Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Details: La Confiserie des Trois Fées

Wildy overestimating their audience, thinking we all Europeans wouldn't stand a cheap carnival look, and finally eager to put Disneyland Paris up away above the its European competitors, Imagineers literally put nice little touches, kinetic details in almost every corner of the park: flags, animatronics, even working fireplaces (!) to make guests feel they were really in a magic land of its own kind.

For instance, let's take a tour of La confiserie des Trois Fées (Three Fairies' Candy Kitchen), Disneyland Paris' Fantasyland candy shop.
Here we are, right in the middle of a warm, rustic kitchen, full of sweets, candies and treats while a mouth-watering vanilla scent slowly tempt our senses: Aurora just left, probably to pluck some wild raspberries in the woods. But, what about the three fairies? Where did they go? where did they hide? They're fairies after all, you're not supposed to spot them so easily, but raise your eyes above those candy boxes and look in the fireplace. Look closer. What are those colorful little dots gently floating in the air? Here they are: Flora, Fauna and Merrywheather! Say hello to them, maybe they'll wave you back!

For many years, under the curse of a cheap management that ruled the park since a few years ago, this nice touch was simply turned off to save some pennies, and the three fairies were literally sent away to who-cares-nobody-will-notice-land. Then, a more respecful and intelligent management realised the mistakes done in the past, freed the fairies and give them back their kingdom (well, not really, their kitchen).

This effect is little, but it really adds to the atmosphere. For thos of you always wondering how did they do that, the trick used here is basically tha same used in the Ballroom scene from the Phantom Manor: a glass cleverly positioned between us and the wall reflects a monitor with the three fairies on it, thus giving the appereance they are floating right before your eyes.

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