Thursday, 3rd April 2014

Main Street Station becomes blank canvas for ‘Swing into Spring’ overlay

Swing into Spring on Main Street Station © DisneylandBerry

Welcome to turn of the 20th Century America! At least, that’s what Main Street Station was designed to say. In practice, it has suffered an innumerable series of seasonal overlays over the years that often do little to embellish its period style. The latest, for Swing into Spring, was completed this week ahead of the new season’s launch on 5th April.

Production quality looks surprisingly good for a fledgling season — the main “Swing into Spring” marquee is big but thankfully well-designed, compared to previous efforts. The way the typeface springs out of the oversized daisy is quite classy, the character illustrations are a welcome “Disney” touch, the flowers (albeit fake) give a feeling of life. From a distance it looks like a fantastic, bright, fresh welcome into Disneyland Park for Spring. Great job!

It’s just a shame it’s all over Main Street Station. After the 20th Anniversary overlay, Halloween, Christmas, and many more in the years before, you almost need to remind yourself what this landmark is supposed to look like. So here we go:

Main Street Station Disneyland Paris

Now where do you begin? Let’s start with the windows. The four stained glass windows of the original station are beautiful and should simply never, ever be covered over. Definitely not with flat yellow backgrounds for 2D cut-out Disney characters.

Then there are the 20th Anniversary leftovers. The two plasticy gold garlands along the top of the façade, the three golden arches above the walkways and the four circular castle motifs are all still in place two years later. The thinking could be they’re yellow (ish) and vaguely fit the colour scheme, the reality is that they cheapen a building which, along with the stunning Disneyland Hotel, was designed to instantly tell guests they’re not in any old tacky theme park.

Also part of that overlay was the black “Disneyland Paris” sign. It seemed fitting for the 20th Anniversary, but isn’t it about time the old “Main Street Station”, with its higher quality embossed gold letters and warm red background returned?

After all that, the flowers and even the logo are rather inoffensive. Indeed, imagine how good the station could have looked if it was simply “plussed” with a colourful floral overlay, not just treated like a blank canvas — as if there’s nothing of quality there to actually work with and the only option was for the designer to cover it with their own, bright yellow, canvas.

Main Street Station Disneyland Paris

It’s been easy to shrug off the Halloween and Christmas overlays in the past because, besides the fact they’re well-established holidays, they’re only there for one and two months respectively, giving us nine more months to see the park entrance as it should be seen.

Swing into Spring will last for a record three months. If it returns with the same decorations next year (spending on these seems to suggest it will), that means only six months to see the station untouched: January to March and July to September. That’s provided they ever take the 20th Anniversary elements down. The situation is similar to the oversized Tinkerbell of the 15th Anniversary castle overlay, which outstayed its welcome (and spoilt the forced perspective of the castle) for several years after the anniversary ended.

At least, these days, it’s not the castle. That’s what we need to remember.

• Discover more Disneyland Railroad Main Street Station photos on the Guidebook

LEAD PHOTO @DisneylandBerry (Twitter)

Friday, 30th December 2011

Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade won’t be suspended for “Magic on Parade” makeover

Here’s a little relief for anyone planning a trip to in the next three months, before the launch of the 20th Anniversary: Disneyland Paris has confirmed to us that the parade route won’t be left empty while the current Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade undergoes its makeover into the new Disney Magic on Parade!. Some may have feared such a transition would require the original 15th Anniversary parade to take a leave of absence before its 1st April 2012 relaunch.

The production will, however, be left without two of its key floats for much of the period — those which have been previously confirmed to see more extensive redesigns. From 9th January until the launch of Disney Magic on Parade! on 1st April, the opening “Dreams of Imagination” unit will be missing as it is transformed into  a new float for Disney’s fairies and sorcerers. The storybook base will remain, but a fairytale castle will replace the iconic smiling Moon and hot air balloon Sun which have hosted Mickey Mouse and the other VIPs since 2007. Mickey and friends will instead be given prime position on the former “Dreams of Romance: Finale” unit, which will be taken out of service from 16th January until the launch of the new parade. The current fairytale hillside and crystal château look will be turned into a Fantasia-esque pink and blue landscape, with golden broomsticks dotting the cliff side, Sorcerer Mickey standing atop the peak and the other characters in similar sorcerer-esque costumes.

