The confirmation comes not from Disneyland Resort Paris themselves but a third-party travel company, Thomas Cook. Their latest UK brochure, released just last week, continues to put the 15th Anniversary logos and promotions at the heart of its pages, despite the edition serving trip planning as far in advance as December 2008.
Brochures such as these primarily use images, logos and texts provided by Disneyland Resort Paris themselves, and so the official texts and taglines of the extended 15th Anniversary are also revealed already. With a double page dedicated to the events, the introduction reads:
15th Anniversary… Celebration Continues
Party on… the anniversary celebrations continue… Big time!
Disneyland Resort Paris is celebrating its 15th anniversary with the biggest party ever and you’re invited! It’s a celebration work celebrating even longer so they have extended it for 2008!
For French promotions the tagline is expected to use the words “En Grande!”, whilst English promotions have to settle for the rather less “grand” wording of — “The 15th Anniversary Celebration continues… big time!” The words “big time!” are to be featured throughout the texts and promotions.
Also of note is the small amount of information given for Summer 2008 — with a photo of the spectacular 15th Anniversary launch fireworks, the text reads simply “…and for our grand finale, fireworks that’ll make a great day even more magical. It’s a summer worth celebrating… big time!”. With no mention of the ‘Wishes‘ name or even photography of the show, a return for 2008 looks very unlikely. In addition to this probable change of ‘feux d’artifice’, the Summer season is slated to run longer than it has for many years, dates confirmed as 5th July to 31st August!
The official brochure for the next Spring/Summer season is due to be released as usual in around December of this year, whilst additional advertisements and promos will announce the extention online and through media such as Disney DVDs.
An official closing date of the 15th Anniversary is now no longer confirmed — it could well be that the resort will be fast approaching its 17th year when the final pieces of the 15th are removed! It looks like Disneyland Resort Paris really hit the… “big time!” with this idea.
Disneyland Resort Paris always announces its new developments in the most understated of ways. Whether its a paragraph at the end of a financial report or a nondescript mention on a webpage, the resort certainly knows how to keep its fans on their toes.
Today, official confirmation for the ‘Father Christmas Village‘ finally comes from an online newsletter sent out to all UK guests introducing both the Halloween and Christmas seasons, together. Once the email has arrived in their inbox, subscribers can click a link to visit a special webpage on disneylandparis.co.uk providing a preview of the upcoming season under the tagline “This year, Christmas will be 15 times more MARVELLOUS!”
One sentence, hidden toward the end of the text, reads as follows:
“…And take advantage of this exceptional day to visit the new Father Christmas Village.”
The email newsletter itself mentions guests being able to “spend some magical moments with the Disney Characters who await you in their special Christmas finery beside Father Christmas in person”, suggesting the village will mix well with the perpetually popular Mickey’s Winter Wonderland within the ranch area, providing a ‘Disney Character’ alternative to the ‘Disney Princess’ theme of Belle’s Christmas Village, returning to Fantasyland from 17th November 2007.
Woody’s Roundup Village itself will then likely take over the ranch in the new year, providing Disneyland Resort Paris with its only attraction to be “made-over” annually for seasonal events.
The newsletter also confirms the English name of Candleabration‘s festive guise – Enchanted Candleabration.
The new press release answers a lot of questions and confirms the Christmas overlays of Candleabration and Once Upon a Dream, but before we begin — take a look at this brand new visual:
Should this be next to the word “extravagance” in the dictionary?
Any questions about whether the chandeliers would return or whether they will replace the 15th Anniversary banners can be cast aside… Two spectacular, popular Main Street and Castle overlays will join together for the first time — glowing, icy chandeliers and sparkling Lumière banners, flickering character candles and glittering ice palace lights, presented together for two months only.
Quite a jawdropping spectacle in itself, don’t you think?
– – – – – – Press Release, Translated – – – – – –
Christmas more spectacular than ever
for the 15th Anniversary of Disneyland Resort Paris
Christmas at Disneyland is a time for all the family —
this year, kids under 7 can stay and play for FREE.
MARNE LA VALLÉE, France 11 Septembre 2007 … The Christmas celebrations begin 10th November at Disneyland Resort Paris. Amongst the high points of the season, the new ‘Dreams of Christmas’ float for Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade, the musical show Mickey’s Winter Wonderland and the unforgettable illumination of Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant in her 15th Anniversary makeover.
Until 6th January 2006, the most enchanting season of the entire year will be even more magical. And to make the celebration sparkle, hotel stays and access to the Disney Parks is completely free for children under 7 years of age!
More than one million lights will transform Disneyland Park into a Christmas wonderland. Snow will fall on a Main Street lined with grand chandeliers dedicated to the Disney Princesses and happy snowmen. A majestic Christmas Tree and Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant glow in thousands of lights, specially decorated for the 15th Anniversary.
