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!

Thursday, 29th March 2012

The Characters, Films & Dreams of ‘Disney Dreams!’: running order revealed

Disney Dreams! characters, films, dreams, songs

This has been one amazing build-up, with over 50 news stories in March alone, but now here we are: our final post before the 20th Anniversary of Disneyland Paris officially begins! So, for this grand finale, we reserved one special story: the story of Disney Dreams! itself.

No doubt you can precisely list every single technical element of the show by now, so what are the characters, films and “dreams” these special effects are bringing to life? They’re a diverse mix of eras and styles, from Peter Pan all the way to Tangled. Here’s your full show programme:

  • Introduction
  • Tinker Bell & Second Star To The Right
  • Peter Pan & Wendy
  • Be Our Guest (C’est la fête) from “Beauty and the Beast”
  • Rémy from “Ratatouille”
  • Friend Like Me from “Aladdin”
  • Out There (Rien qu’un jour) from “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”
  • Step In Time from “Mary Poppins”
  • I Wan’na Be Like You from “The Jungle Book”
  • I See The Light from “Tangled”
  • Friends On The Other Side from “The Princess and the Frog”
  • Captain Hook
  • Peter Pan & Wendy
  • You Can Fly & Second Star To The Right

According to some sources, the entire show weighs in at a clever 20 minutes and 20 seconds.

It all begins on a starry night, as Peter Pan and Wendy look up at the Second Star to the Right. But then, leaping free from his body, Peter Pan’s shadow escapes and hits the star, causing its special dreaming pixie dust to pour over the castle. What follows is a series of musical set-pieces, following the songs above, as Peter Pan chases his shadow across a timeline of Disney dreams which were wished upon the star, from Quasimodo to Rapunzel and more besides.

Things, as they always do in any good nighttime spectacular, turn spectacularly sour with Dr Facilier’s “Friends On The Other Side” and the arrival of Captain Hook. Will Peter Pan be able to battle his nemesis, recapture his shadow and restore the dreams to their rightful place inside the Second Star to the Right, causing it to shine brightly over the land again?

Well, you’ll have to wait to find out…

• Join DLRP Today next week as we report back from the 20th Anniversary Launch with news, photos and brand new High Definition videos of all the events! In the meantime, follow us on Twitter and ‘like’ our Facebook page for updates over the weekend and subscribe to the DLRP Magic! YouTube channel to be the first to see our 1080p HD video of Disney Dreams! as soon as it goes live.

Thursday, 29th March 2012

The Music of ‘Disney Dreams!’: Joel McNeely records “beyond epic” score at Abbey Road

'Disney Dreams!' score recorded at London's Abbey Road Studios

What do you get if you combine film composer Joel McNeely, a 96-piece orchestra, a children’s choir, an adult choir and Irish folk singer Cara Dillon at the famous Abbey Road Studios in London? A soundtrack to Disney Dreams!, that’s what. The show’s score was recorded in January this year, with Steve Davison flying into London to oversee the project. While Steve has visited Abbey Road previously to record the music for his spectacular Tokyo DisneySea version of Fantasmic!, Joel has used the North London studio, made famous by The Beatles, to record soundtracks for several of Disney’s recent Tinker Bell movies.

For a new nighttime spectacular, based around Peter Pan losing his shadow, they couldn’t have picked a better team. Steve Davison wrote on Facebook, 13th January: “In London this week recording Dreams for DLP at Abbey Roads Studios. Today we’re in the famous Beatles Studio2 recording percussion. The score for Dreams is really amazing. Can’t wait for all of you to hear it!!!”

By 17th January his work in London had finished, with the confident conclusion that the score we’re all waiting to hear is, simply put, “beyond epic”: “We just wrapped the recording sessions for dreams. It’s an amazing score. One of the best we have done in years. It’s beyond epic!”

Wrapping up the many featured songs from Disney classics, ranging from Beauty and the Beast and The Hunchback of Notre Dame to Tangled and The Princess and the Frog, the score will of course also be heavily based around new arrangements of “The Second Star to the Right”.

