Saturday, 20th October 2007

Video: Final HSM On Tour, rides & interview with Corbin Bleu at Walt Disney Studios

You can find Part 1 of the series here and Part 2 here.

Video – Corbin Bleu visits Walt Disney Studios Park

The main video begins with Corbin riding Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith and feeting the first few fans to recognise him, before strolling across the park (pointing to Tower of Terror) toward Crush’s Coaster, which he rides several times. Next, the video features his entire pre-parade and the star watching Disney Cinema Parade itself. The video ends with clips from 2007’s final High School Musical On Tour performance and Corbin signing more autographs from fans gathered during the show.

Video – Corbin Bleu interview at Walt Disney Studios Park

Against a backdrop of the High School Musical On Tour stage, Corbin speaks about visiting Paris, the differences between Disneyland Paris and California, the cast of the show, the 15th Anniversary and more.

The young star has certainly been trained in the art of making good soundbites, hasn’t he?

Both videos © Disney.

Sunday, 16th September 2007

The Twilight Zone means business, plus a new commercial

The Business Solutions ( department of Disneyland Resort Paris has long been a huge success for the resort, using its unique locations and high capacity venues to host countless themed events for internationally reknowned companies such as Ford and Microsoft.

Their best ideas (and no doubt the ones most fans wish they could experience) come in the form of special ‘Themed Evenings’, giving attendees entertainment, dining and attractions in select corners of the two Disney parks. Everything from ‘Captain Jack’s Treasure Hunt’ and ‘Witches of the Wild West’ to ‘Australian Crush Party’ and ‘Party on Sunset Boulevard’ can be organised.

So, it’s no surprise that the theme and story-rich Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is their latest (and from the sound of it, greatest) offer for a themed evening, now advertised across their website…


Clicking on the special advertisements, all featuring the bellhop who has proven so popular already with the French marketing department, takes you to a page in the latest Business Solutions e-newsletter, given a full Hollywood Tower Hotel theme and featuring a run-through of what the evening offers, against the backdrop of the full attraction Key Visual…

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The text itself reads as follows:

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

Dare to take the plunge… and reap the results!

The Hollywood Tower Hotel, which opens its doors in Walt Disney Studios® Park early in 2008, is no ordinary hotel. Don’t even think about spending a night here … you might be propelled into the Fourth Dimension, after plunging from the 13th floor!

When this magnificent Art Deco establishment was in its heyday it hosted the top society receptions and attracted the rich and famous … then, one stormy night, it was the scene of a mysterious accident, in which five people took an elevator ride and disappeared for ever…

Your guests will be invited to experience this journey for themselves in our new themed evening based on the latest attraction: The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

They will be welcomed by a rather eerie lift attendant who will lead them to the elevator of this historic establishment and then, from the heights of the 13th floor, they will be plunged into the void and total darkness at astonishing speed … for a totally unforgettable experience!

To recover from their terrifying fall, guests will gather afterwards for a gala dinner accompanied by musicians playing jazz and film music from Hollywood’s golden age.
Calm returns, and the diners are diverted by a medium’s supernatural revelations, special effects and original entertainment.

But what’s that noise … there’s the rumble of another storm brewing … and maybe the lost victims of the Hollywood Tower Hotel are about make an appearance?

Are you ready to take the plunge?

From €110 per person excl. VAT, for groups of 150 to 320.

How does a night of exclusive Tower of Terror rides, jazz music and a gala dinner in Disney Studio 1 sound? Pretty unique, don’t you think? It seems all these new attractions and placemaking have benefits reaching far further than what the average guest notices as they wander the park.

The Business Solutions team must be quite taken with the Twilight Zone package — the page not only offers a themed background and enthusiastic text, but also a video commercial for the new attraction in both French and English. Whilst all of the footage will be instantly familiar to anyone who has ever seen the advertisements for the Florida and California versions, these videos both feature new voiceovers and new closing logos. The use of a more British accent, for example, might suggest that these videos — certainly their narration — could be used beyond the confines of the DLRP Business website.

