Wednesday, 28th January 2009

It’s party time… on a brand new stage!

The main show of the celebration is titled It’s Party Time… with Mickey and Friends, or, in French, ‘Place à la Fête avec Mickey et ses Amis’. Though performed on Central Plaza, with Le Château as a backdrop, this won’t be a simple reworking of Candleabration

Though, as the new key visual below shows, ‘It’s Party Time’ will naturally be led by Mickey Mouse, the official press release for the event (so far released only in French) confirms that he has been joined by Goofy to help prepare a special party celebration.

It's Party Time... with Mickey and Friends

That celebration will, unlike Candleabration, take place several times each day and almost certainly mostly during daylight hours. No reliance on an illumination ceremony at 7pm in the early Summer this year.

Along with Mickey’s friends, the characters of The Lion King, Aladdin and The Jungle Book will be the stars of the show, bringing an exotic flair — and naturally, their famous soundtracks — to the stage.

We won’t just be hearing “Hakuna Matata” or “Bare Necessities” though — the new press release also confirms that a brand new song has been created for Mickey’s Magical Party. Entitled “Mickey’s Magical Party Time!” and produced by Scott Erickson, who worked on a variety of direct-to-video releases such as Mickey-Donald-Goofy in The Three Musketeers, Bambi II and Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch, those who’ve managed a preview describe it as a very modern, pop sound and in a similar vein to the Disney Characters’ Express theme or Hannah Montana.

The show itself will play heavily on guest interaction, with visitors encouraged to dance and sing along. Not a lot more is known about the event than that, but, as the visual above clearly shows — and the press releases are keen to advertise — it will all be happening on a brand new Central Plaza Stage.

In fact, no time has been wasted at all in removing the old tall, golden and circular 15th Anniversary stage from its position, despite Candleabration still running until 7th March:

Old Central Plaza Stage removed
Photo: Alex, Disney Central Plaza forum.

The old stage was a heightened and redecorated version of the one first introduced for Christmas 2003 (when it featured a pile of books and a writing quill), simply circular in shape and therefore quite distant if you weren’t stood within one of the four entrances to the plaza.

The new stage, as you can see in the key visual, will actually extend outwards with four special “satellite” stages, bringing to the action closer to a greater number of guests and hopefully reducing the — how can we describe it — “front-centric” performance style of Candleabration that made it pointless to stand anywhere other than directly in front of the stage.

Leading down from the stage, you’ll see another new feature — though one that has already been up for much debate: the stairs. This addition would help to add a new depth to the shows presented here, as well as making the giant stage less of a “wall” as you walk down Main Street. The debate has been whether  or not these will appear in the final build, and the outlook isn’t good.

The placement of the satellite stages might also suggest Central Plaza will entirely lose all its trees. If these “arms” extend right into the four small grass-covered hills, rather than onto the existing paved area, the trees would have to go, wouldn’t they?

Any fans despising this extended take-over of Central Plaza — an area that is meant to be open and relaxing, the parkland of nearby, bustling Main Street — then thank your Blue Fairy that the department’s full rumoured plans for the park hub didn’t come to life, cancelled due to worries about underground drainage and utilities.

Markings on Central Plaza
Markings for a new show/parade viewing platform?

These plans would — if the rumours are to be believed — have involved brand new seating areas taking over the grass berm to the left of the Castle, next to the Adventureland entrance, to allow people a better view of the parades and shows in this area…

Rather like the kids in Toy Story who bring bedsheets and a lunchbox to the party, perhaps?

— Find a new preview guide all about It’s Party Time… with Mickey and Friends here.

Key visual © Disney.

Tuesday, 27th January 2009

Stars ‘n’ cars ‘n’ logos ‘n’ unseen images…

Though the 15th Anniversary was certainly well-stocked with general advertising visuals, a couple of good logos and a preview image for Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade, it never saw anything like this. Indeed, that huge new Disneyland Park parade itself has still never been granted its own official logo.

Benefiting from what seems to be much-improved preparation — at least in the marketing stakes — for the upcoming Mickey’s Magical Party year-long celebration, its’ new Walt Disney Studios Park rival has been far luckier.

For a start, Disney’s Stars ‘n’ Cars has its very own logo —

Disney's Stars 'n' Cars

And rather nice it is too, don’t you think? Similar — but not too similar — to the logo of Pixar’s ‘Cars’, which would have been easy to lazily duplicate.

