Monday, 22nd March 2010

Banners & marquees lead New Generation preparation

Another year, another set of sky blue banners? Spot on. For the fourth year running, we’re welcomed onto the resort hub — and again and again through Fantasia Gardens and Front Lot — by banners featuring the year’s theme logo and the word “Welcome” in a variety of languages:

New Generation Festival preparation

The almost identical in design Mickey’s Magical Party banners have been switched out for these new canvas banners on every lamppost in sight, alternating between the French and English logos.

New Generation Festival preparation

New Generation Festival preparation

New Generation Festival preparation

Are these just unoriginal, or is blue just a nice, neutral colour that works for both parks?

Either way, there’s one plus for this year’s batch of near-identical banners — they’re slightly less identical. In Front Lot, there are several designs featuring just the New Generation characters, such as Mike Wazowski, Buzz Lightyear and that ten-year-old alien who won’t ever take a break, Stitch.

New Generation Festival preparation New Generation Festival preparation

New Generation Festival preparation

Different designs or not, it’s quite an overwhelming invasion…

New Generation Festival preparation

What is this festival called again?!

Back at Front Lot, we’re seeing the Walt Disney Studios Store entrance being “toyed” with again, as the first temporary marquee in over a year has appeared to tempt more people inside the boutique. It’s the first New Generation Festival store decoration so far, coming just days after the old Magical Party marquee disappeared from The Emporium.

New Generation Festival preparation

Though the Little Green Men and Stitch are flat 2D designs, Slinky Dog is partially in 3D, his springy body wrapping around the entrance. Inside, you can of course pick up your very own Slinky toy.

New Generation Festival preparation

New Generation Festival preparation

Inside the park, the Monsters Inc. Scream Scene near the entrance of Toon Studio has been closed for several weeks to allow preparations for its starring role in the year ahead. The ‘Scream Monitors’ signage has been taken away and returned for refurbishment, and the fun yellow floor markings have been completely repainted.

New Generation Festival preparation

In fact, though the corner is being included in the “new” features for the year, it has been in place for so long (since 2006) that the “Child Detection Agency – Scream Scene” paint had completely worn away.

New Generation Festival preparation

As we reported at the end of January, the ‘Monsters Inc. Scream Academy’ listed in brochures and press releases was originally meant to be a brand new show that was cancelled just days before auditions. We’ve since leant that the show, which would have featured a live host inviting guests to dance and scream with the Monsters, was actually set to happen not in this tight corner but on a separate travelling stage, similar to the High School Musical shows.

Though the ‘Monsters Inc. Scream Academy’ hasn’t been removed from advertising, we now have to assume that’s the new name for the photo location, the preview videos have been made incredibly vague and all mentions are very careful never to mention the word “new”…

New Generation Festival preparation

At least with Sully (the only live Monsters character we’ve seen at Disneyland Paris since 2002), expected to be rejoined by Mike and — for the first time — Boo (dressed up in her Monster disguise) for the Disney Showtime Spectacular over at Disneyland Park, these extra characters could hop over in between to provide something “new” here after all.

Photos by Dlrpteam for DLRP Today.com

Saturday, 20th March 2010

Refurb roundup: Ears gone, banners gone, trees gone?!

Was it all just a bad dream?

The big news of course is that Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant, our beautiful castle, has finally lost its Mickey’s Magical Party overlay. Once again we can enjoy its golden spires and centrepiece window with not a single set of Mickey ears on its magnificent medieval façade.

Disneyland Paris refurbishments

It’s not a complete return to glory, however — look closer and the iconic building is close to worn-out. Its stone features covered in spots of dirt, roof tiles uneven and out of place and two large holes now visible either side of the main window, where the Magical Party centrepiece was fixed in place.

Disneyland Paris refurbishments

Above that, the roof has some light patches, like its paintwork has been scuffed or scratched by something.

