Thursday, 12th March 2015

Frozen Summer Fun is coming to Disneyland Paris: everything you need to know

Frozen Summer Fun at Disneyland Paris - Frozen Sing-Along

On the day Walt Disney Animation Studios announces that Frozen 2 is really happening, Disneyland Paris has revealed more details of its upcoming Frozen Summer Fun season in a particularly informative press release.

Due to ice-over Disneyland Park just as soon as Swing into Spring comes to a close, the season from 1st June to 13th September 2015 is the first time the resort has truly “celebrated” summer, albeit in an unusually cold way. Read More…

Wednesday, 8th October 2014

‘Also for grown up kids’: Disneyland Paris finally discovers the adult traveller

'Also for grown up kids': Disneyland Paris finally discovers the adult traveller

Don’t have kids under seven? At last, Disneyland Paris cares about you. Titled “Jen’s Surprise Week-end”, a new video posted without fanfare to the official Disneyland Paris YouTube channel sees a young British couple exploring the resort on a “romantic getaway” with the surprising closing tagline: also for grown up kids. Read More…

Saturday, 27th September 2014

Frozen but Brave: Anna, Elsa and Merida to meet Disneyland Paris guests this Christmas

Christmas at Disneyland Paris featuring Disney's Frozen, Anna and Elsa

You wait for one new Disney princess meet ‘n’ greet and then two come at once. Alongside Anna and Elsa from Frozen, making their first appearance at Disneyland Paris outside of the daily parade, the upcoming Disney’s Enchanted Christmas season will also see the premiere of fiery-haired Merida from Pixar’s Brave, whom many assumed had been passed over by the Parisian resort. Read More…

Thursday, 5th June 2014

Disneyland Paris “keeps the magic alive” in perfect new resort video trailer

Over the years we’ve seen countless Disneyland Paris trailers cut from the vast archive of footage covering the resort’s attractions, but this one might just be the best.

Simply titled “Disneyland Paris – Faire vivre la magie pour nos visiteurs”, the video appeared without fanfare on the resort’s YouTube channel on Tuesday 3rd June. Running at just 2 minutes 14 seconds, it probably does a better job of selling the destination than any single one of the account’s other 581 videos.

Much of, if not all, the footage is recycled and not filmed especially for the trailer, some of it dating back decades and some of it — such as the swooping fly-over of Disney Magic on Parade! — relatively new.

Footage of the resort’s Cast Members and artisans putting finishing touches to the “magic” begins the video, before it’s all shown in action. It ends, of course, with the official footage from Disney Dreams!, which never fails to impress.

Music is “Fly High (Trailer Music)” from The Amazing Hero: Caped Avengers Fanfares.

Place a Disneyland Paris logo and a call to action at the end and it’d make a perfect trailer for wider release — especially in cinemas, as @CafeFantasia suggested.

It’s certainly a world apart from the Disneyland Paris commercial currently gracing TV screens.

Named “Magical Answers”, this 30-second spot (below) follows three children discovering they can, amazingly, actually have fun at Disneyland; with an odd and almost disturbing tone of cynicism about the world around them, given their ages.

Normally, the narrative in commercials and newspaper articles is of a cynical adult realising they too can enjoy a Disney theme park; this advert however shows us a mournful young boy sitting alone in a plush mansion, looking skeptically into the eyes of a Buzz Lightyear action figure, before saluting the real thing — still bizarrely on his own.

Continuing the trend of advertising only to this specific bracket of families with very young children, it all feels oddly sombre and pessimistic, and features precisely three seconds of footage of an actual attraction. Filmed at Disneyland in California, the French Sleeping Beauty Castle was simply spliced into the shots.

It’s enough to put a vast swathe of the audience off wanting to visit Disneyland Paris altogether. Let’s hope those potential visitors at least make it as far as the resort’s YouTube, and watch the fantastic new trailer above instead.

VIA Disneyland Paris (YouTube)

Tuesday, 3rd June 2014

Disneyland Paris Pin Trading May & June 2014 releases – Rats everywhere!

Disneyland Paris June 2014 Pin Trading releases

This month’s Disneyland Paris Pin Trading releases have an infestation of — you guessed it — rats. Beginning on 21st June with an “In 1 Month” pin, the tie-ins for Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy continue with three more open edition pins, a booster set and a lanyard on 28th June ahead of the 10th July opening.

