October 25, 2010

GDP Announcement!

GDP Logo

Dear Loyal Readers and Fans of GDP,

After much consideration, Global Disney Pinvestigation will be taking a special hiatus from scheduled series and postings until January 2011. Not to worry though because the blog will be updated throughout the ‘break’ featuring various photo reports, announcements, and our very popular (now bi-monthly) series, Fantasyland Forest Fridays. I hope you all understand. So even though we’re ‘gone’, we are still technically here updating with reports and information as needed, and ways you can participate. In preparation for April, we will be posting a special post in the beginning of November for input, so stay tuned.

During this hiatus we will begin planning our 2011 Blogging Season, so, if you have any ideas for series, postings, or new featured articles, feel free to email me, tweet me, or send a message through Facebook.

For up-to-date information and news around the Disney Theme Park world, be sure to check out the Disney Food Blog and WDW News Today. For the latest Disney Pin and Vinylmation News, be sure to check out Disney Pincast and the Vinylmation Station.


Cody Smith

October 22, 2010

Fantasyland Forest Expansion—October 22, 2010


This is our archives of our bi-monthly edition of Fantasyland Forest Friday, keeping you up-to-date on the latest happenings over in the Fantasyland area that is being made over into the “Fantasyland Forest”.

Past Fantasyland Forest “Fridays” for you to keep track of the progress:

January 2010 and January 2010 2.0
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
September 3, 2010
September 17, 2010
October 1, 2010

Once again, sorry for the lateness of this Fantasyland Forest Friday posting, I’ve been busy, but I have been getting pictures of the expansion, which is progressing quickly.

First, Mad Tea Party is still in refurbishment, and has been repainted a pink. It seems that the rumors of getting a Disneyland Paris-esque glass roof are incorrect with the new roof in place and not looking like glass. But after closer inspection, to me, it seems that there still is a possibility of glass, the pieces could just be covered.

003 008

The Little Mermaid Showbuilding has walls up on the second floor area, and construction is progressing quickly.

009  011

The crane looms over Fantasyland, and even the whole park, and actively moves everyday.

012 014


Pooh’s Playful Spot tree is now fully out from scaffolding and tarps.

013 016

New temporary sign on the condensed Pooh’s Thotful Shop.

017 018

Finally, it seems that the structure for Belle’s Meet-and-Greet area are beginning to rise from behind the Great Wall of Fantasyland.019 020

Pictures For Use of WDW News Today

October 21, 2010

Pinvestigation: A Parisian Tower of Terror


The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Walt Disney Studios Park is based on the same designs as the version at Disney's California Adventure. However, it was originally Imagineered for the Paris park at the same time as Tokyo's tower and planned to open just 2 years after the opening of the park itself.

When financial troubles again hit Disney's Parisian resort, the attraction had to be put on hold. In the mean time, it was constructed at Disney's California Adventure as an additional crowd-puller. 

The attraction was finally greenlit in 2005 and was under construction right in the center of the park, behind the "La Terrasse" seating area, in early 2006. Upon completion, it was joined by a new themed development producing an outdoor Hollywood Boulevard of faux movie sets. Unlike its American cousins, the Paris Tower was constructed using concrete rather than steel due to French construction guidelines and standards, at a total cost exceeding €180 million.

The Paris and California versions were originally believed to become identical versions upon completion, but some differences remain, notably the height of the building, the location of some rooms backstage as well as other differences due to construction and work regulations being stricter in France.


The name of the attraction in French is La Tour de la Terreur - Un Saut dans la Quatrième Dimension. (The Tower of Terror - A Jump into the Fourth Dimension)

The default audio language for the pre-show library video and the ride is French, but can be changed to English by the Cast Member. The library video is the same as the American version but is dubbed in French and subtitled in English.

The Walt Disney Studios version opened on December 22, 2007. The official opening to the press was April 5, 2008.


pin58903 pin59034 pin59045 pin59048

pin59047  pin59194 pin59189

 Pictures and Information from

DLRPMagic, Pin Pics, and Tower of Terror.org

October 20, 2010

Pinvestigation: Hightower Hotel



The Tower of Terror at Tokyo DisneySea has no connection or tie-ins with The Twilight Zone, and is instead themed as the Hotel Hightower, an 1890s' New York City hotel owned by eccentric billionaire Harrison Hightower III who disappeared on December 31, 1899 while taking the elevator up to his private quarters shortly after taking a mysterious idol of a trickster spirit called Shiriki Utundu from an ancient civilization in Africa.

The ride's facade is an example of Moorish Revival architecture, and the Tower is located in the American Waterfront area of the park, close to the S.S. Columbia cruise liner. The ride system for this version is similar to that of Disney's California Adventure's version and that of Walt Disney Studios Paris' version.

The story of this Tower is much more complex then the others. The story follows the adventures of the hotel's famous builder, Harrison Hightower. Having completed many expeditions around the world and collecting thousands of countless artifacts, all of which he stored in his hotel. As it would turn out, he actually stole these many items for his own personal gain. After one such expedition to Africa, he brings home an idol by the name of Shiriki Utundu.



