Monday, July 6, 2015

From July 6 to August 15 , Special Summer Offer on the Disneyland Paris "From Sketch to Reality" Book at the Best Price Ever !

From July 6 to August 15 i'm doing a Special Summer Offer on the Disneyland Paris book and it's the best offer ever! Not only you can order a book copy in its english or french edition at 60€ ( + 15€ shipping worldwide ) but for the first time you can have a signed copy for the same price, 60€ instead of 90€ which was the regular price for a signed copy. The copy will be signed by me at your name or another name of your choice if you wish to offer the book to anyone you love. 

You can order the book easily by sending me an email at:

As the Euro is literally crashing since months it also mean that the book is now at its best price ever for our American friends as 60€ currently equals $68 only! It really is the best time ever to order the book as you save money thanks to the special offer AND you save money too thanks to the Euro / $US change rate!

To order your copy with this special offer just send me an email at:  and specify if you want an english or french edition.

Paypal, bank transfer or credit card payment are accepted.

Don't miss this special offer, and a GREAT surprise gift also comes in addition for all buyers!

You can learn more about the book HERE but do NOT use the Paypal button on this link as they are coded with the regular price. You can use the Paypal button BELOW ( prices on the Paypal button include shipping ) or send the 75€ directly from your Paypal account at:

Disneyland Paris From Sketch to Reality - Include shipping

You can also watch a video showing the whole book here below!

Immerse Yourself in "The Immersarium" and Ride Again With a 360° View DLP Space Mountain "From the Earth to the Moon" , and more

You certainly remember Gregory Noacco who did with genius some months ago the digital re-creation of DLP Space Mountain in its original version that you can see HERE if you've missed it. Now Gregory did with even more genius something even better that he called the "Immersarium". In two words you can now watch its digital re-creations of Space Mountain AND Star Tours and "immerse" yourself inside them thanks with a 360° view! All you have to do is to turn the video image with your mouse when the video is playing -  that's right, it's 360° videos which mean that he did a digital re-creation on 360° and not only "front view". And it can work too with a virtual reality helmet device like Oculus, etc… thanks to which you can be totally immersed in the ride. The title "Immersarium" is also a tribute to the Visionarium ( the word is of course a mix of "immersion" and "visionarium" ) and Gregory choose Timekeeper to introduce it, as you'll see on the front page.

Here is how Gregory presents the Immersarium which is still experimental : "As these shows do not exist anymore in the form depicted here, the goal is to allow people to remember the great moments they had aboard these attractions, and share these with younger generations, allowing them to discover these adventures.

Now imagine a special place in theme parks, where these old attractions could be lived again using immersive technologies, the whole being presented with a coherent storyline: this is the "Immersarium" concept...

Of course, this is only a personal idea/work, and it can be improved. At the end, it is also a modest tribute to all the great men and women from Walt Disney Imagineering who contributed to the creation of these rides by their talented and passionate work."

When you'll arrive on the front page you have the choice between Space Mountain or Star Tours. If you choose space Mountain you can then move in the "stellar way", and rediscover the walk through up to the boarding room as it used to be before they changed it for SM Mission 2. This part is no a video but still at 360° and is great anyway. All you have to do is to put your mouse on the image and turn the image all around at 360°. Here are some screen captures.

OR you can choose to do the ride in its original version, and this time it's a 360° video. Once you've launched the video the principle is the same, i.e you have to put your mouse on the video - or your finger on a mobile device - and "turn" it at 360° to don't watch it only in frontal view. Here is a screen capture.

The other option is to choose to ride Star Tours and this time you'll be inside the Starspeeder shuttle with Rex and here too you can choose to turn the video at 360° and the result, just like the Space Mountain re-creation, is pretty impressive. Below, some screen captures.

Now, what do you need and on which device this work? First, HERE is the url of the Immersarium. According to Gregory it work well on these mobile devices: iPhone 5s/6, Galaxy S3/S4/S5, Nexus 5, Archos 50 Diamond. If you have a virtual reality device like Oculus Rift, it will work too.
You can also see it on your Mac / PC and if when you launch the VR video you don't see any image ( this happened to me on my Mac with Safari ) there is a very easy solution which resolve the problem and it'll take you not more than five minutes. Go at this link HERE and download Firefox Nightly browser, and install it. Then do a copy and paste of the Immersarium page url and choose your destination, and the 360° video will work.

