Wednesday, 22nd November 2006

Selling the Celebration: The Official Brochure

Close your eyes, make a wish, and see it come true in our birthday year – this is a party where everyone’s invited! The party treats are all wrapped up and ready, so what are you waiting for? Don’t miss this magical chance to share in Disney’s past, enjoy the “presents” and celebrate the future.

This is the 15th Birthday Official Brochure 2006/2007


Front Cover

The front cover is truly stunning. They’ve taken the centred, circular design from the previous two brochures and applied a shiny, glossy, Disney-character-filled 15 logo. The choice of colour is brilliant – not a “true” gold (which would have clashed with Disneyland’s 50th), it fades from a yellow-orange to yellow. And, unlike all previous brochures, the front and back covers are both glossed and very shiny.


Fold-Out Welcome Page

Again, this is stunning. We haven’t had fold-out pages at the front of a brochure for a few years, but they’ve used it exceptionally well here, giving a nice “reveal” to all the 15th Anniversary magic. The fully-extended page is truly a work of Disney (marketing) art!


Contents / Experiences

The contents page is filled with even more characters and is, as usual, very well-designed. The page also intoduces the 15 icon, which you’ll spot throughout the entire brochure wherever there’s something new or special for the anniversary year.

The whole brochure uses an embossed effect in the design that gives a very bright, glossy look to all the pages that looks both magical and modern. After looking at this brochure for a while, the rest of the world suddenly looks much gloomier.


Disney Parks

Donald makes an appearance to introduce the Disney Parks. This is probably the only disappointing page in the brochure, using a bad photoshop image of the Castle and Earful Tower – there’s no character decorations and apparently CinéMagique is now located beneath the walls of Sleeping Beauty’s kingdom.


Disneyland Park

Disneyland Park opens with a bang, using the full Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade visual to fill the entire page, almost as if they designed it solely for this brochure. Also mentioned is the “Daily Party Ceremony” and more Disney characters, whilst the second double page lists the key attractions, beginning with 2006’s Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast.


Walt Disney Studios Park

Kicks of with a very eye-catching double page dedicated entirely to Crush’s Coaster and Cars Race Rally. The good use of the Crush visual makes it clear this is the key attraction here, whilst the second page puts Moteurs… Action! in the spotlight.


Seasons

Despite this brochure only covering the Summer and Halloween seasons, there’s still something fun to see on the Seasons page – a new, updated version of the Stitch Halloween visual. Unlike the original, which can be seen here, this one features a more 3D Stitch clutching to the top spire and swiping at the Pink Witches with his claws… King Kong, anyone?


Beyond the Parks

Beyond the Parks begins with a very magical page featuring lovely colours and a nicely contrasting Dumbo visual. Disney Village is the same as ever, whilst the resort shows its new, hip side with the options for “Chillin'”. It’s ok, that photo of Notre Dame is nice enough for them to be forgiven for sounding like an embarassing parent.


Hotels & Resort Map

The Disney Hotel pages are a vast improvement over those of the earlier Autumn/Winter brochure, with each hotel now getting a full page to itself and the design simplified and beautified with better photos, more colour and some nice graphics. The Other Accommodation pages have only changed very slightly, the most major change being Hotel L’Élysée (a Euro Disney SCA Hotel) given its own page.

The Resort Map has also been updated. Not only with a beautiful new starry background, but in its actual design, since the detail of the two Disney Parks has been increased massively and the biggest surprise – Toon Studio is now featured! You can find a full article about this here.


Booking

The characters continue to dominate on the Booking pages, which go on to feature details of Half Board, Extra Magic Hours, etc. in the same design format as the parks and attractions pages earlier.


Price Guide / New Eurostar Page / Magical Options

The well-designed Price Guide from the Autumn/Winter brochure has been retained and has (like most pages) been sprinkled with references to the anniversary. A new, colourful page has been introduced to advertise the direct Eurostar service to the resort, which was recently made more magical thanks to a live band, character appearances and a greater Disney presence at London Waterloo International.


2007 Calendar / Contact Details

The calendar is no longer as full as it used to be in years gone by – these days the resort prefers to simplify to seasons only, to save re-prints if show and parade details change. The final page, featuring contact details, is nice and up-to-date, already featuring a screenshot of the new official website.


Back Cover

The back cover borrows from last year’s Happiest Celebration On Earth, with the final slogan – The only one missing is you! – in a modern and fun design.

