Thursday, 29 January 2009

La Fin!

We made it - we made the end of our Riverboat journey around the Rivers of America in Thunder Mesa. But as I said, we see a haunting site as we finish off the trip... Please, enjoy some pictures of Phantom Manor and Boot Hill Cemetery (which you can read about more here and here in earlier postings!).


Apologies for irregular postings - life has got in the way, but I hope things will resume again after the weekend!

Monday, 26 January 2009

Memorabilia Monday - Photo Memories

It's another Memorabilia Monday - and today I'm going to share with you something else from my 1990 trip to Walt Disney World. A lovely, modern photo album - a great place to store all those memories from your holiday. It's made of a plastic-type material, which is also good to wipe off any marks from the front of the cover.

With the logo from Walt Disney World in the late 80s/early 90s on the front of it, it really is a collector's piece nowadays! And also has some of my very early modelling work in it - such as this beautiful pose:

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Steamy Things A-Foot!

We're nearing the end of our Riverboat cruise - I know, it feels like we've been touring on this boat for days! - and we're about to come upon one of my favourite areas of Frontierland. But first, we pass by the Conestoga Wagon - abandoned, possibly by some of the settlers. You can't see in the picture, but there are also the skeletons of two Ox, buried in the sand.


After that feeling of abandonment, we pass by Geyser Plateau, an area where hot and steamy water spouts into the air and natural mud bubbles.


It's actually quite an eerie place to pass by - especially as we are getting closer and closer to Boot Hill and Phantom Manor.


Thursday, 22 January 2009

Is It A Bird? Is It A Plane?


No, it's the Disneyland Paris Railroad! Can you see it - off to the right of the Riverboat, through the trees?


Like Disneyland Paris?

The lovely George over at 2719 Hyperion has posted a review on a book that I am dying to own - Disneyland Paris: From Sketch to Reality.

If you are like me, and don't have access to a copy, please head over and check out his review. He's posted some pictures of the book itself so you can drool over it at your leisure!

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Good Ol' Joe

Next on our whirlwind tour of the Rivers of the West, we pass by Joe's Landing.


Surrounded by Cottonwood Trees, you can see a fisherman - perhaps Joe himself - sitting with his fishing rod, next to his lively and barking dog.


Sunday, 18 January 2009

Smuggle Past The Cove

So, after our brief visit to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, I think we should jump back on our Riverboats. All aboard?

We're just about to pass Smuggler's Cover, now, so I guess we should all stay quiet and keep an eye out for any suspicious looking people... Smuggler's Cove is home to some river pirates and traders of fur.


But if you look just past the caves, you will see a small loading area - this is for the River Rogue Keelboats are located. In this area you can board either the Raccoon or the Coyote, and have a more intimate tour of the Rivers of the West. Your guides will take you around, and make sure you don't bump into any of those smugglers.

The Keelboats are actually based on boats used in a couple of television specials - "Davy Crockett's Keel Boat Race" and "Davy Crockett and the River Pirates". The boats were actually abandoned for a while in the Disneyland Parc, as the lack of popularity meant they were not regularly filling capacity. In 2000 they were withdrawn from usage, but when the Molly Brown needed urgent repair (due to an overheated engine) it was decided to bring the Keelboats back into service.


They were due to start operation in 2006, but due to French boating laws (which now required the pilots to have a full licence), their 'comeback' was postponed until 2007. In July 2007, the Keelboats were brought back to life and are now fully operational all year round.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Further More...

As you all probably know, the Imagineers work very hard creating images and stories for us within the Disney theme parks. And I've mentioned plenty of times how much work had been put into Disneyland Paris to bring magic to life. When Big Thunder Mountain Railroad was created, it wasn't as simple as sticking together some rocks and making a mountain. Oh no! Much more thought, and detail, went into the planning and designing of the exterior of the attraction.


Here's another snippet from the Berlitz Pocket Guide to EuroDisney:

The silhouette of Big Thunder Mountain draws its inspiration directly from the dramatic mesa plateaux, sandstone pinnacles, canyons and natural arched bridges of Arizona and Utah. True to their Hollywood allegiances, Disney's landscapers 'borrowed' the Monument Valley landscape made famous by the Western films of director John Ford - 'Stagecoach' and 'She Wore A Yellow Ribbon'.

The 33m (108ft) high mountain is made from a concrete mix poured over a wire-meshed frame and covered with a ruddy-hued plaster to give it the distinctive rough sandstone texture of the American South West. Its slopes are dotted with characteristic cacti, sagebrush and pine.

p46, Berlitz Pocket Guide: EuroDisney (Picture from Wikipedia, of Monument Valley)

And another fun fact, fact lovers - over 22,700 litres of paint were used to make the Mountain the Big Thunder Mountain we know and love.


Thursday, 15 January 2009

Wildest Ride In The Wilderness

As promised, today we're going to take a brief break from our tour along the Rivers of the West and pop on a different kind of transportation - the Railroad! Yes, we're going to jump on board the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and experience the rivers from a different point of view.

The one thing that makes Big Thunder Mountain different to its counterparts across the world, is that the main part of the attraction takes place on an island. The only way to get to this island, is through an underground tunnel in the attraction.

But, wait a minute, let's look inside the way-back-machine and read an excerpt from the Berlitz Pocket Guide to EuroDisney (and don't forget to hold onto all chapeaux, verres and petits enfant!).

