New details have been announced about Disney Stars on Parade, the new parade for Disneyland Paris’ 25th Anniversary, including a full run-through of its 8 floats and the characters set to star on them.
The listing confirms several details already known or rumoured: the large Maleficent dragon, for instance, but also two floats taken from a former Tokyo Disneyland parade, and Princess carriages from Disneyland Paris’ own archive. Others, including the opening float, will be brand new to the parade.
Whereas 2007’s Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade preceded its float names with “Dreams of” and the current Disney Magic on Parade! uses “Magic”, Disney Stars on Parade begins each title with “Discover” — with an almost Discoveryland-style retrofuturistic feel to several floats.
DISCOVERING UNIQUE WORLDS
“In Disney Stars on Parade, we follow Mickey and Friends on a journey of discovery to the land of imagination” explains Emmanuel Lenormand, the Show Director. “We started with the words that are most frequently used by our guests when they talk about Disneyland Paris. This helped us to create a story with eight chapters, and as many emotions. We then associated these emotions with major Disney and Pixar animated films that have proved a huge hit with the public”.
Featuring many Disney Characters and artists, the new Parade incorporates stunning, unique floats with vibrant colours and movements to surprise and delight our guests.
Characters in the new parade will include Tinker Bell, Mickey and Friends, Toy Story, The Jungle Book, The Lion King, Peter Pan, Finding Nemo, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, Cinderella, Snow White and Frozen.
Almost all of these already feature in the current parade, so it might not be the fresh shake-up of the Disneyland Park parade route that many were hoping for, after 10 years with effectively the same parade. Finding Nemo is the only stand-out change and in fact, the new parade will lose a large number of characters, since many of the previous floats featured two films in one: Alice in Wonderland, Pinocchio, Mary Poppins, Aladdin and Winnie the Pooh to name a few will no longer be appearing.
Discover the Magic
Disney Stars on Parade opens with Tinker Bell, who escapes from the pages of an enormous storybook. This is followed by an amazing float featuring Mickey and Friends dressed as explorers of the future… “A future in which technology retains a magical aspect” according to Olivier Dusautoir, the Set Designer.
We learnt a bit about this float back in December — specifically that Chip ‘n’ Dale will have a “huge telescope” directed at the parade behind. Going with this kind of Steampunk, historical-futuristic theme is certainly interesting considering the changes happening in the park’s own Discoveryland…
The second highlight pays a dazzling tribute to children’s games. Buzz Lightyear’s rocket pulls an oversized truck in which Andy has placed all his toys in carefree disarray. The heroes of Toy Story celebrate true friendship and take us to infinity and beyond!
Featured on a float doubling up with Winnie the Pooh in the park’s current parade, Toy Story now gets its own float. Will this one be brand new?
Who better than Simba and Nala or Baloo and Mowgli to embody the spirit of adventure? A high rock overlooks the exuberant jungle flora, while the percussion and shimmering colours release the wild instincts of an exotic world where, fortunately, it takes very little to be happy.
Rumoured for some time, this will likely be the “Jungle Safari” float from Tokyo Disneyland’s former Jubilation! parade, with some modifications, as reported previously.
From one rock to another, this one is in the shape of a skull and serves as the throne of Captain Hook. Peter Pan is close by, at the helm of a ship suspended beneath an immense, dreamlike moon. “After all, Disneyland Paris is – quite literally – the Land of Imagination!”, Emmanuel Lenormand reminds us.
Following right behind, this Peter Pan float is also said to be the “Pirate Moon” float from Jubilation!, which ran from 2008 to 2013. A “recycled” float is not particularly a bad thing when it looks this good, and of course it’s never been seen in Paris before. It’s not a new thing for Disney to ship parade floats around the world.
Discover A New World
A large turtle swims above a majestic float, covered with coral. The heroes of Finding Nemo and Finding Dory remind us of their philosophy: “Just keep swimming!” and leave guests starry-eyed. Sea stars, of course.
Perhaps the most interesting choice for an entire float, considering there are no “walk around” characters from this franchise, it’ll be interesting to see how these characters are portrayed — as static or moving float elements, or even puppets?
Water is followed by fire, in hot pursuit. Like Sleeping Beauty, the story of Disney Stars on Parade would not be complete without an epic battle starring Prince Phillip and the three fairies against an evil dragon, described by Olivier Dusautoir as “mechanical, made entirely of copper with visible mechanisms, as if it has been taken straight out of Jules Verne’s imagination”. Faced with a fire-breathing monster, will good win out?
This sixth float is the undoubted stunner: that fire-breathing Maleficent dragon we’ve heard about from the very start. Again drawing from another parade, this will be a twin of Florida’s showpiece Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade float.
Fortunately in fairy tales, good… and love always triumph in the end. Contrasting beautifully with the impressive floats that precede them, Rapunzel, Cinderella and Snow White with their respective Prince Charmings make their entrance on three graceful carriages. A romantic moment which will melt the hearts of little girls… of all ages.
Perhaps the most disappointing “unit”, unless there’s more yet to be revealed, is Discover Romance. From the description, it sounds simply as if the three carriages which were originally part of Disney Magic on Parade! (above) are simply being repurposed. While devoting a large unit to the princesses in every parade can become tiresome, we can probably all still say we expected more.
The great Disney storybook will close with a flourish with the two heroines of Frozen, on the balcony of an ice castle, accompanied by a few friends who are particularly popular with guests…
Like Elsa’s silvery blue cape floating in her wake, a sense of wonder fills the air and remains long after the last float of Disney Stars on Parade has passed by.
This is the only brand new float we’ve already seen concept art for — even if it does seem to be just a glimpse at the full float. The style of designer Jody Daily is clear to see, but will this really be enough to give the parade a showstopping finish?
With two units from Tokyo, one inspired by Florida and one from Paris’ own warehouse, that leaves just half the parade potentially being brand new, never-before-seen floats. Disappointing, perhaps, but a parade is what the same suggests: it’s about the whole procession, how it comes together as a package.
Even if many of the characters are still the same old, the design style of these floats such as those from Tokyo and new additions like Frozen will be quite different for Disneyland Paris. After 10 years of practically the same floats, Disney Stars on Parade will still give a very welcome fresh, new feel to the park from 26th March 2017.
Ironically, in this case, the dragon might save the day…