Features of the new party are still in there, however, with a balloon replacing the apostrophe in “Disney’s” and the head of Mickey Mouse himself in the middle of the chrome-and-red emblem.

Even more impressive for this new parade/event, though perhaps pushing it on the “realism” front a little too much, is the brand new key visual —

Disney's Stars 'n' Cars

The poster-style image depicts the cars of Mickey & Friends, Snow White, Aladdin, Mulan, Lilo & Stitch, Monsters Inc. and Toy Story driving along a palm-lined boulevard, a beautiful pink-purple sky and fireworks above them. Even Tinker Bell flies overhead, with the Earffel Tower in the background.

We all know the park’s Hollywood Boulevard is rather beautiful, but it’s lucky these visuals are only for imaginative illustration purposes.  And that becomes even more true when you look at these exclusive landscape versions we’ve got to share —

Disney's Stars 'n' Cars

The panorama above was the first to be released, using the same background as the portrait key visual above but adding The Little Mermaid, Chip ‘n’ Dale, Mary Poppins (twice!) and the now-cancelled Cruella De Vil car.

The second, and apparently final, version of the landscape advertising image loses the duplicate Poppins and instead brings to the front the planned Chip ‘n’ Dale overlay of the red toon car that, as you may have read yesterday, also looks to have been cancelled —

Disney's Stars 'n' Cars

Again, not quite an accurate depiction of the new event.

But, zooming into the visual, fans can at least take a sneaky closer look at that planned Cruella De Vil car which apparently won’t make it off the drawing board. Behind the demon fashionista we see a whole car-load of dalmatian puppies and suitcases —

Disney's Stars 'n' Cars

Rumours were mixed about whether this would be an overlay of the Disney Villains car coming from Florida or if it could actually be the car you see in the visual itself — the actual 102 Dalmatians car that sits inside the entrance to Studio Tram Tour.

The animation-themed overlay of the long-running toon car, on the other hand, features Chip ‘n’ Dale sitting with paint brushes, pencils, an easel and rolls of paper —

Disney's Stars 'n' Cars

With the news that these planned overlays have been cancelled, these concepts are likely as much as we’ll discover of the Stars ‘n’ Cars that are now Cut ‘n’ Cancelled…

— Find a new preview guide all about Disney’s Stars ‘n’ Cars here.

Logos & visuals © Disney.

Tuesday, 27th January 2009

Curtain opens on Playhouse poster & logos

Unlike the similar attractions already operating at Disney’s California Adventure and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Playhouse Disney – Live on Stage! at Walt Disney Studios Park has the benefit of opening after the major rebranding of the Disney Channel’s networks.

The current Mickey Mouse silhouette logos that sit in the bottom-left corner of TV screens were introduced in 2002, too late for both of the original Florida and California attractions which, despite being updated to introduce brand new characters and scenes last year, have retained the old squiggly-lined logo outside.

Last year’s update did bring in the new logo in several places, however, including as a projection on stage before the show begins. For Disneyland Resort Paris then, it’s simply a matter of “copy and paste” — et voilà — here’s the logo for the Studios’ newest attraction:

Playhouse Disney - Live on Stage! logo

Having said that, “Live on Stage!” won’t mean an awful lot to the resort’s potential guests who don’t speak English. And so, a special, simplified version has been created to cover all other languages, reading “Playhouse Disney – Live!”:

Playhouse Disney - Live on Stage! logo

What’s more, the Paris edition has also been granted its own special poster artwork to advertise the new attraction.

The key visual features the characters of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Little Einsteins and Handy Manny peeking out from behind a classic red curtain, with a spotlight trained on the show’s logo…

Playhouse Disney - Live on Stage! poster

Though none of the official texts, artworks or promotions would have you believe it, the characters of My Friends Tigger & Pooh do also appear in the show.

As a touch to match the theme of Mickey’s Magical Party, several balloons have also been added. And Mickey’s candle? This simply confirms that Paris will indeed recieve a near-identical version of the show to the States, with the Clubhouse characters using their scene to organise a special birthday party for… Minnie!

— Find a new preview guide all about Playhouse Disney – Live on Stage! here.

Logos & artwork © 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.

