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…)

Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 24th, 2012

Joyeuses Fêtes!

Felices Fiestas!

Trevlig Helg!

Boas Festas!

Sarbatori Fericite!

Jie Ri Yu Kuai!

Bones Festes!

Tanoshii kurisumasu wo!

Buone Feste!

Forhe Feiertage!

Prettige feestdagen!

Hau’oli Lanui!

Beannachtaí na Féile!

Vesele Praznike!

Sretni praznici!

We Are Back

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

It has been a while since you’ve seen an update here but as you can see we are back in action.

So what happened? Why where we gone?

Well, we had to fight some technical difficulties on the blog that had forced it into a complete black-out.

It took a while to find the error, but as you can see the Mousekingdom blog is back on-line. Unfortunately we did loose some date, but that will not stop us from adding new stuff.

So if you like Walt Disney, Disney Parks, Disney movies and anything else related to the world of Disney (and more), brace yourself as we are ready for GO!…

Remy Moving to Paris…

Monday, January 16th, 2012

… or, as he already comes from Paris, re-locating to a new home at the Walt Disney Studios as it looks like the Ratatouille dark ride attractions is ready to get build.

Disney did not announce anything official but a building permit is up and it looks like nothing can stop the rat now!

For more in dept information visit DLP.Info news section, where we will follow up on the construction in the coming months and years.

Hello Mousekingdom Blog Visitors

Monday, September 19th, 2011

It has been a while since we spread some Disney magic but it time for a return. After a couple of hectic weeks I am ready again to fill these pages.

So please make sure to visit us again and spread the word.

Also check out our twitter page, Facebook page and our sister website DLP.info.

And now, let’s get on with the show….

Sand Everywhere

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

You’ve seen the report on the blog and many people have seen the art for themselves. We are talking about the sand sculptures of Disneyland Paris in Belgium. The result was astonishing and the success amazing. With 200.000 visitors at the event this year, it’s a clear success, a success looking for a redo in 2012. Craig Dezern, representative from Walt Disney World, visited the sculptures and was so impressed and asked the artist to come over to WDW to create another Disney sand sculpture event in the USA. The Belgium sand sculpture team, Francis Vandendorpe and Alexander Deman, is talking with WDW and once the project is green lighted will be looking for the sand they need to build those sculptures in the USA. The rest of the logistic materials will be shipped to the USA to support the 30 sculptures and 10 technicians that are needed to build the sculpture event.

But that’s not all. Not only was the WDW department impressed. There were some other Disney visitors that loved the event. Find out what other Disney location might be looking at their own event in 2012 on our sister DLP.Info blog news site. (although that might have given it away)

Congratulations to the sand Sculpture team. Not only for this year’s success, but for securing two futures projects with Disney.

Disneyland Paris Trip Report: Pin Trading is Alive!!!

Monday, August 29th, 2011

This weekend I was at Disneyland Paris and got to see a great pin trading event. Disneyland Paris organized an event inside the park where fans could gather to trade and buy new pins. The event was well organized with a good first come first serve policy. Those fans that where at the gate first got a green ticket entitling them to buy 2 of the limited pins. Those that came later had another color that would give them the right to buy one of the limited pins and those that came late still had the chance to win the right to buy one pin with the yellow raffle tickets. 300 die hard collectors turned up trying to get some of these pins and many of the collectors brought their collection to show and trade.

The event took place in Frontierland in front of the Pablo Trading Post shop that was not only open for the event but was filled with pins and vinylmations. In front of the shop collectors had enough room to share their collection. Some of these collections where well over a thousand pins and I heard of people being there showing of collections of 4000+ pins.

I used to collect myself but stopped a couple of years ago. Although I do have some pins left (Halloween stuff), I did sell many of them. There was just to much coming out and I had to make some choices. My Comic collection won it over the pins, but I must admit when I saw this happening, I did miss it.

