Wednesday, 7th March 2012

“20 ans ça va être géant!” is the 20th Anniversary advertising campaign slogan

“20 Years — It’s going to be brilliant!” is, loosely translated, the slogan for Disneyland Paris’ 20th Anniversary advertising campaign. These two designs have just been revealed for the campaign’s print and poster ads. Mickey Mouse and Buzz Lightyear will feature in “giant” form on the side of buildings, similar to the TV advertising campaign, pointing the way to Sleeping Beauty Castle and all the anniversary events. The slogan in French, to be translated for other markets, is simply “20 ans ça va être géant!”, hinting at the big and “brilliant” surprises to come during the new Disney Dreams! nighttime spectacular.

Meanwhile, cue hoards of clueless Paris tourists wandering the city in confusion that the fabled towers of this particular château aren’t within quite such proximity to its city streets… Be kind and point them towards the nearest RER station, won’t you?

VIA Gldsun (Disney Central Plaza)

Tuesday, 6th March 2012

Steve Davison arrives in Paris for overnight ‘Disney Dreams!’ testing and programming

If there’s one Facebook page you really need to “Like” as anticipation grows for the 20th Anniversary and Disney Dreams! (besides our own of course), then it’s the Steve Davison Fan Page. Because this isn’t just any page dedicated to the Disneyland entertainment master and producer of Disneyland Paris’ new nighttime spectacular, no. It’s Steve himself who provides the updates, which in the past have included rare glimpses into the production of World of Color as well as Tokyo DisneySea‘s stunningly re-imagined version of the classic Fantasmic!. Over recent months and weeks, Steve has begun dropping tantalising morsels of information about this, his very first original project for Disneyland Paris, culminating in an attention-grabbing status update just over a week ago which simply began “DISNEY DREAMS! DISNEY DREAMS! DISNEY DREAMS!.

This was Steve announcing his final departure to Disneyland Paris, where he’ll presumably be based for the whole month to prepare every element of the new park finale for its grand premiere. “Here I come. Off to program the show for Paris Disneyland. All the pieces look amazing thus far! Now it’s the task of painting them all together into one beautiful, exciting and moving spectacular!”

Since arriving in Marne-la-Vallée, Steve has shared three further updates; first revealing that the Disney Dreams! fountains rose out of the moat for the very first time exactly a week ago, on February 28th: “Just saw a bunch of water rising up from out of the moat! Now that’s a good thing! Fun stuff!” And on 1st March, that the unpredictable Marne-la-Vallée fog was causing problems for the team: “It is one “foggy” programming night here is Paris. Not getting a lot done. We can’t see a thing. I feel like Santa at the end of Rodolph! Except I don’t have a reindeer with a bright red nose to cut through the fog. But the 10K searchlights come close!”

The testing and programming is taking place after park hours and running right through the night, apparently as late at 6am. Steve himself followed up his first update from Paris with the confirmation: “And yes it’s really 3:30am here!” Even a programmer of Dreams deserves a night off, though, as Steve posted Saturday: “We have a night off tonight. It’s crazy working nights.” But that doesn’t mean the team were apart for too long, as he later revealed a trip out to the nearby town of Melun, south-east of Paris: “Oh no. We’re in Melun having Fondue with Team Dreams!”

Currently hovering around 987 likes, let’s see if his new quotient of Disneyland Paris fans from DLRP Today.com can boost numbers on the Steve Davison Fan Page above 1000, shall we?

Sunday, 4th March 2012

‘Disney Dreams!’ to premiere 31st March… broadcast live online at MyTF1.fr

Shhh… Whisper it, but the 1st April 2012 showing of new nighttime spectacular Disney Dreams! won’t actually be its first performance. The odd Sunday launch date might have given it away, or the fact that Disneyland Paris has a history of premiering its new events exclusively for the press a day beforehand, but now it’s confirmed: the so-called world premiere of Disney Dreams! will take place Saturday, 31st March 2012. This will be part of a wider, private 20th Anniversary press event to take place over the 31st March/1st April weekend. But even the press won’t be the absolute first to see the completed show; no, that honour naturally goes to the resort’s thousands of Cast Members, who will get their very own private performance on 29th March.