Monday, 26th January 2009

Magical party visuals & brochure covers

Remember back in July 2006? One of the first articles published on a little site called DLRP Today revealed the hotly-anticipated visuals and brochure covers for the 15th Anniversary Celebration. Now, at the start of a brand new year, let’s do it all over again!

Key Visual

The visual we’ll be seeing most of all throughout Mickey’s Magical Party is that below, showing Mickey reaching out to you with an invitation as Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Chip ‘n’ Dale and Stitch dance beside him…

Mickey's Magical Party visual

“Is that really Stitch?”, you ask? Well, it’s meant to be. The characters in these first two visuals are designed to be half-way between the real in-park characters — which often don’t actually look too good in the glare of a key visual — and the kind of 2D illustrations we saw through most of the 15th Anniversary graphics — which might not be considered “real” enough.

With a blue sky overhead, the red text of the celebration’s logo contrasts nicely, as do the carefully-selected palette of coloured balloons. Even Main Street’s lampposts have turned a yellowy-gold for the occasion, but don’t expect that to happen for real.

Second Visual

Mickey's Magical Party visual

The second visual is really just a variation on the first, with a more dramatic, firework-filled sky and balloons surrounding the entire visual. You’ll spot this one being used more for posters and other advertisements.

The invite inside the envelope will usually read “You’re Invited…”, but in all these visuals the envelope is left blank, to be filled in in whichever language is required.

Brochure Covers

That’s also true of this next set of visuals, not published online anywhere before, which will be used as travel operator brochure covers throughout the celebration.

The style is more than a little reminiscent of the original 15th Anniversary brochure covers, replacing candles with balloons and introducing some rather rare characters, not usually chosen for these kinds of visuals. There are so many different variations, in fact, that it’ll be interesting to see just how many different brochure covers can be collected through the year.

If you can’t wait to collect them, here’s the exclusive full set:

Mickey's Magical Party visual Mickey's Magical Party visual Mickey's Magical Party visual
Mickey & Tinker Bell / Mickey & Minnie / Mickey & Pluto

Mickey's Magical Party visual Mickey's Magical Party visual Mickey's Magical Party visual
Mickey & Goofy / Mickey & Donald / Mickey & Chip ‘n’ Dale

Mickey's Magical Party visual Mickey's Magical Party visual Mickey's Magical Party visual
Lilo & Stitch / Seven Dwarfs / Mickey & White Rabbit

Mickey's Magical Party visual Mickey's Magical Party visual Mickey's Magical Party visual
Mickey & Genie / Timon & Rafiki / Pinocchio

Mickey's Magical Party visual Mickey's Magical Party visual Mickey's Magical Party visual
Mickey & Dumbo / Baloo, King Louie & Mickey / Mr Smee & Captain Hook

Mickey's Magical Party visual
Robin Hood & Prince John

Lilo & Stitch… The Jungle Book… Genie… Robin Hood..?! The guest list for this party is pretty impressive indeed. But still note — not a single Pixar character in sight!

All visuals © Disney.

Thursday, 7th August 2008

WALL-E advertising and the words of WALL-E

What WALL-E lacks in his limited speech of synthetic sounds, beeps and whistles, he more than makes up for with a powerful message of caring for our planet. It’s not quite as overstated as a 90-minute power lecture from Al Gore, but it’s definitely there.

So, when you visit Backlot Express restaurant in Walt Disney Studios Park this Summer, you’re bound to feel more than a little guilty as you take your tray.


Because, not only will you be picking up food in plastic wrapping and a drink from a plastic bottle you’ll likely throw away in a few minutes, the people in charge of the Buena Vista-Disneyland crossovers (yes, the same movie distribution/park crossovers that brought us the famous Disney Studio 1 billboard) have thoughtfully lined your tray with a large sheet of crisp white A3 paper.

On it, you’ll find an advertisement for WALL-E — featuring the robot presenting a windmill to his love, Eve — and a message to visit the Shutterbugs photo studio inside Disney Studio 1. Here, you can pose against the green-screen backdrop to be transplanted into the world of WALL-E for a souvenir photo.


So first Buena Vista International ruined Studio 1, are they now going for the Earth?

It’s inevitable that a film with the agenda of WALL-E will come under fire for not practising what it preaches amongst the mountains of merchandise and marketing materials that need to be produced, but using literally tens of thousands of sheets of un-recycled paper to advertise it is rather an unfortunate decision. Luckily, Disneyland Resort Paris does claim to sort and recycle the vast majority of its waste, and has a very good record for doing so, but in this case did that waste need to exist in the first place?

