Here’s the latest on Big Thunder Mountain following the incident on Monday which saw four guests injured and one taken to hospital. It now appears to be confirmed that the attraction won’t reopen before 27th May 2011 — that is, before the end of the already-planned refurbishment which had been pencilled in some time ago for 9th to 27th May 2011. This lengthy closure will primarily see the entire mountain (and this time, also the Rainbow Arch) repainted in its rich ochre colour, a task last completedalmost five years ago in October 2006. This seems like an obvious and sensible outcome, to roll the closures into one, and the park is perhaps “lucky” with the timing of the incident (if you can use those words) that this is possible. Rumours circulating that the ride will be “closed for three months” should be disregarded at this point. The photo above, taken today by InsideDLParis on Twitter, shows green refurbishment walls now positioned in front of the entrance.
As for the incident itself, latest word is that the faux rock made of fibreglass didn’t fall directly onto a trainload of passengers but onto the track. It was then hit by the train as it passed, launching the debris which injured five of the 25 riders. As noted on Monday, four of those guests, from outside of France, returned to the park after being treated on the scene. The condition of a 38-year old Frenchman who was taken to hospital was clearly stated to not be life-threatening. Le Parisien reports his wife and two children were being accommodated again by Disneyland Paris on Tuesday night. A prosecution against Euro Disney Associés SCA has been opened for the man’s temporary incapacity for work following the injuries, and the Chessy police service continue to investigate. A spokesperson for the company has stated this is the first incident of its kind since the resort opened in 1992.
Big Thunder Mountain in Disneyland Park has been temporarily closed following an incident at around 2.50pm earlier today. An element of decorative rockwork is reported to have come loose, striking guests riding the Frontierland mine train roller coaster. Five injuries are now confirmed, including one guest “seriously” injured — a 38-year old man who was apparently struck on the head by the faux boulder, made of fibreglass and wood, and has been taken to Beaujon hospital in Clichy-sur-Seine (Hauts-de-Seine) with a head injury. Initial reports had suggested this was merely a precautionary measure and a spokesperson later appeared to downplay the seriousness of the injury in a statement given to the AFP, clearly stating it was not life-threatening. According to Le Parisien, his family will be accommodated and looked after by Disneyland Paris tonight and for any duration he may remain in hospital. The four other guests, with only minor injuries, were treated on the spot and returned to the park.
The prop rock is said to have fallen in the final lift hill scene (“Lift C”), where the train climbs amid a simulated rumbling earthquake as the faux rockwork creaks and moves overhead. As is procedure, the attraction remains closed until further notice pending a full investigation.
Disney_ParisEN: Incident at BigThunderMountain: our thoughts are with the family of the guest injured while waiting further information about his condition. (9:05AM) The safety of our guests and cast members being our top priority, BTM remains closed until further notice as we investigate the incident. (9:06AM)
As promised, here’s the official video of the Molly Brown rededication ceremony and the refurbishment presentation events of 25th March, when we were invited to see first-hand the ongoing and upcoming projects taking place across the resort in the lead-up to the 20th Anniversary next year. The Molly Brown’s full-time return to the rivers this weekend finally brought the video online, which also features a good look at some of the concepts and details we were shown during the presentation that morning. A map of Disneyland Park shows the areas to be refurbished in red, whilst photos show the original 1990s model of Sleeping Beauty Castle being re-touched with its new colours that “soar into the sky”.
Special credit to Kristof of magicforum and Photos Magiques for not only stepping up to the mic but slipping in that fun little tribute to the Molly Brown’s original “Queen of the River” title!
Map showing planned refurbishments in Disneyland Park for 2011 (annotated by DLRP Today)
Katy Olsen applies the new colour scheme to the original castle model
Thomas Bardenat explains the logistics of the castle restoration
That rededication ceremony and inaugural voyage two weeks ago on Friday 25th March was a premature outing for Frontierland’s practically all-new vessel, as she immediately sailed straight back into the dock at the back of the Rivers for “final touch-ups”. But now — cue Big Country theme music — the Molly Brown has officially returned! The Western River Line’s new full-time service from Thunder Mesa Riverboat Landing began this past weekend with the first guests welcomed back on-board the ship to enjoy her new colours, new spiels and new, more specifically Western, story.
Exactly nineteen years ago today, at 9.01am on 12th April 1992, Euro Disney Resort officially opened its gates to the public. Euro Disneyland brought a magic kingdom more beautiful than any other to a whole new continent, bringing home its tales as old as time; allowing a whole new audience to “leave today and enter worlds of history, discovery and ageless fantasy”. Festival Disney was a bold nighttime entertainment district designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry, whilst a record number of five Disney resort hotels (the sixth, Sequoia Lodge, would open in May) and nearby Camp Davy Crockett would give the resort an impressive first phase… that revenues just couldn’t match.
