Here we go, live from Disneyland Paris! This is your host Anthony reporting along from the Grand Opening weekend of Ratatouille: The Adventure.
To follow all the events as they happen, head straight to the special LIVE page and you’ll see all the latest live photos and information from the brand new attraction at Walt Disney Studios Park in one place. Or, if you’re reading on a phone, you’re best jumping straight to @DLPToday on Twitter and following the action there.
Highlights of DLP Today‘s Grand Opening schedule include the Inaugural Ceremony and Grand Opening of Place de Rémy at 11:00am on Saturday, tomorrow, and The Making of Ratatouille presentation with Walt Disney Imagineers at 11:00am on Sunday, plus lots more surprises in between.
I’ll also be sharing general previews and pictures of the new development throughout both days, along with other live news and views from around Disneyland Paris.
As you might expect, there are bound to be spoilers aplenty as we discover this brand new, world exclusive attraction for the first time and talk to its creators.
Note that as I’ll also be taking notes and collecting photos and videos for reports, some events may be covered more than others and most will be reported more fully in the weeks ahead — so if you can’t follow everything live, come back soon to relive the entire adventure.
I’d love to hear YOUR thoughts too — please reply, comment, tweet as we go!
So join in, and let DLP Today take you there now..!
From the size of the investment to the location inside Disney’s least popular theme park, it’d be easy to think of 60 reasons why this is a really big deal.
But, since there are things to prepare and time’s running out, here are just Six Big Reasons Why Ratatouille Matters…
1. It’s new, it’s BIG, it’s for everyone
Space Mountain: De la Terre à la Lune will forever be the addition Disneyland Paris fans regard as the one. Opening in 1995, it arguably saved the resort from financial meltdown — well, until its next restructuring — and provided a big, new version of a Disney classic which Parisian fans could say was all their own. But as a wild thrill ride with height restrictions it wasn’t for everyone and, since the bigger Discovery Mountain project was scrapped, it didn’t have a restaurant or much else to explore around the circular mountain.
In that sense, and even taking the roughly ten new attractions Walt Disney Studios Park brought in 2002, Disneyland Paris has simply never built such a complete and well-rounded expansion. One that everyone can ride, one that has all the necessary theme park infrastructure — dining, shopping, toilets — built in. This is how it should be done.
2. C’est très French
Since Le Visionarium in Discoveryland saw its all-too-early demise, Disneyland Paris has been lacking a certain French-ness in its parks. That fantastical Circle Vision 360 film was a gem, a real love letter to France; it helped to ground the park and helped the park — and its visitors — relate to its location.
Now, over in Walt Disney Studios Park, visitors can feel like they’re in Paris without ever stepping foot on the RER train to take them into the city.
It might seem mad to build Paris in Paris, but — ah! — this isn’t just any City of Light, it clearly has enough whimsy and “Hidden Rémys” to make it its own place.
This works two ways: it gives the park something very French, which foreign visitors will love, and it gives the park something very French, which the French will love.
Unmistakably connected with Disneyland Paris, it will put the resort on the map both for Disney fans and the general public in a way not seen since Space Mountain in the ’90s.
3. It’s fresh, not reheated
The Studios’ first and only E-Ticket expansion to date, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, was a huge deal at the time and helped give to the park a focal point a feeling of much-needed atmosphere. But coming almost four years after the exact same version of the ride was built in California, and that a full ten years after the Florida original, there wasn’t much new or fresh to actually be excited about. Construction was more about waiting for the next thing, not waiting to see what’s next.
With trackless vehicles, huge 3D projections, plus physical scenery and physical effects, Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy is a comparatively unknown mélange like nothing seen in any other Disney park, on a scale to be truly excited about, and there are no plans as yet to reproduce it around the world.
4. It tips the balance to three days
It’d be absolutely right to hesitate to say that Walt Disney Studios Park is now a “full-day park”, but with an extra must-do attraction and a table service restaurant, it is almost getting to the point where you would struggle to do everything in a day.
Combined with Disneyland Park, this could begin to tip the balance towards three days in the parks becoming more of a standard at Disneyland Paris, at least for first-time visitors. That’s good for the parks, good for the hotels, good for everything.
After Disney California Adventure, Disney seems to have rediscovered the motto that “investment pays” — let’s please have that apply to Paris, too.
Indeed, more so than any expansion of the park yet, Ratatouille should encourage more visitors to hop to the Studios in the first place — and to hop back again. More visitors in the park could mean more much-needed investment — or at least you’d hope so, because…
5. It doesn’t fix the Studios, but it sets a benchmark
There might be a lot of talk this weekend and further ahead of Walt Disney Studios Park “coming of age” or “being fixed”. Let’s be clear: this relatively tiny pocket of pure, proper Disney theme park magic is still just that.
