From this weekend, the 8-minute show has been extended slightly with a new scene adding yet another character — the event is already a very unique chance to see Snow White, her Prince and all seven Dwarfs together at once in Paris.
Now, the fun is interrupted by the Evil Queen in her Old Hag disguise, who skulks on-stage to tempt Snow White with a gleaming red apple. And — oh, she never learns — the white-as-snow damsel takes a bite and falls onto a new white plinth, handily positioned nearby.
The “Happily Ever After” then becomes a more emotive finale than before, as the Prince is able to wake his future Princess from her deathly sleep and lead her in a jovial waltz to the finish.
…But only in French. Since the first promotion of the tour has been spotted via the Annual Passholder site, it is, like all elements of the resort’s Passeport Annuel service, available only “en Français”.
More forgivably, as confirmed by Andichatz in the comments on our first article, the tour itself will also only be presented in French, as the script and guide are not yet prepared for other languages. Hopefully it will be lapped up quick enough that it continues on, with other languages made available.
The new page on the official website communicates mostly the same information reported previously — tours every Saturday from the 18th December with groups of no more than 10 people. The meeting point is not the Tower of Terror itself but Studio Services in Front Lot, and a start time is also confirmed: 9.10am.
One plus for Annual Passholders: You can enjoy the tour for just €9.60, rather than €12.
However, whilst it’s advertised on the site as “Les coulisses de la Tour de la Terreur”, there’s no mention that this will actually offer a true backstage tour of the tower, going behind the layers of Disney theming — instead, it aims to add to the magic on stage.
With word that the first tour is already booked-up, here’s hoping for a translation soon.
As 2010 and the opening of Toy Story Playland draws nearer, we’ve no doubt all begun to wonder what will become of the other Toy Story outlets across the hub. Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast, Woody’s Roundup and the Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade float will all stay for a good while yet, but what about that forgotten corner… that quick tie-in from back in 1997, when Disneyland Paris jumped (rather slowly) on the Toy Story bandwagon? Will it finally be put out into the yard sale?
Far from it. The Pizza Burger could be about to stage a comeback. According to Fab’, a Cast Member posting on Disney Central Plaza, the dated Pizza Planet restaurant in Disneyland Park may well soon be offering a new menu concept with one interesting resort-wide exclusive: unlimited drinks.
Stating that they had taken part in a study about changes to the counter service location, the member suggests that the menu price would be elevated to around €15, with starter, main, dessert and that unlimited drink all included.
At the same time, it seems the tired décor could be in line for changes, too. But no removal of Woody and Buzz — no return to the Discoveryland of visionaries and science fiction. No, the theme will apparently “still be based on Toy Story“. So a higher price, a quick fix-up here and there, and has a perfect cash-in for next year’s New Generation Festival and the release of Toy Story 3 been found?
Wondering why this place, very faintly based on the far more wondrous Pizza Planet of the original Toy Story film, is housed within a badly-concealed tent just beyond the berm? It was originally an exhibition space as part of the Space Festival in 1995 and 1996, tied into the Space Mountain opening, but was craftily repurposed the following year to fill a need for more counter service provision. All a far cry from the lavish Vulcania restaurant which was originally meant to sit at the other end of the land, opposite were Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast is now.
No dates have been set since this is still to be taken as a pure rumour, but it does come just after Toy Story characters apparently began to make appearances at the restaurant once again. It’s just unfortunate that, even if they make it less of a hole, it’ll soon be on completely the wrong side of the resort to where it needs to be…
As discovered previously, this lengthy refurbishment spanning almost the entire year has not simply brought the façade back to its clean and crisp original state but attempted to “plus” it at the same time, with a wider palette of colours used to emphasise its features.
Is it ready for the catwalk? Not quite, but it’s getting there…
The latest section to be revealed is the round corner piece and its two striking Art Deco fins. Where originally these were painted entirely in the same cold yellow with turquoise accents, now they’ve been given a less sharp main colour with a deeper yellow at each end, in the space where the neon lights sit.
