Sunday, December 10, 2017

Walk Inside Shanghaî Disneyland Very Private Club 33 Thanks to Exclusive Pictures by Heather Concannon


As you may know Shanghaî Disneyland has a Club 33 with a restaurant and a balcony offering a great view from above on SDL parade or the fireworks of the evening show "Ignite the Magic". What you may NOT know is that it's impossible not only to have access if you're not a member of SDL Club 33 but also to shoot pictures inside. I know it because i've tried when i've visited Shanghaî Disneyland in August 2016 and, even if after introducing myself as Disney and more editor,  the Club 33 cast-members refused to let me go upstairs and became hysterical when i shot just one picture, that you'll see below.

All this to say that we must be very very VERY grateful to Heather Concannon as, thanks to Heather, who kindly authorized me to post them in this D&M article we have the first pictures ever of the inside of Shanghaî Disneyland Club 33! To thanks Heather for these great pictures, make sure to visit Heather Instagram page HERE, her Facebook page HERE and her Twitter page HERE.

So, here we go for the visit of Shanghaî Disneyland Club 33, shall we?


On the picture above Heather Concannon stands under the Club 33 archway which is located in a corner of Mickey Avenue, SDL Main Street: "You made a left and next to Shanghai's version of the Emporium they had a little doorway that said 33 above it" says Heather " You had to ring a doorbell to get in." The picture below showing the gorgeous art-deco ceiling light of SDL Club 33 reception on the ground floor is the only one that i could shot when i was at SDL last year.



Now, SDL Club 33 restaurant has a business casual dress code, so you can't get in wearing your park clothes and Heather and her family had to drop off their bags and change clothes before entering SDL Club 33 restaurant.  The picture below shows the atrium where Heather and her group waited to be seated.


Actually, Shanghai's Club 33 theme is inspired by Disney's 1940's "Fantasia." and the next picture shows the staircase as view from the first floor with stunning chandeliers and the sugar plum fairies from Fantasia Nutcracker Suite.


The room where they had dinner was Club 33 Garden View room,  a big circular room filled with round tables and a lovely floral centerpiece.



"I took a thousand photos of the centerpiece, because I thought it was beautiful," said Heather Concannon. According to Heather "The entire space felt classier than what you may be used to seeing inside a Disney park restaurant".


There is too more private, intimate rooms with curtains off to the sides, offering a more romantic setting, with always gorgeous artwork on each walls.


Heather Concannon and her group ate at a large round table in the room, large enough to seat 10 people.


The napkin holder matched perfectly with the design on the plates, which, just like the coasters on the table have the number 33 printed on them.



You may wonder how Heather and her family who are not members of SDL Club 33 succeeded to enter and had dinner. Well, actually they were in Shanghaî Disneyland with Adventures by Disney and apparently the tour include a dinner at the Club 33, which is good to know. Because of that they ordered off of a pre-selected menu with a five-course meal, and here is a picture of the menu, with a choice between a short rib or fish for the main entree. They were also given two glasses of red or white house wine with their meal.


The appetizer was a grapefruit sorbet with green apple wasabi granite and dill oil.



One of the main entrées was a slow-cooked Australian wagyu short rib with chili glaze, apple salad, and parsnip purée, and the picture below shows the short rib choice. According to Heather each part of the five-course meal was a small portion so you didn't get filled up too quickly.



After the dinner, the Club 33 balcony allowed them have a unique view of the park, with the Tron ride on the left, SDL Enchanted Story Book castle, and Gardens of Imagination carousel on the right, which, by the way, also has a "Fantasia" theme. "Once you walk through the restaurant, they have a firework-viewing area. That's what the balcony is for", said Heather.



"The view is worth it, especially because it's so crazy to watch the fireworks in front of the castle [in Disney World] these days," said Heather. "It was nice to be able to watch it and hear the music and experience it with just our group and two other couples."



You can also go home with some Club 33 souvenirs like one of the coasters with the 33 number on it but "They had a store where you could purchase a polo, a tie, a bag," says Heather. "I bought a pen, a notebook, and a mug because I figured I'm never doing this again in my life."



