The new Toon Studio attractions at Walt Disney Studios Park continue to develop and gain colour and detail. This week, the first bushy conifer tree for Cars Race Rally was planted next to its iconic wind-sculpted rock, whilst the queue of Crush's Coaster has now well and truly drowned in palm trees. Oh, and in other news - the opening and soft opening dates have been confirmed!,
The first conifer next to Willy’s Butte rock formation confirms the realistic Mid-West North American desert theme of the movie-based attraction, and marks a drastic departure from the tropical palms shared by Crush’s Coaster and Flying Carpets. A second tree in front of Crush’s Coaster is waiting to be planted, though it has to be asked how these full-size trees will affect the miniturised scale and forced perspective of Willy’s Butte.
The bright, blue rockwork of Crush, recently uncovered from its scaffolding wrapping, still invites the attention of guests from as far away as Walt Disney Television Studios. As you near the rockwork (or zoom in with a camera), however, the true detail really appears, with authentic coral formations and shapes hidden throughout the faux frontage.
From aboard Flying Carpets, the huge amount of palms surrounding the queue and exit paths has begun to restrict views much more. Through the leafy greenery, however, you can spot progress on the paths around the area and a new protective covering over the soil of the planters. The path around the front of the rockwork will actually be separated from the rockwork itself, meaning guests will not be able to lean or climb on the scenery – or see the track of the spinning rollercoaster just several centimetres lower.
At Cars Race Rally, window frames in the entrance building have appeared. A full colour layout plan of the upcoming attraction was recently added to the DLRP Magic preview.
And finally, a perfect New Year gift – confirmation of the opening and soft opening dates of the two new attractions (and therefore the area as a whole). Revealed first by Walt Disney Studios tribute website WDSFans.com, previews of Crush’s Coaster and Cars Race Rally will take place from 31st May to 8th June 2007. It is not yet clear whether these are full Soft Openings for all guests or restricted previews only for Annual Passholders and Shareholders. Soft openings are a Disney Park tradition, fully opening new attractions to all guests for testing and feedback. Whilst guests visiting during these dates should be lucky enough to experience the new attractions, testing is still ongoing and the rides can be closed for tweaking and maintenance at any time.
And the Grand Opening itself? Latest schedules say Sunday 10th June 2007, leaving the 9th June free for press and VIP previews.