He claims that the natives were very unhappy to part with their beloved god and threatened him that it would curse him. On December 31, 1899, Hightower held a huge party, attended by many members of the press. There he boasted about how great he was for taking the idol and denied any claims to it being cursed and even went so far as to insult it. He even used the idols head to put out his cigarette. Around midnight, he entered the elevator to retire to his quarters at the top of the hotel. As the elevator neared the top, Shiriki Utundu came to life.

The idol zapped him and the elevator, causing it to drop and crash at the bottom. When the elevator was finally pried open, only Hightower's hat and the idol were found. The hotel was then abandoned and left for many years, claimed by the locals to be haunted. After several years, in 1912, a woman from a New York restoration company reopened the hotel with paid tours available. It is on these "tours" that guests embark on when they enter the hotel.

amwtow147     amwtow150

The queue starts outside the hotel and winds through the gardens, all filled with many fascinating statues from many different countries. Signs are posted all over the front advertising the tour. Guests then enter the lobby, a very elaborate and well-decorated room filled with lush furniture and beautiful art. Across each arch near the ceiling is a mural of Hightower on one of his adventures. If one looks closely, they will notice that he is actually escaping the people in some way with a valuable artifact or item in his possession. At the end of the lobby are the elevator doors, broken open slightly and held in place by a plank of wood. The broken cable is visible inside. Guests are then ushered into a room filled with many pictures of Hightower, his expeditions, and his hotel.


Guests then enter one of two rooms, either his office or the library. From here the story is the same, in both rooms, a large stained glass window of Hightower is in the middle with Shiriki Utundu sitting on a pedestal nearby. A tour guide talks about Hightower a little bit, then winds up an old gramophone with a recording of Hightower's last interview. At this point, the stained glass window comes to life. The window changes to show Hightower holding the idol. It then shows him entering the elevator and the doors closing. It then shows the outside the hotel as the elevator ascends. Suddenly, all the lights on the hotel turn off, there is a big blast of green lightning and the elevator drops, leaving a shattered hole in the window where it lands.


amwtow075 amwtow085 amwtow088

At this pont, Shiriki Utundu comes to life. It looks around with an evil grin on its face before laughing evilly and vanishing into a starfield. (This effect works with the room going dark, the projection that gives the doll its features turns off and it drops into the pedestal. The starfield is done by fiber optics on the pedestal, idol, and wall.) Guests are then ushered into an enormous storage room (the loading room). The room is two stories and is filled with countless artifacts from countries all over the world, from statues to furniture. There are multiple loading rooms on the second floor, each themed to a different type of item. One has swords, another has tapestries, another has masks, another has stone tablets.

Guests are then put into rows and loaded into an elevator. The restraints are over the shoulder and waist seatbelts, similar to car seatbelts. The doors close, the elevator goes dark, and pushes away from the doors. Suddenly, the idol's eyes appear on the door, a starfield appears, and Hightower continues talking about the idol. The elevator begins its ascent. The first stop is in front of a long hallway. Shiriki Utundu sits on a table and Hightower's ghost appears next to it.


He reaches out to touch it, but the idol zaps him into the elevator opposite the hall, it then drops. The idol turns toward the guest's elevator and its eyes glow menacingly as the hallway vanishes into a starfield. The doors close and the elevator ascends another level. This time the doors open, revealing a large mirror, Hightower tells the guests to wave goodbye to the real world. As they do, green lightning fills the mirror and the guests' reflections becomes green and ghostly.

It then vanishes altogether and the idol appears in the mirror. He starts laughing evilly and zaps the elevator with his eyes. The elevator then ascends rapidly to the top and begins the drop sequence. At some point the doors open at the top and a camera takes a photo of the elevator riders while giving them a view of the park. After the drop sequence ends, the elevator pushes back to the doors with idols eyes still on it. Hightower tells the guests how lucky they are to have survived. Guests then exit into a gift shop where they can buy their picture and other Tower of Terror merchandise.

Most of the pins for this attraction either feature the building, similar to the concept art and pin below, or the sacred idol that Hightower stole.


This series of pins was released on the opening of the attraction and featured each of Tokyo DisneySEA’s lands ‘mascot character’ getting cursed/scared by the idol, and all can be placed on the final card (pictured below) with Mickey on it.

pin48283      pin48297

pin48298      pin48299


pin51795     pin48440 


As most pins feature the idol, only this Walt Disney Imagineering pin feature Harrison Hightower III in this ID Badge, from the set. pin51808

Pictures and Information from Pin Pics and JTCent

October 19, 2010

GDP Park Report: Magic Kingdom—October 19, 2010

GDPPark Report

It’s been a while since we’ve had a Park Report, so here we are for today, a very quick report from today’s hour long adventure through Magic Kingdom.

The Little Mermaid show building/facade is visible now from over the wall and its second story.


Active construction equipment behind the Great Wall of Fantasyland.


Construction continues on the facade of the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh431

Pooh’s Thotful Shop has a temporary sign over its entrance that is covered up with beige covers.432

Refurbishment on the Mad Tea Party is almost done, the roof has been replaced (in the midst of being replaced) and it seems the various rumors of us getting a Disneyland Paris-esque roof have been falsified, they’ve just re-roofed it.433 434

Moving onto the Rapunzel Meet-and-Greet, construction is busily happening behind the walls, in anticipation of the October 25th opening date. 435 436

That’s it for today, be sure to stay tuned for more information and pictures later this week in our Fantasyland Forest Friday posting.