[Big Thunder Mountain] starts off downhill into a gloomy mine well under the Rivers of the West, rising again past scores of bats' eyes glowing in the dark phosphorescent whirlpools, stalactites and stalagmites. At the top of the rise a waterfall nearly drenches the passengers.


Now you're on the Big Thunder Mountain itself and the ride begins in earnest, plunging through tunnels and swerving around corners at dizzying speeds. At Foreboding Gorge, the train picks up speed past cactus plants and twisted trees into a dense pine forest where a family of opossum is swinging from the branches. Then it splashes past Mill Landing where an ore wagon from a busted branch line dangles perilously over the raging waters of Mill Creek. At Mill Camp a goat is trying to tug a prospector's overalls from a clothes line, watched by a laughing pack of mules.
Mind your head in Coyote Canyon. Two howling coyotes, flashing danger lights and an overturned ore wagon warn passengers to duck as they pass into Head-Knocker Tunnel. Amid rumbles at the approach to Big Thunder Mine, the train begins to shake. Sticks of dynamite litter the track and a miner shouts: "Fire in the hole!" Suddenly an explosion shakes the cave walls, timber shafts crash down and fire flashes light up veins of gold in the rock face while gold dust sprinkles down. Again the train narrowly escapes as the mine shaft collapses behind you.


Just when you think you're out of danger, the train plunges once more - into a cave full of bats. The wagons are about to sink into the flood, but everyone is pulled to safety, back at the Big Thunder Mining Co headquarters, for disembarkation.

[Berlitz, EuroDisney Pocket Guide, p46-48]

Phew! I hope you all survived that wild, wild ride! Now, how about we go, grab a fastpass, and come back on the ride later?


Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Exit From The Mountain

Yet again showing the detail that Imagineers go into, our cruise along the River on the Riverboat allows us to see some of the beauty of the exit to Big Thunder Mountain.


Most people overlook these pieces of 'added' detail upon exiting the attraction - and who can blame them? They're probably rushing to go ride it again! But as you can see here, from the lookout post of sorts and the oil driller, everything has been created with the intent of continuing the story of Thunder Mesa. Some more examples of why Parc Disneyland is one of the most beautiful parks Disney have ever created!


Maybe tomorrow we'll take a brief escape from the Riverboats and have a look at the Mountain itself...

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Views of Frontierland

Following on from Sunday's post, we're all aboard the Mark Twain Steamboat, heading around the Rivers of Thunder Mesa - or, affectionately known as, the Rivers of the West.

The riverboats travel around the rivers anticlockwise, with Big Thunder Mountain remaining on our left-hand sides. I spoke about how interesting the riverboats themselves were in this earlier post, and briefly mentioned how unique Big Thunder Mountain is in Parc Disneyland, and I will come back to this soon.

At the moment, let's enjoy some of the views of Thunder Mesa that we can enjoy from this beautiful turn of the century mode of transport.


This picture shows the infamous Lucky Nugget Saloon, a rib, chicken and beef restaurant with your hostess Diamond Lil. When it opened, the Saloon originally provided an evening show - possibly similar to that style of the original Disneyland' Golden Horseshoe shows - but nowadays it is the host to a 'eat and greet' with some of your favourite Disney characters.



Monday, 12 January 2009

Memorabilia Monday - Signatures Of The Stars

For the first Memorabilia Monday of 2009, I thought we could go back - way back! Well, way back for me - to my first ever trip to Walt Disney World, back in 1990 when I was only 8 years old. I have been going through some old souvenirs and photographs from this trip, so expect to see some of them over the course of the next few months.

And today we're going to start with something that became a staple of many young - and old! - children's trips to Disney Parks: The Autograph Book.
Mine was bought in the EPCOT Centre and features some of my favourite characters' autographs. Can you recognise them - and can you see any characters that have updated their autographs since your last visit?
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Sunday, 11 January 2009

All Aboard...The Riverboat

There are many hidden treasures in and around Disneyland Paris, and one of my favourites is the Thunder Mesa Riverboat.


Although it's too big to really be 'hidden', it is an attraction that is generally overlooked. Similar to it's sisters throughout the Disney Parks, this Riverboat winds around the River (Thunder Mesa, in this case), uncovering some interesting sights.


You can board the Riverboat near Phantom Manor, in Frontierland, at the Thunder Mesa Riverboat Landing. Shall we hop aboard to go for a little journey around the River and Big Thunder Mountain?

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

12 Days of Christmas...Day Twelve

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me... Twelve Lights Down Main Street

Main Street USA

Monday, 5 January 2009

12 Days of Christmas...Day Eleven

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me... Eleven Toy Soldiers

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Sunday, 4 January 2009

12 Days of Christmas... Day Ten

On the Tenth Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me... Ten Dancers Dancing

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Saturday, 3 January 2009

12 Days of Christmas... Day Nine

On the Ninth Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me... Nine Musicians Playing

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Friday, 2 January 2009

12 Days of Christmas...Day Eight

On the Eighth Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me... Eight Stockings Hanging

Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade

Thursday, 1 January 2009

12 Days of Christmas... Day Seven

On the Seventh Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me... Seven Dwarfs a-Marching

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to each and everyone of you!

Thank you for visiting DF'82, and helping it grow from strength to strength. A massive thank you, also, to all the other bloggers out there who have helped me over the year in various ways, and became good friends, and those who have linked back to my page - it is always appreciated.

May good wishes be blessed upon you all - and have a very, very magical 2009!

Hi Mickey!