New Lands for Tokyo Disneyland

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

TokyoAlice280415The Oriental Land Company has released new artwork for Tokyo Disneyland’s Fantasyland project.

On the first piece of artwork an area is showing off an Alice in Wonderland theme, while a second picturesshows the entrance of the Beauty & The Beast “Be Out Guest” area. Looks like Tokyo will be getting their own version of this popular Walt Disney World restaurant.

TokyoBeOurGuestThese new lands are part of a huge redevelopment of Fantasyland and more new or different themes might find their way into the park. There is no fixed information when to expect the new Fantasyland to open, but we can expect it to open in phases as it will be a big undertaking. Opening of the first phase can be expected somewhere in 2017.

A third piece of artwork the Oriental Land Company has released is for DisneySea. A new port will be build inside this beautiful park carrying a Scandinavia theme. Part of the area will be themed after the Disney hit Frozen. The Arendelle castle is clearly recognisable on the artwork. It looks as if there is enough room for a Frozen attraction inside the mountains. Again, no info on opening dates except to expect it somewhere in 2017.

DisneySeaUpdate280415

There you have it, another reason to plan a trip to Tokyo Disneyland. As if one needs another reason!

Pictures courtesy of the Oriental Land Company

Tony Baxter Leaving Imagineering

Saturday, February 2nd, 2013

TonyBmaster3It is something that would have to happen at some stage, but I don’t think anybody really was prepared for it to happen at this time or any time. Tony Baxter is leaving his Senior Vice President position within the Imagineers department at Disney. He might not leave completely as he will take a role as a part time advisor.

Tony has been part of the Disney family for more then 30 years. He started in Disneyland as an ice cream vendor when he was 17 years young. Over 30 years later he became a well love Disney Imagineer that brought some incredible magic to Disney. Some of his greatest works include Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain, Indiana Jones, Re-designing complete lands like Disneyland’s Tomorrowland (in 1998) and Disneyland’s Fantasyland (in 1983). He is also the man that created a big part of our beloved Disneyland  Paris.

I was privileged and lucky enough to have been able to meet this Disney icon in person. Not only was I able to hear his stories about the creation of Disneyland Paris (a full transcript can be found here), but I was able to give him a copy of Brits Guide to Disneyland I was the main researched for, but he also signed a copy, congratulated and thanked me for the work on the book. To me, as a Disney enthusiast, that meant a lot. Thank you Tony for all the things you’ve done.

AN OPEN LETTER TO FELLOW IMAGINEERS (more…)

Universal vs. Disney: The Tolkien Round!

Saturday, January 5th, 2013

Universal did it again! At least if these rumors are indeed correct as no official announcements are made yet. Universal gets the rights to build the Lord of the Ring attractions in their park. This is yet another fantastic move that will bring over even more people to the parks. Harry Potter already proofed success and with Lord of the Rings they will do it again. This franchise is so big, popular and timeless that guest numbers for the park will grow for sure.

Queues for the Harry Potter attractions are stupendously long and will get even bigger once the second phase is in place. Once Lords of the Rings and the Hobbit will make it to the park another big fan followers will find their way to the Universal Studios getting those visitor numbers way up. Orlando visitors will need to find a way to see all the stuff and while their holiday might not get extended, a visit to Universal might. As guest might have to find that extra day for Universal, this could cost Disney some visitors.

OK, Disney just got the big Star Wars deal, the new Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World, the rumored Carsland for Hollywood Studios and… Avatar for Animal Kingdom. Fantasyland is already proofing to be a success for Disney and depending on their Star Wars plans will have another crowd pleaser. As long as it will be spectacular and the Imagineers get to do something with it. Avatar is still another story in my honest opinion. Avatar might still see two more movies and although this will keep the franchise alive, it is in no way as timeless as Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter.

Never the less, it is exciting to see how the theme parks are creating new wonderful stuff. The Lord of the Rings deal will make Disney work their hardest to bring out their best of the best and the real winners are we, the fans and the guests.

