Wednesday, 11th June 2008

Videopolis brings Retro-Future back

Installed just last week at Café Hyperion in Discoveryland’s Videopolis entertainment centre, these two new “Electro-Matic” vehicles are part turn-of-the-century Main Street vehicle, part Jules Verne invention. Their simple function? Toppings bars for the fast food restaurant’s burgers.

When the “toppings bar” idea was first introduced (or re-introduced, if long-time fans are correct) to Café Hyperion, the ingredients were laid out on simple tables decorated only with fabric tablecloths. The idea was obviously a hit, but Disneyland would never settle for something as simple as a table…

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The two new vehicles, custom-built to hold everything from tomato ketchup to salad, each feature their own unique design. One, with red wheel covers, holds luggage in a tall storage compartment — perhaps for a flight on the Hyperion airship above. The other, with yellow wheel guards, has a giant petrol tank of some sort atop its body — refuelling the dirigible, perhaps?

Both are decorated with authentic wood panelling, bronze fronts and golden edges, with perfect “Videopolis teal” colours to fit seamlessly into the environment. Café Hyperion logos and symbols in various forms are even emblazoned across both, along with lightning symbols between the wheels on each side.

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The dashboards feature lightning balls connected together by metallic pipes, every detail a refreshing throwback to the kind of retro-futuristic props previously seen in the pre-show room of Le Visionarium.

After years of changes to land which apparently sought to make it more “relevant” and up-to-date, rather than a convincing, largely period-specific themed land, these two new restaurant props/service vehicles are a very welcome addition, but their quality is not all that surprising.

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After all, recent restaurant Imagineering projects brought us the beautifully-themed L’Arbre Enchanté food kiosk, the well-placed Coolpost in Adventureland and — most closely related to this — the Coca-Cola Delivery Truck, one of the first completely new Main Street vehicles introduced anywhere in the world for years.

Did they simply surface through some kind of hole in the space-time continuum, or are the Electro-Matics signalling a new, more precise (retro-)future for Discoveryland?

[All photos by Joel’s Photo Hunt]

Tuesday, 10th June 2008

New Programme fills every hour with magic

Since 6th October 2006, the show, parade and character meet ‘n’ greet times have been separated from the main Park Guide of each park with a special Entertainment Programme, later shortened to simply the “Programme”.

Similar to the Times Guides you find at other Disney parks around the world, these are printed on lower grade paper in a single colour tone. However, collect them all and you’ll be carrying around four separate leaflets to plan your day — for two parks which likely see more “park hopping” than any another resort. Excessive? It seems the park planners at Disneyland Resort Paris thought so.

The two Programmes have just become one:


Compared to the previous design we saw at the start of ‘The Celebration Continues’, the new Programme immediately appears to boast a much more accomplished front cover design. The shiny wrapping paper and ribbon themes are carried through, with the two park logos on two labels. A new clock graphic with a ’15’ symbol at its centre sits next to the text “Show dates and times, Meet ‘n’ Greets with Disney Characters, Park opening hours”.

You’ll notice right away that the row of Mickey Mouse silhouettes carrying languages (such as FR, GB, ES, IT) which used to be at the top of the cover is now gone. The new Programme is instead intended to be a language-free affair, cut down from eight pages to four and using only French and English inside. Since the show and parade names are mostly the same for each language, certainly in announcements and signage around the parks, it makes sense.

On the back, you find the latest opening hours, a new box for any current attraction closures, the box advertising Walt Disney Studios Park’s new Bluetooth trial and an advertisement for character meals.

Open it up, however, and things are suddenly a whole lot different…


Gone is the simple vertical list of characters, shows and parades. Instead, the times guides are turned on their side to stretch across the page. With each hour given its own column, the showtimes are then slotted into the relevant boxes, the idea here being that, say you’re in the park at 4pm looking for something to see, you can now go straight to the relevant column, rather than scanning the whole listing for any times close to 16:00.

Initially the table may appear slightly confusing and unnecessarily complicated, especially with the constant “French / English” doubling of text, but in practice, in the parks, the TV-guide style is likely much more convenient. The only downside? For the resort, it shows the gaps in the park entertainment schedule — no afternoon meet ‘n’ greets at Disneyland Park or not many shows close to the Studios’ closing time, for example.

