Monday, December 31, 2007
All my best wishes to each of you, dear Disney and more readers for this new " 2008 " year !
And, as i am living in Paris, it is from " the city of lights " that i send you these best wishes ! I wish you lot of happiness, and for "our" Disney theme parks fan side, lot of new and brilliant attractions from Walt Disney Imagineering wizards!
They used to say that " it all began by a mouse " , but we know that it's not totally true, that, in fact, it all began by a MAN.
And, because it was a man in love with all forms of art, to celebrate this new year, here is a special Pop-Art - Andy Warhol - like creation, with Walt himself sending you his best wishes from Paris ! Double-click on the pictures - you have the choice between two different versions - to enjoy them in real big size !
Once again, i wish you full of love and joy for 2008 !
Photo : copyright Disney
Saturday, December 29, 2007
2008 begin in 3 days, and here is a special movie preview with photos and trailers, when available.
For each of them i give you the release date in the USA.
Let's begin by Disney animated features. Of course, the most awaited of all is Pixar's Wall-E, release june 27.
I've already talk about it, so here is above a new picture and, below, the last trailer. For more infos about it, please see my previous posts.
The other Walt Disney animated will be "Bolt", schedule to be release on november 26. Here is a first picture. No trailer yet available.
Always in the "animation" category, but not from Disney, two movies on which i have a good feeling.
November 7 will be the date for Madagascar: The Crate Escape . No trailer yet available, but picture below.
And the other one is "Dr Seuss Horton Hears A Who " release on march 14, and i have an even better feeling on this one, as it is directed by the guys who did the Ice Age movies. Pictures and trailer below.
2008 will also be the year of the second Narnia movie , with Prince Caspian, release on may 16.
If you're fan or archeologist heroes, two movies should make your day. The first one is of course the highly awaited Indiana Jones and the temple of the crystal skull. And it's for may 22.
Here is some images of the shooting in the USA and Hawai.
The other archeologist hero will be back august 1 in the Mummy 3: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.
As you probably already understood, the action this time is in China, and the production did a fantastic job with the recreation of Shangai, circa 1948, as you will see if you click HERE, and here are some pictures.
Another movie will bring us back in time, in 10000 BC, precisely. It is directed by Roland "The day after tomorrow" Emmerich, and it will be release soon, on march 7.
In the Marvel super-heroes category, the Iron Man will touch down in the theatres on may 2. And great
actor Robert Downey Jr is playing Tony Stark/Iron Man.
The other one is the new Hulk movie, played this time by another fantastic actor : Edward Norton, so the movie should be much better than the previous one.
No trailer yet available, but here are some pics. Release on june 13.
A new Harry Potter will also be release november 21, and a Batman "Dark night" on july 18.
But a good surprise may come from the new movie of the Wachowski brothers. After their "Matrix" trilogy, this new movie release may 9 looks pretty exciting. Okay, it may remember you a video game, but i think that, visually speaking, it may be stunning. Click on the image below to see what i mean.
Photos and Videos: copyright : Disney, Dream Works, Lucas Film Ltd, Universal, Warner Bros, 20th Century Fox, Paramount
Monday, December 24, 2007
The Walt Disney Studios Hollywood Tower Hotel is now open to everybody since last saturday, and every guest who board inside the TOT elevator enjoy a spectacular view over the WDS for a few seconds when the doors of the "13th floor" open.
I mean, this kind of view.
Now, there is ANOTHER elevator at Disneyland Resort Paris which leads you to experience another kind of stunning view , and you don't even have to enter the park to enjoy it! It's totally free, perfectly legal, and it also leads to a floor where nobody lives...It is the elevator of the parking lot located near the WDS. Hundreds of people take it every day, but none of them stop at the "third" floor.
Not because it is a "cursed" floor, but simply because no car can park - for now - at this third floor. But if you get inside the elevator, and push on the "3" button, you will arrive - in less time than it took me to write it - to this 3rd floor, and then, all you have to do, is to push the door that lead to the 3rd floor parking lot. No car, nobody...a whole parking floor for you only. And one of the best view over the WDS.
Not only it's one of the best spot to take photos of the Tower of terror , whether it is by day like this one...
Or by night like this one...
But you also have a great view of the Disneyland Hotel, Sleeping Beauty castle, Space Mountain and the Walt Disney Studios entrance...
And also over the WDS Front lot , a view that includes the normally out-of-view backstage.
