Olszewski Disneyland miniatures - June 10, 2006
Olszewski Disneyland miniatures - June 10, 2006
The release of the Haunted Mansion piece was accompanied by many changes in the release schedule of further pieces and in the release process itself. The release of the Haunted Mansion piece was different than previous pieces as it was held at the Disney Gallery (above Pirates of the Caribbean in New Orleans Square) rather than at Disneyana on Main Street. The change in location has its benefits and drawbacks. The Disney Gallery is a lot larger than Disneyana and so is better equipped to handle the various lines for purchasing the pieces, picking up the pieces and for having Mr. Olszewski sign the pieces. At Disneyana, the regular merchandise display cases are pushed to the side to make more room, but it's pretty much impossible for regular business to be conducted there. At the February release, the signing took place at the Main Street Cinema next door, which helped to alleviate some of the crowding. The Disney Gallery is also generally not open in the morning, so there is no normal business to disrupt. The downside to the Disney Gallery is that it's a much further walk than Disneyana from the front gate, and then there are the stairs to navigate up and down. The major disadvantage is that whereas you can normally see the display pieces for upcoming releases just by walking up to the table situated outside Disneyana, you would have to wait in the line to get into the Disney Gallery just to see the pieces or if you made a purchase, left, and then wanted to come back.
At park opening at 8am, we made our way to New Orleans Square. The front of the line started at the base of the stairs to the Gallery near the Royal Street Veranda, continuing over the bridge that overlooks the Pirates queue and then looping back around. The line then stopped so as not to disrupt the flow of pedestrian traffic and re-started next to the brick wall just outside of Cafe Orleans (which is where we joined the line) and continuing towards French Market along the wall. At Disneyana, there were normally two lines - one to purchase and pick up the piece and a separate line for signing. We were informed that there would only be one line as Mr. Olszewski was already there. It took about an hour before we were making our way up the stairs to the Gallery. Travis, the Olszewski Studios rep who's usually there with prototypes of the next piece to be released and has a wealth of information, was in the main room. Additional cash registers had been set up on the balcony, where we were directed to make our purchase. We were told that some pieces had been pre-signed, so we could get one of those or we could get in the line to have him sign the piece, and we opted to get a pre-signed piece, so we were given a voucher. Mr. Olszewski was signing in the room next to the balcony, and the pre-signed pieces were available in the far room, where the Space Mountain model used to be.
In conjunction with the release of the Haunted Mansion, the Olszewski Studios has created a shadow box light display which can be used to display the inserts from the Haunted Mansion piece.
Haunted Mansion shadow box light display.
Because the piece can only accommodate one insert at a time, some collectors had apparently requested a way to display the other inserts. The light display is not available through Disney and can only be purchased via the Olszewski Studios website and costs $20. Reservations are currently being taken for the light display, which is scheduled to be available in August or September. Go here for more information about the light display and how to be added to the reservation list.
The next pieces to be released will be Disney Clothiers ($185) and Photo Corner ($175), scheduled to be released in September, either on the 23rd or the 30th. [June 30, 2006 update - The release date has been confirmed as September 23, 2006.] The Pirates of the Caribbean piece will be released in November (most likely also at the Disney Gallery) and expected to be about $295. Pirates will include two interchangeable scenes, one of the battle between the ship and the fort, and the second which includes both the dunking of the mayor and the wench auction. A third scene had originally been planned, that of the jail scene from the end of the attraction, but there were problems with getting the lighting right, so the third scene was abandoned for this release and may be done in conjunction with a different line of merchandise. Unlike with the Haunted Mansion piece, though, which also has inserts but if you don't have any of the inserts in, you still see the portrait hallway with the "normal" pictures, the Pirates piece without the inserts is mostly just blank. The Pirates piece also includes a hidden room. The Disney Gallery was originally designed to be an apartment for Walt and Lillian Disney (bigger than the apartment above the Fire Station on Main Street) but was never used for that purpose. The top of the main room comes off, revealing what would have been the living room decorated as it had originally been intended.
Pirates of the Caribbean and the Disney Gallery.
Front view of Pirates.
Side view of Pirates which also shows
Royal Street Veranda and Le Bat en Rouge.
Pirates lit up.
The auction/dunking scene insert.
A better view of the mayor dunking scene.
The ship/fort battle scene.
Note that one of the masts on the ship was broken off on this display.
A view that better shows the men on the fort.
You can see the broken mast next to the ship.
Top view with roof of main room removed.
A closer look at the hidden room.
The courtyard is also visible.
A rendering of the living room on which the design was based.
This rendering can be seen in the Disney Gallery.
The Main Street character pack which had originally been contemplated to be released with the Haunted Mansion currently has no new release date and is expected sometime in the future. The New Orleans Square character pack may be released with Pirates in November, but it may also be pushed back to a later date.
The Main Street platform is scheduled for release by Christmas this year but only a limited number will be initially available. The platform will not yet include the light source nor the mechanical road. The platform will include a removable road which can then be replaced by the mechanical road when it is released. The platform will have a wooden berm with beveling right inside. Since most people will probably want to have plexiglass placed over the platform, the platform is designed so that the plexiglass can be placed inside the wooden berm. The platform will not be available through Disney, but can only be purchased via the Olszewski Studios website. Reservations are currently being taken for the platform. Go here for more information about the platform and how to be added to the reservation list.
Due to customer demand, Disney has decided that they'd like the Main Street collection to be completed before releasing any further attraction pieces. The upper hub area (Plaza Inn, King Triton's Garden/Snow White's wishing well, Carnation Plaza and Plaza Pavilion/Tiki Room) is scheduled for release in early 2007.
Some of the previously-released Main Street pieces may be out-of-stock, so late-comers may have to wait to complete their collection. The intention was for Disney to have stock on-hand for only the Main Street pieces that are in high demand, like the castle, the train station and the hub. Other pieces will cycle in and out of availability over a three-year period. With the release of the Main Street platform, the intention is to then find out what pieces from the Main Street collection people might be missing, and at that time, Disney will have a better idea of which pieces to re-order.
Peter Pan is mostly completed, and preliminary work on the Matterhorn, Splash Mountain and Dumbo has already been done, but they are waiting for Disney's decision before proceeding further with those pieces.
There has been some discussion of replicating the primeval world/Grand Canyon dioramas that can be seen on the train between the Tomorrowland and Main Street stations. There has also been discussions about creating Christmas parade floats to be run on the Main Street mechanical road.
With regard to the WDW collection, Cinderella's Castle is already available, and additional pieces in the WDW Main Street collection will be available this fall. A villains character pack will also be available later this year at WDW, but it will be available for order online and can be used with the Disneyland collection as well.
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