Just days after they were officially revealed in final concept art, the first arrivals were the colourful Central Plaza “topiary” displays of favourite Disney animals, interacting with musical notes and instruments. Each one takes the centrepiece of one of the four Central Plaza flower beds, surrounded by a fresh display of much less synthetic blooms.
Bambi, Flower and Thumper, The Aristocats Marie, Berlioz and Toulouse, and The Lion King Simba and Nala are pictured here by @DisneylandBerry, who has been sharing these updates of the growing Spring decorations each morning. Three of the 101 dalmatian puppies are in place, too, completing one of the best Central Plaza overlays in many years.
Meanwhile, down in Town Square the theme is more Mary Poppins. The 1964 film celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, and is of course a natural fit for a springtime “Jolly Holiday”.
As the concept art depicted, the two flower beds either side of Main Street’s gazebo have become home to full-size floral topiary figures of Mary, Bert, Jane and Michael.
The Town Square Gazebo itself soon followed, being decorated with colourful garlands of synthetic flowers, musical notes and a large butterfly for its “Balade Printanière”.
Main Street, U.S.A. is home to almost all the Swing into Spring decorations, the furthest they spread into the park being only Le Théatre du Château. Here, the successful Halloweenoverlay of recent years has been echoed for Spring with daisies wrapped around the columns and a new green podium stage, ready for the main Disney’s Spring Promenade event which will take place both here and around Central Plaza.
It’s simple and tasteful enough, and again good to see the stage finding a new lease of life after some years of dilapidation and uncertainty. Now to see how it will be used…
Released today is a new video featuring Show Director Christophe Leclercq, introducing the season of springtime decorations and entertainment. If not revealing any new details of the much-speculated festival, Christophe confirms again some important details, such as the main event featuring no less than 90 dancers, 22 musicians and a quite startling 33 characters, taking place “in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle”.
The video includes an additional piece of concept art for the Central Plaza “topiary” displays (above) which feature characters from Bambi, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, The Aristocats and The Lion King interacting with musical notes and instruments.
This is also the first time (besides a lone Belgian press release) that Disneyland Paris has confirmed the season will run from 5th April to 22nd June 2014.
Disneyland Paris has finally swung into action, confirming months and rumour and speculation with the first promotion of its upcoming Spring Festival season at Disneyland Park. While the calendar season begins today, Disney’s season of entertainment and special decorations will run from 5th April to 22nd June 2014, confirming the rumoured dates exactly.
Two new pieces of concept art lead the announcements, shared on the resort’s official Facebook and Twitter pages.
Above, the concept shows Town Square and its gazebo decorated with Mary Poppins-themed topiaries, flowers and decorations including Mary, Bert and the “Jolly Holiday” penguins.
Below, one of the new centrepieces for Central Plaza is shown, featuring One Hundred and One Dalmatians. Each of the four main flower beds in the heart of the park will have a different display of flowers, topiary and musical notes — a new official press release confirms the others will feature The Lion King, Bambi and The Aristocats.
So far, the press release has only been slipped onto the Belgian press websites, under the title “Disneyland Paris aux couleurs du Printemps” (Disneyland Paris in the colours of Spring). Here’s a full translation of the key points from the French language version:
Disneyland Paris in the colours of Spring
5th April to 22nd June 2014
If Disneyland Paris was a garden, it would be the largest in Europe with 35,000 trees, 250,000 shrubs and more than a million flowers planted each year. Mickey and friends have decided to celebrate this legacy of success with a special theme for more than three months, in the colours of Spring. With new happenings, new decorations and the opportunity to meet the Disney characters in new costumes.
Disneyland Paris turns into a “springtime stroll”.
The new daily “Promenade Printanière” happening promises to be the event of the day. This ultra-colourful musical event will be enlivened by more than one hundred artists including 90 dancers. Not to mention the Disney characters in new, specially-created costumes. Mickey and Minnie, Alice and the Mad Hatter, Woody and Jessie from Toy Story, Stitch, Pinocchio, Clarabelle and many more will delight park guests accompanied by the musicians of the “Jolly Holiday Band” and “Swing into Spring Orchestra”. The new generation will also be in the spotlight, notably Rapunzel.