Disneyland Paris refurbishments

The balcony to the left still has too few plants draped over it, and let’s not even check elsewhere. Stand on the rear balcony of La Galerie de la Belle au Bois Dormant next time you visit and take a look upwards — this castle needs attention soon. We’ve been saying “before the 15th…”, “before MMP…”, “before the New Generation Festival…” every year now. So… before the 20th Anniversary?

There is also one omission from this decorations cull — Tinkerbell, and her spiralling trail which circles the tallest tower. Originally part of the 15th Anniversary overlay, she held on for Mickey’s Magical Party, continuing to provide confetti blasts from her wand for certain events. Now the lone remnant of these celebrations, she towers over the huge structure like a dainty fairy really ought not to, the confetti pipe looking like some poorly-integrated plumbing for Sleeping Beauty’s new ensuite bathroom.

With the Mickey ears now consigned to history for more than a week, the chances of the same installation crew coming back to pick up this one decoration is beginning to seem unlikely. We’ve heard that even departments within Disneyland Paris don’t know what’s going on with her. Can’t someone step in and scrap the fairy once and for all?

Any Tink supporters should perhaps remember that she’s already present and correct — and much more pleasantly sized — atop the Disneyland Hotel:

Disneyland Paris refurbishments

But for now, back to the positives — and another big one is Main Street also returning (almost) to normal. The refurbishments of the Disney Clothiers, Ltd. and Town Square Photography façades continue, but now there’s something — or several things — missing from the view…

Disneyland Paris refurbishments

No giant lampposts! Without those towering white columns and their enormous, identical banners, Main Street has been opened up. The buildings aren’t hidden away but clear to see and yes, correctly sized. Welcome back to the turn of the 20th Century!

It’d be interesting, in fact, to see if footfall in the various shops might increase with the removal of the banners, which were overpowering enough to just funnel guests straight down the street as quickly as possible, without looking left or right, all building façades hidden until you were stood right up in front of them. Now, that visual interest in every millimetre of the street is visible again, ready to pull guests to one side… and get them to open their wallets.

Another disappearing act has been pulled by the illuminated Mickey’s Magical Party decoration which sat above the side doorway of The Emporium. Before that, we had Lumière bursting out of the building for the 15th Anniversary… so how long until Buzz Lightyear or Slinky Dog shows up for the New Generation?

Disneyland Paris refurbishments

Here again, the removal unfortunately shows up some less-than-perfect paintwork behind.

Disneyland Paris refurbishments

And the removals continue, back into Town Square! Let’s compare this photo, from last Summer:

Disneyland Paris refurbishments

With this view from earlier this week:

Disneyland Paris refurbishments

Besides the elevation, weather and other seasonal changes, can you spot the difference? Yes, the trees on Town Square have magically shrunk! Previously reaching well above the rooftops of The Emporium and Town Square Photography (even from that elevated viewpoint on the railroad station), they now suddenly stand only just as high.

This is about as “Disneyland” an idea as you can get — when the trees get too big for the forced perspective of the buildings around them, replace them! The old maturing trees were removed last week (replanted elsewhere in the resort), leaving Town Square with an odd few days of just temporary grass coverings, to be gradually replaced with these younger, smaller trees.

Disneyland Paris refurbishments

If you’ve followed Disneyland Paris news for many years, you might remember the same happening to all the trees along Main Street itself in the first half of the last decade, when they were again replaced with smaller trees more in line with their quaint (and we have to remember, at the turn of the 20th Century — recently built) surroundings.

At the same time, the first flowers of Spring have arrived!

Disneyland Paris refurbishments

Elsewhere, Pirates of the Caribbean has been closed for the past two weeks for a scheduled refurbishment:

Disneyland Paris refurbishments

Disneyland Paris refurbishments

As always, this also required a closure of the Blue Lagoon Restaurant, but we’re happy to report both attraction and restaurant reopened earlier today.

Finally, ignoring that Castle bridge scaffolding (which should also have come to a close earlier today – check back for updates), we end on a beautiful sight indeed…

Disneyland Paris refurbishments Disneyland Paris refurbishments

Here’s hoping we see the castle back in the “refurb roundup” before too long.