Again, i think that Gregory did an awesome job and i can't wait for the next extincts attractions that he will recreate and add to the Immersarium in the future!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

First Rendering of Shanghaî Disneyland Tomorrowland

Mark Taft from Insights and Sounds has posted in his latest article the first rendering i've seen of Shanghaî Disneyland Tomorrowland. I'm pretty sure that it is a SDL rendering because, although it don't unveil a lot, all the elements are there.
The structure in the foreground, on the right, is the Tron Light Cycles "cover" dome under which the motorbike coaster will run before entering the show building. On the right, you have what WDI Imagineers call the "Superblock" building with inside the Buzz lightyear ride and the Stitch Encounter attraction, as well as restaurants on the ground floor. And the white ball in the background is where will be the Jet Packs ride. The structure in the foreground on the left should be the Tomorrowland theater. Not a lot of rides in this land at opening day but for sure more should be added later.

We'll see if it looks like this when the park will open, but in the meantime jump to Mark full article right HERE.

Picture: copyright Disney - Shendi

Friday, July 3, 2015

Will Disney Announce at D23 Expo a Ten Year $3 Billion Overhaul for Disney's Hollywood Studios ?

Will Disney announce next month at the upcoming D23 Expo a ten year $3 Billion overhaul of  WDW Disney's Hollywood Studios? According to Billy Donnelly's article on his This Is Infamous website, the answer is yes. Billy even calls this huge $3 billion overhaul “the biggest theme park expansion Disney has ever set out to do” adding that full information on what is in the plans for the new Disney’s Hollywood Studios will likely be announced at D23 Expo this August during the Parks and Resorts awaited presentation.

Billy also say that this $3 billion massive overhaul of the DHS has been approved by Disney’s board "complete with rebranding to better reflect the shift away from how movies are made to more how they live and breathe inside of us. Along with that money, we’ll be seeing the park dominated by STAR WARS, Pixar and Indiana Jones as a great deal of the park’s older attractions are put out to pasture and about six new ones are ushered in".

So, in addition to the attractions that their closure has already been announced ( Magic of Disney Animation, American Idol ) more will be shut down like Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular or Muppet Vision 3D to make room for the new ones coming all along these ten years plan. I'm a bit surprised about Muppet Vision 3D so take this with a pinch of salt as he may be wrong on this one. In the attractions which are "sure to stay" we have of course The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster, Toy Story Mania - which should double its track soon - and the Great Movie Ride which received a renovation recently thanks to Turner Classic Movies sponsorship. 

However, the most important is what is coming starting by the awaited Star Wars land "that should inject some new energy into the park, with two new STAR WARS attractions tapped to be in the works, including a Dagobah centerpiece for where Echo Lake and Gertie the Dinosaur currently reside. Details on what those attractions will be have managed to escape me for now, but, with STAR TOURS and the Jedi Training Academy, which I hear will be relocating indoors to an existing building, already in place, you’re looking at four STAR WARS attractions on the ground inside the park, not to mention the possibilities for dining and shopping experiences that would mimic what you’d encounter in that galaxy far, far away."

The good news, if Billy is right, is about Indiana Jones as, even if the Indy Epic Stunt spectacle will close, "Indiana Jones will not be staying away from Hollywood Adventure for too long… as an updated version of the Indiana Jones Adventure that can be found in Disneyland in Anaheim, CA, will be breaking ground in Florida finally."

The third new "land" will be a Pixar one with an expansion of the current Pixar land which will include three new attractions being added without counting the expansion of Toy Story Mania currently in the works. Billy sources told him that in fact "construction may already be underway, hidden from public view where the Studio Backlot Tour used to exist. That would make the time from announcement to completion feel much shorter, a strategy Universal has successfully employed in recent years for their theme parks."

All of this should be revealed at D23 this August in greater detail so we won't have to wait too long to know if he's right or not. My guess is that it's "probably right". Billy even have a "one more thing" saying that all this "doesn’t even include the new nighttime show being lined up for EPCOT to replace Illuminations or the new attraction that will be kicking Journey Into Imagination to the curb.

