Monday, 19th March 2012

Steve Davison shares first photos of completed, wall-free, stage-free Central Plaza!

It’s the dawn of a new day. Construction walls have finally come down in Central Plaza, revealing the finished repaving project across the hub of the park following the much-celebrated removal of the overbearing stage which had resided here since 2009. After seven weeks of work through freezing conditions into the milder days of early spring, the completed Central Plaza is now a vast expanse of smoothly-finished concrete pavement — no obstacles, no obstructions, just a perfect view of Sleeping Beauty Castle and of course, the impending Disney Dreams! nighttime spectacular.

In fact it was Steve Davison, the director of Disney Dreams!, who grabbed these very first photos of the plaza without construction walls at 6am this morning. Though we don’t entirely envy Team Dreams with their nocturnal work shifts, seeing dawn break over a wide, open Central Plaza is one well-deserved reward. Steve shared the first photo above with the comment: “WOW! What a wonderful view! No Wall! No Stage. Just a beautiful view of the Castle. Enjoy!” He followed this up with further praise for our castle and a clearer critique of the poorly-integrated stage: “It’s so much better without the stage. It blocked this amazing piece of architecture. WOW! What a castle!”

That certainly suggests we’re not the only ones happy to see that back of the enormous stage, which presented three consecutive shows of varying popularity. Beginning with It’s Party Time… with Mickey and Friends in 2009, it then saw the far superior Disney Showtime Spectacular in 2010, before whimpering to a close with Mickey’s Magical Celebration last year. Even before those shows, the plaza was taken up by a smaller stage for the 15th Anniversary Candleabration show in 2007 and 2008, and for the castle lighting show of the previous Christmas, meaning the plaza hasn’t been open for guests since as long ago as 2006.

Deciding not the reinstate the small circular flower bed in the middle of the hub was probably a wise idea for crowd control during Disney Dreams!, but does such an entirely bare Central Plaza make an ideal heart for the park? Couldn’t they have done something more interesting with the floor, or is it best to just let the castle take all the presence here? Whatever your opinion, you’ll no doubt at least agree with Steve Davison that the view opened up is “Simply beautiful!”. We have a lot to thank Team Dreams for. Longer park hours, a real, nightly nighttime spectacular, and now a Central Plaza back to how it should be. No stage, just a beautiful view of the castle.

VIA Steve Davison Fan Page (Facebook)

Tuesday, 30th March 2010

New Generation decoration mixes old habits, new ideas

These days it only happens at Halloween and Christmas, but there was a point in the recent past, around the time of The Lion King Carnival and similar events, when it seemed Main Street Station was never without decorations.

But, those seasonal logos have made a comeback. As spotted in a behind-the-scenes video, concepts prepared by the Entertainment department called for a return to Main Street Station decorations — although we couldn’t quite get a good look at them. Last week, they began to appear.

New Generation Festival decorations

First with a new idea, at least for seasonal decorations at Disneyland Paris: Ruffled semi-circular fabric bunting in red and yellow, a common way Main Street is decorated for Halloween in the overseas parks — where there’s no orange paint in sight — and a welcome idea for Paris.

And then, the old tradition: A large logo plaque and sculpted character models.

New Generation Festival decorations

Models that are, it’s been noted… a little off-model. The tacked-on Mickey is oversized compared to his new friends, and we’d better be careful what we say about that Woody and his eyes… there must be something in the s’mores at Cowboy Camp!

So far (perhaps there’s more to come?) there are only additional characters to the left of the main logo, with Tiana and Frog standing in front of one window and Remy in front of the other.

New Generation Festival decorations

New Generation Festival decorations

As we saw in the concept art, the Baroque style of the logo frame is continued through the new Main Street lamppost decorations, although the colour scheme seems to have become darker and less symmetrical.

