Friday, 29th September 2006

A splash of blue for the new Studio 5

The small splodge of blue paint is located just to the left of the attraction’s future exit doors, therefore is likely just a quick test coat from the Imagineers before they let the painters get started. To the right of the exit, you can also see some coats of white paint, though that’s as much as a fleeting glance from the Flying Carpets can get you at the moment.

Any paint fans (or DLRP Today readers suffering from strained eyes after trying to spot the paint) shouldn’t be too upset though, since a quick step around the front of the attraction reveals an extra splash of a deeper blue, for the rocks around the front of Studio 5.

Previously a chalky light blue colour, one of the rocks towards the middle of the facade has now been given a much darker painting job, more similar to the dark blue/purple rocks of initial concept arts. Not only does this add a very bold, vibrant colour to the new Toon Studio landscape, it should also sit nicely against the lighter sky blue of Studio 5.

Photos by nicoetsab on Disney Central Plaza forum.

Sunday, 24th September 2006

Number 5 has arrived; Cars races ahead

Using the whimsical “Walt Disney Script” font rather than Animagique’s “Impact”-style typeface, the new number 5 on the Crush’s Coaster showbuilding marks a distinct change in direction for this area of the park. Only time will tell if Studio 3 is to follow the trend with a new Walt Disney Script “3” to fully separate Toon Studio from the rest of the park.

The soundstages of Walt Disney Studios are now as follows:

Studio 1 – Disney Studio 1
Studio 2 – CinéMagique
Studio 3 – Animagique
Studio 4 – Unknown
Studio 5 – Crush’s Coaster
Studio 6 – Unknown
Studio 7 – Armageddon: Special Effects
Studio 8 – Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
Studio 9 – Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster

Cast your eyes down from the 60ft+ high number 5, and you can spot more changes below. The craggy blue rockwork surrounding the outside drop has grown further, with detailing to suggest an underwater, coral-like theme. Various sections of the wire mesh are now covered in plastic sheets, perhaps suggesting the next areas to be profiled, whilst the rocks already completed in front of the track appear to hide a number of inlets and hidden spaces, probably for technical equipment and lighting.

One attraction already benefitting from the Toon Studio project is surely Flying Carpets Over Agrabah, since a quick flight through the Genie’s film set gives the only clear view of the far side of the expansion land, where the queue buildings for Cars Race Rally have recently risen at racecar speed.

Taking their designs from various memorable Radiator Springs establishments, the buildings will also apparently be soaked in a plethora of neon lights as they lead through to the race area in the “canyon”, 1 metre below ground level. The ride itself remains a series of concrete foundations, but the ride and its vehicles are confirmed to be under construction in Italy as we speak. The attraction will therefore be different to Francis’ Lady Bug Boogie at Disney’s California Adventure, which is currently experiencing some serious technical problems. In addition to featuring twice as many vehicles, Cars Race Rally will also apparently be twice as fast as the Californian attraction.

Though not featuring Lightning McQueen, Doc Hudson or any of the other key Cars characters, the vehicles will certainly feature everything to suggest they are from the Cars universe (such as eyes, mouths, and so on). The use of more “generic” vehicles is likely to ensure they are all equal, with no need for guests to fight over their favourite characters. This also allows Lightning McQueen and Mater to instead be featured at the side of the Race Rally, cheering on guests and “posing” for pictures. European characters Guido and Luigi will also be featured near the attraction, posing for pictures at a meet ‘n’ greet location outside their shop.

Photos by Olivier for For more, click here.

Sunday, 24th September 2006

Making waves across the Atlantic

The Living Seas pavillion at Walt Disney World’s Epcot is due to reopen in late October as “The Seas with Nemo and Friends”, turning its old Omnimover ride system (which travels through aquarium tunnels) into a full Finding Nemo adventure with the use of state-of-the-art digital video projection. Digital video projection that will then also be put to use in at least two special scenes of the dark-ride portion of Crush’s Coaster. Infact, the technology will also be used a third time, and much more expansively, in the new Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage at Disneyland in California, though this isn’t due until Summer 2007. So, months before the new Walt Disney Studios attraction opens, we can get a sneak peek at how successful this much-boasted technology is.

Already, theme park news website Screamscape has posted a few words of encouragement:

Nemo’s Undersea Adventure / The Seas with Nemo & Friends – (9/22/06) Screamscape has heard a little info about the insides of the new Nemo attraction, and so far the word is good. I’m going go try to not give anything away that might spoil it, but if you don’t want to know anything at all, stop right here.
Apparently the queue is quite large for this new ride and has been given a beach theme. As you move forward though the queue area, you will be given the impression that you are moving closer to the water and eventually walking under the water, which will be reinforced by a view of the bottom of a boat attached to the ceiling. This is all before you’ve even boarded the Clammobiles. From here I’ll leave out any details other than to say that the scenery work is apparently really great and the projections from Pixar are also said to be top notch work. The EAC effect is also said to be quite convincing and if there is one downside people could comment on, it’s that the real marine life just are not as impressive looking as their new Pixar counterparts.