It is likely the characters from these two units will continue to feature in the parade but as walking dance units, similar to when floats have been taken out for refurbishment or maintenance.

Concept art for the new units, above, was leaked earlier this month via the Dutch Café Mickey forums.

Princess fans will be reassured that the final unit’s commandeering by Mickey Mouse won’t mean a lack of Disney royalty in the new parade. Instead, Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen will permanently join Ariel and Prince Eric on the “Dreams of Romance: Prelude” unit, as will newly-christened royalty Rapunzel and Flynn, from Disney’s Tangled, who replace Aladdin and Jasmine on the unit. Cinderella and Snow White, along with their respective princes, will follow up on stylised horse-drawn carriages.

Additional new characters will also be added for the revised opening float: Tinker Bell, Flora, Fauna and Merryweather (the Three Fairies from Sleeping Beauty), the Fairy Godmother (from Cinderella), the Blue Fairy (from Pinocchio) and Merlin (from The Sword in the Stone). No changes have been announced for the other five floats of the original parade. New costumes and a new soundtrack are expected throughout, although rumours also suggest that the “Dreams of Power” villain unit will be removed from the new parade, possibly returning only for Halloween.

Tuesday, 10th May 2011

Tinker Bell presents the Disneyland Paris 20th Anniversary logos, with lashings of pixie dust

Disneyland Paris 20th Anniversary logo

A 20/20/20 vision: The official logos for the 20th Anniversary are here! Who cares there’s eleven months still to wait and that so far we only know one addition. Tinker Bell couldn’t wait any longer to prove that, when she’s not churning out direct-to-home video movies, there’s nothing she likes better than to jazz up a few anniversary logos with some pixie dust sparkle. This trio of three differently-formatted logos are the first pieces of the resort’s promotional materials for the big events of 2012 to be released, revealing a shiny, pretty, colourful logo that looks, well, exactly as you’d expect. Glossy lettering? Check! Pink castle? Check! Tinker Bell? Check! It looks a definite step up from the 15th Anniversary logo, however, with a much bolder and more modern design style that includes a nice multi-coloured pixie dust trail from Tink (reminiscent of Tokyo’s 25th designs)and giant sans-serif numbers. Even the Castle looks perfectly pretty, with no humiliating Mickey Mouse symbols plastered over its windows, something that had become worryingly trendy over recent years.

Disneyland Paris 20th Anniversary logo Disneyland Paris 20th Anniversary logo

One of the secondary logos simply features the Disneyland Paris logo with “20” to one side, similar to the classy alternative 15th Anniversary logo which became increasingly popular through that event. The semi-circular design of the main logo, meanwhile, looks like practically every Disneyland Paris logo of the late ’90s. It’s hard to know whether the recurring themes of the castle, Tinker Bell, fireworks, pixie dust and circular shapes show a lack of a imagination or a fun nod to the past. At least this time, the Peter Pan reference might tie into an actual anniversary event.

Past Disneyland Paris logos

What do you think? Let’s have scores out of 20!

Sunday, 6th February 2011

Magical Moments Festival trailer teases a campaign heavy on emotion

So you’ve just booked an amazing dream holiday to Disneyland Paris and what’s the first thing you don’t do? Tell your kids. Disney have cottoned on to this slightly sadistic parenting trend with a new website contest, Disneymotion, last month requesting parents send in video footage of the moment they finally tell their children they’re off to meet Mickey Mouse — or any fun “moments” they filmed whilst in the parks. It’ll all come together with (in the United Kingdom at least) a joint campaign for both Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney World launching a week today, 13th February, with the taglines “When are you going to tell them?” and “2 Destinations, one single emotion”. This is a separate campaign to the dedicated, though similarly themed, Magical Moments Festival ads which will follow, and is one of the few times Disney has pushed these two resorts together in joint marketing.

