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Pixar in the Parks: Toy Story Land & Pixar Pier Sneak Peek!

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Part One - Behind the Scenes at Toy Story Land & Pixar Pier

Part Two - The Amazing food of Pixar Fest!

Part Three - Closer look at Pixar Pier & Toy Story Land




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:


1017014055_wdi1.thumb.jpg.54a1d8325243d86140b9482a06b16924.jpgFor 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.


1085566916_wdi2.thumb.jpg.a5e5f1378d4f340ae7df92839219abb0.jpgNot 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...


1187425470_wdi3.thumb.jpg.0d1983312fd35737083faeb3b4e53bfb.jpg...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!


1476964878_wdi4.thumb.jpg.89867fb25d320777e5c16f4bfcb66897.jpgAnd this is just the start of our magical tour!


53260004_model7.thumb.jpg.518b788a110ee55dc5e7f90c3aeaf175.jpgOur 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!


1583444188_model8.thumb.jpg.d1314e5ad3b59e0515cf5aca62e9eb51.jpgEverywhere you look there are loads of characters from attractions you grew up with!


1315240282_model6.thumb.jpg.e0285d2ba38f0836f096c1eddedcd651.jpgThese are the actual original statues from Disneyland's Snow White Grotto! I could easily spend a whole day in here looking around!



859399060_WaltDisneyImagineeringWorkingModelofPixarPier20171207A_053.CORREX.thumb.jpg.f355912c616cb850104e58789e33f333.jpgNext 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!


1756881148_WaltDisneyImagineeringWorkingModelofPixarPier20180306_WDI_Poole00240.thumb.jpg.5fe505d85bba775493a4c534e9cf75eb.jpgThe model had some incredible detail to it.


1348558494_model10.thumb.jpg.55e00081f05447064ba310ff653b1385.jpgHere is a close up of some of that work being put into the model


IMG_6302.thumb.JPG.d5b9805a82ef68a49c206f0eb1feccd8.JPGWhile we were visit, they were working on installing the roller coaster train for the "Incredicoaster!"


IMG_6299.thumb.JPG.8b710a1da7583c8bccaabf81623d98ed.JPGThe trains will all have a new "Incredibles" look to them.


IMG_6315.thumb.JPG.7e853d0458541b507134b3783b999626.JPGHere's another look at the model. Again, I could spend all day here!


IMG_6304.thumb.JPG.c1f1f55a9abcb2766e6b9e5f4d7ae789.JPGAnd there were certain sections that had larger sections built so that Imagineers could get a better look at different perspectives of the upcoming attractions.


IMG_6305.thumb.JPG.81f83ceec6ee1083abe1933a4761697c.JPGAnd here's a little idea of something you will see inside one of the tunnels on Incredicoaster!


1850948818_model3.thumb.jpg.3c8450e767096f33d26ffc9211082325.jpgOur next stop was a look at maquette modeling.


244634874_model5.thumb.jpg.4b72b5592684b8915e7388756e1dde2e.jpgThere 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.


1295203270_model4.thumb.jpg.eb293f1fbe84efc94189215b083d6c97.jpgAgain the attention to detail is just incredible! (Pixar pun intended!)


628072682_PixarPierJessiesCritterCarousell.thumb.jpg.c55185ee80a04dbdedfd80268421bb14.jpgThese figures are all for Jessie's Critter Carousel which will replace King Triton's Carousel in Pixar Pier.


816598247_model11.thumb.jpg.ddd1bb6aada5bafff9941a1c1c4225ad.jpgThere was also a model of this new attraction also!


736271161_WaltDisneyImagineeringSculptedMaquettesOfTheCrittersOnJessiesCritterCarousel20180306_WDI_Poole00197.thumb.jpg.afccdadf91848616f67cdd48ba81b4f6.jpgI love the backwards skunk character! lol


IMG_6328.thumb.JPG.50f41dbb66074cffad13d11561fca903.JPGThere a better look at him!


0310ZS_4363DR.thumb.jpg.27b40be1ba7c0f443dbce9a59f11caa3.jpgAnd 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!


177740881_dishlogo.thumb.jpg.ac8e6bf6a5ad0acea67b652c0de3af3d.jpgOur final and probably the most amazing stop (and trust me, it was ALL amazing!) was The "DISH!"


215809448_dish2.thumb.jpg.329fbd657f606342c04ffdc795c1ef58.jpgThe 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!


1308254568_dishcoaster1.thumb.jpg.cd223e2e9ed59c9fca40bf87e712df3a.jpgPull 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.


111061087_dishcoaster2.thumb.jpg.88a234a15485c1cacc99c8d0228cfc23.jpgWe 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!


1329060769_dishcoaster3.thumb.jpg.ceeffdcadf56c84312ae5acc6ccbb6a9.jpgOK, maybe I'll give away one little spoiler!


212256496_dish3.thumb.jpg.2a155333489684169d40b734b838d170.jpgWe 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!


1826077021_dish1.thumb.jpg.30de0862c6b183a2536ac405f0f10043.jpgIt was amazing getting to experience this new land virtually...


1561968052_toystoryland.thumb.jpg.fe792a9eaad19ee2d775757b835c6210.jpgAnd 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!!!


Edited by robbalvey
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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.

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I don't really like the transformation of California Screamin'.

To be fair, it's not open yet. We got to "virtually" ride it, and I can tell you I much prefer the theming and the experience on this new version. The rest of the ride is the same, though.

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that "holodeck" room is absolutely amazing.


wow.. . I wonder if that might be something that would eventually be installed into the Downtown Disney area, since they just shut down fairly recently the high-tech game area they had there?


regardless, that's stunning, and really appreciate the sneak peeks at stuff.


completely blown away!

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I don't really like the transformation of California Screamin'.

To be fair, it's not open yet. We got to "virtually" ride it, and I can tell you I much prefer the theming and the experience on this new version. The rest of the ride is the same, though.


As long as it's the same great ride, I'm OK with the theming change. A little "freshening up" from time to time doesn't hurt.


The Imagineering tour looked great!

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It's nice to finally see, what the DCA carousel is being turned into. Jessie's Critter Carousel works for me.

Great first part of your tour, Robb. I too love seeing "behind the scenes" at things like Disney Attractions (and

musical theatre as well). It never takes away from the final "product", for myself.


Thanks for sharing all of this (so far), Robb!

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Isn't this the first time, that anybody's done something with the inside of enclosed lift hills? I mean, other than just

lighting done inside them, and/or smoke and moving lights etc? And with scenes at the beginning and end of it, too?

Just curious of me.


I know the one like Fluch Von Novgorod has done it, and that was an enclosed launched coaster, too.


Also, the fact they keep showing what's going to be in the first lift hill (Elastigirl and Jack-Jack on the loose), makes me all

the more curious about what's going to be happening in that second lift hill.

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Also, the fact they keep showing what's going to be in the first lift hill (Elastigirl and Jack-Jack on the loose), makes me all the more curious about what's going to be happening in that second lift hill.

We never mentioned exactly which tube all that theming was going into... or if the tubes are going to be changed, expanded, etc...

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