The opening minutes of new 25th Anniversary nighttime spectacular Disney Illuminations have been premiered online by Disneyland Paris — as part of a trial projection on a miniature scale model of Sleeping Beauty Castle.
Cutting out the 23 days of waiting ahead until the show’s premiere on 26th March 2017, this video confirms the “new” nighttime show will indeed borrow very heavily from Ignite the Dream at Shanghai Disneyland.
As predicted, the music and visuals are eerily familiar at first glance. However, a great deal of work has clearly been done in remodelling the images to fit onto the dimensions of Paris’ more slender landmark and, looking more closely, add some brand new pieces of animation (such as the gorgeous blue and gold castle outline) unique to this opening.
Don’t forget — this scale model test shows only the projection mapping onto the castle, not any of the show’s other effects, inherited from Disney Dreams!, such as the huge fountains in the castle moat. This technique allows the team behind the show to more clearly visualise how the scenes will look projected onto the three-dimensional surface of Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant, and was also employed before its predecessor’s 2012 premiere.
The scene opens with a surprisingly lengthy English introduction before moving, just like the Shanghai show, into “A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes” as Mickey Mouse flies around various colourful and quite spectacular projection mapping effects.
A golden sun just as the video fades out confirms Disney Illuminations will also move right into The Lion King as its true opening scene.
Warning: Ignite the Dream contains major Disney Illuminations spoilers!
What with Finding Nemo, The Little Mermaid, Star Wars and Pirates of the Caribbean also confirmed, it’s possible the entire 25th Anniversary show might only have one truly unique scene compared to Ignite the Dream: a segment based on the new live-action Beauty and the Beast. That’s if Shanghai doesn’t decide to share that itself to complete the exchange…