For the environment, the new Programme means a huge 75% reduction in the use of paper to produce these guides every single day.

But what do you think? Another step forward, or a stumble backwards?

Monday, 9th June 2008

Le Rocher qui ne bascule plus

We’re used to hearing stories from California and Florida about over-protective health and safety issues closing down smaller Disney attractions, such as Goofy’s Bounce House, but in Paris?

Since the Marne-la-Vallée resort lies at the heart of Europe, a place largely free from the “lawsuit culture” of the United States, the parks of Disneyland Resort Paris have long been able to have darker, more atmospheric walkways and much more adventurous, interactive props like the one in question here in Adventureland.

But is that time coming to an end?

Pay a visit to this little corner of Adventureland between the two rises of land, underneath the giant suspension bridge, and you’ll find a little hidden treasure has just been de-Imagineered. The giant rock, tipping safely to and fro with adventurous guests since 1992, save for a few brief periods of static time, has now been propped up with a lump of concrete and taken firmly out of action.


The concrete support is sturdy and very permanent, suggesting Le Rocher qui Bascule is gone for good. So, what’s the reason? Health and safety gone too far? Maintenance trying to save themselves from another job?

Certainly, propping the stone up with concrete won’t stop those over-active younger visitors climbing all over the rock — the possibility of a fall is still there. Whilst Disneyland in California just introduced the fabulous themed props and interactive games of its ‘Pirate’s Lair’ — themed props and games which would increase footfall in Paris’ Adventureland massively — the park in Paris has instead just lost another reason to explore this land.


So, what next? We’ve tried to predict the alterations to several other Disneyland Resort Paris attractions, based on this kind of thinking:

Big Thunder Mountain

The idea of a “runaway” mine train is far too hazardous and the lengthy drop into darkness could cause screaming-related injuries. Therefore, all trains will now be manned by a driver who will regulate speed to no more than 10mph.

Le Pays des Contes de Fées

This pleasant boat ride through fairytale scenes is mostly harmless, but on hot, sunny days there is a chance guests could be subject to sunburn or otherwise. Therefore, a giant showbuilding will now be built around the entire Storybookland area.


The loud explosions when George enters the cinema screen could surprise guests beyond a healthy level. Instead, George will now simply step quietly behind the curtain and then appear on-screen.

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

Should a guest not secure all or some of their personal items, a person or persons could be injured by the item as the elevator drops. Though an incredibly unlikely event, the elevators will now descend no faster than regular hotel elevators to entirely prevent this.

Art of Disney Animation

In the ‘Animation Academy’ drawing masterclass, children are given pencils which could be potentially lethal. With immediate effect, no drawing of any kind will be allowed inside the building.

It seems strange that the option wasn’t taken to surround Le Rocher Qui Bascule with the kind of soft flooring seen in the park’s outdoor play areas. Leaving the rock in place also suggests that no plans are afoot to replace it with something more safety conscious — such as one of those already-Imagineered ‘Pirate’s Lair’ games.

If they’re not careful, the sense of Adventure could be all but gone from our Adventureland.

Monday, 9th June 2008

Candles joined by streamers for new finale

As Candleabration clocked up its 365th performance and continued into its second year as part of ‘The Celebration Continues… Big Time!’, the fifteen candles spread across Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant continued to have their flickering, orange LED lights hampered by the setting sun.

The show is usually scheduled as the final piece of entertainment of the day, often exactly at the park’s closing time, but, for much of the year, this closing time just isn’t late enough to let the fifteen birthday candles glow. And so, as Mickey Mouse points up into the sky and toward the Castle, intending to send his magical energies to light up the candles, it appears as if he is merely making wild hand and arm gestures to the “Flying” soundtrack — a slightly uninspiring finale for any guests who don’t realise the problem.

However, since at least April this year, the illumination moment has been improved significantly thanks to a long line of streamers which burst into the sky from every side of the circular Central Plaza Stage. Now, every time Mickey points across to the castle, his hand gestures are joined by a golden streamer erupting from one side of the stage.

