Monday, 25th February 2008

The Celebration Continues… with spectacular TV ad

The original commercials for the 15th Anniversary Celebration saw a red carpet flying through neighbourhoods to bring children to Disneyland, passing by the new attractions and new parade along the way. As already seen in various promotional materials, the advertising campaign for “The Celebration Continues” year moves to wrapping paper and classic party decorations, with a brand new commercial produced especially for the event.

Image

Reaching the end of the red carpet, Mickey Mouse stands again with the two children, looking along a Main Street, U.S.A. wrapped entirely in colourful wrapping paper and ribbons, Sleeping Beauty Castle wrapped in pink with a bow forming a “hidden mickey” above the “15″ emblem.

Image

As Mickey Mouse stretches out a ribbon with a little pixie dust, children and characters run into Main Street, pulling giant ribbons and robes to unwrap all the buildings along the street.

Image

Image

We cut to a view from the castle for a spectacular shot of the children “unwrapping Main Street” as fireworks shoot into the sky. Finally, the pink wrapping and ribbons fly off Sleeping Beauty Castle, revealing its 15th Anniversary overlay.

Image

Stepping through the Castle to a courtyard filled with characters old and new and Princesses atop a parade float, the two children set in motion the unwrapping of the most important presents of all — The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, in deep purple paper against a stormy sky, and Stitch Live! in green paper, which sees growls exchanged between Stitch to the younger boy.

Image

Image

We’re reminded of the ongoing Kids Under 7 Stay & Play FREE offer before the camera zooms out of a final scene to reveal the Disney VIPs and Pixar characters dancing under the illuminated “Candleabration” castle, a beautiful twilight sky glowing above them.

Image

The Pixar characters, such as Sulley, Mr. Incredible and Buzz Lightyear, feature heavily throughout — Paris’ very own Rémy can even be spotted hiding in the final shot.

The commercial launched on major UK television networks today, and should make its way, in translated form, to other countries very soon.

Bearing similarities in style to both the previous red carpet commercials and the current “Year of a Million Dreams” advertisements for Walt Disney World which play in the UK and US, it probably doesn’t come as a surprise to hear that they were all produced by the same people — over at Walt Disney World in Florida! This will perhaps explain the use of Florida’s Tower of Terror and a Princess parade float from across the Atlantic, rather than those in Paris.

Well, what a great little present from the creative teams of Walt Disney World! We’re getting out some DLRP Today stationary to write a thank you letter already…

Sunday, 24th February 2008

Drop in, if you dare – online!

Visitors can access the official website of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror through several different addresses, such as www.towerofterror.co.uk, www.tower-of-terror.co.uk, www.tourdelaterreur.fr or www.tour-de-la-terreur.fr, which all redirect through to the site’s actual location — www.disneytowerofterror.com.

The website opens with an aged, 1939 newspaper front page as the language select screen. Versions are already available for France, the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain, quite an array compared to past website launches. Named the “Tribune of Terror”, the newspaper’s clever strapline reads “However scary the story, we never let it drop”.

Image

Choose your country and the text on the newspaper immediately changes to the relevant language, with a headline reading “5 People mysteriously vanish from the Hollywood Tower”. Either side, you can see more analysis such as “A new theory on the mystery” along with a story about the premiere of The Wizard of Oz, also in 1939.

The newspaper then morphs into a modern-day 2008 edition, with “The Hollywood Tower Hotel re-opens for business” as its headline. In the masthead, spot an advertisement for “Hotel management school” and a picture of the first Tower of Terror, at Walt Disney World, with the words “Introduction to free fall”. Other headlines on the front page continue their coverage — “Relatives of those who vanished are reunited”, “Retrospective: exhibition of furniture and objects”, “Interview with Burt Umble [spot the pun?], the new owner”.