The final colours of the ribbons under each frame are blue, yellow, red, green and purple, rather than the fresher pattern of purple, white, yellow, green, yellow, white and pink promised…

New Generation Festival decorations

New Generation Festival decorations

New Generation Festival decorations

Still, we can probably all agree this is how Main Street should be decorated. A big, big improvement on the mess last year; at last a reasonably subtle way to extend the year’s theme and bring the current advertising campaign into the parks.

Perhaps, then, it simply fell to Main Street Station to be this year’s sacrificial piece of Disneyland Park for the less successful decorations, now that the castle is finally off-limits. At least, better to have Woody frightening children there than from somewhere on our dear château!

Now, about Tinkerbell…

Photos by Dlrpteam for DLRP Today.com

Tuesday, 30th March 2010

New Generation Festival Press Launch – In the Parks

Press events are both loved and loathed by Disneyland Paris fans, particularly those frequent French visitors who might have the chance to visit almost every weekend.

On the one hand, it’s a break from the norm — the chance to see special photo set-ups and even catch sight of some VIPs. On the other, it means disruption throughout the parks, areas closed off and prime parade and show viewing points cordoned off from paying guests, while badge holders are often given free reign to skip queues on the most popular attractions. Maybe they’re a necessary evil.

Anyway, it’s not all glitz and glamour — take those celebrity photos with the blue New Generation Festival backdrop we posted the other night. Thought that might be some plush backstage area or a warm photo studio? No, it was the glamorous locale of the Moteurs… Action! queue area… !

New Generation Festival Press Launch - In the Parks

Surprisingly, performances of the stunt show itself weren’t interrupted by the press event, although numerous preparations for the spectacular nighttime launch ahead were visible inside the arena — such as this large lighting rig running along the roof span:

New Generation Festival Press Launch - In the Parks

Projectors, cameras and other equipment were not-so-inconspicuously hidden under black sheets in various areas of the stadium seating:

New Generation Festival Press Launch - In the Parks

New Generation Festival Press Launch - In the Parks

Back outside, Backlot had welcomed a fun retro trailer to serve as an outside broadcast unit for “LFM”:

New Generation Festival Press Launch - In the Parks

New Generation Festival Press Launch - In the Parks

New Generation Festival Press Launch - In the Parks

Celebrities and VIPs from various nations could be spotted all over the parks throughout the day, with film crews, reporters and cameras trailing them to the various picture-perfect locations like the Toon Town backdrop:

New Generation Festival Press Launch - In the Parks

New Generation Festival Press Launch - In the Parks

Meanwhile, Buzz Lightyear made a quick move from meeting the guests in Toon Studio (left) to meeting the VIPs and film crews in the temporary Backlot photo studio (right):

New Generation Festival Press Launch - In the Parks New Generation Festival Press Launch - In the Parks

New Generation Festival Press Launch - In the Parks

New Generation Festival Press Launch - In the Parks

The fully-refurbished Monsters Inc. location in Toon Studio had a special lighting set-up for the celebrity shots taken here with Sully:

New Generation Festival Press Launch - In the Parks

And then, the roping-off began:

New Generation Festival Press Launch - In the Parks

A huge area around the Place des Stars Stage was cordoned off for press only, leaving regular, paying guests struggling to see the single performance of Disney’s Stars ‘n’ Cars, the park’s only outdoor entertainment spectacle:

New Generation Festival Press Launch - In the Parks

At least, it was well-patronised come show time:

New Generation Festival Press Launch - In the Parks

The president of Disneyland Paris, Euro Disney CEO, Philippe Gas was also in attendance to see Rémy and Emile join the production:

New Generation Festival Press Launch - In the Parks

Despite his no doubt hectic schedule, he even took time to make a surprise appearance at a unique meeting of Disneyland Paris fans which was organised for the day — you can read a report here.