Amongst numerous Disney projects, Joel McNeely also notably scored the Return to Neverland “sequel” to Peter Pan in 2002. The scale of his score for Disney Dreams! appears impressive: a 96-piece orchestra, plus both children’s and adult choirs. Confirming the project, his official website writes: “Joel has just completed the score to a new outdoor spectacular show for the 20th anniversary of Disneyland Paris. The show is entitled Disney Dreams. Joel recorded at Abbey Road in London with a 90 piece orchestra, children’s choir and adult choir.”

Cara Dillon
Cara Dillon

And there’s one more surprise: “It will also feature a song written by Joel for Cara Dillon.”

Cara Dillon may also be known to anyone familiar with the popular Tinker Bell movies. For the third film, Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue, she was invited by Joel to sing the opening song, titled “Summer’s Just Begun”. This led to the Irish folk singer, from Dungiven in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland, to sing a second song over the credits and even read the opening narration.

Her website notes: “Cara and Sam were thrilled to have been invited to record a brand new song to form part of a new spectacular show to mark the 20th Anniversary of Disneyland Paris. They went to the legendary Abbey Road Studios back in January to record the song with a 96 piece orchestra and to listen to the rest of the music being recorded for the show. Joel McNeely, who composed the music for Tinkerbell 3, wrote the beautiful new song and conducted the orchestral sessions.”

This new song will certainly be a world away from the hyperactive “Magic Everywhere” and “Do You Believe” of the daytime events. If the beautiful projections or extraordinary fountains and fireworks don’t bring a tear to your eye, it could just be Cara’s beautiful, delicate voice that does it.

Below, watch a delightful video of Cara Dillon on stage, humbly explaining how she came to work for Disney on the Tinker Bell movie and her first experiences of Abbey Road, followed by a beautiful performance of her second Tinker Bell song, “Come Fly With Me”… Read More…

Thursday, 29th March 2012

New book ‘Disneyland Paris: 20 Years of Dreams’ coming in April with 500 photos

Disneyland Paris: 20 Years of Dreams book

New Disney theme park book alert. From California to Florida, Paris and beyond, the alert siren rings out. That most anticipated and coveted line of souvenirs from the parks is about to have a new tome to add to its shelves. And for once, this one’s all about Disneyland Paris. Totalling 192 pages and 500 photos, “Disneyland Paris: 20 Years of Dreams” (or “20 Ans de Rêves”) has been written and produced especially for the 20th Anniversary. It will guide readers from the planning and grand opening of the resort in 1992 through 20 years of development, changes and events at the resort.

Available as a single edition, the book will include both French and English texts, with forewards by Tom Staggs and Philippe Gas, and afterword by Tom Fitzgerald. Priced at €49.99, the book will be exclusively available only at the resort itself, in eight separate, as-yet unconfirmed boutiques. A first print run of 5,000 copies will go on sale in mid-late April. We’ve been informed that, although Disney are pushing hard to have it available by 12th April 2012, there could be a small delay.

The 192-page size is certainly substantial enough: the same as the wonderful Walt Disney Imagineering: A Behind the Dreams Look at Making More Magic Real.

Though Disneyland Paris has produced numerous glossy souvenir photo books detailing current attractions, it has never published its own, complete history of the resort. Only the revered Disneyland Paris: From Sketch to Reality, published by Nouveau Millénaire Editions, has provided a true insight into the design and creation of the original park. Considered as “the bible” for Disneyland Paris fans, it is now only available as an expensive, limited collectors’ edition.

If you already own From Sketch to Reality, this new book aims to be perfectly complementary to its contents, full of new content and in no way a reptition. Not only will it feature the full 20 years of Disneyland Paris history, including photos and concept art from Walt Disney Studios Park, but also a closer focus on the progression of the resort from opening day to today. While From Sketch tells you how the parks were designed, 20 Years of Dreams will very much be the “what happened next…”

As soon as the book hits the shelves, we’ll race you to The Storybook Store…

PHOTO Disney Magic Interactive, Disney Showcase Key

Wednesday, 28th March 2012

Temporary ‘Meet Mickey Mouse’ location rolls into Cottonwood Creek Ranch

Temporary Meet Mickey Mouse at Cottonwood Creek Ranch (C) @InsideDLParis

It’s no secret that the permanent Meet Mickey Mouse attraction at Fantasy Festival Stage won’t be ready for the 20th Anniversary launch this weekend. However, you needn’t be too disappointed if you miss the opening date in mid-May: Mickey’s temporary Frontierland location is looking like a pleasant attraction of its own. Rather than the 1920s picture house-style theme in Fantasyland’s British quarter, the temporary version has been based around a much more old-fashioned travelling show.