It was also nice to see that the Vinylmation is getting some love too. Some tables where filled with these cute vinyls. It looks like a lot of the pin traders also like to collect these little figure. And who can blame them, they are to nice to leave behind on the shelves.

This event shows that pin trading is far from dead. There where a lot of people, some of them I recognized being there from the beginning, but also a lot of young fans that are fairly new to the hobby. Although I was tempted to get some pins for myself, I was able to withstand them. I wasn’t that lucky with the Vinylmations as I could not resist on picking up a couple of the new Pirates vinyls. Happy collecting everybody.

Zombies Invading Walt Disney Studios

Friday, July 8th, 2011

Because it’s something you don’t see a lot in any Disneyland park I wanted to share some special Halloween event that will take place in the Walt Disney Studios in Disneyland Paris. Zombies, that’s right, ZOMBIES will take over… Want to know more check out our sister site DLP.Info with all the juicy details…

Win 2 Tickets for the Sand Sculpture Festival

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

Did you enjoy the sand sculptures Festival report and pictures? Want to go and visit the event for yourself? Here is your chance to win 2 entry tickets for the event. All you have to do is send us a mail, let us know you want to win 2 tickets (and how much you love the blog)… Mails need to be in before the end of June 28th.

2 winners will be randomly chosen and each of them will get 2 tickets to visit the sand sculpture Festival in Blankenberge, Belgium. Good luck!

Winners will be announced on the blog, by mail and will get their tickets posted to them. For more info on the event itself visit our report on the blog.

Our First Vinylmation

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

When the Vinylmations where announced I promised myself not to get into it, to stay away from it and to not add yet another collectible to my home. But this weekend the Vinylmation trap snapped and a very first figure was both. They just looked so nice and I wanted to get at least one to see what I would get. Got to look at some of the choices in the shop at Disneyland Paris before I picked a box. There was an Animation Series, The Park Series 6, Star Wars Series and the Toy Story Series but it was the Have a Laugh Series that caught my eye. I liked multiple once of the Have a Laugh Vinylmation figures, but one of them in particular became my favorite one of this lot. It was the Mickey’s Garden Figure, the one with the pumpkin.

The boxes are closed however, so I had to be lucky to pick just that one. But I couldn’t help myself and picked a box…

At Cafe Mickey in the Disney Village in Disneyland Paris I opened the box… and what are the odds? (Well I guess 1 in 12). It was the one I wanted, The Have a Laugh “Mickey’s Garden Vinylmation. The trap has snapped for sure as I got the figure I wanted the most in my first pick.

My son was also very happy with his first box. He got himself the Donald one from this series. He had multiple once he liked and would be happy with, Donald being one of them.

The next day we left after a day of fun in the park with 2 more figures each. We both got the Ostrich one from the same set, while I took home Clu from the Tron Series and my son one box from the Star Wars Series. Am I hooked… I hope not, but after looking on the web what is out there I already have a want list. One of the is Shan Yu from the Villains Series (to name one), but I am mostly looking forward seeing the rumored Haunted Mansion Series come to the stores.

TEA Theme Park Attendance Report

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Every year the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) releases their Theme Park Attendance Report. A report that shows the growth or losses in attendance of all major theme parks in the world. This time they do so with a big delay and a report full of errors. After looking at the report I wonder if this can be taken serious as some of the numbers don’t add up when looking at and comparing previous report. The main error is in some of the % related to growth and funnily enough the biggest mistake is related to the Disneyland Paris numbers. More on that can be found on DLP.Info where you’ll see the numbers of 2010 compared to the numbers of 2009.

For the rest of the report we can see some big chances when it comes to winners and losers. Unfortunately Disney is loosing some ground in the USA. While they still have the top spots on the lists, they have been surpassed by Asian parks and must be a little scared of a wizard that is giving a big boost to one of their competitors.