For now, the brief teaser trailer above, intended only as a rough promo video, gives an idea of the theme Disneyland Paris hopes to play on to bring visitors to the resort this year. For 2011, the emotion of childhood is being heaped on heavily, with the main tagline “The magic begins the moment you tell them” aiming to strike a chord with parents. Ever since the 15th Anniversary they’ve sought to bring more families with young children to the resort, attempting to defy the idea that parents should “wait until their kids are a bit older” with offers such as Kids Under 7 Stay & Play Free and more attractions for younger children, whilst the annual stream of limited-time “theme years” tries to give another reason for us to visit now, rather than wait.

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, 28th January 2010

High School Musical – the Party’s over

For the past three years, since 16th June 2007 to be precise, the streets of the Studios have come alive to the music of Disney’s hit TV movie musicals.

After that first year of High School Musical On Tour, the original show returned in 2008 alongside a new show — High School Musical 2: School’s Out!, more heavily promoted as part of ‘The Celebration Continues… Big Time!‘. Last year, the third show, High School Musical Party!, combined both of those together with new musical numbers from the theatrically-released High School Musical 3.

High School Musical - the Party's over

With that third film becoming but a distant memory and the proposed High School Musical 4: East Meets West (West Side Story rip-off by any chance?) not due until later this year, it seems there’s a lull in the “phenomenon”. Still looking to save money and focus on the New Generation of characters, Disneyland Paris has not renewed the show. No doubt that whole High School Musical overlay of Backlot Express restaurant is seeming like an even better idea now…

Naturally, this is a blow not just for High School Musical fans but for the cast themselves, many having stuck with the show over all three seasons to become recognisable faces at the park. In fact, they’ve launched a Facebook group titled “Save the Wildcats!” to state their cause.

Though ironically in this same week, Disneyland Paris chose to send out a Wildcats-themed email promotion to UK visitors:

High School Musical - the Party's over

Maybe you’re one of those people which didn’t like the ‘HSM’ shows and their overbearing soundtracks trundling through the park — so is this good news for you? Probably not, because there’s no replacement. Given the whole economic crisis shambles we perhaps can’t complain too much, but it is just another area of the Studios’ live entertainment crossed off the programme.

In the time since the first High School Musical show, a lot has changed. Check out our article from back then, proclaiming a “blockbuster” Summer for the park. Besides the opening of Crush’s Coaster and Cars Quatre Roues Rallye, there was Lilo & Stitch Catch the Wave Party on Place des Stars Stage, Disney Cinema Parade on the parade route and — the real star — CinéFolies in Disney Studio 1. Those, of course, became known as “Shooting Live” when they were moved to Place des Stars for Summer 2008, only to be cancelled — rather than moved back to a street-based location — when they didn’t prove quite so successful.

Though Disneyland Park has also lost some big, popular and high quality shows in The Tarzan Encounter and The Legend of The Lion King without replacement, it has at least kept a good array of smaller entertainments — such as Mary Poppins, Sleeping Beauty — not to mention Mickey’s Winter Wonderland and the still-wondrous contender for Best Daytime Parade Ever, Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade.

High School Musical - the Party's over

In 2010, the only new live entertainment over at the second gate appears to be Monsters Inc. Scream Academy, which from the very vague details we’re guessing will be something small along the lines of Merlin’s Sword in the Stone Ceremony. Except, instead of pulling a sword from a stone, we’ll be invited to scream as loud as we can and, of course, dance. Screaming kids? We’ll see you there!

From the time these shows began, it’s disappointing how visibly the “party” has come to a crashing halt. Economic crisis or not, the Studios hasn’t seen the faintest touch of “plussing” for some time — revenue-driven additions like the Production Courtyard kiosk add little to the experience and even Toy Story Playland will be an entirely self-contained addition, not improving the existing park.

