On Saturday 21st June 2014, Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy became the latest E ticket entry in 60 years of Disney attraction history as Bob Iger himself, CEO of The Walt Disney Company, officially dedicated the new ride and La Place de Rémy.
DLP Today had the privilege of being there to experience the ceremonies first-hand and now, as Disneyland Paris prepares to open the area to the public this Thursday 10th July, we take you there. In pictures, video and lots of words in between, this is our complete retelling of the grand opening of Ratatouille: The Adventure at Walt Disney Studios Park.
With the public opening date now just days away, Disneyland Paris is teasing Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy in another new “Making Of” video, filled with backstage construction shots and Imagineer soundbites.
Almost every detail of the land, attraction and restaurant may have been revealed during the Grand Opening Preview, but this video gives a deeper look into the work that went into creating it. An impressive list of creators talk about the project: Tom Fitzgerald, Liz Gazzano, Laurent Cayuela, Beth Clapperton, Bjorn Heerwagen and even composer Michael Giacchino.
“There are two main characters of the attraction: there’s Rémy, the rat and the little chef, and there is Paris, the lovely city” — Liz Gazzano, Executive Producer, Theme Parks, Pixar Animation Studios
“All the sets are big, so all of the imperfections one sees when one is very small we exaggerated” — Beth Clapperton, Art Director, Euro Disneyland Imagineering
“The music is in touch with the story every step of the way, and that’s what’s really fun about the ride – it really is a lot like the film as far as the story goes. You start off really beautiful – and here’s what I’m dreaming, here’s what a I want – then you get dumped into an environment in which, it could give you what you want – but you’re gonna have to fight for it to get it” — Michael Giacchino, Music Composer, Ratatouille film & attraction
It’s still refreshing to see Disneyland Paris letting the creators of a project talk about it like this, something only really begun recently with Disney Dreams!. Even with sanitised soundbites it often provides the best form of promotion.
In fact, with such a big E-Ticket, they could have been producing separate featurettes covering each aspect of the attraction, such as the musical score, teasing things over weeks and months, rather than this single 2-minute video a few days before opening.
Still, there’s great footage of the Ratmobiles “waltzing” into the unload station, something it seems impossible to get bored of seeing, so let’s not complain too much.
Want to see more? You’re in luck. Much of the construction footage comes from a longer 6 minute package of “b-roll” shared in full on our YouTube. Watch it all here:
Meanwhile for an overview of the whole construction project, they didn’t forget the traditional Disney timelapse. From a camera positioned steadily atop Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop (unlike the many fans trying to get construction photos from the ride below), this footage covers roughly two years from 2012 to 2014.
The original version lasted only 30 seconds, so here it is slowed down to a more leisurely 2 minutes 30, giving a better look at La Place de Rémy taking shape:
Sunday 22nd June was the big day for more than 50 fan bloggers, reporters and tweeters as we were invited to discover not only Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy but a special preview meal at Bistrot Chez Rémy and an hourlong presentation on the making of the ride by two of the Imagineers themselves.
Staging an event like this purely for a guest list like us was truly unprecedented by Disneyland Paris, but hopefully its success will see the formula repeated again. Besides word that #Ratatouille briefly trended on Twitter in France, it presented a fantastic opportunity for us to gather as much information and as many photos and videos to prepare our blogs and websites ahead of the official public opening date.
In a sense, for every invitee we could take along another thousand or more diehard fans with us. Keeping the fans “in the loop” like this is good for us and great for Disneyland Paris.
No less than 41 live photos were shared on our @DLPToday Twitter feed, mostly focusing on the restaurant preview with the first pictures of its décor, menus and sample dishes. If you missed them at the time or want to relive it all again, here we go!
Concluding the first full day of the Ratatouille Grand Opening press event, DLP Today takes you to the second, afternoon inauguration ceremony, shares more initial impressions of Place de Rémy and invites you along to the evening Summer Party for music and lights in the newest corner of Disneyland Paris.
