Saturday, March 12, 2016

Shanghaî Disneyland Update : SDL or DLP : Who is the Biggest Park?

Since months we hear that Shanghaî Disneyland will be one of the biggest park Disney has ever built, and with the biggest castle. Okay, i agree for the castle, but what about the park? Note, to be fair, that Disney always compared SDL park with HKDL and there is no doubt that SDL will be bigger than HKDL. That said, if we take as example Disneyland Paris park, certainly one of the nicest Magic Kingdoms WDI Imagineers have ever built, is Shanghaî Disneyland really bigger?

The two pictures above and below may give a better idea for a comparison between both. The picture at the top was sent to me by an anonymous source, saying that it was a SDL picture, and obviously shot from a drone. Which prove by the way - and if it is really a SDL picture - that the Chinese paparazzis who regularly sent their drones over SDL don't have the exclusivity of shooting pictures of the park using a drone. But let's come back to our comparison with DLP and the aerial picture below shot two years or so after DLP opening by Yann Arthus-Bertrand. The view is more or less shot on the same angle than the one of SDL, though from a higher altitude as it was shot from an helicopter.

To be perfectly honest, it's hard to be certain that DLP or SDL is the "biggest" one as the back of SDL - specially Fantasyland - can't be seen clearly on the SDL shot. And the two pics were not shot with the same kind of lens as the one of SDL was shot using a very wide angle lens. So? So, i still think that DLP is bigger. Not only because it has a twice longer entrance street ( Main Street at DLP, Mickey Avenue at SDL ), no lost space with a parking lot or a shopping and dining area ( Disney Town at SDL ) which take some space on the park, and a few others things. That said, Shanghaî Disneyland will undeniably be a big park and if it's not as big as DLP it should be almost as big. So, nothing to worry here.

Pictures: copyright Disney

Friday, March 11, 2016

Why Disneyland Paris Should Take Seriously the Europa City Project

You've read here recently my article about the Europa City project, to be build at 10km from Paris not far from Charles De Gaulle airport. It's a huge project with a giant shopping mall, a water park, an indoor ski park AND a theme park. Currently the project is under discussions with different sectors about its impact on the region, shops currently existing around it and for ecological reasons. So, IF - and only "if" they succeed to go through all these discussions and get the approvals then the Europa City project will be build.

Now, as you've read the project include a theme park. Sure, the theme park won't be as big or as sophisticated as Disneyland Paris BUT as i said in my previous article Chinese Billionaire Wang Jianlin is now an investor and he has more money than they will ever need. AND he is also the owner of theme parks in Asia, including the Wanda Movie Indoor Park in Wuhan. France President François Hollande even met with Mr Wang to congratulate him for its major investment in Europa City.

Now, i've read on DLP forums comments from some DLP fans thinking that the Europa City theme park won't hurt DLP, that DLP has nothing to worry about it, etc... Sure, as i've said, the Europa City theme park  won't play in the same category than DLP, but the whole project - if built like announced - will include enough elements to attract a lot of people and it will be something "new". Now, some doubt that the Europa City rides will be as good or exciting as the ones as DLP . Well, before going further in your certainty, i suggest you have a look at the video below showing the "Journey to the West" ride at Wanda Movie Park, an "interactive 3D shooting dark ride"... which is obviously a rip off of Toy Story Mania - but not that bad at all for a rip off. Wanda Movie Park include others ride "inspired" - to stay polite - by others famous rides like Terminator 3D or Soarin' ( with different themes of course ). And this Mr Wang who has signed recently the deal with the others partners of Europa City - Auchan Group, see picture below, mr Wang is the last on the right on the second row - has the rights on all the rides of "his" theme park, rides that Wanda Group could eventually import in the theme park of Europa City, all they'll need to do would be to change the movies when these are too "distinctly Chinese".