On the opposite end of the AXIOM, the advertising for WALL-E in the park began with just three or four single posters outside Backlot Express, together seen by more people than these thousands of paper sheets put together. Even the guys at Walt Disney Records have given the film’s underlying message some thought — your soundtrack CD won’t arrive in a plastic case but with a cardboard wallet and paper booklet produced from 100% recycled materials.

Rather a more Earth-friendly way to do things, wouldn’t you have thought?

[Pictures: DLRP;]

Monday, 9th June 2008

Bluetooth brings Disney park revolution to the Studios

In the evolution of the Disney theme park, this could be as big as Fastpass. You’re used to checking the latest wait times on the park information board before heading off to your first destination, but imagine being able to see them, live, across the park — on your mobile phone.


Now, at Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris, you can. Grabbing the latest show times for CinéMagique whilst enjoying a bite to eat inside Disney Studio 1 might not be exactly revolutionary — what’s wrong with picking up a Programme leaflet, afterall — but it’s with the live, constantly updated attraction wait times where this system is truly exciting.


Stand by Crush’s Coaster in Toon Studio and you can see the exact wait time of Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith right across the park. Near The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, you could suddenly spot the queue time for Crush’s Coaster drop to 30 minutes and be able to make a quick dash for a quicker entry to the park favourite.


Whereas the times on the central tips board would previously be out of reach to anyone stood more than 10ft away, and generally only used to plan your first attraction of the day, Disneyland Resort Paris has experimented with Bluetooth technology to give a park the biggest shake-up since Fastpass ticketing, distributing guests to the attractions with smaller queues throughout the day.

Advertisement sent via Walt Disney Studios Park’s Bluetooth.

How does it work?

Most modern mobile phones come equipped with Bluetooth as standard, a short-range wireless feature that lets you exchange photos, messages and more between two handsets. You might use it for a wireless headset or linking to your car stereo, for

Turn Bluetooth on in your phone’s settings, and when walking into one of these “Bluetooth hotspots”, you’ll get a request to receive data. Accept, and the latest show times, wait times and more will be sent to your phone in the form of small images (see above). These cycle through the latest park information, which is updated in synchronisation with the main park information board, constantly updated with the latest times.


Where does it work?

At present, the system is not available in every corner of the park. The Bluetooth standard only allows for a short-range frequency and so transmitters must be installed across the park to create the “hotspots”, much like the Wi-Fi internet you might use at cafés or in your own home. So far, the service will activate at Disney Studio 1, the Information Board, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Crush’s Coaster.

The park’s Entertainment Programme has advertised the feature since the end of May and the old information board (now placed at the end of Hollywood Boulevard) explains the system (see below). It is not known, however, whether this trial period could result in more transmitters being installed in the long term. Certainly, an additional hotspot in Backlot or the park’s restaurants would be very useful.


What is expected, though, is that should the Walt Disney Studios Park trial be proven worthwhile and well-received (forgive the pun), the system will — in time — debut at Disneyland Park. Which, given that this park contains considerably more real “rides” than its cousin, could be where the new Disney theme park age really dawns.

The stepping stone to this ambitious project was the introduction of a new information board at Walt Disney Studios Park late last year, fully integrated into the new Hollywood Boulevard. Like the board at Disneyland Park which was refurbished back in 2006, this uses bright LCD screens behind the board to display the times, which the computer collects automatically from the electronic turnstiles at each of the park’s attractions.

Bluetooth zones explained.

Disneyland Park was the first Disney theme park in the world to introduce this system, and remained the only park with such a “Tips Board” until Walt Disney Studios Park followed suit as the second. At the Studios, the concept was taken even further with small screens displaying clips from CinéMagique, Animagique and Moteurs… Action! on a loop, to entice guests to these shows.

So, next time you visit the Studios, you don’t need big eyes — or ears — to keep track of the latest wait times. Just a little mobile phone magic.

The Bluetooth Disney park revolution has begun!

[Images: DLRP Today; Joel’s Photo Hunt; Melroy, Disney Gazette]

Monday, 21st April 2008

The Celebration Continues… The VIPs

We begin on this rainy Saturday in early April. Once again, the curse of the press event has struck and Walt Disney Studios Park sits underneath a thick covering of rain clouds.

