Beyond the all-important date (10th July if you haven’t managed to catch it yet), Disneyland Paris more than exceeded anticipation for yesterday’s rumoured Ratatouille: The Adventure announcement by including a little video teaser alongside. Well, perhaps “little” isn’t the word.
Because despite running to just 1 minute 3 seconds, for the first time ever the video reveals a number of glimpses inside the huge new Ratatouille showbuilding, allowing a look at the attraction’s physical scenery, giant props and even trackless ride vehicles. The emphasis being on giant: everything is giant.
Tom Fitzgerald, Creative Executive at Walt Disney Imagineering, and Roger Gould, Creative Director Theme Parks at Pixar Animation Studios, lead the commentary to enthuse about Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy, as Tom names it, with a smile.
After seeing the huge Gusteau’s restaurant sign being lifted into place atop the building, we get a series of blink-and-you’ll-miss-em peeks inside the ride’s actual show scenes. There’s the rooftops of Paris load unload area with giant chimney pots, the cold storage with a giant fish, and the dining room with giant trolly wheels.
Towards the end, we even see a real, finished “Ratmobile” ride vehicle for the first time ever. And just to add extra intrigue, perhaps, it’s brown, not grey/blue.
There’s spoilers aplenty, of course — but don’t forget that the physical scenery and props we see here are just the “base layer” of this trackless, 3D projection-filled dark ride. It won’t look like this when you’re riding through it, with 3D glasses plus finished lighting and animation, so there’s a lot left unseen and a lot that will only ever be possible to see in person.
Watch the video now, then scroll down for 23 screencaps and extra commentary… CONTINUE READING…
Disneyland Paris has just announced the long-awaited opening date of Ratatouille: The Adventure – L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy: Thursday, 10th July 2014.
Sensibly, the resort has chosen a date just slightly in advance of the official French national day — Bastille Day on Monday 14th July — to officially inaugurate the huge new dark ride and restaurant in Walt Disney Studios Park.
From 10th July, guests will officially be able to enjoy the attraction and its adjoining restaurant, Le Bistrot Chez Rémy, in Toon Studio at the second park.
However, this will likely follow a traditional period of “soft opening” lasting as long as a few weeks, during which time Disney’s newest E-Ticket attraction will be opened to guests for limited trials to test and adjust any operational or technical bugs.
The date of 10th July has only recently been associated with the development, which up until now has steadfastly been promoted only as opening vaguely in “Summer 2014″.
Most rumours pointed to 14th July being the most appropriate date, but it’s likely Disneyland Paris decided the Thursday before what will be an incredibly busy Monday, with the parks already at saturation, is a more sensible operational choice.
The announcement was made with a brand new teaser video, below… CONTINUE READING…
This followed a day exciting enough to set the spidey senses tingling in the park itself, when Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, stars of The Amazing Spider-Man, paid an impromptu promotional visit for the film’s imminent sequel.
Giving Walt Disney Studios Park a rare air of real “Hollywood” excitement, the pair, who star as Peter Parker (Spider-Man) and Gwen Stacy, conducted interviews in a red carpet event on Hollywood Boulevard.
Garfield later posed with Disney Voluntears and children from French organisation SESSAD inside Disney Blockbuster Cafe, just metres from where the Marvel meet ‘n’ greet tie-in is taking shape at the back of the park.
Very soon, Walt Disney Studios Park will be even more exciting with the opportunity for our guests to meet #SpiderMan himself !
And on Facebook:
It’s a first! Spider-Man is coming to pay us all a visit in Walt Disney Studios Park! Just a few more days and we’ll be sharing some truly epic moments with Spider-Man himself.
No dates were officially given, with only InsideDLParis reporting Spider-Man will meet guests from 19th April to 14th July 2014, a disappointingly short stay for the superhero.
Surprisingly, the tie-in appears to be taking place with the full support of Sony Pictures as part of a promotional deal with Disneyland Paris, proved not least by the appearance of the principal actors at the park. While The Walt Disney Company owns Marvel outright and has embarked on a new Spider-Man TV series, Sony Pictures continues to own the feature film rights.
Perhaps it’s due to this promotional aspect with the new film that Spider-Man apparently won’t be staying longer. Could Disneyland Paris extend his stay with their own money if he proves popular? Backlot needs permanent fixes, not temporary tie-ins, and making this unpopular land the permanent home of Marvel superheroes is without doubt the perfect fix.
