Friday, 9th March 2012

“Do You Believe”, the new 20th Anniversary Celebration Train theme song – listen here!

Do you believe Disneyland Paris could have two brand new theme songs in a single 20th Anniversary year? You should — joining “Magic Everywhere” on the parade route from 1st April 2012 will be “Do You Believe”, a jazzy new chanson for Disney’s 20th Anniversary Celebration Train. After a year as the luminous Disney Dance Express, the old Character Express will return to its roots as a more conventional street cavalcade to transport the Disney characters up to Central Plaza. But alas, “Tous en Train”, the popular former soundtrack adapted from Tokyo Disneyland, which was remixed to breaking point with each consecutive re-theme of the train, is no more.

In its place, “Do You Believe” is a fresh new song by Scott Erickson, the go-to guy for Disney park entertainment songs who previously penned“Mickey’s Magical Party Time” for Disneyland Paris. Scott posted about the new music on his personal website in January, announcing: “I wrote a song with Valerie Vigoda that will be used in a character parade several times each day around the park. I’m always excited to get to work with my good friend, the music director at the park, Vasile Sirli!”

More of a self-contained song than the endlessly looped “Tous en Train”, the tune nevertheless follows all the regular conventions: overwrought “yeahs” and “oooh yeahs” over the opening, references to “it’s a small world after all” and making wishes upon stars. It’s bound to be a sensation.

Listen to the new song below and share your thoughts… Read More…

Friday, 9th March 2012

Listen to two full, high quality versions of “Magic Everywhere”, the new parade anthem

What better way to end the week than with a brand new, feel-good Disney parade anthem? Almost a month ago, we strained our ears to hear “Magic Everywhere” played at Euro Disney SCA’s Annual General Meeting, to nonplussed looks from besuited shareholders. Today, we can share not one but two full, high quality versions of the new Disney Magic on Parade! theme song, that will premiere in the park along with the 20th Anniversary events on 1st April 2012.

One is a four-minute “Parade Version” which, you guessed it, will be used during the parade itself, though whether that’ll be as a looped track or interspersed with other music still isn’t clear.

The other, meanwhile, is a shorter 2 minute 40 second “Song Version” that gives hope for a CD single release or perhaps a whole 20th Anniversary album, so we’ll actually be able to buy this music. The last major music release from Disneyland Paris was a Mickey’s Magical Party album in 2009.

Both versions of “Magic Everywhere” are embedded below… enjoy! Read More…

Friday, 9th March 2012

‘Disney Dreams!’ goes bang in the night for final after-hours pyrotechnic tests

Sleeping Beauty would have had anything but “sweet dreams” last night, as the final after-hours tests for Disney Dreams! firework effects lit up the night sky around the castle. Three dates have apparently been set aside for these pyrotechnic trials, according to the Radio Disney Club website: 8th, 12th and 15th March. Sure enough, guests and Cast Members began reporting that access around Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant was closed off around 6pm yesterday, and after Disneyland Park closed at 8pm the first reports and reactions began appearing.

Above, a photo by Frontierland Cast Member fandlrp on Disney Central Plaza shows an array of colourful fireworks shooting up behind the castle. Sharing impressions from the privileged viewpoint of Disneyland Hotel, Jeremy describes the music as sublime and says the show keeps its promises and anyone worried about the pyrotechnics (their size and number) should be reassured. Meanwhile NeMo saw the tests from Main Street itself and reveals that the pyrotechnics play a part in almost every scene, with many effects apparently brand new to Disneyland Paris.

It’s also rumoured that test launches will be incorporated into the planned displays for St David’s Welsh Festival this Saturday, 10th and St Patrick’s Day on 17th March. Individual elements continue to be tested and perfected almost every night, but full “dress rehearsals” of the entire show are apparently scheduled for the 21st and 23rd March, ahead of the Cast Member premiere on 29th March, private press premiere on 31st March and official public premiere on 1st April.

Various tests have been ongoing for Disney Dreams! long before the recent arrival of director Steve Davison in Paris. In January, @Tobiasfl shared the two live Instagram photos above on Twitter, the first showing a particularly dazzling quartet (or possibly quintet) of coloured shells in blue, green, pink, red and yellow. Though these clearly exploded high in the sky, the majority of pyrotechnic effects in the show are expected to ignite from ground level.

Unlike a pure firework show, where the sky is filled constantly and the explosions make up the entire scene, this 20th Anniversary spectacular will use pyrotechnics as just one of many elements. Like the water or fire, they’ll play a “role” in the scene, acting out a part in the show, representing particular moments in the story rather than telling the whole tale. Speaking of those other elements, Steve Davison posted another teaser on his Facebook fan page the night before last:

“We had all the fountains on tonight in front of the Castle. They are stunning. I am so excited for Disneyland Paris. They will be the first to have a permanent fountain array in their moat. It is so colorful and magical it really is a beautiful enhancement to the Castle.”

