Discovering Ratatouille – Description & Design
In just a few days, Disneyland Paris will unveil an all-new mini-land dedicated to the Disney Pixar film “Ratatouille”. It will feature the attraction “Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy”, a shop called “Chez Marianne – Souvenirs de Paris” and the restaurant “Bistrot Chez Rémy”. Recently, mister Tom Fitzgerald (Executive Vice President & Senior Creative Executive, Walt Disney Imagineering) told us about the story and design of Disneyland Paris' newest attraction.
Attention, the following text contains spoilers.
According to mister Tom Fitzgerald, Disneyland Paris decided to build an attraction based on the Disney Pixar film "Ratatouille" because the movie was a smash hit across Europe. The development of the ride begun four years ago. The experience is mainly inspired by the scene from the film in which the protagonist "Remy" is being chased through the kitchen of “Gusteau's" and the ride concept of the legendary Disney theme park attraction "Mister Toad's Wild Ride". The attraction will be unique to Disneyland Paris as there are no plans to build it elsewhere.
The exterior of the attraction isn't an exact replica of the facades of buildings that can be found in the center of Paris. The look of the "La Place de Rémy" mini-land draws its inspiration from the exaggerated, fantasy version of the City of Light as depicted in the animated movie. This is clearly illustrated by the "Gusteau’s" billboard that adorns one of the rooftops.
The facades that line the square and streets have been painted in warm hues to make the buildings as inviting as possible. Like most restaurants in Paris, the exterior of the veranda of "Bistrot Chez Rémy" is red. The first floors of the buildings are smaller then the ground floors to create a sense of fantasy and make the structures appear taller then they actually are. Lots of "Hidden Remy's / Rats" have been hidden throughout the mini-land for guests to discover and enjoy. For example, when it's dark, you'll notice that Remy's friends are sleeping inside some of the lampposts.
The attraction combines huge tangible set pieces with 3D animation custom-made by Pixar Animation Studios. It features an ingenious, state of the art trackless ride system of which the ride vehicles have been secretly tested for months in a warehouse in Michigan, USA.
The entrance to the attraction resembles the entrance of a theater. When entering, you'll notice beautiful posters that introduce guests to the characters featured in the attraction. In the queue line, you'll find yourself on the rooftops of Paris. The famous "Gusteau’s" billboard comes to life right in front of you and tells in both English and French that the best food is cooked in France, Remy is about to prepare a meal for you and that you better don't be late for this very special occasion!
In the huge load area, you'll receive your 3D glasses and board one of the ride vehicles called "Ratmobiles". Now, you're being shrunk to the seize of a rat. In the next scene, you'll find Remy on top of the glass roof overlooking the kitchen of "Gusteau's", discussing with the ghost of the famous chef what to prepare for you and your party visiting the attraction.
Because of excitement, Remy - and with him all "Ratmobiles" - fall through the roof and into the kitchen. Now, Remy and you have to find a way out! While racing through the kitchen, Remy is almost hit by a wet mob and looks for shelter underneath a stove. During these moments, guests are being sprinkled with a little water and actually feel a blast of hot air!
You and Remy will also travel through the dining room ‘seated’ on a cart of which the giant wheels will spin in sync with the animation. When entering the storage room, you'll feel a blast of cold air. And you'll be able to smell the products that are being stored. Here, Remy will encounter lots of other rats, including his brother Emile. Most of them won't be visible. But you'll see their tiny eyes blinking in the dark!
All of the sudden, the presence of Remy is being noticed by Chef Skinner. Now all rats have to quickly escape through a hole in the wall. When fleeing from Chef Skinner, the "Ratmobiles" move back and forth. But in the end, you, Remy and all other rats end up safe and sound in the kitchen of "Bistrot Chez Remy". In the next scene, the opening of a Champagne bottle catapults your "Ratmobile" out of the kitchen and into the bistro. Finally, you unboard your ride vehicle and pass by the 'real' "Bistrot Remy" before exiting the attraction. This marks the end of a crazy fun adventure!
When entering "Bistrot Chez Remy" from the square, everything looks like in the human world. But as you make your way through the hallways, you're being shrunk to the seize of a rat. The interior of the restaurant features amongst others the awards Remy has won in culinary competitions, his cookbook "Yes, you can cook!" and chairs made out of champagne caps / corks. And you'll be able to hang your coat on the tines of a huge fork!
The interior of the “Chez Marianne – Souvenirs de Paris” shop will be inspired by the ‘Beaux Arts’ movement, an elaborate, highly decorative style inspired by many ideas from the past taught at “L'Ecole des Beaux Arts” in Paris in the 19th century.
According to Walt Disney Imagineer, mister Tom Fitzgerald, building the attraction was a real challenge! It was though to (1) create a coherent visual experience while combining 3D animation with tangible set pieces, (2) develop the specific special effects / technical equipment needed and (3) design the restaurant's furniture from scratch.