Photos by Dlrpteam for DLRP Today.com

Thursday, 19th February 2009

New Sleeping Beauty Castle decorations revealed!

Amongst the resort’s marketing of the five key events of Mickey’s Magical Party, one aspect that comes packaged along with this kind of year-long celebration has been all but overlooked: the decorations.

We’ve already spied the lampposts backstage. Now for another overlay — the new decorations for Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant — which you might have already spotted in a grainy image in the background of the event’s website.

Luckily, magicforum exclusively revealed the full concept image earlier today!

Over the past months we’ve heard every angle that the Entertainment department could approach this with — from keeping the entire 15th Anniversary overlay (minus the “15”), to covering the towers and turrets with multicoloured streamers like those on the new Main Street, U.S.A. lampposts. Now, finally, the decision has been made — and here it is…

Mickey's Magical Party Castle decorations
Click image to enlarge

Give Sleeping Beauty Castle a quick glance from afar this year and you might not even notice any difference. Though the characters and their fifteen candles are almost all gone — only Tinkerbell, her sparkling wand and special confetti spray remain — in their place, subtle rings and hoops made up of golden “streamers” form the iconic three circles of Mickey Mouse on top of each turret.

In the middle, where the “15” emblem has stood for two years, a new centrepiece forms another Mickey Mouse shape out of two golden ears and a sparkling blue circle from which Donald, Mickey, Goofy and Pluto peer out. This design appears to be the same as already seen on the lampposts and in the larger versions of the Magical Party logo.

Compared against the current 15th Anniversary overlay, it’s certainly not the revolution some fans may have feared (and was actually originally proposed) but a far more respectful evolution of the same “hand-crafted” style the designers sought to achieve back in 2007.

15th Anniversary Castle decorations
Current 15th Anniversary overlay

However, while the oval “15” emblem was very sympathetic to the Imagineering creation behind it, the design and placement of the circular Mickey & Friends centrepiece placed in front of the oval/elliptical main window of the Castle for this new design has already been met with negativity from fans just in the brief time this concept has been online.

…As, in fact, has the whole idea of a Castle overlay for Mickey’s Magical Party itself. The feeling is summed up well by Kristof on magicforum, who concludes “Castle decorations should only be used in my opinion for truly remarkable occasions, like (and perhaps only) for the park’s anniversary.”

What’s your opinion of the new Mickey’s Magical Party overlay?

Visual © Disney, photo © DLRP Magic!.

Tuesday, 1st April 2008

Mark Twain glows in multicolour for ‘Celebration Continues’

Next weekend, 5th April 2008, will see press from across Europe descend on Disneyland Resort Paris to cover, primarily, the launch events for The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Stitch Live!.

However, the event will also be somewhat of a “relaunch” for Walt Disney Studios Park, and the official date when the resort shifts from its original ‘15th Anniversary Celebration‘ year to its second, ‘Celebration Continues‘, year of events.

As already seen in brochures, the television commercials and the updated official disneyland15.com website, the original gold and blue colour scheme of the first year is out — instead, bright multicolours of pink and turquoise, green and yellow are in.

01-marktwaincolours-01sm.jpg

Now, for something we probably didn’t expect — those very colours are now illuminating every night across the Rivers of the Far West, thanks to a complete overhaul of the lights surrounding each of the Mark Twain riverboat’s four floors.

As shown in the exclusive photos here from a DLRP Today reader, the lower level is pink, then blue, then green, then the original yellow retained. All other lights on the boat have been left untouched.

01-marktwaincolours-02sm.jpg

With these new lights coming just days before the press events, when the park will naturally be privatised for an evening event, it is currently unknown whether they are a temporary decorative measure or a change that will last the entire ‘Celebration Continues‘ year.

The replacing or colouring of the lightbulbs is similar to that of many along the ceilings of the two Main Street arcades, which last year saw a scattering of blue lightbulbs to add to the lining of 15th Anniversary banners. These lights are still in place (pictured below).