In Video

The streamers are rather a fitting addition considering the “presents” theme of ‘The Celebration Continues’, and a welcome addition for the many parents and children who didn’t quite grab one of the Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade streamers quickly enough…


Summer and Christmas have so far been the only times when darkness could be guaranteed for the ceremony, due to the late opening hours and early nightfall respectively. The 15th Anniversary launch night on 31st March 2007 also saw a special edition of the show presented under darkness.

Monday, 21st April 2008

The Celebration Continues… The VIPs

We begin on this rainy Saturday in early April. Once again, the curse of the press event has struck and Walt Disney Studios Park sits underneath a thick covering of rain clouds.

Throughout the day, both before and after the launch event we just watched, areas in front of the key attraction — The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror — were cordoned off and reserved for cameras, officials and photo shoots.

Celebrities and VIP guests were led through Beverley Court and La Terrasse Perrier for photos in front of the Tower, posing either next to the fibre-optic Hollywood Tower Hotel sign or beside the familiar elevator cabin we spotted earlier.


It’s here we spot our very first celebrity. No, not the guy in the green top, we’ve unfortunately no idea who he is, but the bellhop! Do you recognise him? He might be wearing the same maroon uniform and bellboy hat as the regular employees of The Hollywood Tower Hotel, but this, you could say, is the bellhop.

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You’ll know him from all of the videos on the official Tower of Terror website, not to mention countless visuals and posters that are appearing across Europe right now. He dropped back into the resort on the launch day to complete his Twilight Zone duties.


This same bellhop and several others were on standby inside the boiler room of the attraction itself, ready to pose for photos by the famous elevator doors or even take a ride with the VIPs to capture some unique on-ride moments. It’s just as we enter the Tower of Terror for a ride ourselves that one of the resort’s most important VIPs of the weekend was giving an interview — Sébastien Chabal, the instantly recognisable French rugby player.


Causing somewhat of a frenzy with guests passing by to their own elevators, the rugby star was being peered over by two of the bellhops as he was filmed on camera. The many visits from various national rugby teams during last year’s World Cup in France seems to have paid off, this being Sébastien’s second visit captured by the official press team.

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And so now we switch over to the official press photos from Disneyland Resort Paris, with the biggest VIP of them all posing next to the rugby player against a special backdrop of ‘HTH’ symbols, Tower of Terror and Disneyland15 logos. As for his ride on the attraction itself, that was captured from start to finish:

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Very willing to play along with the bellhops, Chabal’s long hair (he is often referred to simply as “the caveman” by rugby fans) also provided the perfect showcase for the ride’s “gravity-defying” capabilities.


Interestingly, the resort also released one photo of the elevator as a “making of” shot, showing the photographers and equipment which went into capturing the VIPs on their ride into the fifth dimension.

As you might expect, the event was populated by mainly French VIPs, many of whom we expect most DLRP Today readers won’t recognise. The full list included Sébastien Chabal, Emilie Dequenne, Thierry Frémont, Pierre Mathieu, Bruno Solo, Philippe Vandel, Philppe Bas, Olivier Dahan, André Dussollier, Zoe Felix, Marc Lavoine, Aissa Maiga, Virginie Efira, Laurent Gerra, Hafsia Herzi, Audrey Marnay, Alysson Paradis and Jocelyn Quivrin.

However, since their photos from the boiler room were so expertly dominated by the scene-stealing bellhops, let’s take a look anyway:

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Sébastien Chabal / (above) / Jocelyn Quivrin

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Hafsia Herzi and Emilie Dequenne / Non-French Lucy and Nadja from ‘No Angels’

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Aissa Maiga / Bruno Solo

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André Dusollier / Virginie Efira

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TV presenter and star of the Tower of Terror competitions and promos on French channel M6, it was good to see that Virginie Efira was also present at the park to help launch the new attraction itself. Next to her, Mickey Mouse tries to reach his room in The Hollywood Tower Hotel.

Whilst Minnie wore her white dress from the Studios’ grand opening event in 2002 and last year’s Toon Studio opening, Mickey’s outfit looked brand new and very sharp indeed. He posed for pictures with VIPs atop a small podium to the left of Beverley Court, were we spotted some preparations the day before.

