Last week TPR was invited on a whirlwind trip of amazing Disney magic! The overall theme of this media event was "Pixar in the Parks" celebrating the upcoming opening of Toy Story Land at Walt Disney World Hollywood Studios, Pixar Pier at Disney California Adventure, and Toy Story Land at Shanghai Disneyland. Our journey would take us to the Disney resorts in both California & Florida along with a super amazing visit to Walt Disney Imagineering in Glendale, California!
This is going to be very much a "visual" report, so let's jump right in with photos & video from our visit to Walt Disney Imagineering...
First a video showcasing some of the design processes that Disney Imagineers go through to develop new attractions:
For those of you who may not be aware "WDI" has been the creative backbone for the Disney Parks & Resorts since the very beginning. Located in Glendale, California in a completely nondescript building (actually an entire campus made up of many nondescript buildings) you will find some of the most amazing creative talent working today in the theme park business.
Not only is the building on the outside completely plain and lack of any hint that anything creative at all may be going on inside that building, even the lobby area has a fairly "professional" vibe to it, not much different than your typical office building. But once you are granted "clearance" to proceed...
...immediately the magic begins! Most office buildings have "hallways" with doors leading to offices. But WDI has a "monorail" hallway that you go through, complete with flat panel screens showing off some of the amazing work that has come out of this building over the many decades!
And this is just the start of our magical tour!
Our first stop was the model sculpting area where we stopped by their "warehouse" for lack of a better term filled with models, maquettes, and animatronic busts from decades of Disney attractions! This one room was an amazing display of theme park history!
Everywhere you look there are loads of characters from attractions you grew up with!
These are the actual original statues from Disneyland's Snow White Grotto! I could easily spend a whole day in here looking around!
Next up we took a look at the giant model for the upcoming transformation of Paradise Pier which will become Pixar Pier at Disney California Adventure!
The model had some incredible detail to it.
Here is a close up of some of that work being put into the model
While we were visit, they were working on installing the roller coaster train for the "Incredicoaster!"
The trains will all have a new "Incredibles" look to them.
Here's another look at the model. Again, I could spend all day here!
And there were certain sections that had larger sections built so that Imagineers could get a better look at different perspectives of the upcoming attractions.
And here's a little idea of something you will see inside one of the tunnels on Incredicoaster!
Our next stop was a look at maquette modeling.
There is where small models are made of each ride vehicle so that Imagineers can get an idea of what the design looks like in a full 3D tangible model.
Again the attention to detail is just incredible! (Pixar pun intended!)
These figures are all for Jessie's Critter Carousel which will replace King Triton's Carousel in Pixar Pier.
There was also a model of this new attraction also!
I love the backwards skunk character! lol
There a better look at him!
And then after all those steps in the creative process: concept art, modeling, maquettes, etc, those dreams become a reality when the actual characters are installed. Here's Wheezy who was just recently installed in Toy Story Land at Walt Disney World Hollywood Studios!
Our final and probably the most amazing stop (and trust me, it was ALL amazing!) was The "DISH!"
The best way to describe The DISH was like the "Disney Holodeck" (Yes, that is a Star Trek: TNG reference!) as it allows you to step into a virtual design of a ride or an area and move around that environment just as though you were really there. If you wear that hat you see in the middle of the room, the entire room moves with you, like being inside of a VR headset! But in The DISH, many people can be inside, discuss ideas with each other, view reactions, etc. It truly is an amazing creative tool!
Pull up a chair and you can even "ride" and test out the concept of a new attraction. You can look around and see the perspective from what the rider will see.
We got to "virtually ride" the Incredicoaster (I won't give away spoilers) and it was amazing! So much more interesting than any VR headset I've looked into!
OK, maybe I'll give away one little spoiler!
We also got to take a virtual walk through Toy Story Land at Walt Disney World Hollywood Studios and it was amazing experiencing it this way!
It was amazing getting to experience this new land virtually...
And then two days later actually see it in person!
That wraps up this first part of the report! Thank you everyone for reading! Pixar Pier opens June 23rd at Disney California Adventure & Toy Story Land opens June 30th at Walt Disney World Hollywood Studios! More to come soon... Now POST YOUR COMMENTS!!!
Last edited by robbalvey on Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:02 pm.
Re: Pixar in the Parks: Toy Story Land & Pixar Pier Sneak Pe
Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:51 am
I really appreciate this inside look into Walt Disney Imagineering! Very few get the chance to see this creative space, so I'm extremely grateful that you're able to share such incredible photos for those of us who may never be able to set foot inside their offices ourselves.