English Version – The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

Find this on Dailymotion | on YouTube

French Version – La Tour de la Terrur, Un Saut dans la Quatrieme Dimension

Find this on Dailymotion | on YouTube

This second version of the commercial also features one of the first glimpses at the full French logo of the attraction. The in-park name, as already seen on the current tips board, will remain The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, with this lengthy French title used only for marketing, similar to Buzz L’Éclair Bataille Laser and Cars Race Rally, which were never used in-park.


Hopefully Disneyland Resort Paris will really mean business when they come to advertise the new attraction direct to the public, whether they use these exact adverts or not — but until then, who’s up for sharing these new commercials on YouTube and Dailymotion with a few friends, on blogs or on forums?

There’s nothing like word of mouth to start the thunder rolling…

All marketing materials, text and video © Disney.

Saturday, 21st July 2007

Toon Train brings “Lights, Camera, Musique!” to Front Lot

What began in late April as a rumour for extra entertainment during the opening Summer of the new Toon Studio soon became the re-use of the Starring Cruella De Vil sets and truck for a new live music show on Front Lot‘s Place des Frères Lumière… funny how Disneyland works sometimes, isn’t it?

The final show – carrying the full title of Toon Train – Lights, Camera, Musique! – does indeed reuse the white truck and three trailer sets of Starring Cruella De Vil. Although anyone who saw the previous show will recognise the “train” instantly, the redesign and Toon overlay is very thorough and surprisingly inspired. As the cavalcade pulls out of the doors either side of Disney Studio 1 and creeps slowly around the tight corners of the square, guests will no doubt be instantly drawn to its colourful, detailed sets.

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The main design of each remains faithful to its Cruella origins – an office, a rolling outdoor backdrop and a dressing room, but everything has been “Toon-ed up” with a more wacky edge, brighter colours and a clever filmstrip of character sketches stretching along the entire train. The centre stage is no longer a wild, Wintry lane but the colourful streets of Toon Town itself.

The white Chevrolet truck has been adorned with a giant red nose, the show’s logos and the filming accessories of Starring Cruella De Vil in its back. The dressing room’s mirror is now filled with postcards from Paris, “good luck” notes, photos from the 15th Anniversary Launch, some Disney Dollars from the US parks and even a classic Mickey Mouse Club sticker.

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It’s this fantastic attention to detail in the sets, however, which could be part of the downfall of the spectacle, so far receiving some less than positive throughts on magicforum. Whilst the sets are inventive, Chip ‘n’ Dale on cue and the Walt Disney Studios Park musicians as brilliant at their jazz renditions as ever, the actual show doesn’t ever live up to the expectation set by what guests see before them.

As the musicians start up, Chip ‘n’ Dale seem a little confused about why they’re there, and even the surprise appearance of Clarice — their female friend from the 1951 short film “Two Chips and a Miss” — from behind the dressing room doors doesn’t bring about any real “raison d’être” for the chipmunks nor their lavish sets. Even the fun moments where Chip ‘n’ Dale dance with children from audience are strangely cut short so more time can be spent dancing aimlessly around colourful props…

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One might also wonder why a location in Toon Studio itself wasn’t chosen for this streetmosphere — if not in the small Toon Studio plaza itself, but along the wide parade route which stretches from Flying Carpets over Agrabah to Art of Disney Animation. For example, musical event such as this on a temporary stage next to the Sorcerer’s Hat might have been a better way to celebrate the new land’s first Summer season.

As it stands, with Walt Disney Studios Park is finally finding differences between its Studio Lots comparable to those of Disneyland Park‘s lands, this is a little like sending the African Tam-Tams to Main Street, or letting Merlin l’Enchanteur cast his magic spells on the Molly Brown, when a much more appropriate home is only a few steps away.