Now, for the United Kingdom. Disneyland Resort Paris always appears to have a hard time coaxing celebrities across the English Channel to Marne-la-Vallée specifically for these press events, so how did they do this time? Not too bad…

The main attendees from the UK were a team from long-running ITV1 daytime show This Morning, which included reporter Alison Hammond (who you might incidentally remember from Big Brother many moons ago). Alison took part in the filming of plenty of footage from the attraction and various locations around the resort, which has been compiled into short VT segments shown throughout the two hour show across the past few weeks, advertising both the resort and more specifically competitions to win trips to ride Tower of Terror.

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She might not be the most famous TV reporter, but Alison smiled, screamed and danced her way through the weekend with her family — DLRP Today spotted her at the front of the press crowd for the High School Musical 2: School’s Out! premiere, miming to every word. It’s a shame not all the press are that willing to enjoy themselves.

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As the TV reporter posed in front of the Tower, another British TV star was also enjoying Walt Disney Studios Park with his family. You’ll know him best from BBC Three sitcom Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, but he’s also a former Hollyoaks star and popstar (remember that?!) — it’s Will Mellor.

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The actor was captured outside (but not on-board!) Tower of Terror, at the Toon Studio Plaza character locations and enjoying Crush’s Coaster with other VIP guests. Below, he poses with wife Michelle McSween and son Jayden alongside Emile from Ratatouille.

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Our final British VIP will surely be the most well-known. Appearing for the nighttime inauguration event of Tower of Terror, long-time BBC Radio 1 DJ and occasional television presenter Jo Whiley, with son Jude and Mickey Mouse.


Jo Whiley presents the late morning/daytime slot on Radio 1, one of the UK’s biggest radio stations. She posed in front of a classic 1930s automobile at the foot of Hollywood Boulevard. Full reports, photos and video from this nighttime event will be following shortly.

Our next country is the Netherlands, represented mainly by cast members from two soaps (serial dramas) that go by the abbreviations ONM and GTST — that’s Onderweg Naar Morgen and Goede Tijden, Slechte Tijden.

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ONM & GTST cast on Tower of Terror / TV presenter Monique Smit with Stitch

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ONM & GTST cast with the bellhop / Dutch stars with the cast of HSM2

Finally we come to the last country to see some of its stars visit the press events — Germany! The first three famous faces will soon be recognised right across Europe — it’s Nadja, Jessica and Lucy from hugely successful female pop group No Angels. Following a reunion last year, they’re Germany’s Eurovision Song Contest entry for 2008.


The three stars posed with Stitch, above, following the launch event earlier, and were captured both riding Tower of Terror and visiting Minnie Mouse over in Disneyland Park with their families and children, below.

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Also attending the event, and featured in publicity and press photos more than any other celebrity across the various international websites, the winner of Germany’s Next Top Model, Barbara Meier.

Barbara has special reason to be at the resort to help launch the major new attraction, since she currently stars in a German TV campaign for the resort, the first for several years, aimed at “reintroducing” it to the country that recently hasn’t been a strong visitor to the Marne-la-Vallée magic kingdom.


Choosing the model with long, red hair certainly paid off for her publicity photos on-board the attraction, once again showing off its drops and zero-gravity moments.

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Above, Barbara poses with a bellhop and earlier, Mickey Mouse, atop the special podium in front of the attraction.

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The Top Model star was also photographed right across the resort, including signing autographs in Main Street USA, smiling with Stitch on the redecorated Place des Stars Stage

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…Posing in front of the 15th Anniversary overlay of Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant and finally, standing with the recognisable bellhop who now appears to almost have a smile on his face… !


All of the German stars, including retired football star Fredi Bobic, posed for a final photo with the entire cast of High School Musical 2: School’s Out!.

The opening of such a high-profile new attraction at Walt Disney Studios Park has also given it a couple of other, more high-profile, stars in recent weeks. On his European publicity tour for Rocky Balboa, movie legend Sylvester Stallone didn’t just pay a visit to check up on his Planet Hollywood restaurant in Disney Village, the star dropped into the Studios to try this European version of the Hollywood Tower favourite.