Where once Hollywood Boulevard was rising from behind the construction fences, promising a rebuilt, properly-themed Studios, and little details like the Monsters, Inc. photo location itself began to appear, it now seems the park is deemed “good enough”. And with High School Musical no longer partying in the streets, whatever your opinion, the park just lost one thing to distract visitors from the fact that it still really, definitely isn’t.

Images © Disney, DLRP Today.

Monday, 2nd March 2009

Full Once Upon a Dream finally on CD

With the regular re-release of the resort’s CD albums we’ve learnt to hold out too much hope for any major new additions. Music tends to appear and reappear for years after it was last heard in the parks, and actual attraction soundtracks are all but ignored in favour of entertainment.

The “New Versions!” sticker has been stuck to almost every recent CD, whether there are new tracks or not. But wait a second — this time, the new re-releases of the resort’s two signature CDs, Disneyland Resort Paris en Musique and Les Parades en Musique, finally have a major new addition!

New CDs
Photo: PhotosMagiques.com

The new CDs appeared on store shelves around the parks and Disney Village in late January, and it’s the new Parades en Musique you should pick up for this pleasant new musical surprise: pretty much the FULL soundtrack of Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade!

Les Parades en Musique now begins with around 18 minutes of music from the parade — the hit Just Like We Dreamed It theme song, of course, but better yet: the rich instrumental score of the actual floats, as orchestrated by the acclaimed Steve Sidwell and recorded by the 100-piece Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London!

New CDs
Photo: Mouetto, Disney Central Plaza

The score is split into a separate 2 minute 10 seconds track for each “Dream”, with the 40 second Dreamy Overture included, too. The new tracks therefore run like this:

1. Disney’s Once Upon A Dream Parade – Just Like We Dreamed It (02:52)
2. Disney’s Once Upon A Dream Parade – Dreamy Overture (00:40)
3. Disney’s Once Upon A Dream Parade – Dreams of Imagination (02:10)
4. Disney’s Once Upon A Dream Parade – Dreams of Laughter and Fun (02:10)
5. Disney’s Once Upon A Dream Parade – Dreams of Friendship (02:10)
6. Disney’s Once Upon A Dream Parade – Dreams of Fantasy (02:10)
7. Disney’s Once Upon A Dream Parade – Dreams of Power (02:10)
8. Disney’s Once Upon A Dream Parade – Dreams of Adventure (02:10)
9. Disney’s Once Upon A Dream Parade – Dreams of Romance (02:10)

The CD also includes music ranging from It’s Halloween-Lo-Ween and Disney Cinema Parade to La-Di-Da Carnaval and the Disney Classics Parade. So, they’re still not willing to give up on the old tracks yet.

In fact, Disneyland Resort Paris en Musique is identical to the 2005 version, despite the availability of tracks for attractions like Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast, Tower of Terror and Moteurs… Action! from the US resorts’ CD releases.

Photos as credited.

Sunday, 22nd February 2009

Official website (almost) ready for new celebration

Though the special mini-site for Mickey’s Magical Party launched just at the start of last week (see a full tour here), they’ve wasted no time in promoting it via the splash page as you arrive at disneylandparis.com:

Official website

Visitors now have the choice between going to the special celebration website or through to the actual disneylandparis.com. Choose to stay on the website, and the homepage opens up to reveal an updated design featuring the main Mickey’s Magical Party visual — itself updated slightly…

Official website

As we’ve noticed elsewhere, the resort’s marketing seems to have back-tracked on the original balloons seen in all the visuals to go with darker, shinier foil balloons rather than the lighter pastel colours of the originals.

Two more images are also included on the homepage; Minnie’s Party Train and Disney’s Stars ‘n’ Cars:

Official website Official website

But wait a minute — we’ve got two celebrations at once! Though 2009’s Mickey’s Magical Party might fill the main image space of the homepage, the resort logo at the top is still in its (rather hard to read) “Disneyland15” incarnation. Two years and still the 15th Anniversary clings on — we’ll have to wait and see if it’s finally gone before 7th March, the official end date…

Website screencaps © Disney.