With the show over, the Ratatouille car left Place des Stars last…

New Generation Festival Press Launch - In the Parks

New Generation Festival Press Launch - In the Parks

And then veered left to turn into the cordoned-off Hollywood Boulevard…

New Generation Festival Press Launch - In the Parks

Pulling up alongside the Toy Story car to provide a backdrop for more photos and VIP interviews:

New Generation Festival Press Launch - In the Parks

New Generation Festival Press Launch - In the Parks

New Generation Festival Press Launch - In the Parks

New Generation Festival Press Launch - In the Parks

This was only the second time since the launch of “The Celebration Continues” in 2008 that events have centred so squarely on Walt Disney Studios Park, but there were still plenty of events elsewhere. Over in Disneyland Park, the Town Square gazebo was surrounded by special lighting and wrapped in vines for celebrity photos with Princess Tiana:

New Generation Festival Press Launch - In the Parks

Whilst the familiar viewing platform for photographers and film crews was placed at the far end of Main Street, facing Central Plaza, for the inaugural performance of Disney Showtime Spectacular — with unfortunate grey skies:

New Generation Festival Press Launch - In the Parks

Classic photo spots, such as the castle hill, were also in use:

New Generation Festival Press Launch - In the Parks

But finally, back at the studios, the doors closed for the general public:

New Generation Festival Press Launch - In the Parks

As Disney Studio 1 become a self-contained press holding area, regular guests had to leave the park via the backstage gates between Production Courtyard and Front Lot — views of off-limits areas hidden by a row of temporary planters:

New Generation Festival Press Launch - In the Parks

And then, with guests heading home, the real show began

Photos by Dlrpteam for DLRP Today.com

Monday, 29th March 2010

All Stars Showtime Express Spectacular – official video clips

Disney All Stars Express

Easy to criticise as just another rehash of the previous character trains, but at least more visually appealing than last year’s Minnie’s Party Train. And don’t forget WALL-E — this is the first time this masterpiece of a character has been integrated into a Disney parade or park event anywhere in the world.

Earlier updates:

Disney All Stars Express rolls onto the parade route
First photos, full set of official photos and first video clips

Disney Showtime Spectacular

Already earning rave reviews from returning visitors and winning over many who weren’t too keen on last year’s hub show, Disney Showtime Spectacular makes the clever move of dressing Mickey and the gang up for each musical number, with their Incredibles superhero outfits in particular being very unique in the Disney park world and sure to be remembered.

Earlier updates:

Showtime Spectacular in even more photos… and HD video!
Full 20-minute video of the show and full set of official photos

First look at Disney Showtime Spectacular on Central Plaza!
First photos by Photos Magiques of the very first performance

You can also watch and subscribe to all the latest videos on our YouTube channel.

Videos © Disney

Sunday, 28th March 2010

New Generation Festival Press Launch – In Video

Yes, it was probably pitched something like that.

But first, a nice compilation from behind-the-scenes at yesterday’s press events, as a Disneyland Paris video camera follows the press around the new shows and events to give a feeling of these busy press days in the parks:

Now that’s got you warmed up, onto the main show!

Titled “The New Gen Show”, the opening ceremony and dedication of the New Generation Festival has all the usual ingredients of these one-off Disney grand opening spectaculars — a ridiculously large cast, jazzy projections and an “interesting” mélange of music.

On the one hand we have Buzz Lightyear reliving his French disco days, on the other Nemo coaxing Dory (right?) into the arena in something out of an arty theatrical show. All wrapped up with music from… Pixar Play Parade at Disney’s California Adventure.

Yes, it’s an eclectic, enormous and show-stopping opening ceremony for the year ahead. Might they have actually outdone all past efforts? Perhaps — in numbers and scale — even the opening of the resort itself!

It’s a shame, of course, that these kind of lavish events are reserved only for “VIPs” who probably couldn’t give a hoot about seeing a show like this. We have to wonder how much of the footage and how many of the images shot this weekend will really make an impact, or be featured in the media. It’s a tradition now that Disneyland Paris puts on one show for the visitors and one superficial blow-out to look good for the cameras. It’s something for the archives, for them to pull out and say “remember 2010?”.

