Sunday, December 17, 2017

Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi Will Be 2018 New Theme Park - First Renderings Released !

There won't be a lot of new rides or lands at Disney Parks in 2018, except two Toy Story lands at ShanghaI Disneyland and Disney's Hollywood Studios and for the most guests will have to wait until 2019 for new rides in Disney Parks around the world.

But a new Warner Bros theme park will open in Abu Dhabi, which promises to be interesting and from what i've been told a very well themed theme park, one of the best in the Emirates. It'll be a fully indoor theme park spanning 1.65 million square feet, with 29 immersive rides, entertaining shows and interactive attractions. The fully-immersive park will also include retail outlets featuring a wide collection of merchandise inspired by Warner Bros. franchises as well as a full range of dining options from full-service sit down to grab and go.

Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi will bring together Super Heroes and Super-Villains from the DC Universe, including Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, as well as Warner Bros.’ iconic animated properties such as Bugs Bunny, Scooby-Doo and Tom and Jerry, creating a family-friendly destination for fans of all ages.

"Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, is located on Yas Island and set to open in 2018, will be a one-of-a-kind, world-class destination home to state-of-the-art thrill rides, interactive family friendly attractions, and unique live entertainment. From the action and adventure of DC to the wacky and wonderful world of Looney Tunes, this immersive and interactive new indoor experience brings some of the world’s most popular stories and characters under one roof.

We're proud to confirm that one year after announcing its plans to bring Warner Bros. World™ Abu Dhabi to Yas Island, we’re making great progress with our partners where we’re 60 percent complete and on track to launch in 2018.” said Mohamed Abdullah Al Zaabi, CEO of Miral. “We’re excited to reveal new details about the six unique immersive worlds at Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi, which is a key part of our ambition to make Yas Island a top-ten global destination for family fun.”

Theming is currently underway throughout the park and will immerse guests of all ages into the world of Warner Bros.’ best-in-class brands. Factory acceptance testing for all rides is nearly done, and delivery and installation of rides has already started."

Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi launched recently a website that you can access HERE and revealed renderings for the six immersive worlds: Metropolis and Gotham City, inspired by the universe of DC Super Heroes and Super-Villains; Cartoon Junction, Bedrock, and Dynamite Gulch, themed after iconic animated brands such as Looney Tunes and Hanna-Barbera; and Warner Bros. Plaza, reminiscent of old Hollywood, where these seminal characters and stories were originally brought to life.

Guests will be swept away in Hollywood-style when they enter Warner Bros. Plaza, a celebration of all that is the Golden Age of Hollywood. Upon entering the park through the Warner Bros. Shield archway, guests will be transported to Hollywood where Art Deco architecture lines the streets and authentic, Tinseltown details evoke the rich history of Warner Bros.

For the first time in the Middle East, Super Hero fans will be able to stroll the streets of Superman’s Metropolis, a modern-styled city of towering skyscrapers, and prowl the dark alleys of Batman’s Gotham City in this larger-than-life land where heroic exploits and action-packed family fun wait around every corner.

The vibrant Cartoon Junction will bring together Bugs Bunny, Scooby-Doo, and other famous characters under a stylized cartoon sky that will immerse guests in the wonderful world of animation.

From the fun and frenetic to the out of this world, Dynamite Gulch will take you to the stars and deep into the canyon with characters like Marvin the Martian and Bip Bip and Coyote.

Lastly, guests will be able to explore Bedrock, a prehistoric world powered by birds and dinosaurs, where the modern stone-age family can have a “yabba dabba doo” time like The Flintstones.

“Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi will be a state-of-the-art themed experience that authentically brings some of the Studio’s most iconic characters and stories to life under one roof for the first time in the Middle East,” said Pam Lifford, President, Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “We have been closely collaborating with our partners at Miral to faithfully construct immersive worlds that resonate with precise details and are thrilled to share these unique experiences with fans next year.”

Located on Yas Island, one of the world’s leading business, leisure and entertainment destinations, construction of the park is well underway, surpassing production expectations. The project has engaged 5,500 specialist engineers, workers and craftsmen to build a park that will span 1.65 million square feet. Warner Bros. World™ Abu Dhabi will be a fully immersive experience of six worlds comprised of 29 rides, shows, and attractions.

