Monday, 2nd July 2007

Official 2008 15th Anniversary Brochure Preview

If you’re in the UK, the new brochure is available right now. If not, you’ve probably got a little bit longer to wait, so here’s you’re first look at the Autumn/Winter 2007/2008 15th Anniversary Brochure. Before we look inside, why not look back at the first anniversary brochure, so you can spot the change?

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…

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Front Cover

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?

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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?

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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.

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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…

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Parks Introduction

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.

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Disneyland Park

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…

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Walt Disney Studios Park (1)

One page, four new attractions. Crush’s Coaster and Cars Race Rally are still featuring using their same old key visuals and Stitch Encounter (or rather ‘Stitch Interactive Attraction’ for now) is hidden away in there, but the star of this production is undoubtedly The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. A full page is dedicated to its fantastic key visual and reworked logo.

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.

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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.

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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…

St David’s Welsh Festival and St Patrick’s Day are also confirmed to return in 2008, following huge success earlier this year.

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Disney Village

‘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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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 £16”, for example, similar to the new booking system of the official website.

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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.

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Back Cover

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.

All images scanned by DLRP Today, brochure © Disney.

Saturday, 14th April 2007

(Video) Disney Characters’ Express

Mixing the music and movement of a normal parade with dedicated, up-close character meet ‘n’ greets, Disney Characters’ Express presents quite a unique event. Taking place several times in the morning and early afternoon, the event seems to be most inspired by the popular Walt Disney Studios Park mini-parade Good Morning Walt Disney Studios, which sees characters “arrive on set for filming” aboard luxurious Hollywood cadillacs. As this mini-parade reaches Place des Stars stage, the characters climb out and mingle with the guests. For Disney Characters’ Express, the concept has been taken further, with dedicated spots around Central Plaza for the characters to meet guests.

After the opening announcement, the redesigned Casey Jr enters the park from next to Discovery Arcade at Town Square, “steams” all the way up Main Street USA, “En route au coeur du magie!” (On-route for the heart of the magic), and comes to a halt directly in front of the castle…

The dancers/minders help their characters to climb down from the wagons, before they escort them through the frantic crowds to their specific locations around the hub, which help to give guests a better chance to meet the stars. Four è locations have been added at each corner, featuring the inescapable French candlestick host from Beauty and the Beast against a giant “15” backdrop featuring the Disneyland Resort Paris logo – perhaps to remind guests where their holiday photos were taken?

Characters usually head to the corner of the resort which most suits their theme, for example Pinocchio will head to the left of the Castle, Buzz Lightyear to the Discoveryland entrance and Chip ‘n’ Dale to the Frontierland corner. This just leaves Casey Jr, and his engine driver, to take a well-deserved rest…

Video

Featuring footage from two separate performances, our full video of Disney Characters’ Express therefore features two different train-loads of Disney passengers – can you spot the difference?

The characters usually change with each journey of “le petit train”, though some of the key characters (such as Chip ‘n’ Dale) are almost always present. This not only encourages guests to catch the event more than once in their day, but also opens up the possibility for some rarer characters to be featured throughout the year.

Saturday, 7th April 2007

(Video) Disney Characters’ Express press premiere

“Tous en train! All aboard! The Disney Characters’ Express is coming!”

As the infinitely catchy reworked music from Tokyo Disneyland’s 2001 “Party Express” and Hong Kong Disneyland’s “Rainy Day Parade” started up across Central Plaza and the guest flow Cast Members joined in with clapping and *choo choo* actions, the press looked from side to side nervously. Lined up in black with their oversized press badges (someone in the press department must still be laughing), camera tripods and glamorous female presenters along the hub of Central Plaza facing the castle, they were about to be treated to a special premiere performance of Disney Characters’ Express – that would leave the paying guests out in the cold.

The former Dumbo Casey Jr. float rounded the corner of Main Street, pistons pumping and smoke puffing, before coming to a stop right in front of the eager crowd. The characters and dancers continued dancing to the music long after it stopped, as the camera crews stepped right up to the train for some character close-ups. Whilst at this point the characters would normally climb down and run off to their four Lumière photo locations around the hub as normal Main Street music returned, here they were asked to instead continue dancing to practically no noise.

Soon enough, Miley Cyrus (who rode aboard the first carriage all the way from Town Square) was trailed by a desperate band of photographers – and her hefty American agent/minder, before jumping onto each of the following carriages and continuing to run up onto the Central Plaza stage to dance for the cameras. Meanwhile, television presenters from across Europe assembled to film quick reports to camera…

The presenter from TeleMadrid was notable since she looked to be truly enjoying herself, whilst being particularly taken with Pinocchio… and visa-versa…!

