Wednesday, 22nd November 2006

New Resort Map adds more to the parks

With a dazzling, blue, starry background and all the elegance of the new 15th Anniversary brochure (which will be previewed in full very soon!), the new resort map is a stunning improvement on an already-popular design. Not least when you look at the two Disney Parks.

Whilst earlier versions saw the parks feature a jumble of their most iconic attractions, the updated map has added far more detail to this area, presenting the parks almost to their true layout and adding several new attractions to the mix. At Disneyland Park, you can now see Pirates of the Caribbean, Adventureland Bazaar, Phantom Manor, Disneyland Railroad and the Geysers of Frontierland. The existing attractions – Le Château, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, “it’s a small world” and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril – have all been updated with new, more detailed designs.

However, the biggest changes can be seen over at Walt Disney Studios Park – not only in real life but also on the map. The layout of the park is now clearly defined, with the entrance, Earful Tower and first three Disney Studios now featured, whilst Moteurs… Action! has been shrunk to make way for the guitar of Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith.

Even details such as the Place des Stars Stage and sign are now featured, and the Reign of Fire scene from Studio Tram Tour has been hastily affixed from the main park map… dare we say a placeholder for the Tower of Terror next year?

Of course, the one location which your eyes will have been immediately drawn to is… Toon Studio! Featured on an official map for the very first time, and looking very much like the most recent official concepts. Flying Carpets Over Agrabah now has more detail and a deep purple backdrop, but the big additions are Crush’s Coaster and Cars Race Rally.

Crush’s Coaster features some details which appear different in the real design – for example, the map shows a grey building and purple rockwork, much like the concept art. Cars Race Rally is perhaps more accurate, featuring brightly coloured cars skidding around the canyon with the Cars showroom entrance (and it’s massive illuminated “Cars” sign) in the background.

The new magic doesn’t end there – even the Toon Town backdrop has been added! This version features the wall, hills and buildings of the latest concepts along with the smiling face of the sun, shining down from above the Toon Town hills!

And, as a final touch of mystery about the not-so-distant future of Toon Studio – the stars and moon of the Sorcerer’s Hat have now been painted gold.

Wednesday, 8th November 2006

New Walt Disney Studios Park plan

The front cover of the new plan matches exactly with that of Disneyland Park’s, featuring Jiminy Crickett sitting on the full park logo with tickboxes and the dates below. The colour is much lighter and fresher than the old map, and the cleaner feel is continued inside the guide.

Not only the layout and design has been copied from Disneyland Park’s new plan, however, since most of the tips and advice match exactly between the two guides with (in all but one case) City Hall simply swapped out for Studio Services. Thankfully, the numbering of the attractions has returned to its original form, with all attractions (such as Studio 7’s Armageddon and Studio 2’s CinéMagique) now featuring their correct studio number rather than the random numbering of the previous map.

One strange detail, however, is the lack of attraction number 8. The previous map featured numbering up to 10 attractions, whilst this features 11 with no number 8. A sneaky way to beef up the park’s attraction roster, or just a mistake? I’ll let you decide…

Again like the new Disneyland Park plan, this one features a separate Entertainment Programme. Originally light blue, Disneyland Park’s programme switched to pink during Halloween, perhaps suggesting the colours would match those of the Park Guide. Alas, as November arrived, Disneyland Park’s programmes returned to blue and Walt Disney Studios first ever Entertainment Programme is… purple.

Friday, 6th October 2006

New Disneyland park plan launches

It’s “radical” in Disneyland Resort Paris terms because, for the first time since the early years of the resort, it now comes in two sections – the entertainment listings being featured in a separate, grayscale “Entertainment Programme” leaflet. Following the styles of the US Disney resorts, this allows changes to be made to the programme much easier, as well as allowing the new Jiminy Cricket-branded pink park plan to be simplified and styled inside again more alike its American cousins.

On the cover, though, the identity of Disneyland Resort Paris is very clear. The “Believe in Your Dreams” font is used for the title, whilst the resort’s favoured sleek, modern typeface is used for the checklist and dates below. In the top-right corner, the language flag is still there, but now in a cut-out section using the graphics of the resort’s recent “Little Book of Big Dreams” brochures. The same cut-out is also used again inside the map, further tying this together with the resort’s external advertising and finally moving on from the previous “needmag?c era” designs. The Entertainment Programme features a very plain cover using the non-iconic Disneyland Park logo and a clock graphic usually reserved for Main Street USA designs.

It is currently unknown when or if the Walt Disney Studios park plan will follow a similar design, but trends in the past have shown that it will catch-up eventually.

The last redesign of the Disneyland Park park plan actually happened almost exactly one year ago, at the start of 2005’s Halloween Festival, again making the park guide smaller and more simplified. Earlier than this, in 2003/04, the park plan lost its conventional leaflet size to adopt a smaller, more “pocket-size” style. However, the biggest change to the park plan before tommorow’s latest introduction was back in 2002, when the “resort” concept was introduced with the opening of Walt Disney Studios Park and the plan lost its tradition of featuring a character photo on the cover in favour of simplified colour graphics and the park logo.

Below, you can see a “timeline” of park maps leading back in time to 2002, showing the changing dimensions and styles:

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