01-marktwaincolours-03sm.jpg

Mark Twain itself was also a centrepiece of last year’s launch events, when characters rode it around the rivers carrying their ‘Candleabration‘ candles.

The multi-colour lighting will likely come as a blow to fans of Frontierland, already well prepared in putting up with unlikely changes to the make-up of their favourite land — such as the Halloween paint machinery and the recent arrival of Woody at Critter Corral.

Update:

Our thanks to cmflounder92 for sending in the following clearer photo of the multicolour lights:

01-marktwaincolours-03sm.jpg

The Mark Twain is based on the original boat at Disneyland in California, which Walt Disney mortgaged his own home to build back in 1955.

— Your News: If you’ve got new photos or news from Disneyland Resort Paris, send them to DLRP Today at today@dlrpmagic.com and we can report the magic as it happens! Our news service can only improve with your help!

[Photos by Nemo_Dory and cmflounder92 for DLRP Today]

Thursday, 13th September 2007

Bougillumination Enchantée and Dreams of Christmas

The new press release answers a lot of questions and confirms the Christmas overlays of Candleabration and Once Upon a Dream, but before we begin — take a look at this brand new visual:

Image

Should this be next to the word “extravagance” in the dictionary?

Any questions about whether the chandeliers would return or whether they will replace the 15th Anniversary banners can be cast aside… Two spectacular, popular Main Street and Castle overlays will join together for the first time — glowing, icy chandeliers and sparkling Lumière banners, flickering character candles and glittering ice palace lights, presented together for two months only.

Quite a jawdropping spectacle in itself, don’t you think?

– – – – – – Press Release, Translated – – – – – –

Christmas more spectacular than ever
for the 15th Anniversary of Disneyland Resort Paris

Christmas at Disneyland is a time for all the family —
this year, kids under 7 can stay and play for FREE.

MARNE LA VALLÉE, France 11 Septembre 2007 … The Christmas celebrations begin 10th November at Disneyland Resort Paris. Amongst the high points of the season, the new ‘Dreams of Christmas’ float for Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade, the musical show Mickey’s Winter Wonderland and the unforgettable illumination of Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant in her 15th Anniversary makeover.

Until 6th January 2006, the most enchanting season of the entire year will be even more magical. And to make the celebration sparkle, hotel stays and access to the Disney Parks is completely free for children under 7 years of age!

Disneyland Park

More than one million lights will transform Disneyland Park into a Christmas wonderland. Snow will fall on a Main Street lined with grand chandeliers dedicated to the Disney Princesses and happy snowmen. A majestic Christmas Tree and Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant glow in thousands of lights, specially decorated for the 15th Anniversary.

Father Christmas and his reindeer take their place on the ‘Dreams of Christmas’ float in Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade every afternoon. This sparkling parade was created especially for the 15th Anniversary to bring to life the most beautiful Disney Classics, helped along by a grand collection of Disney characters wearing their most beautiful party clothes.

Even more surprises await vistors with Mickey’s Winter Wonderland, a colourful ice-skating spectacle presented several times a day with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and their friends in a wondrous Winter landscape. The fantasy presents the charms and delights of the coldest season through memorable music. Naturally, Chip and Dale make a surprise appearance!

At the heart of Fantasyland from the 17th November, guests can explore the winding streets of Belle’s Christmas Village. The heroine and her beast themselves can be encountered at the entrance of this picturesque seasonal market. Over at the Fantasy Festival Stage, Winnie the Pooh and Friends, Too enchants guests of all ages in a special Christmas-themed show from 15th December to 6th January.

The Disney characters are at the celebration and waiting for guests at the foot of the Castle. In the elegant Christmas Tree Forest of Town Square, Goofy Claus is ready and waiting for photos. And, as every day since the start of the 15th Anniversary celebrations, Disney Characters’ Express circles Main Street, U.S.A. several times a day, redecorated with a special Christmas theme!