So there we have it – the Official 15th Anniversary Brochure. If they’re producing something this good for their 15th, imagine what we’ll get for the 25th!

Celebration Score: 10/10

The best print advert for Disneyland Resort Paris ever created. Fun, well-designed, full of Disney characters and previewing two new attractions, a brand new parade and so much more. It’s everything we’ve wanted for the past 5 years.

I guess that proves dreams really can come true.

You can order the new brochure by clicking here. International versions may vary in design, and should also start becoming available to order between now and January.

Sunday, 12th November 2006

Selling the Celebration: #4

First impressions of the Thomas Cook brochure aren’t good – there’s no mention of the anniversary at all. Luckily, this is effectively the Leger brochure in reverse, since as soon as you turn to the contents the 15th hits you in the face… almost.


Front Cover / Contents

The “Signature” line of Thomas Cook brochures is meant to appear more select and higher class than their usual brochures, using colourful and crisp images in a minimalist design. I can remember their brochures looking great a few years ago, but unfortunately, since the design hasn’t been majorly updated for a few years, it all just looks a little bleak, not the colourful, exciting, anniversary sell we’d like for a Disney resort.


15th Anniversary

The 15th Anniversary page is good for information, almost too good. There’s a lot of text for a brochure people would usually casually flick through, and the design again looks quite tired. Are you noticing a pattern with the brochures? The same images, the same text – Disneyland Resort Paris have certainly made it clear what they want presented, it’s just a shame no-one has done better than Thomson in presenting it yet.


Seasons / Magical Extras

A special mention to the Seasons page of this brochure, though. Lots of information, lots of emphasis and some good pictures. Oh, and they even confirm that Wishes will be returning as the 15th Anniversary fireworks display!


Walt Disney Studios Park

Finally, it’s good to see that Thomas Cook have followed Thomson by adding details of the 15th Anniversary to each park page (maybe another tip from DLRP?), so anyone who skipped over the first few pages still has another chance to realise there’s an important event next year. It’s not a very exciting brochure, but they’ve got almost everything covered so marks lost mainly for no anniversary mention on the cover. Thomson is still the one to beat!

Celebration Score: 6/10

If you’re in the UK, you can order the brochure right here.

Whilst we’re talking 15th Anniversary brochures, there’s good news for anyone in the UK – the official 2007 brochure is now available to order! We’ll have a review of the entire brochure as soon as possible, but until then – if you’re outside the UK and you’ve spotted another unofficial 15th Anniversary brochure, please get in touch and send in scans, so we can see how the celebration is being advertised elsewhere.

Sunday, 29th October 2006

Selling the Celebration: #3

Leger have specialised in coach visits to Disneyland Resort Paris for over 14 years, but also sell Eurostar, air and self-drive packages. They waste no time in mentioning their many awards, including Best Group Operator 2006 from Disneyland Resort Paris itself.

As for the brochure, it all begins, as usual, with the front cover. They’ve chosen the nighttime Dumbo visual, an image with beautiful colours and a nice composition. Perhaps it’s strange the 15th Anniversary logo has been replaced by a generic Disneyland Resort Paris one, but the cover is still eye-catching and pretty.


Front Cover

Unfortunately, the removal of that 15th logo was a sign of things to come. Open up the brochure, and… it’s a normal Disneyland brochure. Turn the page, another page, more pages, further and further… where is the 15th Anniversary? Not a single mention, anywhere.

They’re selling packages for 2007 alright – right up to Halloween 2007, infact. A double check of the cover reveals this is indeed their November 2006 to December 2007 edition. But after searching the entire brochure again and again, I have still yet to find a single mention of the new parade, two new attractions, or anything to do with the resort’s biggest event (and biggest selling point) since Walt Disney Studios opened.


Disneyland Park page

There could be a logical reason behind the non-inclusion of the anniversary, but as it stands, this is a brochure selling packages right up to October 2007 without a single mention of the reason everyone will be going to the Paris resort next year. Leger obviously have access to the marketing material, since it’s displayed right across the cover. Where is the rest of the celebration, then? Stuck on a Leger coach on the M1?

Hopefully Leger will put this right with a second edition of the brochure (which is actually rather colourful and pretty) before the end of 2006. Until then, they won’t be gaining any celebration sales for themselves or the resort.

Celebration Score: 1/10

If you’re in the UK, you can order the brochure for yourself here.