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Visiting in late March with his two sons, musician Phil Collins returned to the resort once again to enjoy the new attractions of Toon Studio and Hollywood Boulevard that have transformed Walt Disney Studios Park since his last visit for the 15th Anniversary launch in April last year. The star now lives in Féchy, Switzerland and returns to Disneyland Resort Paris almost annually to celebrate his sons’ birthdays.

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The famous faces above could enjoy priority access to The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Crush’s Coaster in particular, which would have made the dull, cloudy and even rainy weather less of a disappointment.

Certain to be smiling in their perpetual “summertime”, however, were the stars of the all-new High School Musical 2: School’s Out! show. We take you to the official premiere performance, next…

Saturday, 12th April 2008

The Celebration Continues… The Preparations

We arrive on the evening of Friday, 4th April 2008 and head straight for the resort hub, the promenade, Centre Court. The day has already been one of bustling activity for the resort — alongside good guest attendance, many resort officials, VIPs and press crews have already arrived to begin their own preparations.

The day before, Thursday, preparations were made in the mezzanine of Disney Studio 1 for live radio station broadcasts on Friday morning — Paris’ Voltage FM from 6:30am to 9:30am and the UK’s Heart FM broadcasting live all the way from 7:00am to 10:00am.

Reserved zones were set up for The Legend of the Lion King, Disney Characters’ Express, Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade and Candleabration throughout the day.

That’s where we’re headed, follow the bellhop…

So, here we are, on the hub of Disneyland Resort Paris, with the giant billboards and bellhops pointing the way to our first point of call – The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. But before then, a little surprise from the gardeners — brand new flowers right around the promenade!

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Brand new flowers for the hub / New brighter colours for Town Square

All the areas bordering the paths here were previously just grassy banks, with the exception of a small parcel of flowers around the new information board and flags installed one year ago. Now, the lower section of all the grass has been given over to thousands of new flowers.

Hopping quickly over to Disneyland Park, the gardeners have made another change — last year’s yellows and blues replaced by multicoloured yellows and pinks in honour of ‘The Celebration Continues’ colour scheme.

Enough diversions, let’s head straight for Walt Disney Studios Park:

Film crews prepare next to Beverley Court

Here, the Tower of Terror is already buzzing with preparations and special set-ups for the evening and days ahead. Beverley Court, the building on the edge of the new Hollywood Boulevard, is providing a convenient storage location for equipment whilst the film crews set up their equipment on the patch of pavement next door.

The Studio Catering Co. van usually here has been moved to allow the area to be used for exterior VIP shots and film footage against the backdrop of the Tower.

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Temporary HTH posters / Lighting rig tests behind the Tower

In preparation for the grand inauguration ceremonies to come the following night, movie posters on the lighting rigs, which are still to be found in this area, have temporarily been replaced by ‘HTH’ Hollywood Tower Hotel logos, as those on Disney Bros Plaza were with Crush and Cars imagery last June. Unfortunately, George of the Jungle, etc did return on Sunday.

Now, what’s that behind the Tower? Don’t worry, not a wrecking ball… a giant lighting rig, elevated by crane to sit behind the building. When the press and VIPs stood in their reserved areas for the show the next day, it was completely hidden, emitting an incredibly bright ray of lights from behind the hotel, making it look just like that famous mural in the Tower Hotel Gifts boutique.

Show control/film crews’ podium

The crane had been elevated sometime in the late afternoon of Friday to prepare for the evening’s massive rehearsal of the inauguration show, which began just half an hour after park closing at 7:30pm and, for the 100+ extras that would bring a living, breathing Hollywood night to life, continued right up until midnight.

As seen above, the podium and control booth from the 15th Anniversary and Toon Studio launches was again present, providing a clear view of the Tower through a gap in the trees and Hollywood Boulevard buildings.

Saturday, 5th April 2008

The big day is finally here, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is about to be inaugurated at Walt Disney Studios Park over six years since the park first opened. Of course, the day also marked the launch of the entire ‘Celebration Continues… Big Time!’ year, not to mention the grand opening and inauguration of Stitch Live! across the courtyard.

The park was already busy at 7:00am, when rehearsals began for the ceremony that would kick off the year and officially open Stitch Live!, with Karl Holz joining the rehearsal from 8:30am.

