Saturday, December 6, 2014

Shanghaî Disneyland Release First Picture of Roaring Rapids Mountain !

Shanghaî Disneyland released the very first picture of the still under construction Adventure Isle Roaring Rapids mountain, a new "mountain" in the long history of Disney theme parks mountains... Below, the official - but short - press release, and as i told you recently when the new bird eye view of the park was released recently they're obviously using the same technique that was used when they did Ornament Valley mountain at DCA's Cars Land. Note that the press release don't mention explicitly that it's the Roaring Rapids mountain, but it is, you can trust me.

Another picture below also shows SDL Imagineers at the top of the mountain and as you will see it's really high! Roaring Rapids will be SDL raft ride during which SDL guests will encounter Audio-Animatronics Dinosaurs, all the question now is to know if the rafts will go also inside this huge mountain.  I would say "probably" as the mountain could help to protect the Audio-Animatronics from Shanghaî weather. Anyway, let's hope so! Stay tuned on D&M as i'll have more for you tomorrow about SDL!

Shanghai Disney Resort Construction Reaches New Heights

Shanghai Disneyland Mountain Successfully Topped-Out

A remarkable “mountain” feature at the resort’s Magic Kingdom-style theme park was successfully topped-out this week. Designed to be an iconic landmark anchoring one of Shanghai Disneyland’s six themed lands, it will be the second highest structure at Shanghai Disney Resort, after the Enchanted Storybook Castle, and the highest “mountain” in Shanghai’s Pudong New District. This marks another exciting milestone in the resort’s development.

Disney has a long-standing tradition of creating immersive and unforgettable experiences for guests around the world. A key element of each experience is the physical landscape of themed lands, which vary depending upon the story and theme from tropical forests to majestic mountains, with horticulture and rockwork to match. An international team of Disney Imagineers is working hand-in-hand with local contractors to transfer unique Disney techniques design, rockwork and themed finishing expertise to local artisans to bring the best of Disney to the people of China.

Since the first Disney “mountain” – Matterhorn Bobsleds – opened in Disneyland Park on June 14, 1959, the iconic mountains of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts have been transporting Guests to exciting worlds beyond their imagination. There are now over 20 Disney mountains around the world, with the newest one coming to Shanghai Disney Resort, the first Disney resort in Mainland China. The mountain will be located in a key area of Shanghai Disneyland and will be the second highest structure at Shanghai Disney Resort, after the Enchanted Storybook Castle, and the highest “mountain” in Shanghai’s Pudong New District.

Each element, from landscaping to the Cast Member and Guest interactions, help to tell the immersive story that Disney has become known for. Imagineers take great care in preserving the authenticity and story of these mountains. Teams of Imagineers often take research trips to visit real mountains and surrounding areas to gather inspiration for the design and development of attractions. Each mountain is scrutinized in order to incorporate meticulous detail in the final product and Guest experience. Through creativity and innovative technology, Disney continuously plays a leading role in the design and construction of the mountain attractions that transport Guests to new lands and worlds. ( end press release )

And If you wonder where will be located this Shanghaî Disneyland mountain, it will be in SDL Adventure Isle and it is this huge piece of rockwork that you can see in the foreground on the pic below, coming from the latest SDL bird eye view artwork.

Pictures: copyright Disney - Shendi

Important Note for Those Who Want to Order the Disneyland Paris Book and Need to Receive it for Christmas Day !!!

Here is something IMPORTANT for those of you who DON'T live in France and want to order the Disneyland Paris book: The Christmas special offer runs until January 5th BUT if you need to receive it in time for Christmas day then please place your order this week-end, Monday or Tuesday  the latest, as shipping will take two weeks to arrive overseas! If you live in France and want it definitely for Christmas day then the deadline is December 17.

Jump HERE to learn more about the book and to order with a one click Paypal payment you can use the Paypal button below.

And for all orders please also send me an email with your shipping address at:

Disneyland Paris From Sketch to Reality

Below you'll find a description of the book as well as visuals of the inside pages ( click on the mosaic pictures to see them in larger scale ).