The original Animation Courtyard still lacks anything to write home about, and Backlot is positively bleak. The park is still just a collection of generally very good but largely disparate attractions, lacking any Disney glue — or even enough money-making restaurants and shops — between them.
What this new Ratatouille mini-land does do, however, with its intricate sets, endless hidden nods and spectacular fountain, is set the benchmark: for a type of immersion in storytelling which should be standard, but has still yet to be seen across the park. Toy Story Playland actually did immersion quite well, but not so much the quality of its attractions.
Even Hollywood Boulevard which surrounds The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, a beautiful area of the park for almost seven years, lacks any kind of real immersion the second you turn to see the flat Hollywood Hills backdrop or the unrestricted views to the rest of the original backlot-inspired park. Could it finally be completed now?
Star Wars Land? Marvel Studios? Animagique 2?! As one new attraction opens, it seems Disneyland Paris always becomes awash with rumour about what’s next. But right now, we just don’t know, and as we’ve seen in a past, these (often very real) plans have a disappointing habit of never making it to reality.
Reservations are now open for Bistrot Chez Rémy, the new fully-themed Ratatouille restaurant at Disneyland Paris, and yes — there’s ratatouille on the menu!
Pricing details have also been revealed, with a standard set menu starting at €29.90 for a starter and main course, or €39.90 for a starter, main, dessert and drink too. A children’s menu is said to cost roughly 17 euros.
And the menu itself? Mais, bien sûr…
Mixed leaf salad with cheese and an olive oil, balsamic and sesame vinaigrette
Cut of grilled beef, homemade ratatouille, French fries and the chef’s sauce
Roast cod, homemade ratatouille, crushed potatoes and a beurre blanc sauce
Vegetable, tofu and white bean casserole
Chocolate cake with crème anglaise
Brie de Meaux from Trente Arpents Farm (Rothschild Estate) with fruit bread and vine peach jelly
A vegetable soup could replace the salad starter in winter.
Located next door to and within the same building as the attraction Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy, with views through to the ride unload area, the “upscale but light-hearted” new dining location takes the theme not of Gusteau’s or Le Ratatouille but Rémy’s more fun bistrot up in the rafters, as seen at the end of the film itself.
Despite that backstory, this won’t be a character dining location — no appearances by Rémy and Emile are planned. Part of the reason for that will be the quick turnover of tables — as little as 45 minutes is the aspiration. That’s naturally a good thing for Disney, freeing up space for fresh punters in what’s expected to be a hugely popular venue, but also more in line with what most guests actually want: a quick, but “proper” meal, and no hanging around for “l’addition” — the bill — when you want to be getting back to the park.
Bistrot Chez Rémy is the first Table Service restaurant in the whole of Walt Disney Studios Park and — perhaps even more startlingly — the first restaurant of any sort within its biggest land, Toon Studio. A previous Ratatouille “living character” experience at Restaurant des Stars in Production Courtyard, where a miniature animated Rémy figure was presented to tables, has now ended. It remains to be seen what raison d’être that otherwise largely nondescript buffet location may now find for itself.
Here we go — Disneyland Paris launched the official Ratatouille: The Adventure TV spot today online and on television, taking viewers on a simulated 30 second Ratmobile ride through the new attraction. Watch the French version for the first time above now.
Beginning in a live-action Gusteau’s restaurant dining room, we see Rémy invite a family into his world by shrinking them into the Ratmobile. The trackless ride vehicle then careens around the kitchens, encountering several known obstacles and story points from the actual ride such as the serving trolley and a fiery oven. Though relatively faithful to what’s expected of the final experience, it’s worth noting all the footage is simulated and not real ride footage.
Being an advert, it of course takes numerous liberties both with the storyline of Ratatouille and the ride itself — there are no 3D glasses to be seen, for a start.
But from start to finish, this is without doubt one of the most polished and effective TV spots Disneyland Paris has produced in its history.
It’s also refreshing to see that the commercial doesn’t — as yet — finish with any promotional discount offer. Et voilà: an investment like Ratatouille: The Adventure sells itself.
An email with the full registration details and the link above was sent to Dream passholders who provided an email address and opted in to email communications.
Hour-long preview slots are available between the following times on each date:
Thursday, 26th June 2014 — 15:00 to 19:00
Friday, 27th June 2014 — 15:00 to 18:30
Saturday, 28th June 2014 — 15:00 to 18:00
Sunday, 29th June 2014 — 15:00 to 19:00
However, many early registrants are reporting problems with the form, such as it not accepting their Passeport Annuel number. Have you tried registering? What was your experience? Tell us below in the comments or @DLPToday.
For passholders outside of France, there is also the slight complication that the form only provides “France” as the option for a country in the address form. That will certainly do nothing to compound complaints that Disneyland Paris attempts to hide these great value passes from foreign visitors, with all communication and advertising only ever made in French.
