To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of “it’s a small world”, around 50 new artworks by Mary Blair are now available to purchase from The Art of Disney on Demand, at The Disney Gallery boutique in Disney Village. Read More…
World of Disney has now completed its first full week of regular opening. The new Disneyland Paris flagship store, at the entrance to Disney Village, was inaugurated on 12th July 2012 with a special ceremony hosted by resort ambassadors Régis Alart and Osvaldo del Mistero.
Just as the colourful globe and Imagineering-designed architecture of the building itself has finally brought a true “Disney” touch to the resort hub, the ceremony saw the rare sight of Mickey, Minnie and Disney pomp in view of the RER and TGV station.
A modest but dedicated crowd of VIPs and visitors awaited the opening ceremony at 3pm, as the ambassadors, joined by Mickey and Minnie Mouse, introduced Joe Schott, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, and Pierre Monzani, Préfet of the local Seine-et-Marne area. The pair of officials, Joe Schott in less fluent but admirable French, then officially inaugurated the new store by cutting the ribbon as Régis and Osvaldo declared “World of Disney is now officially open!”.
As confetti rained down, the heavens opened in perfect Marne-la-Vallée timing, coating the “World of Disney” marquee, statues and globe in a spray of golden dust. DLRP Today.com reader Maarten was there to capture the events — more photos from inside the store will follow.
Disneyland Paris also released a selection of official photos from both inside and outside the new location, showing off its sumptuous interior and beautiful nighttime illumination. The red marble-effect “World of Disney” signage truly does create a real, unique beauty of a marquee. Quintessentially American but European influenced, as all the best things at Disneyland Paris are.
Video of the inauguration by sebichou92i (YouTube) follows… Read More…
Happy birthday, Walt Disney Studios Park! The second park at Disneyland Paris has celebrated its 10th anniversary today in a characteristically somewhat muted day of special events. That wasn’t going to stop the Disneyland Paris Ambassadors giving it their all, though. Following their stint as Frontiersmen for the rededication of the Molly Brown and gentlemen of the royal court for the inauguration of the Princess Pavilion, Osvaldo del Mistero and Régis Alart raided the costuming workshop once again with an eye on Hollywood glitz.
The result looks superb for such an intimate event: dancers, singers, boom mics and rolling cameras — not to mention Osvaldo, Régis and Mickey Mouse all looking like they’ve just stepped out of the Oscar-winning best picture The Artist. A special clapperboard has been decorated with “Walt Disney Studios 10 ans” — the “10” made out out of a celluloid film reel. It’s a welcome throwback to the kind of Hollywood-that-never-was glamour which the still sorely-missed CinéFolies streetsmosphere shows in this same Disney Studio 1 used to provide.
Inside, the park’s Cast Members are wearing special badges to mark the occasion. From a paltry 10 attractions at opening on 16th March 2002, the park has grown to count 17 attractions within its studio lots, six of which are entirely unique to the park. After a lacklustre opening which forced the resort into a second financial restructuring, the first seeds of change were only sown in 2007 with the Toon Studio Placemaking project and two new attractions, Crush’s Coaster and Cars Quatre Roues Rallye.
Though additions such as Stitch Live! and Playhouse Disney Live on Stage! have sought to revitalise initially unpopular areas, the park has failed to see the implementation of any kind of wider improvement programme. Piecemeal, self-contained developments such as the colourful Toy Story Playland have continued to create pockets of Disney quality while other areas remain unappealing and lacking. The cold, windswept asphalt of Backlot has seen barely a single change since 2002, besides the half-hearted redecoration of Disney Blockbuster Café.
Nevertheless with its very first dark ride finally on the way in 2014, in the form of the world-exclusive and by all accounts state-of-the-art Ratatouille Kitchen Calamity! (rumoured working title), the whispers of further change continue to echo around these fictional soundstages. By the end of this decade, as it’s twentieth birthday nears, the second park might just be nearing a more complete park…
In the meantime, the park’s Cast Members gathered for a souvenir photo.
Dix ans — c’est dans la boîte!