Make sure to visit us regularly as we will report on all the new Orlando area park stuff once we know more.

All That New Walt Disney World Stuff

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

Isn’t it amazing how much new stuff just has been added to Walt Disney World. The new Fantasyland looks amazing and brings us many big new wonderful things. The Under the Sea, Journey of the Little Mermaid looks like real fun. Not only the ride, but even the interactive queue area sounds like fun. The Be our Guest Restaurant is already an absolute winner with dining reservations being very hard to get. Enchanted Tales with Belle and Ariel’s Grotto brings you closer to even more the beloved characters and their stories. I can’t wait to see and experience it all. If I only knew when that day will be. Knowing that all the new attractions and experiences are there but you don’t have a date set yet to go and visit it is no fun. But I guess I am not the only one who would go and see all that wonderful stuff. And isn’t that why Disney does it? To lure us all back in? However I guess we fans don’t even need that much to be convinced to book a next trip. How many returning visitors will this update bring? Or even new visitors? It will be an overhaul that will bring many, many people to the park. With only a couple of days open and the big press event behind it, success can already be seen.

But there is even more to draw in all us fans and regulars to the park. How about Storybook Circus with the redecorated Barnstormer, The Dual Dumbo’s and Casey’s Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station. Another reason to visit the magic. And the end is not there yet as more expansions will be opening. Princess Fairytale Hall and the highly anticipated Seven Dwarf Mine Train. I guess those guest going to visit the new Fantasyland now will also be drawn back for those too, while others might wait till the whole area has been refurbished and ready.

But there is even more new stuff going on in the World. Epcot’s Test Track is open and people are speaking of STAND_BY lines all the way from Innoventions… That is a long queue! But looking at the early videos of the ride it looks like the wait is well worth it.

It is great to see all these new things happening in the world. I just wish I could be there to see them happening. But I will have to work a little on my patience. I miss Walt Disney World though, just like I miss being here on the Mousekingdom blog. Maybe this is the right time to get this project out of hibernation a little. It would be nice to talk more Disney again in anticipation towards my next trip. It is in the planning. Just no set date yet. So until we see each other in the park, I hope to see you again on this blog. But for those going to see all the new stuff; enjoy it! And then share it…

Trip Diaries Day Six: 5:50am

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

With crowded parks during the holidays the only thing to do is get up early if you want to avoid the big queue lines. So the alarm was set for 5:50am and although this sounds a little tough, it wasn’t too hard to get out of bed when you know it’s to have some fun. Well, it didn’t take us to long to see it was worth it. We got to the Magic Kingdom at 7:00am and where ready to hit some rides with the low crowds that had the same idea. (for those thinking we are a little crazy getting up at the crack of dawn)

Before the clock hit 9:00am we got to do a whole collection of rides. We’ve seen Pooh, Snow White and even Peter Pan without a person in the queue. Beats those 2 hours queues in the middle of the busy day. We rode the Speedway, did some shooting with Buzz, had a ride on Space Mountain, took a rocket ride at the Astro Orbitor and got a little wet on Splash Mountain. Big Thunder Mountain was closed (101), so we could not add that one to this run, but we added Pirates of the Caribbean to the mix before 9am.

How’s that for your first two hours in the park. And we didn’t even have to run or get into a sweat to get them done. Getting up this early does make you a little hungry earlier in the day so before we would continue it was time for a cup of coffee and a cookie. Once we enjoyed those it was time for some more rides at the Magic Kingdom. One of my favourites was next as we rode the TTA before heading over to the Laugh Floor. It’s a funny show!

Once we left the monsters behind we could see that the crowds where coming in. No time to lose as we headed to the Haunted Mansion. I needed to see the new queue area and enjoy the ride before queues would get out of hands. Still not too bad as the queue at HM was low. I even let people pass while I enjoyed some of the interactive fun before entering my beloved house for some Disney scares.