Now, where is the relation of all this with an eventual "Soarin'" attraction at the WDS? Well, since years, french forum DLP fans talk about a WDI map of the WDS where one can see clearly that a "Soarin over the world" attraction is planned to be built between the Cinemagique attraction and the former Disney channel - soon "Stitch encounter" building.
That's right, you've read well: a "Soarin "over the world" , not "over California". Which means very clearly that a future movie for this beloved attraction taking the guests for a flight over the world should appear in the future. After all, California is quite far from France, and there is a logic that a new movie will be done for european guests...and, too, for a version "2.0" at DCA or Epcot.
Now, when french forums DLP fans talk about it , there is always a big debate. " Do they have enough room to built it in that location?" Most of them generally think that there is not enough room to built it, and this is where i make the link with this 3rd floor parking lot.
You see, if you go near the west wall of this 3rd floor parking lot, you will have a perfect view over this "planned" location for a future Soarin' attraction - click the image below to make it bigger - and you will realize that they DO have the room to built it, even with two theatres.
The other question, of course, is : will they build it? Personnally, i still think that they will, and here is why. Some years ago, some attractions projects were proposed to another french theme park, the Futuroscope. One of them was a kind of "Soarin' " like concept - of course with a different movie , and the cost of it - without the cost of the building but including the cost of the shooting of the movie - was around 10 millions euros, not more. With only one theater, not two like in DCA or Epcot.
Add 5 millions euros for the building, and, for 15-16 millions euros, it was possible to build an attraction using the same technology than "Soarin'". For many reasons, the Futuroscope didn't choose to do it for now, but this means what? It means that, even with the usual WDI costs and another theatre, the price of a Soarin attraction is probably around 60-70 millions euros, much much less than the TOT. And for that price you have a 5 minutes "E" ticket ride that most of the guests will enjoy very much.
You don't have the spectacular outside architecture of the TOT, but you have a very popular attraction for a "reasonable" price.
So, why the park will miss an opportunity like this? A real good-popular five minutes long "E" ticket for much less than the cost of the two minutes ride of the TOT?
Also, there is another reason why we can expect a Soarin' attraction at the WDS. This part of the park is the last - with another one between the Rock and roller coaster and the stunt show - where there is still some room available to build new attractions. Once it will be done, the park will need a major expansion on the land located over the Tram tour station. Which will mean an expansion of the Hollywood Boulevard, new decors, and lot of money. Before they arrive to this point, they will undoubtedly try to use the empty spaces available in the first "part" of the WDS.
You see, there is a logic everywhere in life, even in Disney theme parks! So, believe me, they will build "Soarin'". May be not before the 2012 twentieth anniversary, as they will "capitalize" on the success of the Tower of terror during the next 2-3 years like they did when they opened Space Mountain, but they will.
Photos: copyright Disney , Alain Littaye and Alexandre Rosa
It's Christmas tonight, and wherever you are i wish to all of you a very Merry Christmas !
And for those of you who are not tonight at Disneyland OR Walt Disney World OR Disneyland Paris OR Tokyo Disneyland OR Hong KONG Disneyland, i have prepare a special Disney Christmas "around the world" article . It should make you feel you're over there, tonight.
It's full of high-res wallpaper pictures and great videos of the different christmas ceremonies at all Disney's Magic Kingdom , so click everywhere to enjoy it!
Let's begin by Disneyland, Anaheim !
Next, let's fly to Florida and the Cinderella castle lightingceremony !
At Disney Mgm Studios, the lights of Christmas !
At Tokyo Disneyland, the Twinkle Holiday show !
At Disneyland Paris, the Cristmas candlebration ceremony !
And in Hong Kong Disneyland, the Castle Christmas lighting !
Photos : copyright Disney
Videos youtube ; Many thanks to all for the great links
It's WDI Christmas gift to Disneyland : the new Mark VII monorail arrived this week with new design and colour painting, and it looks great!
Here is a short article by Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer :
"A 75-foot-tall crane hoisted the first of the new Mark VII monorails from a flatbed truck onto the beam way track this morning at Disneyland.
The five-car burnt-burgundy train is the first of three new monorails expected to go online at the Anaheim theme park starting in February 2008.
Three years in the making, the all-new bullet-nosed monorails were designed by Disney, built in Rhode Island and assembled in Vancouver, Canada.
Lead Disney Imagineer Scot Drake said the Mark VII design represents a “streamline optimistic vision” of a “fantasy future that never was.”