Image

The animation doesn’t give you too long to read these headlines, however. The page zooms into the lead image — a bleak view of the hotel through twisted gates, taking you through the overgrown gardens and through the entrance doors as lightning cracks overhead. Inside the Lobby, the camera rests on the homepage of the entire site, with the first appearance by our friendly bellhop:

Image

The website is introduced by the bellhop, with various items around the lobby now leading to different floors. Leave the page to run, however, and you’ll see several more clever special effects. Lightning hitting the mirror, the chalkboard turning into a view from the dropping elevator cars, or maybe a ghostly bellhop…

Image Image Image

He’s not the only translucent habitant within the website. A little later, you’ll see a happy couple remarkably similar to that in the attraction’s actual pre-show video, shot more than 14 years ago. The elevator doors in the distance glow green as shrieks and screams echo through the halls from a falling elevator. Finally, the child movie star and her mother — also from the pre-show video — appear to check-in. The girl even still has hold of her doll!

Image Image Image

Let’s hop into the elevator and ride to our first location. As you travel, scenes blur past the screen. Look closely and you might even spot a few false teeth lost in the Twilight Zone!

Image

The second floor is home to the Library (since the website doesn’t follow the “real” layout of the hotel exactly), where a very polished preview video clip appears on screen via the old-fashioned television.

Image

Click ‘Switch Off’, and you see the full library, lit by elegant Tiffany lamps, with the bellhop picking a book up from the floor.

Image

Despite this area being described as “Discover the Tower of Terror”, there isn’t a great deal of information given, or much of an introduction of what actually happens during the ride. Instead, you’re offered just a few pages from the bellhop’s book to build your own thoughts about the Tower. It even features two pieces of real Walt Disney Imagineering concept art, which we’ve featured in the past.

Image

Up on the third floor, a scene from the attraction’s boiler room is used to promote some Jaw-dropping offers.

Image

The offers pop up with a background of the Tower and Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant. The font/typeface used throughout the website is particularly well tied with the theme.

Image

The fourth floor is home to the Terror Movie Theatre, one of the website’s most important features. Here, you’ll see MTV presenter Ricky Haywood-Williams in the UK version and famous M6 presenter Virginie Efira for the French version. Following the presenter’s introduction, a movie reel is projected on the screen continuing their explanation of this unique competition, allowing the public to dream up their own commercial for the attraction. (Look out for more on this soon!)

Image

The bellhop won’t take us any higher at the moment, so we take a sudden drop into the Basement, where the second key feature of the website is located. In a boarding hall similar to that in the real attraction, a door opens to invite us to step aboard and experience what’s known as “The Tower of Terror Effect”. What’s that? It’s different for everyone, apparently. It’s whatever happens to you when you take that gravity-defying plunge and momentarily slip into the Twilight Zone.

Image

For the website at least, though, it’s just a fun picture manipulation game, introduced with a special logo across the elevator doors…

Image

When the doors open onto the darkness of the elevator shaft, you’re invited to upload a photo of yourself… or at least someone you’re familiar with. Let’s choose this one…

Image

Position the photo and pick your chosen manipulation effect. Enter a headline and some text, and your friend will soon receive, via email, a customised Tribune of Terror with your frightening “Tower of Terror Efffect” photograph splashed across the front page…

Image

Using the latest Flash technology, not to mention a great deal of care and attention toward the attraction’s theme and story, the website builds once more on the successes of past mini-sites such as Space Mountain: Mountain 2 and the 15th Anniversary, put together by the same external firm.

With their ideas such as video characters interacting with environments now perfected, here is the most impressive website for a Disney attraction anywhere in the world.

But, as you’ll no doubt notice, the online Tower of Terror world is far from complete yet. A noticeboard in the lobby advertises a Guided Tour with such future thrills as a Games Room, Makeover Room and Presidential Suite. Originally advertised for 25th February, the launch date has now changed to 3rd March 2008. With equally beautiful, brand new “sets” and locations built especially for the website, these new areas will add a whole new dimension to The Hollywood Tower Hotel, it’s history and legend.

