Wednesday, 16th August 2006

Strikes and SOS signals

The Cast Members have been given support from their union CFDT, and DLP.info also reports:

“The Photographers have taken place in front of the gates with flags and signs and are informing the incoming guests on the situation.”

This certinaly isn’t the first strike to take place at Disneyland Resort Paris. The resort has a long history of protests from Cast Members, usually regarding pay or work conditions, particularly in the early EuroDisney years. Guests may not notice the absence of a Cast Member to photograph them with Sulley or Winnie the Pooh at one of the increasing number of character locations at the parks, but they will certainly notice a line of Cast Members protesting at the park gates. It’s currently unknown what the resort are doing to solve this problem, but since it’s taking place in the busy Summer season the strike will not only give guests a poor first impression but will also be losing the parks countless Euros every day in photo profits. An agreement will surely be met soon enough.
The second piece of “bad news” comes, once again, from CFDT, but would seem to have a solution already in place. The image featured above was posted online showing the current state of Frontierland’s Molly Brown riverboat, a classic side-wheeler riverboat that is unique to the Paris park but was unfortunately damaged last year when the engine badly overheated. For months afterwards the boat lay covered in tarpaulin at the back of the Rivers of the Far West, before being moved into the service dock once Mark Twain’s already-in-progress long refurbishment was completed. Since then, the boat has been untouched as the resort waits for a budget to be available for the costly repairs, and, as you can see, the unsinkable Molly Brown hasn’t enjoyed her last few months one bit.

The CFDT is calling for immediate action to save the boat before it has to be scrapped, but, after a quick look at the latest refurbishment schedules for the park (released some weeks ago), it seems their wish has already been granted. The latest information available states Molly Brown will finally begin her huge refurbishment project on the 4th September, with the project not being completed until 27th April 2007. Then, on the 30th April 2007, Mark Twain will return to the service dock for another two month refurbishment, further confirming that the resort are infact still well-aware of the importance of this classic attraction and its two faithful ships.

Cancel the SOS!

Wednesday, 16th August 2006

A pinker pink for Disneyland Hotel

The refurbishment of Disneyland Hotel began a few months ago now, but has only just reached the front façade of the building. Here the difference between the two shades of pink is unmissable.

The new, cleaner, brighter coat of paint (chosen, like the Castle colours, to add warmth to grey cloudy days) appears to be exactly the same as the original 1992 colour, which shows just how much the harsh Parisian weather has affected the façade. It seems likely Disneyland Resort Paris are saving further work at the front of the hotel until the less busy seasons, since the view is so iconic to the park, with refurbishment schedules stating that work should be completed by 9th November 2006.

Already this year, massive refurbishment projects have been successfully completed for Disney’s Sequoia Lodge and Disney’s Newport Bay Club hotels.

Monday, 14th August 2006

From CGI to reality!

Further up the building, scaffolding inside the ride area has grown above the height of the building in an arched form. This is surely in anticipation of the front wall of Disney Studio 5 being constructed, which peaks higher than the rest of the building and will need extra support whilst under construction. Thanks to Disneytheque.com for the latest construction photo.

Today, 14th August 2006, should hopefully mark the start of fullscale work on the Toon Studio transformation project with the first “coup de pioche”! La Rouquine on Disney Central Plaza forum reports backstage sightings of the huge new flagstones, carring “vibrant” colours, which will replace the asphalt flooring of the land. La Rouquine also states work has begun on the foundations for the queue of Cars Race Rally, which will be a series of memorable Radiator Springs buildings.

Saturday, 12th August 2006

Long *Autumn* nights?

The latest park opening hours have just been added to the resort’s Official Website, confirming the changes. Disneyland Park will remain open until 11pm on September 1st and 2nd, with late opening until 10pm planned for a total of six days and opening until 9pm planned for ten days. Unfortunately, with this good news comes some bad news, as the park will also operate some of its shortest hours in many years. On weekdays from October 2nd to 22nd, the park will open only from 10am to 7pm, one (or two, depending on the season) hours shorter than usual.

These new opening times follow surprising alterations in May, June and July, which saw the park open until 11pm on Saturdays with special fireworks presented as the park closed. After years of stagnant park times, we’re finally being treated to longer hours outside of Summer season. Hopefully, with three new attractions on the way, the same plan will soon spread to the Studios…

You can see the new opening times in full here.

