Review: Symbolica at Efteling

In the summer of 2017, Dutch theme park Efteling opened a whole new dark ride: SymbolicaPalace of Fantasy. This is Efteling’s fourth dark ride and the first one in twenty five years. It is also Efteling’s most expensive attraction ever built. I know what you’re going to say. I’m incredibly late to the reviewing party but here is finally my nitpicky Quality Control of Symbolica. Abracadabra!

The genesis of the Symbolica project actually started around 2010. Efteling has been working for years on a very different style of dark ride code-named Hartenhof, based on Pardoes the wizard, the mascot of the park. The original storyline revolved around the universe and characters developed for the live action TV series De Magische Wereld van Pardoes, which aired for the first time in 2011. But the most exciting part was certainly the innovative ride system. Think of it as a slow moving robot arm à la Harry Potter and the forbidden journey that can carry an audience of twenty-four people instead of four. The underwhelming public reaction to the TV show and merchandise sales led Efteling to put the Hartenhof project aside for years, in favor of Fairytale Forsest, day-time show Raveleijn, night time fountain show Aquanura and dive coaster Baron 1898. Make sure to google Hartenhof because Efteling released a lot of work material back then, including scale models, artworks and blueprints.

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Review: Disneyland Paris 25th Birthday Renovation

This year Disneyland Paris is celebrating its 25th anniversary. This is a big milestone so they’re giving their guests a mixed bag of a programme as a gift: new parade, new stage shows and nighttime castle projection show, attraction updates and also the end of ✨Project Sparkle✨: a massive program aimed at refurbishing the whole resort after two decades of absolute neglect. As I’m not a specialist of theme park entertainment, I’ll focus on attraction updates and refurbishments in general.

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A Guided Tour of Disneyland Paris with Tony Baxter

As a part of Disneyland Paris 25th anniversary celebrations, Disney organized a very special event for a handful of lucky DLP long-time lovers: a guided tour of the park with the man who supervised its design: Walt Disney Imagineering legend Tony Baxter.

He’s the person you should thank for making Disneyland Paris’ castle so elaborate and romantic, with square trees and a fire breathing dragon underneath. The one who decided to put Big Thunder Mountain on an island because why not?! The man who made the most spectacular Disney castle park ever made, with dozens of highly detailed walkthrough attractions. The list goes on and on.

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Top 20 : Underrated Disney Park Music

When you think about what makes Disney parks more special than most amusement parks, you probably think about the stories and characters you know and love, amazing architecture, the tasty treats and of course the countless shows and attractions.

But there’s something else that no other theme park takes as seriously as Disney: music and sound design. So seriously in fact that some soundtracks that Disney created especially for its rides have become standalone pop culture icons over times.

You wouldn’t have landed on this blog if you weren’t a total theme park nerd, so I’m not going to make a list of the most famous Disney park soundtracks. Phantom Manor, Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain, Soarin’ , Main Street Electrical Parade… you already have all of these in your music library anyway. Besides these A-listers there are so many unknown gems in Disney’s theme park music catalogue that are worth listening too. Here is a non-exhaustive list of my favorite lesser known Disney theme park tunes, whatever it’s been composed especially for the parks or it’s a playlist of non-Disney tracks crafted for an area or queue line.

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The Disney Park Christmas Gift Guide 2016

November has just started. What does it mean? You’re already late on your Christmas shopping and you know it. But there’s worse: you haven’t given your family a list of all the glorious Disney park related stuff you need. And because you are a serious theme park nerd, how can your relatives know the super specific things you want under the Christmas tree, I mean really?

Don’t panic though, you just landed on the only page on the Internet that features everything you want – all you have to do is forward this blog post to your mom and tell her you need everything on it. She’ll dispatch every item to every person who owes you Christmas presents! Oh and if you happen to be that mom, welcome to our geeky community – I love your festive sweater Karen! Is it mohair or cashmere?

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Disneyland Paris Turns 25: The Dawn of a New Era?

We’re just six months away from the 25th anniversary of Disneyland Paris. In the ever-tumultuous story of Disney’s European destination, this might mean a little more than a typical birthday celebration, but also, maybe, a turning point.

Last week, Disneyland Paris press service announced the programme of the festivities:

  • Celebration will start on 26th March 2017
  • A new daytime pradade called “Disney Stars on Parade
  • The much anticipated ride update “Star Tours: The Adventures Continue
  • A new revamp for a classic ride: “Star Wars: Hyperspace Mountain
  • A new show : Mickey Presents “Happy Anniversary Disneyland Paris
  • Another new show on the castle stage: “The Starlit Princess Waltz
  • A complete show update on the guest favorite Disney Dreams Nighttime Spectacular: “Disney Illuminations

Photos: Disneyland Paris

For a detailed look at all these additions and the unprecedented way Disneyland Paris announced the programme, I encourage you to have a look at DLPToday’s comprehensive series that breaks everything down.

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