Want an extra-special first glimpse of Ratatouille: The Adventure? This coming weekend, as Disneyland Paris invites the world’s press to sample its latest concoction with a Grand Opening preview event, DLP Today will take you there.
After six years of following rumour and development, Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy is almost ready to open its doors for the first time.
On both Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd June, DLP Today will be reporting LIVE from Disneyland Paris with photos, teasers and exclusive insights from the Walt Disney Imagineers themselves beamed directly from the new Place de Rémy in Walt Disney Studios Park.
On Twitter, on Facebook and on DLPToday.com, you’re invited to join the adventure — so be prepared! Follow DLP Today now to enjoy all the build-up in the week ahead and live posts from Marne-la-Vallée to whet your appetite for the 10th July grand opening.
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See you there!
An official online mini-site promoting Ratatouille: The Adventure can now be found within the Disneyland Paris website, offering a peek at the attraction, an online Rat Booth and a competition to win “complètement toqués” prizes.
The pages don’t reveal anything new to us Ratatouille connoisseurs, but they’re fun to explore with a clever 3D navigation system — like Google Street View for rats! — around the floors of Gusteau’s famous kitchen.
At the time of writing, only the French version can be accessed, but a UK edition should also be available shortly at www.ratatouille-attraction.disneylandparis.co.uk and other local versions will no doubt follow.
This sudden flurry of promotional activity comes as the resort prepares to launch the official TV spot for the attraction on this coming Monday, 16th June.
Featuring a family being shrunk down into a Ratmobile from their table at a fancy restaurant, the commercial will premiere on the official Disneyland Paris YouTube channel and be available to watch here on DLP Today too. Having seen a preview, it’s a relief to say that for once, given the patchy history of Disneyland Paris TV adverts, it does a fantastic job at communicating both the concept and scale of the ride, big and small…
Disneyland Paris has launched one of the first elements of its Ratatouille: The Adventure advertising campaign with a new “Rat Booth” app designed to turn you into a rat using your phone or portable device’s camera and a range of customisable options.
Available for iOS and Android devices, the app utilises augmented reality to map a rat’s face onto your own. As you look up and down, grin or frown, blink or gaze in wide-eyed wonderment, your Rémy-alike does exactly the same.
You can personalise your RatBooth rodent with a range of fun “accessories” borrowed from humans, and take a photo or even a video of its movements.
The app features numerous mentions of the new attraction Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy, including on the splash screen and after taking a photo.
A link to “discover the attraction” leads to www.ratatouille-attraction.disneylandparis.co.uk, revealing the location of the promotional website, although this link was inactive at the time of writing. A guess at the French address, www.ratatouille-attraction.disneylandparis.fr, reveals the new mini-site in all its glory, including an online Rat Booth.
Streuth, it only took seven years after the attraction opened, this month back in 2007, but Crush’s Coaster has finally seen some major queue and entrance improvements to alleviate its problematic over-popularity. As reported previously, the main improvement is the introduction of a permanent Single Rider line, but there’s a more fitting new entrance building, too.
The whole entrance marquee has now been set back slightly, allowing more room for guest circulation in front. Designed as a wooden harbour-side shack like that you might see for a boat tour, with terracotta roof, peeling paintwork and rusted nails, the new kiosk and its improved queue lines came into use just this morning, captured by InsideDLParis.
Thankfully, InsideDLParis also reminds us that most of this isn’t the final signage. Concept art leaked by DisneylandBerry, below, shows how the final marquee logo, electronic wait time indicators and other signs (hopefully window shutters too) will soon give this development more of the expected Disney quality.
The original Crush’s Coaster signage, Crush figurine and spinning turtle shell all remain.
Perhaps it was planned, but it was always an oddity that the attraction had such a nondescript entrance, especially opposite the elaborate Radiator Springs façades of Cars Quatre Roues Rallye. At busy times, the narrow path was frequently blocked by guests bunching in front.
For the queue line itself, the “improvements” are modest, that is to say: disappointing.
A first phase was completed when the attraction re-opened from refurbishment in April, when the iconic blue rockwork was also repainted for the first time, basically squeezing more turnbacks and barriers into the existing space at the side of Studio 5.
