Friday, August 2, 2019

Hong Kong Disneyland Castle Transformation Underway with New Tower Additions

Hong Kong Disneyland Castle transformation i underway with new tower additions.    The transformation of the iconic castle of Hong Kong Disneyland  is set to enter its most important stage yet.

Starting today, thematic towers and spires representing 13 stories of beloved Disney Princesses and heroines will be lifted onto the castle base. Celebrating a sense of diversity, inclusion and unity, Cinderella, Tiana, Aurora, Ariel, Mulan, Snow White, Moana, Merida, Belle, Rapunzel, Pocahontas and Jasmine – along with Anna and Elsa from Disney’s “Frozen” will all have their moment to shine on the castle this summer.

When fully transformed, the iconic castle will stand as a shining beacon of courage, hope and possibility, inspiring all who dare to dream big. When the transformed castle debuts next year, it will be home to a new breathtaking daytime show and nighttime spectacular as well as a new outdoor stage area and viewing terrace. below, the latest video update showing Hong Kong Disneyland Castle transformation filmed by Hong Kong Main Street Gazette. Note the top of the highest tower which has been repainted in a red/copper color instead of the previous blue

While the castle transformation is underway, an array of new Disney Princess experiences is available throughout the resort. An immersive princess transformation experience awaits young guests at the brand-new Storybook Shoppe — Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at the castle area - see D&M full article about it HERE.

Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel has also unveiled the Cinderella Suite at the Kingdom Club, featuring an interior decor heavily inspired by the classic tale.

Pictures: copyright Disney

Thursday, August 1, 2019


Bryan Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast annpunces this morning Universal Orlando fourth thme park and provided a first look at the new park to be named "Universal Epic Universe", stated by Universal as "The most immersive and innovative park we've ever created".

First, here is Universal official statement:

Our Universe is expanding. by Mark Woodbury:

Epic. It’s a word that gets tossed around a lot in today’s day and age, though not one we use loosely. When we label something as epic, we want that experience to live up to the promise that the word makes. Which is why today we are elated to announce the addition of our fourth theme park, Universal’s Epic Universe, an experience genuinely worthy of its bold moniker.

Universal’s Epic Universe will offer an entirely new level of experiences that will forever redefine theme park entertainment. Guests will venture beyond their wildest imagination, traveling into beloved stories and through vibrant lands on adventures where the journey is as astounding as the destination. The new location will feature a theme park, an entertainment center, hotels, shops, restaurants and more. Ultimately, this expansion will create more space and freedom to let loose and create lasting memories with the people you love.

Here’s a peek at the logo, concept art and proximity map of Universal’s Epic Universe. It’s such an exciting time at Universal Orlando Resort.

Universal Epic Universe will be located just a few miles from the others parks and resorts in Southwest Orange County, south of Sand Lake Road and east of Universal Boulevard. The new park will cover an area larger than 750-acres be and will nearly doubles Universal’s total acres in Orlando.

No opening date was set or announced for Universal Epic Universe, but Universal executives promised more news in the near future, as works has already began on building the park.

All-right, that sounds pretty exciting, so let's have a closer look at the park artwork, would we, as Tom Williams, Chairman and CEO Universal Parks & Resorts didn't revealed the specific themes of each land, only saying: “A universe is bigger than a world.” He did not disclose too how many themed lands the park will have, just saying that “it will be an incredible amount that will surprise you.”

So,  the first picture shows the park entrance with an arch looking like a new version of the famous Universal arch and most probably the buildings, at least those on the right once entered in the park, will be shops as usual.

On the next picture below i think it's safe to say that it looks to be the awaited Super Nintendo World land, with the Mario Kart ride with the show buiding at the bottom left, Yoshi’s Adventure, and Donkey Kong’s Mine Cart Madness on the far left.

On the top left of the artwork we can ( barely ) see another land with what seems to be medieval buidings,  and it could very well be the land themed to Universal Monsters with a rumored Dracula Castle, i'm putting my bets on it anyway. The only thing that surprise me is the big arena on the left of it, probably for a stunt show, but that wouldn't fit really with the theme...

 On the right of it will be the 4/5 stars hotel located at the other end of the park.

But in the front it is where seems to be the rumored extended hub with shops, restaurants and a fountain show in front of the hotel.

On the right of the hotel is something more difficult to know what ti tis. The facades looks like the ones of Parisian buildings and most of it seems to be indoor, so either it's the land themed on Fantastic Beasts or because it is close to the hotel it could be the entertainment, shops and restaurants area, mostly indoor, like they do in Las Vegas, but i'm putting more my bets on a Fantastic Beasts land where they will recreate, after the London streets in Diagon Alley, the Paris streets where action of the second Fantastic Beasts movie happen.

Also, right under it, notice this Sci-Fi looking building entrance? Could it be a Star Trek attraction as it was rumored?

There is more with this other land difficult to identify but it could be the rumored "How to Train your Dragon" land on the bottom and dueling roller-coasters on the top of it with a different theme.

Here is the bird-eye-view rendering again with indication of where should be what.

One more thing about the water areas at the park center. One lake is good but three it's better apparenty thought Universal Creatives...