So, if all goes well, plenty of good news coming soon and you can read Billy full article HERE.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

WDI Behind the Scenes Video of Disneyland Peter Pan's Flight New Special Effects, and more

Walt Disney Imagineering has released a great behind the scenes video, with Imagineer Larry Nicolai, WDI creative director, explaining the new special effects added to Disneyland's Peter Pan's Flight. Let's have a look first at the video and i'll tell you more right after it. I also add two different videos of the full ride in its new version, for those of you who haven't seen them yet.

First, the new WDI video.

Next, two HD videos of the full ride with the new effects, filmed by SoCal Attractions 360 and Mouse Info.

Now, although the new effects makes a great upgrade for Peter Pan's Flight - and most probably will be added at Disneyland Paris during the scheduled closure of the attraction at DLP Fantasyland next year - some effects originally envisioned have been cancelled in the new version of the ride. Also, the nursery scene in the queue like they did at WDW is apparently not part of the new DL version, may be they didn't had enough room to do it.

Let's start by what has been cancelled and that's a good news. WDI Imagineers had thought to introduce the rear head projection effect for most - if not all - the main characters faces - the same effect which has been used for the dwarfs faces in WDW Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride - and, wisely, they've probably thought that it will not be satisfying on PPF characters. When the effect was introduced in Seven Dwarfs Mine Train there was a big debate and half of the fans liked it when the other half hated it. Personaly, i think that  it works quite okay on the dwarfs. But i also think that it has been a good idea to don't do this rear projection effect of PPF characters faces. They surely would have been able to do it technically and i don't know the reason why WDI Imagineers changed their mind, but it may have been also because of the light that this projection effect introduces on the characters faces, and this degree of light was may have been too much light for the other ride elements and their dark ride lighting.

Let's see now what others effects have been envisioned and cancelled. In the London Town scene some projection effect on the windows showing interior action was considered and this might be in place in the new version but it's hard to see on the ride videos. The scenic with Peter Pan, Wendy and the boys on Big Ben is part of the new version. In the Neverland scene the projection and special effects for the waterfalls, sea, and erupting volcano have been introduced but a proposal of adding an air blast effect to Hook's ship cannon and a scrim to show the cannon ball apparently was cancelled - NDR: if you've ride the new version and if i'm wrong, please let me know. In the Skull Rock scene with Tiger Lily the waves crashing on the rocks projection effect is done and in the Pirate ship scene the rear head projection effect on Wendy, Peter and Hook, as well as Michael, John, Smee and the pirate faces has been cancelled, which, again, is a good decision. In the final scene "Mermaid Lagoon" the waterfalls projection effect is there but they've initially thought to remove the Pirate ship and replace it by a scenic projection of the ship flying, and apparently the idea didn't made it in this new version.

So, as you can see, most of the effects that were in the original plan are part of the new version. The main big effect cancelled is for what they call "expressive faces" for the ride characters faces but as i've said it's probably much better to don't have done it.

Videos: copyright Disney, SoCal Attractions 360, Mouse Info

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Selfie Stick Ban and the "Envelope of Protection" Principle

As you may have read if you follow me on the D&M Facebook page, Disney has decided to ban selfie sticks in all Disney theme parks around the world - and apparently also tripods, at least at Disneyland Paris. Big debate started on forums with as many people happy of the decision than others thinking it should be banned on rides only. All medias talked about it and on someone named "EnglishMobster" claiming to be a Disneyland cast-member said that this decision is the only real way Disney could be sure that guests won’t get their arms forcibly separated, as due to their length, selfie sicks can be out of a ride "envelope of protection". Here is what he said:

"We have a thing called the “Envelope of Protection.” Basically, all attractions made since 1965 are designed in such a way that the human body cannot reach out and touch anything — here’s a vehicle they use to test this (that’s from Walt Disney World in Florida, but California uses the same concepts). This means that when a rollercoaster is going 45 MPH, you can have your hands out and you won’t get hit (it’s not a good idea to test that, however — we do tell you to keep your hands and arms inside the vehicle at all times). 
A selfie stick is effectively an extra three feet that you can dangle out in any direction. The attractions weren't designed for that, and your selfie stick can hit part of the attraction. When you're going 45 MPH, that can seriously damage the attraction and your phone/camera. The selfie stick will likely fly out of your hands and in a worst-case scenario can either hit someone else on the ride (injuring them) or land on the track and derail the sled behind you. One of our largest rollercoasters derailed because someone's backpack fell out once, and we don't want to risk a selfie stick causing the same issues.
We originally tried banning them on rides where they could affect some show element or impact part of the ride -- any ride with animatronics that could be poked, and any ride moving relatively fast through areas your selfie stick could hit. People still kept bringing them on the rides and kept dangling them out of the ride vehicles -- and again, if your selfie stick hit something, it could endanger the safety of yourself and those around you. If we saw it come out, we had to stop the ride and ask you to put it away. Some rides can't restart very easily and can take a couple hours before they reopen -- which, of course, is an inconvenience to other guests.

