Sunday, 22nd March 2009

Mickey Star winners chosen for opening ceremony

The Mickey Star TV advertising campaign we featured back in February has reached its penultimate stage just a week before the main event, as the host of this series of special commercials arrived on the doorsteps of four children to tell them they’d been chosen to dance on-stage with Mickey Mouse at Disneyland.

Playing off the continuing success of the many television talent shows, Mickey Star invited children to audition for a part in the opening ceremony of Mickey’s Magical Party. And, as if by magic, these children were even lucky enough to have a film crew already inside their house, before they were told…

These four new stars will be joining the Mouse himself on the new Central Plaza Stage on Saturday 28th March during a special press-only event after regular park closure. They’ll have their moment in the spotlight captured on camera, and it’ll form the basis of an extended advert for the events on French channel TF1 just a day later, 29th March 2009.

Video: Mouetto, Dailymotion.

Sunday, 22nd March 2009

Subtler balloons continue to re-market the Party

That shiny new image used to launch the resort’s print advertising campaign for this year’s events was just the first of many, DLRP Today can now reveal.

Floating in a calm blue sky was a silver balloon “reflecting” an image of It’s Party Time… with Mickey and Friends, the new signature Central Plaza show. It was certainly a different approach to the saturated, really quite garish marketing images we’d seen earlier.

Now, there are three more images in the same style — is Mickey’s Magical Party being magically re-marketed before it even begins?

Mickey's Magical Party advertising

The first image, above, is the original image used in the magazine advertisements, featuring “VIPs” Donald Duck and Goofy alongside Mickey Mouse on the stage, rather than the secondary Timon and Aladdin of the earlier visual.

Below, Minnie’s Party Train gets another Photoshop re-imagining, this time adding more polka dots and plenty more characters to its carriages.

Mickey's Magical Party advertising

Though, as yesterday’s early preview in the park confirmed, the actual final design of the train is still rather different indeed.

Finally, Stitch gets another fairly nondescript visual to advertise It’s Dance Time… in Discoveryland, continuing to show it more alike a modern, rock concert atmosphere than the actual scfi-kitsch of the real show.

Mickey's Magical Party advertising

It’s interesting that these visuals are available from Disneyland Resort Paris alongside the earlier poster-style images — they haven’t been replaced, but they certainly look rather less appealing than these new designs above.

Just a shame, perhaps, that these weren’t available sooner, when the original brochures for this year went to press, rather than two weeks before the event begins…

Images © Disney.

Saturday, 21st March 2009

Le Château returns… but not for long

Without the “15” plaque covering the main window, without the greying statues of Donald Duck, Buzz Lightyear and more, without a giant Tinkerbell dwarfing its highest tower… for just over a week, fans and guests have had a small window of opportunity not seen for over two years — and not about to be seen again for another year.

To see Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant as the Imagineers intended it…

Le Chateau de la Belle au Bois Dormant Le Chateau de la Belle au Bois Dormant
11th March 2009

Well, almost. With most of the statues replaced by the original spires, coated in gold leaf, and some remaining, it was clear just how badly the 15th Anniversary decorations had lost their shine during their extended two-year stay.

Le Chateau de la Belle au Bois Dormant
14th March 2009

The entire lot were eventually removed late last week, though Tinkerbell — and her golden trail which wrapped around the top of the Castle — had already disappeared sometime before. Looking closer, it was clear that the supports for these elements were retained.

Dashing many fans’ brief hopes for a “regular” Castle and, just as the concept image for the Mickey’s Magical Party castle decorations promised, the crane reappeared over Sleeping Beauty Castle last night to re-install a cleaned-up and repainted Tink…

Le Chateau de la Belle au Bois Dormant
21st March 2009

The golden trail has also returned, circling up the tallest tower, and Tink’s wand has been connected back into the small pipe which fed confetti up to burst out during Candleabration. It’s unknown if this effect will be reused for any element of Mickey’s Magical Party.

According to the concept, we should also be seeing the spire tops replaced again by similar-looking golden ornaments in the shape of Mickey Mouse’s head, along with a new oval-shaped golden ring around the main window with Mickey, Goofy, Donald and Pluto peering out. Only time will tell if the original, gleaming spires were returned for good, or simply as temporary place-holders…

Photos 1-2: BOLT, Photo 3: djbass, Photo 4: julien59, Disney Central Plaza forum.

Wednesday, 18th March 2009

World-famous Ladurée creates the Mickey macaron

Of a greedy disposition? Still keeping up with your New Year diet? Best skip this one.

The world-renowned, Parisian luxury cakes and pastries brand Ladurée is, surprisingly, a fan of that Mouse out in Marne-la-Vallée. For this Paris institution and tourist must-taste, famed for its “double-decker macaron, fifteen thousand of which are sold every day”, has teamed up with –yes– Disneyland Resort Paris.