Although given that they used the stunt arena this year, which has 3000 seats, this would have been a good chance to say, give away a few extra tickets in a prize draw to Annual Passport Dream holders… if only to see the show, to spread word of mouth, and not to enjoy the free food.

Videos © Disney

Sunday, 28th March 2010

New Generation Festival Press Launch – In Pictures

Stick with this page as we bring you live(-ish) rolling updates from the New Generation Festival press launch earlier this evening, sharing all the photos as they’re published.

• Adrian Brody, real famous person! (2:26am)

Among the usual glut of French “celebrities” who largely mean nothing to us, could be found Adrian Brody — actual Oscar-winning Hollywood actor, from The Pianist and Peter Jackson’s King Kong.

Disney New Generation Festival Press Launch

Disney New Generation Festival Press Launch Disney New Generation Festival Press Launch

Disney New Generation Festival Press Launch

Got to love the embarassing photo set-ups Disneyland Paris provide for their VIPs.

• French Celebrities (2:38am)

Although, as you can see, many of them are only too happy to oblige:

Disney New Generation Festival Press Launch
Audrey Marnay and Liya Kebede

Disney New Generation Festival Press Launch
Fabian Galthie

Disney New Generation Festival Press Launch
Bruno Solo

Disney New Generation Festival Press Launch
Prince Emanuele Filiberto di Savoia

The photo from the Monsters Inc. photo location there confirms the recent work was just a simple refurbishment, and the Mike Wazowski figure is still in place — not yet to be ousted by his real, walking equivalent now appearing in Disney Showtime Spectacular over at Disneyland Park.

British girl pop group The Saturdays were also at the resort today.

• Disney Showtime Spectacular premieres (2:50am)

We mentioned that today’s weather hadn’t been too kind to the first performance of Disney Showtime Spectacular. It’s the Disneyland Paris press event curse — blow all your money on a big show, invite thousands of questionably important people… and then that thick Marne-la-Vallée cloud rolls over.

Here are photos from the press performance earlier today:

Disney New Generation Festival Press Launch

Disney New Generation Festival Press Launch

Disney New Generation Festival Press Launch

Disney New Generation Festival Press Launch

Luckily it remained dry, if not providing the best weather for this new show to shine.

• The New Gen Show – first official photos! (3:02am)

And here we go, this is what we’ve been waiting for. Details have been sketchy about what to expect from tonight’s events, but with the stage set as the Moteurs… Action! stunt arena over at Walt Disney Studios Park — and not Central Plaza as the past two launches (15th and MMP), it promised something quite different and certainly very grand, given the arena floorspace…

And of course, they didn’t disappoint. An enormous cast, a laser and projections show and the Disney All Stars Express park-hopping to join the cars of Disney’s Stars ‘n’ Cars:

Disney New Generation Festival Press Launch

The full wide shot at show-level:

Disney New Generation Festival Press Launch

Stars jump for joy as resort icons are projected onto the Mediterranean sets of Moteurs Action:

Disney New Generation Festival Press Launch

Artsy arrivals by illuminated balloons? Why not:

Disney New Generation Festival Press Launch

A full-on smooch between Tiana and Naveen? Ooo err:

Disney New Generation Festival Press Launch

And that final wide angle from the top of the Stunt Arena seating again:

Disney New Generation Festival Press Launch

At least, with 3000 stadium seats, the VIPs wouldn’t have had to crane their necks for once.

• The Saturdays, New Generation Props & Suitcases (29/03 16:07pm)

Tiana meets British pop group The Saturdays — or is it the other way around? — in this picture captured by Photos Magiques on yes, Saturday:

Disney New Generation Festival Press Launch

They also stumbled upon some clever oversized toy props in the hotel lobbies where press event invitees were staying, such as this ViewMaster toy:

Disney New Generation Festival Press Launch

And the suitcases of New Generation characters who were also checking in:

Disney New Generation Festival Press Launch

See more of these, plus loads more news from the past week, at their full update here.