Every evening, Mickey and his friends join together for the joyous finale of Bougillumination Enchantée (Enchanted Candleabration, Christmas Candleabration) in dance and song, before Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant — its fifteen candles lit by Mickey Mouse himself! Enchanting Disney princesses dance under the moonlight whilst, behind them, the Castle is transformed into a spectacular, crystal ice palace of lights. The crowning moment comes as a shower of glittering, golden pixie dust rains from the magic wand of Tinkerbell atop the highest spire, which illuminates, one by one, the giant chandeliers and banners lining Main Street all the way to the towering Christmas Tree itself, on Town Square.

Finally, the nighttime fantasy of Disney’s Fantillusion* reunites the heros of Disneyland in an extravagant parade making use of the most sophisticated sound and light effects, to close the day in a glittering shower of lights and unforgettable music.

*From 10th to 30th November 2007 — Disney’s Fantillusion will be presented only on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. From 1st December 2007 to 6th January 2008, Disney’s Fantillusion performances are daily, weather permitting.

Walt Disney Studios Park

Christmas with the sparkle of Hollywood.

Visitors can again step in front of the camera and play their part in the hilarious live Christmas Ciné Folies shows of Disney Studio 1, transformed with an irresistible festive atmosphere.

Across the Resort

Disneyland Resort Paris sparkles with Christmas decorations all over. Each Disney Hotel is given an extra festive touch with Christmas trees, illuminations and specially-organised activities for the Christmas season.

Finally, Disney Village celebrates Christmas from 21st December 2007 to 6th January 2008, including the famous Marché de Noël and a meet ‘n’ greet location for Father Christmas and his snowmen friends.

– – – – – – End Release – – – – – –

Image

Let’s recap all that news:

Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade will indeed see Father Christmas on his own ‘Dreams of Christmas’ float (likely the old sleigh float from previous years). Candleabration’s Christmas overlay will be known beautifully in French as ‘Bougillumination Enchantée’ — we’ll have to wait for the English name, but something similar to Enchanted Candleabration or Christmas Candleabration is likely. The Christmas Tree will return again to Town Square, following its success there last year.

Mickey’s Winter Wonderland, Winnie the Pooh and Belle’s Christmas Village return. Disney’s Fantillusion is to run only 3 days a week during November. Walt Disney Studios Park will again have only Christmas Ciné Folies to celebrate the season. Disney Characters’ Express will continue to run and even get a special Christmas overlay.

Perhaps most interesting — Father Christmas’ usual meet ‘n’ greet location of Town Square is now confirmed to be taken over by Goofy in his Santa Claus costume previously seen only at Walt Disney Studios Park. Now, where could Santa have gone? A temporary inhabitant of the future Woody’s Roundup Village in Frontierland, perhaps?

The 15th Anniversary with the added enchantment of Christmas is beginning to sound a lot like something rather special. Alors, chantec’est presque Noël !

Friday, 13th April 2007

Castle Makeover up-close and across the park

Like all of the 15th Anniversary events, we’ve followed this overlay of Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant right from the first hint to the final result. First discovered on a marketing visual in July 2006, the makeover quickly became a real, confirmed plan for the anniversary. In October 2006, we learnt that Pinocchio would take the former place of Winnie the Pooh, whilst January 2007 brought news that the character statues would infact be golden/bronze rather than full colour. In February, we discovered Buzz Lightyear would hold the fifteenth candle.

The makeover officially began on 12th March 2007, exactly one month before the official date of the resort’s birthday, with the entire project completed just nine days later on 21st March 2007. And now, we’re proud to present our very own look at the completed makeover. Already praised amongst fan groups for its “subtle and stylish” overlay, the decorations are far from the ‘Festival of Fools’ design of the 5th Anniversary or the birthday cake covering of the 1st Anniversary…

Character Castle Makeover: Up-Close

Entering the park on 1st April 2007 with blue skies overhead, we take a walk around Central Plaza to look closer at the Castle and its’ new golden jewellery, glistening in the sun. Looking closer at the statues reveals their whimsical and quaint designs – the “models” of the characters are not always perfect, but this almost seems to be intentional. Rather than plastic-perfect scale models, the statues – described as “delicate” by Disney themselves – have been designed to compliment the very stylised and ornate design of the Castle itself.

