Sunday, November 10, 2013
It's Official : Bob Iger Announces Star Wars Lands Coming at Disneyland AND Walt Disney World , and Likely in Parks Outside the U.S ...
It was hardly a secret but now it's official as Bob Iger in an interview with Bloomberg confirmed that "there is a fair amount of development going on at Disney Imagineering right now to expand the Star Wars presence ( translate: Star Wars Lands ) in Disneyland AND Walt Disney World ( translate: Disney's Hollywood Studios ) and eventually in others Disney theme parks around the world".
"We do have Star Wars in others theme parks, in Paris and in Tokyo, we haven't made any specific announcements about what will be in Shanghaî or what we're heading to Hong Kong after we build an Iron Man attraction but i think it's probably likely that Star Wars will be in more than just our two domestic parks."
Couldn't be more clear, right? Now, Disney still have to announce the opening dates of these Star Wars lands at DL and WDW but what i can tell you is that Disneyland will be probably the first to have one, shortly followed by the awaited one for WDW Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Iger also talked about the release date of Star Wars Episode 7 movie - December 18, 2015 - which happen to be the release date of Avatar who became the most successful movie of all time and hopefully Episode 7 will be as successful.
Check out the full interview in the video below!
Picture and video: copyright Bloomberg
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Be prepared to fly to new Star Tours destinations in two years from now as i've been told that a Star Tours update is scheduled by Disney Parks for 2015 both at Disneyland and WDW Disney's Hollywood Studios!
Considering that Star Wars Episode 7 will also be released in 2015 this new update is quite logical. Not only it'll be the right time to do it on a marketing point of view but most of all this update will make sense because the new movie will certainly introduce new planets in the Star Wars galaxy.
As Star Wars Episode 7 will be one of the most awaited movie in cinema history - and probably very successful - Disney and WDI Imagineers probably expect that Star Wars fans and Episode 7 spectators will be happy to fly to the new destinations that they will discover in this first episode of the new trilogy. Note that this is just my thoughts, but it makes sense, doesn't it?
This news of a Star Tours update also brings another involuntary info about the new movie which is that C3PO and R2D2 will probably be part of Episode 7. Why? Because if WDI introduce new movies in the ride, directly related to Episode 7 new "planets", these movies will of course be played inside the Starspeeder shuttle... And who is the driver of the Starspeeder? That's right, C3PO. If C3PO doesn't exist anymore in Episode 7, or is "dead", or anything else that could have happened to him, how could he still be the Starspeeder pilot "driving" us to what will be Episode 7 "new" planets?
Now, i admit that WDI Imagineers could replace C3PO by a new robot that will be introduce in Episode 7, or slightly change C3PO design if a new C3PO "generation" robot appear in the new movie, but considering how popular C3PO and R2D2 are among SW Fans and young kids chances are that they will keep them in Episode 7... and so in Star Tours, too.
I have no idea how many new movies/destinations will be introduced but probably not less than two, an update with one new destination only will look a bit cheap, wouldn't it, specially on Disneyland 60th anniversary year? Anyway, i suppose that all this is great news for Star Tours fans, and there is more Star Wars news to come soon, so stay tuned on D&M!
Picture: copyright Disney - Lucasfilm
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
That's it, Star Tours 2 is now officially open at Tokyo Disneyland Tomorrowland and Walt Disney Imagineering just released a video to celebrate the event, and WDI Imagineers explain the changes they did in this new version! Among the new additions, the hitchhikers droids robots above.
Georges Lucas couldn't be here but he sent a video message to TDL fans!
TDL did several fun TV spot to announce Star Tours The Adventures Continue, among them the two below.
Let's end with this video filmed by a fan on opening day.
Picture and TDL videos: copyright Disney - Oriental Land
Monday, April 29, 2013
Last week was HKDL Mystic Manor's week and this week will be probably the one of Star Tours 2 which will have its official opening at TDL early May. But the attraction is now already in soft opening at TDL Tomorrowland and thanks to two TDL fans - François Couperin and vinylmatiOn - who posted videos on Youtube you'll be able to have a full look at this new Tokyo Disneyland version.