The very Parisian “Chef pâtissiers” are helping to launch the very American resort’s new year-long event, Mickey’s Magical Party, by creating… the Mickey macaron.

Ladurée Mickey Macaron

Now, “what’s a macaron?”, you ask…? Ladurée’s creation sees two outer shells — crispy on the outside, soft and chewy like a cookie on the inside — sandwich a thick, rich layer of ganache filling. They come in over 20 varieties — with a new one added each season — and in all the colours of the rainbow.

Disneyland Resort Paris has captured the entire process for us to feast over…

Ladurée Mickey Macaron Ladurée Mickey Macaron

First, a stencil for the base needs to be created. Then, the “pâtissiers” fill it with three circles of thick, raspberry macaron mixture.

Ladurée Mickey Macaron Ladurée Mickey Macaron

Next, the creamy raspberry-flavoured ganache (imagine the inside of a chocolate truffle) is smothered all over the bright red base, with three separate, circular macaron shells added to finish this special creation — one rich chocolate, one vanilla and the largest raspberry.

Ladurée Mickey Macaron Ladurée Mickey Macaron

The creators at Ladurée appear to be rather proud of their special creation — 17 years on, has Disneyland Resort Paris finally become “acceptible” in the mean, disparaging streets of Paris?

If the intoxicating sweetness of the Mickey macaron itself wasn’t enough, it comes wrapped in possibly the sweetest gift box ever seen, featuring a child-like Mickey Mouse in black and white above the Ladurée logo.

Ladurée Mickey Macaron

And to taste their final creation, the Mouse himself even travelled into the city to the luxurious flagship pâtisserie of Ladurée…

Ladurée Mickey Macaron

How can you get a taste of the Mickey macaron? It’ll be on sale in that cute gift box at Disneyland Resort Paris, in Walt’s – An American Restaurant in Main Street, USA and California Grill at Disneyland Hotel for two months from 4th April 2009, costing 12 euros.

Then, for a limited time from 4th to 10th May 2009 (perhaps they’re not that keen on promoting the Mouse after all), it’ll be on sale in the spectacular Ladurée boutique on the Champs-Elysées itself, setting you back a slightly inflated 14 euros.

Now, get a cloth and wipe that drool from your keyboard, will you?

Pictures © Disney/Ladurée.

Monday, 2nd March 2009

Shiny new visual launches Party print ad campaign

Advertisements for Mickey’s Magical Party are generating a lot of interest in the resort right now, no doubt helped along by that 40% discount offer.

Just a few seconds ago, for example, an email dropped into the inbox of thousands of Disneyland Resort Paris fans and visitors in the UK:

Mickey's Magical Party advertising

The email shouts “With Mickey’s Magical Party, we’re bursting with New experiences, New shows and a New attraction!”, linking across to the official celebration website — which itself was updated just a few days ago to include some extra videos and photos.

But what about their paid-for advertising campaign? The UK office have sent us a little update on what to expect: “Throughout February and March, we’ll not only be on key TV channels but also in popular magazines, posters in your local supermarkets and online.”

So, open up a popular magazine this month and you might just be treated to be a double-page advertisement for the celebration and the resort, using a shiny new visual of colourful balloons floating through the sky.

Mickey's Magical Party advertising
Photo: Kris, magicforum.

This new print ad doesn’t specifically mention any of the new events, choosing to lead just with the bright new key visual. The biggest balloon in which cleverly reflects a depiction of the main It’s Party Time… with Mickey and Friends show on Central Plaza, with Timon, Baloo and Aladdin in the background and crowds of eager guests reflected in its ears.

Here’s the full image exclusively on DLRP Today, without the print campaign text:

Mickey's Magical Party advertising

Notice that the stage appears closer to its final design than the earlier marketing images, yet Sleeping Beauty Castle is shown very prominently — without its confirmed decorations.

You’ll probably agree the general colours and style of this beautiful new key visual are also far subtler and nearer to the classic “Disneyland Paris” image we remember — those bright and colourful balloons are still present, but don’t overpower the image.

Images © Disney.

Saturday, 28th February 2009

Breakdance battle of Mickey Mouse, aged 80

Despite his disadvantages, Mickey Mouse stormed to victory when a guest challenged him to a breakdance battle in Main Street, U.S.A. at Disneyland Resort Paris recently. Don’t believe us? The evidence is online for all to see!

Take a look:

Amazing skills for an 80-year old mouse in smart dress, right?

Now, it goes without saying this kind of thing doesn’t happen every day at Disneyland Park. In fact, it’s probably the first time Mickey Mouse has ever danced like this in his long life — but it’s all for a good cause. The video isn’t shot by chance by an amateur, and the battle wasn’t started by accident.

