is the one from the Haunted Mansion and bot the audio recording and the score itself don't match well with Phantom Manor original score which will be back in a few seconds. The rest of the ballroom scene is unchanged.

The boudoir scene with the effect of the Phantom appearing behind Mélanie in the mirror is fine.

In the next scene supposedly outdoor with the Phantom AA, seems to now have red eyes and the dog has green eyes.

The rest of the ride when the Doom Buggies go underground is quite the same with a very different lighting, including the Thunder Mesa ghost town where all Audio-Animatronics have been restored to their original glory. I have also the feeling that the last Phantom Manor Audio-Animatronic have been reprogrammed, for the better. According to Max, the new lighting is much better and int the room with the ghost town some star and lighting effects on the ceiling succeed to cancel the sight of a square box room. But why all unhabitants of the ghost town have a green face? May be to make sure that guests understand that they're a kind of zombies?

The short scene of the bride skeleton placed on big crystals has been changed with a different decor showing a mausoleum from where escape the skeleton hand of one of Melanie's lovers, holding a wedding ring, always hopeful that Mélanie will finally marry him.

But just two meters after, in the scene facing the mirrors before unload, Mélanie appears in the middle of the guests with a demented voice, asking guests to marry her. The effect works perfectly though it don't match at all with whom Melanie is supposed to be - but guests will love it most probably. Also note that the small bride on the way to the exit has disappeared.

Phantom Manor has been, if i can say, HauntedMansionized, and of course the mix with the poetic macabre atmosphere of the original Phantom Manor don't totally work. That said, the story of the bride and the Phantom is more clear now but it's a bit at the cost of Phantom Manor original story integrity. So, at least for me and apparently also for others from what i can read here and there the opinion about this new version is a bit mixed. Visually, as i've said, there seems to be definitely improvements but the audio part is more a disappointment. John Debney original score for Phantom Manor could eventually be put back easily - the change of music during half of the ride is by far the biggest mistake here - but all the others "physical" changes will stay. Most of the fans, though, will probably like this new version because fans are fans, they need their shoot of Disney magic at regular times, so generally they're over enthusiastic at the start - except the purists - and then, when the excitement goes down, they start to think twice and adjust their opinion, so we'll see what will be their final ones. As for regular guests who've never seen the original ride they surely will love it.

For those wishing to see the differences with the original version - and the original music - Max had the good idea to post a video including side-by-side the two versions. Watch it full screen mode ...but, warning! If you've not watched yet the video of the new version, it's better you watch it first above. 

Here is also Max fill video of the original version.

The Phantom Manor reopening event last night was pretty well done, with several characters greeting the guests on the porch of the manor, including Mélanie and Phantom Manor gatekeeper!

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A short projection show with mapping on the manor also happened and here is the video filmed by Max.

Phantom Manor pictures: copyright DLP Welcome