Father Christmas and his reindeer take their place on the ‘Dreams of Christmas’ float in Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade every afternoon. This sparkling parade was created especially for the 15th Anniversary to bring to life the most beautiful Disney Classics, helped along by a grand collection of Disney characters wearing their most beautiful party clothes.
Even more surprises await vistors with Mickey’s Winter Wonderland, a colourful ice-skating spectacle presented several times a day with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and their friends in a wondrous Winter landscape. The fantasy presents the charms and delights of the coldest season through memorable music. Naturally, Chip and Dale make a surprise appearance!
At the heart of Fantasyland from the 17th November, guests can explore the winding streets of Belle’s Christmas Village. The heroine and her beast themselves can be encountered at the entrance of this picturesque seasonal market. Over at the Fantasy Festival Stage, Winnie the Pooh and Friends, Too enchants guests of all ages in a special Christmas-themed show from 15th December to 6th January.
The Disney characters are at the celebration and waiting for guests at the foot of the Castle. In the elegant Christmas Tree Forest of Town Square, Goofy Claus is ready and waiting for photos. And, as every day since the start of the 15th Anniversary celebrations, Disney Characters’ Express circles Main Street, U.S.A. several times a day, redecorated with a special Christmas theme!
Every evening, Mickey and his friends join together for the joyous finale of Bougillumination Enchantée (Enchanted Candleabration, Christmas Candleabration) in dance and song, before Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant — its fifteen candles lit by Mickey Mouse himself! Enchanting Disney princesses dance under the moonlight whilst, behind them, the Castle is transformed into a spectacular, crystal ice palace of lights. The crowning moment comes as a shower of glittering, golden pixie dust rains from the magic wand of Tinkerbell atop the highest spire, which illuminates, one by one, the giant chandeliers and banners lining Main Street all the way to the towering Christmas Tree itself, on Town Square.
Finally, the nighttime fantasy of Disney’s Fantillusion* reunites the heros of Disneyland in an extravagant parade making use of the most sophisticated sound and light effects, to close the day in a glittering shower of lights and unforgettable music.
*From 10th to 30th November 2007 — Disney’s Fantillusion will be presented only on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. From 1st December 2007 to 6th January 2008, Disney’s Fantillusion performances are daily, weather permitting.
Walt Disney Studios Park
Christmas with the sparkle of Hollywood.
Visitors can again step in front of the camera and play their part in the hilarious live Christmas Ciné Folies shows of Disney Studio 1, transformed with an irresistible festive atmosphere.
Across the Resort
Disneyland Resort Paris sparkles with Christmas decorations all over. Each Disney Hotel is given an extra festive touch with Christmas trees, illuminations and specially-organised activities for the Christmas season.
Finally, Disney Village celebrates Christmas from 21st December 2007 to 6th January 2008, including the famous Marché de NoÃ«l and a meet ‘n’ greet location for Father Christmas and his snowmen friends.
– – – – – – End Release – – – – – –
Let’s recap all that news:
Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade will indeed see Father Christmas on his own ‘Dreams of Christmas’ float (likely the old sleigh float from previous years). Candleabration’s Christmas overlay will be known beautifully in French as ‘Bougillumination Enchantée’ — we’ll have to wait for the English name, but something similar to Enchanted Candleabration or Christmas Candleabration is likely. The Christmas Tree will return again to Town Square, following its success there last year.
Mickey’s Winter Wonderland, Winnie the Pooh and Belle’s Christmas Village return. Disney’s Fantillusion is to run only 3 days a week during November. Walt Disney Studios Park will again have only Christmas Ciné Folies to celebrate the season. Disney Characters’ Express will continue to run and even get a special Christmas overlay.
Perhaps most interesting — Father Christmas’ usual meet ‘n’ greet location of Town Square is now confirmed to be taken over by Goofy in his Santa Claus costume previously seen only at Walt Disney Studios Park. Now, where could Santa have gone? A temporary inhabitant of the future Woody’s Roundup Village in Frontierland, perhaps?
The 15th Anniversary with the added enchantment of Christmas is beginning to sound a lot like something rather special. Alors, chante — c’est presque NoÃ«l !
And what a change this is. Once again, a new brochure brings another brand new design both inside and out for the official brochure, which has now ditched the minimal, stylish cover used for the past 3 seasons in favour of a much lounder and more attention-grabbing design…
The recognisable red carpet of classic characters from the advertising campaigns throughout the year has been reworked with a new Autumnal backdrop. There’s no mistake this is a Disneyland brochure — something that was maybe a bit harder to realise with the first 15th brochure and its golden “15” centrepiece.
