Missing items at Walt Disney Studios Park are being corrected at an exciting pace this year. Need an attraction with a morning "crush" to rival Big Thunder Mountain? Check. Need a ride for kids as popular as those in Fantasyland? Check. Need a big E-Ticket to get the crowds pouring? Almost-check. But what about a higher class restaurant, and a boutique in Toon Studio? They've begun filling those gaps too...,
…And, in classic Walt Disney Studios Park style, they did it on budget with just a bit of clever thinking.
Rendez-Vous des Stars Restaurant becomes Buffet Service
Like Disneyland Park in the early nineties, a simple change of service can solve the restaurants problem. Luckily, this doesn’t mean downgrading a restaurant (such as Explorer’s Club to Colonel Hathi’s), but rather turning the park’s “highest” class restaurant – the Art Deco cafeteria-style Rendez-Vous des Stars into a fixed-price unlimited buffet.
The original idea was that the restaurant served as the dining place for the more prestigious stars and directors during their time at Walt Disney Studios. However swanky the interior, though, there’s only so much magic you can get from a canteen-service. As a Buffet Service from 27th August 2007, the restaurant will provide one menu price of € 23 and a dining quality very similar to that of Plaza Gardens Restaurant at Disneyland Park. Quite a step up for the actors and crew of the Studios!
Since the restaurant is already set up with long serving counters, the change will likely take place overnight at the end of the Summer season. Et VoilÃ – Walt Disney Studios finally has a buffet service!
Toon Studio’s first merchandise location!
It’s bizarre that as the park’s most popular land, filled with popular and marketable Disney and Pixar characters, Toon Studio has before now only had the Disney Animation Gallery to its name – a boutique so small you fear for your life (or at least wallet) every time you try to navigate around the delicate glass ornaments and snow globes. Meanwhile, groups of large retail trucks populate areas such as Disney Bros. Plaza and Backlot.
The balance has begun to shift – again in typical “small budget but clever thinking” Walt Disney Studios style. The sligthly barren piece of courtyard between Animagique and Flying Carpets Over Agrabah is now finally home to a brand new retail location. Simple in design, but nestled amongst the trees with colours and a curved roof matching Disney Studio 3 itself. The location is clearly more along the lines of “La Petite Maison des Jouets” in Fantasyland, though currently without its own name.
If you’ve ever spotted those merchandise trucks in Backlot, the sheer quantity of merchandise hanging out in the street might have given you the feeling of being at some kind of jumble (rummage) sale. Strangely, the Toons are being much more restrained with the amount of goods on their shelves, and the location even appears to be slightly understocked.
Now they have a place to sell merchandise, and have seen the hundreds of guests running to Crush’s Coaster each morning, will they finaly realise the Studios could have a mega franchise to exploit, and make some more merchandise? Not everyone can fit into a 7-year old’s T-shirt, after all…
Toon retail photos by Maarten on magicforum.