Ahh, the wonders of the Disney "showbuilding"! Give an Imagineer four walls and a roof and they can truly do anything - like bring a Sydney fishing pier to Paris, for example. The drawback of a showbuilding? As many times as you ride Flying Carpets, your camera will never be capable of seeing through walls - though luckily, the press can...,
Remember the backstage tour given to the press after their 1st April press conference for the new attractions? Well, here are the fruits – a report on TV network France3 showing not only a glimpse at the 15th Anniversary festivities but also a unique look inside the boarding area of Crush’s Coaster. The backstage tours, hosted by Imagineers from Beth Clapperton (who you might remember from that first photo of the turtle shells back in January) to Tom Fitzgerald (Executive Vice President and Senior Creative Executive of Walt Disney Imagineering no less), have paid off with some excellent footage of the new attraction for this belated birthday report, shown just over a week ago.
In these brief shots from inside the attraction, the turtle shell vehicles are cycling through the ride on test runs, whilst the boarding area is illuminated with all manner of lighting and projections.
You might notice right away that the colours are exaggerated and the studio lighting in the ceiling above clearly visible – this is, after all, meant to be a real working film set. Smaller lights and lanterns are positioned throughout the area, which looks almost identical to the scale model we saw in January. Naturally for a Disney dark ride, the Sydney fishing pier scene is set at night, with the corrugated walls filled with reflections from the “water” and purple hues to reflect the time. However, this being an indoor soundstage, the magic of movies can (and is certainly planned to) do interesting things – like turn night to day in just a few seconds, similar to Disney Studio 1…
The camera next turns to face the control booth, themed to a hut on the pier, and therefore naturally populated with a rowdy duo of seagulls. These popular birds, first seen at Epcot’s The Seas with Nemo & Friends last year, might just have the unexpected claim to the title of the very first Audio-Animatronics to be featured at Walt Disney Studios Park! Quite a claim to fame, and no doubt there’ll be a familiar fight over who gets the trophy – “Mine!” “Mine!”.
Beyond the gulls, the report takes us to an interesting angle on the ride we probably won’t see when it finally opens in just over 1 month – one of the turtle shell vehicles cresting the first lift hill and plunging outside the attraction through the blue rockwork of the façade.
Even from this angle, the supports and footers of the track – which were previously fully visible during construction – have actually been completely hidden and surrounded by the rockwork. Only the track itself pokes through, and this concealed from a normal guests’ point of view by the rockwork surround.
And now, in motion…
Many thanks to the fans of Disney Central Plaza forum for capturing these stills and uploading the video for all fans outside of France to see.
But now, with the 15th launch complete, fans aren’t the only people getting a little more than slightly excited for this new attraction. The official 15th Anniversary Blog has been treated with constant and regular updates lately, giving lots of glimpses into the creation of the anniversary events. Along with a short video interview with Imagineer Beth Clapperton, they presented two high-quality pieces of concept art showing the finalised turtle shells:
Even better than all that, they wrote a piece of text that could have been posted right here on DLRP Today – such is the total bias toward Disneyland Resort Paris…
“This was long, painstaking work that kept the Disney teams busy for months (they took their time, but in the end, you all know the story about the hare and the tortoise and who wins the race…). And winning the race is exactly what these tortoiseshells are waiting to do at this world exclusive at Disneyland! Especially for us Europeans!
“Of course, you already know about The Seas with Nemo and Friends in Florida, but this was only a show with video projections, a stroll through a giant aquarium. And there was Turtle Talk with Crush in Florida and in California (an interactive film in which the tortoise speaks directly to the children). And these are great, but the real ride is reserved just for us… And we deserve it!“
It’s not everyday you see a Disney resort openly slating the attractions of its partners, but then it’s not everyday Paris completely and utterly trumps the other resorts in its offering. (See the bias there?!)
Like kids in a playground, Paris has all the newest toys this year, and the world is starting to notice. The magazine of LaughingPlace.com – Tales from the Laughing Place – finally shipped its latest issue recently, featuring four pages dedicated to Toon Studio and two more recent pieces of concept art (below).
The article confirms that the musical score of the attraction will be orchestrated by Ed Kalnins under the direction of Thomas Newman (who wrote the original film’s score). This will be Ed’s third Nemo attraction soundtrack, following his work on translating the Oscar-nominated and Annie award-winning score for The Seas with Nemo & Friends and Disneyland’s Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage.
The second concept above, originally posted by our partner WDSFans.com, shows an updated version of the key concept featured on the Toon Studio construction walls. Along with new turtle shell vehicles and a more accurate Disney Studio 5, the entrance sign of the attraction is depicted as first envisaged. If word from the park today is any indication, though, this design actually didn’t make it from sketch to reality.
So there we go – a fun and well-themed dark ride station, a concealed coaster track, a brand new attraction score and the park’s very first animatronics, all in just a single article. No wonder DLRP are boasting about this one.