The general page layout remains similar to the past two brochures – a fold-out first page, price guides within the book and two double-page spreads for each park. However, the actual design has been totally renewed throughout, and is generally more professional, simple and modern yet again, going back to the clean and clear 2006 versions rather than the flashier (and slightly messier, in retrospect) Spring/Summer 2007 edition. The message throughout is that time is running out, the celebration will only last until March 2008.
How better to make that message clear than with the White Rabbit?
First Page, Closed
Fold the page out, and you’ll find the four birthday gifts they’re proudest of – Kids Under 7 Stay & Play Free, A New Parade, More Characters and — here’s the big one — Four New Attractions. How many of us could have ever imagined to see an advertisement like that in an official Disneyland Resort Paris brochure?
First Page, Folded Out
This is also the very first introduction of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. They’re making no attempt to hide the size and impact of the attraction, the dazzling key visual we revealed one month ago is clearly the biggest on the page. After all, this really is “it” now — the culmination of their huge investment programme, the biggest single new attraction since Space Mountain. They really can’t mess this one up. The logo used is the one we’re all familiar with, but Disneyland Resort Paris have altered it slightly from California with a darker yellow colour and some Photoshop bevel & emboss.
Contents / Experiences
Into the brochure itself, the Contents page is now as simple and clear as can be. Only six sections are listed, on a red page bordered with gold — a theme then carried through all the introduction pages in the brochure. Opposite, a fantastic photo of the main anniversary characters around a giant “15” symbol. You might have already seen this on those “interactive” billboards in Paris, now also a great way to open the brochure.
The next double page (for the resort’s various “Experiences”) introduces the standard page design of the brochure, quite different to the first 15th Anniversary edition. Lots of “whitespace” and simple, small text bordered by colourful photos. They’re even branching into new territory here with a greater focus on adults and seniors in the photos and a large paragraph titled “Just for grown-ups”, something many fans have suggested for years. You’ll see more additions like this through the rest of the pages…
The parks introduction page again uses the Castle and Earful Tower together, that most favourite of mistakes for fans, but certainly looks much more inviting than the previous edition.
Disneyland Park already unveiled all of its 15th Anniversary events back in April, but they’ve stuck with the illustrations and visuals to advertise them, placing Dreams of Imagination and Dreams of Fantasy on a red carpet. Even Disney Characters’ Express has made its way into a prominent place on the page, listed alongside Candleabration to hint that — since this brochure is valid from now until March — both of these features will indeed continue right through Halloween and Christmas. The second double-page is more standard, still with Buzz Lightyear in the spotlight and all the usual classic attractions.
Walt Disney Studios Park is the real star of this brochure, finally coming across as the kind of qualified second gate that will make guests decide to stay an extra night. Apparently, there’s some new attractions opening at the park, too…
Remember when no-one thought Disneyland Resort Paris would use ‘The Twilight Zone’ aspect of its storyline at all? Well, now that the first piece of advertising is shouting out at us, it looks like they couldn’t be more proud of it. As with Crush and Cars, however, that recognisable brand comes at a price — they’re now required to print “The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is inspired by The Twilight Zone, a registered trademark of CBS, Inc.” (CBS being the US television network which originally aired the series) on every page featuring the attraction.
Walt Disney Studios Park (2)
Another thing they couldn’t be more proud of is the actual theme of Tower of Terror. Whilst Space Mountain: Mission 2 was marketed for its thrill alone, they’re already hyping the unique atmosphere and theming of The Hollywood Tower Hotel. The second key visual included is therefore… a bellhop. This brand new image, never before used for the Florida or California Towers, looks set to become very familiar over the next six months. Despite this renewed interest in good theming versus basic thrills, however, there’s no mention anywhere of either Toon Studio or the Hollywood Boulevard projects, which is a shame considering the effort (and money) put into them.
This second double page excitedly lists almost all the attractions at Walt Disney Studios Park — quite an impressive list these days — and also features a glimpse at the very first (and very understated) advertising for Stitch, an image from Hong Kong. What’s more interesting is the small sentence next to its listing in the attractions guide — “Stitch Interactive Attraction — the chance to interview Stitch live”, confirming that the story of the attraction will be a live interview with Stitch in outer space, and that the television studio theme is definitely staying.
Seasons & Events
The Seasons & Events page doesn’t have much to reveal this year, as Halloween and Christmas take a backseat for the anniversary. Next to a nice new image of Stitch to advertise Halloween, we learn only that this October will bring “special shows and events” and “special make-up and hair ‘boo’-tiques”. Christmas is equally vague, but the prominent use of a photo featuring the Enchanted Fairytale “Chandeliers” raises the question if they can be used at the same time as Lumiere’s banners, and if indeed they will return this November…
‘Fun Beyond the Parks’ brings us four double-page spreads showcasing Disney Village, dining, recreation and the Paris region, the introduction page featuring a rather nice new photo of Disney Village itself. The next page, ‘Taste the magic’, features options such as character meals, Half Board, Christmas meals and the restaurant reservations hotline. The new Disney Princes & Princesses meals at Auberge du Cendrillon are given a strong push here.
