Toy Story Playland – Official Opening Date

07/06/2010

Signs in the car park at Disneyland Paris show the opening date of this expansion of the Walt Disney Studios as August 17th 2010. Expect soft openings to start a few weeks before this date meaning that DLP should have this ready to play some part of the busy summer period.

Another major plus of having this attraction ready sooner rather than later is the imminent release of Disney Pixar’s Toy Story 3.

With the change of Buzz Lightyear’s Pizza Planet in the Disneyland Park from a counter service restaurant into an all you can eat buffet the resort certainly seems to be relying on TS3 to be a big hit with audiences across Europe.

Another wonderful shot that I found online come courtesy of Forum ThemeParks and shows the construction of Toy Story Playland from the air.

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Disneyland Paris release 2010 Halloween Logo

07/06/2010

Disneyland Paris have recently released the first bits of information about the 2010 Halloween Celebration.

This is the new logo which heavily incorporates the current logo for the New Generation Festival.

Halloween 2010 will run from October 2nd to November 1st 2010. More details will be slowly leaked over the coming weeks and months.


Disneyland Paris – Beginners Guide to Staying off-site – Part Two; Park Tickets

03/06/2010

Ok so you’ve made the decision to try Disneyland Paris staying off-site…you’ve arranged your travel and now we need a way of getting access to the parks.
 
Normally with your package you’d have park hopper tickets for the length of your stay, these can be bought at the gates, in-advance online or even in Disney Stores in the UK and in Paris.
 
1 day, 1 park ticket – Adult €53 Child €45
1 day, park hopper – Adult €67 Child €57
2 day park hopper – Adult €118 Child €99
3 day park hopper – Adult €129 Child €110
4 day park hopper – Adult €156 Child €132
 
As you can tell by the above prices, Disneyland Paris (as with all other Disney Resorts) wants you to buy a ticket for multiple days. An awful lot of people look at the one day park ticket and times that by the number of days and take that as their ticket price for their trip, this is common but incorrect mistake. Looking at the prices of these tickets is enough to send shivers down your spine and make sure that the wallet is as far away from the PC as possible. There is, however, another way…in-fact for an off-site trip, there is a better way.
 
Annual Passes…there are three different types of annual pass, depending on your budget and your needs, you need to select the best one for you. There are no child prices for annual passes, they are the same cost no matter what age you are (obviously as with park tickets, under 3’s are free)
 

Dream Annual Pass
 
€189 per person. The top annual pass, the most prestigious, the one with the most benefits…can you tell this is the one I have J This ticket allows you access to the park for 365 days. The other benefits are: 50% reduction on Halloween and other special party night tickets, 10% off in restaurants, 20% off shopping, 35% off Disney Hotel bookings, free parking at the main car-park, 20% off of one day tickets for friends and family, 15% off of Buffalo Bills Wild West Show, entrance to the park for Extra Magic Hours, free aparetif at table service restaurants, Free use once each day of Stroller & Wheelchair Rental, Pet Care Kennels and park Luggage Storage, 10% at Golf Disneyland Paris on green fees, restaurant and boutique and 10% off of Disney Stores in France.
 
Fantasy Annual Pass
 
€139 per person. This is the middle of the road annual pass, it allows 335 days access to the park, unfortunately you can’t pick those 335 days there are set in stone blackout days for each year and these will be listed later. The other benefits of this pass are: 25% reduction on Halloween and other special party night tickets, 10% off in restaurants, 10% off shopping, 25% off Disney Hotel bookings, free parking at the main car-park, 10% off of one day tickets for friends and family and 15% off of Buffalo Bills Wild West Show.
 
Francillian Annual Pass
 
€99 per person. This is the basic pass, it is also, despite the name, available to everyone. This pass allows you access to the park for 300 days a year meaning that for 65 days you won’t be allowed in. The other two major disadvantages of this pass are that you have to pay for car-parking (either €12 per day or €24 for the year) and that you are not allowed access to the park for the two days following purchase of your pass, for example you arrive on Monday and buy your Francillian Annual Pass, you would be allowed into the park on the Monday but Tuesday and Wednesday you will be denied access. This means that it still is really a pass for local people. The other benefits of this pass are: 25% reduction on Halloween and other special party night tickets, 10% off in restaurants and you can add parking to this annual pass for €24 per year.