Disneyland Paris has in project to build Toy Story Mania at DLP WDS since a long time but except if i'm wrong i think that i've read recently that the project was on hold or at least delayed. Same, by the way, for a Soarin' version that DLP fans are awaiting for at the WDS since a long time and which finally may be build at DLP Adventureland as others rumors are saying. My feeling is that they should build them as soon as they can if they don't want to have others competitors - Europa City for instance - to be the first to build these kind of rides... In the meantime have a look at the video below, and you'll understand why Disneyland Paris should really not make the mistake to don't take this Europa City project seriously.

Video: copyright Wanda Movie Park.

Last News From Shanghaî Disneyland !

Here are the latest news from Shanghaî Disneyland! First, Philippe Gas, former CEO of Disneyland Paris and now General Manager at Shanghai Disney Resort announced that SDL recently celebrated its new cooperation with over 30 leading Chinese online and offline travel agencies.The new official travel providers of Shanghai Disney Resort will develop and market creative tour packages to guests throughout China to ensure the most magical vacation experience possible.

Shanghai Disney Resort will welcome its first official guests on June 16, 2016 and tickets for Shanghai Disneyland – an authentically Disney, distinctly Chinese destination with world-class attractions and premium guest experiences – will go on sale to the public beginning March 28, 2016. On that date, guests will be able to purchase theme park tickets, tickets to the resort’s THE LION KING Broadway show and make hotel reservations through the following authorized channels:

The newly updated website of Shanghai Disney Resort,
The Shanghai Disney Resort Reservation Center at 400-180-0000 or 86-21-31580000
SDL official travel providers.

Guests should only purchase resort-related tickets and make hotel reservations through one of the official ticketing and reservation channels of Shanghai Disney Resort.  Please be wary of unsolicited text and social media messages and emails purporting to represent Shanghai Disney Resort special ticket offers.  Guests with any questions about theme park tickets and resort hotel reservations should contact the Shanghai Disney Resort Reservation Center at 400-180-0000 or 86-21-31580000.

More details about ticket sales will be announced on the official website of Shanghai Disney Resort and via the resort’s official social media channels in the coming weeks.

Two, a special "passport" will be available for Shanghai Disney Resort guests!

Shanghai Disney Resort has entered into a multi-year alliance with Invengo Information Technology Company Limited (“Invengo”). Invengo will be the exclusive provider of the Shanghai Disney Resort Magic Passport, an interactive experience for guests to enjoy in the park that also offers a special souvenir keepsake of their visit.
The radio-frequency identification (RFID) enabled passports are specially designed and created for guests visiting Shanghai Disney Resort, marking the first time that any Disney Park will feature such an interactive passport experience. With this innovative Magic Passport that will be available for purchase at opening, guests will be able to experience the park and collect official stamps at selected passport locations that work exclusively with the official Magic Passport. Once guests have collected each of the stamps, they can receive a special stamp commemorating the completion of this experience. Guests will be able to keep this memento as a souvenir of their exciting adventures throughout Shanghai Disneyland.

The picture below is the one of a passport at Tokyo Disney Resort, not the one of SDL.

Three, Shanghaî Village, the designer outlet village adjacent to Shanghai Disney Resort will open on May 19 in Pudong New Area, aiming to tap the demand of luxury shopping amid potential tourists toward city's upcoming iconic attraction.

From Shanghaî Daily: Shanghai Village, the outlet village adjacent to Shanghai Disney Resort will open on May 19, aiming to tap the demand of luxury shopping amid potential tourists toward city's upcoming iconic attraction.Shnaghaî Village with its art-deco architecture inspired by the famous Shanghaî Bund is located at the other end of Shanghaî Disneyland lake. Shanghaî Village is a joint venture between London-based mall developer Value Retail and state-backed operator of Shanghai International Tourism and Reports Zone, Shanghai Shendi Group - the joint venture with Disney which own SDR.

The project represented the largest investment of the company worldwide, said Mark Israel, chief executive officer of Value Retail China, with about 150 boutiques set to open either upon launch or thereafter in a 55,000-square-meter space.