The sleek iconic exterior features color-shifting paint with gray pinstriping that evokes the stainless-steel side panels of the 1959 original designed by Disney Imagineer Bob Gurr.
The interior features an under-lighted central island seating arrangement that offers every visitor a view through color-tinted windows.
The other two trains in the monorail fleet should be delivered in spring and summer 2008.
Photo: copyright Disney
Text: copyright Brady MacDonald / Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Okay, may be not really an "iceberg", but definitely a lot of ice - at least 4 inches thick - were floating on the Rivers of the Far-west in Frontierland, yesterday.
The Molly Brown, the Mark Twain riverboats and the River rogue keelboats worked all day perfectly, but i wanted to share with you these two pictures shoot at sunset as floating ice on the Rivers of the Far-west are rare, although not unusal in winter.
Photos: copyright Alain Littaye
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Thanks to the magic of internet, many people send their " Best Wishes" for the new year through an e-mail. I know, a Happy new year postcard is most of the time better, but Disneyland Paris did something cute this year.
Specially designed for happy few or media people this short animated " Happy new year " movie with Tinkerbell and fireworks, although short, is cool. So, as all of you, dear Disney and more readers, are Disney theme parks fans, and for most of you Disneyland Paris fans, i decided to share it with you .
Don't click on the image above or the one below to access to the movie but click HERE .
And enjoy it!
Images and Video: copyright Disneyland Resort Paris
Friday, December 21, 2007
This is probably the best video i have seen so far of the new Walt Disney Studio Tower of Terror. It don't show so much of the ride itself, but it will give you a very good idea of the pre-ride and post-ride beautiful theming. However please note that the video is a montage from different element, including some promotional video of the ride.
It was filmed by the dlrpfans.be web site, so it's them that you must congratulate, not me!
Video: copyright dlrpfans.be
Photo by Alexandre Rosa
Thursday, December 20, 2007
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is now open at the WDS, and i thought it was the perfect time to give a tribute to a man and his genius: Rod Serling, the creator of the beloved TV series.
So, below, here is a rare tv interview of him, in 1959, when the Twilight Zone series began. He is not only talking about it, but, too, about the script writer job, how he must fight censors, etc...
And as you will see, how a great human being he was!
If you wish, you can find on you tube another great documentary about him called "Rod Serling Documentary" , in 10 parts of 8 minutes each. Just click here to access to part one.
And now a special note for my french readers: Universal just released a 3 DVD set of the whole season 1 of the original Twilight Zone series. It includes great special features, like the rare " Time Element " film who is at the origin of the series, and also an audio recording of a confrerence of Rod Serling , talking with script writing students about the first "pilot" episode.
The good news is that the other seasons of the Twilight Zone series will be released in France, too , with season 2 coming in april or may 2008. If you've not bought it yet, go right away to the nearest store to do it! It's a treasure, and it's hard to live without the whole Twilight Zone series!
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
A new WALL-E trailer has been released, and this one shows much more than the first one. As we know, WALL-E is supposed to be the last robot that remain on earth.....well, apparently, he is going to travel a little bit...
Watch it below, and, oh, the opening sequence of the trailer is a delight, too.
Want to know more about the story ? Here is what Pixar is telling us :
What if mankind had to leave Earth, and somebody forgot to turn the last robot off? Academy Award-winning writer-director Andrew Stanton (“Finding Nemo”) and the inventive storytellers and technical geniuses at Pixar Animation Studios (“The Incredibles,” “Cars,” “Ratatouille”) transport moviegoers to a galaxy not so very far away for a new computer-animated cosmic comedy about a determined robot named WALL*E. After hundreds of lonely years of doing what he was built for, WALL*E (short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class) discovers a new purpose in life (besides collecting knick-knacks) when he meets a sleek search robot named EVE. EVE comes to realize that WALL*E has inadvertently stumbled upon the key to the planet’s future, and races back to space to report her findings to the humans (who have been eagerly awaiting word that it is safe to return home). Meanwhile, WALL*E chases EVE across the galaxy and sets into motion one of the most exciting and imaginative comedy adventures ever brought to the big screen. Joining WALL*E on his fantastic journey across a universe of never-before-imagined visions of the future, is a hilarious cast of characters including a pet cockroach, and a heroic team of malfunctioning misfit robots.
...and if you want to know more about WALL-E himself, here is a presentation from BuyNLarge.com, his manufacturer.