Phew, someone did remember! Next Friday, 16th March 2012 looked to be quite the awkward affair for Walt Disney Studios Park, as it glumly sat in anticipation of its impending 10th birthday, watching the ever more feverish activity centred solely on neighbouring Disneyland Park‘s 20th. But count on Régis Alart and Osvaldo del Mistero, the current Disneyland Paris Ambassadors, to have a surprise ceremony in store. And so it’s confirmed: at 9.45am next Friday 16th March, the ambassadors will host a special ceremony at the park entrance to honour the 10th anniversary of the second gate, with the promise of “belles surprises” for the big day.
While the anniversaries of second, third or even fourth gates are rarely held as major occasions, it is usually customary at other resorts to at least release some special merchandise to mark the year. Since deciding to open its second park almost exactly 10 years after the first, Disneyland Paris has forever relegated the milestones of Walt Disney Studios Park to a supporting role.
Meanwhile, if you won’t be stepping through the studio gates on this special anniversary date, perhaps you could celebrate at home by perusing our partner site WDSfans.com, particularly its fascinating Image Archives with over 60 pieces of rare and unseen concept art from the park.
1, 2, 3… 250,000,000! A huge milestone was celebrated at Disneyland Paris yesterday, 15th November 2011, as the resort welcomed its 250 millionth guest into the parks. That’s a quarter of a billion visitors in just 19 years, 7 months and 15 days. Yes, ok, so they’re still not able to turn a consistent net profit, but let the urban myth that Disney’s European resort has been under-attended since 1992 officially be put to rest. In the 2011 financial year, the parks set a new record of 15.6 million visitors, making the outlook for the 20th Anniversary year rosy indeed. With the usual birthday year boom, longer opening hours through the year and the premiere of Dreams, the resort may well hit the magical 16 million.
The guests in question yesterday received the honour of a celebratory ride up Main Street, U.S.A. on the Fire Truck with Disneyland Paris Ambassador Régis Alart and a photocall with Mickey, Minnie and Duffy in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle. Just like the 100 millionth visitors in 2001 and the 200 millionth visitors in 2008, they were a family of mum and dad with two photogenic young kids, but in a groundbreaking move they were Spanish, not French, and visiting for the fourth time. Euro Disney SCA’s own press release (PDF) notes that families with young children make up 66% of visitors. So, by those odds, maybe we’ll see someone from the other 34% awarded the 300 million honour in a few years?
We’ve waited five years for a new attraction at Disneyland Park, the first since the opening of Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast in 2006, and here it is: a princess meet ‘n’ greet. Nevertheless, the brand new Princess Pavilion was given proper opening day treatment this Saturday as Régis Alart and Osvaldo del Mistero, Disneyland Paris Ambassadors, joined the Disney Princesses for a special inauguration ceremony. Fresh from their stint as Thunder Mesa town officials for the re-inauguration of Molly Brown earlier this year, the ambassadors proved themselves game once again by donning gold-stitched outfits perfectly befitting the kingdom of Fantasyland — even the tights!
Introduced as ambassadors for the royal court of Fantasyland, the ambassadors led the ceremony entirely in French but eschewed the usual black-suited ribbon cutting by introducing four of the princesses — Snow White, Aurora, Cinderella and Tiana — one by one, to a series of fitting musical cues. All the while, as this medieval pomp was going on, fans were right back in 2011 by tweeting out live pictures, like those from @PhotosMagiques here. Finally, two young princesses selected from the crowd helped to pull the cover from a “Princess Pavilion” sign as the attraction was declared officially open. And, within an hour, attracted a 120 minute wait time.
The inside is practically unrecognisable from its time as the post-show room at the exit of “it’s a small world”. Stone walls, ornate carved columns and cornicing, eight beautiful backlit stained glass windows and eight crystal artefacts representing each princess line the queue. The lighting is subtle yet certainly high-tech: the torches on the walls (perhaps new LEDs?) dance in a realistic flicker, the artefacts are lit by fibre optics and change colour. Particularly stunning is the flower for Rapunzel, who rightly won the eighth spot over Mulan, which bursts into golden light from within just as in the film. A long wait it may have, but at least guests are now warm, inside and surrounded by top-quality Disney design work.
