The main show of the celebration is titled It’s Party Time… with Mickey and Friends, or, in French, ‘Place à la Fête avec Mickey et ses Amis’. Though performed on Central Plaza, with Le Château as a backdrop, this won’t be a simple reworking of Candleabration

Though, as the new key visual below shows, ‘It’s Party Time’ will naturally be led by Mickey Mouse, the official press release for the event (so far released only in French) confirms that he has been joined by Goofy to help prepare a special party celebration.

It's Party Time... with Mickey and Friends

That celebration will, unlike Candleabration, take place several times each day and almost certainly mostly during daylight hours. No reliance on an illumination ceremony at 7pm in the early Summer this year.

Along with Mickey’s friends, the characters of The Lion King, Aladdin and The Jungle Book will be the stars of the show, bringing an exotic flair — and naturally, their famous soundtracks — to the stage.

We won’t just be hearing “Hakuna Matata” or “Bare Necessities” though — the new press release also confirms that a brand new song has been created for Mickey’s Magical Party. Entitled “Mickey’s Magical Party Time!” and produced by Scott Erickson, who worked on a variety of direct-to-video releases such as Mickey-Donald-Goofy in The Three Musketeers, Bambi II and Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch, those who’ve managed a preview describe it as a very modern, pop sound and in a similar vein to the Disney Characters’ Express theme or Hannah Montana.

The show itself will play heavily on guest interaction, with visitors encouraged to dance and sing along. Not a lot more is known about the event than that, but, as the visual above clearly shows — and the press releases are keen to advertise — it will all be happening on a brand new Central Plaza Stage.

In fact, no time has been wasted at all in removing the old tall, golden and circular 15th Anniversary stage from its position, despite Candleabration still running until 7th March:

Old Central Plaza Stage removed
Photo: Alex, Disney Central Plaza forum.

The old stage was a heightened and redecorated version of the one first introduced for Christmas 2003 (when it featured a pile of books and a writing quill), simply circular in shape and therefore quite distant if you weren’t stood within one of the four entrances to the plaza.

The new stage, as you can see in the key visual, will actually extend outwards with four special “satellite” stages, bringing to the action closer to a greater number of guests and hopefully reducing the — how can we describe it — “front-centric” performance style of Candleabration that made it pointless to stand anywhere other than directly in front of the stage.

Leading down from the stage, you’ll see another new feature — though one that has already been up for much debate: the stairs. This addition would help to add a new depth to the shows presented here, as well as making the giant stage less of a “wall” as you walk down Main Street. The debate has been whether  or not these will appear in the final build, and the outlook isn’t good.

The placement of the satellite stages might also suggest Central Plaza will entirely lose all its trees. If these “arms” extend right into the four small grass-covered hills, rather than onto the existing paved area, the trees would have to go, wouldn’t they?

Any fans despising this extended take-over of Central Plaza — an area that is meant to be open and relaxing, the parkland of nearby, bustling Main Street — then thank your Blue Fairy that the department’s full rumoured plans for the park hub didn’t come to life, cancelled due to worries about underground drainage and utilities.

Markings on Central Plaza
Markings for a new show/parade viewing platform?

These plans would — if the rumours are to be believed — have involved brand new seating areas taking over the grass berm to the left of the Castle, next to the Adventureland entrance, to allow people a better view of the parades and shows in this area…

Rather like the kids in Toy Story who bring bedsheets and a lunchbox to the party, perhaps?

— Find a new preview guide all about It’s Party Time… with Mickey and Friends here.

Key visual © Disney.

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