To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of “it’s a small world”, around 50 new artworks by Mary Blair are now available to purchase from The Art of Disney on Demand, at The Disney Gallery boutique in Disney Village.
Using the electronic system, you can choose and order custom Disney artwork prints in a number of sizes and with several framing choices, to then be delivered to your home.
Finally brought to Disneyland Paris by Régis Alart and his merchandising team after years of availability at the American resorts, the service crucially allows authentic prints of Disneyland Paris attraction posters and concept art to be purchased, many for the first time in the resort’s history, something that fans have long requested.
Today, Disneyland Paris has announced the catalogue now also includes a variety of artwork by Mary Blair, the acclaimed artist who in the 1950s and 60s designed and inspired the look of numerous Disney projects, from Saludos Amigos to Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland, and most notably the “it’s a small world” project for the 1964 New York World’s Fair.
Also now available in the catalogue are more Fantasyland prints, such as the classic Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant artwork below.
Prices range from €17.99 to €230, excluding postage, depending on how extravagant your sizing and framing choices are.
The Art of Disney on Demand launched with an incredibly strong offer from the start, immediately allowing fans to purchase their favourite attraction posters from a wide range along with a number of other Disney prints.
From Disneyland Railroad to Phantom Manor, the Disneyland Paris archives were finally opened up, giving fans what they’ve always asked for and, of course, monetising the fantastic wealth of art and creativity that built the park.
It’s certainly reassuring to see the catalogue expand so soon and refreshing to see Disneyland Paris capitalising on an event such as the “it’s a small world” 50th Anniversary. Hopefully this ambition will remain, to ensure the catalogue remains fresh and continues to grow.
Watch a video below from the system’s launch in September 2013, explaining how The Art of Disney on Demand works… CONTINUE READING…
Disneyland Paris has finally swung into action, confirming months and rumour and speculation with the first promotion of its upcoming Spring Festival season at Disneyland Park. While the calendar season begins today, Disney’s season of entertainment and special decorations will run from 5th April to 22nd June 2014, confirming the rumoured dates exactly.
Two new pieces of concept art lead the announcements, shared on the resort’s official Facebook and Twitter pages.
Above, the concept shows Town Square and its gazebo decorated with Mary Poppins-themed topiaries, flowers and decorations including Mary, Bert and the “Jolly Holiday” penguins.
Below, one of the new centrepieces for Central Plaza is shown, featuring One Hundred and One Dalmatians. Each of the four main flower beds in the heart of the park will have a different display of flowers, topiary and musical notes — a new official press release confirms the others will feature The Lion King, Bambi and The Aristocats.
So far, the press release has only been slipped onto the Belgian press websites, under the title “Disneyland Paris aux couleurs du Printemps” (Disneyland Paris in the colours of Spring). Here’s a full translation of the key points from the French language version:
Disneyland Paris in the colours of Spring
5th April to 22nd June 2014
If Disneyland Paris was a garden, it would be the largest in Europe with 35,000 trees, 250,000 shrubs and more than a million flowers planted each year. Mickey and friends have decided to celebrate this legacy of success with a special theme for more than three months, in the colours of Spring. With new happenings, new decorations and the opportunity to meet the Disney characters in new costumes.
Disneyland Paris turns into a “springtime stroll”.
The new daily “Promenade Printanière” happening promises to be the event of the day. This ultra-colourful musical event will be enlivened by more than one hundred artists including 90 dancers. Not to mention the Disney characters in new, specially-created costumes. Mickey and Minnie, Alice and the Mad Hatter, Woody and Jessie from Toy Story, Stitch, Pinocchio, Clarabelle and many more will delight park guests accompanied by the musicians of the “Jolly Holiday Band” and “Swing into Spring Orchestra”. The new generation will also be in the spotlight, notably Rapunzel.
In decorations, small and big dreamers will be able to discover their favourite Disney heros in versions more “flowery” than ever. Beside Sleeping Beauty Castle, topiaries depicting One Hundred and One Dalmations, Simba and Nala (The Lion King), the Artistocats and even Bambi and his friends Flower and Thumper have sprung up like magic. Elsewhere, landmarks will be transformed into showcases of flowers.
“Bienvenue à la Belle Saison”, at the entrance of Disneyland Park, will immerse guests in the magic of Spring, with butterflies, flowers, topiary and music.
Finally, children can play as budding explorers with an entertaining leaflet guiding them through the nature, ecology and diversity offered by Disneyland Paris.
