Sunday, December 21, 2014

Disneyland Paris Imagineering Currently Working on a Major Phantom Manor Upgrade

ED92 had some great infos from their reliable sources about a major update of Disneyland Paris Phantom Manor on which DLP Imagineers are apparently currently working on. It should happen in a not too far future, and the news looks great. I did an english translation of ED92 post and french readers can read it in french on ED92 HERE 

One more thing: you can choose to put what you'll read below in the "rumor box" as anything not yet officially confirmed is always supposed to be a rumor, but my feeling is that ED92 sources are reliable and so what is written is most probably right. As usual - and especially in the case of DLP - it doesn't mean that it will be done or that DLP imagineers will have the budget to do it but in this case - Phantom Manor - i'm pretty sure that they will do pretty soon an update of the ride as not only it is needed it but also because it'll be the last Disney "haunted" mansion who didn't had an update yet. Okay, here we go:

Although the date of this Phantom Manor 2.0 project is not yet decided, we can already tell you that this project is close to the heart of many people, even at the highest levels.

For now, the priority is to modernize the entire Phantom Manor existing infrastructure. As we have previously mentioned, the Portrait Gallery will abandon in this forthcoming renovation of DLP famous manor the old slides system for projector technology.

But other surprises should quickly appear. For instance, we had recently the pleasure to see the return of the Mirror Ghosts at the end of the ride, let's hope that this time everything will work fine over time.

Okay, let's make a long story short as Mrs. Leota is ready to read the future of the Manor in her crystal ball - D&M Note: or, as we should say the "séance lady" as it's not Mrs Leota head which is inside the crystal ball but someone else to whom DLP Imagineers didn't gave really a name and who is only known as the "séance lady" as she's the one directing the spirits session...

So, our adventure will starts here, outside the Manor because the famous attraction not only should be fully renovated, but the whole Thunder Mesa should gradually undergo a theming makeover to tell us the rich story of the cursed Ravenswood family.

While the patriarch, Henry, will be our host at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad as the director of Big Thunder Mining Company, it's his daughter Melanie who will be more than ever the Phantom Manor star. As it is her story that DLP guests will discover, more clear and precise than ever.

We will not go through all the details, of course, as the project is still at this time under design. But many ideas are already advanced enough to have a better idea of what should be this Phantom Manor 2.0.

As you now have probably understood, Melanie, as the attraction star, will be much more present than she is right now. And this right from the boarding room as we will discover a beautiful young Melanie, in her wedding dress, sitting on the steps of the grand staircase of the hall, her still fresh wedding flowers bouquet at her feet. 

D&M Note: I'm wondering if they will add a new Audio-Animatronic or simply move the AA of Mélanie that we currently see at the start of the ride. I'm betting on this second option.

The picture above is a home-made picture by ED92, but according to them it shows quite accurately what they were told by their sources.

Apparently the beauty didn't had her best day as she is crying, her face covered by her hands, and it's only between two sobs that she will lift her head toward us, before going back in her sadness.

Meanwhile, you will embark on new Doombuggies. Did i say new? Yes indeed, as to make Phantom manor ride story even more immersive and disturbing, and just like at the Haunted Mansion, the Doombuggies should be equipped with individual speakers which actually will give you the feeling that the Phantom of the manor will whisper the story of the endless fiancée right in your ear.

So, who says new story, says new recording, right? Well, not really, as WDI sound wizards are digging through Imagineering sound archives to find back all Phantom Manor original tapes and so to keep the magnificent original orchestral recordings, which will go through a well-deserved makeover to give us a sound more stunning than ever.

Most purists will ask: "All the tapes?". Yes, all of them as here is probably the most exciting of all the infos: As Phantom Manor specialists know, before DLP famous mansion opened its doors in 1992, the Phantom was voiced by legendary horror films actor, Vincent Price, and you can see at the bottom of this article a video shot during his recording sessions.