If this is how Disneyland Park does a meet ‘n’ greet, we can’t wait until it gets a real new attraction.
Video of the grand opening and a walk through the queue line follows… Read More…
It’s official: the Disney Princesses’ new home in Fantasyland will open its doors to guests on Saturday 8th October 2011. The date will be marked with a special inauguration by Disneyland Paris Ambassadors Régis Alart and Osvaldo del Mistero, with the Princess Pavilion open to the public from 10.30am. If you’re visiting before then and still want to get a look, you might be in luck: several sources suggest Soft Openings will be held from next weekend, specifically from Friday 30th September. These unscheduled openings in the run up to the official inauguration will be used to fully test all aspects of the new permanent meet ‘n’ greet location. As with all Soft Openings, the attraction could close at any time and may not be open every day. If in doubt, ask a Cast Member nearby or at City Hall.
Construction progress has continued apace at the new meet ‘n’ greet attraction. Two new lamps were installed either side of the building’s new “brooche” signage to complete the entrance marquee, and more surprising details have been spotted all over. From crowns moulded into the cornicing to gold leaf being applied to the static metal flags atop its roof…
Above, DJROM36 from Disney Central Plaza forum even captured a glimpse inside the attraction’s exit area, showing some quite extravagant wooden panel decoration for the new souvenir photo desk. The counter appears to be split into two arches, with even the photo preview screen given a decorative wooden surround. It’s questionable how well this medieval style fits in here, as it leads guests directly out into the international World’s Fair area of “it’s a small world”, but the new pavilion certainly feels right up to the same high quality of the original land so far.
Yeah sure, John. During his European publicity tour for Cars 2, which included hosting a special showing of the film for fans in Paris, John Lasseter also dropped into Disneyland Park on Wednesday. Stopping for this photo at around 2pm with the 2011-12 Disneyland Paris Ambassadors Régis Alart and Osvaldo del Mistero, Pixar’s creative chief had the pleasure of seeing Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant nearing the end of its lengthy restoration, complete with newly-returned golden spires.
We also completely missed, in yesterday’s excitement, that this would have been John Lasseter’s first ever visit to Toy Story Playland, a land he had much creative input in. Better to see it here, and when the leaves are on the trees, than as a sore thumb at Hong Kong Disneyland…
So, Friday was an exciting day both for us and for Disneyland Paris. Our group of around 15 fan website owners and reporters met at 9am sharp inside Walt’s – An American Restaurant for the first presentation about all the refurbishment projects ongoing and upcoming in 2011. But first, let’s skip ahead to 11am and the main event of the day; seeing the fruits of one of those huge restoration projections: the re-dedication of the Molly Brown riverboat.
The night before, Molly Brown had been brought around to Thunder Mesa Riverboat Landing for final checks, looking stunning on the waters with her new colours and every bulb perfectly illuminated (above). Technical crews rushed around the deck, wiping her down and making final preparations.
Note: Since we’ve a lot of photos and videos to share from these events, you’ll need to click “Continue Reading” below (only on the front page) for the full reports! Read More…
It’s official: the Molly Brown riverboat will return to the Rivers of the Far West as planned this Friday, with a special re-dedication ceremony even planned to mark the occasion. Having been practically rebuilt during an extensive year-long restoration, the unique side-wheel riverboat will be re-dedicated by Disneyland Paris ambassadors Régis Alart and Osvaldo del Mistero at 11am this Friday, 25th March. The public event will take place at Thunder Mesa Riverboat Landing in Frontierland, so be sure to drop by if you’re visiting the resort and witness a little piece of Disneyland Paris history.
As noted in the comments following our article last week, the riverboat has actually lost her “Queen of River” title during the restoration, with the side wheels now displaying the slightly more generic nomenclature: “Western River Line”. It remains to be seen what other smaller changes may have taken place. DLRP Today will be reporting back from the rebuilt vessel’s maiden cruise and might even tweet a few live updates on Friday — so follow us on Twitter, if you’re not already!