Sunday, 22nd October 2006

You’re invited to dream…

The trailer has now appeared on DailyMotion, likely imported from a press CD given at the event or through other means, but should certainly not be viewed as a final 15th Anniversary commercial – it is simply a preview for press and travel companies only. Whilst the beautiful greyscale shots and modern blue text sections are all brand new, the character, attraction and parade shots inbetween have all been dug out from the resort’s archives.

The video:

This trailer has been distributed to travel agents and resort parters for use in a similar way to the “Where?” trailer seen a few years ago – simply to present and give a “feel” for the products on offer. A better-flowing and longer English version has also been distributed, featuring vastly improved mixing, more greyscale shots and speech in various European languages from the people featured.

The text in the French version reads:

“You’re invited to dream… like never before”
“In 2007, get ready…”
“For the biggest celebration in our history”
“With new attractions”
“A new parade”
“Even more characters”
“All year long”
“So that the magic is more affordable than ever”
“It’s our 15th Anniversary…”

Sunday, 22nd October 2006

Selling the Celebration: #2

The “Groups” brochure is traditionally produced a few months before it’s “Official Holiday Guide” cousin, since the market it is created for generally needs more time to book and plan their visit. The seasonal editions are far thinner than the public brochure and don’t always give exact pricing details (these are featured in a separate supplement), but instead give information and photos to sell the resort’s general experience. With the 15th Anniversary brochure, then, can you guess what they’re trying to sell?


Front Cover / Introduction Pages

First impressions are extraordinary – a stunning, shiny “15” with all the characters bursting out of it grabs your attention immediately. It looks whimsical, fun and very special. If the public brochure uses a design like this, we can be sure they’ll be flying off travel agents’ shelves.

Opening up the brochure, and the magic continues. The nighttime castle visual has been extended across two pages, with a huge 15th Anniversary logo and lots of excitable information about the events. “It’s our biggest celebration ever!” reads the brochure, “More than ever, the Disney Characters will be waiting to greet your group. Come and laugh, sing and dance with them, in locations created especially for the festivities.” It then goes on to describe the special pricing offers during the year, as well as the introduction of Extra Magic Hours (the rather clumsy “Des Heures de Magie en Plus” in French) which will be featured throughout the year. “Your members and groups absolutely cannot miss this occasion!”


15th Anniversary double spread

The brilliant design continues to the next double spread, for the 15th Anniversary itself. They’ve separated Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios very well, giving each their own page with the biggest new feature getting a large image in the centre. It’s not too crowded, uses lots of good images and features all the events in good bullet point sections at the bottom. Some of the “nouveau” fonts are a little strange, but the excellence of the rest of the design makes up for this.


Seasons & Events and Why Book in 2007 / Back Cover

Finally, we have a Seasons & Events page and a “Why to book with Disneyland Resort Paris now” page. The Seasons & Events page is simple enough, with the usual information and even the actual dates for 2007’s seasons, which before now had not been confirmed. Halloween: 6th October to 4th November 2007, Christmas: 10th November 2007 to 6th January 2008.

The “Why book now” page, on the other hand, is a far stronger “sell” than we usually see from the resort. Obviously concerned that in 2007 they need lots of bookings “or else”, they’ve taken to bullet-pointing reasons why 2007 is the year to visit. It recaps all the 15th events, ticket offers, Extra Magic Hours, and on so on to build up a very good case for booking with the resort. It’s unlikely we’ll see something this strong in the public brochure, but for a Groups brochure is works very well, especially when surrounded by more nice characters from the official visuals.

If this is the quality of an 8-page groups brochure, imagine the quality of the final Official Holiday Guide! This really could be a year of total turnaround for the resort.

Celebration Score: 9/10

You can see the brochure in Disney’s e-brochure format here, or download it as a PDF here.

Thursday, 19th October 2006

New website for Disneyland Resort Paris Intl

Thanks to Jakub from the Czech Republic for notifying us that a brand new version of the resort’s International web pages has just been launched!

This isn’t just a few extra pages for guests outside of the resort’s six main countries. No, this is a brand new, full, complete website featuring everything from Disney Studio 1 to Paris sightseeing trips. This is biggest change to Disneyland Resort Paris’ online presence in over six years, and at first glance appears to tick all the boxes on most visitors’ wishlists.

