Whilst this area is still behind construction fences, work has now shifted up a good few gears and a full timeline of the current project has been revealed, as Animation Courtyard is about to be engulfed in blue construction walls to make its transition to Toon Studio.
The work schedule for the next few months was revealed on Disney Central Plaza forum by the reliable La Rouquine, and suggests that a large part of the work on this “place-making” project will infact be complete by the end of 2006. Work starts this week at the entrance of Art of Disney Animation, then from mid-October to mid-November work will continue around the entrance of the land whilst the new Sorcerer Mickey entrance statue is installed. Next, construction fences will move to the entrance of Animagique and the exit of Art of Disney Animation. Finally, work will move to the area between the Art of Disney Animation exit and Cars Race Rally, in preparation for the opening of the new area of the land.
Indeed, this schedule has been put into action already. As if by magic yesterday, construction walls appeared in a circle to the right of the Art of Disney Animation entrance. The walls only cover a small amount of the outside wall of the attraction, and sit between the entrance doors and the Sorcerer’s Hat.
The new Sorcerer Mickey statue on the opposite side of the path will reportedly feature a spark of magic arcing out from Mickey’s pointed finger and curving over the entrance to the land, where it will break to allow tall parade units to pass, before ending on the other side with a downward arc. The entire land is also due to receive new, bright paving, redesigned planting areas, more trees and possibly even a fountain, all with the aim of better defining the whimsical animation theme of the area.
Further up the building, scaffolding inside the ride area has grown above the height of the building in an arched form. This is surely in anticipation of the front wall of Disney Studio 5 being constructed, which peaks higher than the rest of the building and will need extra support whilst under construction. Thanks to Disneytheque.com for the latest construction photo.
Today, 14th August 2006, should hopefully mark the start of fullscale work on the Toon Studio transformation project with the first “coup de pioche”! La Rouquine on Disney Central Plaza forum reports backstage sightings of the huge new flagstones, carring “vibrant” colours, which will replace the asphalt flooring of the land. La Rouquine also states work has begun on the foundations for the queue of Cars Race Rally, which will be a series of memorable Radiator Springs buildings.
Starting with Toon Studio, Cars Race Rally still remains a huge pit on the spot of the two pairs of turntables. The size of the pit, however, is quite impressive – it seems to be almost as deep as the JCB digger is high! The latest photos show the tarpaulin cover is still lining it – the next step from here should hopefully be concrete foundations poured. Over at Crush’s Coaster, work is still speeding along at EAC-speed, but since most of the ride is now hidden by the huge concrete walls, not a lot can be seen. The walls themselves have also continued to grow, with wide concrete sections being added along both the Flying Carpets and front sides of the coaster building. Some kind of steel supports are currently lying next to the outside dip, probably to be used on the sections of the building where the track leaves and re-enters, which are currently very wide gaps in the huge concrete wall sections.
Over at Tower of Terror, the most visible work is still going on at the rear, where the painters have now covered almost the entire surface in pale paint. A closer look reveals this work has also added texture to the bare concrete, an important element in allowing the Tower to look old and unloved. It’s unconfirmed when we’ll start to see the final paint colours added, but with another three sides still to be prepared for painting, we’re probably in for quite a wait. Take a walk around to the front of the attraction, though, and more progress can be seen right now. In addition to the concrete shell of the lower showbuilding edging ever nearer to completion, the last 24 hours have seen the wooden frames in the elevator openings at the front of the Tower finally removed!
You can see some of the latest Toon Studio photos here, whilst Tower of Terror photos from earlier this week can be seen here. Information sourced from these photos plus french Disney Central Plaza postings.
After leaving the boarding area inside, the track makes a sharp turn to the left and climbs a steep lift hill which brings riders outside the front of the building. It then curves downwards to the right and goes through a small dip, before rising again and re-entering the building on the opposite side. The track has now been wrapped in a protective covering, since there’s still 10 months and a lot of work to go until completion of the attraction.
More progress has been made with the outside of the attraction, however, as small metal spikes are now visible around the huge opening in the front wall. These are likely to allow for the addition of the fake rockwork which will decorate the front and hide the lift hill from view.
It has also been designed to rise in parallel to the height of the track, so that only the turtle shell vehicles will be visible as they pass. Inside the attraction, a huge amount of walkway rigs have been put in place around the exterior walls and the roof covering is starting to appear.
It is expected that the transformation will include sandy-coloured paving throughout the area, the repainting (to blue/purple) of several buildings, new gardens and trees and, of course, the long-rumoured addition of Wendy, Peter Pan and Tinkerbell circling the Sorcerer’s Hat. The date for the changeover of names from Animation Courtyard to Toon Studio is not yet known, however current schedules suggest the work will be complete by the time the busy Christmas Season kicks in in late December this year.
A giant rectangular pit has been dug out in the exact location of the tea cups-style ride’s two turntables. The ride will be the same style of attraction as Francis’ Lady Bug Boogie at Disney’s California Adventure park and The Whirlpool at Mermaid Lagoon at Tokyo DisneySea park.
The vehicles spin in a circular direction until they reach the meeting point of the two turntables, where they switch from one to the other and complete the second section of their figure-of-eight ride.
It was confirmed last week that the name of the land will infact be “Toon Studio” rather than “Toon Studios”. This land will then also include all the current Animation Courtyard attractions – Art of Disney Animation, Animagique and Flying Carpets Over Agrabah.
The new area will not, however, be the main marketing draw – the attractions will clearly be advertised on their own as two seperate, brand new attractions, allowing Disneyland Resort Paris to use these valuable Cars and Finding Nemo character properties to their maximum effect.
These supports will hold in place the main façade of the building, which rises higher than the building itself and includes the large number “5” plaque, in a similar style to the Disney Studio 1 building.
You can see the concept model of the Crush’s Coaster (previously known as Crush’s Turtle Twister) attraction façade here.
Earlier this week, more track in the “dark ride” section of the attraction was put in place, and the much-discussed exterior “dip” finally became visible. The vehicles will climb a small lift hill after the boarding area, before leaving the building through the façade and taking a short spiralling dip towards the right, where they will re-enter the showbuilding.
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