Steve is even kind enough to respond directly to fans who write on the page. To a question about exclusive merchandise for the show, he replied “I hope so, there are some really fun things they could play off!” and promised to ask the director of merchandise at a planned meeting next week. The most surprising status update, though, came after DLRP Today summarised Steve’s updates on Tuesday and challenged you to boost the page above 1,000 fans (it now stands at 1,209):

Thanks DLRP Today! You took my fan page over 1000! Merci Beaucoup!!!! And your 20th show DREAMS is coming along magically. The Castle projections are stunning! Can’t wait for you to see it!

Wow, actual Steve Davison posting a message to us! So that’s what a dream come true feels like. Great work, everyone!

VIA Radio Disney Club, Disney Central Plaza, @Tobiasfl (Twitter)

Thursday, 8th March 2012

Captain Hook’s Pirate Ship rebuild nears end, sea-worthy and splendid again

What’s that we spy on the horizon?! It’s the wraps finally coming down on the epic restoration of Captain Hook’s Pirate Ship in Adventureland! This landmark of Adventure Isle has been hidden behind a themed scrim and a mass of scaffolding for 10 months of solid work, seeing the ship stripped right back to its shell and rebuilt with fresh materials — and colours. One of the biggest projects announced at the special 20th Anniversary Refurbishments event we attended back in March 2011, the refurbishment faced several delays but now looks set to be ready for the big anniversary date as @InsideDLParis shares these photos of the scaffolding beginning to be taken down today.

In the process of its restoration, Imagineers at Walt Disney Imagineering Paris have given the ship a whole new colour scheme. Just like Sleeping Beauty Castle it takes the attraction back, closer to its original 1992 look, but comes with enough fresh touches and design choices to stand separately. A previous refurbishment of the ship had taken away some of the “fantasy” look of this Peter Pan legend, giving it a rather dreary appearance with darker exposed wood and black suddenly outweighing the brighter red. The ship no longer offered such a powerful bridge between Adventureland and the colourful, nearby Fantasyland that its more whimsical original colours provided.

Thankfully, Captain Hook’s new look takes the ship right back to those fantasy roots, and then some. The balance has shifted back to a crisp, bright red with black taking a smaller role. The skull and crossbones at the back of the ship has again been picked out in a crisp ivory white and the entire stern repainted in a vibrant red, contrasting beautifully with the luscious green palms of the tropical island.

White masts were an interesting feature of the 1992 scheme that haven’t been recreated, with the Imagineers opting instead for a dark brown that no doubt fares better in Marne-la-Vallée’s not-so-tropical climate. Instead, the big pièce de résistance of this restoration is, naturally, the gold. Peggie Fariss, head of WDI Paris, explained at last year’s presentation that they really wanted to emphasise the generous riches plundered by these pirates during their travels.

Captain Hook may be blundering, but he has certainly had his fair share of treasure bounties while sailing the seas, and that wealth should be expressed much more vividly in the ship itself. And so, rather than the plain, light exposed wood of the 1992 scheme, the 2012 version comes with a shimmering, golden finish to its edges and sides. Even the mermaid figurehead has turned gold!

This Pirate Ship is an important landmark not just in our Adventureland but in the history of Disney parks. In 1955, Walt Disney opened Disneyland with the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship based on Peter Pan, but this popular icon was removed in 1982 to make way for an expansion of Fantasyland. Spotting their perfect opportunity with a new park, Adventureland show producer Chris Tietz and the other Imagineers of Euro Disneyland recreated the almost-forgotten ship for Paris, ten years later, and it remains the only life-size Captain Hook’s Pirate Ship in any Disney park in the world.

After this momentary blip, may it remain sea-worthy and splendid for ever more.

Now, walk the plank and see how the ship looked before restoration… (not for the faint of heart!) Read More…

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?

Monday, 5th March 2012

Main Street’s golden 20th grows with railroad station ironwork turning gold, new bunting

Even more Main Street, U.S.A. addresses have now been decked out in gold for the 20th Anniversary. At Cable Car Bake Shop and The Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlour (above), the regular semi-circular fans of white and golden fabric have been supplemented with a different, more extravagant style of bunting with great swathes of fabric hung around the balcony and the rooftop of the buildings respectively. Like several other “businesses” along the street, Gibson Girl spent much of 2011 under scaffolding for a complete refurbishment and recolouring of its palette; switching its green-striped window shades to red, for example. The gold additions give a dressy flourish to its spotless refreshed façade.

Meanwhile Main Street Station continues to intrigue with its dramatic 20th Anniversary repaint, which looks to “emboss” the landmark of the Disneyland Park entrance in gold for the occasion. Previous colour tests had stuck precisely to one side of a single column at the front of the railroad station, but now we have the sight of ironwork underneath the platform — including those famous “EDLRR” (Euro Disneyland Railroad) initials — being completely repainted in gold.

This seems to confirm that it won’t just be stonework, nor the front-facing façade of the station, that will see a golden overlay. The solid metallic gold effect takes away some of the intricacy of the previous two-tone colour of the arches, but does manage to catch the glow of the lights along the concourse, making those infamous outdated initials even more of a feature.

With lights (presumably new LED effects) said to play a part in the wider Main Street, U.S.A. Celebrates! overlay, this golden glow could be a preview of what’s to come.

VIA @InsideDLParis (Twitter)

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…

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