While the English name “Swing into Spring” has long been associated with the season and/or its daily happening, the main event is confirmed here in French as “Promenade Printanière” (Springtime Promenade), with two musical acts named “Swing into Spring Orchestra” and “Jolly Holiday Band”. It remains to be seen how the season itself will be titled in English.
With no less than a hundred “artists” including 90 dancers from the auditions earlier this year, the event, which is rumoured to take place around Central Plaza, could be quite a surprise spectacle indeed. Having two confirmed musical acts is also great move, rather than the park’s usual erratic live music schedule. This release also confirms Rapunzel will be featured, with a meet ‘n’ greet rumoured for the spot near to Casey’s Corner in Main Street, U.S.A.
Very welcome too is the renewed focus on the park’s gardens, especially as Disneyland Paris always spends money creating fabulous flower displays every year in springtime anyway.
It’s reassuring to see the event should indeed include some real flora rather than just fibreglass decorations. Indeed, while the flowers and topiaries look lovely, it wouldn’t exactly be a shame if the rather garish, unnecessary musical notes and butterfly were dropped from the Town Square gazebo concept, would it?
But still, simply for Disneyland Paris to share concept art publicly like this is a positive step itself — not just promoting the event but showing the talent and artistry going into it.
Posting on Facebook, Disneyland Paris announced:
“As of April 5th, Disneyland Paris will be officially welcoming the return of spring! This brand new season will be bursting with surprises, so come and join all your favourite Disney Characters for a music-filled celebration of blooming flowers and glorious sun-drenched days!”
However as “product” launches go, this must be one of the most last-minute in the resort’s history, giving only just over two weeks notice before the events actually begin. This could be a way to reduce expectation ahead of a bigger investment and promotional push next year, when the concept is proven, but for now has Disneyland Paris confirmed these Spring details with enough time for you to actually plan a trip, or did you wish you knew sooner?
What stuck in the throat more than Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy? For many fans, it was a four letter word: ride. The word that many, and most of all Disney themselves, tend to discourage when talking about an “attraction” was surprisingly plumped for in finding a suitably snappy English title for Ratatouille. Had Disney lost their morals?
But now, Disney have made a sudden rebrand, removing the offending word and renaming the attraction, for English marketing purposes, as Ratatouille: The Adventure. This change is confirmed by the new logo, above, and also a change to the name applied to the key visual and press release already published for the British market, swapping “Ratatouille: The Ride” for “Ratatouille The Adventure”.
Not only does this elevate the attraction somewhat, making it sound less like a fairground “ride” and perhaps more like a €150 million state-of-the-art dark ride, it also matches the start of the French “L’Aventure” title and perhaps helps to hint that there’s more than just a ride: a restaurant, a shop and a whole area development, too.
“The Adventure” will likely only be used in British (and perhaps other English language) publicity for the attraction, and at most inside the English guide maps, with the full Totalement Toquée French title definitely set to appear above the actual entrance.
This is now the latest in a series of names to be associated with the project, starting with the working titles “Ratatouille Kitchen Calamity!” and “Ratatouille: Désastre en Cuisine”, then the final official title, and then the first video trailers announcing “Ratatouille: The Ride” and “Ratatouille: L’Attraction”.
Well, there’s nothing Disneyland Paris loves more than a good name change, but what do you think of this latest one, an improvement?
It’s a glorious, sunny day in our corner of Europe today, with the feeling that Spring has truly sprung. The same could finally be the case for Disneyland Paris’ much-rumoured Spring Festival season, with new logos and creative text published this week.
The three designs, shared by Dlrp Express, take the standard Disneyland Paris logo in a fresh shade of green and apply colourful flowers, climbing plant shoots, a bright pink butterfly and musical notes floating in the air.
Both this rather over-the-top design, and a more discreet, flatter version have been released.
Alongside those is a new graphic to complete the set: a green petalled flower with Mickey Mouse-shaped centre, plus the same pink butterfly and musical notes.
The first piece of text describing the season also appears to have been unearthed. Although we don’t have this directly from an official source, it’s unlikely even a fan could write something so typically Disney, let alone produce the logos above:
“Swing into a Disney Spring, blooming with magic at Disneyland® Paris. Color and music blossom throughout Disneyland® Park. And with the smell of flowers and fun in the air, it’s sure to be magnifiScent.”