New signage, installed at the former Woody’s Roundup Village photolocation, is perfectly integrated with the Cottonwood Creek Ranch area. Below the Meet Mickey Mouse marquee, adorned with decorative lights, a banner reads: “Open house today — Your chance to meet the stars of Mickey’s famous traveling show”. Red-painted fences of the farm paddocks are dotted with posters imported from Florida, for imaginary acts such as “Dingofort the Mighty” and “Madame Minn”, which already appear in the refurbished Disney & Co boutique on Main Street.

Temporary Meet Mickey Mouse at Cottonwood Creek Ranch (C) @InsideDLParis

Nearby, the old Woodcarver’s Workshop has been turned into Meet Mickey Mouse Photographic Souvenirs, an official photo sales desk. Given Mickey’s farmyard beginnings, the temporary ranch setting feels perfectly apt, before he moves into the bright lights of the theatre.

Mickey Mouse himself made his first appearance at the location today, moving from his old meet ‘n’ greet spot at the Boarding House in Town Square, which will now be the sole preserve of Duffy the Disney Bear. The temporary location here is only expected to be in use for around 6-7 weeks so, for just a month and a half of meet ‘n’ greets, this well-executed overlay is a great surprise.

PHOTOS @InsideDLParis (Twitter)

Wednesday, 28th March 2012

‘Disney Dreams!’ world premiere to broadcast live on Disneyland Paris YouTube channel

Disney Dreams! world premiere live on YouTube

What are you doing at 10.30pm this Saturday, 31st March? Cancel it. Instead, prepare a drink, warm some popcorn and settle down to watch the world premiere of Disney Dreams! — broadcast “live” to your computer screen on the Disneyland Paris YouTube channel.

We’ve already seen promotions for a live streaming event in collaboration with French broadcaster TF1, but now Disneyland Paris are apparently opening this up to the world via their official YouTube channel. Those eager to see the grand premiere of the new nighttime spectacular, created by Steve Davison, will be able to log onto the channel this Saturday evening where a special, re-themed page will guide you to the live stream. There, you’ll see the whole event unfold in realtime, joining the invited press in the park to be the very first members of the public to see the show.

Don’t forget, though — that’s 10.30pm Central European Summer Time. In the UK (BST), you’ll need to be online for 9.30pm, whereas Disney fans over in Steve Davison’s home state of California, for example, will see Disney Dreams! as a matinée performance at 1.30pm. And as with all Disneyland events, it may be sensible to arrive a little earlier…

This is a daring proposition by Disneyland Paris: having spent millions (at a guess) on a huge new nighttime show, they’re now going to allow people to watch the whole thing, online without even leaving their homes. The audience may only be made up of more committed, regular visitors, but it must show some confidence in the show itself — not just that it’s a worthy spectacular, but that viewers will be so taken by it they’ll still consider it worthwhile to book a trip and see it for themselves.

Final programming of the show was completed just last night, ahead of the private Cast Member premiere tomorrow. Posting on his Facebook fan page, Steve Davison wrote:

“Tonight we completed the final programming of DISNEY DREAMS! It was a lot of work and I can never thank the production team enough for all their efforts. This was a very diffucult show to create/produce, but everyone stuck with it and gave it their all! Thanks Team Dreams! Whew! We’re all very exicted to premeire the show.

“There’s lots of activity in the park tonight as they prepare for the 20th! For me, I think I’m going to call it an early night.”

On Saturday, the world awaits. Then, Disney Dreams! officially opens for all park guests with two performances at 9.30pm and 10.30pm on Sunday 1st April.

