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Living Character Initiative: Remy at Disneyland Paris

9 Jul

This little gem comes from the DLRP Today blog:

Now, I want a Remy character dining experience! But I don’t want him rotating around from table to table, like at Chef Mickey’s…I want him popping out randomly from under your food. A little extra magic on your plate, n’est-ce pas?

No Smoking at Disneyland Paris Parks

14 Mar

DLRP breaks the news that smoking will be banned at Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney Studios, and explains:

But smokers… no need to fret. Because instead, the two parks will follow their US counterparts by introducing airport-style “designated smoking areas” in secluded corners of each land.

This news, first rumoured several months ago, follows the introduction of a complete “smoking ban” throughout most public buildings in France last year, when England notably also joined the rest of the United Kingdom for a similar ban. Disneyland Resort Paris have wasted no time in taking advantage of this new-found French distrust of the smoker, banning smoking throughout all restaurants several years ago and now confirmed, from April this year, to be taking the brave step to outlaw to designated corners the legions of smokers amongst the millions who visit the parks each year.

I have to admit, I didn’t even notice the smoking when I was there, in September 2005. Maybe this is because I’d just gotten used to the smokers all over Paris, or maybe because there were so many other cultural dissimilarities that the smoking just faded into the noise.

DLRP Tower of Terror Video

28 Nov

DLRP Today has an interesting “premiere” ridethrough video of the Disney Studios Paris version of the Tower of Terror, scheduled to begin soft openings shortly (if it hasn’t already). Nothing surprising to those who’ve ridden ToT at other parks, but the view from the top floor is pretty nice.

(Plus of course if you’re riding it this means you’re near Paris, one of my favorite cities in the world! And there’s just nothing that says “vacation in France” like Rod Serling on a black-and-white TV.)

Walt Disney World Increasing Ticket Prices August 5

3 Aug

From the Orlando Sentinel:

The price of magic goes up this weekend at Walt Disney World, where the basic adult ticket is climbing 6 percent to a record $71.

Disney on Friday announced a whole range of new ticket prices that take effect Sunday. The price changes also affect the discount packages that still can push the per-day cost below $23 for adults who want to commit to as much as a 10-day run at Disney’s four theme parks.

But almost all the prices are going up. And for the second year in a row, Disney is raising its prices in August rather than in December or January, when theme parks historically announced price increases.

MouseSavers has advice for those looking for discount tickets, and reminds us:

If you were planning to buy tickets, now is the time! (WDW tickets can be purchased in advance, because unused tickets are valid forever.)

HK Disneyland Attendance Shows Double-Digit Growth in May

27 Jun

From CNNMoney.com:

Hong Kong Disneyland said Tuesday it recorded double- digit growth in mainland Chinese visitors last month, but it was unclear if it can boost business enough to keep banks happy with current lending arrangements.

“The next few months are key for us…This is the biggest quarter where roughly 50% of our business is done,” Managing Director

Bill Ernest told reporters. “We are expecting solid performance all summer.” Hong Kong Disneyland, owned 43% by Walt Disney Co. (DIS) and 57% by Hong Kong’s government, declined to say how many visitors it has attracted, though executives said mainland Chinese account for 30% to 50% of the total.

The park has twice missed performance targets set by its lenders and it acknowledged in May the banks could withhold future funding if it fails to meet those targets, which are linked to a US$294 million commercial loan and a line of credit that hasn’t been used.

This comes shortly after LaughingPlace.com reported a rumor (which I saw via The Disney Blog) about possible commitments to improve Hong Kong Disneyland:

We’ve heard that the Disney board are due to meet in the next week to determine whether to approve the remodelling plan for DCA. However a separate plan for Hong Kong Disneyland is to be presented in the same session and is competing for the same available resources. There is a possibility that the board could approve both but split the available capital accordingly. It seems that Jay Rasulo has a perference [sic] for concentrating on DCA initially but Bob Iger has an eye on improving the fortunes of the Company in China.

Might not be a coincidence that these two stories came up around the same time. Certainly the argument for improvements and expansions to Hong Kong Disneyland becomes even stronger if the park is seeing a badly-needed surge of attendance; the park doesn’t yet have a sufficient number of attractions to keep Guests occupied. And given Disney’s apparent eye on long-term strategies in China, they should want to strengthen that park, even at the expense of the much-maligned Disney’s California Adventure.

The Daily Show: Disney vs. Anaheim Housing Dispute

22 Jun

Not recommended for Disney purists or the easily offended, it’ll just get yer hackles up. (Though I’m guessing none of those folks read this blog anyway, now do they?)

And hey, don’t watch this one with the kids either, unless you feel like explaining what fellatio is.

Nara Dreamland: Another Disney Clone Park

16 Jun

Thank goodness for the Interweb. How else would I have friends like Eric from MouseGuest, who send me links to awesome things I may have otherwise missed?

Nara Dreamland is another Asian Disney clone park, this time in Nara, Japan. The illustrated trip review at ThemeParkInsider presents it as a wonderful mass of contradictions. One minute you’re in Disneyland, the next you’re in that haunted, abandoned theme park from Spirited Away. And Hello Kitty is there too!

Haven’t had enough? Need a little spin on the Screw Coaster? Here’s a YouTube for you, from the same good people:

Students Treated for Chlorine Gas Exposure at Disneyland Paris Resort

7 Jun

From the BBC News:

Eleven pupils from an Aberdeen secondary school are recovering after being overcome by chlorine gas during a trip to Paris, BBC Scotland can reveal.

The city council said the children from Bridge of Don Academy were using the swimming pool at their hotel on Wednesday evening when they fell ill.

Three children were taken to hospital from the Disneyland Paris complex with breathing difficulties.

A council spokesman said all the children were now “fit and well”.

The  incident took place at the My Travels Explorers hotel.

Disney Parks Music Available for Download

27 Apr

Just heard this on this week’s Inside the Magic podcast . . . Disneyland Paris has a web site where you can download various Disney Parks audio for free. They have four MP3s currently online, and apparently post new files every couple weeks. Today’s selection includes the full Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom Monorail spiel. (Say, am I the only WDW Today listener who giggles every time I hear Narcoosee’s mentioned?) I’m rooting for them to post the Animagique MP3 next!

It’s a little confusing at first . . . the files download as zip files (a problem for some people’s firewalls, I realize), and you need a password to unzip them (the password is listed on the web site). But it seems that once you’ve unzipped and unlocked the files, you can import them into your local music library.

DisneyQuest Closing October 2007?

19 Apr

Rumors of DisneyQuest’s imminent demise have floated for years. But I was never so thoroughly convinced as when I heard it mentioned on Episode 245 of WDW Today (at about 10 minutes into the podcast). According to Mike Scopa, DisneyQuest will likely close “anytime after October 1” (but perhaps as late as January 2008) and be replaced (as long rumored) with an ESPN Zone, to open October 2008.

Darn. I do hope they hang onto a couple of the attractions, either incorporating them into the new ESPN Zone or bringing them to the resorts or parks. CyberSpace Mountain works just fine at Disney Studios Paris, and I’ll bet it would fit fairly well at Epcot. I’m sure they could also find a spot somewhere for my son’s favorite DisneyQuest attraction, Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for Buccaneer Gold. But I gotta admit, I’ve got no great love for most of the rest of DisneyQuest. If they’re not going to invest further in its development, I agree that it’s time for it to go.

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