In decorations, small and big dreamers will be able to discover their favourite Disney heros in versions more “flowery” than ever. Beside Sleeping Beauty Castle, topiaries depicting One Hundred and One Dalmations, Simba and Nala (The Lion King), the Artistocats and even Bambi and his friends Flower and Thumper have sprung up like magic. Elsewhere, landmarks will be transformed into showcases of flowers.
“Bienvenue à la Belle Saison”, at the entrance of Disneyland Park, will immerse guests in the magic of Spring, with butterflies, flowers, topiary and music.
Finally, children can play as budding explorers with an entertaining leaflet guiding them through the nature, ecology and diversity offered by Disneyland Paris.
While the English name “Swing into Spring” has long been associated with the season and/or its daily happening, the main event is confirmed here in French as “Promenade Printanière” (Springtime Promenade), with two musical acts named “Swing into Spring Orchestra” and “Jolly Holiday Band”. It remains to be seen how the season itself will be titled in English.
With no less than a hundred “artists” including 90 dancers from the auditions earlier this year, the event, which is rumoured to take place around Central Plaza, could be quite a surprise spectacle indeed. Having two confirmed musical acts is also great move, rather than the park’s usual erratic live music schedule. This release also confirms Rapunzel will be featured, with a meet ‘n’ greet rumoured for the spot near to Casey’s Corner in Main Street, U.S.A.
Very welcome too is the renewed focus on the park’s gardens, especially as Disneyland Paris always spends money creating fabulous flower displays every year in springtime anyway.
It’s reassuring to see the event should indeed include some real flora rather than just fibreglass decorations. Indeed, while the flowers and topiaries look lovely, it wouldn’t exactly be a shame if the rather garish, unnecessary musical notes and butterfly were dropped from the Town Square gazebo concept, would it?
But still, simply for Disneyland Paris to share concept art publicly like this is a positive step itself — not just promoting the event but showing the talent and artistry going into it.
Posting on Facebook, Disneyland Paris announced:
“As of April 5th, Disneyland Paris will be officially welcoming the return of spring! This brand new season will be bursting with surprises, so come and join all your favourite Disney Characters for a music-filled celebration of blooming flowers and glorious sun-drenched days!”
Such surprise, relief and excitement when, for the first time in forever, Disneyland Paris was right on the Disney movie schedule ball in featuring Frozen so heavily during the last Disney’s Enchanted Christmas, a perfect match for the season.
A landmark spot in Disney Dreams! of Christmas and a new redecorated float with Anna and Elsa in Disney Magic on Parade! were the talk of the season, appearing even before the film’s release. It felt like the old days of the ’90s, when Disney’s latest animation releases from Aladdin to Hunchback and beyond were always featured in the park through their year of release.
That means, for all the hundreds of thousands of guests visiting the park during Frozen‘s finest hour, their one and only chance of getting a glimpse or even a photo of these new heroines is a blink-and-you’ll miss it appearance during the parade.
And would anyone thinking about visiting even know they’re there? The parade’s page on the official website, for example, doesn’t feature any photos of them or, err, any actual text whatsoever. There’s nothing official anywhere to actually tell people they’re there.
In classic style, they’ve seized an opportunity yet completely missed it at the same time.
Anna, Elsa & Olaf in Disney Magic on Parade!
Disneyland Paris is constantly trying to create a pressing, immediate intent for people to visit. A reason why people, who’ve often thought about visiting but hesitated — until their kids are older, until *ahem* a new attraction date is announced — would finally get up and go.
Given the astounding success of Frozen and “Let It Go”, the sheer number of people who must have seen and loved this brand new Disney tale, could this not be a good enough reason?
Doesn’t that parade appearance deserve promoting? Don’t Anna and Elsa deserve an actual meet ‘n’ greet? Wouldn’t it be a fantastic draw to bring the Christmas “Let It Go” scene (or a new scene) to the regular Disney Dreams! show, if only for this year?