Warner Bros. World™ Abu Dhabi, developed in partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products and DC Entertainment will complement Miral’s Yas Island destination portfolio of themed parks. This includes Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Waterworld, CLYMB, and opening in 2022, the recently announced SeaWorld Abu Dhabi. Yas Island also offers a wide range of sporting and entertainment experiences including Yas Marina Circuit, seven hotels, year-round events, a live performance and concert arena, 18-hole championship golf course, marina, beach, and the increasingly popular shopping destination, Yas Mall."

Pictures: copyright Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Disney Parks Wrap Up "12 Days of Disney Parks Christmas" With Imagineer Scott Trowbridge Sharing New details and Pictures of Star Wars Galaxy Edge !

Disney Parks wrap up the 12 Days of Disney Parks Christmas news, and it's Imagineer Scott Trowbridge, Portfolio Creative Executive at Walt Disney Imagineering in charge of the Star Wars Lands who come to share with us new details and pictures of Galaxy Edge:

"I’m pleased to share a few of the details we revealed at tonight’s Star Wars: Galactic Nights panel. I was honored to be a part of this inside look at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge along with my fellow Imagineers Robin Reardon and Chris Beatty, and Doug Chiang from Lucasfilm, and now I’m excited to share the news with all of you!

We talked a lot about authenticity – how we are building a real place in the Star Wars universe and how we are working hard to get the details right. One of my favorite examples is the Millennium Falcon. We’ve all seen her on screen, but until you climb through that hatch, walk through her hallways, sit inside the cockpit, power her up and actually FLY her yourself, it’s not quite the same. Here is a photo of the inside of the ship as we are getting her ready and I can’t wait for you to see her yourself!

Additionally, Doug highlighted some other examples of the team’s progress, including building a fleet of full-size X-wing starfighters. One tap on the metal side of these ships tells you that they are real, and ready for action!

We also discussed the depth of storytelling you can find in this remote outpost. Chris shared some of his experiences researching the exotic markets of Istanbul and Marrakech. They were a great source of inspiration for the marketplace in our village where we can explore a rich collection of shops and merchant stalls. Chris shared a great example of one overseen by a Toydarian, one of the creatures we first encountered on Tatooine in “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.” So what does he sell? Toys, of course! Here is a piece of concept art for what that toy stall will look like.

And inside, you’ll be able to discover all kinds of fun and cool toys straight out of the Star Wars galaxy. Exclusive to this outpost, all these offerings look hand-crafted by local artisans. We looked at some of them recently and they’re going to be really fun, unique, and completely in-story.

So again, thanks to everyone who came out to see us at Star Wars: Galactic Nights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. And thanks for checking in here on the blog. I look forward to sharing more with you soon."

Pictures: copyright Disney, L.A Times

Star Wars - The Last Jedi Review - With NO Spoilers

So, i've watched in theatre today Star Wars - The Last Jedi and i enjoyed it quite a lot. As you may have read in others reviews this Star Wars Episode 8 is excellent, not totally perfect but with a script better in my opinion than the one of The Force Awakens. Sure, it' s once again the Resistance fighting the Empire - now the New Order - but after all that's what Star Wars is all about since the start - it's about "Wars" in the "Stars", isn't it?

Star Wars The Force Awakens was not a bad movie but let's say that you could feel a bit too much that J.J Abrams tried to "check all the boxes" and have all the scenes you expect to see in a Star Wars movie. He succeeded quite well but here the script is closer to the Empire Strikes Back than to A New Hope. Which is quite a good news as The Empire Strikes Back is considered as the best of all episodes.

The battles are wonderfully choreographed, all actors are credible, including Adam Driver in his character of Kylo Ren who i didn't liked too much in The Force Awakens as i thought that he was, precisely, not credible in the character of the evil one, meaning not enough evil. He's much better here and i suppose that either him or the director Rian Johnson remembered the famous Hitchcock quote "better is the villain, better will be the movie".