Friday, 11th August 2006

Future production construction

Starting with Toon Studio, Cars Race Rally still remains a huge pit on the spot of the two pairs of turntables. The size of the pit, however, is quite impressive – it seems to be almost as deep as the JCB digger is high! The latest photos show the tarpaulin cover is still lining it – the next step from here should hopefully be concrete foundations poured. Over at Crush’s Coaster, work is still speeding along at EAC-speed, but since most of the ride is now hidden by the huge concrete walls, not a lot can be seen. The walls themselves have also continued to grow, with wide concrete sections being added along both the Flying Carpets and front sides of the coaster building. Some kind of steel supports are currently lying next to the outside dip, probably to be used on the sections of the building where the track leaves and re-enters, which are currently very wide gaps in the huge concrete wall sections.

Over at Tower of Terror, the most visible work is still going on at the rear, where the painters have now covered almost the entire surface in pale paint. A closer look reveals this work has also added texture to the bare concrete, an important element in allowing the Tower to look old and unloved. It’s unconfirmed when we’ll start to see the final paint colours added, but with another three sides still to be prepared for painting, we’re probably in for quite a wait. Take a walk around to the front of the attraction, though, and more progress can be seen right now. In addition to the concrete shell of the lower showbuilding edging ever nearer to completion, the last 24 hours have seen the wooden frames in the elevator openings at the front of the Tower finally removed!

You can see some of the latest Toon Studio photos here, whilst Tower of Terror photos from earlier this week can be seen here. Information sourced from these photos plus french Disney Central Plaza postings.

Wednesday, 9th August 2006

Awaiting the enchanted tree

The location’s name has also been revealed in recent days, with not the tiniest hint of the word “cool” in sight: “L’Arbre Enchanté” – The Enchanted Tree. Unfortunately, said enchanted tree has yet to spread its roots and rise up from the ground – the only current indication of it is a small patch of raised earth surrounded by fencing, next to the hut. Thanks to the special “Disneyodendren” trees Disney sometimes utilise, however, it shouldn’t be long until the tree has sprouted to its full height!

Photo by DJinspace at Disney Central Plaza forum.

Wednesday, 9th August 2006

August 2006 Pin Trading Night announced

Tuesday, 8th August 2006

Birthday wishes, Bill!

It began with scaffolding, building and building, higher and higher… Was it a refurbishment? Was it a set of gallows for Michael Eisner? No and no – it was a record-breaking new attraction for the Studios! One of the biggest billboards in all of France!

Originally celebrating the release of Chicken Little, by 3rd April 2006 the little Billboard had grown in size further and changed his affections to Pixar’s Cars. Still towering over Front Lot after 12 months, the future of the billboard seems uncertain.

With no major animted Walt Disney Pictures release for many months, what are we to expect? ‘Cars’ could stay until the DVD release of the movie. It could even stay until June 2007, when the ‘Cars Race Rally’ attraction actually opens at the park.

Whatever the future holds in store, happy birthday, Billboard! You’ve brought us more respect than ever before for the elegance and beauty of Front Lot!

xxxxx

Saturday, 5th August 2006

Tow me at once, the way you did once…

Soon enough, however, one of the small parade tow vehicles arrived on the parade route to pull dragon Maleficent and her two victims to the end of the route at Town Square.

The event was witnessed by IndianaAngus from Disney Central Plaza forum, and is the second reported time this year that a parade float has broken down. In May, the Minnie’s Dressing Room float of Disney Cinema Parade malfunctioned – photos can be seen here.

Thursday, 3rd August 2006

Pin Trading August 2006 releases

Saturday August 19th 2006

Stitch Invasion #11 pin
Ref: 209401006060
LE: x1200
Price: 12,00 €

Saturday August 26th 2006

Winnie the Pooh 4 pin set
Ref: 209411006043
Price: 18,00 €

Stitch 4 pin set
Ref: 209411006041
Price: 18,00 €

Pirates of the Caribbean starter kit (lanyard + pins)
Ref: 209411006006
Price: 19,90 €

Walt Disney Studios Pin Event
Saturday August 26th, from 9.00am

Come trade your pins at the Studios and discover some special exclusive pins just for this event!

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