Although you've probably heard about this beautiful book, many of you may have never seen a copy of it. So we've done a video presentation of the full book which will show you each of the 320 pages of the book! The book includes 750 pictures of the park, including 250 gorgeous renderings of Walt Disney Imagineering and stunning pictures of the park seen from above. The book is so big that it took us seven and a half minutes to show you the full book, and that's without stopping turning each pages! So, if you want to have a closer look at a page don't hesitate to stop the video.

Video: copyright Alain Littaye 

Disneyland Paris Behind-the-Scenes Video : A Special Night

It don't happen that often which is one more reason to don't miss it: Disneyland Paris released this behind-the-scenes video showing how they change the Halloween decor for the Christmas decorations and garlands all in one night! The video also include a rehearsal of the new DLP Christmas parade so go ahead and watch this full screen!

Video: copyright Disney

The Hobbit : The Battle of the Five Armies - Completing Middle Earth: A Six Part Saga

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies will be released on December 17th and, boy, do i am waiting for it! If you're waiting for it too then Warner Bros. has released a nearly six-minutes great  featurette focusing on the epic six-film journey that we've experienced with so much pleasure all of these years.

The featurette includes new footage from The Battle of the Five Armies, behind-the-scenes footage, and interviews with Jackson, Elijah Wood, Andy Serkis, and writer/co-producer Philippa Boyens. They discuss how all of these films work together and how it all leads to the epic battle in the upcoming film! Don't miss it!

Friday, December 5, 2014

SIX " Gift of the Day " To Wish a Happy Birthday to Walt!

It's Walt Disney's Birthday today and i have something great for you as i choose six beautiful pictures of Walt at different important moments of his life and all are in "Gift of the Day" sizes, i.e they've been upscaled in large size and now in 300 dpi! A usual, click on each to get them in big size.

Above, Walt and his grand son in front of Disneyland Sleeping Beauty castle. Below, Walt at the Studios, circa 1930's.

Below, Walt at Disneyland during opening day.

Walt in front of Disneyland Monorail.

Walt in front of the 1963 World Fair It's a Small World pavilion model.

Walt during his famous Walt Disney World presentation.

Pictures: copyright Disney

Disneyland Resort Announces "Frozen Fun" at Disney California Adventure and Disneyland

All-right, Disneyland Resort did today its awaited announcement for the "Frozen Fun" which will  begin on December 20th, even if the “official” start date is January 7th, and it's at Disney California Adventure that DLR guests will find the following as part of “Frozen Fun”:

“For the First Time in Forever – A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration” – The Muppet*Vision 3D theater in Hollywood Land has been transformed for this event into the beautiful Crown Jewel Theatre from Arendelle. You’re invited to step inside and join the Arendelle Historians – along with special appearances by Anna, Elsa and Kristoff – for a fun and comedic retelling of the unique history of their kingdom, filled with delightful, sing-along moments from “Frozen.”

“Olaf’s Snow Fest” – Stage 17 in Hollywood Land plays host to an immersive winter wonderland straight out of the Kingdom of Arendelle, complete with a giant snow play area and musical performances by The Frolicking Fjords and The Tubadors. You can glide down a snow slide, build a snowman of your own and visit everyone’s favorite snowy pal, Olaf, and give him a warm hug. “Olaf’s Snow Fest” has so much to offer, from beautiful photo opportunities to scrumptious treats and special “Frozen” souvenirs. It’ll be a great spot for making memories that’ll warm your heart.

Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post – Head back outside, and nearby you’ll find Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post, where you can pick up the latest “Frozen”-inspired apparel, plush, toys, mugs and more.

“Anna and Elsa’s Royal Welcome” – Anna and Elsa, the beloved sisters from “Frozen,” move from Fantasyland to an elegant new location inside the Disney Animation attraction at Disney California Adventure park, where you can meet them as part of a special royal greeting. The colorful and varied display in the Animation Courtyard will also now include scenes and music from Disney’s Academy Award-winning blockbuster hit, “Frozen,” and at Animation Academy, a Disney artist asks, “Do You Want to Draw a Snowman?” It’s a unique opportunity to learn how to draw your very own sketch of Olaf or Marshmallow.