The design could perhaps be cleaned up in a few areas (it’s true that some areas of the design are lacking slightly compared to its US cousins), but the content is infinately better than the website we’ve become used to. A new “choose your experience” option similar to the US websites, vastly improved practical information and pages for every single attraction across the resort, with countless photos, panoramas.. and… videos!

The website also introduces the concept of “myDisneyland” to the Paris resort, allowing you to save newsletters, ebrochures and website pages and organise itineraries with a few clicks. The booking system has not been updated for this new design, but a very slick new Hotel search system is already in place, making it easier to find a hotel to suit your dreams.

Is this the new website promised by Karl Holz earlier this year? We can’t be sure. But, whether or not this design will be transferred without change to the resort’s six main language sites, we’ve finally got the big website update we waited countless years to see…

http://international.disneylandparis.com/index.xhtml

Or, you can access the website by choosing one of the resort’s International territories from the main language select screen, such as the Czech Republic: http://www.disneylandparis.com

Feel free to leave a comment or two about any interesting details… or funny mistakes! #1: The Star Tours page uses a photo from CyberSpace Mountain, complete with over-the-shoulder restraints!

Saturday, 14th October 2006

Selling the Celebration: #1

Each week we’ll feature a different travel company brochure and compare how well they’re selling the 15th Anniversary experience. Disneyland Resort Paris’ advertising campaign for the 15th will be their biggest ever, but the brochures are where the bookings come from, and outside travel companies give the resort a huge amount of business year after year. Many people also pick up an “unofficial” brochure before then booking direct with the resort anyway, providing a nice piece of (almost) free advertising.

Since I’ve only got access to UK brochures, if you’re reading this on the continent and have spotted the 15th Anniversary in your local brochures, send them in! The 15th will hopefully be a Europe-wide event, so it’d be good to get a bigger picture on how they’re doing. You can send images direct to today@dlrpmagic.com, and I’ll be sure to credit you if they’re featured.

This week, its Thomson, one of many companies owned by TUI AG of Germany, and their October 2006 to November 2007 brochure.


Front Cover & Contents

It was only recently that Disneyland Resort Paris began to allow outside travel companies to use the Fab 5 (except Mickey) in their brochures and advertisements – previously they were stuck with generic children, Princesses and “lesser” Disney characters, with key visuals for parades and shows altered to replace Mickey with, say, Chip and Dale. Now, though, the rules appear to have been relaxed and Thomson are wasting no time in using the classic characters to market their products. The Donald Duck key visual we presented on Thursday is used to create a beautiful, very striking cover that is totally different to Thomson’s other more restrained covers. They’ve kept the cover free of anything other than their logo and the brochure dates, so all emphasis is on Donald, the castle and the large “15”. Great stuff.

The contents page is nice and simple again, and features the 15th Anniversary key visual with a small piece of text about the events – even though this is the first brochure we’ve seen, you’ll notice throughout that the anniversary is mentioned absolutely everywhere. It’s a bigger marketing push, perhaps, than even the opening of Walt Disney Studios.


15th Anniversary & Tailor Made Dreams

The most important page for this – the 15th Anniversary double spread. It’s got all the visuals and the creative texts and generally does the job well. It puts emphasis on the great “Kids Under 7 Go Free” offer (available throughout next year) and even mentions Extra Magic Hours. It could have been designed better though, since the Once Upon a Dream Parade and Cars Race Rally images are on the opposite pages to their descriptions and the wavy edging of the images removes some of their professional style.

The Tailor Made Dreams page uses a nice image of Mickey and Minnie, but the lengthy text isn’t very inviting – a quick summary at the top of what this programme is all about would have been better. The logo for Tailor Made Dreams is featured again on each hotel page, though, which is a nice touch.


Park Introductions

Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade is featured again on the Shows & Events page, but its on the Park Introduction pages that Thomson score points, since both pages feature a summary of the 15th Anniversary events on offer at each park. Unfortunately, they do have small mistake on the Walt Disney Studios page – Crush’s Roller Coaster? Not good.

So, as our first brochure, it doesn’t do too badly at marketing the 15th. Even if the page design is a bit clumsy and the information not very readable, the nice front cover should draw people in to this one and make sure they know what’s going on in Paris. Hopefully, the constant presence of the anniversary throughout the entire brochure will be be a trend through all the brochures. The year to live your dream is the year Disneyland Resort Paris really need to see some positive financial results, and Thomson have kicked off their anniversary advertising well enough.

