Thursday, 14th August 2008

Eat ‘express’ in 40mins for 19 euros!

This so-called “40-Minute Lunch Menu” was first introduced at Walt’s – An American Restaurant in Main Street U.S.A. last month and has now been extended already to two other table service restaurants at Disneyland Park.

At Silver Spur Steakhouse in Frontierland, you can hop on the “Pony Express” set menu for €19.90 to choose from three main courses — including both steaks and salads — with a “gourmet coffee”, all served in 40 minutes.


Meanwhile, Blue Lagoon Restaurant in Adventureland offers the option to sail by the winds of the “Alizé Express” set menu for the same price, with another pick from three different main courses, and again a gourmet coffee to finish.


This new €19.90 set menu seeks to fill up and maximise the capacity of these three table service restaurants in the middle of the day during Summer, when lines at fast food outlets are longest and many people are still in too much of a hurry to stop for a longer lunch.

By allowing guests to pay less and giving the tables a quicker turnover, it seems to give both sides a good deal.

— Tried the new menus? Why not post a quick opinion on DLRP Review…


Wednesday, 13th August 2008

Refurbishment finally set for Alice’s Curious Labyrinth!

The noise began way back in the early months of 2008. Alice’s Curious Labyrinth, the walk-through and maze at the back of Fantasyland, entirely unique to the Paris park, had not had a good Winter. Paint was peeling, props were dying, lights were dark and green dirt was growing.

On 20th February, we brought the pictures and calls for a refurbishment from the French Disney Central Plaza forum to an English audience with our Wish List article “Return to Wonderland”.


The noise continued for several months on magicforum, Disney Central Plaza and beyond, as fans brought home pictures of the labyrinth’s desperate state in a desperate hope that someone at Disneyland Resort Paris would stumble upon the problem. We touched upon it again in our latest Wish List entry, “Priorities of paint”, charting the confusion of seeing unimportant areas repainted before the attraction that needs it most.


Well, today we’ve got some exciting news via our partners. It appears the calls have been heard. Be it Bob Iger’s recent visit to the resort, the considerable noise from the fan community, a maintenance crew member suddenly discovering the problem, budget finally being made available or it just simply “being time”, the refurbishment is coming!!

To be exact, Alice’s Curious Labyrinth is now scheduled to close in September for ONE MONTH (an entire month!) to allow for a complete refurbishment. The source for this news, magicforum admin Kristof, also confirms that several brand new replacement props are already waiting backstage to be installed.

Forget your unbirthday, now this calls for a tea party!

[Pictures: DCP members]

Wednesday, 13th August 2008

Une autre ‘Aventure Magique’ – updated souvenir book and DVD released!

First, the new souvenir DVD, once again entitled “Une Aventure Magique” sports a new cover made up of a photoshop between Mickey and Minnie in their Tower of Terror grand opening costumes, the Tower of Terror itself and Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant.


Rather a give-away as to the contents, though, is the strap running along the bottom, announcing bonus exclusives for The Hollywood Tower Hotel, Stitch Live! and Toon Studio. Which would lead a cynical Disney fan to assume that their much-prized new, updated DVD is merely the same main film (featuring a boy who loses his camera, only to be taken on a “magical adventure” to find it) with a few extra video clips added.

Nevertheless, it sells for €19.90 and we’ll probably all buy it anyway, right?

Secondly, the new souvenir book is again mostly similar to the previous edition, with a similar updated cover and a few extra pages inside to cover the new attractions.


As with previous editions, there are two copies available — French/Spanish/Italian and English/Dutch/German. It sells for a reasonable €7.90.

[Pictures: vrogui, forum]

Tuesday, 12th August 2008

Live music talent finally given its own times guide

Say a big thank you to Nicolas Gobin, the subject of our latest “behind-the-magic” Media Magic Interview. Because, not only has the resort’s Atmosphere Talent Manager brought live music back to the parks in a big way, he’s taken a future item off our Wish List by finally giving them their own proper showtimes guide!

Available now at Disneyland Park, Walt Disney Studios Park and the Disney Hotels, this brand new flyer presents the latest performance times for the resort’s live music talent.

Image Image

Download the original PDF version of the new flyer here (3.5Mb).

The design is colourful, clear and also surprisingly “extravagant” for the resort, using new graphics of musical intruments, new photos and even a proper logo in French and English for each act. Considering we’ve hardly even seen an official logo for Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade, this is a job very, very well done.