As cameras continued to roll for almost 20 minutes, guests continued to try attracting the attention of their favourite characters – many of which infact seemed far more interested with their public rather than the invited press. The dancers onboard the express also deserve credit for continuing the smile and dance for such a long period.

You can see more of the press breathlessly capturing the magic – including footage of Miley Cyrus and François Leroux – in our exclusive video:

With the extended stop over, guest flow shephered the remaining photographers back onto the hub (those who hadn’t trailed after Miley to the Central Plaza stage) and the Disney Characters’ Express returned all the way back down Main Street for a rest. Though that doesn’t mean its crew stopped performing for the public’s cameras…

Luckily, this wasn’t the last the public saw of the streetmosphere parade/meet’n’greet on the 31st – it returned almost every hour right up until the early evening, always with the proper public meet ‘n’ greets included.

Thursday, 5th April 2007

(Video) Final rehearsals for new entertainment

Video features:

1. Disney Characters’ Express rehearsals

2. Spit ‘n’ Polish for Main Street and First Press Filming

3. Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade final rehearsal clips

Wednesday, 4th April 2007

J-1 brings frenzied final touches

The anniversary now begins right as you enter the resort. After a limited number were added the day before, Friday 30th March 2007 finally saw the end of the circa-2002 dark blue Disneyland Resort Paris banners, featuring the Castle and Earffel Tower, now replaced by the familiar 15th Anniversary Lumiere designs. The base of the three new flagpoles, previously just concrete footers and earth, has now been filled with a bright array of yellow and orange flowers, guiding people toward the information sign and bringing some much needed colour to the hub.


New banners and flowers on the hub / Press viewing platform

Not all the last-minute changes were positive for the park, though. To accommodate the press photographers during the following day’s pre-parade ceremony and debut of Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade, a tiered viewing platform was installed in front of Town Square’s gazebo, covered in white tarp and also featuring an undercover area for the resort’s own cameras (lucky, considering the weather). Notice also the sea of yellow ponchos – now also featuring the 15th Anniversary logo!


New banners and flowers on the hub / Press viewing platform

More strange additions could be found in Frontierland, ready for the nighttime event following the 31st March fireworks. Whilst unnoticed by most normal guests rushing to Big Thunder Mountain and Phantom Manor, the restaurants, boutiques and Thunder Mesa themeing were all covered end-to-end in anniversary flags featuring yellow lanterns. And the guests rushing to Big Thunder? They might have been disappointed – the attraction remained closed for several hours, perhaps also due to press event preparations.


Flags and lanterns cover everything in sight at Frontierland

Amongst all the new additions for the 15th Anniversary Press Event, there were also a few final changes to the already-familiar events and decorations. After losing his bouquet of flowers for several days, the Character Castle Makeover statue of Mickey now instead picked up his magic wand…


Original Mickey with flowers (Photo by Joel) / Mickey now with magic wand

Whilst Disney Characters’ Express began its rehearsal performances. Steaming up Main Street through the rain, its characters then ran off to their four Lumiere locations around Central Plaza, without their candles seen in the previous weekend’s trade preview but instead with their new 15th Anniversary medals…


Characters receive their 15th medals / Disneyland Hotel roof cleaning, afternoon

Of course, there were also the expected clean-ups and repainting around the park. Best of all, the cleaning of Disneyland Hotel’s roof – from almost-black to its warm original shade of red.

With the Plaza Gardens Restaurant refurbishment completed a few days earlier, repainting continued (weather permitting) of the railings between its entrance doors and Central Plaza. The drained centrepiece fountain, still being returned to its former glory, was filled with temporary plants over the weekend to make sure not a single hint of the magic was broken for the press visitors.


Central Plaza railings repaint / Plaza Gardens fountain given temporary plants

The park was quiet for the most of the day, Walt Disney Studios Park even more so, definitely giving the impression of a “calm before the storm” (almost literally). And as the light faded, guests slowly left the park at 6pm, leaving it to get a long night of rest before its big, premature birthday bash the next day… Though, no doubt, its workers continued on long into the night.


A good night’s sleep before the big day tomorrow…

Wednesday, 28th March 2007

Disney Characters’ Express exclusive preview!

That’s right, the classic parade song Dancin’ (A Catchy Rhythm) has not returned for this new morning parade, as was expected by many beforehand. Nor has the popular All Around the World from Disney’s ImagiNations Parade. Not even Just Like We Dreamed It, the new anniversary song…

The music is… new! To Paris, at least – taken from “Disney’s Party Express” at Tokyo Disneyland, a similar parade featuring a steam train filled with characters, the music has been reworked by Vasile Sirli and the Disneyland Resort Paris team with totally new lyrics, including French and several “choo choos” throughout its fast-paced Casey Jr-style tempo. The music begins with a new announcement declaring “Attention! Attention!” “The Disney Character Express is coming!”.