Spa, Sports & Relaxation
Following on that trend of more adult-orientated features, a new double-page now lists leisure and recreation across the resort with some modern and fresh photos — one in particular not what guests might expect from Disney. The new ‘Celestia Spa’ at Disneyland Hotel seems to be the focus here.
Disney Hotels Introduction / Disney Hotels pages sample
The Disney Hotels pages are another big improvement over the previous edition of the official brochure, with a nicer introduction page and massively improved pages for each hotel. The design is now far more modern and fresh, with new photos, better information and more emphasis on the features only available at Disney Hotels, such as Extra Magic Hours. Continuing their new love of good theming, the first large bullet point on the “why stay at a Disney hotel?” page is now… “Disney theming”.
Disney’s Davy Crockett Ranch gets its own double-page, before the pages shift suddenly into the slightly dull pages entitled “Other Accommodation” for the partner hotels.
2008 Resort Map & Official Partners
The 2008 Resort Map will be a bit of a disappointment to perfectionists. Even though they’d finally managed a correct illustration of the esplanade and hub area for the 15 years development plan revealed in February, the map to be used for 2008 is the same as that for 2007, with Tower of Terror simply replacing Reign of Fire.
More interesting, though, are the “official partners” now featured in the corner of this page — the regulars are joined by Ford and Unilever, Nestlé has now completely gone and right in the middle… IBM. They’re still hanging on!
Special Offers / Price Guide pages sample
The special offers page is also new and improved, the calendar of offers shown via a red carpet wrapping across the top of the page. The usual ‘Kids Free’ offer in the early months of each year is now known by the snappy title of ‘Kids Under 12 Stay, Play & Travel for Free’.
Price guide pages use better photos and are generally simplified yet again. New features include more emphasis on the special benefits at Disney Hotels and the various offers and options available with each booking — “Add Half Board Plus for Â£16”, for example, similar to the new booking system of the official website.
Eurostar / Mickey’s Holiday Dinner Show
This being the UK brochure, there’s a lot of extra space devoted to travel and transport, in particular the direct Eurostar which moves to St Pancras International from 14th November and will then enjoy journey times of less than 3 hours from the heart of London to the gates of Disneyland. There’s also photos and details on the new entertainments and privileges introduced to make the direct Eurostar a little more “Disney”, such as a jazz band at London and better activity packs for kids.
Finally, amongst the three double pages of “magical options”, one change stands out — it appears that the Christmas dinner show at Disney’s Newport Bay Club, formerly titled The Magical World of Tinker Bell, will change its name this year to ‘Mickey’s Holiday Dinner Show’. The vague description mentions “music and dance” with “Disney friends”, hinting perhaps that the only change may be the name.
And there we have it, the second and final Official 15th Anniversary Brochure!
The world outside the gates of Disneyland now knows that Tower of Terror is on its way to Paris in just six months, that ‘Stitch Interactive Attraction’ will bring the new attraction total at Walt Disney Studios to four, and that — quite simply — this is one year at Disneyland nobody should miss.
But wait – to say this show is “grand” might conjure up the wrong kind of image. There’s no lavish sets, expensive props or pyrotechnics here. Step back and look at the action – what do we have? Performers, flags, hats, characters and one very special castle. It hardly seems like the makings of an epic, show-stopping Broadway musical, yet the moment the brass fanfare begins and those flags are waved in beat to the “Flying” theme… you’re part of something truly special. There’s talent at work here, and a whole lot of magic.
It’s spectacularly grand yet astoundingly simple. Unique and original yet completely inspired by The Enchanted Fairytale Ceremony. Brilliantly French and European yet filled with American Disney characters.
The strangest thing about Candleabration, though, (as almost any guest will notice) is its general performance time of 6pm. Performed under the spell of darkness at 9pm, as during last week’s busy Easter holidays, it’s a mesmerising show of dazzling lights and energy. Performed as the sun is preparing to set at 6pm, it’s a grand – yet slightly mellow – salute to fifteen magical years, with the ‘Bougillumination‘ restricted to the sparkle of ultra-bright LEDs across the castle.
But perhaps this is the real magic – if you’ve seen it once, you’ve still not nearly experienced the whole show. Rather like Disneyland itself.
Throughout the day, and especially in the hours before the spectacular launch night event, fans filled the park, put up with being pushed aside to accommodate the press, and soaking up the magic, the buzz and the atmosphere of the night. It wasn’t hard to a spot a fan on the 31st – either by their endless filming and photographing or proud display of circa-1992 Euro Disney clothing and accessories, the celebration truly began with the fans.
