Hollywood’s Sweet Success? Just prefab magic!

Wednesday, 1st August 2007 at 22:53

ImageHollywood Boulevard's progress continues to be more than a little unbalanced, the 'Sweet Success' tower still racing ahead whilst the rest of the placemaking remains as bare steel frames. Now, we know that our version of 'Sweet Success' has an extra dome on its roof... but would you believe its walls also already have more detail than the Disney-MGM equivalent? C'est PrefabMagique!,

At the foot of the boulevard, Paris’ versions of ‘Off the Page‘ and ‘Gone Hollywood‘ are still in almost the same state they’ve been for weeks, only Gone Hollywood appears to have received a few more vertical steel pieces to its busy frame. As we begin to see the changes and enhancements to the prefab version of Sweet Success further below, who knows what changes await for these façades…

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The word “prefab” usually has ever so slightly negative connotations. But, after seeing the Imagineers work their magic with the process, maybe we should think again. From a bare steel frame to a bare steel frame covered in cardboard-thin dry wall, the tower on the far left of the development has suddenly started to become a real, historic Hollywood landmark.

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Begun by the pale brown dome, to contrast with the deep turquoise domes of the Tower behind, the movie set is fast become a building, piece-by-piece. Each section of detailed sculpting, window edging and brickwork has been slotted into place and nailed into position like an insanely elaborate IKEA flatpack. Let’s not even begin to imagine the size of that instruction manual…

Currenly going in are undulating borders around the very top of the building, and the immensely detailed coat of arms sculptings along the top of its facade are now making their way onto the side walls. With its zig-zag edging and luxurious prefab detail, it looks as if the Imagineers were helping themselves to a fine French gateux when they re-Imagineered their 1989 original with extra frosting.

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The two buildings are certainly very similar, with the same sculptings and windows, but now that the Parisian version has taken another leap forward, the real difference in design is apparent. The detailing around the top of Paris’ version is only used above the shop windows of Disney-MGM’s candy store, the wavy edging is nowhere to be seen, the Dome replaces a dull square roof and further differences can just be seen in the way the “stonework” either side of the main window is coming along.

Just as those who expected a carbon copy of California’s Tower of Terror to arrive in Paris have been partially hushed, anyone presuming photocopies of landmarks from Disney’s Californian and Floridian Hollywood Boulevards will also be surprised at the change. Walt Disney Studios Park may be expanding on a strict budget, but those Imagineers can still work in a bit of extra magic.

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Finally, Maarten – who we must thank again for another great photo update – has captured two photos from an angle which doesn’t appear to have been posted online yet. These two pictures are from between Disney Studio 1 and CinéMagique, close to the parade route, looking straight along the row of buildings which will soon become icons of the whole park.

The proximity to the parade route of the Sweet Success building is surprising, and the height of the developments continues to deceive the eye from certain angles. One look at a construction worker atop the third floor of Disney’s California Adventure’s ‘La Brea Carpets‘ reminds us that these may be fictional, false facades, but their vast size is very real.

The way these sets should enclose guests within a themed environment is exciting to see for the Studios, and of course this leaves us to end with a pun you all saw coming – Hollywood Boulevard should be a Sweet Success indeed.

Latest photos provided by Maarten. Sweet Success photo from DisneyPix.com.

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