When there’s an opportunity like this, don’t let it go…
Joined by the Disneyland Paris Ambassadors, the Vice President of LEGO Europe and a special walkaround “LEGO mascot” named Tom, the new boutique’s team of brick-building enthusiasts cut the ribbon and invited the first shoppers inside the store.
Using the same modern design scheme of other European shopping mall LEGO Stores, this flagship location can boast being the largest on the continent. That said, it’s not massively bigger — at almost 600m² only roughly the size of Hollywood Pictures that was there before — but with walls piled high with LEGO sets and a minimalist aesthetic it does look like a bigger, much more exciting retail space. And certainly a vast improvement on the tired Hollywood Pictures.
Disneyland Paris Ambassadors, Antonella and Jonathan met “Tom” the store’s mascot and Ward Van Duffel, Vice President and General Manager of LEGO Europe at the store’s opening this morning and shared a series of photos from inside the new shop.
LEGO’s all-glass shopfront is immediately the most modern in Disney Village, offering a full view inside the colourful store to passing customers. Brick murals of Sleeping Beauty Castle, Disneyland Hotel and Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups are featured centrally on the bright yellow podium along with a textured, LEGO brick logo.
Where most other LEGO Stores have just a single yellow brick ceiling feature in the middle of the store, this flagship has several, of different sizes, creating more unique areas within the store.
All the LEGO Store favourites are present and correct: the free building table, the build-your-own Minifigure display, and the clever augmented reality scanner that lets you hold a LEGO set up and see the finished creation on screen in 3D.
Here, the popular trademark “Pick-a-Brick wall”, which lets you fill cartons with your choice of loose bricks, isn’t on the back wall of the store as standard, but a larger free-standing wall, with even more LEGO sets behind.
Despite not being as grand as the longstanding LEGO Imagination Center in Orlando or self-contained LEGO Store Anaheim, this new Disneyland Paris example does feature the same special models and customisations.
A huge, stunning brick mural of Prince Phillip fighting dragon Maleficent sits just inside the door, with murals of The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast and Star Wars line the walls, which are also criss-crossed by a long green monster.
Other full-scale models featured are Sorcerer Mickey, Woody and Buzz Lightyear, and R2D2.
LEGO Store Disney Village opens 9am to midnight, daily.
This room was originally an outdoor terrace in 2002, before being enclosed soon after opening in order to add more capacity to the dining venue.
Despite this, it has rarely been regularly used and was most recently turned into a short-lived second Bureau Passport Annuel, Annual Passport sales office. Currently, it sits empty with just a few display cases and lonely High School Musical 3 posters.
Not just a welcome use for this wasted space, a Spider-Man location here in Backlot would be the first step in the long-awaited addition of Marvel characters to Walt Disney Studios Park.
Rumours have grown since Disney’s 2009 acquisition of the comic book company that this corner of the park could see a full superhero makeover. At one point, there was even speculation that Armageddon: Les Effets Speciaux in particular could be rethemed to Spider-Man.
Rumour states Disneyland Paris could welcome Spider-Man as soon as mid-March, making it the first Disney park to feature the character in any form. So far, the live “Disney” character version has only appeared very briefly, at last year’s D23 Expo (see video below).
Disneyland Paris has now, for some time, sold a large range of Spider-Man comic book and cartoon merchandise, above other Marvel characters.
While Disney would base its theme park characterisation on Disney XD‘s successful Ultimate Spider-Man animated TV series (pictured top), it’s surely no coincidence that this year also sees Sony Pictures release its second “rebooted” film, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, under its ownership of the movie rights, boosting the attractiveness of such a tie-in.
For Walt Disney Studios Park, having such a name on its books would be an incredible coup, massively elevating the park’s credentials. Certainly more so than its previous movie tie-in catalogue of Armageddon, Reign of Fire and Dinotopia, don’t you agree?
