Project Z Explained (…well, our best effort to)

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Original Article by RMThompson

Update: 9/8/11 We didn’t think we would get any more teases, but just days away from the reveal of project Z, Disney released this picture:



It’s the Expedition Everest Yeti. Is this a clue that Disco Yeti will be fixed? Or a look to a whole now mold that different designs will be printed on? Maybe a set of 12 Yetis all painted up and a set of 12 tiki birds painted differently and so on? Or a line of Funko Pop! Vinyl-like figures? We will see on Sunday 9/11.

Update: 9/6/11

Final thoughts on Project Z before Florida Project

By RMThompson

Well, it’s almost time for Florida Project, and while visions of Pooh Figures and trading events dance through everyone’s heads, it’s also the time we will hear what all this PROJECT Z business is all about.

Until then though, we’re all free to speculate wildly, and since that is one of my favorite pastimes, I am here to make my FINAL Project Z Vinylmation guess… which is probably going to be WILDLY offbase, and then we can all laugh at my poor guessing skills later.

First, let’s go over the stuff we DO know:

  1. Project Z is not Park 7.

Aaaaaand, that’s about all we know for certain.

For the past few months, in case you haven’t been keeping up, we’ve been given clues from the Vinylmation team (lead by head designer Thomas Scott who is also one of the best Words For Friends players I’ve ever seen). They all started with Urban 7’s Red Telephone, the phone number of which started giving us numbers to decipher, and since then the clues have been given their OWN page on Vinylmation.com These clues have been sporadic, but one of the BIGGEST clues is the “Think outside the Mould” picture seen here:

http://eventservices.disney.go.com/static/vinylmation/images/projectzpage1.jpg

See those seemingly random series of numbers on the right? Those are the same ones given out on the Urban 7 Telephone phone number, (doubling as a Vinylmation Info line) along with more cryptic clues! Well those are actually coordinates, and while the details of each one are interesting – the important thing to note is they ALL are rides inside various Disney parks. Some are from WDW, and others Disneyland, but there are also some strange choices… Tokyo and Hong Kong parks are represented, but with classic rides that are seen at (most) Disney Parks.

Also given out on the official page are random pictures of these rides, like this one:

http://eventservices.disney.go.com/static/vinylmation/images/projectzhauntedmansion.jpg

Which shows a picture of Haunted Mansion, but if you look closely there are some changes; each picture has letters (some have one or a few, others have up to 4) and those letters all seem to be some combination of P – A – R – K.

So, what does it all mean? Well, we won’t know for SURE until Sunday (and maybe not even then) but until then I am going to say that this is my guess:

  1. The Z in project Z might stand for Z-Corp, who makes 3-D printers. Why is this important? Well, for one, they listed Disney as one of their customers (http://www.zcorp.com/en/Press-Room/MTV-Games-and-Harmonix-Tap-Z-Corporation-To-Create-Real-World-Ro/news.aspx) and secondly, we know that Disney has messed around with some 3-D Printers, thanks to an article based on the upcoming DUFFY VINYLMATION.
  2. The letters (PARK) in the pictures, along with the coordinates and the photos, all indicate this will be a PARK based series. While this could mean it’s Park 8 (we know it’s not Park 9 based on pins we’ve seen before), it could ALSO be it’s own series called Park Z or something along those lines.
  3. I believe, and this is really the point of Project Z, that the HEADS of each figure will NOT be the same Mickey Mouse eared figure we’ve come to know and love. I think that the Z-Factor in this set will be that each figure, depending on which figure it is, will have a “custom” head to represent that figure better than Mickey Ears ever could. That means we could get a Hatbot Ghost with an actual SKULL head, or a Country Bear Jamboree with a bear head, etc. If this is the case, we could also see some AWESOME Variants, with each character having MORE than one “Head”!

Whew. So that’s it. There is some speculation that this could be the aforementioned “Duffy set” that we’ve heard about, but since we know those are based on clothings from around the world, I don’t think that’s it… it’s going to be more park oriented than this.

Until Next week though, this is all speculation… so what’s YOUR guess? Leave it in the comments!

Update: 8/9/11

Lets assume this is Park 7 and take a look at what we have. I also have word that Park 7’s under riding theme is “milestones.” So taking that information, and your comments on the coordinates, it seems as though Park 7 jumps around the world taking its cues from each major theme park, a water park and a historic spot in Disney History. Here is what we can see:

28.418723, -81.583849
Country Bears. Magic Kingdom. One of the last attractions Walt Disney worked on. Also hold significance as a WDW opening day attraction that Disneyland did not have.

22.313776, 114.038853
Golden Mickeys. Hong  Kong Disneyland. Previous to being in HK, it was a Disney Cruise Line Show. If this is it, is the artist just picking an attraction you don’t see in other parks to represent HK?

35.634565, 139.880955
Pirates of the Caribbean. Tokyo Disney. As far as my knowledge goes, not much difference between this Pirates and DLR.

28.352144, -81.573059
Blizzard Beach. WDW. If I’m going with the milestones theme, this is odd. It isn’t even Disney’s first waterpark.