Saturday, 23rd February 2008

Fourth Dimension goes viral in Marne-la-Vallée

Wait, did you misread that? Not quite a “virus”, but what’s known as a “viral”…

This is actually the very first time Disneyland Resort Paris has used the new — and, occasionally, very effective — method of online video sharing to advertise their resort in Marne-la-Vallée. Create a video with a bizarre or interesting enough “hook”, that just happens to feature your product, and there’s a chance it’ll be passed from person-to-person across the internet. No need to pay a television company for airtime, or websites for advertising space. Just upload the video, and let the viral spread… Readers in the UK will already know of the famous and incredibly successful “Cadbury Gorilla” viral advert, featuring a gorilla playing the drums to a Phil Collins song, with nothing but a purple background to link the advert to the chocolate maker.

Disney’s Hollywood hot-dog video was first posted, without explanation, on the official 15th Anniversary blog. Clicking “play”, you’d be forgiven for thinking host Tristane was just showing us some nighttime CCTV images from around Disneyland Park, filmed during this past Christmas season. The lights are still twinkling, but not a soul is around…

Suddenly, something runs across the frame… a wild dog! Do they really roam the park at night?! How strange…

Image Image

Next, we’re on a glittering, illuminated Hollywood Boulevard. The dogs runs across from Toon Studio towards… yes! We can see where this is going now…

Image Image

The Hollywood Tower Hotel. In their preparations for the public opening, it looks like the bellhops were more than happy to test the service elevator with un petit chien

Image

Emerging, a few faster-than-gravity drops later, as a stretched-out sausage dog. Maybe this is why the parks’ hot dogs are so expensive?

Rather than television advertising, the marketing directors are, for the first time, trying to directly capture some the elusive, younger “iPod generation”. Or in this case, rather, the “YouTube generation”. After all, it’s the young thrill-seekers to whom The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror should appeal most. Their word-of-mouth amongst friends, video sharing and parental persuasion to visit, hopefully, the pay off.

How is it doing so far? The original video displayed here has been seen 5,164 times on the Paris-based Dailymotion, most popular for video sharing in France, whilst a fan’s re-post of it on YouTube has gained just 1,397 views. Most impressive, however, is this duplicate posting of the video back on Dailymotion, currently standing at a very impressive 74,327 views!

As well as an inventive teaser for the new attraction, the viral video aims to give a little inspiration for a unique new competition recently launched across several of the resort’s international markets, allowing visitors to the attraction’s official website to imagineer their own teaser which will then, crucially, make the reverse-leap from the internet to television.

Here’s the official DLRP Today idea — show a gorilla (preferably the Cadbury “gorilla”, or a close relative) wandering the parks and climbing aboard the service elevator. When it drops into the Fourth Dimension and the doors open, none other than Phil Collins steps out into the boiler room. He’s got a soft spot for the resort, after all.

No, we don’t expect to win.

Friday, 22nd February 2008

Tower reveals darker side in chilling new press images

So you presumed that, just because The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is already operating at two other Disney resorts and looks rather like the one in California, we’d be seeing all the same old publicity photos to advertise the Parisian version? Yes, so did we. Not even the brilliantly remastered key visual seemed to make it any less likely.

As it happens, we couldn’t have been more wrong. Just a few weeks after we brought you those clever publicity shots of Mickey and Minnie’s first trip to their new, nearby Hollywood, Disneyland Resort Paris has released another series of far more sinister images. There are screaming on-ride photos, atmospheric lobby scenes and, first things first, spectacular establishing shots…

Image

Moonlight breaks through the rolling clouds above The Hollywood Tower Hotel, bathed in purple lights, as an antique motorcar pulls up the drive with another set of willing victi— err, “guests”. Such high regard for the theme and period of the attraction is exciting to see — a CGI motorcar? Maybe one day Walt Disney Studios will have ambitions for its own, real Hollywood vehicles.

Image

Inside, we’re introduced to the starring family, famous reception bell in the foreground. They’ve clearly been practising their “concerned/intrigued” facial expressions very well…

Image

Whilst, on the other side of the reception desk, we’re introduced to a wonderfully sadistic-looking bellhop. This photo in particular is sure to see a great deal of use, with such atmospheric lighting and well-positioned actors. The deeper red of the bellhop costume, compared to the magenta of their American cousins, lends the entire attraction a darker feel from the outset.