Over six months of following the preparations online or in the parks, and of course 15 magical years themselves, had all been leading to this moment. In just a few minutes, the celebration would officially begin, and with it one of the biggest and most important years in the resort’s history.
With Daniel Powter’s well-received performance of two songs finished, he quickly ran of stage to allow a team of crew members to remove the sleek white piano and audio equipment, ready for Candleabration. Along Main Street, the air was filled with the opening synth notes of “Just Like We Dreamed It” for around 10 minutes, with a strange, faint murouring of deep-toned speech on top, only adding to the sense of anticipation.
Finally, with the stage set, lights across the park suddenly dimmed and the fibre-optic “15” plaque glowed and sparkled, the christmas lights on the Castle joining in with their own strobe flashes and sparkles. Trumpets blasted out, heralding the start of Candleabration, before the music faded into the popular Peter Pan “Dreams” theme and the crowds gasped in delight.
As the entrance of Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant was illuminated from inside and smoke poured out, returning an image from the 1992 Grand Opening, the team of flag artists and dancers ran up onto the stage and began their routine, cutting through the air with their blue 15th Anniversary flags to the beats of the music.
The music reached its climax, and suddenly a surprise diversion from the usual Candleabration routine began. Arriving on stage first was not Mickey, but instead Lumière – a very special host just for this evening, and a character not seen in-person at Disneyland Resort Paris perhaps since the end of Videopolis’ Beauty and the Beast stage show. Lumière began “Bonsoir Paris! Et Bienvenue!” before joining the shimmering blue-and-white dancers – now with their white top hats for a majestic dance routine set to swirling strings and powerful trumpets, a moment usually enjoyed by Mickey in the regular show.
Behind them, the Castle turrets sparkled and projection patterns sweeped across its towers, before the music reached a dramatic climax and Lumière raised his candles into the sky with the dancers and their hats.
Passing the reigns over to the one that started it all, Lumière announced in French “Ladies and gentlement, please give a warm welcome to our incomparable host, acommpanied by some children full of dreams!,” and welcomed Mickey Mouse onto the stage – “Bonsoir monsieur!”. Mickey replied “Bonsoir Lumière!” before turning to the crowd – “Good evening everybody! Hey, say folks, do you believe in dreams? You do?! Awww, that’s swell!”
As a line of around fifteen children filed onto the stage, in front of the dance team, Mickey continued “You see, I’ve invited some very special friends to be here tonight! And, they’re going to share their dreams with us!”. In the background, the faint opening notes of the score for the resort’s 15th Anniversary teaser trailer played throughout. With the children ready, dressed in their blue outfits and yellow scarfs from the pre-parade earlier, Mickey turned to them – “Hiya kids! Tonight, I’ve got a very special – magical – gift for every one of you!”.
Pointing to the stars the children were holding, he announced “These magical stars have the power to make your dreams come true! So just lift your star, as high as you can, up towards the sky! Now, close your eyes, and make a wish!”. Sleeping Beauty Castle turned a dreamy shade of blue, dotted with stars, as the familiar voice of the Blue Fairy from the park’s Wishes Nighttime Spectacular filled the air and translated for Mickey in French. The children then held their glowing, multicoloured stars, as high as they could, and proclaimed “By the power of this magic star, make our dreams come true”.
“Remember children, never stop believing in your dreams, for they are the real magic in the world” the Blue Fairy concluded. “So, listen to your heart, and watch…” “Alors, ecoutez votre coeur, et regardez..!”
Lights faded, the children turned and music swelled to its full rhythm, as Mickey clasped his hand and threw the dreams of the children across the face of Le Château. One by one, fantastical, colourful digital projections of children encountering Disney characters across the resort filled the towers, turrets and spires of the Castle as the rhythm of the music provided a perfect time for the audience to look back on the past fifteen years – and gasp in wonder.
When the dreams faded away, the echoing choir and chords of the “dreams” theme music faded in, joined by a moving projection of a huge red carpet across the Castle, bouncing from side to side and wrapping itself around the turrets. Mickey rejoined his usual Candleabration speech, announcing “You know folks, today is a very special day! 15 Years of dreams and magic, and – fifteen candles! So keep your eyes open, ’cause this is going to be one of the most magical moments ever!”
Music climbed to another deafening climax, the spires shimmered and sparkled with hundreds of lights and Mickey reached out with both hands, stretching out to the audience before turning and pointing his magic toward the Character Castle Makeover.