Still, it’s a colourful way to properly introduce the Toons to the second gate, and any appearance of a live band (this year making quite an impressive comeback to both parks) will always be met with a smile from fans of Disneyland Resort Paris. With the park hopefully beginning to attract a younger clientele this year, a simple musical dance from Chip ‘n’ Dale might just become the best moment of the day for some of the park’s more easily pleased guests!

Video | Toon Train – Lights, Camera, Musique!

Pictures and video by (the new-look) Photos Magiques.
You can see the full gallery of photos here.

Friday, 20th July 2007

Bastille Day goes with a bang, without blunder

Any guests visiting the park for the first time since the 2006 celebrations might have had to check they were in the right place. No more Wonderful World Of Disney Parade, refurbished buildings all over, decorations across Main Street and the Castle, two new attractions over at Walt Disney Studios Park – this was the park’s major chance to show off its 15th birthday to a more local audience.

After being entertained by Alpha Bet You Are, Disney Characters’ Express, Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade, Disney’s Fantillusion and a nighttime performance of Candleabration, it was time for the fireworks to begin… No doubt, there were plenty of people biting their nails backstage at this point. In actual fact, it’s an outside company which arranges the large-scale fireworks seen at events such as Bastille Day, rather than the regular DLRP Pyrotechnics crew.

It’s 23.15, the show begins, and the good luck of 2007 is still most certainly on the side of Disneyland Resort Paris. The fireworks went off with their trademark “bang”, familiar patriotic French music and a special 15th Anniversary sparkle from the thousands of LEDs across the castle’s turrets and candles…

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Some members on magicforum remarked that the day actually seemed a little less busy than in recent years, so here’s hoping the fully-functioning fireworks and the impressive events of the 15th will this year incite guests to return again, rather than enjoy the free events in Paris city centre instead.

Video | Bastille Day Fireworks 2007

Throughout the Summer, guests can continue to enjoy an unparalleled hour of nighttime entertainment, starting with Disney’s Fantillusion (now apparently operating a shorter performance cycle and in the opposite direction, leading to guests only being able to see two stops at most) and ending with Candleabration followed immediately by an unchanged Wishes Nighttime Spectacular.

Pictures © Disney and by Photos Magiques. You can see their full gallery here.
Video by Photos Magiques.

Saturday, 23rd June 2007

Crush’s Coaster – The Official Ride Video

This special official footage has been prepared by the resort for posting on their Official Anniversary Blog. An article featuring the video was originally posted last week, though disappeared soon after following technical problems with the video. The video has now “resurfaced” and gives a (you guessed it) turtally unique view of the very first thrill ride based on any Pixar movie, anywhere – Crush’s Coaster. This will also be the footage we’ll see for years to come, whenever the attraction is featured in motion…


The footage is presented fairly “raw” – simply the resort’s new official footage of the new Walt Disney Studios Park attraction with some sound clips from the Toon Studio press kit over the top. The music is therefore rights-free, created for any press use on television, and not the music heard at the attraction itself – which is based on the film’s original score.

For anyone who hasn’t had the chance to take a dive on Crush’s Coaster yet, the video gives an excellent view of how the Walt Disney Imagineering-developed digital projection technology blends seamlessly with the coral reef and rocks surrounding the two identical projections – Nemo and Squirt appear completely believable, floating in the water-less undersea dark ride. The dazzling jellyfish are also shown, however the video footage available so far fails to feature either the Angler Fish or any of Bruce’s submarine attack.

As you will have noticed, the footage of the ‘EAC’ roller coaster segment is not taken directly from the ride itself, but created using one of the real ride vehicles against greenscreen – with some humorous faces from the actors on-board as they attempt to act out the ride. This version of the footage made available to the public doesn’t show the spinning effect, nor the true intensity of the ride, but allows us to see a very professional piece of promotional footage that will no-doubt be well-used long into the future with added voice-overs, etc in places such as the resort’s Disney Hotels information tv channel.

