Saturday, December 7, 2013

Shanghai Disneyland Construction Halted Due to Shanghaî Severe Smog Levels - Will Shanghaî Disneyland become "The Magic Kingdom where you can't breathe" ?

Edited: It didn't took long. This afternoon i've posted the article below about the dreadful pollution smog in Shanghaî and i just learned on Disney by Mark the website of former Imagineer Mark Hickson the "breaking news" below:

"Shanghai Disneyland Construction Halted Due to Shanghaî Severe Smog Levels. Shanghai authorities ordered school children indoors and halted all construction Friday as China’s financial hub suffered one of its worst bouts of air pollution, bringing visibility down to a few dozen meters, delaying flights and obscuring the city’s skyline. The financial district was shrouded in a yellow haze, and noticeably fewer people walked the city’s streets. Vehicle traffic also was thinner, as authorities pulled 30 percent of government vehicles from the roads. They also banned fireworks and public sporting events. The government’s air pollution monitoring site records the level of PM2.5, particulate matter hazardous to health at 477, one of the highest pollution levels ever recorded. The World Health Organization recommends an average PM2.5 level of 20 or below.

This afternoon post:

Look at these pictures above and below. They were shot in Shanghaî. And not one year ago like the ones posted in my previous article, but YESTERDAY. Once again the city is under an incredible pollution smog and you can't see more than a few dozens of meters ahead of you. The city is right now under sanitary alert as pollution is currently between 23 and 31 times superior to the limit recommended by international  sanitary authorities. People in Shanghaî can't breathe normally, have headaches and the government asked that children at schools remain indoors. I've talked about this huge pollution problem in China just a few weeks ago - in the article at THIS link - as this happen regularly in Beijing and its area but although it did happened last january in Shanghaî, so far this kind of pollution peak happened more in Beijing. Apparently you can now add Shanghaî on the list of the chinese cities which have a serious - translate: dangerous - pollution problem, and this regularly.

But there is something else: although it can happen anytime in the year it seems that it's more happening in Shanghaî during the winter, and in this case it was last January and today, in December. And when Shanghaî Disneyland is it supposed to open? At the very end of 2015! ( and they're late, so it won't be before ). So, Disney better pray that this kind of pollution peak won't happen during SDL Grand Opening. And to tell you the truth, i wouldn't put my bets on this.

Spain Port Aventura Announces Partnership with Cirque du Soleil !

That's a pretty good move for Spain theme park Port Aventura as the park announced that next summer world famous Cirque du Soleil will come at Port Aventura during summer season during with "Kooza", "a stunt show with a large dose of fantasy".
"Both parties have signed a partnership agreement and the Cirque du Soleil will be installed in the resort with a daily show for more than 2,400 spectators.
Kooza, a show which has been seen by more than 4 million viewers from different countries discusses the work of Innocent, a loner character who tries to find a place in the world. The Cirque du Soleil believes the show is a return to the origins of the company because it combines two circus traditions: the art of clowning and acrobatic performances.

Throughout his life journey Innocent will contact comic characters like a king, an obnoxious tourist and a pickpocket. Kooza explores through exotic visuals world issues such as fear, identity, recognition, boldness and power .
"It will be a synergy that will allow us to entertain and amuse the millions of visitors of the park and also reach our fans," said Finn Taylor, senior vice president of Cirque du Soleil. "This collaboration is definitely a step forward in the consolidation of PortAventura resort as a leader in Europe and one of the most valuable tourism industry family brands," concludes Sergio Feder, chairman of the executive committee of the Park attractions of the Costa Dorada."

Now, you may ask: "By the way, why don't they have a permanent Cirque du Soleil show at Disneyland Paris, like WDW have at Downtown Disney? " This would be a good question, and the truth is that DLP tried to have one but - and it's a big "but" - the problem was apparently the cost. From what i've been told the deal with the Cirque du Soleil wherever they create a new show is that a special theatre must be build for the show and the cost of it must be paid by the place where the show will be, whether it's a Las Vegas casino or a theme park resort. And the cost is supposed to be around... $100 Million! You better understand now why there is no Cirque du Soleil at DLP as the park simply couldn't afford it. Instead they choose the cheap option and built a small circus tent under which they had a show for a while but nothing comparable with the quality of the Cirque du Soleil shows. What they could do probably more easily is what Port  Aventura will do next year, i.e to have a temporary show which won't require a multi million dollar theater. That would be smart and we'll see if this will happen at DLP in the future. In the meantime have a look t the trailer below, and as i've said it's a very good move from Port Aventura which, with a brand new family ride also coming in 2014, should help the park to have an excellent 2014 season.