After that it was time for an early lunch and some 20% discount shopping. The discount came from a ticket you get when you buy food in the park. It gives you a 20% discount as long as you shop before 12:00pm. It’s also a good trap as we did buy some stuff we might have not if we didn’t have the discount. Once we got our shopping done we left the park. The crowds had build up so bad, queues would be well into the hour for the popular rides. Getting there that early was well worth it.

I also got to see some of the stuff they are building at the new Fantasyland. This is going to be amazing. Can’t wait to return for that in the future.

Once out of the park we grabbed a taxi and headed over to the city Celebration. I always wanted to see it and finally got to do it. The town centre is nice, but smaller as I thought it would be. We had some time for a drink and some ice cream and to take a couple of pictures, but stayed shorter as anticipated. The houses look nice and it might be a nice place to live, but a long visit should not be planned as there isn’t much to do. So back to Old Key West for some swimming, a little rest and to get ready for dinner.

We had reservations for the California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. We got there a little early so we could have a look around at the resort. It looks nice but for some reason not the place where I would want to stay. A little to busy for us. Doesn’t look like you can relax when staying there. (I could be wrong) The restaurant is always nice, although my 12 year old son’s food was too spicy and he could not enjoy it. I guess that’s the risqué when going from children’s menu to adults menu. The icing on the cake however is watching the fireworks from the top of the building. The best place to see it without the big crowds. Personally I am not a fan of Wishes and I will not stay in the park for it, but I am happy I could end the day seeing it from the Contemporary’s rooftop.

D23 Fantasyland Model

Friday, August 19th, 2011

Picture of the big Fantasyland Model taken at the D23 Expo. Get a glimpse of what the new Fantasyland will look like in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. Click the picture for a big size picture!

A Pirate’s Ship, a Mousekedances Album and Walt’s Signature

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Are you a Disney collector looking for something special that can’t be found in the Disney stores and Theme Parks. How about visiting auctions? You can always find something special there. In about 3 days Julien’s Live will action of some amazing stuff in their “Hollywood Legends Auction”. Some of this stuff is truly awesome. From the TV hit “Heroes” to the fantastic movie Serenity, from Star Wars to Marlene Dietrich and a lot more. There are 602 different lots starting from $50 to well over $10000.

For the Disney fanatics and specialist collectors there are three lots to look out for. All three of them pretty amazing. The three lots are…

“DISNEYLAND ARCHITECTURAL DRAWING FANTASYLAND PIRATE SHIP”
An architectural drawing for the Disneyland Inc. Fantasyland Pirate Ship. Drawing is dated “5-7-55,” showing the side and end elevations of the ship, marked “Sheet No. A3.” Designed by WED Enterprises. Designed to resemble Captain Hook’s pirate ship, it served as a restaurant at Disneyland from 1955 to 1982. (lot 357)

This lot is estimated $500 to $700.

The second item is…

“WALT DISNEY AND MICKEY MOUSE CLUB SIGNED ALBUM”
A 10″ 78 rpm copy of “Mousekedances” signed on record label by Walt Disney and on the reverse label by members of The Mickey Mouse Club including: Annette, Doreen, Karen, Tommy, Cheryl, Roy, Cubby, Jimmie Dodd and Bobby. (lot 358)

An amazing item signed by 9 people. This is an absolute rare find and is estimated to bring $800 to $1000.

And item number three…

“WALT DISNEY SIGNED PHOTOGRAPH”
An original vintage photograph inscribed and signed by Walt Disney. (lot 359)

A gem for sure and something many Walt Disney fans would love to own. Estimated at $600 to $800, but I see this item selling for more beating the higher end estimate. Beautiful Disney collectible. For those that want to place a bit; happy bidding and good luck and if you win it let us know…

Picture copyrights Julien’s Auctions. Click picture to see full size on their page

The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (and more…)

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

Walt Disney had a big press event on the 18th January where the revealed some secrets about the ongoing Fantasyland project.