Photo and videos : copyright Disney - Pixar
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Hello everyone, Here is the part two article about the new “land” at the Walt Disney Studios, and this time, more specifically about the new Hollywood Boulevard. The photos are in high-resolution, so double-click on each to see them in big size and explore the details of this beautiful theming.
It is undoubtedly a strong visal improvement for the WDS , or to say it shortly : “at last, some theming! “. The imagineers did a great job with these new decors and there is no doubt that it will help the park to be more successful, which mean more visitors, and so, more money to built future new attractions.
Everything is not perfect, though, as we wii see. But let’s begin by the good part: when the visitors exit the Studio 1 they now have in front of them all the new decors you can see below, including fake coconut trees, and real palm trees.
And now that it is finally open, i can show you this Hollywood Boulevard on the other angle, facing the Studio 1
The windows on each building have been wonderfully themed, like the one of the “Franklin departement store”....
The last one on the left , under the “Fashion” sign is in fact a small Pin shop, still closed last sunday
This article was also published on the miceage website today, and Al Lutz , the webmaster, very intelligently noticed that one of the mannequin in the windows could be a tribute to one of the Twilight Zone episode , the 1960 season one. To know more about it, here is the link
UPDATE 19/12 : After checking with DLP Imagineering, it seems that "Any resemblance to anyone living or dead is coincidental. The mannequins were purchased solely on their coherence to the style of the 1950's; no other criteria were used in their selection."
So, we will say that it is happy coincidental and a non-voluntary tribute!
Other building in the front, like the “Travel agency” or “Gower books and music” also have themed windows - sorry for the reflections in the windows...
Also , another themed window outside the Tower of terror gifts shop.
The imagineers put quite a lot of different props in the street, like an old phone booth, a parking meter, etc...
At the end of the boulevard, the entrance for the Tram tour and the “Cruella” car is display again.
Visitors are supposed to access it through the hole under the Hollywood hill, but in fact you can reach the Tram tour station through the left ot the right of the backdrop.
Now, all this gives really a different look to the park, and is visually impressive
Here is a photo of the TOT at sunset
However there is two things that i really don’t like - i even consider it like an incredible esthetic mistake - it is, first , the back of the “La Terasse” building, I still don’t understand why they didn’t “open” the arcades instead to leave a flat and unthemed wall like it is...i understood that it is supposed to be there where people can leave their trolleys, but when you think that it is right in front of the TOT main entrance , at ten meters from the beautiful TOT lobby.....( the picture below is shoot from the TOT entrance, with the hotel lobby in the back )
And the second one is that small building you can see on the left of the photo below.
What the hell is THAT?!? It’s ugly, and i doubt that these wooden doors will ever open one day for anything good . These 10 meters long buildins are probably the worst themed element in both parks! And it’s also right in front of the entrance “side” of the TOT! Very very bad, really. Visually speaking, it is litterally spoiling that zone....
UPDATE 19/12 : Somebody gave me the info that this building will in fact hiding electric equipment. If it's true , then it's better than nothing...
But how is this Hollywood Boulevard looking at night, what kind of lighting did the imagineers? On the photos below shoot by Alexandre Rosa - among some others above - , the previous - and very rainy - week-end, you can have a better idea of the great lighting.
The soft opening of the Tower of terror for the annual passholders is still going on, and until now, everybody seems very happy with the ride, always too short, but those who did it at DCA know what i am talking about.
Although the TOT was a half-success at DCA, i am absolutely sure that it will be a tremendous one here, no doubt about that.
So, what’s next , now for the WDS? Well, first the “Stitch encounter” will open in march, a bit before the grand opening - press event of the TOT, scheduled for April 5-6 2008 - note that the TOT will be open to everybody from december 22.
It may seem surprising to wait 4 months to do the grand opening, but it’s all about marketing and the fact that april is the beginning of the high season for theme parks. And also that the park decided that the 200715th anniversary event will last until march....2009! In fact, this anniversary year have been incredibly popular with 2 millions more visitors than 2006 season, and so they’ve decided that the 15th anniversary event will last until the 17th anniversary! It may looks a bit exagerated, but as long as it brings more visitors in the park, it’s good for everybody, as, as i have said before, it will give them the money to build new rides. Which one? This, we will talk in a future article....
In the meantime, if you want to see more photos and details about the new placemaking, you will find more on Alexandre Rosa web site.
Photos: copyright Alain Littaye and Alexandre Rosa