For now, this new meet ‘n’ greet will be a tiny but welcome taste of what could be…
Update — An official press release confirms the 19th April to 14th July dates and suggests that visitors “will be able to go home with their photo on the front page of the Daily Bugle”, the New York newspaper renowned for publishing photos of Spider-Man. Is that press release bumph or a hint at a fun souvenir photo design? Not long to find out.
Video featuring Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone at Walt Disney Studios Park follows… CONTINUE READING…
Welcome to turn of the 20th Century America! At least, that’s what Main Street Station was designed to say. In practice, it has suffered an innumerable series of seasonal overlays over the years that often do little to embellish its period style. The latest, for Swing into Spring, was completed this week ahead of the new season’s launch on 5th April.
Production quality looks surprisingly good for a fledgling season — the main “Swing into Spring” marquee is big but thankfully well-designed, compared to previous efforts. The way the typeface springs out of the oversized daisy is quite classy, the character illustrations are a welcome “Disney” touch, the flowers (albeit fake) give a feeling of life. From a distance it looks like a fantastic, bright, fresh welcome into Disneyland Park for Spring. Great job!
It’s just a shame it’s all over Main Street Station. After the 20th Anniversary overlay, Halloween, Christmas, and many more in the years before, you almost need to remind yourself what this landmark is supposed to look like. So here we go:
Now where do you begin? Let’s start with the windows. The four stained glass windows of the original station are beautiful and should simply never, ever be covered over. Definitely not with flat yellow backgrounds for 2D cut-out Disney characters.
Then there are the 20th Anniversary leftovers. The two plasticy gold garlands along the top of the façade, the three golden arches above the walkways and the four circular castle motifs are all still in place two years later. The thinking could be they’re yellow (ish) and vaguely fit the colour scheme, the reality is that they cheapen a building which, along with the stunning Disneyland Hotel, was designed to instantly tell guests they’re not in any old tacky theme park.
Also part of that overlay was the black “Disneyland Paris” sign. It seemed fitting for the 20th Anniversary, but isn’t it about time the old “Main Street Station”, with its higher quality embossed gold letters and warm red background returned?
After all that, the flowers and even the logo are rather inoffensive. Indeed, imagine how good the station could have looked if it was simply “plussed” with a colourful floral overlay, not just treated like a blank canvas — as if there’s nothing of quality there to actually work with and the only option was for the designer to cover it with their own, bright yellow, canvas.
It’s been easy to shrug off the Halloween and Christmas overlays in the past because, besides the fact they’re well-established holidays, they’re only there for one and two months respectively, giving us nine more months to see the park entrance as it should be seen.
Swing into Spring will last for a record three months. If it returns with the same decorations next year (spending on these seems to suggest it will), that means only six months to see the station untouched: January to March and July to September. That’s provided they ever take the 20th Anniversary elements down. The situation is similar to the oversized Tinkerbell of the 15th Anniversary castle overlay, which outstayed its welcome (and spoilt the forced perspective of the castle) for several years after the anniversary ended.
At least, these days, it’s not the castle. That’s what we need to remember.
Part of the surprisingly good new ongoing attractions series, which has no doubt rekindled many fans’ interest in the sport of pin collecting, the pin is then followed by a Disney Dreams! pin also featuring Alice in Wonderland — despite the characters only appearing for a split-second in the actual show’s finale.
Elsewhere on the schedule, there are more Eiffel Tower designs, the traditional Spring “Joyeuses Pâques” pin, a fun “Grape Soda” Up pin and just 800 limited “it’s a small world” 50th Anniversary pins, the proceeds of which will go to Unicef.
There are also two Pin Trading events this month — a privatised “Witches and Wizards” event at Disney’s Hotel New York on 26th April, and a public Pin Trading Day in Disneyland Park on the park’s 22nd anniversary, 12th April.
Will you be there for either event, and which pins will you add to your collection?
Less than three days to go before the first ‘Swing into Spring’ season begins at Disneyland Paris, the new decorations on Main Street, U.S.A. and Central Plaza are already taking root to add a burst of fresh colour to Disneyland Park.
Just days after they were officially revealed in final concept art, the first arrivals were the colourful Central Plaza “topiary” displays of favourite Disney animals, interacting with musical notes and instruments. Each one takes the centrepiece of one of the four Central Plaza flower beds, surrounded by a fresh display of much less synthetic blooms.
Bambi, Flower and Thumper, The Aristocats Marie, Berlioz and Toulouse, and The Lion King Simba and Nala are pictured here by @DisneylandBerry, who has been sharing these updates of the growing Spring decorations each morning. Three of the 101 dalmatian puppies are in place, too, completing one of the best Central Plaza overlays in many years.