Now, we can finally be right on-time to enjoy the five musical acts of the two Disney parks!

Click here to read the Media Magic Interview with Nicolas Gobin in full, about his history at Disneyland Resort Paris and how he came to introduce and manage the musical acts you see above »

[Flyer © Disney]

Tuesday, 12th August 2008

200,000,000th guest arrives!

Imagine the scene… it’s just any regular morning at Disneyland Park. You walk through Fantasia Gardens at a brisk pace, deciding where you’re going to head first. You get your park ticket ready for the turnstile and step under Disneyland Hotel to the entrance gates.

But, when you put your ticket into the machine and step through, you’re surrounded by confetti, cheering, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Disney officials and a giant placard proclaiming you as the 200,000,000th (200 millionth) guests!


Today, Tuesday 12th August 2008, exactly that happened. The Yernaux family from Salon de Provence in France were given the momentous accolade of being our European Disney resort’s 200 millionth guests!

After a festive welcome and photos with Mickey and Minnie Mouse and Euro Disney Vice President François Banon, they enjoyed an unforgettable day at the park littered with special exclusives and VIP experiences. This evening, they will enjoy a special dinner at Walt’s – An American Restaurant in Main Street, U.S.A. and have been upgraded to a suite in the brand new Empire State Club at Disney’s Hotel New York.


With more than 14.5 million guests last year, fans with a calculator and a list of previous attendance records could well see that this occasion would soon arrive — as of 31st March 2008, overall attendance at the resort’s two parks totalled 194.1 million. And, as the Disney Hotels can now boast an occupancy rate of 89.3%, it all serves to confirm, 16 years on, that Disneyland Resort Paris is far and away the leading tourist destination in Europe.

The last attendance milestone, the 100 millionth guest, happened just 7 years ago in January 2001.


Today’s 200 million barrier also gives us an update on attendance so far this year. With first half (from October 2007) attendance of 7 million, we can now add 5.9 million — so far — for the second half. This gives us 12.9 million guests through the gates in financial year 2008 so far and therefore only 1.6 million more needed between now and the end of the year on 30th September to keep a steady 14.5 million, last year’s attendance record.

By comparison, last year’s second half brought us an incredible 8.4 million visitors, the highest in the resort’s history. A successful final month-and-a-half could well allow the resort to beat last year’s record. Beating the elusive 15 million mark, however — the annual figure Disney originally wanted after the opening of Walt Disney Studios Park — remains as challenging as ever.

[Pictures © Disney]

Friday, 8th August 2008

Enchanted Fireworks’ not-so-happy ending

Because, though The Enchanted Fireworks began on 5th July this year with a flurry of brand new firework styles and some truly impressive “bangs” for a daily Disneyland Resort Paris fireworks show, the residents of this small town by the Marne river have done the Disneyland equivalent of politely banging on the wall by asking the pyrotechnic directors to hone-in the spectacular finale a little.

So, after one month of the original show, we’ve got a re-write. The result: A ‘Happy Ending’ that now consists more of an “encore” of styles seen earlier in the show, rather than those (for a daily show here) huge, plentiful bangs filling the sky.

The latest available video of the show clearly shows the changes (skip to 8mins):

Compare this with our video of the original finale (skip to 6:30mins):

The change is clear enough when you’ve seen the original, but otherwise probably doesn’t detract from the overall show. Many additional fireworks of a quieter style, bursting upwards from the ground rather than “banging” in the sky, have been added by the directors to ease the vibrations on Chessy’s eardrums.

Though you’d never know it visiting Disneyland Resort Paris by literally any means of transport (unless you were a hopeless navigator), the small town of Chessy nestles almost right behind Disneyland Park with its neighbour Montévrain, down a gradient toward the river, and has been vocal since the resort’s opening on the use of loud fireworks.

For fans of the show, and the resort, it’s refreshing to know that sixteen years later Disney are obviously still trying to gently nudge the limits of what they can do — even if they are pushed back again.

[Videos: remkove, DLRP Magic! Video; Lead picture:]

Wednesday, 6th August 2008

End of 15th Anniversary set for 7th March 2009

It began 493 days ago. The 15th Anniversary Celebration of Disneyland Resort Paris has certainly rolled on for longer than we all expected — being extended for another year as it was with ‘The Celebration Continues’ — but, as the final end date has now been announced, it’s a worrying concept.