But what of the parade? Casey Jr has been lucky enough to survive the chop after The Wonderful World of Disney Parade‘s demise, and now his 8 month absence from the parade route can really be understood. Sporting a slick and shiny new coat of white, gold and blue paint as seen in the recent concept art, the try-as-he-might steam engine from Dumbo has suddenly found a whole heap of new confidence…

Large 3D “15” plaques adorn each of the carriages and the engine, whilst Casey himself wears a special blue sash that appears to be blowing over his face, adding a frenzied touch of “can he see where he’s going?” to the “express” parade. The coal in his tender has been painted blue, with large silver stars dusted all over.

The most impressive change of all, though, is with the carriages. After almost nine years of knowing the old design, Casey Jr suddenly looks as good as new – better than new. It’s hard to believe they were able to reconfigure the carriages to include the ornate, swirling gold edges and fully-open design (the final wagon of the previous design, remember, was totally enclosed) seen here, especially on the budget the resort has to work with. Elements such as the old Lion Cage can still be spotted, but the final wagon is almost totally new – with its support columns decorated with a spiral white design similar to the wax of the characters’ candles…

The parade featured 13 characters: King Louie, Baloo, Captain Hook, Mr Smee, Goofy, Pinocchio, Gepetto, two mice from Cinderella, Chip n Dale, Woody and Jessie. As you might have noticed, they’ve also tied it all in nicely to the resort’s marketing campaign for the 15th, with each of the Disney characters holding their giant golden candles as seen in all the promotional art.

And now – the video!

The new morning parade will officially premiere on Saturday, steaming up Main Street four times a day for the entire 15th Anniversary celebration. All aboard!

All photos by Photos Magiques. You can see even more right here!

Thursday, 1st March 2007

Disney Characters jump aboard the celebration

And so, for one year only, every character will receive a special medal to commemorate fifteen years of Disney magic in Paris. Or, for the Disney Princesses, an ornate blue and gold brooch. This covers yet another key area of the resort in vital 15th Anniversary emblems, and yet again adds to the special “VIP” celebration feeling guests are expected to receive throughout the year.

And what of the “new Character locations created for this very special year” we were first promised back in June 2006? Well, according the final concept art below, four new “Character Experience” locations will be popping up at the four corners of Central Plaza, providing a kind of character “hub” around the redecorated Central Plaza stage and Castle. It’s also possible, perhaps, that the locations will be tied into the lands they border.

As for characters in Walt Disney Studios Park, the opening of Toon Studio in June will bring new character locations here, with latest rumours suggesting Ratatouille will be one of the new locations, giving a location for Rémy and Emile to meet guests. Walk-about characters from Meet the Robinsons are also expected.

The major Disney character event, though, will take place early each day on Main Street USA, as Disney’s Character Express steams into the park following a similar route and set-up to last Halloween’s Stitch Cavalcade. Taking place four times each day with a cast of around 14 Disney characters, the cavalcade will use the retired Dumbo float from The Wonderful World Of Disney Parade (seen above in its original concept art and in the park).

The “Casey Jr”-styled float, which consists of several articulated sections, will be completely repainted and redesigned, with a bold colour scheme of blue, white and gold and additional decorations on each carriage. The final carriage, previously closed, will be redesigned to allow more characters to hop onboard.

Characters seen on the concept art include Chip n Dale, Mr Smee, Captain Hook, Woody, Jessie, Buzz, Goofy, Donald, Eeyore and Tigger. Mickey and Minnie won’t be featured, their “top VIP” status obviously restricting them to Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade only. As it makes its way up Main Street and around Central Plaza, the Character Express will stop four times to allow the characters to disembark and interact with guests… which sounds like a joy for the Guest Flow teams!

How these events will affect the usual Halloween and Christmas seasons is still uncertain, though forgetting the long-awaited new attractions and even-longer-awaited new parade, the 15th Anniversary looks to be a fantastic year for park entertainment. With extra Disney characters, a morning cavalcade and an evening castle show apparently performed every day, this is the scale of entertainment usually restricted to a one month season extended to cover an entire year.

Concept art © Disney, captured by Mouetto on Disney Central Plaza forum.

Saturday, 24th February 2007

Candles, characters, decorations… and letters?

Candlabration / Bougillumination

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.

Lumière Banners

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…

D-i-s-n-e-y-l-a-n-d Letters

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?

Concept art © Disney, captured by Mouetto on Disney Central Plaza forum.
Additional photos by Joel.

Wednesday, 10th January 2007

Cast Member rendez-vous of dreams

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:


Scan: DLRP.fr

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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