Another unique feature of the statues, beyond their fully wired-up electric candles, are the spots of paint dotted across their design – whites and pupils for eyes, recognisable colours for clothes tinted into the golden statues gives a soft and varied look to the many characters.

Of course, an up-close look at the Castle also reveals a few unpleasant surprises across its tired and dirty turrets. Some were quickly cleaned as the statues were added, but many won’t look as fresh as 1992 until a full refurbishment – currently scheduled for 2008, when the party comes to a close. A full zoom also reveals other secrets, such as a parade control camera next to Goofy, or wires and technical equipment across the highest turret.

The new characters seem to have encouraged the birds formerly residing in the highest spire to move on – leaving Tinkerbell to rule the roost and spray a burst of golden confetti at rare intervals. The “Peter Pan” fairy is also loaded with fibre optic and LED effects, producing a dazzling white “sparkle” from her wand and glowing blue wings, once illuminated by Candleabration.

Character Castle Makeover: From Across the Park

The new decorations don’t just give a new surprise on Main Street and Central Plaza – as the icon of the entire Disneyland Park, Sleeping Beauty Castle has many faces and countless photo opportunities, now with a unique 15th Anniversary touch.

Be it through the flowers of Central Plaza, the glass of the Bureau Passeport Annuel

The rooftops of Fantasyland, or the blossom of “it’s a small world”… Le Château is new again.

And as the sun sets, the unmissable form of Disney’s European fairytale creation takes on a brand new silhouette, dotted with delicate hints to Disney’s most famous faces from across the years…

As daylight faded on 1st April 2007 (and following days), however, the candles were all blown out shortly after the evening’s daylight performance of Candleabration. It remains to be seen whether this is a trend for the entire year, or if those fifteen characters will soon be practiced enough to keep their fifteen candles alight long into the night…

For photos of the Character Castle Makeover illuminated at night, see our previous article here.

Friday, 6th April 2007

(Video) A classic Main Street welcome for guests

Approaching the park through Fantasia Gardens, the rush of guests was already much stronger than the day before, with extra ‘Guest Flow’ Cast Members even positioned out front to direct guests. At the top of the gardens, it immediately became clear Disneyland had been very busy overnight, with the new, recorated, Lumière entrance adding a new touch of gold and blue to the 15-year-old Disneyland Hotel.

The banners seen on the resort hub and around Central Plaza had also now made their way to the gardens, surrounding the Disney Legends statue whose wand pointed upwards to a blue sky… that wouldn’t last (look out for another article with slightly sunnier pictures than 31st March soon!).


New park entrance decoration and banners

The entrance itself is a brilliant overlay of the 1992 original, replacing the old Euro Disney-years’ castle silhouette with a new 3D Lumière and two new oval plaques displaying the 15th Anniversary logo and castle. The plaques appear as if they’ve been on the entrance for fifteen years themselves, the design is so in tune with the entrance. For once, seasonal decorations that won’t make an Imagineer cringe!

The surprises didn’t stop with the new entrance. Stepping through the turnstiles, guests were greeted by one of the rarest sights from the resort’s history – a live dixie brass band performing at the foot of Main Street Station! Fresh from their brief appearance at the earlier Red Carpet Ceremony for the press, they gave a hint of the things to come during this day of new surprises and returning favourites…


Dixie brass band under Main Street Station

Not everything in the park for the anniversary was quite so complimentary to the theme, though at least they were trying. The huge white press platform erected a day earlier was given a new covering of “15” logo symbols, to make clear it was only a temporary feature for the anniversary press event. Lights surrounded the platform, important for the cloudy day, whilst film crews already began to prepare their waterproof camera covers for the afternoon’s launch ceremony.