This update features 29 photos and 3 Vine video clips, originally shared live on Twitter.
Now, you can relive it here…
On Saturday 21st June, DLP Today took you live inside Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy for the first time. After the morning opening ceremony (covered in Part 1), we were able to share the first impressions of a live ride through the new attraction, before quickly skipping off to meet two important Imagineers behind the project.
Then, it was back to the ride for more updates, revealing the Ratmobiles and their load and unload areas in more detail for the first time.
Keep your hands, arms, feet and legs inside the Ratmobile!
Onto Day 2 of DLP Today‘s live reports from the Ratatouille: The Adventure Grand Opening event, Saturday 21st June 2014, and this is when the rats really began to run loose. We were privileged to capture the main opening ceremony with Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, Bob Iger before riding the attraction itself to share the first live insights.
In fact, there was so much to share — an enormous 71 photos! — that it’s going to be rounded up here for posterity in three parts, beginning with the morning’s press welcome and that picture-perfect opening ceremony, a classic Disney production number dedication.
Here we go again!
DLP Today has returned from the Grand Opening events of Ratatouille: The Adventure! Throughout Saturday and Sunday, I shared live photos and reports from the events and previews direct to the @DLPToday Twitter feed, taking you to Place de Rémy for a first-hand look as if you were there.
Missed the tweets? Don’t follow Twitter? Or maybe just want to see them again? To prevent all those photos and snippets of information disappearing into the never-ending timeline, here they all are gathered together for posterity.
Beginning, in fact, with Friday 20th June and a quick “live” walk around the resort on a glorious sunny evening, before the #Ratatouille bedlam of the following day…
Here we go, live from Disneyland Paris! This is your host Anthony reporting along from the Grand Opening weekend of Ratatouille: The Adventure.
To follow all the events as they happen, head straight to the special LIVE page and you’ll see all the latest live photos and information from the brand new attraction at Walt Disney Studios Park in one place. Or, if you’re reading on a phone, you’re best jumping straight to @DLPToday on Twitter and following the action there.
Highlights of DLP Today‘s Grand Opening schedule include the Inaugural Ceremony and Grand Opening of Place de Rémy at 11:00am on Saturday, tomorrow, and The Making of Ratatouille presentation with Walt Disney Imagineers at 11:00am on Sunday, plus lots more surprises in between.
I’ll also be sharing general previews and pictures of the new development throughout both days, along with other live news and views from around Disneyland Paris.
As you might expect, there are bound to be spoilers aplenty as we discover this brand new, world exclusive attraction for the first time and talk to its creators.
Note that as I’ll also be taking notes and collecting photos and videos for reports, some events may be covered more than others and most will be reported more fully in the weeks ahead — so if you can’t follow everything live, come back soon to relive the entire adventure.
I’d love to hear YOUR thoughts too — please reply, comment, tweet as we go!
So join in, and let DLP Today take you there now..!
The “sixtieth” attraction at Disneyland Paris, by official count, sees its Grand Opening for the press this weekend in Marne-la-Vallée. And Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy means a lot more to Disney’s European resort than most of those other 59 attractions.
From the size of the investment to the location inside Disney’s least popular theme park, it’d be easy to think of 60 reasons why this is a really big deal.
But, since there are things to prepare and time’s running out, here are just Six Big Reasons Why Ratatouille Matters…
Space Mountain: De la Terre à la Lune will forever be the addition Disneyland Paris fans regard as the one. Opening in 1995, it arguably saved the resort from financial meltdown — well, until its next restructuring — and provided a big, new version of a Disney classic which Parisian fans could say was all their own. But as a wild thrill ride with height restrictions it wasn’t for everyone and, since the bigger Discovery Mountain project was scrapped, it didn’t have a restaurant or much else to explore around the circular mountain.
In that sense, and even taking the roughly ten new attractions Walt Disney Studios Park brought in 2002, Disneyland Paris has simply never built such a complete and well-rounded expansion. One that everyone can ride, one that has all the necessary theme park infrastructure — dining, shopping, toilets — built in. This is how it should be done.