Video of Spider-Man’s D23 Disney character appearance follows…Read More…
Remember the “Festival of Flowers” (Festival des Fleurs) of 1997 and 1998? Park icons covered in colourful spring flowers, topiaries of Disney characters all around, beautiful displays decorating the flower beds? It was a beautiful way to see in season of “printemps”.
Well, those will remain memories… but it’s this classic event that has apparently served as inspiration for a new season rumoured to begin at Disneyland Paris this April: the Spring Festival, or “Swing Into Spring” if you want the latest reported title.
Disneyland Paris in its usual self-aggrandising style has announced nothing, but information and speculation has been trickling out for almost two months now from various sources.
The speculated season looks set to revolve around a central street event, which will reuse three of the cars from Disney’s Stars ‘n’ Cars. The Monsters Inc and Snow White vehicles were removed from the Walt Disney Studios Park parade on Wednesday, 19th February, and are expected to be redecorated for the new cavalcade “happening”.
Joining them for the Disneyland Park event will be the Mary Poppins car, apparently leaving the Studios without a parade for the duration of the season — characters will simply perform a meet ‘n’ greet in the second park, instead. Update: @InsideDLParis informs that despite missing these three cars, Disney’s Stars ‘n’ Cars is planned to continue as a parade during the season.
Only the Disneyland Paris Casting website has confirmed plans for special spring events, with a casting notice (below) advertising for an impressive 102 dancers. Even taking into account days off, reducing the numbers in each actual performance, that’s a healthy figure.
Meanwhile, the fresh festival could also introduce some new floral decorations and street animations or meet ‘n’ greet opportunities. Concept art suggesting these was leaked by a blogger in early January and swiftly removed at the request of Disneyland Paris, stating the internal documents were not meant for public release.
More recently, a Mary Poppins “Jolly Holiday” theme has been mooted, which would be a good choice given the film’s fiftieth anniversary and renewed popularity thanks to Saving Mr Banks. This could be confirmed by the appearance of chalk paintings being tested on the pavement outside City Hall on Wednesday, photographed by @DisneylandPfans.
Created by an artist using just chalk, water and masking tape, it’s not known how these colourful paintings, like those mastered by Bert in the 1964 film, could be put to use as part of a season (or avoid the footsteps of idle visitors).
Dates: the “Spring Festival” is rumoured to run from 5th April to 22nd June, possibly with a “soft opening” day on 4th April, nicely filling the void in the resort’s calendar left by the “summer” opening of Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy. Again, no part of this speculated festival has been officially announced or confirmed by Disneyland Paris.
Gradually turning “Spring” into its own annual season makes perfect sense, and though this year looks like being more a trial of the concept (hence the lack of a big announcement too far in advance?), with continued investment it could conceivably become a third pillar season as important as Halloween and Christmas, driving repeat visitors without the need for those increasingly desperate, largely irrelevantyear-long “festivals”.
Bonus: “Festival of Flowers” 1997 programmeRead More…
Mouetto, admin of the top French forum Disney Central Plaza, has been able to confirm the rumours as a genuine “project” with Disneyland Paris, providing the following points of confirmation:
Disney characters will indeed disappear from the Disney Hotels in late November 2014 and will be reinstated in Disneyland Park during Extra Magic Hours, with several opportunities to meet and take photos while they prepare the opening of the park.
Characters will remain at the Inventions buffet restaurant in Disneyland Hotel and at Café Mickey.
There will be a new experience with Disney characters during breakfast at the Castle Club in Disneyland Hotel.
Guest satisfaction surveys have indicated the desire to meet and interact with more and more characters, but not necessarily in hotels. The presence of characters only came eighth in the main expectations of a Disney Hotel.
Besides the easier logistics of characters not having to travel to each hotel, the logic can make sense too. Whereas currently guests have the chance to meet just one or two characters in their hotel lobby, if all these characters are pooled together into the park it means much greater variety — and much better photo backdrops, too.
Auditionees are required to have a “strong artistic presence” and “lots of energy”, as well as measuring a precise 1.73m to 1.85m tall. A good level of English is required as well as French, plus a definite ability to improvise in the role, son of the late Auguste Gusteau.