 
Annual Pass Blackout dates
 
As discussed above there are certain dates during the year that both Francillian and/or Fantasy pass holders are not allowed access to the parks. The dates for 2010 are listed below:

Francillian Annual Pass

  • January

    1st only

  • April

    3rd and 4th

  • May

    1st and 2nd; 8th; 13th to 16th; 22nd to 24th

  • June

    12th, 13th, 19th, 20th, 26th and 27th

  • July

    3rd and 4th; 10th to 14th

  • August

    9th to 13th; 28th and 29th

  • September

    4th, 5th, 11th, 12th, 18th, 19th, 25th and 26th

  • October

    25th to 31st

  • November

    1st to 3rd

  • December

    4th, 5th, 18th and 29th; 25th to 31st

Fantasy Annual Pass

  • January

    1st only

  • April

    4th only

  • May

    15th and 23rd

  • July

    3rd, 4th, 10th and 11th

  • September

    18th, 19th, 25th and 26th

  • October

    27th to 31st

  • November

    1st to 3rd

  • December

    18th to 22nd

 
So…now you have chosen your pass…it’s on to where you are going to stay.


Disneyland Paris – Beginners Guide to Staying off-site – Part One; Travelling

03/06/2010

Ok, so you’ve made the decision to try Disneyland Paris staying off-site…first things first…we need a way of getting there.
 
For the full off-site experience you are really going to need a car, so let’s start with that.
 
Two ways of crossing the channel to France, Ferry this is the slowest way of crossing the channel, but certainly the most fun, and Eurotunnel:
 
1) P&O Ferries – Probably the go-to ferry company, literally everyone knows this company and it’s the one that most travel agents use, for this reason I personally wouldn’t. Prices seem to be very high during reasonable travelling hours; the ferries always seem to be packed with no-where to sit unless you pay for priority boarding.
www.poferries.com
 

2) Seafrance – Quite possibly the second major player in the cross-channel ferry department. Always been happy with the ferry but very disappointed with the price from Seafrance.
www.seafrance.com
 

3) Norfolkline – My personal choice, ok they go to Dunkerque and it adds half an hour to your crossing but I’ve never paid more than £40 return with them, always travelling at weekends, occasionally on bank holidays and always at 10am from Dover and 10pm from Dunkerque. No foot passengers or coach companies are allowed to use the Norfolkline ferries which mean that there is always plenty of room to sit and spread out on them.
www.norfolkline.com
 
4) Eurotunnel – The other way of crossing the channel and by far the quickest, less than half an hour and you are on the French motorways. The Eurotunnel can be very expensive so always book well in advance and remember that you can use those precious Tesco Clubcard points to pay for the crossing.
www.eurotunnel.com
 
Flying and the Eurostar are the two another ways of crossing to France, obviously these two options are going to leave you car-less when you arrive in France unless you rent one there which is going to limit the off-site places that you can stay at. For this reason alone I wouldn’t recommend crossing this way, simply as relying on the French public transport system if you can’t speak the language and during the rush hours could lead to a very un-enjoyable holiday.
 
So we have our crossing sorted…next we need to find a way of gaining access to the Disneyland Paris Resort!


Disneyland Paris – Beginners Guide to staying off-site

03/06/2010

Everyone knows that Disneyland Paris trips are not cheap…especially during the peak travel times however there are way’s of making the whole trip slightly cheaper. I’ve put together a beginners guide to staying off-site and saving a little bit of money, so sit back and enjoy the next few posts.

First up…travelling to Disneyland Paris


Walt Disney World CM Fatally injured

18/08/2009

The Orlando Sentenial have reported that a WDW CM was fatally injured following an accident in the Hollywood Studio’s park. The accident occured during rehersal for the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular.

Stunt performer Anislav Varbanov, 30, was fatally injured during a rehearsal for the ” Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular.” He was doing a tumbling roll after 7 p.m. when he was hurt.

Disney workers dialed 911 at 7:34 p.m. to report that a cast member sustained a head injury. Varbanov was rushed to Florida Hospital Celebration Health, where he was pronounced dead at 8:53 p.m., Orange County sheriff’s deputies said.

Varbanov’s death makes him the third CM in just seven weeks to die after suffering injuries at work. Disney have canceled Tuesday’s performances of the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular because of Varbanov’s death.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this difficult time.


