Tuesday, 3rd January 2017

Frost and fog create extraordinary New Year scenes at Disneyland Paris

Frost and fog create extraordinary New Year scenes at Disneyland Paris

This New Year weekend saw the lands and attractions of Disneyland Paris shrouded in an eerily beautiful white glaze of frost and freezing fog as 2016 gave way to 2017: the Disney magic as you’ve perhaps never seen it before. Read More…

Tuesday, 1st November 2016

Disneyland Paris 25th Anniversary deconstructed: Experience Enhancement Programme

Disneyland Paris 25th Anniversary deconstructed: Experience Enhancement Plan

The most exciting thing about the 25th Anniversary isn’t even the 25th Anniversary. No — for every one of the new events, there are probably five more good reasons for any passionate fan or visitor to return to Disneyland Paris next year.

In this final part of DLP Today’s series looking behind the 2017 announcements, let’s look at why the so-called Experience Enhancement Programme is the real game-changer for this resort. Read More…

Thursday, 8th March 2012

Captain Hook’s Pirate Ship rebuild nears end, sea-worthy and splendid again

What’s that we spy on the horizon?! It’s the wraps finally coming down on the epic restoration of Captain Hook’s Pirate Ship in Adventureland! This landmark of Adventure Isle has been hidden behind a themed scrim and a mass of scaffolding for 10 months of solid work, seeing the ship stripped right back to its shell and rebuilt with fresh materials — and colours. One of the biggest projects announced at the special 20th Anniversary Refurbishments event we attended back in March 2011, the refurbishment faced several delays but now looks set to be ready for the big anniversary date as @InsideDLParis shares these photos of the scaffolding beginning to be taken down today.

In the process of its restoration, Imagineers at Walt Disney Imagineering Paris have given the ship a whole new colour scheme. Just like Sleeping Beauty Castle it takes the attraction back, closer to its original 1992 look, but comes with enough fresh touches and design choices to stand separately. A previous refurbishment of the ship had taken away some of the “fantasy” look of this Peter Pan legend, giving it a rather dreary appearance with darker exposed wood and black suddenly outweighing the brighter red. The ship no longer offered such a powerful bridge between Adventureland and the colourful, nearby Fantasyland that its more whimsical original colours provided.

Thankfully, Captain Hook’s new look takes the ship right back to those fantasy roots, and then some. The balance has shifted back to a crisp, bright red with black taking a smaller role. The skull and crossbones at the back of the ship has again been picked out in a crisp ivory white and the entire stern repainted in a vibrant red, contrasting beautifully with the luscious green palms of the tropical island.

White masts were an interesting feature of the 1992 scheme that haven’t been recreated, with the Imagineers opting instead for a dark brown that no doubt fares better in Marne-la-Vallée’s not-so-tropical climate. Instead, the big pièce de résistance of this restoration is, naturally, the gold. Peggie Fariss, head of WDI Paris, explained at last year’s presentation that they really wanted to emphasise the generous riches plundered by these pirates during their travels.

Captain Hook may be blundering, but he has certainly had his fair share of treasure bounties while sailing the seas, and that wealth should be expressed much more vividly in the ship itself. And so, rather than the plain, light exposed wood of the 1992 scheme, the 2012 version comes with a shimmering, golden finish to its edges and sides. Even the mermaid figurehead has turned gold!

This Pirate Ship is an important landmark not just in our Adventureland but in the history of Disney parks. In 1955, Walt Disney opened Disneyland with the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship based on Peter Pan, but this popular icon was removed in 1982 to make way for an expansion of Fantasyland. Spotting their perfect opportunity with a new park, Adventureland show producer Chris Tietz and the other Imagineers of Euro Disneyland recreated the almost-forgotten ship for Paris, ten years later, and it remains the only life-size Captain Hook’s Pirate Ship in any Disney park in the world.

After this momentary blip, may it remain sea-worthy and splendid for ever more.

Now, walk the plank and see how the ship looked before restoration… (not for the faint of heart!) Read More…

Thursday, 24th November 2011

La Cabane des Robinson restoration underway ahead of 17th December reopening

Great news, treehouse fans: The Swiss Family Robinson have finally begun their restoration work at La Cabane des Robinson. Closed for much of the year, the Adventureland walkthrough became a hot topic as fans debated the reason for its closure. With these recent photos by DisneyGazette showing scaffolding amongst its branches and a large amount of new bamboo wooden railings winding their way up around the trunk, it appears the tree simply required the same restoration work as many other areas of the park this year. In particular, much of the wood in the area of Thunder Mesa at the entrance to Frontierland was completely replaced back in September. Here, Disney will be ensuring the tree’s elevated walkways remain safe to explore, as well as fresh and lived-in.

With a lack of funds and the climate being frequently cold and damp, Disneyland Paris hasn’t kept up as well as it should with treating and replacing these more natural elements of the park. Hopefully the large financial investment in the park’s “assets” this year will be the start of a new era.

One thing we would dearly love to see for the Swiss Family Treehouse is a full replacement of its artificial vinyl leaves. Where it should be thick and green with 300,000 leaves, the branches now instead look somewhat wintry and windswept as leaves have gradually fallen off over the past 20 years. How Disney could go about re-attaching them is anyone’s guess, as they were originally stuck in place to the branches at ground level (see this fascinating video). It’d surely be an arduous and expensive process, but would certainly make guests appreciate all the more this not-so-hidden gem. (As would a long-dreamed-of reinstatement of the tree’s ingenious fresh water plumbing system.)

So while it may not be as luscious as it could on top, La Cabane will at least look a far fresher home for the Robinsons on the inside when it officially reopens on 17th December.

VIA DisneyGazette

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