But here’s an interesting development: thanks to a tie-up with French television network TF1, the 31st March premiere performance will also be broadcast live online, via their MyTF1.fr website. The website is currently running a contest for four French viewers to win passes to the press event and assist in the broadcast, which will be hosted by station personality Sandrine Quétier. On the night of 31st March, the main TF1 channel will broadcast three special promotional spots with Sandrine to introduce the winners of the contest and count down to the premiere of Disney Dreams!, which will apparently then be broadcast live online at the MyTF1 website from 10.30pm.

It has been pointed out that this broadcast, although certainly a giant spoiler for the show, may well be edited or missing segments due to rights issues. It’s also not known whether this particular live stream would be available to view outside of France. Toy Story Playland had a similar live online broadcast on its opening day, hosted on the official Disneyland Paris website, featuring a tour of the attractions and interviews with Imagineers and guests.

And if you can’t make it to any of these premieres? You’re invited to join us for our full HD video of the show, to premiere just a few days later on DLRP Magic! Video, our YouTube channel and of course embedded right here on DLRP Today!

Press release (in French) follows… Read More…

Sunday, 4th March 2012

Early 20th sparkle for Sleeping Beauty Castle as Peter Andre films new commercial

We all know 1992 as the year that saw Disneyland Paris open its gates, but what other tentative beginnings is that fateful year famous for? Why, the launch of British-born pop singer Peter Andre‘s career, when he released his first single in Australia, of course! Whether this was the smart thinking behind asking him to present what appears to be a new commercial for the 20th Anniversary, or the fact that he has more recently appeared in a string of ITV reality shows, remains to be seen, but Sleeping Beauty Castle was ready to put on an extra sparkle for his arrival yesterday.

The news spread on Twitter with Andre himself tweeting “Back at work today, filming my first ever TV commercial for Disneyland :)) it’s cold cold cold in Paris” in the early afternoon. After darkness fell, he posted the two photos featured here, showing him appearing with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Sulley in front of an illuminated castle, holding a 20th Anniversary-branded microphone. The anniversary logo was also projected onto the façade of the castle as spotlights criss-crossed the sky, creating quite a spectacle from Main Street, U.S.A. for regular guests.

Below, two Instagram photos shared by @pka13 of the filming and the castle, which was lit by the colour-changing embedded LED lights first installed for the Princess Aurora’s Christmas Wish show last year.

Since we’ve already seen numerous versions of the main TV advertising campaign for the anniversary, Peter Andre’s “commercial” filming will presumably be for a special one-off broadcast closer to the 1st April launch date itself, perhaps as part of a promotional segment within a TV show or as a one-of commercial spot. Meanwhile, Pat Sharp is still waiting for his call-back…

VIA @MrPeterAndre, @pka13 (Twitter)

Friday, 2nd March 2012

LEDs ready to light up ‘Disney Dreams!’ fountains as water flows back into castle moat

We’re not the only ones watching every movement in the moat of Sleeping Beauty Castle. As the waterfall in the château’s hillside began thundering again and water flowed back into its basin, DisneyGazette.fr caught even the resident ducks marvelling at the completed fountain installation for Disney Dreams! — now with LED lights. Similar, if not identical, to the illumination of the World of Color fountains in California, sealed metal rings of LED lights are fixed around the spout of each fountain. Twenty-four energy efficient, high power LED beams are split into eight groups of three, with each providing either a red, blue or green colour to give the light a whole spectrum of possibilities. Sitting at the base of the fountain, this beam of coloured light will flow through the water jet to make it come alive with light and colour as it shoots into the air, almost as high as the castle itself.

A completed set of fountains, with hardware and wiring cleaned up and freshly submerged, also allows us to get a better overview of what exactly the water effects comprise. We can count a total of 38 standard fountains, with vertical spouts and LED rings sitting above the water, split between 18 on the left of the castle bridge and 20 on the right. In addition, there are 6 special, angled water jets, again with LED illumination — made up of 3 on either side of the castle. These are angled inwards to the castle bridge and will allow for “arc” effects in the water as specific moments in the show.