For fans, there’s no doubt it brings back fond memories of the 1995 Space Mountain footage, where the Disneyland Park roller coaster’s trains were shown flying through a virtual space, rather than the true ride.

Video footage © Disney.

Thursday, 21st June 2007

Toon Studio Press Event: Animated Publicity

The set of photos released for the opening of Toon Studio is fairly small compared to the set featuring VIPs and celebrities against backdrops within the land, but the quality and amount of locations featured is far better than the frankly quite disappointing publicty photos of the 15th Anniversary launch.

Overall, the resort’s audio-visual teams have captured rather well the quirky style and impressive new attractions of the area… but what do you think?

Here is the full set of publicity photos, be sure to click on them to see the photos full-size!

General Toon Studio

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A new angle on the Sorcerer Mickey marquee captures the Peter Pan characters behind,
an incredibly colourful view of the Toon Town gate area with its twisted lamposts.

‘Now in Producion’ sign next to Crush’s Coaster

Cars Quatre Roues Rallye

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Welcome to Radiator Springs sign, the famous Cars logo, framed by trees.

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The lovely blues and yellows (with a hint of red) of the Quatre Roues Rallye entrance,
the interior themeing, focusing on the amazing detail of Lizzie’s curios display.

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A sunny angle on Luigi’s Casa Della Tires (notice the fabric canopy was finally added,
just in time), and a low-down view of the canyon area.

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Views in the canyon. Notice the Sorcerer Mickey marquee included in the background,
along with – in the first photo – the Disney Cinema Parade passing by. This looks
like a favourite angle already to capture Cars from, with the iconic Studio 1 looming behind.

One of the excellent on-ride captures from the special camera seen being installed
on the front of this vehicle here.

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Two brand new publicity shots only just added to the collection today.

Some official video footage of Cars has also been released, via the blog:

Crush’s Coaster

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The rusted and sea-sprayed entrance sign, a busy crowd shot showing the Crush area, but
not very many guests who look impressed.

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Two views of the turtle shells departing the big blue of Studio 5 – which one wins?

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The very first official photos from inside the attraction, we’ll probably see these used frequently,
as they show very well the colourful underwater sets and good lighting.

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An “in-production” shot of Crush undergoing final work from above the track, a final shot
positioning Crush against a big blue backdrop of Studio 5.

So, what do you think? A good selection of photographs and footage to advertise Toon Studio, or could they have done better? Whilst this set of official publicity shots has only just been released, we’ll likely be seeing them for years to come, especially as Walt Disney Studios Park continues to grow in visitors…

All photos © Disney.

Wednesday, 20th June 2007

Toon Studio Press Event: Inauguration Ceremony

As with all attraction openings, there are two press events. The smaller, low-key public opening ceremony (already featured here) and the far grander, more show-y official inauguration ceremony reserved for press and invited guests. The last ceremony we saw like this at Walt Disney Studios, though, was…. well, 2002 perhaps?

The tendancy of the past five years to push Walt Disney Studios aside in favour of Disneyland Park has well and truly ended. There’s a lot of proud people within those Studio gates these days…

Guests enter via the open studio gates, a very rare sight!

Entering the second gate through its unique grand arch, guests were welcomed by the Ciné Classics band, as seen on regular occasions inside Disney Studio 1 and more recently even as a pre-show for CinéMagique. Notice that the 15th Anniversary banners from Disneyland Park’s entrance have now made their way to the Studios, as it finally joins the celebrations.

Ciné Classics band entertain on Front Lot before High School Musical begins.

Following this musical welcome, a special performance of High School Musical On Tour was presented just outside the entrance of Disney Studio 1 (more on this here), as this new summer show was a key additional feature in all of the resort’s communication and press material for the event, along with Ratatouille.

Red carpet leads through Disney Studio 1.