The script includes a lot of twists - i won't tell you which one - and enough surprises to keep your attention all along. And, yes, there is of course Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker who is excellent and Carrie Fischer as Princess Leia who does also a good job in her last appearance.

The editing is particularly well done, specially considering that most of the time you have to follow three stories in parallel, but the editing is so well done that you don't get lost. It also seems to me that John Williams score is better than the one for The Force Awakens.

I predict a huge success to the movie and my only issue with it is with the actors playing high position like Dohmnall Gleeson playing General Hux. He plays okay the role but i miss a bit the great old actors in supporting roles that we had in the previous trilogies ( like Peter Cushing or Christopher Lee ). Dohmnall is 34 and i think that an older actor would have been more credible in the role of someone who, after all, is supposed to be a general... but that's my opinion.

Did you watched already Star Wars - The Last Jedi? If yes, let us know what you think about it in the comments below ( as usual your comment may take sometime to appear as i need to approve it, but don't worry, i will ).

Pictures and video: copyright Lucasfilm

Don't Miss the Christmas Special Offer on the Acclaimed Disneyland Paris "From Sketch to Reality" Book!

Copies of the acclaimed Disneyland Paris book "From Sketch to Reality" with the Christmas Special Offer are still available in its English edition! The French edition is totally out of stock but if you're french, and wish to purchase the book in its english edition i will send you a PDF file of the full French text of the French edition.

Here is all you need to know to order a copy of the "Disneyland Paris From Sketch to Reality" book if you wish to offer it for Christmas. First, it's a 320 pages book with 750 pictures of the park including 250 WDI artworks! It's also probably the best Christmas gift you can find for a Disney Parks fan - and it is true! Have a look below to the mosaic pictures showing a selection of pages of the book.

To place your order for the DLP book, please send me an email at: with your shipping address. The price during the Christmas special offer is 65€ ( instead of 85€ ) and shipping worldwide is 22€ ( except Belgium and Italy for which it is 29€ ).

For French readers a PDF file of the full French text of the French edition will be sent.
Lecteurs Français: Etant donné que l'édition française est épuisée, un fichier du texte complet original en Français sera envoyé aux acheteurs Français ne comprenant pas l'anglais.

Also, each order will receive two GREAT surprise gifts!

You can pay with Paypal, credit card or bank transfer. For Paypal payments please send directly the full amount  including shipping ( 87€ worldwide, except for Belgium and Italy for which it is 104€ ) at:  If you wish to pay by credit card and bank transfer, let me know in your email and i'll tell you how to do.

If you've never seen the book before, don't miss the video below showing the full 320 pages of the book!

Friday, December 15, 2017

12 Days of Disney Parks Christmas: More Revealed About The Incredicoaster Opening this Summer at Disney California Adventure

The latest "12 Days of Disney Parks Christmas" article series tell us more about the storyline of the Incredicoaster opening this summer at Disney California Adventure!

"This summer will bring a transformed land to Disney California Adventure park with Pixar Pier, featuring the Incredicoaster – a new experience featuring characters from “The Incredibles.” A super combination of character figures, lighting and special effects will bring the action to life as the Parr family races alongside you in an attempt to catch baby Jack-Jack!"

So, here we are: the storyline of the Incredibles coaster is all about Jack-Jack and catching him. Imagineers Jeff Shaver -Moskowitz and Tracey Noce will tell you more in a few seconds in the video below but first let's have a look at the screen captures i did out of it. Also note that the two renderings above are here in real big size, big enough to make some great wallpapers so click on each to get them in bigger size.

Below is Imagineer Tracey Noce, and as you might see there is a rendering we've not seen before displayed on the iMac screen behind her - as well as the train new design on the right...

The background was a bit blurred but i did my best to get as good as possible - and enhanced the colors - of this new rendering showing the entrance arch of the Incredicoaster.

The video also includecsome great close shot of the coaster structure...

...and on this next picture there is another new rendering on the right... is a closer view of it. Looks to me that it shows a midway game - if not, it's probably the inside of a shop.