Celebration Score: 7/10

If you’re in the UK, you can order the Thomson brochure here.

Thursday, 21st September 2006

Disney unveils its MagicHalloween.com

The overall presentation of the website, with its Flash animations and introductions, perhaps gives us a glipse at what to expect from Stitch’s involvement in the season. The opening of the website involves Stitch climbing across Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant, whilst the mini-game sees him throw paint, tomatoes and toilet rolls across some of Disneyland Park’s memorable icons (transferred spectacularly well to the Flash animation). With Stitch popping up throughout the interrupt your browsing experience with paint splashes and ripping of the screen, does this tell us to prepare for an invasion similar to that recently seen at Tokyo Disneyland?

At the Tokyo park, Stitch took over with graffiti and mess across the park whilst the Cinderella Castle was being refurbishmed, whilst a similar stunt at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom saw him throw toilet roll across the Floridian castle for the opening of the Stitch’s Great Escape attraction. Only three details of Stitch’s Parisian invasion are currently known: his general meet ‘n’ greet presence throughout the park, his “CharacteriStitch Halloween Party” (similar to the 2006 Kids Carnival events) and his float in the Disney Villain Parade (the previous Pumpkinmen and current Snow White float).

The website gives away much more detail on the pages describing the Halloween Soirée event on 31st October, with the new Pirates theme being used as much as possible to feed of the success of Dead Man’s Chest. Jack Sparrow is confirmed to appear throughout the evening, and the special Halloween Night Fireworks will feature a soundtrack taken from the films. The website also introduces something new – a nighttime mini-parade in Adventureland. “The wizards and sorcerers, trolls, pirates, acrobats, dancers and percussionists stroll along in a ghost ship atmosphere”, it describes. The site also confirms the attractions scheduled to open during the event, which are:
(8.30pm to 1am) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril, Pirates of the Caribbean, Big Thunder Mountain, Phantom Manor, Disneyland Railroad, Space Mountain: Mission 2, Orbitron, Star Tours, Honey I Shrunk the Audience;
(8.30pm to 12am) Sleeping Beauty Castle, Le Carrousel de Lancelot, Blanche Neige et les Sept Nains, Les Voyages de Pinocchio, Peter Pan’s Flight, “it’s a small world”, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups.

If you want to be a part of the Halloween frights already, click onto the “Funny Face Contest”, which lets you upload your best worst photo (does that make sense?) with the aim of inflicting terror upon countless unwitting web surfers. You can flick through Stitch’s photo album to see everyone who has enterted so far, and there’s a rather zippy search function too. If this is the future of the resort’s online presence, we’ve got a lot to look forward to.

Monday, 31st July 2006

The second little book of big dreams

The biggest change in this second little book is ironically an increase in its size, since the seperate “Price Guide” that was included with the first 2006 version has now been merged back into the main brochure, keeping the non-glossy paper style but now featuring a whole two-page spread for every single Disney Hotel’s pricing structure. To compensate for this, the brochure’s spine has been bound using glue rather than staples for the first time. A trivial thing to note, perhaps, but the rectangular spine works well to make the brochure more alike the “little book” the designers envisaged.

Seasonal events are once again pushed aside in this new brochure, with the calendar only referencing “Summer”, “Halloween” and “Christmas” seasons rather than individual shows and parades. With no Magic Unlimited, Kids Carnival or Easter next year, the calendar has instead been filled with many more of the resort’s successful “free days and nights” and “kids free” special offers for these months.

A selection of pages from the new brochure.

It should also be noted that this brochure does not include the promotional Holiday Planning DVD which was previously included with the Spring/Summer 2006 brochure. You can order the new brochure for yourself right now at the official website, disneylandparis.com.

Saturday, 29th July 2006

‘Cars Race Rally’ revs up already!

The official website features this preview page for the attraction, which is linked to right from the homepage of the old circa-2002 Walt Disney Studios Park website. The same has been done for each European country served by the website, and these pages must surely be gaining extra attention thanks to the very prominent direct link from each official ‘Cars’ movie website (see the the official UK ‘Cars’ movie website here for an example). At the bottom of every page in the Flash websites, a large banner reads “Cars: The Ride / Disneyland Resort Paris”.

The resort’s effort and success at marketing just a simple tea cups-style ride so effectively bodes well for the other riches they have at their disposal for 2007…

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