The red carpet began in Disney Studio 1, leading right up toward the exit doors and to the entrance of Toon Studio, where Disney fans amongst the invited guests were met with an exciting photo opportunity…

5 Years on, Director Mickey finally gets behind a camera.

To the side of the temporary Toon Studio gate installed several days ago, Mickey Mouse sat high on a crane camera with a live director, and even moved from side to side as he “filmed” the action of the grand opening event for his new animation studio. The image of Mickey atop this camera crane might be familiar to anyone who followed the Studios’ grand opening, since a similar photo from Disney-MGM Studios Florida was frequently used as one of those deceptive preview shots – it only took five years for the real moment to arrive!

Ciné Folies stars help to prepare the set.

If you take a look at the video featured later in this article, you’ll probably notice something a little different about Mickey’s voice. No, not that he’s speaking French (the first time in a while – all the 15th events unveiled in April feature an All-American Mickey), but that his voice was apparently performed live! Since he called the make-up artist, special effects crew to the stage and joined the ceremony at various other points from his elevated spot, letting Mickey pre-record his track and sync this with live events might have been a bit risky.

With Mickey behind the camera, we need someone else to step in and fill the role of glamorous host – who better than Minnie Mouse? She donned her glamorous white dress from the 2002 grand opening and waited on-stage for her cue as directors, technicians and make-up crew bustled around the “set”. You might recognise the actors in question from the daily Ciné Folies shows in Disney Studio 1 – some have been with the park for almost its entire five years, so it’s nice to see these talented performers rewarded with a cameo here.

Pixar stars and a huge gathering of Cast Members pour out of the land.

As it is for these “performers” too! Usually Cast Members are relegated to regular operations during a grand opening event – keeping guests to one side, making sure the attraction is ready to open – but here the entire cast of Toon Studio was invited to join the precedings and clap their clapperboards for applause. The arrival of the several hundred Cast and countless famous Disney characters to the “Dreams” Peter Pan theme music was perhaps a little reminiscent of the Disneyland 50th Anniversary launch, starting out with only a few stars on stage before a huge crowd poured out of the land’s attractions.

It’s Disney legends on one side…

You might notice something funny about the way those characters lined up either side of the red carpet… classic Disney stars on one side and new Pixar pals on the other, like a great face-off between the two animation teams! This was also the very first appearance of the Ratatouille main characters Rémy (grey) and Emile (brown) in Paris, arriving just days after their premiere at the US parks.

Notice also the stars on the temporary gate, with ‘Toon Studio’ written inside, which are very similar to the first ‘Toon Studios’ logo we saw way back in September 2005 at the special Videopolis fan event.

…Pixar pals on the other!

Press photographers were situated on the tiered viewing platform for the ceremony, whilst the invited guests filled Disney Bros. Plaza and could watch the action on the large video screen installed the day earlier. With the smaller spaces of Walt Disney Studios and the Hollywood Boulevard construction taking up much of this area, they still managed to devise a layout that would ensure a picture-perfect view of the action. After all, these events are entirely for the cameras – not least when they’re at a film Studio!

The ceremonies are about to begin…

Sunday, 17th June 2007

Toon Studio: Opening day

For some of the guests at the official opening, there might have been a sense of déjà vu about the whole event – just one week earlier, they’d rushed into the park to be amongst the first to preview Crush’s Coaster and Cars Race Rally as Annual Passholders. The events were a big success, as shown by the long queues to enter the area (below), despite a Fastpass-style timeslot system being implimented to give each passholder a 2-hour slot in which to preview the rides.

Despite the queues, some technical problems at Crush late in the day and general overcrowding for refreshments at Salon Mickey and the mezzanine of Disney Studio 1, the Toon Studio Preview Event was a big success for all.

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(2nd June) Long queues for Annual Passholder previews.

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(2nd June) Imagineer Beth Clapperton interviewed for blog.

