Flying the flag for detail (Part 1)

Tuesday, 27th March 2007 at 23:51

Disney's most detailed Magic Kingdom is shining brighter than ever before, as details old and new appear (and reappear) across the park. From Main Street's returned collection of stars and stripes to the animated three fairies and more - a bumper round-up of all the fresh hidden touches making the park as neat 'n' pretty as ever.,

In the past, each of these little updates might have been given its very own news update, but these days they’re lost amongst construction, parades, and endless preparations for the grand Disney party of the 15th Anniversary. So instead, they’ve all been collected up here in one bumper collection, each with its own headline-that-could-have-been in trademark DLRP Today style… ;-)

Flying the flags

Let’s begin with those flags – both old and new! The resort now has a new centrepiece decoration on its hub – three giant, white flagpoles displaying the European and French flags with a special one for Disneyland15 in the middle. The flagpoles, right behind the main resort information board, present quite a statement about the resort – it’s European, it’s French, and it’s proud of it! They’re also in a much more sedate and stylish design than much of the resort area, blending well with the new signage and detail installed since the opening of the new hub area in late 2005.

Flag fans – don’t desert us yet! The best is yet to come! Not only does the always-rather-bleak-looking Fantasyland entrance gate now have some colourful new flags adoring it, but Main Street‘s full collection of USA flags have been returned after years of absence. The only flag to be found previously was atop The Emporium’s middle, but now almost every key building in the street is once again flying a period-correct 45-starred flag, paying tribute to the patriotism of America.

Casting a spell

Missing for endless years, a new detail was welcomed back with much delight at Le Confiserie des Trois Fées (the three fairies’ sweet shop) in Fantasyland. Hovering above the stove of their fairytale confectionary store, the three faries from Sleeping Beauty – Flora, Fauna and Merryweather – can once again be seen thanks to the return of this nifty projection effect, similar to those in the post-show of “it’s a small world”. Photos Magiques even captured a video of it, which can be seen here.

Rebuilding fairytale defences

Elsewhere in Fantasyland, the ramparts of the fairytale buildings have regained some old details, such as the metal torches along Blanche-Neige et les Sept Nains and the defence spikes of the castle.

More Frontier fix-ups at Fuente del Oro

Fuente del Oro Restaurante in Frontierland has had some incredible luck lately. Not only has it been fully repainted, repaired and refurbished, but new murals and details have appeared all over – either new or returning, they’re a great example of why Disney is king of detail…

Plaza Gardens Palissades & Fresh Paint on Main Street

Les Palissades – the construction fences! For years they’ve been enveloping different sections of Main Street for much-needed refurbishments, but Plaza Gardens Restaurant has always sat on the edge, unloved. Now, much like the story of how Main Street grew out from the railroad station, the refurbishments have finally reached the Plaza inn and a full exeterior refurb is underway. Back at Town Square, the Riverboat Excursions mural has finished its repaint and is certainly looking much cleaner and brighter.

The flames of Adventure

Since Autumn 2006 burning flames have finally returned full-time to the torches of Adventureland Bazaar and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril. From time to time, they can also be spotted once again atop a look-out tower next to Pirates of the Caribbean. Now, they’ve even returned to a spot where their absence perhaps wasn’t even noted, just outside Le Girafe Curieuse boutique.

Meet the Robinsons!

The new details aren’t just confined to Disneyland Park. Though much of the enhancement work at the Studios is on-track for the June opening of Toon Studio, there are still touch-ups to the sets and backlots. In true Disney-synergy style, for example, Meet the Robinsons are now presented on new posters at both Art of Disney Animation and Backlot Express. Fairly quiet until late last year, Disney has suddenly had a surge of pride with their 2nd Disney-only CGI film, and is doing a great job with advertising. See it in 3D if you can, or return to the Studios very soon to meet two stars from the film in real 3D!

Spiffing-up the first Sorcerer Mickey

Soon to be outdone by an even grander Sorcerer Mickey statue at the entrance to Toon Studio, Front Lot‘s bronze statue has just reacted with a much-needed touch-up to its rocky plinth, returning a mellow brown colour the heavily worn rocks.

Armageddon: Plus d’Effets Speciaux

A nice effect has either returned after a long absence or been introduced outside the exit of Armageddon: Special Effects. Next to the motion-activated special effects wind machine, this grate in the ground now emits steam throughout the day. A nice, industrial way to bring more life to Backlot.

What am I queueing for again?

Just incase guests heading into Art of Disney Animation have a sudden spot of amnesia, a new sign has been added right above the entrance doors to the “Art of Animation” pre-show room. Using a pink background matching the repainted brickwork and a nice illustration of Mickey at an animator’s desk, the sign should actually be very useful to place the name and intention of this attraction in guests’ mind. This is a park, afterall, where guests are often heard to comment “Wow, number 8 was amazing!” or “Have you been on number 3 yet?”, referring to the Studio and park map numbers…

Phew! …and that’s just the tip of the iceberg of new and returned details, not the mention the endless refurbishments and new constructions across the two parks. Look out for part 2 very soon, to get right up-to-date with all the latest changes, including brand new photos from Photos Magiques.

A huge thanks to the following for photos included here: Joel, Scrooge, Photos Magiques.

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