I can't thank enough Heather Concannon for these exclusive pictures of Shanghaî Disneyland Club 33, a place where most of us probably will never get in and, again, make sure to visit Heather Instagram page HERE, her Facebook page HERE and her Twitter page HERE.

Pictures: copyright Heather Concannon, Alain Littaye

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Don't Miss the Christmas Special Offer on the Acclaimed Disneyland Paris "From Sketch to Reality" Book!



Copies of the acclaimed Disneyland Paris book "From Sketch to Reality" with the Christmas Special Offer are still available in its English edition! The French edition is totally out of stock but if you're french, and wish to purchase the book in its english edition i will send you a PDF file of the full French text of the French edition.

Here is all you need to know to order a copy of the "Disneyland Paris From Sketch to Reality" book if you wish to offer it for Christmas. First, it's a 320 pages book with 750 pictures of the park including 250 WDI artworks! It's also probably the best Christmas gift you can find for a Disney Parks fan - and it is true! Have a look below to the mosaic pictures showing a selection of pages of the book.









To place your order for the DLP book, please send me an email at: amplittaye@gmail.com with your shipping address. The price during the Christmas special offer is 65€ ( instead of 85€ ) and shipping worldwide is 22€ ( except Belgium and Italy for which it is 29€ ).

For French readers a PDF file of the full French text of the French edition will be sent.
Lecteurs Français: Etant donné que l'édition française est épuisée, un fichier du texte complet original en Français sera envoyé aux acheteurs Français ne comprenant pas l'anglais.

Also, each order will receive two GREAT surprise gifts!

You can pay with Paypal, credit card or bank transfer. For Paypal payments please send directly the full amount  including shipping ( 87€ worldwide, except for Belgium and Italy for which it is 104€ ) at: nme4@wanadoo.fr  If you wish to pay by credit card and bank transfer, let me know in your email and i'll tell you how to do.

If you've never seen the book before, don't miss the video below showing the full 320 pages of the book!



Friday, December 8, 2017

NEW Concept-Art Released For The New Hong Kong Disneyland castle!


A NEW concept-art has been released for the new Hong Kong Disneyland castle, it’s the one above with a yellow color, the second picture below shows the previous rendering released. Not sure if we can say that it is better… in my opinion, still too many styles - and colors - mixed together...

That said, Disney Parks released more details about the transformation and new design of Hong Kong Disneyland’s castle: "As part of Hong Kong Disneyland’s multi-year expansion plan, the icon of the park will soon be reimagined and undergo a transformation, the first-of-its-kind at any Disney park!

The classic castle will draw inspiration from a variety of storybook influences and styles, with new thematic spires, domes and a design that reaches ever skyward. Features will be inspired by many of the Disney princesses, including special finial decorations on the spires such as Snow White’s apple, Cinderella’s coach and Belle’s rose. Original artwork and unique sculptures will add even more magic and fantasy.

Guests will be able to visit the all-new Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique for transformations of their own and meet Disney princesses at the castle. The changes will also take the park’s entertainment to new heights with the premiere of a new daytime show and nighttime spectacular against the impressive backdrop.

Work on the castle will begin after the finale of the “Disney in the Stars” fireworks on January 1, and the expansion plan will continue to bring new entertainment to the park almost every year through 2023."


Pictures: copyright Disney

4th Day of 12 Days of Disney Parks Christmas: First Renderings of the Disney Skyliner Transportation System!



4th Day of 12 Days of Disney Parks Christmas: First Renderings of the Disney Skyliner Transportation System! The Disney Skyliner transportation system will give to WDW guests an unforgettable journey and a picturesque view of Walt Disney World Resort as they take to the sky to travel from select Disney resorts to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Today, Disney Parks release new details on what you can expect from the Disney Skyliner system. Select Disney Skyliner cabins will have iconic Disney characters incorporated into their exterior design to give the appearance that a Disney pal is riding along with guests, such as characters from the ‘Fab Five,’ figures from Disney attractions, fan favorites from movies, and more.



The design of the Disney Skyliner station at International Gateway at Epcot will be inspired by the park’s nearby European Pavilions, and will be covered with metal and glass canopies, hand-painted murals and ornamental steel structures that harken back to the early 18th century Art Nouveau style. Guests traveling to Epcot via the Disney Skyliner will be welcomed to the park with a rare birds-eye view of World Showcase.



The Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort station will be the hub of activity for Disney Skyliner. This station is inspired by the open air village marketplaces of the Caribbean and will showcase the nearby resort’s architectural detailing and color schemes. At this station, passengers will be able to transfer gondola routes to reach their destination, or are invited to sit and admire the waterfront resort setting.



The design style of the station at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will fit with that of the park’s main entrance and bus stations. Passengers traveling here from the Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort station can expect a new aerial perspective of the park’s iconic attractions, like The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

Disney’s Pop Century Resort and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will share a Disney Skyliner station that feels whimsical and contextual with both resorts. Upon departing the gondola station, Skyliner passengers will ascend over Hourglass Lake and enjoy a panoramic view of these two colorful resorts.

Finally, cabins will slow down at the Disney Skyliner turn-station along Buena Vista Drive, where guests can see the mechanical and aerial components that make up the Disney Skyliner.

Pictures: copyright Disney

First Trailer and Behind the Scenes Video for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom !


The first trailer of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom starring Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard and Jeff Goldblum and to be released in theaters June 22, is here! And thought action in the trailer takes mostly place during one scene only - the eruption of a volcano on Jurassic World island - it looks great!




Don't go away as there is more with a great behind the scenes featurette with more footage!




Pictures and video: copyright Universal

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Shanghaî Disneyland Toy Story Land Will Officially Open on April 26, 2018!

It's official: Shanghaî Disneyland  Toy Story Land will officially open on April 26, 2018! Shanghai Disneyland’s seventh themed land will immerse guests in a fun-filled world of toys, and here are full details with SDL press release and pictures of the land where the rides are currently in tests:
Shanghai, December 7, 2017 – Shanghai Disney Resort announced today that Shanghai Disneyland’s seventh themed land – the highly anticipated Disney Toy Story Land – is set to open on April 26, 2018, welcoming guests of all ages into a world of fun and imagination, and providing yet another reason for guests to be immersed in the unparalleled storytelling and creativity of Shanghai Disneyland. Major construction of Disney Toy Story Land is close to completion, and will be followed by an extensive preparation period, which includes ride testing and adjustment and trial operations, in anticipation of the day when guests will officially be welcomed as “honorary toys” in the backyard of Andy, the boy from the Toy Story films.



Based on the Disney·Pixar film series, Disney Toy Story Land will be a high-spirited, colorful world where guests will feel as if they’ve been shrunk down to the size of their favorite Toy Story toys for laughter and fun with family and friends. Woody, Buzz and their Toy Story pals come to life and play in this fully immersive land, which features three new attractions – Slinky Dog Spin, Rex’s Racer, Woody’s Round-Up, a uniquely themed character greeting area, Meeting Post, and immersive shopping and dining experiences, Al’s Toy Barn and Toy Box Café.



Disney Toy Story Land comes from a collaboration between Walt Disney Imagineering, Pixar Animation Studios and a group of renowned international and Chinese designers, engineers, artists and cultural advisors. As the first post-opening expansion project of Shanghai Disney Resort, Disney Toy Story Land broke ground in November 2016, only six months after the resort’s grand opening. The team behind the land has already celebrated numerous construction milestones, including the successful installation of the U-shaped track of Rex’s Racer, the thrilling ride hosted by the insecure Tyrannosaurus toy named Rex and his Stegosaurus friend, Trixie. With this new expansion, Disney Toy Story Land will give guests yet another reason to choose to visit Shanghai Disneyland over multiple days. Recruitment for this new exciting Disney Toy Story Land started earlier this year as the resort continues to hire and train new Cast Members to join the current team of over 10,000 Cast Members. Cast Members will undertake extensive preparatory work to extend Disney’s legendary guest service standards of safety, courtesy, show and efficiency to this new land.

As a key pre-opening step for all Walt Disney Parks and Resorts destinations and major attractions, a trial operations period will be scheduled before its grand opening to allow invited participants to experience select attractions, entertainment and dining on select dates.

The opening date of Disney Toy Story Land, April 26, 2018, will also mark the second anniversary of the opening of the highly successful Shanghai International Tourism and Resorts Zone, and the timing will ensure the expanded attractions and entertainment will be available in advance of the summer season.