For reasons of understanding for DLP guests different nationalities, the whole french soundtrack, back in 1992, was re-recorded in french, keeping only the inimitable Vincent Price laugh. These recordings unfortunately happened to be Price last great performance as he passed away shortly after. But why am I actually doing such a digression? Because right now, deep in WDI archives is hidden the original tapes recording of Vincent Price, which are in fact the first version of the attraction, when the visit was to be fully guided and telling the story of Melanie!

Few knows about it, but during his recordings, Vincent Price recorded a version in French. Unfortunately his french was not understandable enough because of his accent, so at the end DLP Imagineers decided to keep only Vincent Price English version before asking a French actor to record it again in french. Actor, by the away, who was the one who was dubbing Vincent Price in the french version of Price movies.

So, now you've understood ... WDI should do wonders, a true miracle, as they plan to completely clean the original tapes, edit and tweak them with the latest technology and thus offer us in the ride the recordings of Vincent Price, in French or in English as needed!

D&M Note: I have some doubts about this part - to have Vincent Price voice all along the ride - as in fact his voice was recorded only for the part until guests load in the doombuggies and then Price had some lines at the very end of the ride when we face the mirror ghosts but not in-between, which mean that there is no tape existing with Vincent Price voice telling a story all along the ride like the ghost host is doing at DL Haunted Mansion. Which could mean that either DLP Imagineers will find someone else with a voice close to Vincent Price's voice - which is not going to be easy - or that they will be no off voice all along the ride. But in this case why putting on board speakers? 

Above: Left to right: Vincent Price, Ken Lisi, Jeff Burke, Craig Fleming and Greg Meader enjoying a break during the recording sessions.

But while i talk on the subject, our doombuggy has already finished his visit ... We finally did not pay attention to all new Melanie appearances and to the new effects that should be added in the ride. Unfortunately, the wait for this new version might take a while and we don't know the date yet... WDI secrets are well kept. But who knows? Maybe by 2017 we will have the luck to ride this new version of Phantom Manor, and in the meantime we'll just have to wait to actually live it.

A famous Pumpkins King have already made an offer to transform Phantom Manor eventually in a winter residence, but that's another story that we'll keep for another day...

All my thanks to ED92 for their original post available in french HERE. 

Thanks to David.G. Ravenswood of the great Ravenswood Manor website i share with you this rare video and once you've watched it jump to David's website where you'll learn more about the story and making-of of Phantom Manor a well as Big thunder Mountain and Thunder Mesa!

Pictures: copyright Disney, Alain Littaye, ED92

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Marvel Experience Tour Starts At Scottsdale, Arizona ! Videos

The Marvel Experience started its tour yesterday at Scottsdale, near Phoenix in Arizona and i've got great videos for you as well as more details about what the guest will find under the domes including a 4D simulator ride and the first giant 360 stereoscopic 3D dome projection!

"The goal is for the visiting audience to feel like they are part of the Marvel universe, recruited to overcome the conflict at hand", said Jason Rosen, chief production officer of Hero Ventures which owns a 14-year license with Marvel.

"We want people to say, 'Wow, that was visually spectacular,'" Rosen said. "I want kids to say 'I saw Nick Fury,' and others to feel like a superhero. "We're dealing with photo-real types of animation, which is similar to what Spider-Man looks like in the movies," he said. "He looks real, but he's computer-generated. We made our characters look real and people will relate to that. We want them to come away talking about it."

From Phoenix Business Journal: "The first-person experience makes the visitor part of the show, with unique technology making the immersive experience visual and something the "superhero" can feel and touch. There are touch screens, motion comics and five 8-minute original movies to watch in each of the domes. All of the content is produced from scratch, and Hero Ventures hired an Oscar-winning animation studio and composer to write the score, Rosen said.

"I never thought that audiences will fully grasp this experience until they see it," he said. "I think the moment the first person walks through the door the word of mouth is going to be unbelievable. I think it's going to make people really happy. People will feel a sense of wonderment you get when reading a comic book or watching a movie."