Applications were to be received by 16th February, but the casting notice doesn’t give any other dates. Often these notices will give a rough idea of employment dates for the roles being cast. So, as well as not giving any clues as to the attraction‘s definite opening, this can’t tell us whether the role of a live Linguini could be a regular feature around the new attraction or perhaps just a one-off for the grand opening ceremonies.
Helpfully, the small feature box states: “The exact opening date is not confirmed. Please contact us.” It also surprisingly lists the name of the attraction as its full L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy moniker, no doubt infuriating for those Disney marketeers who probably spent fifty board meetings deciding on just calling it “The Ride” for all English advertising.
Here’s a double Disney Character update with both good and possibly not-so-good news, depending on your view. First, the unconfirmed rumour that from November 2014 character meet ‘n’ greet locations will be removed from Disney Hotels.
This information seems to have first appeared in a tweet by @DisneyCharPhot on 10th November, then reiterated without a date by @DisneyMoi the next day, followed by a more precise date of 3rd November by @DLRPWonders just a minute later.
Starting November 3th 2014, characters will no longer be appearing at the Disney Hotels at Disneyland Paris! — DLRP Wonders (@DLRPWonders) February 11, 2014
Obviously we must still treat this as a rumour, since Disneyland Paris has made no comment, but given the number of supporting claims and the fact that the Entertainment department is usually about as watertight as a pair of Captain Hook’s tights when it comes to revealing information, it’s quite hard to dismiss.
Note that the rumours state character dining such as the popular Inventions buffet at Disneyland Hotel would continue, and that it is only the character locations in the open lobby areas of each Disney Hotel which would not longer be used.
Why would Disneyland Paris do such a thing? Isn’t being able to meet Mickey in your hotel lobby a real benefit of staying in those hotels? First, it might not be common knowledge that Disneyland Paris is something of an anomaly with having Disney characters in its hotels. Other Disney resorts around the world are more reserved: characters only appear at their hotels, if at all, in restaurants and dining events, with the only similar exception we can find being California’s Disneyland Hotel, which advertises occasional characters in the lobby.
There’s another side to the story that’s more surprising, though, as apparently it has become a genuine issue that some non-paying visitors and locals walk through the resort and around its hotels, meeting the characters without paying a cent. With that in mind, it’s probably a good decision to reserve the characters to places where only paying guests can meet them.
“Hotel Guests are not going to lose out too much, ALL the Characters you could of met in your hotel will now be ready to welcome you exclusively in the Disneyland Park during the Extra Magic Hours. So instead of just having 2 or 3 Characters to meet in your lobby in the morning, you will most likely be able to meet alot more throughout the park – imagine all the Characters usually hanging out at the 6 hotels (Disneyland Hotel will not be affected) will now converge on the park to prepare for the day, before all the regular Guests even arrive.” — Poppy the Monkey, magicforum
And it’s in the parks that we find our really good news.
Since the start of this year, the Entertainment department has been trialling organised queues for characters. No more pushing, shoving or mobbing: guests are simply organised into a proper line and asked to wait their turn. And it appears to be working.
Just this morning, @DisneylandPfans captured a queue of visitors waiting patiently to meet Goofy on Main Street, PixieDust.be reported it working well in their latest update, while InsideDLParis has shared snaps (above) of numerous working queues since this initiative began in early January.
It’s fair to say that if you skimmed any number of Disneyland Paris reviews, especially those comparing with other resorts, the disorderly character appearances would always be consistently mentioned. Could it finally be a thing of the past?
This is without doubt one of the most welcome recent developments for the parks. And such a minor change: an extra character minder here, a polite “please join the queue!” there. If only park managers could continue through the whole experience of being in the parks with the same fine tooth comb and fix a few other similar niggles for us…
Some items copyright Disney. This website is independent of and not supported, endorsed by or connected to Disneyland® Paris, The Walt Disney Company, Euro Disney Associés S.C.A., Disney Enterprises, Inc. or their subsidiaries and affiliates.