Finally, the high-powered jets detailed in a previous update come in at a total of 12. Believed to be boosted by compressed air to launch them higher than the castle, these comprise 6 jets on each side of the moat, housed together within a self-contained unit. This gives Disney Dreams! a grand total of 56 fountains — not including the two enormous water screen towers, which have yet to be disguised. A modest number indeed, compared to the over 1,200 fountains which World of Color solely relies on for its show, but certainly enough as only one element of a wider effects-packed spectacle.

And how did those fountains get finished up with LED lights so fast? The answer from @InsideDLParis, who caught technicians installing the rings even as the moat was filling with water, wearing waders and working even through park operating hours to get the effects ready in time for testing.

Meanwhile, the all-important control centre where they’ll be launched from each night — otherwise known as the ‘Parks Landscaping Department’ — now has two more details with the addition of lamps both under its porch awning and atop a lamppost outside. Let’s hope the inside has been fitted with special duck-monitoring equipment, to prevent any Donald Duck-style mishaps come April…

PHOTOS DisneyGazette.fr, @InsideDLParis (Twitter)

Friday, 2nd March 2012

Full-length Disneyland Paris 20th Anniversary trailer revealed with Big Ben cameo

From Spanish to English to French, the multilingual advertising campaign for Disneyland Paris’ 20th Anniversary expands across Europe and all leads to this: the full-length 40-second TV spot, featuring all the scenes in one commercial. Like the New Generation Festival TV spots, new character animation has been specially produced just for these adverts. Notably, as seen above, Peter Pan appearing across the tower of Big Ben in London. That particular scene is currently running as a short 10-second teaser in the UK, with the 40-second trailer only arriving nearer the launch date itself. Meanwhile France will see this full-length advert running from this Monday, 5th March — but you can watch it in HD below.

What do you think — does the ad do a good job selling the events?

Full Disneyland Paris 20th Anniversary TV spot follows… Read More…

Wednesday, 29th February 2012

Central Plaza tent encampment falls with no surprises, ground works almost complete

The tents have gone from Central Plaza! Ever since a camp of five tents sprung up on the plaza at the start of February, the expected panic of those with impending visits — who just have to get that photo — has ensued. If that’s you, you’ll be glad to know this isn’t some “Lead Day” anomaly, the tents have served their purpose and been taken down. Insert brilliant current affairs reference to the end of the Occupy London camp here. Structured as one giant tent in the middle of the plaza with four smaller marquees over each of the wings, this crucial weather protection has allowed workers to continue through freezing temperatures as they relay the floor across Central Plaza.

This followed the dismantling of the former stage which dominated the area, having become unpopular with both fans and, apparently, management — especially as removing it frees up more vital viewing space for Disney Dreams!. Despite the effort gone to to protect the construction site, the results don’t appear too dramatic at all. Looking at some photos taken underneath the construction walls today, it appears the pathways have been rebuilt with the same regular pavement concrete as the rest of Main Street, U.S.A. without any major change. Railings and lampposts appear the same, if freshly repainted, though there does appear to be one missing element: the central flower bed.

Of course, removing this frees up even more space, but it does mean this is a Disneyland Park without a Partners Statue nor anything else at its heart. May we suggest a statue of Steve Davison, pointing to the skies above the castle?

PHOTO @cgonier VIA @InsideDLParis

Tuesday, 28th February 2012

Mystery of the ‘Disney Dreams!’ water screen towers, rising from the castle moat

Now you see them, now you… still see them. But soon you won’t. Besides the 50 or so fountains now installed in the moat of Sleeping Beauty Castle for Disney Dreams!, two enormous other water effects have recently made their mark on this fairytale landscape. In the middle of the moat on either side of the bridge, a towering steel construction rises above the heads of passing guests. Camouflaged, for now, into the grey cliffside and stone walls of the castle from a distance, their size is nevertheless impressive. Their use is no mystery at all: these are the two vital water screens to be used throughout the show.

Water will be pumped at high pressure up the large pipe at the rear of the tower, before hitting the curved, semi-circular head of the tower at enough velocity to erupt upwards in a fine, fan-shaped spray, creating a perfect projection screen. Before this happens, however, the pipe will be elevated even further into the air at the start of each show using compressed air and a pneumatic lift inside its main support beam, lifting it to perhaps almost double the height seen here.