Then, one by one, timed exactly to the beats of the Peter Pan “dreams” music, each of the fifteen candles burst to life with a flickering, orange glow and an extra “ping” in the music. The audience watching from Main Street shouted the numbers – “eleven!” “twelve!” – and then, the “bougillumination” was complete. Lights flickered across the spires and sweeped up Tinkerbell’s trail of pixie dust, culminating in a burst of gold confetti from her wand, perfectly illuminated and met with a perfect “ooooh!” from the crowd below.
But the party was only just beginning. Minnie stepped on stage and proclaimed “Oh Mickey, c’est magnifique!”, followed by Pluto, Goofy, Donald, Daisy and Chip n Dale – “And now, it’s time to celebrate our fifteen magical years!”, Mickey announced, as the characters prepared their instruments and “Just Like We Dreamed It” began… with a spectacular burst of fireworks.
To the full, extended version of the theme music, the characters danced and played their instruments whilst a huge, colourful, choreographed fireworks display filled the sky behind them.
Each burst of music, each note, was met in synchronisation with a score of fireworks in every shape, size and colour. From sparkling “wishes” rockets for the “Magically…” chorus end, to giant, pounding, bursts to the drum beats of the third chorus, the display began with simple red rockets and progressed to giant, airbourne, golden bursts like nothing seen at the resort for years.
Whilst budgets and local area laws usually restrict displays, for this night – and this night only – Disneyland Resort Paris threw everything it had at the performance – and into the sky. Even when the display ended with Mickey and Minnie wishing the park “Joyeux Anniversaire!” and a final shimmer of fireworks burning out, the party wasn’t over. “Just Like We Dreamed It” kick-started again for a special encore, as close to 50 huge golden shells exploded above the Castle, filling the sky, as smaller bursts of gold shot upwards below.
The characters danced off stage as the music came to a final climax, Mickey and Minnie dancing a celebratory waltz, before another – final – series of fireworks shot into the sky. If the 15th Anniversary is their big chance to finally turn around the background finances of the resort, they’re not taking any chances. Live music, castle illuminations, character shows, decorations, and extraordinary fireworks – Disneyland Resort Paris has a second childhood, and it knows how to party.
And now… the video!
With the ceremony complete, the press departed for their exclusive Red Carpet party, the 15th Anniversary finally here and now, this simply left fans and guests to enjoy the magic of a fifteen-year-old Main Street USA in Paris shimmering with magic more than ever before…
…Before guests finally said goodnight and an early “Joyeux Anniversaire!” to Disneyland Park, overwhelmed and spirits on high that The Year to Live Your Dream had already come true.
The new 15th Anniversary banners lining Main Street, illuminated the entire day, began to glow and sparkle brighter as the day turned to night. Whilst park closing was scheduled for 8pm, guests were invited to stay behind to enjoy the anniversary launch night – albeit shunted back to the corner of Gibson Girl and Casey’s Corner, to ensure the press in front had (more than enough) room to breathe.
Whilst a little choatic crowd management and a tension and anticipation for the launch filled the half-hour wait, the castle suddenly began to glow in its anniversary colours, as the giant “15” plaque sparkled with golden fibre optics before fading to black. The same voice from the day’s earlier ceremonies, that of the mayor of Main Street, then introduced, with great power “We are proud, and honoured to have with us tonight a very special guest. Please, give a warm welcome, to mr. Daniel Powter!”
Daniel Powter then appeared on the 15th Anniversary stage of Central Plaza, in front of a Sleeping Beauty Castle filled with various colours and projections, seated at a huge, sleek white piano installed just a few hours prior. He began by whispering “Bonsoir!” before launching into his hit song “Bad Day”.
Daniel then announced “I was asked to write a song for all the Disney parks around the world. And so, I’m proud to present, the Paris premiere of ‘The World You’ve Dreamed of Lately’“. The castle colours changed to a warmer pink tone and the resort’s crane camera swooped swung around above the stage, as the night was filled with dreamy, reflective live music to celebrate fifteen years of magic.
Our own exclusive video below also includes a few clips preceding the start of the night’s events, showing the atmosphere and lights on Main Street USA as daylight faded and anticipation climbed…
Fans of Daniel, or indeed of Disney Parks around the world, may notice the familiar piano – and the familiar events which unfolded. The Canadian-born singer appears to almost be on a world tour of Disney Parks, this being his second performance after a Christmas performance at Disneyland Resort in California for the traditional Walt Disney World Christmas TV special. A press release from the time said:
“[…] The Walt Disney Company was looking for an artist and a song to capture the emotional connection that people have when they think of Disney Parks. Having fallen in love with Daniel’s songs and their simplicity, vocal styling and irresistible soaring melodic hooks, they were sure that he was their man. Daniel was thrilled with the opportunity, and after a few meetings with Disney, he penned the song ‘The World You’ve Dreamed of Lately’. He performed it live for the first time on ABC’s Christmas special The Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade.”