Image

The family edge nearer to the service elevator doors as a ray of smoky white light slices through the scene.

Not only atmospheric and good to look at, the photos also do very well setting up the story and explaining to first-timers the sequence of events inside the Tower, such as the fateful steps through the elevator doors…

Image

Again well-lit with perfectly positioned actors, from a very unique and effective angle.

They’ve remembered the classics, too — several “on-board” photos are included in the set, featuring the family and other guests screaming at the elevator drop, as the bellhop nonchalantly sits beside them.

Image

It might appear that Disneyland Resort Paris have been late to begin advertising the attraction, with holding it back until an April 2008 press launch, but these past months have clearly been well-spent preparing an excellent campaign — and these images, they’re just a drop in the ocean…

— All photos © Disney.

Friday, 25th January 2008

Mickey and Minnie pay a visit to Hollywood

Arriving on Hollywood Boulevard in their most glamorous outfits, the pair walked arm-in-arm toward the recently reopened Hollywood Tower Hotel, ready to check in. Nothing to worry about, it’s been getting some great reviews! Mickey was ever the gentleman, carrying their suitcase as they posed for the photographers…

Image

Not even the hotel’s gaping hole into The Twilight Zone could dampen their smiles. Minnie’s bow even survived the faulty service elevator!

This series of photos have just been released by Disneyland Resort Paris ready for the upcoming explosion of press and publicity surrounding the new attraction, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, in a couple of months. It’s unusual and certainly fun to see the two starring characters dressed up for a new attraction in fitting costumes, even posing around the rest of the Hollywood Boulevard area with their suitcase prop…

Image

It almost seems like something Tokyo Disney Resort would do.

Hopefully, the fickle people of Hollywood will be kind to Minnie for wearing her favourite white dress again — after all, she did first wear it to the opening of the park itself back in 2002, so it seems fitting. Photoshop aficionados should also try to forgive the colour enhancing in the photos, taken earlier this month — the Mouse has achieved a lot in Paris, but consistent blue skies are still a “grey” area in particular.

Image

Dancing in front of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, they probably mirror many managers backstage at the resort right now. The happy couple might have just spotted one of the only “Hidden Mickeys” in the new area, carried across from other versions of the Hollywood Tower Hotel — the little girl in the pre-show video carries a Mickey Mouse doll into the elevator.

Expect to see these fun photos many more times throughout this year — and well into the future. The 2009 calendar, perhaps?

— Photos © Disney.

Tuesday, 1st January 2008

Pin Trading January 2008 releases

Have no fear, DLRP Today is still here and ready to make a comeback after a long, long Christmas break. Whilst there’s a lot to catch up on (how does practically half a park being re-themed and a massive E-Ticket add up?) the January 2008 pin releases seem like a good place to get started.

Because, after all, 2008 will be the year of the Tower of Terror at Disneyland Resort Paris, and no doubt you’ll want to get over to Tower Hotel Gifts a.s.a.p. to complete your pin collection with the two new Tower additions for January:

Saturday, 5th January 2008

2008 Mickey pin
Reference number 209401008016
Price 6.00 Euros

Hight School Musical 2 pin
Reference number 209401008010
Price 6.00 Euros

Hannah Montana pin
Reference number 209401008013
Price 6.00 Euros

Tower of Terror Mickey, Donald & Goofy Scared pin (Plus Pin – special design)
Reference number 209501007060
Limited Edition 900 ex.
Price 11.90 Euros

Saturday, 12th January 2007

Disneyland Resort Paris Eiffel Tower logo pin
Reference number 209401008006
Price 6.00 Euros

Nightmare Before Christmas Wreath pin
Reference number 209401007146
Price 6.00 Euros

Nightmare Before Christmas Jack & Zero Graveyard pin
Reference number 209401007147
Price 8.90 Euros

Tower of Terror Mickey Lift Shaft pin
Reference number 209401008001
Price 6.00 Euros

Retrospective 2003: Fantillusion pin
Reference number 209501007054
Limited Edition 900 ex.
Price 10.90 Euros

Saturday, 19th January 2008

Ratatouille Set of 4 pins
Reference number 209401008009
Price 18.00 Euros

Stich Invasion Europe 1: UK pin
Reference number 209501008036
Limited Edition 900 ex.
Price 10.90 Euros

– – –

UPDATE: Wednesday 3rd January 2008 — the Pin Trading team contacted us with dates for the next two Pin Trading Nights today. Also note the comment below from Gary Jans — the first Tower of Terror pin released this weekend is Limited Edition x900, not open edition as the original release list suggested!