28.37412, -81.546922
Mission Space. EPCOT. But he have a Mission Space figure… could this be Horizons? It’s about time.

48.870227, 2.777049
Phantom Manor. Disneyland Paris.This ride does have a different feel than its US counterparts, so a figure for this attraction can be unique.

40.749582, -73.848381
Site of the 1964 World’s Fair. This is very very cool. I like figures that point to Disney history. The ideas are endless for this one and I for one am excited.

Those are 7 figures. We already have these 3 confirmed for Park 7: Earful Tower, EPCOT 2000 and Kali River Rapids. And of course our Park 7 Explained page was early, and we noted that only 3 were confirmed, but it appears from that food picture the other day, Kitchen Kaberet may have it’s own set. Thoughts?

Update: 8/8/11 Disney posted a few more clues today. First, a lot of you are saying Park 7. Look at this:

Disney posted this folder with a Z on it.

Turn it, and part of the Z makes a P

The other part of the Z makes a 7. Hmmmmm. Also, they re-posted all the coordinates.

28.418723, -81.583849

22.313776, 114.038853

35.634565, 139.880955

28.352144, -81.573059

28.37412, -81.546922

48.870227, 2.777049

40.749582, -73.848381

Update: 8/7/11 Thomas Scott tweeted this today:

Is that Pizzafarri at Animal Kingdom? I’ll have to look up some pictures. Yep, Pizzafarri:

And Casey Jones tweeted this picture:

The Z from Horizons. Another clue? Or just a fun Z?

Update: 8/6/11 Disney posted this Z on the blog:

And what’s with the Frenchy looking guy up top? He looks like the figure from Cutesters Like You… with a makeover.

Update: 8/5/11
We found two Zs on the Vinylmation Blog today:

A Z on Disney Artist Thomas Scott’s shirt

Thomas Scott was showing off a handful of It’s a Small World Jrs.

A Z on the foot of the Adventures Through Inner Space Vinylmation

They posted this Park 4 figure as a tribute to the attractions anniversary. More numbers were posted as well:

Update: 8/4/11 As if it wasn’t crazy enough, here’s what the blog posted today! There are 19 z’s in each piece. That’s a lot of Z’s. Can some one say Sleepy? Oh, hey, isn’t there a Disney Character called Sleepy???? The number seem to point to Tokyo Disneyland again.

Also reported today, there is a new set of numbers on the telephone number. DisneyMozart says they point to a gray building in Disneyland Paris. Does anyone have more info?

Long time collectors of Vinylmation will note that Disney is a long time fan of games; when Vinylmation Jrs were first announced it came with a “game” of sorts, a scavenger hunt that led to a certain date where Steven Miller (dressed conspicuously as a spy) was giving out Jr. cards and other prizes to those that showed up. Also, a sub-quest was found (I am happy to say I figured this one out) that said “CHASER 2X”, hinting that Juniors would have two chasers… and they did.

Although it’s been awhile since we’ve seen something this fun from the Vinylmation team, this week may have started another challenge of sorts.

First, we noticed that the Urban 7 Telephone had a phone number on it, which isn’t a big deal, there are other instances where pins and even the side of one of the value hotels has phone numbers on it all with 407 area codes. Usually they lead to customer service, or a voicemail but after Urban 7 was released, we were greeted with a message that said “LISTEN CAREFULLY” and then left a series of numbers.

28.4 187 23 -81.5 83 849

What does that mean? Well a few people quickly decoded this into coordinates that work with latitude and longtitude, so after googling it real quick, we see that the coordinates are pointing directly to the center of Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Orlando. Pretty neat, but really not a game or anything, just a cool Easter Egg that the team threw in.

Or was it?

Because a few days ago, when pointing out the phone number to the readers of the blog, the phone Vinylmation was sitting on top of a piece of paper with a handwritten, and completely out of place letter Z. That’s it. Just a Z.

Perhaps it was a doodle, or just someone placing their initial in the picture for fun, but then the following day the post was signed with a Z.

Now things are interesting.

After today’s blog post, we saw that they posted the coordinates above, perhaps trying to get more people to notice it, and then I called the number ONE more time to see if it had changed… and it HAD.

That’s right the new coordinates are:

22.313776 114.038853

Which directs us to Disneyland Tokyo. Also, after the new recording, the person says “Z…Z…Z…Z”.

4 Zs?

SO, what could all this mean? Is it leading up to a new announcement? Are they trying to get us to go LOOK at the locations the coordinates are pointing to (We doubt it since one of them is in the middle of a street, and the other in a roped off section of the parks).

Whatever it is, we’re on high alert looking for new clues as to what this all could mean.

If you find anything, please feel free to report it here!

About the author

Nick LoCicero

Nick LoCicero has almost 20 years experience in the media industry. He has worked on numerous Disney related media projects, most know at WDWNT for WDW News Tonight. He has been visiting Walt Disney World since 1982. After moving to Orlando in the late 90's he became a passholder, developed a fascination with the history of the vacation kingdom and has spent way too much money on park merchandise.