No more Disney Characters’ Express, no more Candleabration. No more Lumière banners at every turn or ’15s’ on everything in sight. We are now really, truly in the home straight on this epic — and, we have to say, wonderful — celebration.

The date it all ends, as confirmed by the latest Autumn/Winter 2008/09 official brochure: 7th March 2009.


What will happen in the parks that day? Nothing is announced yet. It’s the days after, those three lonely weeks before the start of a new season in April 2009, that will be the most interesting.

Disneyland Resort Paris certainly feels to have settled nicely into its 15th Anniversary overlay, and so removing every tiny mention of the celebration — from merchandise through to advertising and all those napkins, cups and decorations between — will be a big task.

What won’t be removed? Well, unsurprisingly the expensive and incredibly popular Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade is here to stay. And don’t expect the Casey Jr. train and character meet ‘n’ greets of Disney Characters’ Express to go far. The concept of a main show on Central Plaza is also ready and waiting to be used again.

But, for the 15th Anniversary Celebration as we’ve known and loved it for so long, that we watched grow from those first logos and concepts through to the incredible launch night fireworks, time is running out.

You’ve got just 7 months exactly to “live your dream”, one last time…

[Images © Disney]

Tuesday, 5th August 2008

Nightmare before Halloween – preview the Jack Skellington and Sally characters

Boys and girls of every age, wouldn’t you like to see something strange?

As confirmed by the official Disney’s Halloween Festival 2008 press release, two special gruesome guests will be awaiting us on Boot Hill next to Phantom Manor this October — the “pumpkin king” Jack Skellington and his stitched-up ragdoll love Sally.

But how will the park turn these classic stop-motion animation characters into real-life, human-sized meet ‘n’ greet characters? For our answer, we need only to look to Hong Kong. Here, last Halloween at the mouse-sized Hong Kong Disneyland, the world got its first regular, daily glimpse of the official Disney character versions of these two nightmarish stars, previously confined to rare “press event-only” status in the US.


Jack Skellington wears his trademark white-striped suit and giant spider bow-tie, with oversized skeletal hands and a large skull head with blacked-out eye sockets. The head is less round than the stop-motion original, the eye sockets more drawn-out and taller — mostly to allow that real, living human head to fit inside.

If you think this interpretation of Jack Skellington is a success, wait ’till you see Sally — covered from head to toe in a lifeless, limp blue colour, she has electric red hair and stitches patched across her face and limbs.

Picture: santasock, Flickr

Her dress is like a large patchwork quilt, just like in the film, and the only part of her body that seems alive are her lips — in a brilliant, full red.

Picture: santasock, Flickr

The two characters will make their Western debut at Disneyland Resort Paris on 4th October 2008, appearing at Boot Hill as well as in the main Halloween pre-parade.

[Pictures: Flickr members; © Disney]

Thursday, 31st July 2008

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties arrive!

We’ve known the frights of Disney’s Halloween Party for over 10 years now. The special “hard-ticket” event begin in 1997 and has continued to bring a more adult, eerie and frightening evening of entertainment to Disneyland Park every year since on 31st October — occasionally with additional dates.

Now, as Disney’s Halloween Festival enters its second decade of events in Paris, the entertainment directors are planning their biggest shake-up of the after-hours parties yet. You might have already heard the rumours earlier this year, but if not, we’ll announce it for you — Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties are coming to Paris!

This will be a brand new, extra ticketed event for Disneyland Park playing across three Fridays (10th, 17th and 24th) and one Tuesday (28th) in October 2008. Though the name comes directly from our friends over at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida’s Magic Kingdom park, the event in Paris will be entirely different and, at least for its first year, quite a bit more intimate. There will be no Boo-to-You Parade or Hallowishes fireworks, the name is, in fact, the only similarity.

Official advertisement visual.

Central to the occasion will be Fantasyland, made over with special decorations and illuminations, welcoming you not only to almost all its attractions but exclusive new shows, entertainments and character meets throughout the land.

Here’s the full press release:

NEW: Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

This year, Disneyland Resort Paris will host 4 brand new parties at Disneyland® Park during the month of October 2008 for younger guests who like to dress up and want to celebrate Halloween with Disney Characters.

The Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Parties welcome families for an evening in Fantasyland® dressed up as Halloween for the occasion. Fantasyland will have a special décor giving an unusual atmosphere with exclusive night time shows, and roguish Disney Characters and Jack Sparrow, new music, and Streetmosphere and many other surprises.

Guests will sing, dance and laugh with Merlin and the four surprising witches: Minnie, Lilo, Daisy and Clarice in the castle courtyard and will enjoy the final Halloween happening at the end of the evening.

Snow-White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio’s Fantastic Journey, Le Carrousel de Lancelot, Peter Pan’s Flight, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups, ‘it’s a small world’, Sleeping Beauty Castle, Pirates of the Carribean will be open.

The Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties will run from 8.00pm to 11.00pm. (Dates: October, 10 … 17 … 24 … 28, 2008) and the Parties ticket holders can benefit of entering the Park as early as

**Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Parties tickets will be available at 25€ for adult and children (free for children under 3 years old). Attendance is limited for these events in order to ensure premium experience, we recommend to buy tickets in advance on or to call + 33 1 60 30 60 53

The idea is to tap into some of those brand new younger guests now visiting Disneyland Resort Paris in greater numbers thanks to the long-running “Kids Under 7 Stay & Play FREE” promotion of the 15th Anniversary years. The target age will therefore be 4 to 7 year olds, with these Fantasyland attractions and friendlier characters chosen to suit. The party also therefore ends a little earlier than that of the 31st October, at 11pm, and stays within Fantasyland for the duration.

However, with the promise of special entertainments created just for these four parties, not to mention new costumes for many of the characters and the chance to enjoy Fantasyland and Pirates of the Caribbean at night — likely under the glow of special illuminations — it should be a welcome new addition to the Disneyland Resort Paris calendar for even the oldest fans.

Tickets are available to book now via your local Disneyland Resort Paris hotline.

[Images © Disney]

Wednesday, 30th July 2008

Horrors new and old for Halloween 2008

Here it is, the press release in full. We’ll be introducing Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Parties in a separate article, and be sure to read below for a full re-cap of the news and much more information…

Disney’s Halloween Festival at Disneyland Resort Paris

The logo — for just one more year…

Marne la Vallée, July, 2008, from October 4, 2008 to November 2, 2008, guests are invited to discover the unmissable colourful Halloween season in Disneyland® Park that will be full of surprises.

During the month long celebration, Disneyland Park will offer a range of new Halloween entertainment to make the whole family scream with laughter. The spirit of Halloween is up for grabs for the delight of all, Pumpkin Men and Ladies will lead the fest which takes place on Main Street, U.S.A., Central Plaza and Frontierland®, transformed in Halloweenland for the occasion. And for the first time Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties in Fantasyland and not forgetting the now famous Halloween Party on October 31st.

Halloween invades Main Street, U.S.A.®

Guests, entering Disneyland Park, will discover a ‘˜spook … tacular’ Main Street, U.S.A., covered with blotches of orange paint left behind by the Pumpkin Men and Ladies.

The Disney Villains’ Halloween Showtime presented by Minnie dressed in Halloween fashion line and surrounded by Pumpkin Men and Ladies will take place several times daily on Central Plaza, followed by a giant ‘Meet’N’Greet’ with Disney Villains.

The Halloween Disney Characters’ Express will several times daily go back and forth on Main Street, U.S.A. with beloved Disney Characters on.

The Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade which features famous moments from the most beloved Disney stories ever, will be preceded by a special Halloween pre parade featuring the Disney Villains, Pumpkin Citizens and for the first time, Tim Burton’s Nightmare before Christmas characters Jack Skellington and his friend Sally.

New advertising graphics.

Halloweenland: the heart of this scary, good humoured celebration

Once through the gateway of Fort Comstock a walk along Halloweenland’s pathway will offer guests loads of surprises.

There will be regular shows on the Trick or Treat stage:

‘¢ Minnie & the Bat Boys will appear with live music and a host of singing classic Disney Villain songs.
‘¢ Goofy and the Magic Pot, an exhilarating and energetic show where children can learn to make pumpkin soup and dance alongside Goofy himself!

At the Phantom Manor boot hill cemetery, guests may meet Jack the skeleton and his friend Sally, from Nightmare before Christmas.

Children will enjoy the traditional Halloween Piñata for the chance to grab some sweet treats several times daily.