Most noticeable, though — the turquoise has become a warm red, matching the new kiosk next door and hopefully giving this corner a slightly more “1950s” feel. Pleasingly, the red, turquoise and yellow neon lights all remain.
Last time we ended with an “unfortunately…” about the still-missing ‘Walt Disney Television Studios’ sign (which would probably be a finishing touch anyway). This time, it has to be said that it’s a shame such lengths would be gone to for a refurbishment without that damn security camera being concealed a little better.
Yes, you see it, the round thing on the white pole, sticking out the roof of the building. It’s the kind of thing you normally don’t spot — but once you do, you spot it every time. Sorry. Look closely at the Studios and you can also see them hanging from Art of Disney Animation and Flying Carpets Over Agrabah. We never manage to spot them in Disneyland Park, so why force supermarket chic on the Studios?
But no-one’s ever completely happy these days. Blame TV.
The first of these new room types came into use at the start of the new season on 9th November, with Disney’s Hotel Cheyenne and Disney’s Hotel Santa Fe now trying to coax their guests to pay extra for one of two alternative room categories.
• Rio Grande rooms are the same as above, guaranteeing a location along the Rio Grande River, and therefore right next to the path to the parks and Disney Village.
• Eldorado rooms are located near to the main reception, restaurant, bar and shop, perhaps particularly useful with the expansive and complicated layout of the Santa Fe, although you might not have a great view.
Supplements: From £7 to £16 (€10 to €16) per night depending on season.
So, for a reasonable price, you can end that moment of concern when you arrive at the reception of these two hotels, the smiling Cast Member pulls out the map and begins to mark on the location of your room… Whether you’d like a river or restaurant location, it can now be locked in.
But that’s all you get — a guaranteed location. There are no extra facilities in these rooms, no air conditioning, no treats, and if the allocated Eldorado, Buffalo and Rio Grande rooms aren’t booked up, it’s not unthinkable that they might be offered as standard rooms to other guests.
Over at Disney’s Davy Crockett Ranch, meanwhile, a brand new cabin is due to be unveiled after being featured for the first time in the latest brochure. And here, for an admittedly larger supplement, you don’t just get a better location near the Ranch Village but a completely new cabin layout and extras.
• Sleeps up to 6 people with a double bed and 4 single beds.
• Air conditioning.
• Two shower rooms.
• Private terrace with barbecue.
• Walking distance from the Davy Crockett Ranch village.
Supplements: From £21 to £29 (€20 to €30) per night depending on season.
These “Premium 2-Bedroom Cabins” become available from the next season start on 2nd April 2010, though the previous 2 Bedroom Cabin option appears to remain, now listed as a supplement to the side of the 1-Bedroom Cabins.
The need for air conditioning in these cabins (in Paris) is questionable and the lack of a bath between the two shower rooms is an odd omission, but they will finally give the resort a much-requested accommodation option for larger families with more than 2 children.
So, what do you think? Would you be willing to pay these supplements for a better “Value” experience, or is Disneyland Paris pushing its luck?
It’s notable that guests could often request certain room locations at Cheyenne and Santa Fe before now and, though these could not always be guaranteed, they were at least given without the cost of a supplement. Are they trying to charge us for something that used to be openly available, or offering a welcome new choice for their hotel rooms?
The Rio Grande is a beautiful, hidden gem of an area within the resort. Just a short walk from Disney Village, it’s incredibly peaceful and great fun to explore — but does often look “forgotten”, rather than simply hidden. Trees overgrown, lights not working, signs and maps faded. If they’ve re-discovered the Rio Grande for the purposes of a room supplement, let’s hope they supplement the amount of attention this area gets from maintenance, too.
It was a surprise outing for the couple, more used to the calm beet fields of Marne-la-Vallée, as they stepped out into the bright lights of the city to inaugurate the Christmas celebrations on the Place de la Concorde, at the heart of Paris.
For the first time in years, they appeared as guests of honour at the foot of the Champs Elysées, as children from the French Red Cross helped them launch the illumination of the giant Ferris Wheel at 17:30 and cut the ribbon for the international Christmas markets to officially open.