...but these three water areas on different levels reminded me something ...that i've finally found in D&M Archives, and it is this very early rendering "for a future Disney theme park", at that time supposedly a first concept for Shanghaî Disneyland. It turns out that SDL final design doesn't look like that but apparently the idea of water running on different levels may be was not lost for everyone - just the idea as in all honesty we can't say that Universal has copied it, as it's not the case.

Allright, say tuned on D&M for future developments of this new park, as we're just at the start of it!

Pictures: copyright Universal Orlando

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

New Magical Holiday Experience Coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Disney Parks just announced that a new magical Holiday experience is coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom:

"This holiday season, guests visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom will find festive new entertainment and holiday décor in every land of the park, from DinoLand, U.S.A. to Pandora – The World of Avatar. On Discovery Island at the heart of the park, the magic of the holidays will truly come to life, with incredible experiences both day and night.

It all begins when you cross the bridge to Discovery Island, finding yourself in the midst of a celebration of winter, hand-crafted by the eclectic community of artists who make the island their home. The village is filled with sparkling white holiday decorations. Colorful, animal-inspired luminaries line the rooftops, and wireframe lanterns in the shape of beautiful birds can be found perched throughout the area.

A holiday gathering of winter animals – realized in the form of life-size, artisan-sculpted puppets – frolics on Discovery Island during the day. Reindeer, foxes, polar bears, penguins and more interact with guests, accompanied by serenading musicians as they create a playful atmosphere of festive fun. 

As day becomes night, the rooftop luminaries and bird lanterns all around Discovery Island bring a warm and festive glow to the entire village. At the center of everything, the Tree of Life awakens with a series of wintry tales, complemented by a familiar and heartwarming holiday-inspired musical score. Between awakening moments, the Tree of Life continues to shimmer and sparkle throughout the night, alive with the magic of nature and the spirit of the holidays."

Artworks: copyright Disney

WDW Close-Shots Photo Update : TRON Lightcycles , Epcot Ratatouille, DHS Galaxy's Edge...

I have a new WDW pcitorial update for you today, and this one will bring you close shots of two attractions currently on construction and one on its way to open next month! Let's start by this close-up pictures of the TRON lightcycles coaster track being assembled at WDW Magic Kingdom.

Next pictures shows the work on the new facades for the Ratatouille attraction at Epcot World Showcase France pavilion area.

We'll end this short pictorial update with pictures of Galaxy's Edge at Disney's Hollywood Studios, starting by the entrance below.

Pictures: copyright Disney and more

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Rare Pictures of Walt Disney Last Family Trip in July 1966 in British Columbia, and the Mineral King Resort Project

The pictures you will see today in this article are very rare pictures of what was most probably Walt Disney's last family trip in July 1966 up the British Columbia coast. Six months later Walt will die and you can feel on the pictures that he didn't feel already well and that his vital energy was low. This picture of Walt holding his hat looks like a last goodbye to his family and the world.

Not a lot of infos are available about this July 1966 trip but we can find a bit more in Michael Barriers' book "Animated Man":

On June 23, 1966, Disney wrote to his friend Eisenhower: “Grandma and Grandpa Disney and all of the Disney clan (including our seven grandchildren) have chartered a yacht out of Vancouver for two weeks to cruise the inlets of British Columbia. Our trip will end on the 13th of July which happens to be the 41st anniversary for Grandma and Grandpa.” As always, Disney took work along. “I don’t know how many things he took on the boat to Vancouver, read ’em all,” Ron Miller told Richard Hubler. “He even took one book on how to select faculty for colleges, because he had CalArts, which was of great interest to him.” At that time, Miller said, Disney was already scheduled to “go into the hospital and have his back looked into. I noticed he was having a helluva time with his leg. [The pain] came down and it bothered his hip. Whenever he would get in a rowboat or anything, he would have to literally do this to his leg [indicating “lifting” his leg, as though stepping over a low fence]. It was the damnedest thing. And that’s as far as the whole family, or anyone, knew was the extent of his illness.”

The boat in the background on the picture above was most probably the one chartered by Walt for this trip with his family in British Columbia. Walt is on the left, near the man with a yellow cap.

On the picture below, Walt and familly in a coastal village.

On the next picture, Walt Disney's grand children. Six months later their grand father will passed away.

Just two months after Walt came back from British Columbia, on September 18, 1966 atop the Northern Californian Mountains Walt Disney, in his last ever public appearance, would officially announce the Disney's Mineral King Resort, a Disney owned and operated Ski Resort.

The Mineral King  ski Resort sadly never saw the light of day, leaving Walt Disney's Final Project never completed, but Review Tyme just posted a great video telling all the story about it, including the original renderings for Mineral King!

Pictures : copyright WDFM

Monday, July 29, 2019

WDW Update: Dahlia Lounge and Toledo Restaurant in Gran Destino Tower at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort

We're back at WDW for a new pictorial update, this time with pictures of the inside of the new Gran Destino tower, the new hotel at Coronado Springs Resort, and specifically the Dahlia lounge - first pictures and above - and the Toledo new restaurant. The Dahlia Lounge also pays tribute to Salvador Dali and Walt, and pictures of both together are displayed at the entrance.

The next pictures shows the new Toledo restaurant at the top floor of the Gran Torino tower.

You have a fantastic view from the top, this is from where the pictures posted last Friday were shot - you can see them HERE.

The elevator room at the top.

More WDW Update is coming soon on D&M, so stay tuned on Disney and more!

Pictures: copyright Disney and more