Throughout the day, both before and after the launch event we just watched, areas in front of the key attraction — The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror — were cordoned off and reserved for cameras, officials and photo shoots.

Celebrities and VIP guests were led through Beverley Court and La Terrasse Perrier for photos in front of the Tower, posing either next to the fibre-optic Hollywood Tower Hotel sign or beside the familiar elevator cabin we spotted earlier.


It’s here we spot our very first celebrity. No, not the guy in the green top, we’ve unfortunately no idea who he is, but the bellhop! Do you recognise him? He might be wearing the same maroon uniform and bellboy hat as the regular employees of The Hollywood Tower Hotel, but this, you could say, is the bellhop.

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You’ll know him from all of the videos on the official Tower of Terror website, not to mention countless visuals and posters that are appearing across Europe right now. He dropped back into the resort on the launch day to complete his Twilight Zone duties.


This same bellhop and several others were on standby inside the boiler room of the attraction itself, ready to pose for photos by the famous elevator doors or even take a ride with the VIPs to capture some unique on-ride moments. It’s just as we enter the Tower of Terror for a ride ourselves that one of the resort’s most important VIPs of the weekend was giving an interview — Sébastien Chabal, the instantly recognisable French rugby player.


Causing somewhat of a frenzy with guests passing by to their own elevators, the rugby star was being peered over by two of the bellhops as he was filmed on camera. The many visits from various national rugby teams during last year’s World Cup in France seems to have paid off, this being Sébastien’s second visit captured by the official press team.

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And so now we switch over to the official press photos from Disneyland Resort Paris, with the biggest VIP of them all posing next to the rugby player against a special backdrop of ‘HTH’ symbols, Tower of Terror and Disneyland15 logos. As for his ride on the attraction itself, that was captured from start to finish:

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Very willing to play along with the bellhops, Chabal’s long hair (he is often referred to simply as “the caveman” by rugby fans) also provided the perfect showcase for the ride’s “gravity-defying” capabilities.


Interestingly, the resort also released one photo of the elevator as a “making of” shot, showing the photographers and equipment which went into capturing the VIPs on their ride into the fifth dimension.

As you might expect, the event was populated by mainly French VIPs, many of whom we expect most DLRP Today readers won’t recognise. The full list included Sébastien Chabal, Emilie Dequenne, Thierry Frémont, Pierre Mathieu, Bruno Solo, Philippe Vandel, Philppe Bas, Olivier Dahan, André Dussollier, Zoe Felix, Marc Lavoine, Aissa Maiga, Virginie Efira, Laurent Gerra, Hafsia Herzi, Audrey Marnay, Alysson Paradis and Jocelyn Quivrin.

However, since their photos from the boiler room were so expertly dominated by the scene-stealing bellhops, let’s take a look anyway:

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Sébastien Chabal / (above) / Jocelyn Quivrin

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Hafsia Herzi and Emilie Dequenne / Non-French Lucy and Nadja from ‘No Angels’

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Aissa Maiga / Bruno Solo

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André Dusollier / Virginie Efira

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TV presenter and star of the Tower of Terror competitions and promos on French channel M6, it was good to see that Virginie Efira was also present at the park to help launch the new attraction itself. Next to her, Mickey Mouse tries to reach his room in The Hollywood Tower Hotel.

Whilst Minnie wore her white dress from the Studios’ grand opening event in 2002 and last year’s Toon Studio opening, Mickey’s outfit looked brand new and very sharp indeed. He posed for pictures with VIPs atop a small podium to the left of Beverley Court, were we spotted some preparations the day before.

Now, for the United Kingdom. Disneyland Resort Paris always appears to have a hard time coaxing celebrities across the English Channel to Marne-la-Vallée specifically for these press events, so how did they do this time? Not too bad…

The main attendees from the UK were a team from long-running ITV1 daytime show This Morning, which included reporter Alison Hammond (who you might incidentally remember from Big Brother many moons ago). Alison took part in the filming of plenty of footage from the attraction and various locations around the resort, which has been compiled into short VT segments shown throughout the two hour show across the past few weeks, advertising both the resort and more specifically competitions to win trips to ride Tower of Terror.