But  if you look again on the picture above this one you'll see the tube in which the coaster train enter, with these openings at the end of it. WDI Imagineers thougth that it would be the perfect place to have a 40 foot Mrs Incredible stretching up through them and trying to catch Jack-Jack! Here is the WDI model of the scene, and the train will run right under them.

Another great scene was shown in the video and it seems to be one at the end of the ride with Edna being the baby sitter of Jack-Jack - a terrible one apparently - and we'll probably have an Audio-Animatronic of Edna in that scene, may be even Audio-Animatronics of both of them...

Below, a WDI Imagineer at work on a real size model of Edna.

Another interesting shot in the video shows the Imagineers experimenting the ride inWDI famous simulation room "The DISH".

Don't miss the video below in which the Imagineers tell you more about the Incredicoaster story and how they approach storytelling on a high-speed attraction.

Pictures and video: copyright Disney

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Disney Agrees to Buy Key Parts of 21st Century Fox in $52.4 Billion Deal - And What it Could Mean For The Future of Disney Theme Parks

It’s official: Disney agrees to buy key parts of 21st Century Fox in $52.4 Billion Deal: The Walt Disney Company has finalized a $52.4-billion deal to buy much of Rupert Murdoch’s entertainment empire, a blockbuster union that would radically transform Hollywood into a land of fewer giants. Read more about this in the L.A Times article HERE.

It's a colossal deal that gives Disney control over the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, the Simpsons, the upcoming Avatar movies, a number of TV channels including FX and National Geographic, several powerhouse international satellite channels such as Star India and Sky Italia, a host of U.S. regional sports outlets and a majority stake in Hulu. For Brits, the acquisition has another implication: Disney could soon own Sky. That's because 21st Century Fox is trying to buy the TV provider for roughly £18.5 billion at the moment. Read more about this on Engadget HERE

The deal makes Disney a behemoth of the type entertainment has never seen before and sets the stage for a battle with Silicon Valley titans like Netflix, Apple and Google. The conglomerate is building up scale in the hope of fending off those firms’ forays into the content market; it is also stockpiling content for a new streaming service that it hopes will stem a tide of cord-cutting that has afflicted properties like ESPN. Read more about this in The Washington Post article HERE.

So is it a done deal? Yes and no. Yes, because Iger and Murdoch have signed, and "no" because U.S regulators and shareholders must still approve the Disney-Fox deal, though analysts do not expect it to face problems. In a very different scenario, the DOJ is currently suing AT&T to stop its acquisition of Time Warner, noting concerns about the marriage of a distributor and content provider, but the AT&T - Time Warner deal include CNN that Trump hate. Murdock being a friend of Trump, the deal with Disney should be seen more favorably by the Trump administration. That said, U.S regulators still must give their approval and it can take up to one YEAR.

For more articles about this story, look at the Google search HERE, including the Variety article HERE talking about the Disney-Fox aftermath and why it could force rivals to get bigger.

And now, let's talk about what effect the deal could have on Disney theme parks, would we? The last time Disney spent a big amount of money was of course on buying Marvel, Lucasfilm and then the construction of Shanghaî Disneyland. And we all know what happened for Disney Parks, don't we? For years U.S fans had to wait for the announcement of new rides and lands because, hey, there's always a point where you have to stop spending money, even Disney. Shanghaî Disneyland opened in 2016 and since many announcements were done, Avatar land opened and two Star Wars lands are currently being built and will open in 2019. The last D23 was also a great time for Disney parks fans with multiple announcements. But here the $52.4 deal represents at least ten times the cost of Shanghaî Disneyland, and it will be surprising if it wouldn't have any effect on the future of Disney parks. So, let's see for each park if this Disney - Fox deal put some of the announced projects in jeopardy.

Disneyland: no effect at all for Star Wars land which will open in 2019 as scheduled.

Disney California Adventure: All what was announced already - including the new Pixar Pier ( see article below ) will be done. But i'm not sure that what is in the plans for DCA including the rumored Marvel land won't be delayed.

WDW Magic Kingdom: All what has been announced will be done, including the TRON ride and the huge theatre near Main Street.

Epcot: Same, all what is announced will be done, let's see if others rumored projects will be delayed or not.