Rumours point towards the new season beginning around 5th April and running until 22nd June 2014. Not only would this fill a gap in the schedule where Disneyland Paris has previously launched a year-long festival, it’d fit remarkably well with speculation of Ratatouille press and soft opening dates, which could perhaps start taking place around 21st June.
So, Disneyland Paris has a brand new season of entertainment and decorations beginning in less than a month — why on earth isn’t it advertising it? Besides the fact that the resort often leaves promoting things quite late, there are clues in the rumours so far.
• Read our previous article to learn more about what the new season could include: New “Spring Festival” season set to fill April – June months at Disneyland Paris
If the “main event” of the season’s first year is only going to use the Casey Jr parade train, repurposed for the millionth time, and some borrowed cars from Disney’s Stars ‘n’ Cars, it definitely hints at something that will be more a trial concept rather than a fully-fleshed season from the outset.
Disneyland Paris has grown, improved and redefined its Christmas and particularly its Halloween seasons over several years recently, and likely wouldn’t want to create too much hype over something that is such a completely new idea. Will the theme, decorations and events work? Will guests actually buy into a “Spring” season, as a reason to revisit?
If the season’s a success, we can surely expect it to return next year, bigger and better, with a full promotional push as a third “pillar” season of the year in official brochures. It’s a perfect way for Disneyland Park to feel “fresh” each spring even when the resort doesn’t have a genuine new attraction to offer. But for this, the first year we might “Swing Into Spring” (it’s still not confirmed!), it’ll probably be more a pleasant bonus. Just like today’s weather.
Posting a picture of the orchestra playing away behind a Chef Rémy plush toy and a Linguini PEZ dispenser, the Incredibles mastermind said:
— Brad Bird (@BradBirdA113) March 4, 2014
Besides the PEZ, the photo also shows how the orchestra appear to be being conducted along to a plan of the ride’s layout, projected in the background, with the “Ratmobiles” shown moving through the scenes as white shapes.
Last month, the film’s original composer, Michael Giacchino, began sharing a number of video clips from a whole week of scoring sessions, featuring soundbites of the attraction’s new soundtrack which he has composed himself.
Should Bird’s tweet be “live” and the scoring sessions have resumed, it really shows how much work is going in to provide music for the ride, restaurant and La Place de Rémy exterior.
This isn’t Brad Bird’s first mention of Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy on his Twitter account. In March 2012, long before Disneyland Paris officially acknowledged the attraction, he gave a short response to a fan stating he was very excited about the project and that “It’s going to be really cool.”
Desperately lacking a platform like the Disney Parks Blog, Disneyland Paris itself has yet to truly begin providing any teasers or insights into the attraction’s creation. So here, we have the odd situation where the film’s composer and director are providing some of the best promotion of the mega-budget attraction it’s inspiring. Note to Paris: anticipation sells, silence doesn’t.
Ratatouille: The Ride will open, that’s about as close as we can get to an official opening date right now. But today Belgian tabloid newspaper SudPresse appeared to break ranks by publishing an article (above, and in full below thanks to DlrpExpress.fr) which states quite clearly and confidently that the date will be 15th July 2014.
Upon closer inspection (or even from a great distance), it seems quite likely that this article hasn’t been anywhere near the Disneyland Paris press department for authorisation — besides the author logging on to transcribe their latest press release.
Because though the text — date aside — sticks quite closely to the resort’s official copy, the images do anything but. The map of Walt Disney Studios Park which appears to show the attraction is a widely circulated, fan-created image superimposing Epcot’s France pavilion map onto the back of Toon Studio.
The concepts of a “Ratmobile”, unearthed as part of the ride’s planning application, have only ever been published publicly by the Disney Central Plaza forum, whose watermark can still be seen on the image. When it came to show the Ratmobiles during last month’s shareholders meeting, Tom Fitzgerland had much more final, official-looking renders.
And finally, the photo of the tunnel with a bust of Chef Gusteau comes, uncredited, directly from fansite DLP.info, circa 2010, who weren’t so lucky with their watermark — covered over by the newspapers own caption! There is no way Disneyland Paris would sign off the use of any of these images, so why would they give this publication an exclusive with a date?
SudPresse is apparently well known for such questionable reporting — a search even brings up an “exclusive” from June 2012, recirculating the fansite rumour of the time that a Spider-Man theme would replace Armageddon: Les Effets Speciaux.
What remains odd is that the paper plumped for Tuesday, 15th July 2014, when the most widely circulated rumour so far has been the 14th July — France’s national “Bastille” day.