Testing has already begun on Rex’s Racer where guests will be invited to climb into RC Racer for a thrilling ride on the U-shaped track, with Rex at the controls.



Slinky Dog Spin is currently under testing and guests will soon be invited to take a seat inside Slinky Dog’s springy spirals and race around a wavy roundabout.



Disney Imagineers and construction teams are painting Rex in Shanghai Disney Resort’s Show Production Center, where over 400 toys for the new land are being produced.



D&M take: All this sounds good, except that the pictures above of Rex's Racer confirms what i feared, i.e the high probability of a visual intrusion of the ride track which will be seen from the others lands. If confirmed, that's no good, really. For more infos about the rides and official renderings, jump to D&M previous article HERE.

Pictures: copyright Disney, Shendi

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

12 Days of Disney Parks Christmas - Day 2: Transformation Details Revealed for Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort


Day 2 of 12 Days of Disney Parks Christmas: Transformation Details Revealed for Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort!

Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort at Walt Disney World will undergo some transformations and the Disney Parks blog share new colorful details about those enhancements debuting late this summer!

Old Port Royale at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort will be reimagined as the port of entry where guests will check in before embarking on their island vacation. This centralized location will offer resort guests more convenient access to services, amenities and dining, including an all-new Centertown Market for casual eats, an all-new Shutters restaurant offering waterfront dining adjacent to the new Banana Cabana outdoor bar and lounge, and Calypso Trading Post for shopping.



Centertown Market will be expanded and enclosed, creating a quick-service restaurant with an indoor street market vibe. Guests will enter the space under a large palapa-like structure, accented with glowing colored light pendants made from glass bottles. The market will feature open shutters, wooden light posts, awnings, ornamentation and unique seating areas. Guests will also have access to the Grab n’ Go market for a specialty coffee and quick bites.



Shutters, a Caribbean-inspired table-service restaurant, will be located on the waterfront of Old Port Royale, transporting guests to a beachfront home in the tropical islands. Large open shutters will allow the sun to cast a warm light into the space adorned with handmade items that appear as they’ve been found on the islands. Leaves and floral design motifs will fill the space, celebrating the natural beauty of the Caribbean.


A festive poolside bar, Banana Cabana will be a great place to gather for food and drinks, immersing guests into the fun and relaxation of island life. Cabana-style drapes will flank seating areas and re-purposed steel drums will illuminate a central communal table made from a wooden boat.

Forget something? No worries! With its history of being the port’s import and export facility, Calypso Trading Post will offer shoppers Disney merchandise and other vacation essentials.

Pictures: copyright Disney

France Rock Legend Johnny Hallyday Dies at 74



France rock legend Johnny Hallyday - the French "Elvis" as say CNN - died at 74, his wife Laetitia announced his death a few hours ago. Fantastic singer, immensely known since the 1960's. Those of you in the U.S who didn't knew him have no idea how Johnny was hugely popular in France and how a great showman he was on stage. He lived several lives, literally became a kind of "national monument" and his death will be a tremendous shock in France, Belgium and Switzerland, though expected as it was announced last June that he had a lung cancer. Totally instinctive and not at all an intellectual, he belonged to these kind of men who were born to be on stage, like Elvis, Frank Sinatra, Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger and many others.



It's hard to find a link between Johnny Hallyday and Disney - he never played in a Disney production - but at least there is one, and it's when he came at DLP, invited for the Grand Opening of the Walt Disney Studios, with his wife Laetitia and family.



Laetitia came back later often at DLP as you'll see with this other picture of Laetitia and their adopted daughter Jade in front of Big Thunder Mountain.



You can see the video of the Walt Disney Studios Grand Opening with VIP guests and, so, Johnny HERE. And i've also found back an article that i did on D&M in 2009 about a project of a retheming of the Rock and Roller Coaster with Johnny Hallyday instead of Aerosmith. It was an April Fool with fake WDI concept-arts, and the April Fool worked pretty well at that time, you can read it HERE.

Disney and more send his deepest condolences to Laetitia, Jade and Joy as well as to David Hallyday and Laura Smet, the two others children of Johnny.