Holders of the other annual passes, Francilien and Fantasy, are supposed to be getting previews too, but both those passes have blockout days on 28th and 29th June, leaving those weekend days apparently exclusive to Dream passholders.
It has not yet been announced how those non-Dream passholders might gain access to their previews, so watch this space (and your email inbox).
We’ve been asked to pass on the following message from the Annual Passport Team regarding problems encountered with the registration form yesterday. The team are extremely concerned by the issues and are keen to resolve any problems as soon as possible.
Dear Annual Dream Passport Members,
We would like to begin by apologizing for the problems encountered when registrations opened for the Ratatouille preview event. We are fully aware that many of you are enthusiastically awaiting this event, and we are doing everything we can to ensure you have a good time.
Unfortunately, due to technical problems, the registration website failed to work correctly when it initially went live, preventing many of you from registering. We have since been working hard to remediate these issues.
We would like to invite all those who had problems registering yesterday to try again today. If you continue to encounter difficulties, please send an e-mail to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org (providing the following details: surname, first name, Annual Passport number, the date and at least 2 timeslots for which you would like to register). We will do our utmost to reply to each and every one of you as soon as we possibly can.
Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Want an extra-special first glimpse of Ratatouille: The Adventure? This coming weekend, as Disneyland Paris invites the world’s press to sample its latest concoction with a Grand Opening preview event, DLP Today will take you there.
On both Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd June, DLP Today will be reporting LIVE from Disneyland Paris with photos, teasers and exclusive insights from the Walt Disney Imagineers themselves beamed directly from the new Place de Rémy in Walt Disney Studios Park.
On Twitter, on Facebook and on DLPToday.com, you’re invited to join the adventure — so be prepared! Follow DLP Today now to enjoy all the build-up in the week ahead and live posts from Marne-la-Vallée to whet your appetite for the 10th July grand opening.
An official online mini-site promoting Ratatouille: The Adventure can now be found within the Disneyland Paris website, offering a peek at the attraction, an online Rat Booth and a competition to win “complètement toqués” prizes.
The pages don’t reveal anything new to us Ratatouille connoisseurs, but they’re fun to explore with a clever 3D navigation system — like Google Street View for rats! — around the floors of Gusteau’s famous kitchen.
This sudden flurry of promotional activity comes as the resort prepares to launch the official TV spot for the attraction on this coming Monday, 16th June.
Featuring a family being shrunk down into a Ratmobile from their table at a fancy restaurant, the commercial will premiere on the official Disneyland Paris YouTube channel and be available to watch here on DLP Today too. Having seen a preview, it’s a relief to say that for once, given the patchy history of Disneyland Paris TV adverts, it does a fantastic job at communicating both the concept and scale of the ride, big and small…
Disneyland Paris has launched one of the first elements of its Ratatouille: The Adventure advertising campaign with a new “Rat Booth” app designed to turn you into a rat using your phone or portable device’s camera and a range of customisable options.
Available for iOS and Android devices, the app utilises augmented reality to map a rat’s face onto your own. As you look up and down, grin or frown, blink or gaze in wide-eyed wonderment, your Rémy-alike does exactly the same.
You can personalise your RatBooth rodent with a range of fun “accessories” borrowed from humans, and take a photo or even a video of its movements.
Like any great recipe, it needs a little refinement: A new, redesigned Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy entrance marquee has been installed at Walt Disney Studios Park this morning, pictured above by DisneylandBerry. The final signage design features just the blue ellipse of the movie’s logo with the subtitle included, far more subtly, inside.
This replaces the original design of the entrance marquee, which was installed some time ago only to disappear again shortly after, leaving an empty space. A giant copper cooking pot was designed to hold the lengthy subtitle, L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy, with the Ratatouille logo above.
But once this appeared on La Place de Rémy, many fans were immediately honest that it just wasn’t quite they expected. Wasn’t the pot going to be 3D? And isn’t it all a bit ostentatious and yet, dare it be said, “cheap-looking” for such a classy new mini-land? It seems between the Imagineers and management, someone agreed.
The compromise on the new marquee is to drop the 2D cooking pot altogether, losing some of the city advertisement billboard aesthetic which jarred with the decoration around it. The subtitle is now placed somewhat awkwardly on the logo itself, but the general impression is better and seems more in-keeping with the surroundings.
Residents of La Place de Rémy — and a few fans peeking over the construction walls — heard the first sounds of the new mini-land’s background area music loop a few weeks ago. Radio Disney Club captured it on video, above.
This will be conclusion of Michael Giacchino’s scoring of the new attraction and its environs. The composer, who of course composed the original Ratatouille film soundtrack, shared numerous photos and snippets of the new music in production on his personal Instagram account earlier this year, while recording at Capitol Records in Hollywood.
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