The same weekend also saw the first low-key invasion of the press, albeit Disney’s own. The Photos Magiques camera spotted Beth Clapperton, Imagineer for Crush’s Coaster and already seen in many behind-the-scenes glimpses at the attraction, giving an interview in front of the attraction itself. Look out for this on the official blog at some point.

One week later, with previews complete and everything finally neat and pretty, it was time for the grand opening. The general smaller scale of Walt Disney Studios might have given a slightly quieter impression than the anniversary launch events of April, just two months ago, but the crowds were just as eager. To a mix of music ranging from Disney’s animated movie scores to the Peter Pan “flying” theme and “Just Like We Dreamed It”, the ceremony commenced as Arnauld Gayet, one of the two 2007 Disneyland Resort Paris Ambassadors, climed onto a small podium next to the Sorcerer Mickey marquee.

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(9th June) Toon Studio grand opening ceremony.

With an impressive mix of French and English, Arnaud welcomed guests and introduced the special event, as the first Toon characters began to arrive behind him via the cadillacs of Good Morning Walt Disney Studios. Wendy Courquet, the second 2007 Ambassador, soon joined Arnaud from the empty Toon Studio behind, raving and exclaiming about each of the five attractions in the “new” land as Arnauld introduced them. Interestingly, despite the massive campaign on the esplanade, the ceremony served to inaugurate Toon Studio as en entire land, rather than to give special attention to its two brand new attractions.

With the introductions complete, several more characters welcomed (including The Incredibles) and the crowd appearing a little impatient, the guest of honour arrived to open his brand new studio – Mickey Mouse! It’s lucky that Hollywood glamour appears to never go out of style, since the dazzling white outfits worn by Mickey and Minnie might be recognised from the grand opening of the park itself, back in 2002. Mickey joined Wendy to cut the double ribbon of blue and gold, as Arnauld officially declared the new Toon Studio… “open!” with guests rushing to their chosen attraction.

The opening hasn’t been covered quite as heavily online as the huge 15th Anniversary opening events, but fans can always be relied on for capturing the magic as it happens. The following video is by Concombre2k7 on Dailymotion – ignore the apology for “poor quality”, this is just like being there:

Wait times for Crush and Cars remained impressive the entire day, with Cars Quatre Roues Rallye resting at around 50 minutes and Crush’s Coaster enjoying an everage queue of 1 hour 30 minutes, despite Cast Members warning guests the wait would be 3 hours from its entrance.

Across the park, attractions such as Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and Studio Tram Tour apparently rarely had wait times above 15 minutes. Kinoo on our partner website magicforum reported that total attendance at the Studios was 14,000 for the day, with around 5,000 guests heading straight towards the new attractions upon opening.

With a simple “tea cups” like Cars (albeit a brand new one) gaining a 50 minute wait that guests were reportedly quite happy to endure, the fall-out from Toon Studio will, it appears, be to now try and coax guests out of this immediately popular area and to the rest of the park.

Photos by Photos Magiques (2/06/2007) and (9/06/2007); Video by Concombre2k7.
With thanks to the opening reports from members on Disney Central Plaza and magicforum.

Wednesday, 9th May 2007

154 Years in the making, dude!

Launched on 20th February with the official, the official anniversary blog has come from modest beginnings to present a series of unique videos and articles delving into the backstage talent of the 15th Anniversary Celebration. Our host, Tristane, has introduced us to the scent creator, costume designer and director of Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade, and now attention has switched dramatically to Toon Studio, particularly Crush’s Coaster.

The first surprise on the French version of the blog today was the following photo, showing a painter at work on murals inside the key “dark ride” scenes of this unique new spinning roller coaster:

We’ve seen glimpses into the dark ride scenes before, but this more recent image shows some of the final, vibrant colours of the scenes and the talent at work. The scenes are much smaller, the route much thinner, than a usual dark ride, which might seem strange considering the theme of “the big blue”, but the paintwork completed here shows how the Imagineers have designed tricks of the eye to give the effect of real undersea depth. With blurred, faded background coral behind vibrant, crisp detail, a flat wall suddenly becomes a window into the depths of the Great Barrier Reef, with 3D sculpted coral in front adding another depth.