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She might not be the most famous TV reporter, but Alison smiled, screamed and danced her way through the weekend with her family — DLRP Today spotted her at the front of the press crowd for the High School Musical 2: School’s Out! premiere, miming to every word. It’s a shame not all the press are that willing to enjoy themselves.

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As the TV reporter posed in front of the Tower, another British TV star was also enjoying Walt Disney Studios Park with his family. You’ll know him best from BBC Three sitcom Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, but he’s also a former Hollyoaks star and popstar (remember that?!) — it’s Will Mellor.

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The actor was captured outside (but not on-board!) Tower of Terror, at the Toon Studio Plaza character locations and enjoying Crush’s Coaster with other VIP guests. Below, he poses with wife Michelle McSween and son Jayden alongside Emile from Ratatouille.

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Our final British VIP will surely be the most well-known. Appearing for the nighttime inauguration event of Tower of Terror, long-time BBC Radio 1 DJ and occasional television presenter Jo Whiley, with son Jude and Mickey Mouse.


Jo Whiley presents the late morning/daytime slot on Radio 1, one of the UK’s biggest radio stations. She posed in front of a classic 1930s automobile at the foot of Hollywood Boulevard. Full reports, photos and video from this nighttime event will be following shortly.

Our next country is the Netherlands, represented mainly by cast members from two soaps (serial dramas) that go by the abbreviations ONM and GTST — that’s Onderweg Naar Morgen and Goede Tijden, Slechte Tijden.

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ONM & GTST cast on Tower of Terror / TV presenter Monique Smit with Stitch

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ONM & GTST cast with the bellhop / Dutch stars with the cast of HSM2

Finally we come to the last country to see some of its stars visit the press events — Germany! The first three famous faces will soon be recognised right across Europe — it’s Nadja, Jessica and Lucy from hugely successful female pop group No Angels. Following a reunion last year, they’re Germany’s Eurovision Song Contest entry for 2008.


The three stars posed with Stitch, above, following the launch event earlier, and were captured both riding Tower of Terror and visiting Minnie Mouse over in Disneyland Park with their families and children, below.

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Also attending the event, and featured in publicity and press photos more than any other celebrity across the various international websites, the winner of Germany’s Next Top Model, Barbara Meier.

Barbara has special reason to be at the resort to help launch the major new attraction, since she currently stars in a German TV campaign for the resort, the first for several years, aimed at “reintroducing” it to the country that recently hasn’t been a strong visitor to the Marne-la-Vallée magic kingdom.


Choosing the model with long, red hair certainly paid off for her publicity photos on-board the attraction, once again showing off its drops and zero-gravity moments.

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Above, Barbara poses with a bellhop and earlier, Mickey Mouse, atop the special podium in front of the attraction.

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The Top Model star was also photographed right across the resort, including signing autographs in Main Street USA, smiling with Stitch on the redecorated Place des Stars Stage

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…Posing in front of the 15th Anniversary overlay of Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant and finally, standing with the recognisable bellhop who now appears to almost have a smile on his face… !


All of the German stars, including retired football star Fredi Bobic, posed for a final photo with the entire cast of High School Musical 2: School’s Out!.

The opening of such a high-profile new attraction at Walt Disney Studios Park has also given it a couple of other, more high-profile, stars in recent weeks. On his European publicity tour for Rocky Balboa, movie legend Sylvester Stallone didn’t just pay a visit to check up on his Planet Hollywood restaurant in Disney Village, the star dropped into the Studios to try this European version of the Hollywood Tower favourite.

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Visiting in late March with his two sons, musician Phil Collins returned to the resort once again to enjoy the new attractions of Toon Studio and Hollywood Boulevard that have transformed Walt Disney Studios Park since his last visit for the 15th Anniversary launch in April last year. The star now lives in Féchy, Switzerland and returns to Disneyland Resort Paris almost annually to celebrate his sons’ birthdays.

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The famous faces above could enjoy priority access to The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Crush’s Coaster in particular, which would have made the dull, cloudy and even rainy weather less of a disappointment.

Certain to be smiling in their perpetual “summertime”, however, were the stars of the all-new High School Musical 2: School’s Out! show. We take you to the official premiere performance, next…

Thursday, 10th April 2008

The Celebration Continues… Big Time!

A fifteenth that will last until the seventeenth? Only in Disneyland! With the celebration now continuing as we speak and our full coverage on the way, it seems a good time to recap the story behind the extended anniversary, the reasons for extending it and the advertising they’re using to promote it.