Press viewing platform takes over Town Square

Lights were also positioned along the length of Main Street, as were large blue and white balloons containing confetti, to be burst during the launch ceremony later. A temporary projection and filming booth on the roof of North-East Main Street provided the location for many of the official press photos to be featured in later articles, as well as the source of the startling projections seen during the night’s special performance of Candleabration.


Lights and balloons prepare for the afternoon’s opening ceremony

Walking further on, right down the middle of Main Street USA, as it happened, and suddenly another lost favourite from the past strolled into view – turn-of-the-century townspeople! Fresh from their appearance in the ribbon-cutting ceremony, they took a stroll back along the street and clearly relished the chance to meet and greet with guests… and the Emporium statues.


Turn-of-the-century townspeople stroll Main Street, including the Mayor

At the end of Main Street, standing to one side from the press cameras and presenters still on the cobbles, the rarely-seen mayor took the chance to chat with guests after the opening ceremony. The entire park opening ceremony and much of the events to follow were all surprisingly traditional and almost entirely in tune with the park and its lands. This anniversary is clearly about the classic magic of Disneyland, rather than giant birthday cakes and ill-fitting Jester hats.

Finally, how to top-off one of the most exciting and bustling early-morning walks down Main Street for years? Can you say… marching band?! Originally a daily feature at the park upon its 1992 opening – much like the original Disneyland – they were lost amongst the financial choas that ensued. The most recent memorable performance of a Disney marching band in the park was perhaps as far back as the 5th Anniversary. But, for one day only, Disneyland Park once again had its very own marching band.

The video below shows a glimpse at their walk around Central Plaza, but their star performance – with an even larger group of muscians – was without doubt during the special pre-parade at 14:45, to be featured shortly.

Video features:
1. Park Entrance
2. Main Street Station Band
3. Mayor of Main Street & Press
4. Marching Band

An exceptional welcome to what would become an exceptional day. Love or loath the press invasion, their power to kick the park into full motion is always appreciated!


Disneyland Park ready to begin its biggest party ever

Wednesday, 4th April 2007

PanoraMagique flies the 15

A new resort logo, you ask? “Again?” It’s a strong possibility. The new “Disneyland 15” logo, which was featured on all press material and advertising for the 15th Anniversary launch, has begun to appear without the giant 15 and instead as a new, standalone logo, replacing the circa-2002 logo which put the “Resort” firmly in the spotlight.

Guests of non-English language don’t particularly understand the “resort” tag, yet the concept of two theme parks has infact truly caught on, meaning the word has become quite redundant as the use of simply “Disneyland Paris” increases everywhere. Whilst early visuals for this new PanoraMagique overlay used the old logo then, the final design brings in the new – and flies it high above the entire resort.


Workers scale the balloon to attach its new livery, 27th March 2007.

The banner was fitted in several pieces and matches almost perfectly with the existing design of the balloon, which opened in April 2005 and is infact operated by its creators, company Aérophile, on a seven year contract. The balloon has fast become a unique icon for the resort, not found in any other Disney park and with a Victorian style mixing well between its Parisian location and American-themed surrounding Disney Hotels.


The completed overlay.

Like all of the recent Disney Village enhancements, its original livery – and this overlay – was completed by DLP-I, Disneyland Paris Imagineering, responsible for all of the more minor projects at the resort. Decorating it with a 15th Anniversary overlay helps to spread the anniversary festivities outside of Disneyland Park, whilst also bringing new interest to the 2-year old creation.

Photos 1-3 by Photos Magiques.

Wednesday, 21st March 2007

Character Castle Makeover – complete!

At our last update on the Character Castle Makeover, eight characters had already scaled the spires and turrets of Sleeping Beauty Castle: Donald, Daisy, Jiminy Crickett, Goofy, Pluto, Chip n Dale, Pinocchio & Figaro and Dumbo & Timothy. Just one day later (14th March 2007), Buzz Lightyear and Lumière joined the cast on their central turret locations.