This bizarre display you’ve just seen is actually a viral video produced by (or for) Disneyland Resort Paris themselves, a video created with the intention of it causing a stir on websites like YouTube and ultimately providing the resort with inadvertent advertising and word of mouth without people feeling like they’re watching a marketing creation.

So far, it seems to be a big success — the video has already had over 20,000 hits in just two days! As a concept it is also far stronger than the resort’s previous attempt at viral marketing, which saw a dog elongated by stepping into The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, since it links in well with the strong theme of dance throughout the Mickey’s Magical Party events.

Just don’t expect to see the Mouse giving this kind of display on your next visit…

Wednesday, 25th February 2009

Mickey’s Magical Party TV spot premieres!

It seems like this final week in February has become an annual time to see the latest marketing campaigns and TV commercials of Disneyland Resort Paris being premiered. Exactly one year ago today, we saw The Celebration Continues… Big Time! unwrapped on our TV screens, whilst two years ago, the ever-beautiful advertisements for the 15th Anniversary itself unravelled.

This year, the TV spot is… floating onto our screens, naturally filled with hundreds upon hundreds of colourful balloons to advertise Mickey’s Magical Party.

The lively spot begins with a stunning shot of balloons flying above the clouds, mountains in the background, with a strong yellow tint. As the second shot appears, of balloons flying around the side of a bushy, clearly sun-drenched hill toward a noticeably distant city from most of North West Europe, it looks like those balloons have reached further than any of us could have predicted…

Mickey's Magical Party TV advert commercial

Indeed, to film this new commercial, production was taken all the way to… South Africa! According to admin Kristof on magicforum, even the It’s Dance Time DJ podium and a replica of one corner of the new Central Plaza stage were taken, along with all the characters and costumes you see, to then only be filmed in front of green-screen with the real Disneyland Resort Paris backdrops inserted later!

Mickey's Magical Party TV advert commercial

This practice isn’t uncommon though, as member experiment627 adds, “a lot of commercials are being shot in South Africa, for there are landscapes that resemble Europe quite a bit and you pretty much got sun and blue skies most of the year.”

Mickey's Magical Party TV advert commercial

As the balloons reach the city streets, one bumps right into a young boy running home from school.

Mickey's Magical Party TV advert commercial

He grabs hold of it, pulls the invitation from its string…

Mickey's Magical Party TV advert commercial

And opens up the envelope to reveal a Mickey shape and the Mickey’s Magical Party logo.

Mickey's Magical Party TV advert commercial

Miraculously, he’s then transported immediately to Disneyland Resort Paris!

Mickey's Magical Party TV advert commercial

The voiceover of the TV spot is different again to previous years, with a clearer and more placid voice beginning “This year, it’s Mickey’s Magical Party, and Disneyland is expecting an extraordinary hero… you!”.

Mickey's Magical Party TV advert commercial

“Discover DJ Stitch’s first fantastic show,” he continues, as shots of the new Dance Time podium and its blue and pink-dressed cast in front of Space Mountain play, with several other guests dancing on the multi-coloured dance mats.

Mickey's Magical Party TV advert commercial

“…The new attraction, Playhouse Disney – Live on Stage!,” continues the announcer, with shots of the Playhouse Disney puppets…

Mickey's Magical Party TV advert commercial

…the young boy laughing along, and a full depication of the stage (though likely not the real thing), as if set up for the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse scene…

Mickey's Magical Party TV advert commercial

The advert reaches its conclusion as another balloon sweeps across the screen to reveal a lively Mickey Mouse running across the new Central Plaza stage — another green-screen creation.

Mickey's Magical Party TV advert commercial

The voiceover adds “…and Mickey and friends’ exciting new show, and many more surprises”.

Mickey's Magical Party TV advert commercial

Here we see Mickey and Goofy dancing on a recreation of the stage, with brightly-dressed dancers behind, mostly in white and red colours, with the men wearing orange shirts.

Mickey's Magical Party TV advert commercial

Notice also that the Castle has been touched-up with its recently-revealed overlay of new decorations. Here, though, the “Mickey & Friends” plaque covering the main window appears to match its oval shape, rather than the uncomfortable circle seen in the concept.

Mickey's Magical Party TV advert commercial

Mickey shows us some moves, then we suddenly cut to the generic Disney Parks endboard…

Mickey's Magical Party TV advert commercial

As with the commercials of the previous two years, it seems Disneyland Resort Paris are required to use this generic branding to end their TV advertisements, featuring a bizarre mélange of all the Disney castles but now with added ballons.

Mickey's Magical Party TV advert commercial

The endboard is clear and the colours do work well with the red of Mickey’s Magical Party, but the overall effect is probably slightly jarring to the viewer, being so different to the footage just seen — and featuring a Castle that, as anyone knows, doesn’t exist anywhere — especially not Disneyland Resort Paris.

Mickey's Magical Party TV advert commercial

Please, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, can’t we have the real Castle for each resort?