An alternate version of the song appears to be on public release entitled “Love You Lately”.
With the commercials now in the public domain, we can get a better look at some of the beautiful visuals, created in California to Disneyland Resort Paris’ specifications… (see Lumière hiding in the back there?)
The commercials are shown in several formats and differ slightly depending on the country they’re being shown. Both 40 second and 20 second versions have been created, with the latter skipping over the shots of Cars Race Rally and Crush’s Coaster to instead focus on the events available from April 2007.
And now, if you’ve not been able to catch one of the commercials yet, or if you’re in a territory which doesn’t receive Disneyland Resort Paris advertising, here it is!
English Version (40s)
The commercials form the key part of the resort’s massive 15th Anniversary advertising campaign, without doubt the largest and most ambitious ever.
In France, the campaign was launched with specially-created break-bumpers (quick clips played before a channel goes to commercials) on TF1, showing the red carpet flying through the sky with the TF1 logo and “Pub” (Adverts) text, wrapping the entire channel in some beautiful CGI advertising visuals for the 15th Anniversary.
A special series of short programmes are also scheduled for the channel over the next fifteen days, as revealed on the official French Anniversary Blog. Entitled “On a tous nos rêves” (We all have our dreams), the series of featurettes presents fifteen French celebrities discussing their own childhood dreams in honour of the anniversary, though it’s unlikely many of the names will be familiar outside of France: Yannick Noah, Christine Scott-Thomas, Axelle Red, José Garcia, Laurent Voulzy, Marc Lavoine, Karl Lagerfeld, Ornella Muti, Grégory Coupet, Emilie Dequenne, Laeticia Hallyday, Hélène Ségara, Mimie Mathy, Virginie Ledoyen et Isabella Rossellini. The programmes run every night on TF1 for fifteen days from today.
The commericals themselves are scheduled to continue showing right through March across Europe, and have already created quite a stir amongst the general public. Crucially, they are getting across the message that this is an important year, a year with many special events, and that it’s all happening “LÃ oÃ¹ les rêves deviennent réalité” – in Paris.
In true Disney fashion, every element of this vast celebration gets its own piece of concept art. First, Candlabration – the evening ceremony show which will see Mickey and friends light up the fifteen candles on the castle in a twilight show similar to the hugely popular Enchanted Fairytale Ceremony of Disney’s Christmas Season. The concept art confirms that the Christmas stage will stay, but shows it with a beautiful, golden overlay and “15” emblems in place of the current “Once upon a time” motif.
Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Pluto and Chip ‘n’ Dale are all present, wearing pastel and royal blue outfits which might be more than a little familiar to anyone who follows the US resorts. These “Year of a Million Dreams” costumes are due to be carried over to Paris for both this show and for general meet ‘n’ greets.
In Walt Disney World’s “Dream Along With Mickey” show (video here), the characters even have “articulated” talking heads, a concept which was premiered back in 2004 with Timon in our very own The Legend Of The Lion King. Since the costumes are the same and the show is featured in a similar location, we have to ask – will our Fab 7 be talking for the 15th?
Even if they don’t, it certainly looks like they’ll be providing us with some music. Take a look at what they’re all holding – each character has their own musical instrument!
Finally, the candles themselves also present a question – just how bright will they be? Both here and in the new TV spot they’re shown as bright, shining beacons of light, rather than the small flickering flames we might have expected.
With the park located in Paris and much of the focus being on those candles, it seems almost too good to be true that Disney have the perfect showman and mascot for the celebrations – Lumière! And if his golden statue right at the centre of the Castle wasn’t enough of an ego boost, he’s soon to appear on brand new banners lining Main Street.
Recent visitors to the park will likely have wondered why the Enchanted Fairytale Illuminations “Chandeliers” are still in place – and here’s your answer! Come 1st April, though, they’ll be barely recognisable. The chandelier crown itself will be completely removed and replaced with a golden cap and horizontal frame for the banner, whilst other gold elements will be painted onto other sections of the giant, ornate lampposts.
Whilst it hasn’t been confirmed if the poles themselves will still be able to illuminate, it has been mentioned that the banners will be lit in some way by modern LED lights. Two of the banners were on display at the shareholders meeting, and perhaps give a typically “Disney” solution – LED lights fitted inside the banners themselves, lighting up the bright white dots peppered across the design? We’ll have to wait and see…
And finally… something no-one could have expected. After the Pumpkinmen and Pink Witches, the entertainment teams of Disneyland Resort Paris have been off designing their own park characters again. This time, you’ll be able to meet one of the ten letters spelling out “Disneyland”. No, honestly!