The UK developer had opened its first China outlet center of such kind in Suzhou back in May 2014. The phase two construction of the Suzhou Village will begin sometime in fall, according to Value Retail, and then move on to other projects in China including Hong Kong. Will Hong Kong Disneyland have a similar outlet village? Time will tell... In the meantime here is a great new night picture of Shanghaî Village.

Four, will Shanghaî Disneyland save Chinese economy?  According to analysts, Shanghai Disneyland will lead China’s tourism industry growth despite the country’s current economic woes.

It opens at a time of great uncertainties for the Chinese economy struggling with a deepening slowdown. Premier Li Keqiang announced an economic growth target at a lower range of 6.5 to 7 per cent for 2016, compared to “about 7 per cent” last year, while addressing the National People’s Congress on Saturday.

“China will face tougher problems and challenges in its development this year, so we must be fully prepared to fight a difficult battle,” said Li.

“Shanghai Disneyland is three times bigger than Hong Kong, so we expect the impact will be even bigger,” said David Lung Wing-hung, a managing partner in the consumer products and retail sector at Deloitte China.

Walt Disney’s CEO, Bob Iger, is similarly upbeat. “We build things to last many years. Disneyland was built 60 years ago and has been through the ups and downs of the US economy for six decades,” Iger said in an interview with CNBC on Wednesday. “So we’re not concerned with the Chinese economy and we’re extremely bullish about the long-term prospects of it.”

You can read the full article on HERE.

See you soon on D&M for more news about Shanghaî Disneyland!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Brilliant Star Wars Fan Movie Tells The Story of Darth Maul Apprenticeship

It's not every day that we have a new Star Wars movie and to keep you waiting for the Episode 8 here is a  really well done Star Wars fan film titled Darth Maul: The Apprentice. Written, directed and edited by Shawn Bu it told the story of Darth Maul ending its apprenticeship, so before he appear in the Star Wars movie that we know. I ahem to say that the team who did this 17.48 min movie did a real good job, it's perfectly filmed and framed, special effects and photography is just as good and if you like lightsabers fights - here wonderfully choreographed by Vi-Dan Tran - you'll be in heaven. 

From the team who did it: "We worked incredibly hard on this film for almost 2 years! We always felt that Darth Maul should have had more screen time. So we wanted to create a film just for him with the best lightsaber fights we could do! This is not based on any books, comics etc."

So, go ahead, watch this brilliant Star Wars fan film and below you'll find also a behind the scenes video showing how they did it!

Videos: copyright Shawn Bu

Monday, March 7, 2016

Breaking : Shanghai Disney Resort Releases New Photos of Rides, Attractions, Hotels...

Shanghaî Disneyland released a new series of pictures of rides, attractions, hotels and more and launched a digital countdown clock to mark the 100 days before Shanghaî Disneyland Grand Opening - Ndr: Disney and more readers will note that we were the first to launch a countdown clock here on D&M! So let's have a look at all these great neww pictures, shall we?

The first picture below shows Adventure Isle mountain but as seen from Treasure Cove lagoon, with Skull Island on the right.

Next picture shows the Davy Jones Audio-Animatronic figure in Pirates of Caribbean : Battle for the Sunken Treasure attraction.

Always at Treasure Cove, a picture of a pirate and a soldier to illustrate the exciting entertainment throughout the land, and probably too the pirates stunt show.

Let's move to SDL Fantasyland with this picture of Mulan in the Mulan scene, one of the many classic stories include in the Voyage to the Crystal Grotto boat ride.

Next  picture shows the final scene of the beloved Winnie the Pooh dark ride.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will take SDL guests through a mine glittering with jewels.

A new picture was also released for Tomorrowland, showing the TRON Lightcycles train in test mode, running under the dome.

By the way, as you may know during these ride tests WDI imagineers use generally 100kgs sand bags which are put on each seat to simulate the weight of a guest. Problem here with this TRON coaster: there is no normal seat as SDLguests will sit on the Lightcycles like they do on a motorbike. So, as you'll see below with a zoom on the above picture, WDI had to use special sandbags for once designed with the shape of a human being!