Tuesday, 27th January 2009

New year, new Disneyland Resort Paris logo?

Both the name and logo changes of Disneyland Resort Paris are well-documented, but there’s been something going on these past couple of years which has begun to make all that fuss about switching from “Euro Disney” to “Disneyland Paris” very simple indeed.

History in logos…

With the 2002 opening of the second Disney park in Paris, we were introduced to Disneyland Resort Paris and the “arc and stars” of a brand new logo which is still frequently used to this day:

Disneyland Resort Paris logo

However, to celebrate the resort’s 15th anniversary in 2007, you’ll remember a special new logo was introduced — and went on to become very widely-used. It dropped the arc in favour of a dramatic “15”, and simplified — though probably shrunk a little too much — the “Resort Paris” element:

Disneyland Resort Paris logo

Now, as popular as this logo apparently was, both with fans and the resort’s advertising teams, it obviously posed a problem for advertising in UK. Unlike the other countries where Disneyland Resort Paris holds offices, the UK promotes both Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in Paris entirely equally. Since 2002, the “Paris” of the resort’s logos just wasn’t clear enough.

So, last year in 2008, we got a solution:

Disneyland Resort Paris logo

Not technically a resort logo — it has only really been used in UK advertising, and never at the resort itself — it was hardly perfect. The “Resort” only just managing to cling on and certainly, a strong example of why The Walt Disney Company should probably refrain from using its cherished typeface for anything other than the key words themselves — the “P” of “Paris” appearing more like the classic “D” being waved around on a stick.

New 2009 logo

Which brings us neatly up to 2009. Another year, another logo? Yes indeed!

However, this time, they took the chance to fix things once and for all — well, eventually. The first simplified logo for the Mickey’s Magical Party year stayed close to its “Disneyland15” predecessor, but now a new, updated version appears to have finally clicked “bold” on the “Resort Paris” and no doubt put a smile on the UK office’s faces:

Disneyland Resort Paris logo
First version / Second version

Even better, perhaps, there’s a version of the logo without the “Mickey’s Magical Party” title but still very nicely framed by the new balloon emblem:

Disneyland Resort Paris logo

But, come 2010, will the balloon (or even the logo!) remain? Quite possibly…

A generic version of the logo removes the balloon and brings the text almost right back to the resort’s classic navy blue colour used for the 1995 “Disneyland Paris” logo:

Disneyland Resort Paris logo

Without the balloon, it’s admittedly not quite as special, but what do you think? Is the new logo an improvement? And should it — or will it, even — stay beyond 2009?

All logos © Disney.

Tuesday, 12th August 2008

Live music talent finally given its own times guide

Say a big thank you to Nicolas Gobin, the subject of our latest “behind-the-magic” Media Magic Interview. Because, not only has the resort’s Atmosphere Talent Manager brought live music back to the parks in a big way, he’s taken a future item off our Wish List by finally giving them their own proper showtimes guide!

Available now at Disneyland Park, Walt Disney Studios Park and the Disney Hotels, this brand new flyer presents the latest performance times for the resort’s live music talent.

Image Image

Download the original PDF version of the new flyer here (3.5Mb).

The design is colourful, clear and also surprisingly “extravagant” for the resort, using new graphics of musical intruments, new photos and even a proper logo in French and English for each act. Considering we’ve hardly even seen an official logo for Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade, this is a job very, very well done.

Now, we can finally be right on-time to enjoy the five musical acts of the two Disney parks!

Click here to read the Media Magic Interview with Nicolas Gobin in full, about his history at Disneyland Resort Paris and how he came to introduce and manage the musical acts you see above »

[Flyer © Disney]

Subscribe to the Magic!

Ad: Disneyland Paris up to 20% off all meals!

Tags & Archives

Twitter Updates

Ad: Disneyland Paris up to 20% off all meals!