Bastille Day looks great on paper, of course: opening an attraction based on French love letter Ratatouille, plus an adjoining restaurant, with endorsement from Chef Paul Bocuse, at Disneyland Paris, on the French national day itself; the concept of such a thing is so French the whole of France might just implode.
But is one of the busiest days of the year really the best time to open such a desperately awaited new attraction? And would the French press (not to mention all the extra technical and support staff required for a press event) really want to leave their families and traditional celebrations to cover an event happening on 14th July itself? Besides, Disneyland Paris press events usually only take place over a Friday, Saturday, Sunday weekend.
Elsewhere, one quite credible rumour has been that Cast Members could be given a preview of the attraction on Monday, 23rd June, followed by “Soft Opening” beginning on Saturday, 28th June. Soft Opening is the period of a few weeks where Disney opens new attractions for guests as a kind of “dress rehearsal”, giving a chance to tweak the experience and spot problems without the attraction officially being “open”.
Meanwhile June’s park opening hours were published yesterday, with a couple of clues that something might be afoot at the Studios, as reported on DLRPMagic.com. Notably, Saturday 21st June sees the park close at 6pm, rather than the usual 7pm. Indeed, this the first and only Saturday of the year so far that the park will close at this earlier time on a Saturday.
Disneyland Paris wouldn’t cut opening hours on a busy weekend lightly, so this must suggest some kind of private event — for Cast Members, for the press, for someone else? It’s usually good manners to give Cast Members first preview of an attraction, so if this were to be a press event date for the opening of the ride, it might put that 23rd June date in doubt.
Late June would make a far more sensible date to assemble the press for a showy grand opening, though: before the French summer holidays (and abandonment of Paris) begin, and giving enough time for them to draft their footage, reports and articles in time for a big media push on… 14th July? This could be particularly successful outside of France where, rather than the usual samey Eiffel Tower footage, news reports could show the implosion of French-ness on La Place de Rémy as a perfect populist tie-in to the national date.
Disneyland Paris always separates its press grand openings from its public inaugurations. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, for example, opened to the public on 22nd December 2007 but didn’t have its big grand opening event until 5th April 2008.
That would leave Bastille Day itself as more a simple ribbon-cutting date for the public; indeed, the date on paper — the date that goes down as the day Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy finally, officially opened its doors. It’d be perfect. Even though, as is always the way with Disney attraction openings, it wouldn’t necessarily be true.
At this point, it’s really a shame Disneyland Paris won’t just do the sensible thing and make an announcement, if only so that us fans can stop obsessing over a date, book our summer trips with confidence and start focusing instead on what a seriously cool and spectacularly unique new addition this is shaping up to be — perhaps the best thing to come to Disneyland Paris since the hallowed date of 12th April 1992 …or should that be 11th April?
Disneyland Paris continues to maintain something of a general radio silence on development of Ratatouille: The Ride, now potentially opening in just four months or less, but a few tidbits of information at least have just trickled out in two pieces of official copy.
For travel agents in the United Kingdom, and published here for the very first time, the resort has just provided a brief snippet of standard copy for the attraction. Despite the usual fluff of these texts, it does reveal and confirm a few interesting facts:
Ratatouille: The Ride
Shrinking down to the size of a rat, you’ll be immersed in a Disney experience like no other. Rémy and his friends cook up a storm when Chef Skinner sends you scurrying through the sights, smells and senses of Gusteau’s restaurant. Duck, dive and dodge your way through a Disneylicious adventure that’s sure to leave you hungry for more.
First, that the attraction will include “sights, smells and senses” — hinting that your ride through Gusteau’s restuarant will be peppered by the scents of food and cooking along the way.
This wouldn’t be the first time Disney have used scents in one of their attractions, indeed areas ranging from Pirates of the Caribbean to Cable Car Bake Shop are “odourised” to enhance the setting or tempt you in for that doughnut.
But for Ratatouille, scents would likely be a much more overt part of the scene rather than subconscious. Indeed, if Walt Disney Imagineering are going to do a fully immersive Ratatouille ride, they really have to do cooking aromas.