With now less than one year to go before the 20th Anniversary, let’s not overlook how much the resort has managed to grow since that over-ambitious opening. A second park, Space Mountain, Tower of Terror, Toon Studio, endless shows, parades and seasons, numerous Disney Village additions, the busiest high speed rail station in France, seven more nearby partner hotels — even a whole town centre! — and so much more. Whilst we might be in a lull between new attractions, the next year will see the biggest slate of refurbishments in the resort’s history, polishing and embellishing this astonishing achievement of Walt Disney Imagineering’s own golden age. And further into this decade, we’ll see World of Disney transform the hub, the vast Villages Nature holiday complex and water park, a groundbreaking dark ride, hotel expansions, major Disney Village expansions and even, with luck and money, that second park becoming what we can call “a whole second park”.
Here’s to the ever-outstanding cast and crew, and here’s to the future!
All aboard! Here we go, after the perfect opening ceremony, on-board the Molly Brown riverboat for a special first-look at the rebuilt vessel. We rushed up through the stairs to the top deck for a complete overview of the new boat as the Hill Billy Trio played on the bow below and Buffalo Bill fired off his guns as we departed on this exciting, inaugural Western river expedition.
No less than 57 photos, an HD video and countless fun details await! There’s a lot to point out and a lot to see — as promised to us at the earlier presentation: new colours, new spiels, new story. This isn’t just the Molly Brown given a fresh coat of paint, this is a whole new chapter in Thunder Mesa. Read More…
So, Friday was an exciting day both for us and for Disneyland Paris. Our group of around 15 fan website owners and reporters met at 9am sharp inside Walt’s – An American Restaurant for the first presentation about all the refurbishment projects ongoing and upcoming in 2011. But first, let’s skip ahead to 11am and the main event of the day; seeing the fruits of one of those huge restoration projections: the re-dedication of the Molly Brown riverboat.
The night before, Molly Brown had been brought around to Thunder Mesa Riverboat Landing for final checks, looking stunning on the waters with her new colours and every bulb perfectly illuminated (above). Technical crews rushed around the deck, wiping her down and making final preparations.
Note: Since we’ve a lot of photos and videos to share from these events, you’ll need to click “Continue Reading” below (only on the front page) for the full reports!Read More…
It’s official: the Molly Brown riverboat will return to the Rivers of the Far West as planned this Friday, with a special re-dedication ceremony even planned to mark the occasion. Having been practically rebuilt during an extensive year-long restoration, the unique side-wheel riverboat will be re-dedicated by Disneyland Paris ambassadors Régis Alart and Osvaldo del Mistero at 11am this Friday, 25th March. The public event will take place at Thunder Mesa Riverboat Landing in Frontierland, so be sure to drop by if you’re visiting the resort and witness a little piece of Disneyland Paris history.
As noted in the comments following our article last week, the riverboat has actually lost her “Queen of River” title during the restoration, with the side wheels now displaying the slightly more generic nomenclature: “Western River Line”. It remains to be seen what other smaller changes may have taken place. DLRP Today will be reporting back from the rebuilt vessel’s maiden cruise and might even tweet a few live updates on Friday — so follow us on Twitter, if you’re not already!
If you follow the official Disney Parks Blog you might have already enjoyed the superb “Tilt-Shift” videos of Magic Kingdom and Epcot at Walt Disney World, which turned those grand Disney parks into something resembling a toy train set or stop-motion animated film. Well, great news Disneyland Paris fans — they’ve taken a trip across the Atlantic! A brand new Disneyland Paris tilt-shift video premiered just hours ago today, in honour of the ninth birthday of Walt Disney Studios Park. Take a look above — it’s a seriously beautiful piece of work.
As the Disney Parks Blog explains, “Tilt-shift videos like these use different photo angles, focus settings and color saturation adjustments to make the subject of a photo appear miniature.” And most awe-inspiring, “It took more than seven months and 4,000 photographs to produce this 2:38-minute clip.” The variety of attractions, events and locations captured is truly impressive, far greater than the two earlier single-park videos, successfully making everything from Disney’s Fantillusion to Moteurs… Action! look like a small-scale model magically coming to life. We even get to see the up-scaled Toy Story Playland attractions downscaled again to the size of a toy!
Well, just look at this grand old dame! The Molly Brown riverboat is finally nearing the end of her complete bow-to-stern refurbishment, much needed after several years of problems and neglect. A refurbishment that has lasted almost an entire year and has seen the side-wheel riverboat, unique to Disneyland Paris, practically rebuilt from scratch. Indeed, back in July the boat had been stripped back to nothing more than a shell in the dry dock. This weekend, the dock is filled with water and Molly Brown has never looked better.
She’s even been given a refreshed paint design, with the old turquoise rim around the lower deck turned maroon and two more matching maroon accents added around the other two decks. The old dark green single funnel now appears more black in appearance, with a gold band around its top. If all goes to plan, the rebuilt boat will steam out into the Rivers of the Far West for her maiden voyage next week.
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