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.

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.

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.

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.

Wednesday, 2nd August 2006

Everything neat ‘n’ pretty?

Beginning in just a few weeks, the Big Thunder Mountain refurbishment will be the longest in the attraction’s history, running from 21st August to 13th October. Two other icons of Frontierland are also set to get their share of paint and polish – first up, the “unsinkable” Molly Brown, who suffered major smoke damage in 2005 after the main engine overheated, will finally be given a full refurbishment over the Winter. Beginning 4th October, she will return to service in late April 2007. As she does, the Mark Twain will return to the dock for another two month refurbishment.

Every single major attraction in Disneyland Park is scheduled in for at least a two week refurbishment, with the programme so expansive that even La Tanière du Dragon and Liberty Arcade are due for 2 and 3 week refurbishments respectively. Over at Walt Disney Studios Park, the 5-year-old attractions will also finally be getting a greater share of care. CinéMagique and Animagique will both have 1-week closures, whilst Studio Tram Tour will be given an mysteriously epic 3-week closure in November this year. The most interesting addition to the calendar, however, is surely Flying Carpets Over Agrabah. Closed from 5th to 23rd March 2007, it seems almost certain this will be to allow major work on the attraction to further integrate it into the new Toon Studio area, which is due to be completed June 2007.

You can see all the scheduled closures listed by month here.

Monday, 31st July 2006

Discoveryland is ‘cool’ once again

Placed right in front of the Discoveryland Dedication, this new bronze and silver refreshments location is yet to open but already features very distinct Coca-Cola branding. The words “Cool Station” appear on the roof, along with an antenna featuring three discs.

Despite the rather imposing design of the kiosk, it appears to meld well enough into the Discoveryland landscape. The big question, however, will obviously be whether this questionable newcomer can match the unflinching chic of Adventureland’s original “Cool Post”.

Take a look for yourself – there are many more photos available over at Photos Magiques.

Saturday, 29th July 2006

Popcorn fit for a princess?

The general concensus is now that the small building will be used as a food retail location. Specifically, reports suggest it will be a snack stand sponsored by Minute Maid simply selling popcorn and other snacks, to replace a temporary popcorn stand elsewhere in Fantasyland.

It seems far more magical than the usual popcorn carts, at least…

Monday, 24th July 2006

New ‘Maisonnette’ appears in Fantasyland

Located to the left of the Sir Mickey’s boutique (with its giant beanstalk), this new maisonnette already looks distinctly whimsical with a heavily pitched roof and design similar to the temporary buildings used for the Belle’s Christmas Village market. The exact use of the building is still unknown, but current likely guesses from the members on Disney Central Plaza forum are ranging from a new food sales point or extra space for Sir Mickey’s to a new character location (similar to the new Monsters, Inc. location at Walt Disney Studios Park).

A location themed to Disney’s 1991 feature Beauty & the Beast could be likely, since Fantasyland does not feature a year-round presence of this popular film. At the time of the park’s opening, a lavish Beauty & the Beast animatronic show was planned for the area just behind this new photo location, but due to the resort’s financial problems it was quickly scrapped.

You can add your own guess in English at Photos Magiques forum, or follow the discussion in French and see the source of the photo above at Disney Central Plaza forum. If you’re not sure of the location of this new building, check the map on our Fantasyland page – it’s just to the right of boutique “E”, Sir Mickey’s.

Monday, 24th July 2006

9-Eye continues her voyage “à travers le temps”

It appears that, despite obviously continuing her travels through time, Timekeeper’s energetic robot 9-Eye no longer travels through space. She can now be spotted in the first scene of the attraction – “Robot Attack”, next to the first robot encountered. “DLRP_Bopazot” on MiceChat forums spotted her first, and you can see a photo right here. The photo above is from the Photos Magiques Le Visionarium gallery.

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