The second phase, opened today, makes permanent the barriers next to Flying Carpets Over Agrabah with steel railings and a wooden fence around the perimeter. It’s certainly far less than ideal and does nothing to address how unattractive and, ultimately, boring the queue experience is; perhaps the worst in Toon Studio.
A saviour, then, could be the new Single Rider line. Leading from the left-hand kiosk entrance, this deposits you nicely on the left-hand side of the loading platform.
It remains to be seen what impact this will have on actual loading times, as Cast Members now have to both load groups and fill gaps with the turtle shells still moving. But it could suddenly put a ride through the East Australian Current back on the agenda for many fans, visitors and “dudes”, who have long not seen it worth enduring the crushing queues.
With Finding Nemo to be followed by Finding Dory in 2016, perhaps the next task should be to finally find a cameo for a missing Pacific regal blue tang…
Like any great recipe, it needs a little refinement: A new, redesigned Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy entrance marquee has been installed at Walt Disney Studios Park this morning, pictured above by DisneylandBerry. The final signage design features just the blue ellipse of the movie’s logo with the subtitle included, far more subtly, inside.
This replaces the original design of the entrance marquee, which was installed some time ago only to disappear again shortly after, leaving an empty space. A giant copper cooking pot was designed to hold the lengthy subtitle, L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy, with the Ratatouille logo above.
But once this appeared on La Place de Rémy, many fans were immediately honest that it just wasn’t quite they expected. Wasn’t the pot going to be 3D? And isn’t it all a bit ostentatious and yet, dare it be said, “cheap-looking” for such a classy new mini-land? It seems between the Imagineers and management, someone agreed.
Tom Fitzgerald introduces the original marquee at the Shareholders preview presentation
The compromise on the new marquee is to drop the 2D cooking pot altogether, losing some of the city advertisement billboard aesthetic which jarred with the decoration around it. The subtitle is now placed somewhat awkwardly on the logo itself, but the general impression is better and seems more in-keeping with the surroundings.
Close-up, the marquee still has a glitzy, LED “popcorn” light display to light up the square at night, reminiscent of Meet Mickey Mouse. On the whole, it’s remarkably similar to the very first concept art we saw. Sometimes, the first ideas are the best.
• More photos — DLP Welcome: New sign on Ratatouille and more
Have you heard the gossip on Main Street, U.S.A.? There’s a new shopkeeper in town: the classic Town Square Photography is due to be replaced soon by New Century Notions – Flora’s Unique Boutique, a store with a very Parisian, Victorian flair.
Disneyland Paris shared the very first photos (above and below, bottom) from inside the repurposed merchandise location on the corner of Town Square yesterday, revealing crisp new stained glass and a much brighter, more feminine interior.
After some months of rumour, Town Square Photography officially closed back on 18th January 2014. The store was regarded by many as the richest and most intricately designed on the whole street, overflowing with sumptuous and unusual period design touches and filled with a genuine character of its own.
Lending much of its brilliance to Imagineer Eddie Sotto, show producer of the land, the shop’s favourite feature was often the photographer’s back office, which Sotto put together himself, spending a night sitting at the desk arranging the papers and artefacts as if he were the shopkeeper.
Alas, after one hundred years, the purpose of this store finally fell into complete irrelevance.
Where once the rich wooden shelves behind the counters would be filled with Kodak films, flying off the shelves every time guests took more than 36 photos each (the thought!), the displays had more recently become home to an assortment of souvenirs and accessories as disorganised as the photographer’s desk. Paris souvenirs here, photo albums there, and everything else between — no distinction and ultimately, no character.
Kodak’s financial problems were the final nail, as the store lost its sponsor.
Named after Walt Disney’s mother, Flora Call Disney, the new store was originally rumoured as simply “Flora’s Boutique”, disappointingly similar to the lazily-named Lily’s Boutique across the street. Without doubt, New Century Notions is much more original and fun.