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Kaitlyn
Guest
Kaitlyn

Hey guys. So the original coordinates led to right on top of the Country Bears attraction in WDW. The second set leads to Disney Land in Hong Kong. What I noticed with this, is that the building this leads to is directly behind It’s A Small World there.

In Google Maps, I was first looking at the “pinpoint” but that’s just the next closest location, but then I saw the green arrow, that’s the exact location of the coordinate.

I’m still not sure about the Zs but I guess we’ll see!

Scot
Guest
Scot

If you look more closely at the new coordinates, they point to a location that appears to be inside a warehouse outside the train loop at Hong Kong Disneyland. When compared with a park map, this is the building that houses the It’s A Small World attraction. Also, the original coordinates appear to point to the building that houses the Cointry Bear Jamboree. Not sure what those are trying to tell you, but I’m sure the buildings aren’t a coincidence. Google maps defaults to giving you the nearest address. Since neither park should have addresses for the individual buildings, it… Read more »

Chelsea
Guest
Chelsea

The first coordinates lead to Country Bears, not the Hub. And the second are to a specific building backstage.

Kaitlyn
Guest
Kaitlyn

Scot : If you look more closely at the new coordinates, they point to a location that appears to be inside a warehouse outside the train loop at Hong Kong Disneyland. When compared with a park map, this is the building that houses the It’s A Small World attraction. Also, the original coordinates appear to point to the building that houses the Cointry Bear Jamboree. Not sure what those are trying to tell you, but I’m sure the buildings aren’t a coincidence. Google maps defaults to giving you the nearest address. Since neither park should have addresses for the individual… Read more »

Evilos
Guest
Evilos

I pretty much figured out the whole Z thing yesterday, but I have bigger questionz now. Oh, I sill have my set of Jr Stickers Steven gave away HOW cool was that?

Chris
Guest
Chris

Care to share???

Scott
Guest
Scott

Could the Z’s somehow point to a signal of Sleeping Beauty and maybe a Princess series? Just a complete guess

Sweetartlp
Guest
Sweetartlp

That is really awesome. I wonder if the Zs are in reference to sleep?

R Schneck
Guest
R Schneck

The red phone is talking on a black phone in the picture…….. does the black variant have the same phone # ?

J
Guest
J

Evilos says its not a Z.
http://destinationvinylmation.com/2011/08/z/#comments
So is it an “N” and four of them would mean “four n” or “foreign” and since hong kong is in another continent, it is “foreign” to us. Just a random guess. Haha goodluck everyone

Evilos
Guest
Evilos

In my humble opinion and im only commenting because you are onto something. I feel (and this is only MY opinion) that the first Z was an “N” for north giving you a clue to figure out the first set of numbers as “Coordinates”. You are not correct about the “Foreign” part, and I applaud you for your “Out of the box” thinking. Now this is the last time I make any more comments on this as I feel many blogs failed to mention me by name as the code breaker the first time around and every one had a… Read more »

J
Guest
J

darn. and the hunt goes on

Ben
Guest
Ben

My guess is that the “Z” may have something to do with Zurg from Toy Story and may have something to do with the up coming Villains 2 set or a Pixar set.. who knows .. can’t wait to see what it is but I am sure it is a promotion for something..

Ryan Thompson
Guest
Ryan Thompson

How is it NOT a Z when I very clearly heard the new voicemail message say “Z… Z… Z… Z…”

disneymozart
Guest
disneymozart

okay, i just google mapped the exact location, its the snow white grotto :D

Penguin
Guest
Penguin

disneymozart :okay, i just google mapped the exact location, its the snow white grotto

How did you get that? Tried searching and found it pointed to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Tokyo Disneyland.

Penguin
Guest
Penguin

Sorry to comment twice but the next co-ordinates will be at Disneyland Paris and Disneyland CA.
RECAP
1.-Country Bears Jamboree (WDW)
2.-It’s a small world (HKDL)
3.-Pirates of the Caribbean(TDL)

I don’t know the releavance to Z but so far 2 of these attractions has a set of Vinylmation. Perhaps a sneak at what sets are too come in the future for example Country Bears Jamboree set. Although to be honest I wouldn’t consider it a major attraction to produce a whole set, on the other hand there are enough characters to make up a set.

Ryan Thompson
Guest
Ryan Thompson

When I look at the new coordinates, it’s at a police building outside the gate, which is clearly the closest address… but how else can you look it up?

Penguin
Guest
Penguin

http://itouchmap.com/latlong.html
Google maps face but allows you to search via coordinates.

disneymozart
Guest
disneymozart

i searched the coordinates, then went to the park map, and it was in fantasy land, i dont see why it would be potc because they just released that series :D you get the pink thing or whatever color it bulb thing, and then theres a green arrow a little bit away, and it would make sense to me if it was snow white grotto :D

Bob M.
Guest
Bob M.

I hear new numbers on the phone number from the red telephone but could make them all out

disneymozart
Guest
disneymozart

more coordinates from the # and it leads to euro disney to a large grey building :D

Scot
Guest
Scot

The new coordinates from the phone number point to the Phantom Manor building at Disneyland Resort Paris.