Pin Trading Nights

18th January 2008
Disney’s Hotel Cheyenne
from 6pm onwards

22nd February 2008
Disney’s Hotel Santa Fe
from 6pm onwards

01-pintrading.jpg

Tuesday, 4th December 2007

Pin Trading December 2007 releases

This month sees the conclusion of Stitch’s Walt Disney Studios invasion, with #12 celebrating Cars Quatre Roues Rallye and #13, very cleverly, depicting The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

Elsewhere on the Tower of Terror front, two open edition pins released next weekend are particularly worth looking out for — the first styled like a key for a room in The Hollywood Tower Hotel, the second — the attraction’s main pin — making use of an elevation drawing from the Tower’s original building plans. Both pins are available only from the Tower Hotel Gifts boutique at the exit of the attraction, which will therefore be ready and waiting for Annual Passport Dream holders after they’ve experienced the attraction itself!

Saturday, 1st December 2007

Jessica Bubble Fun pin
Reference number 209401008005
Price 6.00 Euros

Saturday, 8th December 2007

Minnie 2008 pin
Reference number 209401007140
Price 6.00 Euros

Tower of Terror Key pin — *PIN DELAYED* — Release Date TBA
Only available from Tower Hotel Gifts
Reference number 209401008000
Price 6.00 Euros

Cars Piston Cup pin — *PIN DELAYED* — Release Date TBA
Reference number 209401008008
Price 8.90 Euros

Tower of Terror pin — *PIN DELAYED* — Release Date TBA
Only available from Tower Hotel Gifts
Reference number 209401008012
Price 6.00 Euros

Stitch WDS Invasion 12: Cars Quatre Roues Rallye pin LE
Reference number 209501007055
Limited Edition 900 ex.
Price 10.50 Euros

Saturday, 15th December 2007

Once a Upon a Dream Parade 9 pin LE
Reference number 209501007019
Limited Edition 900 ex.
Price 10.90 Euros

Mickey Minnie Winter Season 07 pin LE
Reference number 209501008007
Limited Edition 900 ex.
Price 10.50 Euros

Friday, 21st December 2007

Pin Trading Night
at Disney’s Sequoia Lodge
from 6.00pm to 9.00pm

Saturday, 22nd December 2007

Dro’Pin Event – The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Evening pin event at Walt Disney Studios Park, extra ticket required (SOLD OUT)
from 8.30pm onwards

Pre-release pins to be sold during the event:

Merry Christmas LE Plus pin

15th Anniversary Christmas 5-pin set

Happy New Year 2008 LE pin

Mickey Gang Tower of Terror Mirror LE pin

Stitch WDS Invasion #13: Tower of Terror LE pin

15th Anniversary Retrospective display card

Stitch WDS Invasion display card

Sunday 23rd December 2007

Remaining stock of pre-released pins sold:

Merry Christmas LE Plus pin
Reference number 209501008005
Limited Edition 900 ex.
Price 14.90 Euros

15 Anniversary Christmas LE 5-pin set
Reference number 209501008006
Limited Edition 400 ex.
Price 45.00 Euros

Happy New Year 2008 LE pin
Reference number 209501008048
Limited Edition 900 ex.
Price 10.50 Euros

Mickey Gang Tower of Terror Mirror LE pin
Reference number 209501007059
Limited Edition 900 ex.
Price 10.50 Euros

Stitch WDS Invasion #13: Tower of Terror LE pin
Reference number 209501007058
Limited Edition 900 ex.
Price 10.50 Euros

15th Anniversary Retrospective display card LE
Reference number 209411007009
Limited Edition 500 ex.
Price 4.90 Euros

Stitch WDS Invasion display card LE
Reference number 209411007008
Limited Edition 500 ex.
Price 4.90 Euros

December releases

Friday, 30th November 2007

Hollywood Tower lobby: in Paris, in pictures!