Expected to now specialise in the resort’s range of Paris-branded souvenirs, it’s surely no coincidence that teams are working on this boutique at the same time as the truly Parisian Chez Marianne Souvenirs de Paris over in La Place de Rémy, announced to open in the autumn. A short blurb from the Backstage Cast Member magazine was shared by Nathan on Disney Central Plaza forum: (translated)
Flora was born in the United States to French parents who dreamed of giving their daughter the chance to live the American dream. In opening her own boutique, this refined woman has realised the dream of her parents. Fascinated by the Victorian aesthetic, she decorates the interior with mouldings and woodwork, and turns down floral themes. This is the story created by the teams of WDI Creative for the new boutique on Main Street, U.S.A. And to make the illusion perfect, they worked on all the details. The stained glass windows, designed by Stéphanie Bohnhoff then realised on American glass by a stained glass artisan, reveal talents outside the ordinary.
On first glance, the store appears to be seeing the same fate The Emporium did some years back, when the rich, “masculine”, dark woods were painted in bright creams to lighten the environment. Could Main Street’s original plan of alternating “masculine/feminine” locations along each side of the street, to keep guests’ interest engaged, be in further doubt? Or will Flora surprise us with a “New Century” spin on such gender-based themes?
According to Disneyland Paris, eleven different trades are currently working on the store.
No opening date for the new boutique has been announced besides “this summer” and no work to the exterior has been spotted besides the removal of previous signage. When it opens, let’s hope Flora’s Unique Boutique has at least a notion of what made Town Square Photography brilliant.
Residents of La Place de Rémy — and a few fans peeking over the construction walls — heard the first sounds of the new mini-land’s background area music loop a few weeks ago. Radio Disney Club captured it on video, above.
This will be conclusion of Michael Giacchino’s scoring of the new attraction and its environs. The composer, who of course composed the original Ratatouille film soundtrack, shared numerous photos and snippets of the new music in production on his personal Instagram account earlier this year, while recording at Capitol Records in Hollywood.
Comprising familiar themes and instrumentation from the movie, on first listen the music sounds just as you’d hope and expect: calmer and warmer but richer, and fuller, too.
Filling the space outside Ratatouille: L’Adventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy, Bistrot Chez Rémy and Chez Marianne Souvenirs de Paris, these pleasing sounds only make you want to be there more; sitting on a bench, soaking up the atmosphere.
We now have perhaps the first genuinely immersive, escapist area of Walt Disney Studios Park… and the irony is, it’s themed to Paris!
Over the years we’ve seen countless Disneyland Paris trailers cut from the vast archive of footage covering the resort’s attractions, but this one might just be the best.
Simply titled “Disneyland Paris – Faire vivre la magie pour nos visiteurs”, the video appeared without fanfare on the resort’s YouTube channel on Tuesday 3rd June. Running at just 2 minutes 14 seconds, it probably does a better job of selling the destination than any single one of the account’s other 581 videos.
Much of, if not all, the footage is recycled and not filmed especially for the trailer, some of it dating back decades and some of it — such as the swooping fly-over of Disney Magic on Parade! — relatively new.
Footage of the resort’s Cast Members and artisans putting finishing touches to the “magic” begins the video, before it’s all shown in action. It ends, of course, with the official footage from Disney Dreams!, which never fails to impress.
Music is “Fly High (Trailer Music)” from The Amazing Hero: Caped Avengers Fanfares.
Place a Disneyland Paris logo and a call to action at the end and it’d make a perfect trailer for wider release — especially in cinemas, as @CafeFantasia suggested.
It’s certainly a world apart from the Disneyland Paris commercial currently gracing TV screens.
Named “Magical Answers”, this 30-second spot (below) follows three children discovering they can, amazingly, actually have fun at Disneyland; with an odd and almost disturbing tone of cynicism about the world around them, given their ages.
Normally, the narrative in commercials and newspaper articles is of a cynical adult realising they too can enjoy a Disney theme park; this advert however shows us a mournful young boy sitting alone in a plush mansion, looking skeptically into the eyes of a Buzz Lightyear action figure, before saluting the real thing — still bizarrely on his own.
Continuing the trend of advertising only to this specific bracket of families with very young children, it all feels oddly sombre and pessimistic, and features precisely three seconds of footage of an actual attraction. Filmed at Disneyland in California, the French Sleeping Beauty Castle was simply spliced into the shots.
It’s enough to put a vast swathe of the audience off wanting to visit Disneyland Paris altogether. Let’s hope those potential visitors at least make it as far as the resort’s YouTube, and watch the fantastic new trailer above instead.
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