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Giant lighting rig for Tower / Signs park-wide indicate Tower closes at 5pm

The white podium was suddenly joined by barriers and fences all around the Tower and Place des Stars area. The resort’s audio visual crew had the crane camera in place, ready to be moved around for various events throughout the day, and — as if you could miss it — a second giant lighting rig was now extending into the sky, ensuring the Tower stayed in bright light despite the typically cloudy press event weather.

The lighting rig behind the Tower wouldn’t extend into the sky again until later in the day, when preparations for the real show began. For that reason, and for the surprising amount of pyrotechnics that would be scattered across the hotel’s facade, the attraction closed to day guests at 5pm.

Film crews and Bellhop actors on standby for VIPs at the Tower

All day, celebrities, VIPs and invitees were enjoying the attractions of Walt Disney Studios Park. At Tower of Terror, the resort’s own film crews and photographers were on “standby” for their arrival, with special acting bellhops inside and out ready to pose for the cameras.

Used in the background of many of the photo shoots… something rather familiar…

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Familiar prop from London reappears for photo shoots

The elevator cabin which briefly appeared in London’s Leicester Square had found its way across the Channel to the resort, where it sat outside of the gates of the attraction all day.

Look out for another article soon covering in detail the VIPs and celebrities who attended the event.

Finally, the location of our first event of the day — Place des Stars. The stage was dressed up overnight for the official kick-off ceremony, a ’15’ symbol surrounded by shiny golden wrapping paper and a backdrop of illuminated Stitch Live! logos.

Stitch Live! & ‘Celebration Continues’ launch stage prepared…

On the stage, a red podium wrapped up in a golden ribbon and ’15’ symbol, with a giant red present topped by a gold bow. Now, who do you suppose could be hiding in there, waiting to burst out? Yes, he’s mischievous alright… In fact, if you took a look behind that backdrop, you’d have seen a second red square of wrapping paper for the front of the present… just in case.

This is where we head next, as our ‘Celebration Continues’ series… continues!

Thursday, 10th April 2008

The Celebration Continues… The Park Maps

It was during our 15th Anniversary Launch coverage in April 2007 that we discovered the updated park maps for the long-awaited celebration. With Disneyland Park bathed in gold and both parks sporting ’15’ symbols, confetti and streamers, they were a flashy welcome to the events that lay beyond the park gates.

One year on, and ‘The Celebration Continues’ with a brand new redesign, bigger than before. The covers of both guides have taken a darker approach with their pinks and blues fading to a neat black as rays of light shine out from each park logo. Mickey’s hand pulls the wrapping paper away in the bottom corner — the ’15’ now a much smaller icon in the lower right.


They’re an improvement not just in the beauty stakes, with the cover information now displayed much more clearly in a single bar along the top, with both a larger and clearer country flag and textual language title identifying each guide either side of the date period.

Inside, the maps are largely the same as ever. A few subtle tweaks have been made, however. In the excerpt from the Walt Disney Studios Park guide below, notice the small outline of the park and the colour fill showing the location of each land, just to make it even clearer. Of course, the new designated smoking areas are also marked — with a tiny cigarette symbol.


The key to the symbol reads “For everyone’s comfort and convenience, special areas have been set up for those who wish to smoke. Please smoke only in these designated areas.”

Also note that the Walt Disney Studios Park map itself has again had a small design update — the addition of a large Stitch Live! attraction sign to the Walt Disney Television Studios building. And, whilst Jiminy Crickett is your guide to Disneyland Park, Stitch is now fittingly your host on the Studios’ map.

One change to both guides is a new box stating very loudly “IMPORTANT! Pick up the Programme!”. We can only assume that many guests are taking the map and failing to realise all the entertainment times are in a separate leaflet. Talking of the Programme, those have also been given a modest update to match the park guides:


The back cover of both park guides gives us one final surprise — an updated Official Partners list, now looking bigger than it has done for many years.


New additions are Danone and Dole, which has been featured in-park for some time but never as an official parter. Kellogg’s is now a regular feature and IBM has returned following its disappearance several years ago. The Orange (sponsors of Studio Tram Tour) logo is now featured over France Télécom (sponsors of “it’s a small world”). Since they’re the same company, we’d assume this is simply because Orange is used worldwide and not just in France.