Pictures: copyright Cirque du Soleil

"A Pirate Fairy" Trailer With Tom Hiddleston as Captain Hook

A new Fairy movie will be released early next year, either in theaters or direct to Dvd depending the countries and it's called "The Pirate Fairy". Normally i really don't care about these Fairies movies but i'm not the target for them anyway. But this one might be more interesting as it looks like a kind of Peter Pan spin-off starring Tom Hiddleston as a pre-Hook Captain Hook - the one on the right on the picture above - and Christina Hendricks as a fairy named Zarina - the one on the left above - and in the center you've noticed Skull Rock. Below the trailer and synopsis of this "Pirate Fairy" expected spring 2014.

"When a misunderstood dust-keeper fairy named Zarina steals Pixie Hollow’s all-important Blue Pixie Dust, and flies away to join forces with the pirates of Skull Rock, Tinker Bell and her fairy friends must embark on the adventure of a lifetime to return it to its rightful place. However, in the midst of their pursuit of Zarina, Tink’s world is turned upside down. She and her friends find that their respective talents have been switched and they have to race against time to retrieve the Blue Pixie Dust and return home to save Pixie Hollow."

Picture and video: copyright Disney

Friday, December 6, 2013

Breaking News : Disney Gains Full control of indiana Jones Franchise !

BIG NEWS as it was announced that Disney finally reached a deal with Paramount for the future of the Indiana Jones franchise. When Disney bought Lucasfilm, Indiana Jones wasn't included in the package at the time as Paramount Pictures owned part of the rights to it. Disney finally succeeded to buy the marketing and distribution rights which, in addition to the Indiana Jones ownership rights that they have since the acquisition of Lucasfilm will give Disney the full control over all future films! According to a statement made by the studio, the way the deal works is that Paramount will retain the rights to the first four Indiana Jones movies, and they will "will receive a financial participation on any future films that are produced and released."

For sure more Indiana Jones films are on the way but a recent rumor was also saying that Harrison Ford had a few stipulations that had to be met for him to return as Han Solo in Star Wars Episode VII. Apparently one of those stipulations included assurances that progress would be made on Indiana Jones 5. Well, progress has been made, and Disney for sure will start to prepare a new Indy adventure! Let's hope that the new movie(s) will be better than that last Indiana Jones film...

Disneyland Paris English Regular Edition Now Available With Immediate Shipping ...and Always at The Pre-Order Price of 55€ !

A good news for everyone who pre-ordered the Disneyland Paris book in its regular edition. We finally received the books today and ALL orders will be sent on Monday. Once shipped it should take between 10 and 15 days to arrive depending if you're living in Europe or in the U.S. It also means that the new and updated ENGLISH regular edition is now available for immediate shipping, and for now you can always order it at the pre-order price of 55€ + 15€ shipping worldwide.

You can order the book by sending me an email at: or send directly your Paypal payment of the 70 euros either by the Paypal button below or directly from your Paypal account at the same email address. The book will make a gorgeous Christmas present so order today your copy of "Disneyland Paris, From Sketch to Reality" to make sure you'll get it for Christmas!

A full description of the book can be find HERE.

Disneyland Paris From Sketch to Reality - Include shipping

Shanghaî Disneyland " Garden of the Twelve Friends " Artwork Released !

Shanghaî Disneyland announced today their first corporate partnership with Industrial and Commercial Bank of China - ICBC - and released new renderings for what was called "Garden of Imagination" and apparently will now be called "Garden of the Twelve Friends", a land where will be celebrated the twelve chinese zodiac characters. 

Located inside a beautiful 11-acre green space at the center of the park and in front of the Enchanted Storybook Castle the "Garden of the Twelve Friends" will be a "land" in itself and it's where SDL guests will find the Dumbo ride and the Fantasia Carousel ride and it will be undoubtedly the land of the park that will pay the most tribute - visually speaking - to chinese culture - the famous "distinctly chinese" in Bob Iger's quote. It will also include a grove of peach trees which for sure will be very photogenic with the castle in the backdrop

Now, let's have a closer look at the new rendering above. You'll see on the bottom the end of Mickey's Avenue, SDL kind-of "Main Street" where guests will find shops and restaurants inside a series of buildings of different architectural style from around the world but related to Disney history or Disney movies.

