Could Alfredo Linguini, Rémy’s human accomplice, be on his way to La Place de Rémy this year, too? Disneyland Paris recently posted an audition notice (below) on its official Casting website calling for actors to interpret the Ratatouille role “as part of a new project”.
Auditionees are required to have a “strong artistic presence” and “lots of energy”, as well as measuring a precise 1.73m to 1.85m tall. A good level of English is required as well as French, plus a definite ability to improvise in the role, son of the late Auguste Gusteau.
Applications were to be received by 16th February, but the casting notice doesn’t give any other dates. Often these notices will give a rough idea of employment dates for the roles being cast. So, as well as not giving any clues as to the attraction‘s definite opening, this can’t tell us whether the role of a live Linguini could be a regular feature around the new attraction or perhaps just a one-off for the grand opening ceremonies.
Nevertheless, a Linguini “face character” would be another first for Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney Studios Park in the world of Disney parks. Up until now, only Rémy and Emile have become park characters, being regular favourites of Disney’s Stars ‘n’ Cars in particular.
Helpfully, the small feature box states: “The exact opening date is not confirmed. Please contact us.” It also surprisingly lists the name of the attraction as its full L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy moniker, no doubt infuriating for those Disney marketeers who probably spent fifty board meetings deciding on just calling it “The Ride” for all English advertising.
• Catch up on all our Ratatouille ride news and rumours here!
Here’s a double Disney Character update with both good and possibly not-so-good news, depending on your view. First, the unconfirmed rumour that from November 2014 character meet ‘n’ greet locations will be removed from Disney Hotels.
This information seems to have first appeared in a tweet by @DisneyCharPhot on 10th November, then reiterated without a date by @DisneyMoi the next day, followed by a more precise date of 3rd November by @DLRPWonders just a minute later.
Starting November 3th 2014, characters will no longer be appearing at the Disney Hotels at Disneyland Paris!
— DLRP Wonders (@DLRPWonders) February 11, 2014
Obviously we must still treat this as a rumour, since Disneyland Paris has made no comment, but given the number of supporting claims and the fact that the Entertainment department is usually about as watertight as a pair of Captain Hook’s tights when it comes to revealing information, it’s quite hard to dismiss.
Note that the rumours state character dining such as the popular Inventions buffet at Disneyland Hotel would continue, and that it is only the character locations in the open lobby areas of each Disney Hotel which would not longer be used.
Why would Disneyland Paris do such a thing? Isn’t being able to meet Mickey in your hotel lobby a real benefit of staying in those hotels? First, it might not be common knowledge that Disneyland Paris is something of an anomaly with having Disney characters in its hotels. Other Disney resorts around the world are more reserved: characters only appear at their hotels, if at all, in restaurants and dining events, with the only similar exception we can find being California’s Disneyland Hotel, which advertises occasional characters in the lobby.
There’s another side to the story that’s more surprising, though, as apparently it has become a genuine issue that some non-paying visitors and locals walk through the resort and around its hotels, meeting the characters without paying a cent. With that in mind, it’s probably a good decision to reserve the characters to places where only paying guests can meet them.
“Hotel Guests are not going to lose out too much, ALL the Characters you could of met in your hotel will now be ready to welcome you exclusively in the Disneyland Park during the Extra Magic Hours. So instead of just having 2 or 3 Characters to meet in your lobby in the morning, you will most likely be able to meet alot more throughout the park – imagine all the Characters usually hanging out at the 6 hotels (Disneyland Hotel will not be affected) will now converge on the park to prepare for the day, before all the regular Guests even arrive.”
— Poppy the Monkey, magicforum
And it’s in the parks that we find our really good news.
Since the start of this year, the Entertainment department has been trialling organised queues for characters. No more pushing, shoving or mobbing: guests are simply organised into a proper line and asked to wait their turn. And it appears to be working.
Just this morning, @DisneylandPfans captured a queue of visitors waiting patiently to meet Goofy on Main Street, PixieDust.be reported it working well in their latest update, while InsideDLParis has shared snaps (above) of numerous working queues since this initiative began in early January.
It’s fair to say that if you skimmed any number of Disneyland Paris reviews, especially those comparing with other resorts, the disorderly character appearances would always be consistently mentioned. Could it finally be a thing of the past?
This is without doubt one of the most welcome recent developments for the parks. And such a minor change: an extra character minder here, a polite “please join the queue!” there. If only park managers could continue through the whole experience of being in the parks with the same fine tooth comb and fix a few other similar niggles for us…
Bringing Home Imagineering to the masses, Disneyland Paris has launched its latest promotional effort dubbed “The Imagination Castle”, an online competition inviting children to become the next Tom Morris and design their own Sleeping Beauty Castle.
From 6th to 24th February, children aged 3 to 8 years old can draw, paint or create their own imaginary castle and have their parent or guardian submit it to win a full board trip to Disneyland Paris and a chance to see the “Imagination Castle” itself brought to life. A mélange of all the winning entries, the castle will actually take shape somewhere in the centre of Paris — so don’t fear for crayon marks and paint smudges on our dear Château.
The contest is being run concurrently for residents of the United Kingdom, France (Le Château de l’Imagination), Spain (El Castillo de l’Imaginación), the Netherlands (Het Kasteel van de Verbeelding) and Belgium, with three winners from each competition.
Here’s the English promotional video:
It’s worth noting from the competition rules that Euro Disney S.C.A. will not be held responsible for “any damage caused to a Candidate’s computer”, so do make sure your child doesn’t paint directly onto the screen — and don’t forget the all-important dragon underneath.
Operators of the PanoraMagique balloon in Disney Village have announced the attraction will get a new entrance leading directly from the main avenue of the entertainment district, publishing the image above to give an idea of their plans.