Finally, the Extra Magic Hours leaflets available in the lobbies of Disney Hotels have also been given a refresh, with a smart new logo and simplified information now that the hours are strictly morning-only.

Thursday, 10th April 2008

The Celebration Continues… Big Time!

A fifteenth that will last until the seventeenth? Only in Disneyland! With the celebration now continuing as we speak and our full coverage on the way, it seems a good time to recap the story behind the extended anniversary, the reasons for extending it and the advertising they’re using to promote it.

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First ‘Celebration Continues’ visuals / Second ‘Celebration Continues’ visuals

We first received confirmation that the celebrations would be continuing at the start of October 2007, with the end date extended right through to March 2009. The original draws for the 15th Anniversary would all return, of course. That means Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade, Candleabration and Disney Characters’ Express, along with all the decorations and the two new attractions at Walt Disney Studios Park, Crush’s Coaster and Cars Quatre Roues Rallye. The only ‘original’ event not to return this Spring is Alpha Bet You Are.

Third wave ‘Celebration Continues’ visuals – the new “red carpet” poster

Fourteen and a half million guests, a record for the resort, and overwhelming response from those guests ensured the 15th Anniversary of Disneyland Resort Paris wouldn’t be a short-lived affair. Indeed, to end the celebrations just as Walt Disney Studios Park completed its remarkable transformation would seem like an odd thing to do. And so, what was truly the ‘biggest Disney party ever’ has become even bigger in 2008.

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror has finally arrived after six years, Hollywood Boulevard brings rich Imagineering detail, Stitch Live! presents a whole new interactive experience and the second High School Musical show ensures Summer time is all the time. The alternative pitch for 2008, a Year of Mickey Mouse, the celebrate the maestro’s 80th birthday, wouldn’t have made it so easy to include these new attractions in the promotions.

We saw the first trailer for The Celebration Continues just days after hearing the news of the extension. Set to the song “Oh Happy Day”, it was met with a mixed response, with fans much less enthusiastic than the original 15th Anniversary teaser trailers. Luckily, the actual television advertising campaign that followed in February 2008 was every bit as good as the first, showing children running through Main Street and pulling wrapping paper from the buildings, from the Castle and from the new 2008 attractions.

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Original brochure for ‘The Celebration Continues’ – branding has evolved a little since

Tying together the entire 15th Anniversary year, through advertisements, events and more, was the ongoing theme of a “red carpet” leading to Disneyland, along with the candles that would become the stars of Candleabration and the Sleeping Beauty Castle overlay. For ‘The Celebration Continues… Big Time!’, the red carpet is replaced by wrapping paper, presents and more traditional birthday themes, as first seen on the Spring/Summer 2008 brochure, several pages from which are featured above.

Since then, the colour scheme is now being taken into overdrive with the classical blues, reds and golds becoming multi-coloured greens, turquoise, yellow and pink, as seen in the new Paris tourist leaflet below.


New Paris tourist trade brochure introduces the parks equally.

Disneyland Resort Paris seems keen for The Celebration Continues… Big Time! to be seen as a separate event to the ’15th Anniversary Celebration’ that preceded it. With such important new attractions added to the offerings, you can see why. And, as our special launch weekend series begins, you’ll be able to discover every second of the magic here on DLRP Today

Tuesday, 1st April 2008

Mark Twain glows in multicolour for ‘Celebration Continues’

Next weekend, 5th April 2008, will see press from across Europe descend on Disneyland Resort Paris to cover, primarily, the launch events for The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Stitch Live!.

However, the event will also be somewhat of a “relaunch” for Walt Disney Studios Park, and the official date when the resort shifts from its original ‘15th Anniversary Celebration‘ year to its second, ‘Celebration Continues‘, year of events.

As already seen in brochures, the television commercials and the updated official website, the original gold and blue colour scheme of the first year is out — instead, bright multicolours of pink and turquoise, green and yellow are in.


Now, for something we probably didn’t expect — those very colours are now illuminating every night across the Rivers of the Far West, thanks to a complete overhaul of the lights surrounding each of the Mark Twain riverboat’s four floors.

As shown in the exclusive photos here from a DLRP Today reader, the lower level is pink, then blue, then green, then the original yellow retained. All other lights on the boat have been left untouched.