If you enlarge the picture you can see at the center left a Carthay Circle Theater which will directly face the castle. Considering that the Carthay and Shanghaî Disneyland castle have both distinctive but diametrically opposed architectural styles i'm curious to see how this will work. To tell the  truth, i'm not sure that this mix of different styles  - not to mention others buildings with different architectures on the left and right, also facing the castle - will work fine, sounds a bit to me like Epcot's World Showcase facing Cinderella Castle... But i give them the benefit of the doubt, i suppose that SDL Imagineers know what they are doing, right? 

As i told you this "Garden of the Twelve Friends" will pay tribute to the chinese zodiac, and it will include twelve mosaic murals with Disney or Pixar characters to represent each zodiac sign characters. SDL Imagineers work with Chinese artisans to create the “Garden of the Twelve Friends” and on the picture below you can see Remy the rat who will be perfect for the "rat" zodiac sign. 

As part of the agreement in the new partnership, ICBC will of course have exclusive integrated brand presence in the “Garden of the Twelve Friends” and Mike Crawford, General Manager of Shanghai Disney Resort said “Our Imagineers here in Shanghai are fast at work designing and developing this unique attraction in Shanghai Disneyland, and this is the perfect symbol of how we are designing with the Chinese guest in mind, but with a link to Disney characters and storytelling”. 

Pictures: copyright Disney - Shendi

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 First Trailer !

The first trailer for Amazing Spider-Man 2 is now released and here it is! In addition you'll find also below a high-res banner showing Spidey and the three villains - Electro, Rhino and Green Goblin that he will face in this sequel. Hmmm, three villains? Isn't it a bit too many to make a good movie? 

And here is the trailer!

Video: copyright Sony - Columbia Pictures

A Pictorial Tribute for Walt Disney's Birthday

112 Years ago, Walt Disney was born on December 5, 1901 at 2156 N Tripp Avenue, in Chicago's Hermosa community. Here is a pictorial tribute to Walt with pictures never posted before on Disney and more!

Below, a young Walt with animators at the Animation Studio.

Walt, on the set of a Walt Disney production. The picture looks very much like a publicity shot, kind of "official" picture.

Another picture of Walt from the same era.

Below, Walt with the famous MultiPlane camera.

Walt at Disneyland Train Station.

During his TV show, with a young tiger...

...and sometime later with two adults tigers!

Whatever were the animals Walt looks always good with them, here with a horse and her foal.

At Disneyland, reading the Peter Pan story to two young girls.

If i'm right i think that this next picture of Walt in a vintage car was the last picture shot of him, just a few weeks before he died.

Pictures: copyright Disney

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Disney Princesses as Star Wars Characters !

Ralph Sevelius did these great artwork reimagining Disney Princesses in the Star Wars universe! Below, you'll find Snow White, Ariel, Mulan, Aurora, Jasmine, Elsa and Rapunzel in different characters from Jedis to Siths.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Disneyland Paris - Ratatouille Ride Update

There we go for a new DLP pictorial update, with plenty of pictures of the Ratatouille site, thanks to Max Fan, D&M contributor and Dlrp Welcome webmaster. As you will see, things have changed on the parisian facades since last update. But first let's walk through the Walt Disney Studios towards the Ratatouille ride and on our way we'll have a look to the decors inside the Studio 1 all inspired by famous Hollywood buildings, shops or restaurants.

There we are, and among the differences since last time you'll see the finition on the facades, aging of the buildings, painting of some of them and the outside of what will be the ( real ) restaurant.

Before leaving, let's go at the Disneyland Park for a quiet ride aboard the horse-drawn street car all along Main Street.

And now a good news for those of you who don't own yet the Disneyland Paris From Sketch to Reality book as i've decided to extend the promo on the new regular english edition until December 25, so anyone who will place his order before Dec 26 could enjoy the special price of 55€ ( plus 15€ shipping wherever you live on the planet ) !

As for my french readers the collector's edition also has a special price until Dec 25 as you can order it for 75€ including shipping! Don't use the Paypal button below for the french edition payment, send it directly from your Paypal account, as the paypal button below is not coded for the 75€ price.

You can place your order by sending me an email at: or send the payment directly by Paypal using the Paypal button below. If the button don't work, you can send the Paypal payment directly to:

If you don't have Paypal you can pay with a bank transfer, send me an email to get the needed bank infos.  Below, a video showing you the whole book!

Disneyland Paris From Sketch to Reality - Include shipping

Pictures and video: copyright Max Fan - Dlrp Welcome