Since Le Visionarium in Discoveryland saw its all-too-early demise, Disneyland Paris has been lacking a certain French-ness in its parks. That fantastical Circle Vision 360 film was a gem, a real love letter to France; it helped to ground the park and helped the park — and its visitors — relate to its location.
Now, over in Walt Disney Studios Park, visitors can feel like they’re in Paris without ever stepping foot on the RER train to take them into the city.
It might seem mad to build Paris in Paris, but — ah! — this isn’t just any City of Light, it clearly has enough whimsy and “Hidden Rémys” to make it its own place.
This works two ways: it gives the park something very French, which foreign visitors will love, and it gives the park something very French, which the French will love.
Unmistakably connected with Disneyland Paris, it will put the resort on the map both for Disney fans and the general public in a way not seen since Space Mountain in the ’90s.
The Studios’ first and only E-Ticket expansion to date, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, was a huge deal at the time and helped give to the park a focal point a feeling of much-needed atmosphere. But coming almost four years after the exact same version of the ride was built in California, and that a full ten years after the Florida original, there wasn’t much new or fresh to actually be excited about. Construction was more about waiting for the next thing, not waiting to see what’s next.
With trackless vehicles, huge 3D projections, plus physical scenery and physical effects, Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy is a comparatively unknown mélange like nothing seen in any other Disney park, on a scale to be truly excited about, and there are no plans as yet to reproduce it around the world.
It’d be absolutely right to hesitate to say that Walt Disney Studios Park is now a “full-day park”, but with an extra must-do attraction and a table service restaurant, it is almost getting to the point where you would struggle to do everything in a day.
Combined with Disneyland Park, this could begin to tip the balance towards three days in the parks becoming more of a standard at Disneyland Paris, at least for first-time visitors. That’s good for the parks, good for the hotels, good for everything.
After Disney California Adventure, Disney seems to have rediscovered the motto that “investment pays” — let’s please have that apply to Paris, too.
Indeed, more so than any expansion of the park yet, Ratatouille should encourage more visitors to hop to the Studios in the first place — and to hop back again. More visitors in the park could mean more much-needed investment — or at least you’d hope so, because…
There might be a lot of talk this weekend and further ahead of Walt Disney Studios Park “coming of age” or “being fixed”. Let’s be clear: this relatively tiny pocket of pure, proper Disney theme park magic is still just that.
The original Animation Courtyard still lacks anything to write home about, and Backlot is positively bleak. The park is still just a collection of generally very good but largely disparate attractions, lacking any Disney glue — or even enough money-making restaurants and shops — between them.
What this new Ratatouille mini-land does do, however, with its intricate sets, endless hidden nods and spectacular fountain, is set the benchmark: for a type of immersion in storytelling which should be standard, but has still yet to be seen across the park. Toy Story Playland actually did immersion quite well, but not so much the quality of its attractions.
Even Hollywood Boulevard which surrounds The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, a beautiful area of the park for almost seven years, lacks any kind of real immersion the second you turn to see the flat Hollywood Hills backdrop or the unrestricted views to the rest of the original backlot-inspired park. Could it finally be completed now?
Now there’s Place de Rémy, there’s no excuse. From Animagique to Studio Tram Tour: Behind the Magic to Armageddon: Les Effets Speciaux, Ratatouille will prove, somewhat painfully, just how under-performing the rest of the park is — both in how it looks, how it works and how it makes money. And that has to mean major changes.
Star Wars Land? Marvel Studios? Animagique 2?! As one new attraction opens, it seems Disneyland Paris always becomes awash with rumour about what’s next. But right now, we just don’t know, and as we’ve seen in a past, these (often very real) plans have a disappointing habit of never making it to reality.
So as Ratatouille: The Adventure prepares to open its doors, enjoy the moment. You never know how long we’ll be waiting for this feeling of simmering excitement again. Savour it.
