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…
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.
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