There’s also the traditional Summer pin featuring The Little Mermaid, another new Disney Dreams! open edition, a limited Lady and the Tramp “Paris” dangler and a new entry in the now brilliantly huge “Attractions” series for Blanche-Neige et les Sept Nains.

Since last month’s releases were missed, see below for a May 2014 catch-up! Read More…

Tuesday, 3rd June 2014

Disneyland Paris Pin Trading May & June 2014 releases – Rats everywhere!

Disneyland Paris June 2014 Pin Trading releases

This month’s Disneyland Paris Pin Trading releases have an infestation of — you guessed it — rats. Beginning on 21st June with an “In 1 Month” pin, the tie-ins for Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy continue with three more open edition pins, a booster set and a lanyard on 28th June ahead of the 10th July opening.

There’s also the traditional Summer pin featuring The Little Mermaid, another new Disney Dreams! open edition, a limited Lady and the Tramp “Paris” dangler and a new entry in the now brilliantly huge “Attractions” series for Blanche-Neige et les Sept Nains.

Since last month’s releases were missed, see below for a May 2014 catch-up! Read More…

Monday, 3rd March 2014

Disney’s Oscar-winning, billion dollar Frozen is not just for Christmas anymore

Anna Elsa Frozen Disneyland Paris Disney Magic on Parade

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.

Fast forward to the thawing days of March, Frozen has just achieved an incredible double: two Academy Awards, for Best Animated Feature Film and Best Original Song, and — no doubt even better to Disney’s eyes — passing the heralded $1bn worldwide box office total.

Frozen: Disney Dreams! of Christmas
Frozen in Disney Dreams! of Christmas

Back at Disneyland Paris meanwhile, Disney Dreams! has reverted to its regular self — with new scenes The Lion King and Brave added last year.

Anna and Elsa still appear on their Disney Magic on Parade! float, shared with similar Walt Disney Animation Studios successes Rapunzel and Flynn, but they’ve still yet to step down from that float to actually meet and greet their increasingly adoring public.

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.

Frozen Disneyland Paris Disney Magic on Parade!å
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…

PHOTOS Photos Magiques

Sunday, 2nd March 2014

Disneyland Paris Pin Trading March 2014 releases – Spring, St Patrick’s & more Dreams

Disneyland Paris Pin Trading March 2014

This month’s Pin Trading releases include two more Disney Dreams! pins, two Eiffel Tower pins and another art nouveau Paris pin. Meanwhile in March 2014, Scrooge McDuck finds a pot of gold at the end of the St Patrick’s Day rainbow, Rapunzel represents Printemps (Spring) 2014 and Minnie Mouse gets a touch of Parisian avant-garde with a new “Oh La La” set.

Which ones would you like to add to your collection?

ORIGINAL PDF Disneyland Paris Pin Trading March 2014

Sunday, 2nd March 2014

Disneyland Paris Pin Trading March 2014 releases – Spring, St Patrick’s & more Dreams

Disneyland Paris Pin Trading March 2014

This month’s Pin Trading releases include two more Disney Dreams! pins, two Eiffel Tower pins and another art nouveau Paris pin. Meanwhile in March 2014, Scrooge McDuck finds a pot of gold at the end of the St Patrick’s Day rainbow, Rapunzel represents Printemps (Spring) 2014 and Minnie Mouse gets a touch of Parisian avant-garde with a new “Oh La La” set.

Which ones would you like to add to your collection?

ORIGINAL PDF Disneyland Paris Pin Trading March 2014

Saturday, 15th February 2014

Disneyland Paris condensed: fun facts and figures of the 2013 Annual Review

Euro Disney S.C.A. 2013 Annual Review

Soundbites about “challenging tourism climates” and “investing in growth strategies” aren’t all you’ll find the Euro Disney S.C.A. Annual Review. Published by the Disneyland Paris operating group each year, the splashy document is also filled with a host of fascinating and intriguing facts and figures about the resort, its parks, its Cast Members and its visitors.

