The first surprise of this morning’s Annual General Meeting for Euro Disney shareholders came online, as the official Disneyland Paris Twitter account shared a brand new visual for the exterior of Ratatouille’s ride and restaurant, a mini-land within Toon Studio to known as La Place de Rémy.
Taking its inspiration from the very first piece of concept art we saw way back in May 2011, this new, slicker visual seems to solve the problem that the more artistic concept just wasn’t considered “Ratatouille” enough. Right up front we see Linguini holding Rémy. In the background you can spot Colette, there’s the trademark Gusteau’s sign up on the rooftop, a mini Chef Rémy carved into the top of the gushing fountain and twinkling lights in the Parisian trees.
For a marketing visual it’s actually a remarkably realistic representation of everything we’ll see this summer — dazzling purple sky perhaps not included. It also reveals for the first time that a giant copper cooking pot and ladle — just like the one Rémy first meddles with — with be used for the entrance marquee, a whimsical crossover of the oversized rat-scale world encountered once you step inside the showbuilding.
Below, we’ve annotated a few of the nice details to be found:
This image was swiftly followed by new English and French versions of the “Ratatouille: The Ride” trailer first spotted in the wild last week, each with its own new take on a promotional logo for the long-winded Adventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy.
For the UK, the logo drops the three horizontal lines compared to the earlier version, while for France there’s a surprise as we get “Ratatouille: L’Attraction”, seemingly giving in to the fact that no-one, not even the French themselves, will use the full francophone title.
Each trailer ends with “Summer 2014″ and, in case you were wondering, the shareholder’s meeting itself came and went without any further precision as to an official opening date.
Watch the two new English and French trailers embedded below… CONTINUE READING…
Not thinking about it, not wrapped and done, but recording it right now on Tuesday, 11th February 2014 in Capitol Records Studio ‘A’, Hollywood, California, as evidenced in the above photo.
The front of the music booklet simply reads “Ratatouille Ride – Orchestra (Score includes Combo) – Composed by Michael Giacchino”. Clever positioning of a blur filter means the only words legible on the tabs at the side, likely denoting scenes of the ride, are “Rat Brigade” and “The Rodent”.
After 2004′s The Incredibles brought his talent into the spotlight, Giacchino has consistently returned to Disney and Pixer, composing the scores of Up, Cars 2 and John Carter amongst many more short films. Also known for both recent Star Trek movies and two Mission: Impossible movies, he will be reunited again with director Brad Bird on the currently in-production Tomorrowland.
Elsewhere in Disneyland Paris, he even provided the music for Space Mountain: Mission 2.
His best work though, is perhaps genuinely Ratatouille. Racing and sprinting where it wants to be, sweet and soul-lifting when it needs to be; oh-so-French but not so French to be cliché. Giacchino’s involvement in L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy is a seriously exciting seal of movie authenticity for the first dark ride of Walt Disney Studios Park.
Philippe Gas had better be careful he doesn’t stumble after George inside that infamous silver screen. The CEO of Euro Disney SCA will be hosting the group’s Annual General Meeting for shareholders tomorrow, 12th February 2014, at 9am inside CinéMagique in Walt Disney Studios Park.
As usual, it remains a closely guarded secret what exactly will be revealed at the event, beyond the usual questions and numbers. There’s a new attraction waiting just across the park, of course, and most are hoping the meeting will reveal a little more of Ratatouille: The Ride, perhaps a glimpse inside or even, the strongest rumour… an opening date.
For regular paying guests the meeting means the closure of one of the park’s star attractions, with no shows inside Studio 2 on the 9th, 10th, 11th or 12th February. These dates weren’t even included in advance on the standard attraction closures calendar, only appearing on this week’s park programme. Is it time to revisit the Convention Centre plans for Disney Village yet, Mr Gas?
In traditional “quick, the shareholders are coming!” fashion, InsideDLParis spotted railings around Studio Tram Tour: Behind the Magic being given a fresh coat of paint yesterday. And even better: despite being slated for closure until the 14th of this month, the ride will now miraculously reopen tomorrow, a few days early, before closing again for Thursday and Friday.
Follow us on Twitter tomorrow as we share the best live tweets and breaking news from the meeting.