• Princess Tiana meets Princess Tiana! (29/03 18:38pm)

Sandrine Van Handenhoven, Belgian pop star and voice of Tiana in the Flemish version of The Princess and the Frog (De Prinses en de Kikker) met the princess herself this weekend:

Disney New Generation Festival Press Launch

Disney New Generation Festival Press Launch

• More Opening Ceremony Show photos (30/03 18:45pm)

More pictures of the spectacular opening ceremony show have been published by Disneyland Paris:

Disney New Generation Festival Press Launch

Disney New Generation Festival Press Launch

Disney New Generation Festival Press Launch

Disney New Generation Festival Press Launch

Disney New Generation Festival Press Launch

Disney New Generation Festival Press Launch

Disney New Generation Festival Press Launch

Disney New Generation Festival Press Launch

— — Check back for more updates soon!

Photos © Disney.

Saturday, 27th March 2010

Showtime Spectacular in even more photos… and HD video!

Lay those memories of polyester costumes and embarrassing toddlers’ games to rest. If you liked the first photos of Disney Showtime Spectacular from our friends at Photos Magiques (and it looks like most of us did), what do you say to the whole show — in high definition?

Part 1:

Part 2:

Yes, we may finally have a show worthy of this overwhelming stage. If we must see the whole hub of the park enveloped in an inescapable live show throughout the day (and it appears we must), then this is really the way to do it. Countless characters, great new and specially-rerecorded music, clever costume changes and oh yes, quite probably some real “wow” moments that justify the hyperbolic title.

A few criticisms could still be put forward — It’s a fairly young-leaning show and might still not have the broad appeal such a focal point of the park should have (though compared to Party Time‘s nursery school focus, it’s positively geriatric). Mickey’s costume changes are fun, but his yo-yoing up and down that stage lift can be a bit disruptive to the flow of the show. And unfortunately Minnie still appears to be the only “VIP” to speak English, making the opening scenes a little off-putting (and hey, imagine if you’re Spanish, German…) — but then, we’re suddenly treated to a whole load of brand new character voices, convincing sound-alikes for Woody (Tom Hanks) and Mike (Billy Crystal) and possibly even the “real” Tiana, Anika Noni Rose… or another very good impersonator.

This is a show that could well make other Disney resorts — even the hallowed hub stage of Tokyo Disneyland — a little jealous. Finally, this true “new generation” of Pixar characters that have been so left out of park entertainments in Paris for a decade or more are given centre stage, in a production that brings back memories of the old musical revues of “Disney Classics: The Music and the Magic” (Videopolis) and the original “C’est Magique” (Fantasy Festival Stage).

Want more? Here are the new official publicity photos released today:

Disney Showtime Spectacular

Disney Showtime Spectacular

Disney Showtime Spectacular

Disney Showtime Spectacular

Disney Showtime Spectacular

Disney Showtime Spectacular

Disney Showtime Spectacular

And look out for a few more in our coverage of today’s big press launch, with unfortunately less appealing weather — yes, the curse of the Disneyland Paris press event strikes again!

Now: The clever choreography of the Lilo & Stitch scene, complete with palm trees and circling birds, or the transformation of Naveen from frog to prince, and the superb subsequent New Orleans musical number? Maybe something else… What’s your favourite Disney Showtime Spectacular moment so far?

Videos by Photos Magiques, Photos © Disney

Tuesday, 23rd March 2010

First look at Disney Showtime Spectacular on Central Plaza!

This brand new centrepiece of the New Generation Festival quite possibly has the most costume changes of any show ever performed at Disneyland Paris.