Here it is! The lobby of The Hollywood Tower Hotel, untouched since 1939, reopening in the early 1950s. Covered with spider webs and dust, it reveals suitcases left at reception, newspapers dropped and toys left behind… the abandonment of this icon was very quick indeed…

Soak it all in — the details, the furnishings, the ambiance…

Image

…and don’t forget, this photo was taken at the heart of Walt Disney Studios, in Paris, just seconds from our old friends like CinéMagique and Art of Disney Animation. Breathtaking, don’t you think?

Wall carvings, rugs, dead plants, statues, old chairs, the reception desk, stained glass windows, wall lights, hanging roof lights, an ornate wooden ceiling and beautiful floor tiles combine to create the view that will soon be taking the breath of every guest to enter the new attraction. Even with the highest price tag of any single theme park attraction ever to open in the whole of Europe, that’s money well spent.

These official Disney photographs were clearly taken recently, on a bright Winter day, with light pouring into the lobby area and lighting up the cobwebs stretching across almost everything in sight, from beautiful desk lamps, period handbags and magazines (also left in the hurry to leave), to the iconic reception bell itself.

Image Image

The reception is lit by a diamon-shaped light hanging from above, decorated with orange and yellow stained glass and an intricately designed casing. Two lamps also sit on the desk itself — complete with ‘HTH’ lampshades. The pigeon holes behind are filled with letters and keys, whilst a hat and coat sit on reception, left behind on that fateful night.

Image

Some details have yet to be finished with an appropriate aging, and indeed even more spider webs should be present by the time this haunting hotel officially opens its doors once again.

Beyond the lobby, along the passageway to the right and behind reception, through the library rooms where the pre-show video introduces the story, guests encounter the boiler room — the location of the service elevator which takes you high into the Tower above.

Image Image

Upon the opening of this version of the attraction in California, the boiler room areas were highly praised for being arguably even more detailed than the lobby before — filled with tools, curios and left-over possessions from the workmen, to create a very informal and “lived-in” space, packed full of atmosphere and history.

The photos released from this area show an eclectic collection of clocks and dials (above left) and some of the rusted and oily dials on the boiler machinery itself (above right). What the photos don’t show is the spectacular show lighting, which we saw very briefly with the Filmparade TV special several weeks ago.

Image Image

A workman’s locker in one corner completes the story, with hanging overalls and a pair of shoes. Unwanted decorations from the hotel are stored above, whilst period bottles and cabinets fill every corner of the room, pushed up against the crumbling plaster of the walls (above right).

At Disney’s California Adventure park, the Imagineers proudly revealed how many props and accessories — such as stopwatches — hinted directly to specific episodes of The Twilight Zone TV series. Whilst the new photos above might reveal many of the incredible details in the early portions of the Tower, no doubt many more are still to be found, the closer we get…

In related news: Look out for a brand new Tower of Terror section on DLRP Magic! soon, featuring everything from a tour of the hotel to videos, Imagineering secrets, histories, concept art and much more. Work is just beginning, so these photos couldn’t have come at a better time — thanks, DLRP!

— All photos © Disney.

Friday, 30th November 2007

Annual Passport previews announced with only days to go

Would you book an entire trip to Disneyland Resort Paris to enjoy the big new attraction, knowing that the dates you’ve chosen are based entirely on rumour, unpublished dates? Anyone who has already booked to take advantage of the special December previews of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror for Passeport Annuel Dream holders will have certainly done just that.

Because, with just 7 days (or 14 days, for the second round of previews) to go, the Annual Passport service has finally got round to that rather important task… sending out the invites. The first ones have now been received by French fans, which should leave only around one month to wait for anyone in another country. Regard, in all its splendour, the AP service’s constant belief that no-one — not a single fan — outside of Ile-de-France owns an Annual Passport Dream, and may not have to plan a visit in advance.