Wait, did they finally retire the Roger Rabbit float?! The latest Disneyland Paris TV commercial to hit the internet, via a Danish travel agency, features a brief glimpse of the all-new Disney Magic on Parade aerial “flyover” footage, painstakingly shot over a whole day last summer.
This scene will at last replace the over two decades-old footage of Walt Disney World‘s 20th Anniversary Surprise Celebration Parade that Disneyland Paris has been using in countless trailers and promotional films since before the park’s 1992 opening.
Besides that well-choreographed shot, this TV spot just happens to be an all-round solid production. There’s footage of actual rides (!), real hotels (!) and of course a Disneyland Paris parade genuinely travelling down the true Parisian Main Street.
It uses a familiar concept of transporting people from the “real world” into a more magical Disney setting, but those clips last mere milliseconds. The recent “30 Yes Days” commercials for example, like far too many of the resort’s TV ads, dawdle endlessly on setting up a “concept”, when Disneyland Paris should probably just be using their precious airtime to show footage of the parks, like this.
We can even let the family off for apparently sneaking into the Newport Bay Club pool.
Watch the new Disneyland Paris commercial embedded below…
Exactly a year ago, a revolution came to the Victorian-styled walls of Disneyland Hotel in the form of free wi-fi internet access, requested for years by fans and visitors, as Disneyland Paris announced a complete rollout across the “resort” portion of its lands. One year later, it has announced certain locations in Disney Village are the latest to be connected.
Now you can cheer on your favourite team on Facebook from the Sports Bar, catch up on your email while joining a line dance at Billy Bob’s Country Western Saloon, Instagram a picture of your meal at The Steakhouse and even instantly tweet that selfie in your Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show hat. And never have to stand outside McDonald’s desperately trying to connect to their wi-fi again.
At Disney’s Hotel Cheyenne and Disney’s Hotel Santa Fe, the wi-fi only covers the main public areas — reception, bar, restaurant and boutique — and not the rooms themselves, as might have been presumed from the initial announcement.
The disjoined design of these two “value” hotels, with rooms spread out on fewer floors in separate buildings, would obviously make a rollout more expensive on a per-room basis than the other hotels, but it’s something which surely must be done in the future to ensure they remain competitive in the market and worthy of that Disney price mark-up.
Both Disneyland Paris parks also remain no-wi-fi zones, much unlike their American cousins. Complete blanket coverage would be expensive and you could argue unnecessary, so why not at least provide some key wi-fi “zones” within each park — Central Plaza and Disney Bros Plaza for starters. Forget spending millions on traditional advertising, if every guest could share just one live photo to their social network, it’d be a sound investment.
Indiana Jones et le Temple du Péril closed on 7th January for a major refurbishment which Disneyland Paris swiftly announced would last until 28th May 2014.
Work on the 20-year old Adventureland roller coaster will see replacement of “ride related components” and include the complete replacement of the entire trademark loop. Most notably, though, the complete “Temple of Peril” itself will be stripped down and reportedly rebuilt using more durable “real” stone materials. Already as of mid-January the temple has been wrapped in scaffolding with intermittent visits from a huge cherry picker crane above the skyline.
Opened 30th July 1993, the Intamin-built coaster was originally intended largely as a capacity-boosting stopgap until the young Euro Disney could properly expand its attractions roster. Grand ideas for an interweaving “Adventure” jeep ride and mine train coaster were quickly abandoned, as were concepts for extra scenes and animatronics along the route of the ride, or even a second temple.
What eventually made it into the park, yet with remarkable speed in just one year, was essentially a classic Pinfari TL-59 track layout wrapped around the fake temple structure.
Some elements of the track were altered in early 2000, when the ride was turned “Backwards!” to be promoted as a new attraction and its cars were rebuilt to each carry six people, instead of four as originally designed. The trains were returned to their original direction in late 2004.
Investment in park maintenance and refurbishments is always welcome, and continues to improve at Disneyland Paris, but you could almost guarantee if the Temple of Peril was in California, it’d re-open not just with a rebuilt loop, but some kind of storyline enhancement or “plussing” too. If an attraction (especially one quite lacking in story elements) has to close for almost six months, why not squeeze just a tiny bit more budget and make its re-opening something for us to look forward to?