• Join DLP Today from 11am this Saturday, 21st June for the Inauguration of Place de Rémy, part of our Ratatouille: The Adventure Grand Opening LIVE weekend schedule.
Disney PhotoPass has made its way fully across the Atlantic! The popular, longstanding online photo service offered by Disneyland Resort in California and Walt Disney World Resort in Florida launches this weekend at Disneyland Paris, bringing the latest features of PhotoPass+ and an all-new, exclusive mobile app.
In brief, PhotoPass allows you to link all your official souvenir photos taken by photographers in the parks onto one card, and then access them online when you return home. You can then purchase high quality downloadable versions, or order prints or an array of souvenir applications from mugs to photobooks.
Disneyland Paris already offered this service to a point, but it lacked the online element — you had to go to one of the park’s boutiques to inspect your photos and purchase souvenir prints there and then. It wasn’t ideal.
Now, visitors can go to www.disneyphotopass.eu to register their card and see the memories from the comfort of their own home. Prices for prints and souvenirs supplied by Fujifilm are surprisingly reasonable, although shipping charges are likely to sting.
And there’s more: a brand new mobile app, Disneyland Paris PhotoPass (iOS) (also on Android), will let you see your PhotoPass account on your phone and — here’s the coolest feature — add an on-ride attraction photo by scanning a new QR code now displayed on the photo screens at the exit of rides, or by entering the photo ID. This means for the first time you can save your photo for later, to download or buy prints later.
Like the American resorts, Paris will too offer a special upfront Disney PhotoPass+ package, retailing at €49.99, which lets you view, download and share without limit all the photos you want to collect during your time in the parks (up to 10 days). It includes a special PhotoPass lanyard card plus two extra mini cards, which you show to photographers at character locations. You can also hand them over at attraction photo sales locations to link on-ride photos to your account, if you don’t have access to the QR-scanning app.
Unlike the American packages, however, you won’t get a CD-Rom containing your photos, but aren’t downloads better these days anyway?
Our friends at Mickey Land blog were first to share this press release:
New photo services pack for unforgettable souvenirs.
Disney PhotoPass+: photos taken in the Disney Parks available in HD from this summer!
From 21 June this year, Disneyland® Paris presents Disney PhotoPass+, a new service for accessing photo-souvenir taken in the Parks in HD. Guests will have access to a photo services pack to view, download and share all photos taken with Disney characters or on rides that take ride photos.
From July 2014, Disney PhotoPass+ will allow guests to access all their photo-souvenirs taken on rides or with Disney characters by Park photographers at photo locations in high definition. Guests will be able to access a dedicated website or a mobile app to view, download and share their photos on social networks or to purchase personalized photo products (mugs, calendars, etc.).
The Disney PhotoPass+ service will be on offer at the price of €49.99. Guests will receive a box containing an exclusive lanyard card holder, a main card and two mini cards to use throughout their visit to the Disneyland Paris Parks to link their photos to the service.
From the first activation of the pack, guests could associate unlimited photo souvenirs to the service PhotoPass+ by presenting their card to photographers of Disney PhotoPass, or to the photo desk in the attractions equipped with an image capture system or by flashing the QR code directly from the monitors located at the exit of the attractions.
The photos will be available in high definition at www.disneyphotopass.eu or on the new mobile app. The “Disneyland Paris PhotoPass” app, a first for Disney Parks, is available to download on Apple and Android platforms.
The introduction of the full PhotoPass system is the latest in a series of positive developments for Disneyland Paris, continuing to bring it more closely in line with the American resorts.
Clearly, there is still much to discover about how the system will work at Disneyland Paris and many questions left to answer. Luckily, DLP Today and other fan reporters invited to this weekend’s Ratatouille: The Adventure event will be getting a special preview PhotoPass+ package to test out for ourselves in the parks — so join us soon for a full review to read much more about the service and follow us LIVE to see it in action this weekend!
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