The Magic Kingdom is still number one on the list with 16.97 million visitors. This is down 1,5% from 2009. Disneyland is up 0,5% with 15.98 visitors and remains in second place. Tokyo Disneyland keeps its third place with 14.45 million visitors. This is 5,9% up from previous years. This is good news for Tokyo but we can expect a big decrease in next years report because of the tsunami disaster and the park being closed for an extended period of time because of this. Forth place goes to another growing park, Tokyo DisneySea. It had a growth of 5,5% with a total of 12.66 million visitors. Epcot is fifth with 10.83 Million visitors, a drop of 1,5%.

Next on the list is Disneyland Paris. However the placing ant visitors total should be correct, the percentages are way of. The same can be said for the Walt Disney Studios in Paris (19th in the ranking). (More on DLP.Info)

The biggest winner in the US is Island of Adventure. This will be no surprise to anybody as everybody expected this park to catapult big into a major attendance boosts once the Wizard Harry Potter opened his section of the park. The park gained 30,2% in attendance, boosting a visitors total to 5.95 million. It is important to know that the new section only opened during the last 2/3 of the years so it will be really interesting to see what a full year will do for the park.

Below the full list, including all other Disneyparks around the globe,  as published by TEA (including the errors) (more…)

More Disneyland Paris Sand…

Friday, June 10th, 2011

After adding a first collection of pictures of yesterdays incredible Sand Sculptures Festival opening event I wanted to share another lot of pictures with you today.

So here they are, more Disneyland Paris and Disney Characters made out of sand from the Sand Sculpture Festival in Blankenberge.

Some more Disneyland Paris scenes including a view on Main Street U.S.A., Pixar characters from Monster Inc and Cars, and more

For more info  and more pictures on the event visit our previous blog entry about the event.

Enjoy the pictures…

Disneyland Paris Sand Sculptures Opening Night

Friday, June 10th, 2011

 

Last night it was special opening night for the Sand Sculpture Festival Blankenberge 2011 based on the MagicalMoments Festival of Disneyland Paris. It was going to be a magical night and a beginning of a wonderful summer at the Belgium coast side. The VIP’s, Press, friends, Disney Cast Members, Disney Ambassadors and fans where invited

to see the opening of a fantastic display made out of… sand!

The opening ceremony started with a small introduction about the project. The idea started by one of the artist while working on an ice sculpture event in Paris. This man is Alexander Deman. He contacted Disneyland Paris, met up in January and only 5 months later he and his team created a fantastic sand sculpture display of Disneyland Paris attractions and some of Disney’s most beloved characters. Alexander came to the stage and talked about the work and invited all artist on stage who where welcomed by a big applause from the public. The 2 Disney ambassadors Régis  & Osvaldo visited especially from Paris and where impressed about what they saw here in Blankenberge. They where thrilled about what they witnessed today and loved being a part of it.

After the introduction it was time to officially open the event and who better then Mickey Mouse himself would be given the honors to open the gates for the first visitors.

The sand sculptures are divided in multiple areas. The first area guest can visit once they enter the festival is the Main Marquee. In front of this big tent Mickey Mouse and Minnie are awaiting the guests next to Disneyland Railroad. These figures look amazing and are only a small treat to what is still to come. Inside the Marquee guest are invited to screens showing some scenes of Disneyland Paris before they go around the corner where a bigger screen shows them how the artist have worked on the sand creations the last couple of months. You will see how they work on the Disney Characters and how they set up the big Sleeping Beauty Castle. Worth checking out before entering the main hall of the tent where the real work is shown.

Once inside the main room guest will see Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse showing the way trough the sculptures. There are a total of 52 Sculptures or scenes in this tent alone. Some of them big, others even bigger. Just beside Walt and Mickey you’ll find Main street. The detail is amazing, including name shields, birds and decorations, as we come to know and love them by Disney. Here your trip starts around the sculptures that include Tangled, Casey Jr., Dumbo, Snow White, Belle, Jasmine, Aladdin, Cinderella, Beast’s Castle, Pocahontas, Mulan, Ariel, Alice in Wonderland and many more. The displays are amazing, big, beautiful and created with eye for detail. A wonderful adventure for everybody who enters. Alice’s Curious Labyrinth for example is fun and extremely creative. A fantastic job by the artists.

