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)

Saturday, 8th February 2014

Watch the latest Disneyland Paris TV spot, featuring “that” Disney parade flyover

Disneyland Paris 2014 TV Commercial - Parade Aerial Flyover

Wait, did they finally retire the Roger Rabbit float?! The latest Disneyland Paris TV commercial to hit the internet, via a Danish travel agency, features a brief glimpse of the all-new Disney Magic on Parade aerial “flyover” footage, painstakingly shot over a whole day last summer.

This scene will at last replace the over two decades-old footage of Walt Disney World‘s 20th Anniversary Surprise Celebration Parade that Disneyland Paris has been using in countless trailers and promotional films since before the park’s 1992 opening.

Besides that well-choreographed shot, this TV spot just happens to be an all-round solid production. There’s footage of actual rides (!), real hotels (!) and of course a Disneyland Paris parade genuinely travelling down the true Parisian Main Street.

Disneyland Paris 2014 TV CommercialDisneyland Paris 2014 TV Commercial
Disneyland Paris 2014 TV CommercialDisneyland Paris 2014 TV Commercial
Disneyland Paris 2014 TV CommercialDisneyland Paris 2014 TV Commercial
Disneyland Paris 2014 TV Commercial

It uses a familiar concept of transporting people from the “real world” into a more magical Disney setting, but those clips last mere milliseconds. The recent “30 Yes Days” commercials for example, like far too many of the resort’s TV ads, dawdle endlessly on setting up a “concept”, when Disneyland Paris should probably just be using their precious airtime to show footage of the parks, like this.

We can even let the family off for apparently sneaking into the Newport Bay Club pool.

Watch the new Disneyland Paris commercial embedded below…

VIA @PlazaGardens (Twitter)

Monday, 9th July 2012

Disney’s Fantillusion, The Tarzan Encounter return for two months of Summer Time

This past Saturday 7th July, the night was “turned to light” at Disneyland Park. Not just by the spectacular, state-of-the-art effects of Disney Dreams! but now also by the more traditional twinkling bulbs of Disney’s Fantillusion, returning for its tenth summer season at Disneyland Paris. Scheduled for 22:15 each night, with Disney Dreams! at park closing time (23:00), Disney’s Fantillusion appears to have retained the same format and floats as its previous summer and winter 2012 seasons, with the only noted changes being some refreshed costumes.

However, as now seems to be customary before each season, there’s some doubt about its future. According to RadioDisneyClub.fr, the parade will not return as usual for the upcoming Disney’s Enchanted Christmas season. So far Disneyland Paris has confirmed only the dates for this Christmas — 9th November 2012 to 6th January 2013 — and none of the events contained within.

Earlier this year, before its current season to 2nd September 2012 was confirmed, it was rumoured separately both that the parade would precede Disney Dreams! every single night, all year, and that it had been cancelled completely.

The Tarzan Encounter cast and crew [(C) Disney_ParisEN]

Meanwhile, the essential live Disney stage show has also returned to the park with The Tarzan Encounter, beginning an eleventh season at The Chaparral Theater in Frontierland back on 9th June. Resident at the theatre since 2000, with a two year hiatus in 2009 and 2010, the musical acrobatics show continues to be a guest favourite after its 2011 resurrection, performing five times daily at 12:30, 13:30, 14:30, 16:45 and 17:45 to strong crowds.

While it seems ungrateful to say it when we have something as beautiful and big as Disney Dreams!, it is still true that both parks — and particularly Walt Disney Studios Park, with its slightly lacklustre Disney’s Stars ‘n’ Cars parade — lack these daytime entertainments, shows and streetmosphere which add life to the lands throughout the day, not just for 20 minutes before park closing time.

At least for the next two months now, Disneyland Park offers the full line-up: stage show, daytime parade, electrical parade and nighttime spectacular. That’s a day only Disneyland can give you.