Projectors positioned behind each tower, now being squeezed into the rockwork and stone wall of the castle, will project images to accompany those mapped across the castle, expanding and completing the scene. The show will notably open with Peter Pan projected on one screen and Wendy on the other, as the Second Star to the Right shines from the castle’s top window above.

Since the photos here by ThemeParkZone.es were taken on 16th February, the towers have been fully connected up ready for testing and the moat refilled to around half its depth, so their excellent photo update is a great last chance to see all the Disney Dreams! equipment before it was hidden by water.


So, the only mystery here now is how these giant steel towers will be hidden. It was expected before work began that they might rise and sink completely into the water, but the towers are clearly permanently installed at this height. Since they haven’t been painted before installation, it will now be a case of cladding or wrapping them in a themed finish to match the environment. RadioDisneyClub.fr has reported that a company fittingly called Neverland Themepark Decorations could be working on the final design; their website states them to be specialists in themed concrete creations…

VIA ThemeParkZone.es

Monday, 27th February 2012

20th Anniversary TV spots launch with Disney characters projected across Europe

Disneyland Paris has launched its TV advertising for the 20th Anniversary in the UK, beginning with 10-second teaser adverts that show an animated Peter Pan projected across London’s Big Ben. It’s all part of the campaign that sees various Disney characters miraculously appear on buildings and European landmarks, hinting at the effects to be experienced with Disney Dreams! from 1st April. These “tactical” spots, designed to create awareness and intrigue with their short running time, will later turn into full-blown 40-second TV spots nearer the launch date itself.

Meanwhile, following the earlier Spanish commercial, a new 30-second English trailer has appeared using different scenes and angles, as well as a much nicer endboard featuring the castle. Ending with “click here”, it appears to be intended for online video-on-demand players. Buzz Lightyear opens the advert, appearing on a modern skyscraper, while scenes in the park show Lightning McQueen flying through the sky and a computer-enhanced Soundsational Parade travelling down Anaheim’s Main Street. Well, Disneyland Paris adverts have never been ones for accuracy.





Watch the new English TV spot below… Read More…

Monday, 27th February 2012

First 20th Anniversary Extended Hours revealed: 9.30, 10.30, 11pm bedtimes ahead in April!

April is a busy month for Disneyland Paris, but it’s also outside of the main summer high season. For years that has meant, no matter how busy the parks, you’d see no fireworks and certainly stay no later than 10pm — 8 or 9pm on weekdays. The Extended Hours announced for the 20th Anniversary — primarily to make sure Disney Dreams! can be performed under darkness — promised to change that and revolutionise the annual calendar of the resort. Well, here we go.

Park opening hours for the first half of April 2012 have now been published (check them here), giving us our first look at exactly what “Extended Hours” mean. The first two weekends of April now see Disneyland Park open until 10.30pm, giving up to an hour and a half more time than the same period last year (check our archived hours here). On the weekend of the 14th and 15th, that extends further to the magical 11pm; the first 11pm closing time in April for almost two decades. Meanwhile weekdays see a solid 9.30pm closing time, again an increase of up to an hour and a half on last year.

It’s important to note that these Extended Hours are really just regular park opening hours… extended. Merely a way to promote the longer hours required to see darkness fall over Sleeping Beauty Castle — and all those Disney Dreams! effects come to life. The unconnected Extra Magic Hours, which are available in the morning, continue for Disney Hotel guests and Annual Passport Dream holders.

These new hours not only add a great deal more value to park tickets (and particularly resort hotel stays), they herald the moment where Disneyland Paris is ready to grow up, to start acting like a real Disney park. Previously weighted far too heavily towards the two summer months of July and August, the resort’s old calendar saw pretty much the entire rest of the year besides Christmas relegated to “off season”. If you wanted the “full Disney experience” of later hours, darkness falling over Main Street and nighttime entertainment, you had to wait until summer — and stump up the prices to match. Now, that full Disney experience will be available every day and every night of the year.

• Flashback: See the very first Euro Disneyland opening times from 1992 here!

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