Click here to watch the full advert.

It’s a lively, colourful, sunny and very well-produced TV spot, though, and it’s certainly brilliant to see real Disneyland Resort Paris locations used for once, if only via green-screen. You’ll probably notice two large elements of the party are entirely absent, however. Well, one major element and one not-so-major: Disney’s Stars ‘n’ Cars and Minnie’s Party Train.

To skip the Party Train is obviously no surprise, but many fans would agree they’d have expected to see something of the Studios’ large new parade event in the TV spot. Looks like the resort’s old fear, of mentioning the existance of Walt Disney Studios Park in a TV commercial, lives on…!

The TV spot is playing now in the UK, international versions will appear from next month.

Screencaps © Disney.

Wednesday, 25th February 2009

Stitch’s DJ podium revealed, but where will it roll out?

What’s more surprising — that, for once, a Disneyland Resort Paris television commercial features the actual locations and landmarks of the Parisian park, not Florida or California’s, or that, to achieve such a visual, the production crew apparently headed all the way to South Africa, taking those kitsch costumes and Stitch’s brand new DJ podium with them?

It's Dance Time... in Discoveryland

Still, with a spot of green-screen special effects, you’d never know, and the sun is almost guaranteed… unlike Paris. And so, here it is — the large, colourful, apparently jet-powered podium which will roll into Discoveryland for the new show It’s Dance Time… in Discoveryland, Stitch standing atop scratching up the dance tracks on a set of mixing decks.

It's Dance Time... in Discoveryland

The podium is like a small parade float in its construction, expected not to remain in Discoveryland all day long but to only roll into the land specifically for each show time, similar to the High School Musical shows at Walt Disney Studios Park.

You’ll notice those circular shapes with different coloured quarters all over it, too — as mentioned in several previous articles, guests will be invited to step onto the circular dance mats shown above and follow the colour-coded dance steps. Quite how these will be announced to a multi-lingual audience remains to be seen, but the bright primary colours certainly won’t be easily missed amongst the bronze and turquoise tones of Discoveryland.

So, has the new advert revealed the location of the show, too? Almost certainly not — well, not unless the Entertainment department are planning to bring complete chaos to the land by blocking a main thoroughfare and the entrance to Space Mountain: Mission 2. It’s likely this location was simply chosen because it looks so good on camera.

Will it go over by Star Tours as rumoured then? Don’t be too sure of that either — the fences were taken down just this weekend to reveal…

It's Dance Time... in Discoveryland

…a relayed floor. Brighter, no longer full of holes — yes. But no clues whatsoever that this is where the show will be presented. Keep watching this space (and preparing your dance moves), Stitch fans…

Screencaps © Disney; Photo ©

Sunday, 22nd February 2009

Stitch meets kitsch in Discoveryland film shoot

Is this an advance preview of what we can expect when It’s Dance Time… in Discoveryland premieres on 4th April 2009? This week, several fans spotted a film shoot taking place just outside Videopolis in the land, looking very likely to be a TV spot or trailer for Mickey’s Magical Party.

Featuring Stitch, two children and a group of dancers, the filming last Tuesday, 17th February saw the group dancing to the cameras as a crowd of regular park guests watched, caught on camera by DisneyGazette:

Stitch film shoot

Stitch film shoot

Stitch wore an orange baseball cap, whilst the dancers appeared in some wonderfully kitsch new pink and blue costumes we’ve not yet seen before — the final costumes for ‘It’s Dance Time’, perhaps? Well, space-age chic is certainly more fitting for the location than the hip-hop street style we might have expected…

Stitch film shoot

Stitch film shoot

That this filming in Paris will become the final TV advertisement can’t be guaranteed yet, however — the two commercials for the 15th Anniversary and The Celebration Continues were both filmed in the USA and produced by the same team as Walt Disney World’s TV spots. Filming did take place in Paris just over a year ago, but only became the rather poor “Happy Day” trailer we saw on a few Disney DVDs.

Even more interesting, though, is the review of events on the Mousekingdom Blog, which actually does link in well with this being a TV spot for the new celebration — and its theme of invitations arriving by balloon.

Stitch film shoot
Photo: Mousekingdom Blog

“In a first scene one can see the children, a young girl and boy, attached with ropes on a metal pole,” Mousekingdom writes. “Two crew members would lift the pole up, leaving the two children hoovering above the street. Once the word “action” came from the director the crew moves forward putting the children down, back on their feet.”

So, can we expect that, rather than the animated red carpet knocking on children’s doors to invite them to Disneyland, the children will this year be flying directly into the park using those colourful balloons we’ve seen everywhere, landing perfectly at each of the new events?

Well, that’s one way to enjoy “Kids Go Free”.

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

Official website

Visitors now have the choice between going to the special celebration website or through to the actual 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.

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