Meanwhile, down in Town Square the theme is more Mary Poppins. The 1964 film celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, and is of course a natural fit for a springtime “Jolly Holiday”.
As the concept art depicted, the two flower beds either side of Main Street’s gazebo have become home to full-size floral topiary figures of Mary, Bert, Jane and Michael.
The Town Square Gazebo itself soon followed, being decorated with colourful garlands of synthetic flowers, musical notes and a large butterfly for its “Balade Printanière”.
Perhaps a simple floral overlay would have been enough and more in-keeping with the time period of Main Street, but at least, thank heavens, the psychedelic multi-coloured music staff of the concept art was changed to a more subdued green.
Penguin waiters are even less in-keeping with Main Street, of course, but they add some fun to the scene and are by far one of the least offensive things ever done to the poor gazebo. And they’re penguin waiters, so it’s impossible to dislike them.
Main Street, U.S.A. is home to almost all the Swing into Spring decorations, the furthest they spread into the park being only Le Théatre du Château. Here, the successful Halloween overlay of recent years has been echoed for Spring with daisies wrapped around the columns and a new green podium stage, ready for the main Disney’s Spring Promenade event which will take place both here and around Central Plaza.
It’s simple and tasteful enough, and again good to see the stage finding a new lease of life after some years of dilapidation and uncertainty. Now to see how it will be used…
You’ve less than four days to get to Disneyland Paris for the opening of ‘Swing into Spring’, the almost mythical Spring Festival which now at last has been given its official English title, dates and some welcome publicity by the resort.
Released today is a new video featuring Show Director Christophe Leclercq, introducing the season of springtime decorations and entertainment. If not revealing any new details of the much-speculated festival, Christophe confirms again some important details, such as the main event featuring no less than 90 dancers, 22 musicians and a quite startling 33 characters, taking place “in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle”.
The video includes an additional piece of concept art for the Central Plaza “topiary” displays (above) which feature characters from Bambi, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, The Aristocats and The Lion King interacting with musical notes and instruments.
This is also the first time (besides a lone Belgian press release) that Disneyland Paris has confirmed the season will run from 5th April to 22nd June 2014.
In French, the season will be known as La Balade Printanière, or “Springtime Stroll”.
An earlier version of the video mistakenly subtitled Town Square as Times Square.
La Place de Rémy has officially joined the Walt Disney Studios Park map. Pre-empting the expected guide map changeover on 3rd April, Disneyland Paris has released an early peek at the new, updated map for its second gate featuring the brand new mini-land.
Depicting the Parisian quarter to the right of Toy Story Playland in Toon Studio, the park map now shows the square, buildings, façades and all-important fountain of Ratatouille: The Adventure. The marquee logos of the ride, Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy, and the restaurant, Le Bistrot Chez Rémy, are both included, as is the logo-orientated style of the studio park map.
The map’s designers have chosen to end the façades immediately behind their rooftops, similar to several attractions such as Pirates of Caribbean on the Disneyland Park map, and not depict the massive showbuilding in any way. This makes the attraction the first to have a “hidden” or backstage showbuilding on the Walt Disney Studios Park map (even if in reality there’s no hiding it from within the park).
While Catastrophe Canyon and the Dinotopia set of Studio Tram Tour: Behind the Magic have been moved to the right in order to fit the latest expansion on, the rest of the park map remains completely unchanged:
In fact, so much so that the version sent out today still features the Playhouse Disney Live on Stage! logo — the attraction has been rebranded to Disney Junior. The full map also inexplicably features Disney Village in the bottom-left corner, seen from the same viewpoint.
Besides the park, Ratatouille will also be featured on the general Disneyland Paris resort map, with a few of its façades pictured above Buzz Lightyear:
Looking back through the park’s previous maps, it is now relatively impressive to see the changes and expansions since opening day — though they have certainly been somewhat lop-sided, with Toon Studio getting much of the attention.
In 2001, perhaps the barest Disney Park map in history was released for pre-opening brochures:
This was thankfully soon updated with more of the park’s finer details (if not any of the numerous expansion rumours of the time, which would take five years to materialise):
Then, the first and still biggest change to date came in 2007, when Crush’s Coaster, Cars Quatre Roues Rallye, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Hollywood Boulevard were all added to the map in one go:
As with 2007, the early addition of Ratatouille will give the ride some much-needed advance publicity for guests visiting in the months before its opening.
While teasers have been shared online, the expansion must be one of the first in Disneyland Paris history not to see its construction walls decorated with even a modest teaser of what is being built within. With so many missed promotional opportunities already, it’s a relief to see this one seized, if only thanks to the traditional bi-annual guide map changeover…
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