We know already that the queue of Crush’s Coaster will be largely outdoors, themed to a dried-up fishing pier with the pier itself providing shelter above, so the statement here that Epcot’s attraction features a “beach” themed queue with “the bottom of a boat attached to the ceiling” suggests more could be crossing over than simply the projections, with the “EAC effect” being another likely candidate for the Paris attraction.

Despite these cross-overs, though, Crush’s Coaster can still be classed as a “turtally” unique attraction for Paris, with a ride system not yet used by Disney and a layout and design arguably like nothing they’ve ever Imagineered before.

Friday, 22nd September 2006

A little touch of Studio style

Curves are everywhere in Walt Disney Studios – from the arched entrance gate to the curving walls of Front Lot’s Fantasia Fountain, from the hub of Disney Bros. Plaza to the giant Sorcerer’s Hat. The trademark feature of Disney Studios 1, 2 and 3, setting them apart from the rough, industrial buildings of Backlot, is the arched roof and prominent soundstage number, and it’s this tiny little touch of style that has now made its way to the Crush’s Coaster construction site.

With the side walls at their full height and the roof in place, this week finally saw the front wall rise further with the raised placard feature similar to Disney Studio 1. Unlike Disney Studio 1, however, an identical raised section will not be found at the rear end of Studio 5. The smaller square building at the front will be integrated into the park with a large seascape backdrop and the blue rockwork currently under construction.

The final section of curved wall features a square centrepiece to house the large number “5” in the near future, and has taken what was previously a long, thin but very tall (and therefore rather unbalanced) showbuilding a step closer to being a real Disney Theme Park landmark. One small step for the builders… one giant leap for Walt Disney Studios!

Photos by Res at Disney Central Plaza forum.

Thursday, 21st September 2006

Visualising the Toons

So far only released in a small resolution on the official travel marketing tools website Extraordinet, the visuals mainly use elements of the movie posters for Finding Nemo and Cars, with the Cars Race Rally image appearing as little more than a slightly photoshopped version of its one-sheet.

The Crush’s Coaster image, on the other hand, is more original but perhaps confusing to those unfamiliar with the new family spinning coaster and dark ride. The visual shows a winding U-shaped track similar to that of Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith, rather than the flatter design of the actual Maurer Söhne track. The corkscrew nature of the track, covered in quickly duplicated images of characters from the film, could also hint at inversions and a higher thrill level than the actual attraction. Despite this, the visual is fresh and colourful and, along with its Cars Race Rally friend, will likely do good work for the resort in advertising these two exciting attractions.

Both visuals feature the classic Disneyland Resort Paris logo (rather than the new 15th Anniversary version) on signposts themed to a harbour sign and billboard respectively. Strangely, they also both feature the castle, Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant, rather than the Earful Tower landmark of Walt Disney Studios.

The large black space in the Cars Race Rally visual hints at either a lack of creativity or a pre-designated space for the attraction logo. Indeed, after quickly adding logos to the two visuals they immediately become far more balanced and rather attention-grabbing…

Fans of Dory, the legendary Blue Regal Tang from Finding Nemo, should perhaps not smile too soon, though. After a total non-appearance in every single piece of concept art for the attraction, she has also failed to appear in this visual. Her popularity is so strong that, if she is featured in the attraction, you’d think they’d use her heavily on the advertisement too, right?

Sunday, 10th September 2006

First rocks and a second logo

Also, more news about the attraction’s construction comes from the park itself…

Work on the attraction’s exterior continues as the first rocks have been shaped and received a first layer of paint!Photos Magiques has the latest construction photos here.

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 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.

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.

Monday, 31st July 2006

Splashing out

After leaving the boarding area inside, the track makes a sharp turn to the left and climbs a steep lift hill which brings riders outside the front of the building. It then curves downwards to the right and goes through a small dip, before rising again and re-entering the building on the opposite side. The track has now been wrapped in a protective covering, since there’s still 10 months and a lot of work to go until completion of the attraction.

More progress has been made with the outside of the attraction, however, as small metal spikes are now visible around the huge opening in the front wall. These are likely to allow for the addition of the fake rockwork which will decorate the front and hide the lift hill from view.

It has also been designed to rise in parallel to the height of the track, so that only the turtle shell vehicles will be visible as they pass. Inside the attraction, a huge amount of walkway rigs have been put in place around the exterior walls and the roof covering is starting to appear.

You can see the full photo update at Photos Magiques’ construction gallery.

Monday, 10th July 2006

Crush and Cars get logos!

It was confirmed last week that the name of the land will infact be “Toon Studio” rather than “Toon Studios”. This land will then also include all the current Animation Courtyard attractions – Art of Disney Animation, Animagique and Flying Carpets Over Agrabah.

The new area will not, however, be the main marketing draw – the attractions will clearly be advertised on their own as two seperate, brand new attractions, allowing Disneyland Resort Paris to use these valuable Cars and Finding Nemo character properties to their maximum effect.

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