It doesn’t seem to be confirmed yet whether these will be statues, walk-around characters or maybe even giant puppets (like those at WDW’s Finding Nemo The Musical), but an early name being given to them is “Alpha Bet You Are”.
There hasn’t even been confirmation if all ten will appear at once, so perhaps we’ll have to hunt them down, throughout the park? It could be massive for autograph book sales, with ten separate single-letter autographs to collect… Or am I the one getting carried away now?
Almost all the information in this article and those to follow was reported by La Rouquine on the French Disney Central Plaza forum, giving the fan community an excellent service with not a moment wasted in reporting the exciting confirmations!
The Cast Member event first confirmed the general anniversary events, such as the character castle decorations to definitely be a bronze/gold colour. The “Bougillumination” (Candle Illumination) ceremony will take place every evening during the celebration (1st April 2007 to 31st March 2008) on a special stage in the middle of Central Plaza, featuring Mickey and the other classic characters. The ceremony show is more and more appearing to be a birthday version of The Enchanted Fairytale Ceremony, with different illuminations and minus the Disney Princesses. It will be accompanied by the song from the parade interaction stops of Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade, more on that later…
The previously rumoured “Character Train” cavalcade was also confirmed, to parade around Main Street USA at several times early each day using popular characters and the Dumbo Casey Jr float from The Wonderful World Of Disney Parade – reportedly to be repainted gold, silver and blue for the occasion. This event uses a similar idea to the classic Good Morning Main Street mini-parade from many years ago, or perhaps the Cavalcade de Stitch from 2006’s Halloween.
As for the rest of the current and recent parade floats, many of them 15 years old themselves, La Rouquine reports none will be kept except those of Snow White (often converted for other uses) and Cinderella. It remains to be seen, then, what will happen for the Halloween and Christmas parades this year.
Still on the subject of parades, more secrets from Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade have surfaced whilst others have been confirmed. There will be two sections to the music. The first, individual float scores, will be based on themes from the animated films presented, reorchestrated for the parade (by Steve Sidwell – see our report from last week). The second will be a new theme song, written especially for the anniversary events and used during the parade’s interaction stops.
Whilst La Rouquine reports the new song is sung in English by a couple (and reviews it favourably), we can add that its full title is “Just Like We Dreamed It”. The parade will apparently stop on average four times during its course, therefore amounting to a single parade stop for those watching. The stops will allow the Disney characters to interact with the audience.
The idea of scents used during the parade is confirmed once again, with examples being the smell of sweets from the first float (Dream of Imagination, with Mickey and friends) and the smell of flowers from the Princesses’ garden float, Dream of Romance. The specialised artists replacing the dancers have been discussed for quite some time, and now several interesting examples are given. Jugglers with (false) fire for the villains’ Dream of Power float, bungee rope acrobats for Pinocchio’s Dream of Laughter and Fun, stilt walkers with puppets also for Pinocchio and finally flag throwers for Peter Pan’s Dream of Fantasy.
Cast Members will wear the badge of the anniversary with special commemorative name tags featuring the 15th Anniversary logo and generic “Where dreams come true” slogan of Disney Parks, as seen below:
But how to get the word out outside of the resort? They’ve got that covered too – www.disneyland15.com will soon be host to a dedicated website for all the anniversary events! It was announced at the rendez-vous that the design is already completed, but the website won’t be launched just yet. (Last year, the Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast website launched in early February, with the attraction also opening early April.)
Member tom_swiss on the same forum adds information about other elements of the advertising campaign on display at the event, which runs several days to allow all Cast Members to visit, in particular the decoration of several RER or Métro stations. The stations will be entirely dedicated to the anniversary, with stars and a red carpet on the floor and Disney characters on the walls in a very impressive advertising campaign.
One of the key desires with the 15th Anniversary campaign is to attract more families with younger children, since research has shown this to be an underdeveloped area of custom as parents generally wait until their children are older before visiting. And so, in addition to improved advertising, the popular “Kids Free” campaign from the early months of each year will be transferred to the entire celebration, but only for children under 7. La Rouquine reports that if it the idea is successful it could be extended beyond the anniversary year.
Finally, La Rouquine adds that special entrance tickets will be produced for the anniversary year, giving the biggest design change since the opening of Walt Disney Studios Park in 2002. 1-Day/1-Park tickets will be given a purple colour, whilst Passe-Partout (Park Hopper) tickets will be gold. Each will feature one of the fifteen characters holding a candle (though not all the character graphics will be used), with a total of around 8 different ticket designs for each option – and a surefire hit for Disney collectors? This follows the introduction of special 15th Anniversary-styled Annual Passports in November 2006.
Overall, Karl Holz clearly stated his desire to concentrate all resources and use all means to continue to raise the level of the quality of service at the resort. With all that listed above, he certainly knows how to motivate the cast!
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