Changes to security barriers around the resort in 2012 no doubt caused the operators some headaches, as Disney Village became part of the main “Parks” area. This now allows visitors to move freely between the Parks and Village without any barriers, but the use of the old “road train” waiting canopy next to Café Mickey meant the boundary to the hotels was drawn right before the balloon’s entrance, leaving it out on a periphery.
Under the new plans, the entrance will be directly ahead of guests, opposite Earl of Sandwich as they walk up through Disney Village, affording it much greater visibly and prominence, and giving the ballon more of that classic Disney “weenie” effect.
To allow the works to take place, PanoraMagique will be closed from 10th to 31st March 2014.
While we’ve been enjoying some of the first true sneak peeks inside the ride, the film’s original composer has been hard at work from Tuesday through to Friday to provide its soundtrack, sharing some of the results on his own Instagram account. Day one brought us a lone shot of the ride’s song book, but by day two Giacchino was sharing exciting videos from the sessions, perhaps our first audio peek at the finished score.
Other images included a look at the music notes for “Colette Shows Him the Ropes” and a photo of drummer Harvey Mason and bass player Abe Laboriel.
We mustn’t forget that as well as L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy, there’s a queue line, exterior street (La Place de Rémy) and the restaurant (Le Bistrot Chez Rémy) to score, which will require some rather more mellow sounds than Rémy’s dash through the ride itself.
Below, we’ve gathered together all the videos — take a listen! CONTINUE READING…
While they search for that elusive last brick, the new concept art above has surfaced in the Euro Disney S.C.A. Annual Review, showing the full shopfront as seen from outside. Due to be the flagship of LEGO’s European retail chain, as well as being just that bit bigger than a standard high street example, the store has plenty of special “Disney” touches to set it apart.
The new store, which replaces the tired Hollywood Pictures, was originally announced for “Autumn 2013″ and due to open on 27th September 2013, but suffered a major setback late in construction when much of the suspended ceiling collapsed. This was since refitted and final decorative elements begun to be put in place — including those elusive LEGO bricks in models specially commissioned for Disneyland Paris.
Peeking under the construction walls in late December, InsideDLParis managed to get a look at the installations, which include Sorcerer Mickey and figures of Woody and Buzz Lightyear.
A second confirmed opening date of 14th January then failed to materialise, with Disneyland Paris sending out an official statement announcing the opening had been postponed “due to a delay in construction work resulting from new building regulations” and that we would be kept informed of further developments.
Just last week, the walls came down to reveal the full glass shopfront, blocked out by a temporary frosted covering.
Presuming the store still needs to be stocked and have its staff trained and prepared, an opening may not be exactly imminent but shouldn’t be too far away now, either.
Soundbites about “challenging tourism climates” and “investing in growth strategies” aren’t all you’ll find the Euro Disney S.C.A. Annual Review. Published by the Disneyland Paris operating group each year, the splashy document is also filled with a host of fascinating and intriguing facts and figures about the resort, its parks, its Cast Members and its visitors.
You can browse the 2013 Annual Review now online. Surprisingly, this year breaks with tradition and abandons the usual overblown website dedicated to the report (last year complete with Philippe Gas video intro) and presents it just as a standard e-brochure. We’d love to know the figure for how much cash that decision wisely saved. But instead, here’s our quick pick of the key figures and fun facts of 2013 at Disneyland Paris…
Last, but not least, the geographical split of theme park visits, where France has broken 51% leaving all other feeder nations languishing. It’s fascinating to look back ten years to the results from the 2003 Annual Review and see how dramatically the breakdown has shifted.
Where once 22% of visitors were from the United Kingdom, now that percentage is a tiny 14%. Worse for Germany; its percentage share has halved from 6% to 3% in 2013. Italy and Spain meanwhile used to make up 9% together and have now increased to 11%, mainly thanks to a boom in visitors from Spain begun a few years ago, but which now appears to have ebbed away, in line with the country’s economy, to 8%.
Attendance figures in 2003 were 12.4 million, so 22% would give an estimated 2,728,000 British guests for the year. The same calculation for 14% of the 14.9 million guests in 2013 gives 2,086,000 guests crossing the channel. Far from a scientific, watertight calculation, obviously, but you could see it suggesting that roughly 654,720 fewer visitors from the UK went to Disneyland Paris in 2013 compared to ten years ago, a 24% drop.
Overall, with 49% of visitors now coming from outside France in 2013 versus 61% in 2003, you could estimate the resort’s entire non-domestic park attendance has actually fallen by over a quarter of a million guests in the past ten years, from 7.6 million in 2003 to 7.3 million in 2013. In the same period, meanwhile, you could estimate attendance from within France has grown by a huge 2.8 million guests, from 4.8 million to a strong 7.6 million visitors.
Clearly it is time Disneyland Paris took a few of its œufs out of its panier and worked on growing visitor numbers from other countries too, if only back to the levels they were ten years ago.
That’s not something even Rémy can do alone, or is it?
Besides the numbers, questions and voting, yesterday’s Euro Disney S.C.A. Annual General Meeting had just one thing on the agenda: finally lifting the curtain — if only a smidgen — on the making of Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy from a Walt Disney Imagineering perspective.
Doing the honours was Tom Fitzgerald, the Senior Creative Executive who has been closely involved with the expansion of Walt Disney Studios Park in the past ten years, particularly Toon Studio and Toy Story Playland. Brand new, previously unseen concept art, scale models and behind-the-scenes photos from the making of the attraction were all revealed for the first time in Tom’s exciting five-minute presentation, finally satisfying the fevered desire for more information and visuals from the ride and restaurant amongst us fans.
Continues with video, 24 stills and full transcript… CONTINUE READING…
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