The ride movies are obviously the same but as we will see it seems that TDL had a special treatment and got some new pre-show movies and a new"hitchhiking droids" scene too. There we go for a complete tour and we begin by a video of the entrance concourse.
The next videos show the pre-show room with C3PO , R2D2 and the Starspeeder.
Always in the same room, the pre-show movie, and this one looks the same than in the U.S versions.
However, it seems that they've introduced a new segment with the storm troopers calling to join the empire. In the video below it starts at 1.30 min and, as i unfortunately didn't did the ride in U.S theme parks, please let me know if this storm trooper part already exist in the DL and WDW versions or not, thanks.
Others pre-show movies are showing the spaceport and different destination planets. The two first videos below probably exist in the U.S versions but i wouldn't be surprised if the others below showing different planets with animated movies would be exclusive to TDL . And the animation style looks specially for japanese too. Thanks, too, to let me know if these are TDL exclusive or not.
Let's have a look now to the droids all along the pre-show and the first one is the droid of the security area, the one scanning luggages. In the video below you have the full sequence in "real time" with the different luggages.
Another droid this one apparently checking the guests.
Hitchhiker robots! Now the Hitchhiker ghosts of the Haunted Mansion are not the only ones! And these droids seems to be a TDL exclusive too...
The Droid customs and chinese shadow scenes.
A video of the thermic image security process.
It's time to embark in a Starspeeder and apparently TDL Star Tours boarding area has now a different lighting with new colors...
The video before boarding in the Starspeeder looks the same than in the U.S.
We'll end the tour with this travelling showing Star Tours 2 exit after the ride.
Thanks a lot to François Couperin and vinylmatiOn for all their videos!
Monday, March 25, 2013
We already know that a Star Wars land is in project for Disneyland Paris Discoveryland but according to Lance from Screamscape another one might be built at Disney Hollywood Studios. For now, there is a lot of "IF" but Lance has learned that the park’s big parade will close and that there is also a rumor "that the Parade Float building may also be removed to make room for a new future project". We're talking here about the Parade Float building located backstage behind the Backlot Express restaurant which is close to Star Tours.
So far, there is no signs that the Backlot Express will be removed too, but as Lance explains if they remove it, then the DHS will have "a fairly large space where they could possibly build a new Star Wars themed mini-land that could include the often rumored Star Wars Cantina restaurant project proposed for Paris".
You've understood that we are here totally in the rumor section as Disney might have others plans for the "new project" they would put where the Parade Float building is currently. But, as Lance also says, considering that Disney can't build a Marvel land at WDW - because of the Universal exclusivity deal "east of the Mississippi" - there is no doubt that Disney will want to build instead a Star Wars land at one of its WDW property. And, considering that the DHS already have Star Tours and the Star Wars weekends each year the logic would be to build a Star Wars land there.
As we know the DHS don't have a lot of room available around Star Tours and they can't really expand the park behind it as there is one of WDW Blvd right behind. So, as Lance think, they might find some room if they remove the Parade float building and the Backlot Express and i've did for you a Google Earth view - see the circled orange space below ( click to enlarge the picture ) of the space that Lance is talking about.
But, if Disney really needs a biiiig land to build a Star Wars land which wouldn't be only a mini-land but a real big land at the height of the fans expectations, why don't they take it on the parking lot nearby - the space circled in orange below - and then expand the parking lot in the back where nothing stop them to do it - the space circled in blue on the same picture? There might be of course plenty of reasons that i don't know which would make the operation more difficult that it seems, but technically it looks possible, doesn't it?
Anyway, which park - DLP or DHS - will be the first to inaugurate its Star Wars land, the future will tell!