One that will stand out is the rumored The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. The new coaster will have a new first of its kind ride system where the trains are said to be swinging back and forth giving the ride a new dimension. The theme of the ride will be around the Drawf’s mine and will be filled with Snow White magic, especially the shiny diamond kind of magic. (more…)

Fantasyland in 3D

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Click on the small picture to see a full size version of the Fantasyland 3D model. (via Stitch Kingdom). Work on this monster project should start soon and a first phase is planned to open somewhere in 2012 with 2013 being the target date for the expansion to be ready.

Fantasyland: Future Building site

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

fantasylandNEW

Walt Disney World fans can be very exited about the plans Disney has for Walt Disney World’s Fantasyland. The “new” Fantasyland looks very promising and will give a new boost to Disney classics inside the Magic Kingdom. But before we can see the magic unveiled, guest will be walking on a big construction site in the very near future. While Disney will do anything they can to make the visit to the park and fantasyland as pleasant as possible during the rehab, it will not be easy to ignore the big works that will be taking place their. The whole project might take up 4 years before completion. Looking at this time line Disney will make sure not the whole of Fantasyland will be closed down, but will divide the work over the time.

(more…)

Major Disney Park Expansion

Monday, September 14th, 2009

Fantasyland2013

Not really new as the have been circulating on the web for a while now, but Disney has now officially announced their expansion plans for Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and for the very long rumored Star Tours II in their two US parks.

StarTours3D

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Future Fantasyland Blueprint

Monday, July 20th, 2009

FantasylandBleuprint1Plans have leaked on the internet regarding big changes for Fantasyland. While the classic ride will remain in Fantasyland, there is a lot of new stuff to be found on the plans too. One popular ride, with queue reaching boiling limited of every parent, will even get a twin. Dumbo ride will be cloned in the park to shorten the waiting time for those kids that won’t take a “no” for an answer when it come to riding the beloved attraction. The twin ride will be moved to the back of the park and will be part of a complete change of the Toon Town area. Dumbo will also take over the train station. The Barnstormer Coaster will be the only ride remaining (but could it be turned into the rumored Seven Dwarfs Mine Train), all other Toon Town attractions and buildings will have to make place for new stuff. One of the main themes will be Pixie Hollow with meet and greet area and a playzone.

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General Meeting trip report (Part 2; The Fun Part)

Friday, February 13th, 2009

disneylandcastle-sThe meeting was over and I was ready to have some fun. Together with J°o°el, I walked over to Disneyland Park to enjoy the rest of the day.

Entering the park we could already see that it wasn’t going to be to busy. We walked along MainStreet towards the attraction time board to find out Phantom Manor is closed. It has been for a while, as they are doing some work on it, but I will miss it on this trip. So no Phantom Manor, but enough other rides and attractions to enjoy. However before starting our trip around the park we went to Blue Lagoon for lunch. There was no waiting time, a table was available straight away. I love the Blue Lagoon, but this time I couldn’t enjoy it to much. The Shrimp starter was fine but the chicken Dish wasn’t really warm and the rice a little dried out. Also the cream brulee couldn’t please me. It wasn’t totally bad, but I am used to get better food from that place. After leaving the restaurant we started a walk around the park. From Adventureland to Frontierland, passing over the central hub towards Discoveryland to end in Fantasyland. Why a trip and no rides (yet?). Well, the park is more then rides and a wander around the park to enjoy the atmosphere and to see all the changes and work (a lot of work) that is being done is part of the fun.

(more…)

New Attraction for Tokyo Disneyland

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

The Oriental Land Co. has made an official announcement for their next new attraction that will find its home in Tokyo Disneyland. The new attraction will be a clone from the Walt Disney World resort: “Mickey’s PhilharMagic”. The attraction is planned to open in 2011 and will replace The Mickey Mouse Revue in Fantasyland.

The official announcement can be found behind this link (pdf).

Pictures copyrights Disney.

Side Glance 07-02-15…

Thursday, February 15th, 2007

Side Glance 07-02-15…
[It’s a Small World at Fantasyland / Disneyland Parc, Disneyland Resort Paris]