Unfortunately under-elaborated by the resort’s vague press releases, given a bland name and believed for a long time to just be a “rehashing” of last year’s quite unloved It’s Party Time… with Mickey and Friends, the more we’ve seen of Disney Showtime Spectacular concepts and rehearsals lately, the more interesting it actually began to sound.

The first trial performances already began today, ready for the press launch event of this weekend, so let’s jump right in with a selection of photos…

Disney Showtime Spectacular

It’s a familiar opening as Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Pluto and Chip ‘n’ Dale arrive on stage to what must be a new recording of “Best of Friends” from The Fox and the Hound. Note immediately the smaller number of dancers (here waving flags) this year — nothing to criticise, in fact, as the focus is instead placed entirely on the characters, with apparently no live hosts desperately trying to work the audience.

Above, Mickey is seen in his “generic” opening look of a yellow top and red trousers. Jump ahead, and as if by magic — when Woody, Jessie and Buzz Lightyear appear — he transforms into his toy soldier-styled green coat with binoculars. All the other characters and dancers join in with different props or costume additions for each number, here dancing to “You’ve Got a Friend in Me”.

Disney Showtime Spectacular Disney Showtime Spectacular

When Lilo & Stitch — and a brand new character for Disneyland Paris, from the pair’s TV series, Angel — arrive to catch a wave, the dancers wear Lei flowers and the Disney characters wear Hawaiian shirts for “Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride” and “Aloha, E Komo Mai” from the TV series.

Disney Showtime Spectacular

Palm trees are suggested by the clever use of green leaf umbrellas, held above a surf board centrepiece which looks remarkably similar to that in the very popular old Lilo & Stitch Catch the Wave Party in Walt Disney Studios Park.

To the sound of Oscar-winner Michael Giacchino’s “The Glory Days” score, Mr and Mrs Incredible arrive and the characters don matching Incredibles superhero outfits — including face masks for Chip and Dale.

Disney Showtime Spectacular

From one Brad Bird movie to another, Rémy and Emile also make their first appearance here in Disneyland Park for a scene set to the music of “Le Festin” and Offenbach’s Can-Can whilst the dancers, now in chef uniform, carry oversized kitchen utensils and vegetables, presumably throwing them into the giant pot to cook up a special ratatouille dish…

Disney Showtime Spectacular

The show brings Mike Wazowski back to Disneyland Paris after a break of almost 7 years in public appearances, and adds a brand new face from Monsters Inc — if you can just make it out beneath that disguise — Boo! The little human girl looks familiar from her appearances overseas in events such as Pixar Play Parade and Block Party Bash.

Disney Showtime Spectacular

After Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen join the show with “Gonna Take You There” and “When We’re Human”, the set of New Generation characters is complete. Now, for one big finale — old and new together — a drum kit appears for Mickey to play along to “Best of Friends” and “You’ve Got a Friend in Me”.

Disney Showtime Spectacular

Mickey and the dancers wear their final costume, a smart waistcoat, bow tie and hat combo. It’s all about the accessories this year! Notice the ribbons of colour on the dancers’ waistcoats match the designs of those lampposts decorations we’ll hopefully see along Main Street soon…

Disney Showtime Spectacular

Making the best use of all the existing tricks hidden within the 2009-built Central Plaza Stage, the show ends with a blast of pyrotechnics, as the colourful cast of around 30 (6 dancers, 26 characters) freeze for the finale…

Disney Showtime Spectacular

Now that looks like a little more than just bouncing with Tigger or scratching Baloo’s back, doesn’t it?

Six different sets of costumes, a varied and popular cast and no pandering to toddlers with childish preschool games… This is what we call Entertainment. It’s already being compared to the lavish hub shows presented (and lusted over for years by fans of other resorts) at Tokyo Disneyland.

See the full album of 34 photos at Photos Magiques…

Disney Showtime Spectacular will now see two weeks of previews up until its launch and “official” first performances on 2nd April 2010. During this time, performances may be cancelled without warning — showtimes do not currently appear on the park programme.