Once your visit in the main marquee comes to an end you’ll be welcomed to even more amazing sand sculptures. The next 19 displays are some of the most beautiful of them all. They include The Sleeping Beauty Castle, Phantom Manor and boot hill (my personal favorite), Space Mountain and the Tower of Terror. A stunning display!

But it doesn’t end there! There is more. Inside the Round Marquee you’ll find some of Disney’s favorite characters from Jungle Book, the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction and the Lion King. Don’t miss those amazing displays, especially Skull Rock.

The smallest tent is the Pixar Marquee. As the name already suggest, you’ll find some of Pixar most beloved characters like Buzz, Sulley, Ratatouille and Wall-E.

There are 125 sand sculptures and displays. Enough to keep you and your whole family entertained for a couple of hours.

It’s pure magic and everybody working on this project should be proud. Well worth a visit as you will be enchanted and will want to drive straight on to Disneyland Paris afterwards. I know I did.

After the tour and to end this special opening there was one more magical moment awaiting us. A fantastic Fireworks display. Especially for this event the fantastic music of Illuminations was used. This is my favorite Disney experience in Walt Disney World and it was the cherry on the cake for this wonderful and magical event.

The Sand Sculptures Festival is open until September 12 from 10 AM to 7 PM. For more information on the event visit www.zandsculptuur.be

A visit is highly recommended to anybody, even if you havn’t been to Disneyland Paris (yet). It will put a smile on the faces of both young and old…

Keep on visiting the blog for more pictures soon.

Did You Know About…

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

.. all our other projects? Mousekingdom is part of our BIG Disney family with multiple projects. Most of them are linked but in case you didn’t know about them yet I wanted to put them all on this blog so you can check them out and ad them to your favorites.

There is our other site related totally on Disneyland Paris. You’ll find all the news from in and around the park there. We have our facebook page where you can come and say hello too. You can of course follow us on twitter too and we even have our own daily paper (somehow, just have a look at it here)

We also have a youtube channel. Only a couple of video on it at this time but do become a member to get updates on new videos we will post there.

Check them all out and add them to your daily Disney fix. Thank you to all our guests following us here or any of our other platforms. And now, let’s get on with the show…

Disneyland Paris Replica in… Sand

Friday, May 27th, 2011

Summer brings you sun at sea, and what’s more fun then playing with sand. Yearly multiple sand sculpture festivals can be discovered at many beaches, including the Belgium beach at Blankenberge. But why talk about this on this blog? Well, this year the beach will be the stage for a very special sand sculpture event. This year the festival will be based on the Magical Moments Festival of Disneyland Paris.

This year the international Sand Sculpture Festival in Blankenberge is proud to announce a world first: its own unique interpretation of Disneyland® Paris!  A fascinating adventure, a surprise-packed voyage of discovery in the fantastic world of … sand! (Zandsculptuur)

The sculptures will be made on a 3000 square meter area and will show you Disney scenes from the park with Disney and Pixar characters. No plans are shown on what to expect but according to their them page it looks like Mainsteet U.S.A. Will be made and could well be the first thing you’ll see at the event. The are speaking of Fantasyland, Peter Pan and Captain Hook, Big Thunder Mountain and more. Imagine to see that runaway train as a replica build with sand… Sounds pretty awesome and even if you can’t ride this version will be a fantastic Disney experience to enjoy and remember for a long time.

The sculpture festival starts on June 10th and will be run all the way up to September 12th. So if you like both Disney and the beach make sure to visit this beautiful fun event at the Belgian coast. Yes, believe it or not, with a bit of luck it can be warm and sunny too for those that want to swim in the sea after visiting the sculpture event. See you there as I will be visiting it for sure…

Picture copyrights Disney