A good news day for Crush’s Coaster, then. But they weren’t done yet – a little later, and suddenly a brand new video has been uploaded to the blog, presenting even more backstage previews. Presented as a simple slide show with just a few seconds of actual footage, the video serves to present a series of never-before-seen images: concept models, detailed, sculpted coral and more…

A look at each and every shot of the video:

(1) Front elevation of Studio 5, shows some interior detail of the boarding area, such as steps over the track to its platform and a studio-style lighting rail above the action.

(2) A fantastic scale model of the entire attraction. The entrance path is chopped in half in the foreground – notice the warnings and wait times sign recently added in reality. The full 3D marquee featuring Crush is seen as a piece white card on guests’ left, a little further into the queue and yet to be modelled here.

(3) A close-up of the model, showing the outside drop and its jagged, diagonal rockwork surround. Notice the steel fences recently added, which here are shown to cut through a large chunk of blue rock, home to Nemo and Squirt amongst a small crop of green plants.

(4) The camera pans right to left, showing the route of the outside drop, its track almost entirely concealed by the rocks and shown to be filled with several plants.

(5) The lowest point of the drop and a close-up of Nemo and Squirt. These figures will be similar to those at the old Finding Nemo photo location, now lost to the Hollywood Boulevard project.

(6) We move onwards to the first scene of the dark ride, seen as if you were above the building looking toward Cars and Art of Disney Animation. The entrance from the outside drop is top-left, the two state-of-the-art digital projection screens lower-right and top-right. The coral is filled with a rainbow of colours.

(7) The next scene, this model shows only the Angler Fish attack, with the previous scene depicted as a flat floorplan. The colour and light has disappeared for a much more uncertain tone.

(8) A zoom-in on this corner of the track. One angler fish faces toward oncoming turtle shells on the corner, whilst another hides around the bend pointing toward shells as they continue past. Like the digital projections before, these are two identical effects doubled-up to ensure guests in both sides of the back-to-back ride vehicles see the same experience.

(9) Another close look at these impressive Audio-Animatronics, also due to be found at Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage (California).

(10) An impressive example of coral sculpted for the attraction. Though no commentary is provided with these images, the coral appears to be in a tent backstage at Walt Disney Studios Park. Interesting, since it would be assumed the coral would be sculpted on-site at its final location. Several reference photos and concepts are pinned to a board above the décor.

(11) The lower portion of the coral shows even more variety in the undersea life, matching that seen full-coloured in the concept models above.

(12) A close-up of the coral. Impressive detail, and certainly like nothing else at Walt Disney Studios Park.

(13) Another close-up shows even more variety, all referenced from real coral and reproduced to be entirely accurate to undersea life.

(14) Finally, a noticeboard with the concept model of the attraction next to two real-life reference photos used to design its jagged rockwork façade, similar in design – if not unnatural blue colour – to that over in Adventureland.

After all this work, it might actually seem like 154 years for some of the Imagineers involved!

Video, photo and all video caps Copyright Disney.

Sunday, 29th April 2007

Crush in motion, first look at boarding area

Remember the backstage tour given to the press after their 1st April press conference for the new attractions? Well, here are the fruits – a report on TV network France3 showing not only a glimpse at the 15th Anniversary festivities but also a unique look inside the boarding area of Crush’s Coaster. The backstage tours, hosted by Imagineers from Beth Clapperton (who you might remember from that first photo of the turtle shells back in January) to Tom Fitzgerald (Executive Vice President and Senior Creative Executive of Walt Disney Imagineering no less), have paid off with some excellent footage of the new attraction for this belated birthday report, shown just over a week ago.

In these brief shots from inside the attraction, the turtle shell vehicles are cycling through the ride on test runs, whilst the boarding area is illuminated with all manner of lighting and projections.