Picture: copyright Lucasfilm, Google Earth
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Since two months DLP fans forums are talking about something pretty exciting: a "Star Wars land" is supposed to come to DLP Discoveryland in 2015! Disney Central Plaza forum detailed what we might expect in this Star Wars land and so far it is listed on DCP as a "rumor". Of course, i tried to know what is true in all this and, yes, from what i've been told it seems that DLP Imagineering is indeed working on a Star Wars Land project for Discoveryland. I will explain you in details why this Star Wars land is very probably going to be build, but before let's have a look to what is supposed to be planned.
The plan is not only to bring Star Tours 2 at DLP Discoveryland but also to transform what is now the Captain EO theatre, the Star Traders shop as well as the Pizza Planet restaurant to create a "Star Wars land" and as you will see on the Google Earth screen capture below they not only have plenty of room backstage to do it but probably will even have enough room in the future to add new rides if necessary. The back of Discoveryland already don't have the same architecture than the front, so this Star Wars land shouldn't be a problem, esthetically speaking.
What you must NOT expect: I found back a Tim Delaney rendering - which is reproduced in my DLP book among 250 others WDI artwork and that you can find HERE - and in this artwork Tim had envisioned, a long time ago, a kind of Star Wars land with a full scale Millennium Falcon and a Space Mountain dome designed as the Death Star. This will certainly not happen, so don't even think about it as Space Mountain will definitely keep his beautiful dome as it is right now.
What you CAN expect: Of course, Star Tours 2 will replace the original version and the pre-show will have the same changes than in the U.S versions, but according to the DCP forum - and for a big part confirmed to me - the plans apparently are to do big changes in the Star Tours post-show, which will be welcome as since IBM is not anymore the attraction sponsor the great games which were there on DLP opening day have been replaced by arcade games. I don't know yet exactly the DLPI plans but a Star Tours shop will very probably take place in this quite large area, hopefully with great theming. Close to the exit the Star Traders shop might become a Star Wars photo location and what kid wouldn't be happy to have his picture with his favorite Jedi?
Young kids will also probably be happy with the plans for what is now the Captain EO theatre as apparently DLP is planning to replace it with the Star Wars Jedi Academy like the popular one at Disney Hollywood Studios. Sure, if you're 8 years old its more enjoyable to become a young padawan - a Jedi apprentice - but i think it will be a cute and fun addition even if DLP Jedi Academy may not be located outside as it is at DHS for obvious weather reasons. All of you have heard about the DHS Jedi Academy but some may have never seen it in real so i post below a video showing the full DHS show.
The next transformation is an exciting one as the idea seems to be to transform the Pizza Planet restaurant - located a bit backstage behind Space Mountain - by Star Wars famous Mos Eisley Cantina which appeared for the first time in the Episode 4, i.e the first Star Wars movie to have been released. Not only it's for sure the most famous Star Wars "restaurant", the one that everyone remember from the movies, but it shouldn't be too difficult too to recreate it. From the outside it looks like this - below a picture of a diorama model by Stefan Weber:
And here is the same model but showing the inside.
Here are two pictures, the first one is the original model for the movie, and the next one is another model, non-official.
I remind you that in the movie the Cantina is located on Tatooine, in a desert environment, which mean that DLPI would probably have to recreate a bit of desert landscape all around it, which is not the most difficult thing to do. And they have the space to do it. Some additional creatures like the one you saw on the diorama and a land speeder waiting at the entrance would be welcome, too.
To be perfectly honest, this "Cantina" addition is the one on which i didn't had confirmation yet but it'll make sense to build it and if this Cantina project is finalized you can be sure that Lucas Film will keep an eye on the theming to make sure that the restaurant will be faithful to the original one. This next picture will give you an idea of where is what in La Cantina.
Now, we all remember that the Cantina is full of aliens from all over the galaxy. In this case it's probably DLP guests who will be the aliens (!) but it would be nice if the cast members who will work inside the Cantina could be a little bit "themed" - if french regulations allows it, which remains to be proven...
