Hollywood Squares

Thursday, 31st May 2007 at 20:21

ImageAt the Studios, preparations for the Toons' grand opening are starting to be overshadowed by the rising square frames of its second placemaking and expansion project. The entire front of the Tower of Terror is becoming hidden from view, and guessing games continue about the identity of the façades to come... But do the fans have the right answer?,

These photos, dated 25th May 2007 by Photos Magiques, show the rapid progress of the façades due to surround La Terrasse by the end of the year. Compared to the view seen in our last update on the project just over ten days ago, we can now see more progress with the large square frame on the left and — the real leap forward — a whole series of metal frameworks in various sizes linking the first two “towers” together.

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The project is still on-track to look almost exactly like the illustration of the new park map. The largest frame on the left matches up particularly with the design features shown there, such as a sing, large window at the front and a dome atop its roof.

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The thinner frames between these two end towers will form two different façades. On the left, a thin pueblo deco building with a balcony, whilst on the right a long façade of a three-floor building, growing taller on its right and jutting out over a small path through to La Terrasse behind. It is this building, sitting behind a small fountain on the corner, that will host the new wait times and tips board in one of its arches.

The three floors will, of course, make use of that old Imagineer-favourite: forced perspective. But that’s not to say these façades aren’t a sizable addition to the park. The photos below by Joel (dated 29th May 2007) show the huge effect these towers are having on the central area of Walt Disney Studios, providing a focal point from the entrance of Toon Studio and a lot of visual interest from the route to Backlot already. The façades joining the two towers have also grown further still, beginning to resemble the final design seen on the park plan with their unusual sloped roof.

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As with any major construction at Disneyland Resort Paris, Euro Disneyland Imagineering (EDLI) needs the relevant planning permission and signage close to the construction site detailing the work. Since this work is right in the middle of a Disney theme park, Marne-la-Vallée planning have positioned the signs at the back of Walt Disney Studios, toward Val d’Europe. Thanks to the efforts of Photos Magiques, we can discover a very interesting detail about the project…

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In the bottom left of the construction permit dated February 2007 is a maximum height for the finished construction — listed here as 19 metres! That’s 62 feet, or just 4 ft short of the Earful Tower! The frames already in place cover almost the entire lower portion of the Tower of Terror from Disney Bros Plaza, but don’t quite appear to reach this height — just over one third the height of the Tower itself.

So here come the guessing games — there are still three major sets and a backdrop to begin construction, so this impressive project still has means to make itself even more impressive — but with which set? Well, thanks to admin Grandmath on Disney Central Plaza forum, it looks like the game might be over already. Should the final project continue to match the new park map, it looks like we can expect the towering façade of Hollywood Boulevard’s First National Bank on the left and a façade similar to the Hollywood Broadway Building at the corner of Hollywood & Vine on the left.

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In the early days of rumours for this project (well, by “early days” just a few months ago!) one of the key points of the design mentioned by those who attended the Cast Member showcase was a “crossroads” at the heart of the placemaking. And of course there seems no greater Hollywood crossroads than Hollywood Boulevard & Vine Street.

These two façades are therefore due to reach the dizzy heights mentioned on the construction permit, whilst a third set — Gone Hollywood from Disney’s California Adventure — which has yet to begin construction will complete our row of squares outside Art of Disney Animation.

Photos by Photos Magiques and Joel; Hollywood buildings montage by Grandmath.

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