“Freeze the Night! A Family Dance Party” – Each evening, you’re invited to “chill out” in Hollywood Land with music, dancing, interactive fun and more in this new, family-friendly experience. You’ll arrive at the party through an icy archway to find wintry décor, dazzling lighting effects, cool photo spots, yummy treats and frosty beverages for all ages. Throughout the night, a giant thermometer registers the drop in temperature, as things get so cool they ultimately reach the freezing point when everyone lets it go in a spectacular “Frozen Fun” crescendo! UPDATE: A Marshmallow walk-around character will be appearing during this event.

A Frozen scene will also be added on December 20th to Storybook Land Canal Boats, featuring the fjord-side village of Arendelle, and including the castle where Anna and Elsa grew up, Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post, and Elsa’s mountaintop ice palace!

Picture: copyright Disney

Thursday, December 4, 2014

...Or is it Tangled Snuggly Duckling Tavern - and not Mystic Manor ?

Thousands of you have read yesterday's D&M article in which i was wondering if Mystic Manor was envisioned for Shanghaî Disneyland as a building silhouette in the back ground of Fantasyland looked like HKDL beloved ride. Well, although i really thought that it was Mystic Manor i now think that may be it's not the case, and this since a kind D&M reader has posted this comment: "That facility is on the working park plan and is currently under construction, so it's definitely not Mystic Manor. It's most likely 'Tangled Tree Tavern' inspired by the Snuggly Duckling ( which also has a purple onion dome/spire ).

And i think he's right. Let's have a look again at the part of Fantasyland enlarged from the new SDL bird eye view artwork, the mysterious building being on the left in dark blue...

Now, here is some artwork from the movie showing the Snuggly Duckling Tavern, and as you can see, it does have a tower with a dome, a bit like the one of Phantom Manor...

...not to mention that SDL Imagineers could also eventually build the Tangled tower, too.

But how can we be sure that it'll be Snuggly Duckling Tavern and not Mystic Manor? Well, there is a good way to know it and it's to check in the list of all names of SDL rides and restaurants, shops, etc.. leaked on WDW Magic forum one year ago. And what do we find in the Fantasyland list: "Tangled Tree Tavern" ! Bingo. So, yes, i do think now that i - and everyone who thought that it looked like Mystic Manor - was wrong and i think that SDL guests will be able to order drinks and food at the Snuggly Duckling Tavern once the park will open. Which by the way mean that the inside decor will look like this...

...but without having guests to face or fight with the Snuggly Duckling Tavern thugs!

For me, the case is closed, i think that it will be the Tangled Tree Tavern and not Mystic Manor that we'll find at this location. One of the other reason is because i think it will fit better close to the Winnie the Pooh ride and the Hundred Acre Wood, and that the transition will be easier between both than it would be with Mystic Manor. So, HKDL fans who didn't liked the idea to lose their Mystic Manor exclusivity can cool down, as it shouldn't be the case... for now.

Pictures: copyright Disney

Gift of the Day : Walt with Disneyland Journey Through Inner Space model

The gift of the day is this great picture of Walt surrounded by execs in front of Disneyland Journey Through Inner Space model showing the mighty microscope. The original picture file - enhanced, cleaned of dust and finger prints on the scan, 4 X enlarged, and now in 300 dpi thanks to the usual D&M magic - was found on an excellent report postd yesterday by Inside the Magic HERE about Destination D Attraction Rewind which happened recently.  Click on the picture to get it in big size.

Picture: copyright Disney

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Will Mystic Manor Open at Shanghaî Disneyland in 2018 ?...

When Shanghaî Disney Resort released two weeks ago the bird eye view rendering below, some readers asked me if the silhouette in the background of Fantasyland could be Mystic Manor, meaning that the beloved HKDL ride could be part of Shanghaî Disneyland. My first answer, mainly because it was so tiny on the artwork was "i don't think so...". And then, with a bit of D&M magic i found a way to upscale the picture without having too much pixelation, and my opinion - wrong or right - has changed.