Wednesday, 28th March 2012

Year-long Disneyland Paris refurbishments programme wraps ahead of 20th Anniversary

Nautilus lagoon refurbishment (C) @InsideDLParis

Phew. Last March, when DLRP Today was invited by Disneyland Paris to preview the year-long programme of refurbishments planned ahead of the 20th Anniversary, this much-anticipated year seemed so far away. Now, after twelve months of constant, unrelenting work and investment across the entire resort, it’s almost ready for its close-up again. The final projects are wrapping, construction walls coming down and everything being made “neat ‘n’ pretty” for the year ahead. So for one final hurrah, let’s round up these final pre-20th refurbishments with help from @InsideDLParisRead More…

Wednesday, 28th March 2012

‘Disneyland Paris Generations’ website to build user-generated 20th Anniversary timeline

Disneyland Paris Generations website

Disneyland Paris is about to launch a brand new official website. No, not a new version of the main Disneyland Paris.com, but a special new interactive platform titled Disneyland Paris Generations. Due to open in the coming days for the 20th Anniversary, it will allow fans and visitors of the resort to create their own archive of memorable moments recounting 20 years of the European Disney resort.

The idea is that anyone — guests, fans, even Cast Members — will be able to submit their own memories of Disneyland Paris, illustrated with personal photos and videos. These will be uploaded and collated by Disney, which will publish them subject to moderation. We will apparently then be able to browse these moments from history by date or via an interactive map. Though the site will be available in either English or French, the contributions themselves will not be individually translated.

The website will be operational for around a year, but its contents will be preserved beyond this date, as a — hopefully — vast online archive of memories from the resort.

At the same time, Disneyland Paris is working hard to update its official Facebook Page with the new, very well-timed “Timeline” format, adding dates in the resort’s history such as this look back at the 5th Anniversary (Facebook login required), illustrated with a rarely-seen photo. The entire page should switch to the Timeline format in a couple of days.

• Don’t forget, we have our own Disneyland Paris history website at Euro Souvenirland, packed with photos, dates and memorabilia. Meanwhile, you can share your favourite memories and birthday greetings on our new 20th Anniversary Wishes Wall.

Tuesday, 27th March 2012

New ‘Meet Mickey Mouse’ marquee brings Fantasyland into electric age

Meet Mickey Mouse (C) @TBardenat

The sun rose on a new age in Fantasyland‘s British quarter this morning, with the new marquee for Meet Mickey Mouse now installed atop the former Fantasy Festival Stage. Clean lettering and bright, theatrical, electric lights evoke a slightly later time period for the land than seen before. Perhaps stepping from the Edwardian era towards the 1920s, when Mickey Mouse himself came into being, it takes this ornate pavilion into an electric age where theatres and music halls became picture houses.

This set-up will be continued inside where, as we revealed in a descriptive walk-through of the new attraction, the old theatre stage will now house a projection screen, allowing guests queueing along the aisles of the theatre to enjoy classic Mickey Mouse cartoons. This sort of “modern” innovation contrasts well with the Disneyland Railroad Station behind, which already blends two periods of British history: a Tudor-style cottage with exposed beams and the Victorian station building, platforms and clock tower of the railway. Looking at the way buildings in Great Britain were so often chopped and changed for the latest trends through the ages, the eclectic mixture here seems wonderfully British.

What doesn’t seem wonderfully British? The words “Rencontre avec Mickey”, hastily stuck underneath the illuminated letters. For a start, we have to wonder if French visitors could really be so confused by “Meet Mickey Mouse” that they need a translation. But more importantly, this disrespects an unwritten rule of Disneyland Paris regarding the languages of attraction marquees.

You might have noticed that you eat at Auberge de Cendrillon, to reference the French Charles Perrault, but ride Peter Pan’s Flight, to fit the English setting and author J.M. Barrie. Similarly, the whole of the American Main Street, U.S.A. and Frontierland are named in English, while elements of Adventureland and Discoveryland use French where more appropriate.

PHOTO @TBardenat

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