Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News

Toon time at Walt Disney Studios

Walt Disney Studios has unveiled a new zone for 2007 as part of the Disneyland Resort Paris 15th anniversary celebrations. Toon Studio, which opened in June, is highlighted by two new attractions based around animated Disney Pixar productions.

The hit film Finding Nemo provides the backdrop to Crush’s Coaster (pictured), Walt Disney Studios’ newest family thrill ride and the park’s second coaster after Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.

With Sydney Harbour as their backdrop, guests board giant 4-seater turtle shell ride vehicles and set off on their ocean voyage. The experience begins with an animated journey through dazzling coral reefs, dark deep-sea waters and sunken submarines before sending riders on a rip-roaring ride through the East Australian Current.

“With new computer imaging technology, sophisticated lighting and sounds effects, we are bringing the fantastic worlds of Nemo, Squirt and Crush to life for our guests,” says Cory Sewelson, senior show producer of creative development for Walt Disney Imagineering,

The coral scene inside the ride was developed by Walt Disney Imagineers over a six month period using more than 100 shades of black-light paint. Maurer Söhne was responsible for the spinning coaster ride system, the first of its kind used by Disney.

The soundtrack to Crush’s Coaster features a musical score inspired by Finding Nemo but arranged and recorded specially for the attraction. Throughout the attraction guests will hear characters from the film speaking in either French or English.

In Walt Disney Studios’ other new attraction, the animated world of Disney Pixar’s Cars comes to life for the first time at a Disney Park. Starring Lighting McQueen and Mater, Cars Race Rally is set in Radiator Springs, the small desert town featured in the hit movie, which has been recreated in Toon Studio. Designed for even the youngest of drivers, this crazy desert racing adventure features exciting twists and turns for the whole family, and plenty of close encounters with other cars.

Clips from over 15 songs associated with cars, travelling or road adventures are played in the queue area for the attraction. In English, Mater, the tow truck, says his name is “Mater, like ta-mater without the “ta”. In French, this joke would not translate, so it has been adapted for local audiences. Instead his name is “Martin. Like Aston Martin without the Aston.”

Disneyland Resort Paris’ 15th anniversary celebrations will continue until March 2008, marking the opening of the Disneyland Park that neighbours Walt Disney Studios. A new parade featuring dozens of Disney characters and an enchanting makeover of Sleeping Beauty Castle are featured, plus new live entertainment in both parks, including High School Musical on Tour, which runs until August 26 at Walt Disney Studios.

In October, the Pumpkin Men, Pink Witches and Stitch return to Disneyland Park for the annual FantaStitch Halloween Party, through until November 7, followed by the start of the Christmas season on November 10.

Looking ahead to Winter 2008, and Walt Disney Studios will welcome European debut of one of the hottest Disney attractions: The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. The attraction will be the centrepiece of the new Hollywood Boulevard planned for the Studios park.

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