They also helped reveal a stunning ice sculpture of Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant as part of the Ice Magic exhibit.
Every city has a giant wheel and a Christmas market these days, but how many are just a short RER train ride away for a famous Mouse and his girlfriend?
Update 27.11.2009 — More Pictures & Video
Disneyland Paris have released more photos of the event, showing the truly stunning ice sculptures of the Eiffel Tower and Sleeping Beauty Castle:
On 19th December 2009, the VIP and Guided Tours service launches a first in the world of Disney Parks — a guided tour dedicated solely to one attraction: The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.
The trial, announced by Grandmath on Disney Central Plaza, will see groups of no more than 10 explore the abandoned Hollywood Tower Hotel for 1 hour as a guide, well versed in the secrets and legends, explains and highlights the fascinating hidden details, in-jokes and Twilight Zone nods.
Taking place on Saturday mornings before park opening, the tours will give a unique angle on the unique attraction, allowing guests to experience exclusive, privatised access to the lobby and library rooms, before concluding their tour of “La Tour” with a drop into the fifth dimension aboard the service elevator itself.
Expect to pay €12 (discounts possible for Annual Passholders), with the tours subject to demand and availability. To begin with, they’re only running on a trial basis. Guest satisfaction will be assessed to see if the Twilight Zone Tour can become a full-time offering.
Information is available at City Hall, Studio Services or by calling +33 (0) 1 64 74 21 26. The VIP/Guided Tours service may also be able to help with enquiries via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Guided Tours of the two parks will continue, available for €15 at Disneyland Park and €10 at Walt Disney Studios Park, which does feature The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror but in much lesser detail. They’re free for under 12s and available in several languages depending on availability on the day.
We’ve been waiting a long time for this. Nothing compared to Disney Studio 1 just across the way, of course, but with scaffolding going up back in early April and the first tarp sheets only coming down, the former Television Production Tour building has enjoyed a good — and much needed — 7 or so months of TLC.
First — remember how it used to look?
Arguably one of the nicest buildings of the park in 2002, with a smart Streamline Moderne art deco design, it nevertheless began to look more than a little out of place one the warm, detail-rich buildings and sets of 2007/08’s Hollywood Boulevard sprung up opposite.
Where they had intricate, saturated palettes of colours, realistic weathering and period features a-plenty, the old Walt Disney Television Studios had a whitewash — or rather a yellow-wash — of one single colour with cold turquoise details.
This contrast difference became especially clear when walking down the route (perhaps known as Vine Street) in front of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, with the monotone, concrete building now forming a landmark at the end.
Add to these differences the fact that portions of the building had become dirtier than perhaps anything ever before in Disneyland Paris, the “fins” in particular looking as if they were about to crumble, and you’ve got the format of a desperately-needed refurbishment.
Fans could barely believe their eyes when Mouetto on Disney Central Plaza posted this photo last week… had it just blown down?
But their hopes came true — the refurbishment wasn’t stuck in the legal nightmare of Studio 1 but ready to go live! The first half of the building was fully uncovered by the weekend, as captured by NewsDLRP:
The new colours match exactly those on the covering used during the refurbishment. Under the windows and at the top, the sleek lines are now picked out in a light yellow with a darker gold-brown in between adding a further sense of detail.
The building’s main colour is now a slightly deeper orange, similar to that applied to Front Lot a couple of years ago, and the fins have warm red accents rather than turquoise, as spotted several months ago.
Whilst the rest of the Stitch Live! / Playhouse Disney building remains wrapped in scaffolding, the only thing missing from this first section is the old ‘Walt Disney Television Studios’ sign itself…
Alongside a full refurbishment of the ride, the two weeks of closure from 9th to 20th November saw 200 dolls redressed in brand new costumes, the addition of 150 special props and accessories and, for the first time ever, the addition of the special Christmas soundtrack, never before heard in Paris.
The Celebrations begin outside, where the whole attraction signage has been switched out for a new design of flags in red and green, dotted with snow flakes, sitting on golden yellow flagpoles.
