Saturday, September 7, 2019

Bangkok Fantasia Lagoon Water Park Will Remind Disneyland Paris Fans the Lava Lagoon Project That Never Was

You know the famous quote at Walt Disney Imagineering: "Good ideas never die at WDI"? Well, they certainly don't die and can even reappear outside WDI!

Disneyland Paris fans know well the DLP water park project that never was titled "Lava Lagoon", supposed to have a huge volcano at its center - see previous D&M article HERE. Universal Volcano Bay water park took the principle of a volcano at the center and did something different than WDI 1990's concept, but DLP fans who still regret the Lava Lagoon project will have to come to Thailand as i discovered not so long ago that another water park exist with a volcano at its center, and this one is in Bangkok!

Called "Fantasia Lagoon", it's certainly a smaller water park and volcano than the one imagined by WDI Imagineers, or even Universal's Volcano Bay, as it is stick to a big shopping mall but i've found some pictures of it on the web, so let's have a look at it, would we?

From the press release: "Fantasia Lagoon is a relatively large and attractive water park built on the roof of The Mall Shopping Center, near Bangkok. Fantasia Lagoon got refurbished recently and is a fun place for kids and young adults to spend a day with huge pools and decent size sliders, and in addition you have the entire mall to play with including a very attractive games and entertainment zone located right below the water park.

Fantasia Lagoon - with a low entry fee - is divided into several zones, accommodating children of all ages - Fantasy Fountain for the youngest, Pirate Cove and the Slider Tower for the more daring, and everything in between: Magic Jungle, Mystery Island and Ocean 10 are full of water activities, games and fun features to thrill kids for a great afternoon of splashing fun.

Once you are running out of energy, just drift along the Lazy River on an inflatable tube or sit near the stage where entertainers involve kids in balloon shows, magic shows and other fun games. And of course there is no fun without food so you can order Thai dishes and plenty of ice cream at the food court."

I quite like the bamboo theming of the slides, i think it's a pretty good idea. One of the slides enters inside the volcano.

Does the water park has a lazy river? Hell, yes!

As often in South-East Asia water parks Fantasia Lagoon includes plenty of multi colored water areas where kids enjoy playing. 

It's definitely a small water park but the theming don't look bad to me and if one day it happens that you come to Thailand here is Fantasia Lagoon Facebook page with all infos to find it as well as a video trailer below in which you'll discover that the park has even a hidden treasure!

Pictures and video : copyright Fantasia Lagoon - The Mall

Friday, September 6, 2019

How Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, and soon Disney + Warm Up the Planet

The report of the think tank The Shift Project is about a time bomb that nobody have heard about yet but which will explode in years to come at the face of all major companies which invest in streaming like Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Warner, and of course Disney+. And this report couldn't happen at a worst time, two months before Disney launch its streaming service.

What is all this about? Well, you all surely have heard about gobal warming and what is responsible for it, starting by the CO2 emission from cars or planes. Pollution from men doesn't stop there of course and the big  thing to fight right now is plastic, something that big companies, starting by Disney, take very seriously, thanks God.

But there is something else that we didn't think or even heard about until now which is about to pollute and warm up the planet anytime soon as much as cars emissions, and it's streaming videos. Believe it or not but in 2018, online video accounted for 60% of Internet data traffic. And it has generated more than 300 million tonnes of CO².

How is this possible? Because the movie you watch on your computer or mobile device, or TVs ,are stored in data centers, then are routed to our terminals (computers, smartphones, connected TVs) by networks (cables, fiber optics, modems, antennas of mobile networks) and all these processes require electricity, of which production consumes resources, and emits CO2! And it's not about to diminish anytime soon. Here is a translation of excerpts from an article of French Liberation newspaper - you can read it in French HERE.

"Too many people still think that digital is a virtual world and, as such, the pollution it generates is just as virtual. However, this is far to be the case and the report of the think tank The Shift Project published in July 2019, "The unsustainable use of online video," confirms. "We are facing a mythological construction of the digital. The digital is immaterial, we do not see it, it floats around us, "says Maxime Efoui-Hess, project leader within this think tank.

The study starts from this observation: "The digital world today emits 4% of the greenhouse gases of the world, more than civil air transport. This share could double by 2025 to 8% of the total, the current share of car emissions. "

According to a study by Cisco, a company specializing in network hardware, 80% of the data streams are video in 2018. The remaining 20% ​​is traffic generated by websites, e-mails, instant messengers, storage of photos and other data. Among these 80%, the organization excludes TV streaming and live video like Skype for example. Online video accounts for 60% of traffic, or 1.05 trillion billion bytes.