You might notice right away that the colours are exaggerated and the studio lighting in the ceiling above clearly visible – this is, after all, meant to be a real working film set. Smaller lights and lanterns are positioned throughout the area, which looks almost identical to the scale model we saw in January. Naturally for a Disney dark ride, the Sydney fishing pier scene is set at night, with the corrugated walls filled with reflections from the “water” and purple hues to reflect the time. However, this being an indoor soundstage, the magic of movies can (and is certainly planned to) do interesting things – like turn night to day in just a few seconds, similar to Disney Studio 1

The camera next turns to face the control booth, themed to a hut on the pier, and therefore naturally populated with a rowdy duo of seagulls. These popular birds, first seen at Epcot’s The Seas with Nemo & Friends last year, might just have the unexpected claim to the title of the very first Audio-Animatronics to be featured at Walt Disney Studios Park! Quite a claim to fame, and no doubt there’ll be a familiar fight over who gets the trophy – “Mine!” “Mine!”.

Beyond the gulls, the report takes us to an interesting angle on the ride we probably won’t see when it finally opens in just over 1 month – one of the turtle shell vehicles cresting the first lift hill and plunging outside the attraction through the blue rockwork of the façade.

Even from this angle, the supports and footers of the track – which were previously fully visible during construction – have actually been completely hidden and surrounded by the rockwork. Only the track itself pokes through, and this concealed from a normal guests’ point of view by the rockwork surround.

And now, in motion…

Reportages 15 ans France 3
Uploaded by DynGo

Many thanks to the fans of Disney Central Plaza forum for capturing these stills and uploading the video for all fans outside of France to see.

But now, with the 15th launch complete, fans aren’t the only people getting a little more than slightly excited for this new attraction. The official 15th Anniversary Blog has been treated with constant and regular updates lately, giving lots of glimpses into the creation of the anniversary events. Along with a short video interview with Imagineer Beth Clapperton, they presented two high-quality pieces of concept art showing the finalised turtle shells:

Even better than all that, they wrote a piece of text that could have been posted right here on DLRP Today – such is the total bias toward Disneyland Resort Paris…

“This was long, painstaking work that kept the Disney teams busy for months (they took their time, but in the end, you all know the story about the hare and the tortoise and who wins the race…). And winning the race is exactly what these tortoiseshells are waiting to do at this world exclusive at Disneyland! Especially for us Europeans!

“Of course, you already know about The Seas with Nemo and Friends in Florida, but this was only a show with video projections, a stroll through a giant aquarium. And there was Turtle Talk with Crush in Florida and in California (an interactive film in which the tortoise speaks directly to the children). And these are great, but the real ride is reserved just for us… And we deserve it!

It’s not everyday you see a Disney resort openly slating the attractions of its partners, but then it’s not everyday Paris completely and utterly trumps the other resorts in its offering. (See the bias there?!)

Like kids in a playground, Paris has all the newest toys this year, and the world is starting to notice. The magazine of – Tales from the Laughing Place – finally shipped its latest issue recently, featuring four pages dedicated to Toon Studio and two more recent pieces of concept art (below).

The article confirms that the musical score of the attraction will be orchestrated by Ed Kalnins under the direction of Thomas Newman (who wrote the original film’s score). This will be Ed’s third Nemo attraction soundtrack, following his work on translating the Oscar-nominated and Annie award-winning score for The Seas with Nemo & Friends and Disneyland’s Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage.

The second concept above, originally posted by our partner, shows an updated version of the key concept featured on the Toon Studio construction walls. Along with new turtle shell vehicles and a more accurate Disney Studio 5, the entrance sign of the attraction is depicted as first envisaged. If word from the park today is any indication, though, this design actually didn’t make it from sketch to reality.

So there we go – a fun and well-themed dark ride station, a concealed coaster track, a brand new attraction score and the park’s very first animatronics, all in just a single article. No wonder DLRP are boasting about this one.

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