Captured by Scrooge on Disney Magic Interactive, the exterior decoration also features dressing on the boat, a “Celebration” caption on the secondary entrance sign and an additional notice explaining that throughout our cruise we’ll see “the traditional celebrations which bring all the children together”.
It appears it was none other than George Kalogridis, our departing operations chief, who suggested the return, with the entire project — including repairing or entirely replacing many of the old costumes — completed in just 4 months. The results, even from the few photos seen so far, are beautiful.
“There are some absolutely splendid costumes, sequinned, satiny, with an enormous amount of feathers and fabric more radiant than ever before…” — Hélène Hanquez
Though no doubt, the most exciting revelation from Hélène is the inclusion of seasonal music in the overlay for the first time. Coming from the American parks, the Small World Christmas mix features the classic Sherman Brothers theme interspersed with festive songs such as Jingle Bells — naturally, sung in several languages. A 15-minute compilation was released on the Musical History of Disneyland CD box set, and a festive mix is reportedly being played even outside the attraction, replacing the regular area loop!
All this is quite a pleasant surprise from a resort usually timid to attempt seasonal overlays of its attractions. An interesting post from a member named “RiverRogue” on magicforum might explain some of the background to the project — which appears to be distant from the Entertainment department, who usually reign over Christmas:
Well suspected; from what I’ve gathered seasonal entertainment didn’t have much to do with this year’s “Celebration”. Its project manager comes from a business-related department and was a long-time operational cast member. When he proposed the project he was given a very tight budget and in my opinion made the most of it, not least because he’s very hands-on and did a lot of things himself.
As for the graphics and music, he enlisted a friend of his (also a former operator) in the merchandise division to do the graphic design and audio mixing. The signage was then physically produced in the resort’s Central Shops while Imagineering and the audio maintenance crew installed the new music.
Lights, projections, sequins, feathers, shimmering costumes and sparkly music… This might just be the Celebration to top all others. Bravo and all our greatest thanks to those who pushed for its return and worked so hard to complete it to this standard.
Though the oceans are wide and the mountains divide, you want to see Christmas in Disneyland Paris more than ever now, right?
What is it about brochures and Disneyland Paris? No other group of Disney fans gets so excited or worked up about their resort’s promotional materials as us, but here are again, about to pour over every page of New Generation Festival detail. Or rather, the Disney new generation festival, as it now has to be written. But more on that later…
And so we see the “Programme of events” above, with the various new additions for this theme year thankfully sorted into neat categories so that prospective guests can see what’s worth bothering with (attractions) and what’s more a load of puff (stars). Indeed, we’ve still yet to find out just how the Monsters Inc. Scream Academy can be considered “new”, given that it was added in 2006.
This is also our first encounter with lower case madness. Normally, it’s the done thing to use capital letters in the name of a show or event — like Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop. But as we’ve touched upon in the past, and is now confirmed here, the ‘Disney new generation festival’ won’t be following those boring old rules, oh no! So, very much helping the grammar of our text messaging generation, we’ll be welcoming not ‘Disney Showtime Spectacular’ but ‘Disney showtime spectacular‘. Not ‘Disney All Stars Express’ but ‘Disney all stars express‘.
It wouldn’t be noticeable, but this strange stylistic choice is forced into every instance of these names. It’s probably meant to look fresh and hip, but it ends up looking like they forgot to hire a proofreader, we’re sorry to say…
Neurotic grammatical asides complete, the look of this brochure is very pleasing. You’ll see very few actual images of Disneyland Paris in here, but yes it looks very smart — a definite step up from the horribly garish second brochure for Mickey’s Magical Party we’re leaving behind.
Yes, we’re spoiled a full three real images from within Disneyland Park (including the Castle background). Surrounding those, a Cinderella picture (from Walt Disney World), a false Space Mountain: Mission 2 promo picture and the doctored Disney all stars express promo image.
