Monday, 24th September 2007

Father Christmas Village officially confirmed

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!”

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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.”

There it is, the first phase of Woody’s Roundup Village is finally official and public!

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.

Sunday, 23rd September 2007

Red carpet rolls into new Christmas promotions

The red carpet of the 15th Anniversary was first rolled out to the public way back in February 2007, bursting onto the screen with that exciting website teaser and eventually the full Disneyland15.com itself, before making it onto the screens of millions across Europe with the resort’s largest television advertising campaign yet back in March.

For the grand launch events of the anniversary, we saw it rolled out in real life for Miley Cyrus and various VIP guests, whilst stunning print advertisements filled magazine pages, billboards and even tour buses. The whole idea was a huge success, a far cry from the poorly conceived campaigns of Walt Disney Studios Park and The Legend Of The Lion King in years gone by.

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Since the launch, the red carpet has continued to roll through each and every 15th Anniversary campaign, big and small, giving the treat of some cleverly themed carpets for Cars, Crush’s Coaster and more recently, Halloween.

Where will it end? The elevator doors of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror might be a natural fit…

However, we shoudn’t get ahead of ourselves. As announced last week, Disney’s Christmas Season is most certainly back for a fifteenth season this November, joining together the best of Christmas past and the best of the anniversary, plus some extra presents (eg. the Roundup) thrown in.

Despite Christmas seasons rarely being given the gift of expensive advertisements or clever promotions in the past (case in point: last year’s ‘key visual’), this newfound confidence in the power of the 15th campaigns thus far brings an exciting new textile-floor-covering-based chapter for us to stare wondrously upon…

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Click to enlarge (724×1024).

Without gushing too much, it’s certainly another great addition to the collection, don’t you think?

The two new promotional posters, a portrait and landscape version of the same design, see the red carpet stretching upwards into Sleeping Beauty Castle decorated both with its glittering ice palace Christmas lights and the character candles of the 15th Anniversary. The characters peering out from Christmas trees along the carpet could be the most interesting detail here, however…

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Click to enlarge (1024×768).

Beyond Mickey, Minnie, Chip and Dale in their Enchanted Fairytale Ceremony (now Bougillumination Enchantée) costumes, aside from the classic Toy Soldiers making an unusual advertising appearance and ignoring Goofy in his popular Goofy Claus outfit… do you see them?

The two visuals feature a couple of Disney-ised reindeer, standing on their “rear” legs and looking ready to meet and greet their festive park guests. What should we expect of them, new guests for the ‘Dreams of Christmas’ float? Extra characters for Frontierland‘s new Christmas Village? Or perhaps, simply stand-in extras for this promotion, drafted in from the North Pole?

So, if you’re planning on actually visiting the resort this Christmas rather than drooling over the standout effort from the resort’s marketing department above… don’t forget a carrot or two, just in case.

All promotional images © Disney.

Thursday, 13th September 2007

Bougillumination Enchantée and Dreams of Christmas

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:

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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!

Disneyland Park

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 Noël and a meet ‘n’ greet location for Father Christmas and his snowmen friends.

– – – – – – End Release – – – – – –

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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, chantec’est presque Noël !

Friday, 1st June 2007

Once Upon a Dream for Christmas and Halloween

The special collector’s issue of the quarterly magazine features a double-page spread of an exclusive interview with Francois Leroux, Vice President of Entertainment for Disneyland Resort Paris.

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Whilst the questions are largely geared towards introducing shareholders to the unique entertainment Francois and his team have developed for the Anniversary year, the second-to-last question is one that has been on fans’ lips for countless months already…

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“During the year of festivities, how many Parades will we have during the Halloween and Christmas seasons?”

Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade will be presented throughout the year of the 15th Anniversary festivities. The Disney Villains will surely try to disrupt it at Halloween. Christmas will follow in naturally at the end of the parade to add still more magic.

The answer provides confirmation for the very first time that not only will Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade continue right through Halloween and Christmas, but there will be NO major dedicated parade for Halloween or Christmas, in the style of Disney Villain Parade or The Christmas Parade of recent years. This has been rumoured for some time, since the floats of these parades — redecorated from The Wonderful World of Disney Parade — have now mostly been taken out of service, and will never return.

Therefore, this Halloween we can expect a “Once Upon a Dream” with a touch of mischeif (likely a pre-parade segment in the style of last year’s Stitch Cavalcade), and this Christmas will bring an extra Christmas dream to the parade — will it be Santa Claus’ sleigh at the end of the parade, or something new?

All we have for now are dreams…

Sunday, 7th January 2007

The Nighttime Christmas Parade – with special guests

Whilst the large lighting rigs along the parade route illumated the procession, several extra lights were added to the classic floats to light up the characters and their decor. Previously, a nighttime version of The Christmas Parade such as this could only be seen on New Year’s Eve, when entertainment times were shifted to compensate for the park’s late 1am closure.

Photos captured 30th December 2006.

The Christmas Parade enjoyed its final performance of the 2006/07 season earlier today, and it remains to be seen whether it will return again in November. With Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade scheduled to run the entire year, either a hushed Christmas makeover will take place, The Christmas Parade will return, or there will be no main Christmas parade.

Whatever happens, enjoy the nighttime Christmas Parade, truly at its best, with two special guests…


The Nighttime Christmas Parade
Uploaded by dlrp-magic

Tuesday, 12th December 2006

Evacuating the set

Again from Poppy The Monkey, these photos cover the dramatic evacuation of Walt Disney Studios Park as guests were hurried out of Disney Studio 1, through the backstage gate, past CastmemberLand and across to the more sheltered Disneyland Park.