VIA @InsideDLParis (Twitter), @Disney_ParisEN (Twitter) RadioDisneyClub.fr

Monday, 7th May 2012

‘Making the Magic’ TV show reveals backstage preparations for Dreams, Magic on Parade

Neatly timed to coincide with the celebrations of 12th April 2012, Channel 5 in the UK broadcast a special behind-the-scenes “documentary” on Sunday, 15th April giving a unique look at the preparations for the 20th Anniversary. Titled Making the Magic: Disneyland Paris – 20th Anniversary, it will be available to watch on the online Demand 5 player until March 2013, but only within the UK.

Not wanting to let such a great promotional piece for the resort go unseen for everyone else, we managed to record the whole show from a DVR box. Quality isn’t perfect (no need for 720p), but hopefully it’s good enough to enjoy. (And yes, Walt Disney built his first park in 1955, not 1957!)

The show naturally focuses mainly on Disney Dreams!, with exclusive input from Steve Davison, Katy Harris and technical director Chuck Davis, but Disney Magic on Parade! is also featured with Kat de Blois and two British parade Cast Members preparing for the parade’s changeover. We get to see “Team Dreams” making last minute preparations on the same day Steve, Katy and Kat took time out to attend a Q&A session with fan sites, making us even more grateful for that opportunity. Added drama comes as Steve drops into the Dreams control room to announce: “There’s a big blue square which appears in the middle of Jungle Book, which I’ve never seen..!”

Knowing the promotional tie-up between Channel 5 and Disneyland Paris before the launch of the 20th Anniversary, this show is clearly more of a glossy promotional piece than a true “documentary” — but it’s also 22 minutes of the best British TV promotion seen for the resort in years. No CGI, no greenscreen, just letting the magic — and the people behind the magic — speak for themselves.

Meanwhile, across the Channel, French viewers recently got to enjoy the far less glossy but rather more revealing “Disneyland et ses Secrets” feature-length documentary on France 3, which can also be found in full on YouTube.

Tuesday, 10th April 2012

[VIDEO] Disney Magic on Parade! opening day performance

Disneyland Paris 20th Anniversary Launch Weekend

Bright blue skies came out on 1st April for the first official public performance of Disney Magic on Parade!, which you can watch in our exclusive video right here. Just a day earlier, the special premiere performance had gone out under thick clouds with a sharp chill in the air as the “press event curse” struck again — that unwritten Disney park rule which means any major organised event will be struck by less-than-perfect weather.

This opening day performance was also thankfully missing the over-abundance of parade guards the previous day, almost overpowering the floats themselves. And if you’d have been there, you could have breathed in the scents of each float again, missing the day before; a unique feature of Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade which was thankfully revived just in time.

Donald Duck, rather than Tinker Bell, ended the parade on its first day, and it seems the two will continue to share the role depending on the fairy’s availability — no doubt being very busy with a certain nighttime spectacular right now.

Thursday, 5th April 2012

[VIDEO] Disney Magic on Parade! Premiere

Disneyland Paris 20th Anniversary Launch Weekend

At 3.00pm on Saturday, there was “Magic Everywhere!” as Disney Magic on Parade! saw its official premiere for the press, running “backwards” up Main Street towards Fantasyland for one day only. Also a one-off was the heavy “security” presence — you may have heard that the previous day’s parade, planned to be a final farewell for the Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade name and music, had to be cancelled due to a small group of strikers disrupting the parade route.

The next day, as the press and VIPs (and, err, us lot) gathered to watch the revamped parade for the 20th Anniversary launch, it was clear the vast majority of other Cast Members were not willing to see this performance disrupted and so the parade was guarded its entire length. If you watch closely, you can even spot Peggie Fariss, head of Walt Disney Imagineering Paris, walking alongside!

If you’d rather a video with sunshine and fewer parade guards (but no Tinker Bell), stay tuned for our video of the first “opening day” performance on April 1st, coming shortly.

Thursday, 5th April 2012

[VIDEO] 20th & Disney Dreams! Q&A with Steve Davison, Kat de Blois, Katy Harris

Disneyland Paris 20th Anniversary Launch Weekend

This has been one epic upload, but here we go: the full, unedited 48-minute presentation and panel discussion with Creative Director Kat de Blois, Show Director Katy Harris and VP Parades & Spectaculars Steve Davison himself. Seated in Plaza Gardens Restaurant at 12.30pm on Saturday, we were just inches away from the creators of the 20th Anniversary entertainments as they first explained and presented their creations before moving on to an open and informal Q&A discussion with the intimate audience of around 20 invited Disneyland Paris blog and fansite authors.