Photos by Photos Magiques.

Tuesday, 16th March 2010

Behind-the-scenes New Gen video, concepts, fun facts

Here’s the video:

And now let’s take a closer look. It begins with Disney Showtime Spectacular, the new Central Plaza show which thankfully appears to be defying its generic name by possessing some interesting ideas.

Of course, this is possibly the first time at Disneyland Paris we’ve seen characters from the likes of Toy Story or The Incredibles taking part in a stage show, and the classic Disney characters are going to welcome them in style. As you can see from the concepts captured below, Mickey and Minnie (and possibly the other VIPs) will have a costume to match each scene of the show, transforming — somehow — from chef outfits for Ratatouille to green army gear for Toy Story, bright Hawaiian colours for Lilo & Stitch and black superhero masks for The Incredibles:

New Generation Festival making of

New Generation Festival making of

New Generation Festival making of

New Generation Festival making of

Insider Poppy the Monkey on magicforum has revealed that the soundtrack of the show is around 70% new to Disneyland Paris, though the entire It’s Party Time score from Mickey’s Magical Party has been thrown out. The It opens with a new song, “We’re the best of friends”, and ends with the catchy “Goin’ down the Bayou” from The Princess and the Frog.

The show is “non-stop, very fast, very fun” and contrary to earlier plans and press releases, won’t just be “an end to the day” with a single performance, but happening 3 or 4 times each day. And some good news for those who disliked the Mickey’s Magical Party event — this time, the large cast of dancers back up the characters, rather than almost stealing the show themselves.

The characters appear in groups, with Sully joined not only by Mike Wazowski (who hasn’t been seen live in Paris for years) for the Monsters Inc segment, but a monster-disguised Boo, who has never made it over here before. Stitch, meanwhile, will be joined by his much less well-known partner: Angel (experiment 624).

Public previews/dress rehearsals are due to begin from next Tuesday, 23rd March, if all goes to plan. These aren’t “official” performances and so cannot be fully confirmed, but if you’re visiting the park in the two weeks leading up to the New Gen launch, you may well get an exclusive preview.

Next up, the new Ratatouille car for Disney’s Stars ‘n’ Cars. After the reveal a couple of weeks ago, the video gives a better look at the some of its features:

New Generation Festival making of

New Generation Festival making of

New Generation Festival making of

New Generation Festival making of

New Generation Festival making of

Here are the official fun facts about the car:

• Adding Ratatouille to the parade involves an additional 1 minute and 40 seconds of music. The Ratatouille car will be accompanied by a medley from Offenbach’s La Vie Parisienne.

• The car includes props, costumes, chef hats and even aprons for the driver-dancers!

• It travelled for 19 days by boat to reach the port of Le Havre, before it was shipped by freight container to Marne la Vallée.

• The car was originally a 1950 Studebaker and it has been fully customised at Disneyland Paris to include special effects and animated kitchen props from the world of Remy and Emile.

• It is powered by electric battery and can drive for 90 minutes on a single charge!

• Take a close look at the tyres as the parade rolls by, as they are not real… they are specially-constructed rubber-covered foam rings, which will never get a puncture!

• The car boasts the film’s famous Ratatouille on its bonnet and a moving pile of pots and pans that gives the impression they are all going to come crashing down!

Though these fun facts for the press wouldn’t have you know it, the car is of course the old Star Wars automobile from the original Florida parade.

The moving pots and pans will be built on top of the circular metal mechanism you can see being tested in the video. The new angles on the concept art reveal the hood (bonnet) of the car will be decorated like a check table cloth with the plate, of course, holding a large helping of ratatouille.