On 15th March 2007, Cheshire Cat appeared on the hillside rocks next to the Castle and Tinkerbell herself appeared atop the highest turret, her wings and spiralling pixie dust trail laced with LED lights ready for Candleabration. Next up, on 17th March 2007, the tricky trio of Hewey, Dewey and Lewey, Donald’s newphews, who took up their spot on a smaller turret, as explained last time.

Finally, only one week after the first characters arrived, the Seven Dwarfs and Mickey & Minnie took up their spots on the castle. The Dwarfs of Snow White have already raised eyebrows due to their unusual design, with Dopey lying in the middle and three of the characters cut in half to appear to be resting on the balcony – though, from the viewing distance of a guest without a DLRP fan’s high-zoom camera, the curious design isn’t noticable.

Completing the entire makeover, the giant centrepiece “15” emblem appeared on the morning of 20th March 2007, tying all of the characters together. More LED lights also appear here, dotted around the rim and across the blue background of the golden numbers. After capturing these latest photos, Joel goes on to photograph The Wonderful World Of Disney Parade passing by – photos that, in just a few days time – will be quite unique and very precious as the parade bids its final farewell to the park, never to be seen again before this 15th Anniversary overlay. You can see these here.

You might have also spotted that Mickey & Minnie appear different to designs seen earlier, since they appear to be based more on retro designs from the Disney Studios – noticable due to their huge pupils and Minnie’s old-fashioned dress. Looking at the entire makeover, it’s the retro, classic and almost “hand-made” style of these decorations which make them special. No glossy Walt Disney World golden characters or plastic cakes, but instead delicate and slightly whimsical designs perfectly befitting the whimsical and delicate style of Le Château herself.

All photos from Joel’s Photo Hunt. You can see more here.

Wednesday, 14th March 2007

Castle characters scale the first spires!

For several weeks, preparations have been underway to welcome the fifteen new golden creations to the spires of Le Château, including the much-noticed early removal of one of its spires (see photo). The first characters arrived on Monday – Donald, Daisy and Jiminy Crickett, followed by five more yesterday – Goofy, Pluto, Chip n Dale, Pinocchio & Figaro and Dumbo & Timothy. The statues are small and understated yet perfectly detailed, each one holding an intricate candle and standing on a jeweled, “15”-encrusted crown.

Whilst a January article in newspaper Le Parisien revealed the statues would be gold rather than full-colour, the characters are infact all tinted with particular colours each, such as pink for Daisy’s dress or blue for Donald’s sailor hat. Their eyes, noses and mouths (see Chip n Dale in particular) have also been picked out in full-colour paint, creating a unique decoration and a more “awake” cast of characters.

The “scuffle” comes from exactly those you’d expect it. We found out last October that Winnie the Pooh had been replaced by Pinocchio & Figaro, and just late last month that Buzz Lightyear had joined the makeover, but now it seems Chip n Dale have beaten Hewey, Dewey & Lewey to a more prominent spot the Castle’s lower-right spire, when compared to the original visuals.

The change was, however, included in the latest concept art we saw last month, with Hewey, Dewey & Lewey now resting precariously on the spire to the right of the main balcony.


The work is taking place overnight, using the same means (a huge crane) as the installation of the Christmas Enchanted Fairytale lights – most of which have, infact, also made an early return to the park. These thousands of small LED lights, wrapped on cages which sit atop the spires, likely provide the electrical supply for the fifteen new candle illuminations themselves.

The candles, to be lit during Candleabration, appear to be opaque glass bulbs sprayed lightly with gold paint, though we’ve no indication yet what kind of lighting effect they will give. It is unlikely the Enchanted Fairytale lights will be used during the ceremony (until Christmas), though it has been suggested the “pixiedust” effect (created by the larger, white lights dotted across the turrets) will be used during Candleabration.

The spiraling trail of pixie dust around the top of the Castle is already in place for Tinker Bell, who is due to join the Seven Dwarfs, Buzz Lightyear, Lumière, Hewey, Dewey & Lewey, Cheshire Cat, Mickey & Minnie and the giant “15” window to complete the makeover shortly.

Thanks to Mateo for all photos above, posted on Disney Central Plaza forum.

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