And what about the Cantina musicians, by the way? They have to be there, right? DLP have the choice of real musicians wearing masks or audio-animatronics musicians. My guess is that DLP might prefer "real" one for financial reasons but WDI AAs would be welcome..
For those of you who don't remember the Cantina scene from Star Wars Episode 4, here is the video.
Is this Star Wars land going to be build at DLP? Very probably, yes, and here is why: One year ago, during a press event, a dinner was organized with a selection of web masters and Philippe Gas, DLP CEO. I was part of the dinner but it's another web master who asked him if DLP was planning to replace Star Tours 1 by Star Tours 2. To what Philippe Gas answered that they will be very happy to do so but unfortunately the attraction have a cost - read: an important cost - and for the same cost DLP could have a brand new attraction. One of the problem is that DLP had bad experiences with previous upgraded attractions. They did Space Mountain Mission Two and expected it to be a success as big as they had in 1995 when Space Mountain opened, and it hasn't been the case. And Captain Eo just brought in more guests than HISTA during one week or so. So, we can understand why DLP execs can a bit dubious with upgraded rides even if in this case i think they're wrong as everyone will agree that Star Tours 2 is considerably better than the first version.
But, at the time of this dinner we didn't knew the real price of Star Tours 2, and it was hard to understand why Philippe Gas thought that ST2 cost was high. Thanks to Oriental Land company who always reveal the cost when they bring a new ride at TDL or TDS we know now that TDL will invest 7 billion Yen to bring Star Tours 2 - $84 Million which makes around 63.5 M euros. Even if the costs are always a bit higher in Japan because of anti-sismic regulations, the price for DLP is certainly not under 50M euros, and probably closer to 55M. I can understand now why Philippe Gas thought that it's quite a lot of money to upgrade a ride, as popular as it can be. Not to mention that it's also harder for DLP marketing to advertise an upgraded ride than a brand new one.
But DLP have two problems: the first one is that Star Tours 2 will be introduced to all the others parks next year except at DLP, and the pressure by DLP fans would surely grow in the next years. And also, to put it more simply, the original ride is really getting old, so sooner or later DLP couldn't escape to upgrade it. The second problem is located next door to Star Tours. As i told you Captain EO is not tremendously successful and obviously they can't keep it for years and years. Captain EO closed on April 2 but the main problem for DLP is: what can they put in instead of EO? WDI don't do anymore 3D movies considering - and they're right - that because a new 3D movie is released almost each week in normal theatres it's better to use 3D technology in rides - like in Toy Story Mania or in the upcoming Ratatouille ride at WDS.
And it's at that point that someone probably came with this brilliant idea: what about having a Star Wars land in the back of Discoveryland? And this concept change everything as DLP marketing will be able to "sell" or advertise not only an upgraded ride but a whole new land, and a new land dedicated to one of the most popular movie mythology in the world! And God knows that there is a lot of Star Wars fans in Europe. Not to mention that, as i told you, there is still plenty of land backstage to eventually add a new Star Wars attraction in the future if needed. Honestly, if they do it for real i think it's a very smart move from Philippe Gas and DLP Imagineering as this Star Wars land is probably the best way to resolve both the ST1 and Captain EO problems at the same time.
For sure, this Star Wars land will cost more to DLP than a simple upgrade of the ride but the benefit on many points will be greater. For instance, once DLP will have this Star Wars land why wouldn't they organize Star Wars week-ends like they do at WDW? It's very popular, and for sure it would bring fans from all over Europe in the park...and in DLP hotel rooms, right? So, for all these reasons, i'm quite sure that a Star Wars land will come to DLP, and from what is said on the DCP forum it won't be before Ratatouille opening which is scheduled for 2014. But 2015 might be the year that both Jedis and Empire forces will land again at DLP Discoveryland!
Pictures: copyright Disney, Lucas Film, Mark Dermul
Cantina Video: copyright Lucas Film
Cantina pictures from cantinacustoms.tripod.com