Some pictures were  released too for each hotels, and the one below shows the stunning art-nouveau style lobby of the Shanghaî Disneyland hotel.

A closer look on the Mickey and friends sculpture  that await guests entering the lobby.

Next picture shows Toy Story characters as kites floating under the ceiling of SDL Toy Story hotel.

A sunset over Shanghaî DIsneyland castle was also released this morning.

I also add this great new concept-art showing a fountain in the middle of a roundabout with Cinderella and her Prince at its center. This rendering appeared yesterday on and i believe that the concept-art was done for Shanghaî Disneyland and shows a roundabout close to the parking lot.

And that's it for these new Shanghaî DIsneyland pictures, see you soon on D&M for a new SDL update!

Pictures: copyright Disney - Shendi 

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Disneyland Paris Spring Season Debuts - Photos and HD Videos Update

We'll start the week with a new Disneyland Paris update as the park has launched its Spring Season. Max, D&M collaborator and DLPWelcome webmaster was there on launching day and comes back with great pictures and videos! Also, as i told you last time, the stock of the Disneyland Paris book is running low, so it's the right time to place your order for a copy of this gorgeous book before it'll be out of stock! Make sure to check the offer at the end of the article!

 This season, despite the renovations in the Park, DLP have some good points although many things could have been improved at low cost. Decorations this year, are more numerous and colorful, strengthening the spirit of the season. A very good point.


We find once again the show « Goofy’s Garden Party ». The show introduction has been changed and its length shortened, which reduce the length of the presentation. That said, the quality of the latter, colors, and its articulation doesn't change the opinion we had in 2015, i.e a slow show and depending on where one is placed he'll need to return to enjoy all the characters. This is very different from the 2014 version of « Disney’s Spring Promenade » which, even without the part on the Castle Stage and the live orchestra on the train, makes us want to see it again to be dazzled by the multitude of characters passing in front of us, with a  non--stop dancing and continuously circling on Central Plaza.
We let you judge the result. Below, the 2014 version:

2015 & 2016 versions:

« Welcome to Spring » is back this year. Although the addition of four « musicians » is nice, although their plays is not really convincing. The image of the show with musical themes that follow each other without any storyline and a simple but not convincing musical medley in this 2016 version.
The good surprise of the year comes from the parade who plays two times per day « Minnie’s Little Spring Train » . It brings a happy mood with the music of Tokyo Disneyland Easter Parade and dancers ahead the train gives a needed dynamism.

As you’ve understood all is not negative in this new Spring season, as it was in 2015. We can congratulate Disney to have shows throughout the day but performances need to be improved. For example, the Goofy show with Topiary women deserves to be on the Castle Stage in order to be in a more consistent environment with the metallic structures of the scene that remind the costumes. With this show transposed on this stage, « Disney’s Spring Promenade » could return to Central Plaza, readjusted in the reduced version as described above in the article. With these adjustments and the costumes, performers and techniques that Disney has, the investment would be almost zero. This would offer a season more coherent, dynamic and visually more colorful. 
It should be noted that our criticisms of Disney and its performances on this season are there to show the opportunities to improve the visitor experience, as this season has a lot of qualities.
Before we leave, here are some new pictures from « The Forest of Enchantment: A Disney Musical Adventure » excellent show.
And that's it for this new Disneyland Paris update! Max will be back soon with a new DLP update but i remind you that the stock of the Disneyland Paris book is running low, so it's the right time to place your order for a copy of this gorgeous book before it'll be out of stock! You won't find a better gift for the one you love than the Disneyland Paris "From Sketch to reality" book! Price for the English updated edition or the French collector's edition is 75€ ( + 15€ shipping ) or 90€ for a signed edition.
To place your order please send me an email at:

Paypal or credit card payment are accepted. Paypal payments can be sent directly to: or you can use the Paypal button below.

Disneyland Paris From Sketch to Reality Book

You can watch below the video showing each page of the 320 pages of the book!

Pictures: copyright Max Fan - DLP Welcome