If you have a look at the video below - put on line by Kevin Yee - you'll see what this Disneyland cast-memeber mean about the "envelope of protection", and here it was used during the tests of the seven Dwarfs Mine Train vehicles before opening. It’s basically a big spindly disc which surrounds the vehicle and simulates the furthest possible reach that a human on ride could reach with his arms out of the train. If this "envelope of protection" can make it through the ride, guests can make it through the ride, too… as long as they don't have selfie sticks going further than the "envelope of protection".

Envelopes of protection” have sometime a different look like this one below.

EnglishMobster also added: "We do try to preserve the magic for most guests, but we don't press it enough to warrant an all-out ban on something. Our "Four Keys" to Disney are Safety, Courtesy, Show, and Efficiency (in that order), and Courtesy comes before Show -- we want to be nice and allow you to take your selfie stick photos, even if they show backstage areas. However, Safety comes before Courtesy -- and this was a safety hazard. Lesser steps weren't having an effect, so we moved to an all-out ban.
It was totally because of safety issues on the rides, and it was totally because guests weren't listening to us Attractions cast members. If people had listened to us and not taken out their selfie sticks on rides, they would still be allowed in the park -- but people don't listen (or don't care) and think that their awesome selfie is worth potentially endangering others."

A good news though, a he says: "You can still wear your GoPros and stuff -- we've been told that mounting your camera on your head is considered a "hat" and mounting a camera on your wrist or hand is considered a "glove," so they're allowed." But... "you can't bring in any kind of grip or pole that could potentially break our Envelope of Protection, and you still shouldn't hang your arms out the side of the ride vehicle."

Well, i think it couldn't be more clear, and this should answer to questions that some of you probably had about this selfie stick ban, though it don't really explain why they've also banned them outside of the rides.

Video: copyright Kevin Yee

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Why "The Edison" Will Become Instantly Disney Springs Favorite Place for WDW Guests

WDS released last week the rendering of The Edison, which will be one of the major additions to Disney Springs, the new shopping and dining entertainment area at DownTown Disney. Those of you who already know the original Edison at Los Angeles know how awesome the deco is but, as probably most of you don't know it, here are some pictures of The Edison in L.A, and according to the press release the one being built at WDW Disney Springs should have more or less the same kind of decor. 

WDW press release describe The Edison as "a lavish “Industrial Gothic”-style restaurant, bar and nighttime destination "that will feature exceptional classic American food, artisanal craft cocktails and unparalleled live entertainment". Similar to its sister location on the west coast, The Edison at Disney Springs will be dedicated to a resurgence of old-world style, sophistication and romance. Themed to a 1920s-period electric company, the space will recall an exuberant era of invention and imagination. With 35-foot ceilings and a range of themed areas to explore, The Edison will feature nightly entertainment including contortionists, palm readers, DJs and more."

The original Edison is a steampunk themed nightclub located inside the Higgins Building basement in Los Angeles, California, which opened in 2007. The Higgins Building basement was Los Angeles' first ever power plant, built by Thomas Higgins. After spending several years derelict and underwater, it was rescued by entrepreneurs Andrew Meieran and Marc Smith, who made a post-industrial steampunk venue for Los Angeles nightclubbers, now highly popular. As a picture worth a thousand words, let's have a look at them now!

I think you better understand now why you must await the opening of The Edison as, with its dim lighting, steampunk - Industrial Gothic decor and even a bit of Tower of Terror atmosphere it should become instantly one of Disney Springs favorite place for WDW guests! In the meantime discover the great website of the original The Edison HERE.

All pictures: copyright The Edison