Let me show you why. Below, the part of the SDL bird eye view supposedly showing Mystic Manor, in dark blue color on the left, with on the right what we think will be the Winnie the Pooh ride and Hunny Pot Spin, in dark red.

The reason why some readers thought that it could be Mystic Manor is because of the architecture that we can guess in the silhouette and of course the tower at the top so distinctive of Mystic Manor.  There is also apparently on the right another structure and could it be the Mystic Point Explorers restaurant, or simply a shop?

Now, have a look at a picture of the Mystic Manor / Mystic Point model as it was presented at the D23 Expo. I know that the picture above is not clear but it looks like it could be very well Mystic Manor, right?

But there are others reasons why i'm finally thinking that SDL will include a Mystic Manor. First, in all Disney Magic Kingdoms we always find a haunted house. They could put at SDL a Haunted Mansion, even in Fantasyland - after all they did it at Tokyo Disneyland - but i think that the Victorian look of the Haunted Mansion as we know it in the U.S would be less appealing for the Chinese than the colonial / multi style look of Mystic Manor. Not to mention that Mystic Manor is less scary than the Haunted Mansion and so could fit better in a Fantasyland.

The other reason is more pragmatic: Mystic Manor is hugely popular since day one at HKDL, and if Hong Kong Chinese enjoy this slightly "haunted" house then there is no reason that Chinese of China main land will not enjoy it. This would mean a promise of success for an attraction which got last year the fully deserved 2013 THEA Award for "Outstanding Achievement Attraction". Also, we know that the company like to avoid as much as possible research and development costs, and here they won't have any as they've been paid previously by Hong Kong Disneyland. So, double bingo.

And by the way, this also could eventually explain why we don't see the Toy Story Land which was on the leaked SDL map last year on the new rendering. I remind you that not so long ago Disney announced they will put additional hundred of millions of dollars in SDL to improve the overall SDL rides an shows. So, "may be" they've decided that having Mystic Manor in a Magic Kingdom was a better idea than having a Toy Story Land... and decided to cancel TSL and have instead Mystic Manor, even if the cost of Mystic Manor is more expensive.

BUT, as there is always a "but", if Mystic Manor is coming to Shanghaî Disneyland it won't open before 2018.  Why? Because HKDL has an exclusivity on it during five years. Mystic Point opened summer 2013 at HKDL, so it can't be before summer 2018 at SDL. That said, it will be interesting to see if the Mystic Manor building itself will be built at SDL opening day, avoiding to have cranes and construction works starting soon after SDL opening. In this case we could have, just like with Disneyland Haunted Mansion in the 1960's, an attraction building which will wait a few years to open its doors.

Now, there is of course a possibility that i'm all wrong, that this silhouette in the back of SDL Fantasyland is something entirely different. Let's say the chances are fifty / fifty. However, my instinct tells me that we can reasonably put our bets on a Mystic Manor for Shanghaî Disneyland and all we have to do now is to wait till 2018 to see if i'm right or not!

Pictures: copyright Disney, Disney and more

Gift of the Day : Walt Aboard the Disneyland Railroad Ernest S. Marsh Locomotive

The gift of the day is the famous 1966 picture of Walt aboard the Disneyland Railroad Ernest S. Marsh locomotive in large size and 300 dpi! Click on it to get it in big size!

Picture: copyright Disney

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Media Announcement on Friday About Disneyland and DCA's Plans for 2015

Thursday morning Disneyland Resort President Michael Colglazier will address a crowd of DCA managers to finally begin announcing some of what’s coming to the Anaheim parks in the weeks and months ahead. That internal presentation to management on Thursday will be followed up by a public media announcement on Friday. In his new update Mice Age fill you in on the upcoming projects Michael Colglazier will admit to in his Thursday presentation, and also what upcoming projects he won’t announce yet for Disneyland Resort. Jump to Mice Chat HERE to be the first to learn about these new Disneyland and DAC announcements including the takeover of DCA’s Hollywood Land Backlot area by Frozen and how DL Toon Town might disappear to make place for a Star Wars land!