Click here for the photos »

Monday, 11th December 2006

WDS’ Disaster Movie shoot wraps up

Poppy The Monkey presented these photos from Saturday on the MagicForum, showing both the initial damage to temporary items at Walt Disney Studios and the clean-up effort that was just beginning. Despite the storms of the day before, the park actually had queues of guests waiting to get inside…

Whilst the majority of the Christmas tree light coverings on Front Lot’s lampposts appear to have survived, the illuminated garland on the Studio Arch was hanging from its fastening, with the area cordoned off to prevent any accidents.

Worst hit were the movie posters on the metal lighting rigs throughout the park. Added in September 2005 as part of a park enhancement programme, they were made with thousands of holes in each design to allow strong wind to flow through, but apparently this was no match for Friday’s weather. The posters were attached to their frames with glue and velcro, but whilst the securly fastened frames remain, many of the posters are gone altogether. The Finding Nemo poster in front of Crush’s Coaster still has one jagged corner remaining.

The construction fences of Tower of Terror, blown over by the winds, have now been repositioned, closing off the Armadillo prop in the process. With their hasty replacement, though, the colours no longer match. At Disney Studio 1, the starlight effect on the windows has been removed completely after almost falling on guests running inside to take shelter on Friday. You can see a photo of the lights falling at DLP.info here.

Fences at the Toon Studio construction sites were also blown over. It’s not all bad news, though – at the entrance to the work-in-progress land, the fences next to Studio 1 have yet to be replaced, giving a clear view of the new “forest” of trees planted here a few months ago…

It is currently unknown whether the Studio 1 starlight effect or the many movie posters will be replaced in coming days or weeks. Overall, however, the Studios stood up well to its first weather crisis.

Storm photos by Poppy The Monkey, other photos by DLRP Today and Photos Magiques.

Wednesday, 29th November 2006

Magical Christmas nights

This one, though, you’ll already be familiar with. With Disneyland Park remaining open until 10pm over the main Christmas holidays, the longest opening hours ever operated during this season, the entertainment department is getting ready to balance out the day’s entertainment. Just as the 11pm closure in the Summer season causes times to be shifted later in the day, the park’s new Christmas hours are pushing back the times of The Legend Of The Lion King, The Enchanted Fairytale Ceremony, Disney’s Fanillusion and even Disney Cinema Parade.

Most interesting of all, The Christmas Parade has been pushed back to 5.30pm, nightfall in Paris during this season, actually turning the parade into a daily “nighttime” event for the first time ever. Only on New Year’s Eve in past years has the parade been performed under the glow of the park’s lighting rigs.

The Enchanted Fairytale Ceremony will then follow at 7pm, with Disney’s Fantillusion at 8.30pm, adding up to many magical nights of exclusive Christmas entertainment for the Paris resort.

You can see the latest times in full here: Entertainment Performance Times

Unfortunately, the Christmas version of Winnie the Pooh and Friends, Too advertised by the resort’s official website to begin on 16th December has yet to appear on any schedules. Has Pooh Bear made a last minute cancellation to his festive tea party, or are they for whatever reason hiding this show in the same way as the hushed relaunch of the Summer version?

Tuesday, 21st November 2006

A Disney day out for UNICEF’s Frimousses

(Marne-la-Vallée, France) In the place where dreams come true, Christmas is the season for not only magic, but also for generosity. On 18 November, just a few days before the anniversary of the Convention for Children’s Rights, 150 disadvantaged children from the Seine-et-Marne department were the special guests of Disneyland Resort Paris.

Together they helped assemble Frimousse dolls for UNICEF under the watchful eye of the event’s patron, Laëticia Hallyday. The Frimousse operation was created in 2001 to provide children in developing countries with vital vaccinations.

Like their creators, each Frimousse doll is unique. Aided by volunteers from Disney and UNICEF, the young people of Seine-et-Marne will use their creativity to bring hope to other children. All of the dolls will be given to UNICEF, who will then put them up for ‘adoption’ for a minimum donation of 20 euros – the equivalent of a child’s vaccination program. Disneyland Resort Paris hopes to offer 250 dolls.

This exceptional event seals the almost fifteen year partnership between UNICEF and Disneyland Resort Paris. Disney Cast Members had been working several weeks on making this an unforgettable affair, with many of the special Frimousses already crafted by Disney VoluntEARS.

News from Euro Disney SCA.

You can find out more about UNICEF here, and see the 2003 Disneyland Resort Paris charity CD Single “needmag?c” here.

Saturday, 11th November 2006

The Christmas Parade 2006

Highlighting the popularity of this production in previous years, the 2006 parade remains almost entirely unchanged from last year, except perhaps for a few float decoration and music alterations that only a Christmas Parade pro would notice. The current parade cast make it a must-see production yet again, though, with excellent character performances and lively dancers, all with beaming smiles in their beautiful white costumes. 10 Minutes before the parade is due to begin, Mickey Mouse himself makes his way up the parade route on his car, before heading back to the end of the route in time for the start of the performance.

Compared to this very first performance of the season, the performance today (Saturday) on the first official day of Disney’s Christmas Season will have seen the addition of Father Christmas on his sleigh, only just arrived from the North Pole!

Enough with the words – onto the pictures!

Video will return soon!

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