Pictures: copyright Disney, Laetitia Hallyday

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

New Story Elements Add to the Fun at the Pixar Play Parade During Pixar Fest Celebration


First day of "12 Days of Disney Parks Christmas" during which Disney Parks will unveil exclusive new details about events, entertainment, attractions and more at the Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort, Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, as well as new offerings aboard Disney Cruise Line.

And today it's about memorable new story elements add to the fun of the Pixar Play Parade During Pixar Fest Celebration: Pixar Play Parade returns April 13 to the Disneyland Resort – this time, at Disneyland park! Part of the limited-time Pixar Fest celebration, this delightful parade will bring even more of your favorite Pixar stories to life with the addition of three new story elements.

The parade will begin as all Pixar films have, with an appearance by the iconic and adorable Pixar Lamp - picture on top. Rolling ahead of the famous lamp will be the familiar yellow Pixar Ball, making a cameo in Pixar Play Parade, as it has in many Pixar films.



Also joining the parade are characters from the beloved film, “Up.” Wilderness Explorer Russell will appear astride the colorful flightless bird, Kevin, with Carl Fredricksen and Dug following behind amid green foliage and snipe chicks, with Carl’s tethered house floating above.



Another popular Pixar story coming to Pixar Play Parade is “Inside Out.” Perched atop colorful memory orbs, Joy and Sadness take flight aboard Bing Bong’s rocket wagon, with Bing Bong himself cheering them on!

Pictures: copyright Disney

Happy Birthday Walt Disney and King Bhumibol Adulyadej !


I realized yesterday something pretty extraordinary. Today 5th of December is the birth date of Walt Disney, as you probably know. And there is no doubt that Walt was one of the most influential man of the 20th Century. But it is also the birth date of late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, King of Thailand, who passed way last year after being the King of Thailand during 70 years, the King with the longest reign - longer than Queen Elizabeth. King Bhumibol was also one of the most influential man of the 20th Century, this time for his country, Thailand, and definitely was "the greatest King alive", wonderful human being who saved many times the country, and was revered like a semi-God by all Thaï people.  He was also a photographer and a Jazz musician, among many others talents.

Both of them, so, were Kings - remember the famous quote from Walt when he was asked if he would run for Governor of California? "Why would i want to be a Governor when i'm already a king?" (of Disneyland ) said Walt with a laugh. Both men, so, were born under the sign of Sagittarius and it happened that both of them also have met, in Disneyland in 1960, probably without knowing they were born the same day - December 5th - but of course not the same year. When they met on June 22, 1960, Walt a few years later will end his "reign" when King Bhumibol started his 14 years before and would stay King until 2016. And, as great pictures of this memorable day exist, showing both Walt Disney and King Bhumibol together on the same pictures, i thought that they were the perfect pictures to pay today tribute to both of these remarkable men.

On the pictures below Rama 9 - Bhumibol Adulyadej name as King - is at Disneyland with Walt Disney on June 22, 1960 during a royal visit in the U.S.A with his wife, Queen Sirikit, and their children Prince Vajiralongkorn and Princess Ubol Ratana Rajakanya. The young boy that you will see on the pictures below is now the new King  of Thailand.

On the picture below they are shown entering Disneyland.


On the top picture, King Bhumibol Adulyadej stands with Walt, Queen Sirikit and their children the young Prince Vajiralongkorn and Princess Ubol Ratana Rajakanya on the steps of Disneyland City Hall.



Always at Disneyland City Hall, Walt offered to the young Prince what looks to be a Disneyland flag with Mickey!



A color version of this picture is also available!




King Bhumibol Adulyadej with the young Prince and Walt aboard Disneyland C.K.Holliday locomotive.


On the next picture, King Bhumibol Adulyadej with Queen Sirikit in one of Alice in Wonderland vehicle.




With Walt and their two children, King Bhumibol Adulyadej with Queen Sirikit in a boat of Story Book Land, with Captain Hook ship in the background.





Believe it or not but there is some short very rare footage existing of this Royal visit at Disneyland, and here is the video below.






For my Thai readers, don't miss Disney and more tribute to King Bhumibol Adulyadej posted last year in which you'll see fantastic pictures in glorious colors shot by LIFE magazine in 1960! The article is online HERE.