You can’t be down about this lack of photography for long though, or worry too much that the brochures continue towards being just catalogues of Disney character stock images, because the next page is rather stunning…
Not only is this (mostly) a real photo — and a beautiful photo at that — no, finally the powers that be have discovered Hollywood Boulevard. The gorgeous little street has been there for two years already and now it’s being utilised and advertised for the first time. Normally, you’d see nothing of the Walt Disney Studios Park exteriors in the brochures, only the insides of attractions.
Add to that some character stock images which almost look to be tailored specifically to this page and we’ve got one of the best brochure pages for years. And it might just be the matching colour palettes, but Woody and Slinky feel quite at home next to that logo there.
Alas, with every up, there’s a down. After that terrible use of a real photo, this is the centrepiece of their Toy Story Playland launch…
It’s a shame Disneyland Paris don’t appear to want to make concept art public these days, because the ‘TSPL’ artwork is arguably a million times more endearing than this collection of visual junk, inspired by your local crèche.
The second Walt Disney Studios Park page is good enough, with the investment in this park now adding up to a very marketable, colourful set of attractions.
Park seasons appear to get a bigger showing this time, with a full double-page detailing everything from Summer Time (finally branded into a proper season) to the, er, British Festival at Disney Village, where you can see, first-hand… a British Mini! No, really!
Rearing its head again here, though: the marketeers’ disgust for poor old Sleeping Beauty Castle. Since opening day its been mirrored, warped and chopped up to fit their visions. This must be one of the most drastic yet, covering the entire front window with one of the turrets from the side.
Note here and in the image on page 13, at least, that the Castle is decoration free… or almost decoration-free. When editing the spire tops out of that photo above, Tinkerbell was left in place, along with the piping leading up the main tower. Just the choice of the marketing department, or a sign that this decoration is due to cling on?
Next, Hotels = Aliens.
The hotel pages have seen the biggest changes in this new brochure, with the usual format of a white background and one large image replaced by this, “immersive”, style…
Colours, designs and furniture from each hotel dress each page fully, attempting to give us a “feel” of the hotels more than accurate pictures. Each page features only two real images — the view of the hotel out the window and a tiny view in a picture frame — but the style is clever.
In any case, these pages are likely only a teaser — anyone really looking into spending vast sums of money on Disney Hotels surely goes online to find more photos anyway, right?
Davy Crockett Ranch is also presented well, with a view of the cabins inside and out…
Whilst the Selected and Associated Hotels seem to be given more prominence than usual, with their more discreet design touches used to create the same effect…
Maybe they should offer real parachuting lessons beyond the parks…
Although lessons may not be necessary, if even an inanimate Starbucks mug can manage it.
Yes, the coffee chain is now very much a feature of Disney Village, whilst Mickey and Friends will continue to cameo in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show for at least 12 months more (and in fact, there’s no reason to see that this isn’t permanent now).
Much as the constant character clip-art is off-putting for people who’d prefer to see the majesty of Thunder Mesa and the intricate detailing of Fantasyland, at least this “new generation” really has ushered in a refreshingly different set of characters to be featured throughout the brochure.
Not only Rémy but Chef Gusteau feature on the restaurants page, whilst little-seen Princess Dot pops up on the leisure and relaxation page, yes really — a character from A Bug’s Life!
And the new resort map, complete with well-placed Google Earth 3D plug.
Hamm is a fitting choice for the Price Guide…
Whilst the “5 Steps” page attempts to simplify the booking process…
…but perhaps the colours make the text a little hard to read.
The price guide pages themselves are mostly unchanged…
And there we go.
It’s a definite step up from the last, very disappointing, off-putting brochure, but say it once, say it again — there’s still not enough “Disneyland Paris” in here. Not enough real photos, real information or real feeling for the place between all the thousands of character images.
Perhaps, with the internet, it doesn’t matter. In a few seconds you can find a great site like Photos Magiques. But picking this clip art catalogue up off the shelf, will most people actually bother to go that far?
We all know the place we visit — the amazing lands, the fantastic rides, the beautiful sights and the escapist themeing. What place are they thinking about?
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