Basically, we’ll never be happy until we get the tiger.
Please don’t “feed the birds”, as several notices around Disneyland Paris kindly request. Maybe it’s the large bodies of the water, the endless dropped food and crumbs, or perhaps even the allure of the Disney magic itself; over the years seagulls have become a frequent nuisance for the mouse in Marne-la-Vallée. Not just detracting from exotic vistas such as the legendary Rivers of the Far West, but causing a maintenance pain for cleaning and repainting too.
Time for some new tactics, then, as the resort unusually announces on its official Twitter the past eight days have seen a trial operation with a falconer and his trusty bird of prey, circling the Chessy skies to deter gulls from descending in the parks. One moment saw the falcon swoop right across the stained glass window of Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant.
Disney_ParisFR later confirmed the effort had been a success and would be used again in the future. Coincidentally, seagulls only ever appear to be an issue in Disneyland Park and around Lake Disney in Disney Village. In Walt Disney Studios Park, you’re actually far more likely to see animatronic versions. Maybe they’re disappointed by the park, too?
With this trial proven, perhaps falconry could be employed to discourage other Disneyland Paris nuisances: the street sellers on the resort hub, that guest who blocks your view of Disney Dreams! just as the show begins, the lone smoker along a crowded parade route… What, no?
Euro Disney S.C.A. published its First Quarter results yesterday for the 2014 fiscal year, with the Disneyland Paris operating group announcing a series of disappointing drops across the board, helped only by some modest guest spending increases.
Covering the period from 1st October to 31st December 2013, the first quarter saw overall Resort revenues fall by 5% to €304.9 million, from €320.7 million in the same period the previous year. For the Theme Parks segment it was less severe, with a drop of just over 3%, while the Hotels and Disney Village saw the worst results with an almost 6% drop in revenues.
With a 9.6 percentage point decrease in hotel occupancy, equating to 51,000 fewer room nights old compared to the previous year, an increase of 6% in average spending per room might look like the only good news here. But even this rise was due only to higher daily room rates, and actually offset by lower spending on food and beverage.
In the parks, attendance decreased by 7%. Though this quarter marks the first results since the end of the 20th Anniversary on 30th September 2013, this figure must still be disappointing given the extra investments made to the Halloween and Christmas seasons, arguably now at their strongest for years. Average spending per guest increased by 4%, however, with Euro Disney S.C.A. pointing to not just higher admissions prices but (at long last) higher spending on merchandise, too.
In his standard statement, Philippe Gas, Chief Executive Officer of Euro Disney S.A.S., said:
“In a still challenging economic environment, we realized lower attendance and occupancy as compared to last year, which resulted in a 5% decrease in resort revenues. However our strategy aimed at increasing guest contribution helped us offset some of the attendance and occupancy weakness as we achieved record guest spending in both our parks and hotels for a first quarter.
Even though we remain prudent given the current economic environment, we believe the fundamentals of our business are strong and we are confident in our long-term strategy focused on investing in the guest experience. The opening of our new Ratatouille-themed attraction this summer fully reflects this growth strategy.”
What appears evident, from the hotel results in particular, is that visitors are more careful than ever about how they spend their money and whether they actually get value back. For an experience like Disneyland Paris, visitors are probably more willing to splash out on a luxury like a Disney Hotel stay, even though they know the value-for-money is questionable. But only up to a point.
And after such a large initial outlay, most will inevitably then reign in spending on extras — meals, shows, merchandise — and scrutinise every Euro spent. Getting greedy with that initial booking price could mean a loss in spending throughout the entire trip. Or it could, more and more often it seems, mean that the initial hotel booking never takes place at all — another company gets the revenue and the room night — or, worst case, the visitor decides not to visit Disneyland Paris at all.
We have, at least, seen a slight shift in hotel package promotions away from huge discounts of up to 40%, which surely only eroded the perceived brand value, and towards “added value” offers like free Half Board Meal Plans or extra nights. More like this would be welcome — rather than taking Euros off a booking, why not offer that as “free” spending money in the parks on a gift card?
Could Ratatouille: The Ride be the saving grace of 2014? Intriguingly, this press release suddenly changes the wording to an opening date of “early Summer”. With results like these, the sooner they can get something of that “growth strategy” on the table, the better.
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