Animal Kingdom: With the opening on Avatar land and its huge cost, Disney has spent a huge amount of money on this park, so i wouldn't bet that there will be any new "major" attraction anytime soon.

Disney's Hollywood Studios: With the opening next year of Toy Story land and Star Wars land in 2019  then the Mickey ride in the former Chinese Theatre DHS has plenty of rides already announced and in construction, so it's safe to say that the future looks bright for the DHS. And not to forget the previously announced Star Wars hotel rumored to be built near the park.

Hong Kong Disneyland: Here, too, plenty of new attractions and lands have been announced and are currently in construction and there shouldn't be anything cancelled, as all these have been also approved, including financially, by the Hong Kong Government who will pay for a big part of the new rides, lands and even a new castle.

Shanghaî Disneyland: Toy Story land will open next Spring, and nothing else so far has been announced. My guess is that SDL fans might have to wait some years before getting additional rides, but may be a new hotel or an expansion of the Shanghaî Disneyland Hotel could be announced.

Tokyo Disney Resort: Here every project is even more safe as it is not the WDC which pays for them but Oriental Land. All projects previously announced will go on and we're waiting for the BIG expansion announcement next June.

And, as usual, the one still waiting for a bright future is Disneyland Paris Resort. DLP Imagineering is currently working on plenty of different projects - mainly for an expansion of the Walt Disney Studios, but not only - and the question is: will the Disney - Fox deal have an effect on what they're working on, or not? Let's say that i wouldn't be surprised if some of what they have in plans would be cancelled, or at least delayed. Part of the expansion projects have already been approved by the Disney Board but it doesn't mean that some of the rides or land couldn't been cancelled.

The good point here is that Disney now owns the parks and resort and Iger is fully aware of the DLP problem, meaning that there won't be any better financial results for DLP without a massive expansion plan, especially for the WDS. In two words, the Marvel land and the rides and shows which goes with it are most probably safe and shouldn't be cancelled. And you can count probably too on a Star Wars land, because it's pure logic to build a Star Wars land in Europe more than anywhere else out of the U.S, as the continent have legions of fans since 40 years.

But others projects that i've been told may be put on hold, and for quite a while. We'll know for sure when the long awaited announcement about DLP future will happen. It was rumored for this fall, then this December but from what i've been told it will not happen before next Spring, hopefully for DLP next anniversary? In the meantime DLP fans still have to do what they're now doing since 15 years: crossing their fingers that, finally, the awaited announcement will be at the height of their expectations.

12 Days of Disney Parks Christmas: Working Model of Pixar Pier Shows Newly Themed Areas Coming Summer 2018 to Disney California Adventure

Today 12 Days of Disney Parks Christmas brings us the first pictures of the working model of Pixar Pier shows newly themed areas coming Summer 2018 at Disney California Adventure.
From the Disney Parks Blog: "Coming summer 2018, Pixar Pier will transform the southern shore of Paradise Bay at Disney California Adventure park with whimsical neighborhoods filled with characters from some of your favorite Pixar stories. Today, we are bringing you a first look at this transformation through photos of a working model now in use at Walt Disney Imagineering.

Featuring newly themed attractions, foods and merchandise, this area will introduce new neighborhoods representing beloved Pixar stories. The neighborhood inspired by “The Incredibles” will be anchored by the Incredicoaster, which will feature a new mid-century-modern-style loading area inspired by the Parr family home as seen in the upcoming “Incredibles 2.”

Another of the neighborhoods will be a celebration of many of your favorite Pixar stories. In this neighborhood, each of the 24 gondolas on what is now Mickey’s Fun Wheel will feature different pairs of Pixar pals, and at the Games of the Boardwalk, all of the midway games will be inspired by characters from films such as “a bug’s life,” “WALL·E” and the Pixar short “La Luna.”

Pixar Pier will open summer 2018, during the first-ever Pixar Fest celebration, which begins April 13. The celebration will include the new “Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular” fireworks spectacular as well as the return of Pixar Play Parade and “Paint the Night” parade, and much more throughout the entire Disneyland Resort."

Pictures: copyright Disney