One dome is similar to an IMAX film, while another dome is a fully immersive 360-degree stereoscopic, 3-D experience. "You really feel like you're in the middle of the action," he said. "We're using 14 different projectors for this 65-foot dome. There are plenty of 180-degree domes out there. The fact that this screen is everywhere around you is pretty excited. When I saw it for the first time, I got really excited."

Another 80-foot dome has a motion-ride experience, similar to the Star Tours ride at Disneyland, with the audience moving in conjunction with the on-screen film. "You're on a wild ride where you step aboard a Hovercraft and watch four minutes of an aerial battle you're a part of with all the characters of Marvel standing by and guiding you through the experience," Rosen said.

Audience members participate in the experience with a light band around their wrist, which impacts the outcome of their own movie. The light band glows and acts as a laser to help the person defeat the bad guys using radio frequency identification, or RFID, technology.

The power light band also tracks the visitor's progress through the experience. Each interactive station recognizes the person by their band, with collectible widgets available for people to trade and collect.

The half a dozen interactive games are housed in the main 160-foot diameter, 60-foot high dome. Some of the games use augmented reality where the person can see themselves next to various superheroes."

And this next video will tell you all about the technology used to create this Marvel Experience.

They've also recreated the Avengers Quinjet!, here is a rendering of the scene...

...and a video showing you the building of it in six monts!

We've got too videos of the outside domes, this first one is an aerial video shot a few weeks ago while The Marvel Experience was getting set up in Scottsdale.

And another one a few days later, as seen from the highway, passing by.

Videos: copyright Hero Ventures, Marvel

Gift of the Day : Walt Disney and the Nautilus

The gift of the day is these two great pictures of Walt Disney with a Nautilus model. One of the pics was actually signed by Walt himself! A usual, click on each to see them in big size!

Pictures: copyright Disney

Infographic of TRON Lightcycle History

As we know Disney will move forward with the development of a TRON 3 movie in the near future and in the meantime here's a cool infographic that show us the history of the TRON Lightcycle and various other TRON vehicles.

Friday, December 19, 2014

D&M Exclusive : Tom Scherman and The Original Time Machine

Here are some exclusive shots showing the great Tom Scherman that no one have ever seen before! Tom, as we know, was the absolute Nautilus specialist - and thanks to him we have a full size Nautilus at Disneyland Paris - but he also found in love with one of the most famous props in films history, i.e the Time Machine from George Pal 1960' Time Machine movie with Rod Taylor. 

As explained on the Time Machine project website the Time Machine prop has been lost for many years and found in an antique store in Orange county. Tom Scherman and a friend of his had found the machine and told Bob Burns about it. The Time Machine was bought at an M.G.M. auction in 1970. Bob Burns was able to buy what was left of a once great movie prop which was in very poor condition. The original barber chair had been sold separately. The rear pods were severely broken as well. The only non original part is the console and the side rails from the surround rail up. These are the parts that Tom Scherman built for the restoration in which participated ten others people. You can see plenty of pictures showing the condition of the Time Machine after the auction as well as pictures of its restoration and the Bob Burns Halloween show "Return of the Time Machine" that happened once it was restored on the Time Machine project website HERE

The pictures that you'll see above and below were sent to me by Evelyn Turner - who is the one who provided to me the other pictures of Tom Scherman that you've seen in a previous article posted last year HERE. Evelyn met Tom through mutual friends around 1973 when she was living in Hollywood. Tom gave her a tour of his Nautilus apartment, which was very impressive and they started going together and stayed together a few years, through about 1977 when they grew apart and went their separate ways. You'll see Evelyn in the Time Machine in a few seconds but first, let's have a look at this legendary prop as it looked in the movie.

Many years later, here is Tom standing in front of the Time Machine during its restoration.

And here is Evelyn Turner, that same day, in the Time machine. Evelyn is the one who shot the pictures above and below.

Two pictures of the Time Machine without Tom or Evelyn...

In one of the movie scenes, Rod Taylor, sit in the Time Machine is on its way for another era...