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First ‘Celebration Continues’ visuals / Second ‘Celebration Continues’ visuals

We first received confirmation that the celebrations would be continuing at the start of October 2007, with the end date extended right through to March 2009. The original draws for the 15th Anniversary would all return, of course. That means Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade, Candleabration and Disney Characters’ Express, along with all the decorations and the two new attractions at Walt Disney Studios Park, Crush’s Coaster and Cars Quatre Roues Rallye. The only ‘original’ event not to return this Spring is Alpha Bet You Are.

Third wave ‘Celebration Continues’ visuals – the new “red carpet” poster

Fourteen and a half million guests, a record for the resort, and overwhelming response from those guests ensured the 15th Anniversary of Disneyland Resort Paris wouldn’t be a short-lived affair. Indeed, to end the celebrations just as Walt Disney Studios Park completed its remarkable transformation would seem like an odd thing to do. And so, what was truly the ‘biggest Disney party ever’ has become even bigger in 2008.

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror has finally arrived after six years, Hollywood Boulevard brings rich Imagineering detail, Stitch Live! presents a whole new interactive experience and the second High School Musical show ensures Summer time is all the time. The alternative pitch for 2008, a Year of Mickey Mouse, the celebrate the maestro’s 80th birthday, wouldn’t have made it so easy to include these new attractions in the promotions.

We saw the first trailer for The Celebration Continues just days after hearing the news of the extension. Set to the song “Oh Happy Day”, it was met with a mixed response, with fans much less enthusiastic than the original 15th Anniversary teaser trailers. Luckily, the actual television advertising campaign that followed in February 2008 was every bit as good as the first, showing children running through Main Street and pulling wrapping paper from the buildings, from the Castle and from the new 2008 attractions.

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Original brochure for ‘The Celebration Continues’ – branding has evolved a little since

Tying together the entire 15th Anniversary year, through advertisements, events and more, was the ongoing theme of a “red carpet” leading to Disneyland, along with the candles that would become the stars of Candleabration and the Sleeping Beauty Castle overlay. For ‘The Celebration Continues… Big Time!’, the red carpet is replaced by wrapping paper, presents and more traditional birthday themes, as first seen on the Spring/Summer 2008 brochure, several pages from which are featured above.

Since then, the colour scheme is now being taken into overdrive with the classical blues, reds and golds becoming multi-coloured greens, turquoise, yellow and pink, as seen in the new Paris tourist leaflet below.


New Paris tourist trade brochure introduces the parks equally.

Disneyland Resort Paris seems keen for The Celebration Continues… Big Time! to be seen as a separate event to the ’15th Anniversary Celebration’ that preceded it. With such important new attractions added to the offerings, you can see why. And, as our special launch weekend series begins, you’ll be able to discover every second of the magic here on DLRP Today

Wednesday, 2nd April 2008

Stitch broadcasts new key visual

One of the first ever posts on DLRP Today exclusively revealed the full set of key visuals for the 15th Anniversary. Today, we bring you what will likely be the last visual to be used as part of the two-year event — for Stitch Live!’.

Key visuals are used by Disneyland Resort Paris for all promotions and publications related to the specific attraction — flyers, brochures, etc. — and are also broadcast for use in media coverage. Preparing for its inauguration this weekend, Stitch Live! has revealed its own addition to the back-catalogue Disneyland Resort Paris visuals:


In primarily blue colours and using the actual computer-generated animation screen from the show, the visual features two children connecting to Stitch with a “spark” between their fingers.

Meanwhile, the attraction is lucky enough to already have its own attraction page at the official website. Featuring photos from outside the Paris attraction and inside the Hong Kong version, the page actually reveals something we’ve been noticeably missing from this project up until now — the concept art:


In a similar style to other recent Walt Disney Imagineering concepts, this depicts the show room with its redesigned surround for the Paris version.

Also on the official website, you can see a larger version of the attraction’s official logo and, on the main page for Production Courtyard (yes, they’re still persisting with that name for now…), you can even find a small snippet of the actual concept/design piece for the sign which sits above the entrance.


Unlike most other “living character” experiences at other Disney resorts around the world, ‘Stitch Live!’ continues to be broadcast as an attraction in its own right. And, judging by the crowds which gathered outside this past weekend, a very popular one at that.

[Images copyright Disney]

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