Bringing Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen to Disneyland Park doesn’t just mean shipping over the same costumes as the couple wear in their American park appearances, oh no. Since they’re taking “pride of place” in Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade, that means a special crystal, gold-laced gown and suit to match those given to the other royal couples back when the parade launched in 2007:

New Generation Festival making of

New Generation Festival making of

New Generation Festival making of

Official fun facts of Tiana’s dress:

• It takes more than 80 hours to make one dress .

• 20 m of crystal fabric are used.

• 80 m of golden thread are woven through the dress, involving more than 100 hours of embroidery work.

• More than 200 m of iridescent thread shimmer in the 20 m of brocade used.

• For that extra sparkle, there are 80 glistening rhinestones on each dress.

• More than 100 beads and rhinestones adorn Tiana’s magical tiara.

And finally, the video offers a better look at WALL-E, forming part of the Disney All Stars Express:

New Generation Festival making of

He won’t be “animatronic” of course, the cost would be enough to buy 10 new Disney All Star Express trains and rival the RER, but judging by his pose could give a wave of his faux-robotic arm as the train rolls along, in that classic Disney parade style.

Video, concepts, images © Disney.

Tuesday, 2nd March 2010

Two more New Gen TV spots and the ‘Making Of’

As reported with the exclusive posting of the full 40 second TV spot yesterday, there are five different formats for the New Generation Festival television campaign in the UK — including two 30 second adverts and three 10 second spots.

First, we’ll share the 10 second ‘Announcement’ spot that has been played the most heavily so far and actually features the little-seen Incredibles, simply announcing that the New Generation Festival is landing at Disneyland Paris from 2nd April, without a single special offer or call to action at the end:

The idea here is to build interest in the campaign without giving everything away.

Next, Version B of the 30 second spot is worth noting because it’s the only UK advert that features the Lightning McQueen/Cinderella pair-up we saw in the stills posted last week:

Perhaps, now that “cheapquels” like Cinderella 3 have been put to bed, we’ll be seeing Disney branching out with unexpected crossover movies, beginning with the long-awaited “McCindy” (as the gossip rags are calling the couple) romantic comedy. No?

The other 30 second version of the commercial uses the shots of Toy Story Playland where this Lightning McQueen scene is, whilst the two additional 10 second adverts focus on the Kids Under 7 and Save 40% offers respectively, none featuring any real additional or alternate footage.

At the weekend, Disneyland Paris released some ‘Making Of’ photographs from the production of the commercials. Motion Theory, based in California, naturally took to the sun-kissed lands of the original Disneyland Resort in Anaheim to film the outdoor scenes — or rather its second gate, California Adventure.

Here we see the camera set-up to capture the leading float of the park’s Pixar Play Parade (which would have actually been perfect for Paris this year) being paraded through Hollywood Pictures Backlot:

New Generation Festival TV Spot

This photo of the clapperboard confirms Mathew Cullen and Christopher Leone to be the directors:

New Generation Festival TV Spot

Mathew Cullen co-directed the Black Eyed Peas’ recent Grammy award winner for Best Music Video, whilst Christopher Leone tweeted a link to our video of the TV spot yesterday saying “Looks like the UK version of our Disneyland Paris commercial is already on YouTube”. Well, we don’t waste any time!

New Generation Festival TV Spot

Did you spot Nemo falling from the sky? That fishbowl wasn’t animated, it was hung by wire in front of a chroma key bluescreen, with Nemo animated inside to get as realistic a look as possible!

New Generation Festival TV Spot

Finally, the RC Racer scene where Donald Duck rides this new halfpipe attraction required the construction of a giant mock-up of the final vehicle, RC himself. The actors screamed as the camera rose and fell towards them, bluescreen behind, ready for Donald to be animated into the empty seat.

New Generation Festival TV Spot

The ride vehicle of the finished attraction will probably be slightly different in appearance, and will definitely have far more (though still relatively few) seats — 20 compared to the 6 here.

• You can find all the commercials on our YouTube channel. Favourite and share them with friends!

Videos and photos © Disney, © Disney/Pixar.

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