The large image next to the article confirms the design, with Daniel Delcourt stood next to the giant head of the Goofy statue itself, fully painted in metallic gold. When the decorations were first unveiled in July, and confirmed with later artworks released in July and October, they were shown as fifteen full-colour statues sitting on top of the castle’s turrets. It appears that either these artworks were produced full-colour for better marketing, or a drastic design change has taken place. Behind Delcourt in the article’s photo below, a new version of the following artwork can be seen, with fifteen shimmering, gold, statues filling the spires of the castle…

The article also confirms that the decorations will be added between the 18th and 30th of March, with Europe’s largest cherry-picked crane arriving to complete the job. This also means a full renovation of the castle is unlikely, with current rumours suggesting a refurbishment after the anniversary, in 2008, is now more likely. However, whilst gold statues could be considered more for a 50th than a 15th, the co-ordination with the castle’s large amount of existing gold elements should make these decorations even more tasteful – there’s certainly not a birthday cake or jester hat in sight!

Series: Backstage at the park (2/5)

Awakening Sleeping Beauty Castle

To celebrate the 15th Anniversary of Disneyland Park, the park’s teams at Marne-la-Vallée (Seine et Marne) are assembling themselves ready. This is the next in our series on those who, in the shadows, are preparing the festivities, due to begin 1st April.

A series of pink files pile up on top of the desk. The 15th anniversary of Disneyland Paris in figures and forecasts. Aged 44, Daniel Delcourt, responsible for the shows and parades division of Disneyland Paris, directs the teams who are imagineering the festivities. His greatest mission: to redecorate the famous Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant.

The spires of each turret will soon be lifted, to allow fifteen statues representing famous members of the Disney family to take their place. Perched on golden crowns, they will each be given a candle which will be lit each evening. Tinkerbell, godmother of the anniversary, will circle around the summet of the castle. In mid-March, the “only cherry picker in Europe” capable of lifting fifteen people up to 45 metres into the air will allow the statues to be positioned on the spires. The operation, at night, will take place incredibly fast: between the celebrations of St Patrick’s Day and the final days of March. “One thing will never change – the opening date. For us, it’s a worry but also a stimulation”, assures Daniel Delcourt as he presents the calendar.

“A straight-forward course”

Behind his desk, a newspaper cutting, framed, attracts the eye: “Disney: Stikers play hide and seek with Mickey.” “During the social movements here in September, no-one in my department followed the action. I’m very proud. You should work to move forwards, regardless of pay.” And it’s without doubt the work which explains that, for eleven years, Daniel Delcourt has taken the role of extinguishing the brooding fires of Disney. Every 18 months on average, he makes the big move between two positions. “I had a traditional start,” admits the Belgian with a smile, with education from hotelier school. “I started my time here as a restaurant manager.” To this date, he can claim to have been head of Disney Hotels. Close to 5,700 rooms, countless employees… “Like most, I arrived in this land not expecting to stay any longer than a few years. But when they find someone who can do well, they really give them a chance,” he explains. Disney nevertheless has one condition: continue to lead the 15th Anniversary to 1st April 2007. “And there’s no question of releasing those documents – they will never be seen!”

Article: Julie Cloris, Translation: DLRP Today

Article scanned by gldsun for Disney Central Plaza forum.

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