Toy Story Mania – iPhone/iPod App Review

17/08/2009

tsm1

Title: Toy Story Mania!
Publisher: Walt Disney
Released: August 14, 2009
Cost: £2.99
Pros: Fun graphics, good re-play value
Cons: Controls can be annoying

Anyone who has visited either Disney’s Californian Adventure or Hollywood Studio’s will no doubt be familiar Toy Story Mania! For those who aren’t TSM (as it’s lovingly known) is a 4D video game/attraction.

All of the mini-games are represented here hosted by their respective characters – Shooting suction-cup arrows at Woody’s Rootin’ Tootin’ Shootin’ Gallerty, breaking plates with baseballs at the Green Army Men Shoot Camp , tossing darts at balloons in Bo Peep’s Baa-loon Pop, tossing rubber rings in Buzz Lightyear’s Flying Tossers (no giggling please) and throwing water balloon-shaped eggs at targets in Hamm n Eggs.

ts2

There are only two main differences between the theme park attraction and the iPhone game. Firstly you choose what game you want to play and in what order you want to play them as opposed to the theme park version where you (obvioulsy) have to play the games in the order that the attraction has them. Secondly, each mini game has it’s own control system whereas at the theme park attraction all games are controlled in the same way.

Each mini game has three levels, Easy, Normal and Hard and they are all independant to each other so if you are dreadful at one of them it won’t stop you from playing the rest of the games. Each game consists of five rounds, each with a target score to reach in order to move on to the next round. One of the rounds is a bonus round which unlocks a special item you can purchase with tickets if you complete the task. If you fail to meet the target on the round, the game allows you to retry the round as many times as you need to without having to start over, except for the bonus round which moves on to the next round automatically, even if you fail. Complete the round successfully and you earn tickets, one for each 1000 points, which can then be used to redeem unlocked prizes.

ts3The graphics are really quite good and the developers have also tried to throw in some of the special physics that’s so prominent in the attraction, such as the suction-cups sticking to non-targets or the water balloon eggs rolling over the plywood waves if you aim a little low and hit the top of them instead of the ducks.

ts5 Woody’s Rootin’ Tootin’ Shootin’ Gallery

This game is pretty straight forward in play. Simply press where you want the suction-cup arrows to go, which is of course on each of the targets. The twist is that while you have an unlimited supply of arrows in most rounds, you can only fire off six before you need to reload by swiping your finger across the reload area as pictured on the left. You can reload at any time during play as well, so you don’t have to wait until you run out.

ts6Green Army Men Shoot Camp

The gameplay is a bit more interesting here. Instead of clicking directly on the plates to fire a baseball at them, you must position the cross-hair target to where you want to fire by sliding one finger around so it’s in position, then click with another finger to fire, although you can technically use the same finger in both cases (swipe to aim, press to fire). It’s a bit more challenging and it turns out it’s not one of my favorite games, but it’s not a bad thing either. Unlike the Shootin’ Gallery, there is no requirement to reload at any time.

ts7

Bo Peep’s Baa-loon Pop

Like the Shootin’ Gallery, simply click to aim and fire to pop the balloons. You also need to periodically reload, but here you give the iPhone a little shake to reload. It’s actually quite fun and probably the easiest of all the mini games, although re-loading can be very annoying!

ts8Buzz Lightyear’s Flying Tossers

A simple flick of the finger is all that’s required to toss a rubber ring to try to capture an alien or rocket. The length of your swipe determines how high and far the ring goes. One of the coolest elements of the iPhone edition of this game is the animation of the red aliens in the back as you successfully ring them, sending them off flying towards you in a non-linear path — it’s as close to 3D as you can get.

ts9Hamm ‘m Eggs

Firing the eggs here is done in a sliding action, only it’s reversed, as if you were using a slingshot — the longer the swipe, the higher and further the eggs go. Although they move across the board, the ducks are virtual sitting ducks as the physics of the game allow you to barely hit the top of the waves and have the egg roll over and hit the target anyway, which is definitely more of a visual treat than a strategy.

Have no doubts, that those who are already fans of Toy Story Mania! in the theme parks will find a lot of benefit in the iPhone edition, just the memories it induces is worth the £2.99. If you’re not familiar with Toy Story Mania, this game may not have as much value for you, unless you’re a Toy Story fan in general. And it provides you with quick gameplay that you can use as a timekiller anyway without getting you involved in something much bigger.