...and many years later, Tom Scherman in the now fully restored Time Machine, a picture probably shot during Bob Burns "return of the Tim Machine" show.

Here is another a picture of Evelyn, probably also shot during the same show.

I can't thank enough Evelyn for this great never-seen-before pictures that i'm sure you've all enjoyed a lot!

Pictures: copyright Evelyn Turner, MGM 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

TONIGHT is the Last Day For a Christmas Day Delivery of the Disneyland Paris Book French Collector Edition !! - And More Good News About the Shipping of the English Updated Edition !

For once i'm starting this post in french for my french readers, please see below for the english version.

Une bonne nouvelle pour ceux qui veulent commander le livre Disneyland Paris, De L'Esquisse à la Création. Normalement on pensait ne pas pouvoir faire d'envois entre le 19 Décembre et le 9 Janvier mais finalement on sera en mesure d'assurer tous les envois pour les commandes reçues entre ces deux dates mais uniquement pour les commandes d'exemplaires NON dédicacés.

Donc, si vous souhaitez un exemplaire du livre NON dédicacé n'hésitez pas à placer votre commande quelque soit la date et le livre sera expédié sous 48h, et si vous souhaitez un exemplaire du livre dédicacé, vous pouvez également placer votre commande en sachant que le colis ne sera pas envoyé avant le 10 Janvier.

Enfin, si vous souhaitez recevoir le livre pour le jour de Noel ET en version dédicace la date limite pour passer commande ET envoyer le paiement par Paypal ou CB est CE SOIR Jeudi 18 Décembre!!

Pour toute commande m'envoyer un email à:
Le prix d'un exemplaire ( non dédicacé ) est de 60€ + 15€ de frais d'envois en colissimo recommandé. La version signée est à 75€ + frais d'envois.

Vous pouvez utiliser également le bouton Paypal ci-dessous ou envoyer le règlement directement depuis votre compte Paypal à:
Note: les choix sur ce bouton sont écris en anglais mais n'en tenez pas compte, vous pouvez l'utiliser pour une commande d'une exemplaire en français. Indiquez moi juste en envoyant le Paypal que vous souhaitez un exemplaire en français.
Pour un paiement en carte bancaire envoyez moi un email d'abord à:

Disneyland Paris From Sketch to Reality

Le livre en français est également disponible sur eBay ici:

Ou sur Amazon ici:

Ci-dessous l'un des 250 magnifiques concept-arts inclus dans le livre qui inclus également 750 photos du parc. Pour plus d'infos sur le livre: et également la vidéo ci-dessous présentant chaque page du livre.

And now here is for my english readers:

Good news for those who want to order the book Disneyland Paris, From Sketch to Reality. We thought not being able to do shipments between December 19 and January 9 but we will finally be able to ensure all shipments for orders received between these dates but only for orders of NON signed copies.

So if you want a non-signed copy of the book feel free to place your order, regardless of the date and the book will be shipped within 48 hours. And if you want a copy of the book autographed, you can also place your order knowing the package will not be sent before January 10.

The price for one copy is currently of 60€ + 15€ shipping worldwide. Signed copies are at 75€ + same shipping.

To place your order please send me an email at:
Or send directly the Paypal payment from your Paypal account at:
OR use the one-click Paypal button below. For a payment with credit card, send me an email first.

Disneyland Paris From Sketch to Reality

You can also find the book on here if you wish:

Above, some of the 250 beautiful WDI renderings included in the book which also include 750 photos of the park. More infos about the book here: and the video below showing each page of the book.

Pictures: copyright Disney, Neverland Editions.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Gift of the Day : Walt Disney " Give Toys for Tots " Pictures

These pictures of Walt Disney shot mid 60's for the "Give Toys for Tots" operation are just perfect for Christmas and you have them here in the two versions - B&W and color - and in "Gift of the day" size and 300 dpi! As usual, click on each to see them in big size!

Pictures: copyright Disney