The Shift Project made the accounts and observes that in 2018, viewing videos online generated 306 million tonnes of CO2, or "1% of global greenhouse gas emissions" or the equivalent of "Greenhouse gas emissions of Spain in 2010" [about 311 million tonnes of CO2, ed].

The report divides these online video streams into four usage categories: VOD - that is, videos hosted on streaming platforms like Netflix or Amazon Prime - (34%), pornographic content (27%), content "Tubes" (21%) on YouTube or Dailymotion for example and the rest, that is to say the videos that can be found on social networks including (21%). Including between 20 and 30% of global online video streams, each of these categories therefore has a significant share in the calculation of greenhouse gas emissions.

The report of The Shift Project, which advocates for digital sobriety, namely "prioritizing the allocation of resources according to usage" to "comply with planetary boundaries, while preserving the societal contributions of digital technologies", takes the measure of data traffic generated by the video. Indeed, ten hours of high-definition film correspond to "a larger volume of data than that necessary to contain all the articles in English of the Wikipedia online encyclopedia".

With the growth in the number of Internet users and the increase in the number of connected devices per person, data traffic will grow. A projection from Cisco estimates that it will be around 400 exabytes (memory size unit) per month in 2022 against 150 in 2018. Online video has no problem either. Cisco projects that it will be responsible for 82% of global data traffic worldwide in 2022."

Now, you're going to tell me "wait a minute, so i can't have a car or have to reduce trips by plane, not to mention dozens of other sthings and now i can't watch videos on my computer or mobile device?". Wait, you're not the one directly responsible and watching movies on your TV or computer is not something new. What IS new is that the movies definition are higher than ever, thanks to 4K or Full HD, meaning more datas, etc... and as streaming videos won't stop anytime soon thanks to all the different streaming services then the amount of datas transferred explode, meaning it requires more and more energy,  so more C02 emissions, etc...

BUT, the solution must be found first by the companies like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu or soon Disney +, Apple and Warner, and many others. I'm not a specialist in environmental problems so i may be wrong but i think that having the energy needed by the servers provided by solar farms could help to reduce the CO2 emissions. The problem is that i suspect that Disney + , for instance, won't have only one server in the U.S for the whole world but several in different continents. Meaning they'll need to build as many solar farms as they have servers around the world. Good news, Disney knows how to do this as they've created a huge solar farm recently at WDW.  Of course it won't reduce YOUR consumption of electricity when you'll watch Disney + at home or on your mobile devices but it should reduce a lot if the energy needed at the start was provided by solar farms.

I strongly suggest to Disney to have a closer look at the problem because for now medias don't talk about this and people are not aware of it, but it won't take long to be on the front pages and, there, Disney will have a BIG problem. I mean, Disney certainly don't want to be accused to be among the companies which is responsible of as much CO2 emissions as all cars around the world, right? If the Mouse don't keep an eye on this and resolve the problem in advance it will happen, and in just a few years. In the meantime, learn more about it with the full report at the links below and remember you've read about it first here on D&M.

The full report from The Shift Project think tank is available HERE in French and HERE in English.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Hong Kong Disneyland Castle Construction Update

Here we go for a new Hong Kong Disneyland update about HKDL Castle transformation. First, i have to thanks Gavin Jones from Coaster Force who shot the pictures and kindly authorized D&M to post them in this article.

So far HKDL released the two artworks above and below showing the new castle day or night...

...and HKDL castle model was displayed at the last D23 Expo, picture shot by Andy Castro.

As you'll see in the pictures below new elements of the castle arrived and are now being put in place on each turrets. I'm still dubious about the final result considering the mix of syles and the size of the castle  in regards to Main Street proportions,  but let's give them the benefit of the doubt until the castle is finished and open in the first half of 2020. So, le'ts have a look at the pictures, would we?

What is more problematic is that it seems that some "gold" parts mainly at the very top of the turrets seems to be only painted with gold color instead to have the gold done with gold leaf. On the screen capture below the gold of the crown and others decorative elements is probably gold leaf,  but the cone right under them really looks to be gold painting only.

HK Main Street Gazette does a very good job by posting each week a new 4K video showing the progress on the construction, and here is their latest video posted just two days ago.

I remind you that one of the reasons that the castle include different styles is because it is supposed to be a tribute to thirteen different Disney princesses - or considered as - and on the fences around the castle guests can see some artworks which are "hints" for each characters. The characters don't appear on them, only the "world" they belong to and i let you guess who is who, which shouldn't be very difficult...

See you soon for a new HKDL update!

Pictures: copyright Gavin Jones, Andy Castro, Disney