Picture: copyright Disney

Tony Baxter Destination D Presentation of the Discovery Bay Project

Legendary Imagineer Tony Baxter did during Destination D a presentation of his famous Discovery Bay project - envisioned for Disneyland. As we know this Discovery Bay land was never built but plenty of its concepts have materialized in others parks whether it is at DLP Discoveryland, Epcot, Tokyo Disney Sea, WDW Pleasure Island, etc...

Among the rides that finally never materialized anywhere is Spark Gap, a coaster featuring a vertical ascent into a loop drop on a mag-lev track, which was a long time ago envisioned for DLP Discoveryland - as you can see on the renderings above and below that i've found back in my archives - before being cancelled. Interesting fact: this Spark Gap coaster was envisioned to be placed at DLP in the location on the back path between Discoveryland and Fantasyland, near where the queue for Star Tours is located. Imagineer and DLP Discoveryland show-producer Tim Delaney didn't do the above attraction poster concept but he's the one who did the sketch below.

Inside the Magic posted a great article about Tony's presentation that you can read HERE!

Artwork : copyright Disney Enterprises

Animal Kingdom Avatar Land Construction Site Aerial Pictures

Our friends on ThemeparX  have posted some great aerial pictures of Animal Kingdom's Avatar Land construction site showing that the works are now going vertical. Thanks to these pics we now have  a better idea of how big the land will be, and learn more as you'll see below.

According to Lance on "the large visible concrete pad is not the new flight simulator ride however but rather I think that this might be the location of the flume ride next door that was visible in the leaked plans. However next to this you can see what looks like a series of concrete footers and slightly rounded walls in an almost diamond pattern that matches up perfectly in the shape of the four sided flight simulator ride plans. I’m guesing that the other visible structure going up nearby will be for either a restaurant or more likely, a large enclosed gift shop that will serve as the exit to the new E-Ticket attraction."

Two more pics below and there is plenty more aerial pictures to see on ThemeparX so make sure to have a look at them HERE.

Talking about the Avatar land simulator ride, the ride system itself, supposedly to use a flying simulator like Soarin' to give to the guests a perfect "flying" feeling might use this new Vekoma flying simulator that you can see below.

Called I-ride by Vekoma and its partner Brogent Technologies it's a flight simulator "composed of a spherical screen, projection system and 9 moveable platform units for a total of 90 passengers (or alternatively with 16 platforms for 160 passengers.) the motion platform of I-ride system is based on units of a proven system, which were built many times since 1995 as flight, tank and train simulators."

"The sophisticated motion platform provides six Degree of Freedom. This means simulator can be moved in the six ways: heave, Sway, Surge, pitch, roll and yaw. The flight experience can be enhanced with 4d effects such as wind and spray mist. I-ride offers the most exhilarating and breath-taking bird's eye view experience!"

Considering that during this flying ride Avatar Land guests are supposed to soar in the sky riding a Banshee, a spherical screen could be the best for a total immersion. We'll see if WDI will use this new Vekoma flight simulator or create their own one!

Pictures: copyright ThemeparX, Vekoma, Disney

Monday, December 1, 2014

Gift of the Day : Tower of Terror Art-Deco Mural

The gift of the day is the beautiful Tower of Terror art-deco style mural in large size and 300 dpi.
Click on the picture to get it in big size!

Picture: copyright Disney

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Walt Disney World Attraction and Transportation Vehicles Poster Now Available For Order !

Remember the great artwork of WDW attractions and transportation vehicles done by Chris Buchholz that i've introduced to you last January? Well, i'm pleased to let you know that Chris has now finished the design and an awesome 22" x 28" poster is now available for order HERE

As you can see below Chris drew all DL and WDW vehicles whether it's the ride vehicles -  including some from extinct rides - cars, trains, and boats of Walt Disney World attractions and transportation, add some which were missing last January and created a fantastic poster with all of them.

Have a look at some details from the poster below to see how Chris work is neat and jump HERE to order a copy of this awesome poster for $29.95 only !

Go ahead, order to Chris this fantastic poster HERE !

Artwork: copyright Chris Buchholz