There’s also now an amended French press release, which describes the scenes and storyline of the ride in a little more detail:
La 60ème attraction de Disneyland Paris se nommera donc Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy. Elle embarquera les visiteurs dans une expérience immersive… à la hauteur d’un rat ! Ils seront propulsés dans l’aventure périlleuse de Rémy, au cœur du grand restaurant parisien « Chez Gusteau », imaginé par le réalisateur Brad Bird. Des toits de Paris aux cuisines en pleine effervescence, en passant par la chambre froide et bien sûr la salle de restaurant surveillée par le redoutable Chef Skinner… L’aventure s’annonce mouvementée et pleine de saveurs.
“Pleine de saveurs” (full of flavour) says this release, which could be another hint to those aromas of the kitchens being dispersed through the ride (or a marketing pun, or both).
And finally, “la chambre froide” — the kitchen cold store, an interesting scene to mention in an official press release. Combined with the “senses” of the English release, perhaps this cold store will be truly cold to riders of the attraction… and the following oven scene truly HOT?
Separately, the release also confirms Le Bistrot Chez Rémy restaurant will include ratatouille itself on its menu (hold the front page!). Obvious of course, but there’s the confirmation.
The official publicity image (above) has also been released in higher quality.
Labelled “Ratatouille – Family”, this version shows only four riders despite the Ratmobiles having a capacity of six — presumably, the other 0.4 children can’t be seen. A previous version pictured six riders of an older age group, so hopefully the €150 million state-of-the-art dark ride won’t just be marketed as something exclusively for six year olds.
Here’s one of the likely scents to be smelled inside Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy: oranges! This was confirmed to us by Jay Espindola, who’s involved with ITV’s This Morning programme on British TV, which often runs competitions promoting Disneyland Paris.
While much of the Ratatouille attraction and restaurant exterior has been constructed and finished in full view of passing guests, one developing façade of La Place de Rémy in Walt Disney Studios Park has appeared noticeably shyer: the boutique, Chez Marianne Souvenirs de Paris.
Yet no longer, as white sheets covering the scaffolding along this side of the park’s Parisian street were gradually removed bit by bit yesterday, revealing the first glimpse at the remarkably complete façade of this future Ratatouille shop.
Later in the day, @1929Mickey on Twitter captured these photos of the unveiled finish, which seeks to cover up the corner of the “ImagiNations” Cast Member building as much as provide an exterior for the boutique.
The result matches well with plans published online last year, revealing the full extent of how this “Rue de Paris” leading towards Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy will look.
Chez Marianne Souvenirs de Paris will be located actually inside this corner of the Cast Member building, in former backstage space, with a square corner frontage that will have entrance doors both onto the street, above, and facing out towards the attraction itself (to the left).
The colonnaded exterior seen on the plans matches the cream section still partially covered yesterday, with many finishing touches still to be done.
It’s odd to notice that the modern pitched section on the right of the existing building has been somewhat incorporated into the façade, but beyond this point the rest of the building remains uncovered, leaving an unthemed corner facing toward the Toy Story Playland entrance.
Luckily conifer trees have grown up to mostly cover it from view, but the area between here and Hollywood Boulevard, behind Art of Disney Animation, remains a real let-down (and a perfect spot to give us our own mini Pixar Place, surely).
To put the location into context, and to show just what a transformation this development presents, let’s go back to 2010…
The corner above is where the colonnaded façade is now taking shape, with doors on both sides leading into the boutique slotted into the building’s ground floor.
The boutique itself remains scheduled to open a little later than the attraction and restaurant, in “Autumn 2014″. This does indeed seem absurd, especially for a merchandise might like Disney, but construction did begin later and fitting a new boutique into the corner of an existing building is probably not as easy as building from scratch. And still, you never know, a store on Disneyland Paris property could open ahead of schedule for once.
Though Marianne, of the boutique’s name, is of course a national emblem of the French Republic, it’s been suggested that it could also be an in-joke referring to the (now apparently former) Disneyland Paris Director of Merchandise, Marianne Sharpe, who spearheaded many welcome improvements to the resort’s merchandise offer in recent years.
Inside, we no doubt expect to find the resort’s recently revamped range of “Paris” merchandise, along with items relating to the film and perhaps even culinary homewares or foodstuffs. Alongside Tower Hotel Gifts, it’ll be only the second adequately-sized boutique outside of the Studios’ Front Lot entrance area and the first in the character-filled Toon Studio, ignoring the miniscule Disney Animation Gallery and disappointing Barrel of Monkeys.
Add to this the very welcome toilets just next door, the desperately needed restaurant across the courtyard, and you see why Ratatouille will be the best step yet to make Walt Disney Studios both feel and work like a real Disney park, in this corner at least.
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