The invite for “La Tour de la Terreur: Un Saut dans la Quatrième Dimension”:

Image

Sarcasm aside, those who have already taken a chance on rumours and booked or can do so within the next 7 to 14 days will be able to enjoy some generously lengthy preview slots — the people deciding those, at least, know that the Tower of Terror is a really big deal…

Saturday 8th December — 10.00am to 6.00pm

Sunday 9th December — 10.00am to 7.00pm

Saturday 15th December — 11.00am to 3.00pm

Sunday 16th December — 12.00pm to 7.00pm

Annual Passport Dream holders need only turn up at Walt Disney Studios Park on those dates and show their pass at the attraction entrance to enjoy the ride. Each holder can invite one friend (with a valid park entrance ticket) to join them on the new attraction.

Previews for Shareholders are currently rumoured for January, with the official public opening now sure to be 22nd December 2007, following neatly the weekend after the second of these AP Dream preview weekends.

The preview times have also been added to the DLRP Magic! Calendar schedules for these days >>

— With thanks to Scrooge on Disney Magic Interactive forum for the invite scan.

Friday, 30th November 2007

Walls down, Tower of Terror gardens revealed

Time is ticking away quickly now to the opening of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror… in fact, judging by what lies beyond those immortal yellow fences, time has been ticking away for this abandoned Hollywood hotel for quite some time. Yesterday, 29th November 2007, the first section of construction walls were finally removed after almost three years of service!

Scrooge, moderator of Disney Magic Interactive forum, has shared the first photos, with the Tower shrouded in a spectacular covering Winter mist 183 feet up…

Image

Guests inside Walt Disney Studios Park now have a direct view across the hotel’s East gardens to the building itself, with no obstructions. The gardens are large and lushious, far larger and arguably giving much more impact than those around the Tower’s Californian cousin.

Image Image

Prior to construction of the Tower, fans might remember most of this area as a small grass lawn — the entirety now turned to brown dirt/bark and filled completely with coniferous trees, small bushes and thorny, spiny evergreens.

Very noticeable absentees here are palm trees — in California, the Tower is flanked by a row of giant, towering palms which spread an air of exoticism across its square frontage. Not so in Paris, at least not yet — the climate is hardly suited to such large palms in Summer, let alone the middle of Winter. So far, the option of fake trees like those spectacularly realistic-looking ones lining Hollywood Boulevard has also not been taken.

However, this side of the hotel is not entirely devoid of palm trees — as DynastyGo on Disney Central Plaza forum picked up on camera, some far smaller varieties can be found hidden within the area, forming a circle around some forgotten stone garden furniture…

Image Image

Running from right to left within the gardens here is a path toward the Tower Hotel Gifts boutique and the Toilets of Terror, currently closed by barriers and walls at either end. The queue line is then even further within, having its very own overgrown gardens, surrounded by a beautiful metal fence taken over with shrubs and odd trees with split branches, as if hit by lightning…!

One surprise here is a small circular patio hidden in the middle of the gardens next to the path, a new place to relax on a bench amongst lush green surroundings, whilst those braver enjoy a highly themed E-ticket… yes, this is still Walt Disney Studios, honestly! The gardens around the patio are filled with old ornaments, statues and stone fountains, which have all seen better days. Identical curios can be seen scattered in slightly different positions through the much smaller gardens in California.

Image Image

Notice also the blue awnings on the windows of Tower Hotel Gifts, and the newly-aged Toilets of Terror, now with additional turquoise details and rusty dirt to match the Tower.

No confirmed date is known for the removal of the remaining fences, either around only the Tower or even the whole Hollywood area. Most, if not all, will obviously be down by the 22nd, and it could be wise to assume they could be gone as early as the first Annual Passport previews in just over a week…

— Photos by Scrooge on Disney Magic Interactive forum and DynastyGo on Disney Central Plaza forum

Subscribe to the Magic!

Ad: Disneyland Paris up to 20% off all meals!

Tags & Archives

Twitter Updates

Ad: Disneyland Paris 30th Anniversary bookings now open!