Kat de Blois began by presenting Disney Magic on Parade! in French (the only small part missing from the video), followed by Katy Harris introducing Disney’s 20th Anniversary Celebration Train in English, then Steve Davison talking about Disney Dreams! — which made up the bulk of the 40 minutes of questions which followed, revealing numerous insights into the new spectacular.

While I had the camera rolling the entire time, Kristof from Photos Magiques put a couple of questions direct to the panel. Including, at 42 minutes in, the million dollar question that is: “When did you decide to get rid of Central Plaza stage, and was it a tough decision?” The reaction, and the justification, is fascinating viewing, as is the entire presentation. We’ll revisit it more soon and go through all of the details revealed about the creation of Disney Dreams! in particular. But for now, we thank Kat, Steve and Katy for taking time out on such a busy day to meet a small number of their fans, and for allowing us to film and document the occasion so that everyone at home can be there, too.

Note: The sound quality has been improved as much as possible in editing, but due to the intimate setting it obviously won’t be perfect. Nevertheless, this is a unique all too rare chance to meet the people behind the “dreams”. And to think, as Steve reveals, it all began by spotting a Peter Pan motif in the design of Disneyland Hotel… Proving that Dreams can come from anywhere, but you never quite know where they’ll take you.

Thursday, 5th April 2012

[VIDEO] 20th & Disney Dreams! Q&A with Steve Davison, Kat de Blois, Katy Harris

Disneyland Paris 20th Anniversary Launch Weekend

This has been one epic upload, but here we go: the full, unedited 48-minute presentation and panel discussion with Creative Director Kat de Blois, Show Director Katy Harris and VP Parades & Spectaculars Steve Davison himself. Seated in Plaza Gardens Restaurant at 12.30pm on Saturday, we were just inches away from the creators of the 20th Anniversary entertainments as they first explained and presented their creations before moving on to an open and informal Q&A discussion with the intimate audience of around 20 invited Disneyland Paris blog and fansite authors.

Kat de Blois began by presenting Disney Magic on Parade! in French (the only small part missing from the video), followed by Katy Harris introducing Disney’s 20th Anniversary Celebration Train in English, then Steve Davison talking about Disney Dreams! — which made up the bulk of the 40 minutes of questions which followed, revealing numerous insights into the new spectacular.

While I had the camera rolling the entire time, Kristof from Photos Magiques put a couple of questions direct to the panel. Including, at 42 minutes in, the million dollar question that is: “When did you decide to get rid of Central Plaza stage, and was it a tough decision?” The reaction, and the justification, is fascinating viewing, as is the entire presentation. We’ll revisit it more soon and go through all of the details revealed about the creation of Disney Dreams! in particular. But for now, we thank Kat, Steve and Katy for taking time out on such a busy day to meet a small number of their fans, and for allowing us to film and document the occasion so that everyone at home can be there, too.

Note: The sound quality has been improved as much as possible in editing, but due to the intimate setting it obviously won’t be perfect. Nevertheless, this is a unique all too rare chance to meet the people behind the “dreams”. And to think, as Steve reveals, it all began by spotting a Peter Pan motif in the design of Disneyland Hotel… Proving that Dreams can come from anywhere, but you never quite know where they’ll take you.

Wednesday, 4th April 2012

[VIDEO] 20th Anniversary Opening Ceremony with Fabienne Bergmans and Salma Hayek

Disneyland Paris 20th Anniversary Launch Weekend

Join Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and the Disneyland Paris Ambassadors for a special one-off Park Opening Ceremony at 10am on 31st March 2012 to launch the 20th Anniversary of Disneyland Paris!

Features a live performance of the new Disney Magic on Parade! theme song “Magic Everywhere!” by Fabienne Bergmans, winner of The Voice Kids Netherlands, before actress, director and producer Salma Hayek cuts the ribbon to launch the celebration — but not before Chip and Dale arrive with the all-important scissors!

• Enjoy a complete gallery of original photos from the event at Photos Magiques!

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