With these new lights coming just days before the press events, when the park will naturally be privatised for an evening event, it is currently unknown whether they are a temporary decorative measure or a change that will last the entire ‘Celebration Continues‘ year.

The replacing or colouring of the lightbulbs is similar to that of many along the ceilings of the two Main Street arcades, which last year saw a scattering of blue lightbulbs to add to the lining of 15th Anniversary banners. These lights are still in place (pictured below).


Mark Twain itself was also a centrepiece of last year’s launch events, when characters rode it around the rivers carrying their ‘Candleabration‘ candles.

The multi-colour lighting will likely come as a blow to fans of Frontierland, already well prepared in putting up with unlikely changes to the make-up of their favourite land — such as the Halloween paint machinery and the recent arrival of Woody at Critter Corral.


Our thanks to cmflounder92 for sending in the following clearer photo of the multicolour lights:


The Mark Twain is based on the original boat at Disneyland in California, which Walt Disney mortgaged his own home to build back in 1955.

— Your News: If you’ve got new photos or news from Disneyland Resort Paris, send them to DLRP Today at and we can report the magic as it happens! Our news service can only improve with your help!

[Photos by Nemo_Dory and cmflounder92 for DLRP Today]

Tuesday, 25th March 2008

New entertainment set for Spring season

This year’s Spring/Summer season officially begins on 5th April, when the parks suddenly come to life with many additional entertainments that run until the end of August. Set to return already are favourites The Tarzan Encounter, High School Musical On Tour (from 12th April) and Good Morning Walt Disney Studios, with Winnie the Pooh and Friends, Too on select dates and during the main Summer season. Add to that the recently-confirmed High School Musical 2 show, a brand new production featuring the songs of the second hit movie.

But that’s not all… Preparations have been underway for some time on a couple more brand new “spectacles”, specific to their locations and set to feature some rare stars from the Disney archives.

The first is currently known as Good Morning Mary Poppins and will be a brand new morning show for Main Street, U.S.A., taking place several times early each day on the Town Square gazebo.


Information from member zanderstarz on magicforum reveals that the small show will feature Mary and Bert alongside three penguin waiters and three dancing couples, for a total cast of 11. Music and recorded singing is apparently taken entirely from existing sources, notably the soon-to-end Disney Cinema Parade.

This could be considered a replacement for last year’s morning event, Alpha Bet You Are, and will be the first daily morning entertainment on Main Street, U.S.A. for quite some time, coming many years after the Good Morning Main Street character happening was retired. It is due to begin from Saturday, 5th April.


The second new event also looks set to return daily entertainment to an underused area of the park — the Castle Courtyard, behind Sleeping Beauty Castle, occasionally home to The Sword in the Stone Ceremony. Provisionally titled The Aurora and Prince Phillip Happening, this mini-show will star the royal couple themselves in a regal ceremony that will likely be rudely interrupted by Maleficent, making it sound somewhat similar to the Halloween event which took place here during the festival’s brief introduction to Fantasyland in 2004.

Source zanderstarz also suggests that royal guard-like figures and fairytale maidens may also make an appearance in the happening, which is currently expected to begin on Wednesday, 26th April.

Finally, a controversial Walt Disney Studios Park memory from last Summer is also due to return…


Toon Train…Lights! Camera! Musique!, the musical show which featured Chip, Dale and their female friend Clarice alongside a live band, left many fans cold during the Summer of 2007, but the trailer sets it was based upon — originally used for the Starring Cruella De Vil show — are likely to return to the park again soon in another new guise.

However, current plans state their use will definitely be more alike that of the Christmas event Toons en Scene pour les Fetes — as in simply to bring characters into the park and to act as meet ‘n’ greet photolocations. Characters touted so far are Lilo and Stitch, Chip ‘n’ Dale and Abby the Duck with Chicken Little, but this could certainly change.

Add to this promising mix of new and old the 15th Anniversary favourites Disney Characters’ Express, Candleabration and Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade, and you’ve got the makings of a busy Spring season of entertainment in Disneyland Resort Paris!

— See magical Disneyland Resort Paris entertainment in motion at DLRP Magic! Video >>

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