You can browse the 2013 Annual Review now online. Surprisingly, this year breaks with tradition and abandons the usual overblown website dedicated to the report (last year complete with Philippe Gas video intro) and presents it just as a standard e-brochure. We’d love to know the figure for how much cash that decision wisely saved. But instead, here’s our quick pick of the key figures and fun facts of 2013 at Disneyland Paris…

  • Disneyland Paris has now been visited more than 275 million times
  • Between 2009 and 2013, around €510 million has been invested in the maintenance and development of the destination
  • There are over 14,000 Cast Members working over 500 different professions; 6,454 employees were hired in 2013
  • Inclusivity: Over 581 workers are disabled, an increase of over 50% since 2007, whilst 53 “seniors” aged over 50 were hired in 2013
  • Climbing the ladder: 80% of Managers and Senior Managers present in 2013 had been promoted internally, while the group hired 458 local residents who had experienced long-term unemployment
  • Val d’Europe now has 30,000 residents and provides 28,000 jobs
  • Hotel refurbishment programme is on-going, covering all 5,800 rooms, with all 1,100 rooms of Disney’s Newport Bay Club to be completed in 2014
  • 14.9 million visitors in 2013 (down from 16 million in 2012 and 15.6 in 2011)
  • Hotel occupancy down to 79.3% in 2013, from 84% in 2012 and 87.1% in 2011
  • Guest spending continues to grow: the average guest spends €48.14 in the parks and €235.01 per room in the Disney Hotels
  • Interest charges on the group’s debt were reduced by €20.4 million in 2013 thanks to the €1.3 billion refinancing by The Walt Disney Company in 2012
  • According to questionnaires, 63% of guests were “extremely” and “very” satisfied with their visits; 89% of guests would “definitely” and “probably” come back
  • Disney Dreams! scored a 92% guest satisfaction rating for fiscal year 2013
  • 4 million items have been sold at World of Disney since its opening in 2012
  • Staffed 24 hours a day by 200 Cast Members, the “Hercules” warehouse complex is more than 15 times the size of an Olympic swimming pool; in 2013 it was refitted with dimming, sensing, low-energy lighting by partner Osram
  • Scheduled for completion in late 2015, the fifth Val de France hotel, to be operated by B&B Hotels, will add 400 rooms to the resort
  • 90% of the land at Villages Nature will not be built on; the Center Parcs joint project will be developed in several phases over the next 20 years
  • 87 milion gallons of drinking water are expected to be saved each year once the new backstage water treatment and recycling plant becomes fully operational
  • Ratatouille: l’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy will be “by far the most advanced and sophisticated thing we’ve ever done from a ride integration standpoint. It will offer guests a totally immersive experience into a Disney•Pixar adventure” — Joe Schott, Senior Vice President & Chief Operating Officer
  • “This never-before-seen family attraction will magically shrink guests to the size of the movie’s adorable star, Rémy. They will then be whisked off for a multi-sensory spin around the kitchens of Chef Gusteau”

Last, but not least, the geographical split of theme park visits, where France has broken 51% leaving all other feeder nations languishing. It’s fascinating to look back ten years to the results from the 2003 Annual Review and see how dramatically the breakdown has shifted.

Disneyland Paris geographical breakdown of visitors 2003
Disneyland Paris geographical breakdown of visitors 2013

Where once 22% of visitors were from the United Kingdom, now that percentage is a tiny 14%. Worse for Germany; its percentage share has halved from 6% to 3% in 2013. Italy and Spain meanwhile used to make up 9% together and have now increased to 11%, mainly thanks to a boom in visitors from Spain begun a few years ago, but which now appears to have ebbed away, in line with the country’s economy, to 8%.

Attendance figures in 2003 were 12.4 million, so 22% would give an estimated 2,728,000 British guests for the year. The same calculation for 14% of the 14.9 million guests in 2013 gives 2,086,000 guests crossing the channel. Far from a scientific, watertight calculation, obviously, but you could see it suggesting that roughly 654,720 fewer visitors from the UK went to Disneyland Paris in 2013 compared to ten years ago, a 24% drop.

Overall, with 49% of visitors now coming from outside France in 2013 versus 61% in 2003, you could estimate the resort’s entire non-domestic park attendance has actually fallen by over a quarter of a million guests in the past ten years, from 7.6 million in 2003 to 7.3 million in 2013. In the same period, meanwhile, you could estimate attendance from within France has grown by a huge 2.8 million guests, from 4.8 million to a strong 7.6 million visitors.

Clearly it is time Disneyland Paris took a few of its œufs out of its panier and worked on growing visitor numbers from other countries too, if only back to the levels they were ten years ago.

That’s not something even Rémy can do alone, or is it?

SOURCE Euro Disney S.C.A. Annual Review 2013, Full PDF (7.9MB download)

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