Disney’s Halloween Party in Disneyland® Park*

New image to advertise the Halloween Party.

On the night of Halloween, Disneyland Resort Paris lets all the friendly ghosts in for a special Halloween Party from 8.30pm to 1.00am in Disneyland Park. Night owls in their most spectrrrraaaaacular costumes can enjoy family friendly and ghostly nights filled with fun and laughter.

As always guests will be able to experience a wide variety of Halloween entertainment:

‘¢ The Disney®’s Fantillusion Parade, where the world of darkness meets the enchanted world in a fantastic twilight spectacular
‘¢ A Special Fireworks display with the fangtangulous backdrop of Sleeping Beauty Castle
‘¢ Spooktackular Stage Shows on the Trick or Treat Stage (Halloweenland) and The Disney Villains’ Halloween Showtime in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle
‘¢ A Spooky DJ Party on Main Street, U.S.A

*Disney’s Halloween Party ticket will be available at 29€ .On October 31, 2008 attendance is limited in order to ensure premium experience, we recommend to buy tickets in advance on or to call +33 1 60 30 60 53. The Party ticket holders can benefit of entering the Park as early as The Party can be modified, or cancelled without prior notice, notably for inclement weather.

This is Halloween, this is Halloween! Let’s begin with the most interesting announcement of it all — real, live meet ‘n’ greet versions of Jack Skellington and Sally will be arriving on Boot Hill next to Phantom Manor for the duration of the festival! These characters have never before been featured in Paris, and only officially debuted for the first time at Hong Kong Disneyland last year.

The ongoing, if not elevating, popularity of Tim Burton’s stop-motion classic can be seen at the resort even today by the amount of merchandise both being sold, bought and worn around the parks.

Phantom Manor will not be getting an overlay in the style of the ‘Haunted Mansion Holiday’ from California and Tokyo, but the Nightmare Before Christmas theme will certainly become a strong part of the Halloween Festival, as the couple pop up again in the pre-parade of Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade. The new daytime parade will again not be made-over for the festival as the park’s old parade was, as the entertainment directors stick to a short cavalcade to precede the event and keep the popular parade intact.

One element of the 15th Anniversary that WILL be given a makeover this year, however, is Disney Characters’ Express, now to be known as the Halloween Disney Characters’ Express with special decorations and rather more villainous characters on-board.

Stitch leaves, new villains arrive, Minnie gets a new outfit.

Last year’s popular new Disney Villains’ Halloween Showtime event on the Central Plaza Stage will also be expanded with a couple of new villains — Governor Ratcliffe from Pocahontas and Shan-Yu from Mulan.

Besides this, the festival looks remarkably similar to last year. Minnie and the Bat Boys and Goofy and the Magic Cauldron return to the Trick or Treat Stage next to Cowboy Cookout Barbeque, as does the long-running Halloween Pinata. Even Disney’s Halloween Party on 31st October sounds like it might, for once, remain quite similar to the previous year.

As for decorations, on reading the press release you’d be forgiven even those will be the same — Main Street again overrun by orange “Pumpkin Men” and Frontierland turned into Halloweenland. But here’s the big news: This year, those Pumpkin Men will arriving on their own. The Pink Witches, including their live character forms and all decorations (such as those unpopular cauldrons near Fuente del Oro Restaurante) are GONE.

Goodbye, good riddance…

In addition, Stitch’s very short-lived invasion of the event is now well and truly over, as the resort seeks to refine his presence to the new Stitch Live! attraction over at Walt Disney Studios Park. In place of these two, for 2008 we will instead be welcoming the Pumpkin Men in much greater numbers — and, as you read above, Pumpkin Ladies too.

Reports suggest that brand new decorations will be created, in a much more “Disney” style. Both Mickey and Minnie will also apparently wear brand new costumes, in rich deep purple, orange and green colours. Finally, everything will again be focused on Disneyland Park — no expansion whatsoever of the festival into Walt Disney Studios Park is planned.

The directors are taking the entire concept back to a more focused, classical approach — and continuing to develop the “Disney” presence in the festival at the same time.

[Pictures & Images: © Disney, by DLRP and Photos Magiques]

— Disney’s Halloween Festival kicks off on 4th October and continues until 2nd November 2008. Keep your devilish stare and scrawny face pointed right here on DLRP for more news…

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