New details have been announced about Disney Stars on Parade, the new parade for Disneyland Paris’ 25th Anniversary, including a full run-through of its 8 floats and the characters set to star on them. Read More…
The “new” Maleficent Disney Villains Promenade isn’t really that new: yet that certainly isn’t a complaint. As speculated, the daily Disney’s Halloween Festival event has seen the return of the mighty “Dreams of Power“ float to the Disneyland Park parade route, forming the main feature of this character procession from Fantasyland to the drawbridge of Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant on Central Plaza. Read More…
As previously announced, this is “soft opening” week for Disney Magic on Parade!, when the “new” daily parade arrives in the park for public dress rehearsals — revealing its many changes and additions. Yesterday saw the first performance of the revamped parade, and the first play of new theme song “Magic Everywhere” (which we previewed here) in the park. It certainly won’t be the last — unlike under its former guise as Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade, there’s no score throughout the parade, just the song played on a loop.
But what we’ve all been clamouring to see are the new floats, starting with the reworking of the original Dreams of Imagation opening float as Making Magic. Its sun, moon and hot air balloon for Mickey and Minnie were icons of the old parade, and they’ve been completely cleared off the storybook float to make way for a pink castle and three characters: the Fairy Godmother, the Blue Fairy and Merlin.
Opening the parade are the Three Good Fairies, who appear to move magically across the parade route using some kind of hands-free segway system. It’s a clever “floating” effect which, along with the nice mix of rarer characters here, might just about make up for the disappointing opening float itself, completely lacking the presence, quality and imagination of Dreams of Imagination.
Far more successful are the gorgeous, whimsical Princess Carriages, each uniquely decorated for their corresponding royalty. Though the three carriages for Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella pass by close together, it still affords a far better chance to glimpse the princesses than the previous, rather overcrowded finale float.
Following these is the smaller, renamed Magic of Romance unit, now comprising three couples: Ariel and Prince Eric, Tiana and Prince Naveen, plus new additions Rapzunel and Flynn. For the first time since they arrived in park parades, the royalty of Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast are missing.
From here, the parade consists of four relatively unchanged original floats, now renamed as Magic of Laughter & Fun, Magic of Friendship, Magic of Adventure and Magic of Fantasy. Within these we see the arrival of the White Rabbit, new puppet dancers alongside Pinocchio and Gepetto, bumblebees following Winnie the Pooh, colourful birds flying either side of Adventure and purple-clad pearly kings and queens following Mary Poppins. Each float has a hidden ’20’.
The grand finale is preceded by more dancers, floating on segways, dressed in pink, purple and orange. Repainted in similarly bright shades, Magic Everywhere is the new name for the former Dreams of Romance: Finale unit, now home to Donald Duck, Minnie Mouse, Chip ‘n’ Dale, Goofy and — yes — Duffy. Mickey Mouse, in a new variation of his classic sorcerer’s outfit, ends the parade atop the blue Fantasia-inspired hillside, dotted with anthropomorphised mops holding buckets.
Hidden in the back of the float yesterday was Tinker Bell, but today her place was apparently taken by Donald Duck. More changes could continue tomorrow and Thursday. On Friday 30th, however, the parade apparently reverts back to being Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade for a special farewell performance, including the last appearance (for now) of the spectacular Dreams of Power villain float, which will be sorely missed in the new parade.
It won’t be until Saturday, 31st March that we see Disney Magic on Parade! officially premiere at the special time of 3pm. On 1st April, the first advertised performance date, this reverts to 5pm for the rest of the 20th Anniversary year. DLRP Today will be there to cover both dates, so look out for more reports and our new HD videos next week. But for now, what are your first impressions?
Want to get an early look at the reborn Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade, due to officially premiere 1st April 2012? Those brave enough to visit in the late March transition period will be duly rewarded: the new Disney Magic on Parade! is reportedly scheduled to begin performances from Monday, 26th March. This is, of course, unconfirmed by Disneyland Paris, but similar events in recent years have also had a “soft opening” or bedding-in period in the week prior to their launch. Radically redesigned opening and closing floats will be seen for the first time, while the new theme song will make its park debut.
Titled “Magic Everywhere!”, the tune is around four minutes long and was apparently put together by a team who have previously worked on several Disney Channel hits. Along with the brighter floats and costumes, this certainly suggests the revitalised parade will be aiming for a punchier style than the more refined Once Upon a Dream Parade, which originally launched for the 15th Anniversary in 2007.
Meanwhile, though concept art revealed in a promo video showed two of the new princess carriages being designed to carry Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and Snow White, it has now been confirmed that modern favourite Belle, of Beauty and the Beast, will join them on a carriage of her own. Quite right, too! Less popular will be the decision to cut the current “Dreams of Power” villain unit completely, its last performance being 25th March. There is suggestion it could be added back as a Halloween extra but, as one of the most impressive floats of the original parade, it will be sorely missed.
We’ve already had a glimpse at the concept art for Disney Magic on Parade! thanks to some leaked images late last year, but now here they are in all their high definition, officially-endorsed glory! The 20th Anniversary preview video released by Disneyland Paris on Friday teased fans with an immediate challenge to “screencap” all the new details, and we’re only happy to oblige. As confirmed previously, only the opening and closing floats of the parade will see major cosmetic changes, but for the old “Dreams of Imagination” the difference is dramatic enough.
Gone are the sun and moon, with a pink fairytale castle, magical mirror and pumpkin carriage in their place. Though Tinker Bell will apparently be featured as an actual live character in the reworked parade, that didn’t stop entertainment slipping in a golden ‘Tink at the top of the castle. (Well, at least it’s not the castle…) The float also looks to continue the idea of embedded LED lights, introduced with the original Once Upon a Dream Parade, to give some extra sparkle even in daytime.
Princesses Cinderella, Aurora, Snow White and Belle being knocked off their former “Dreams of Romance” finale float will be reconciled with the addition of two new smaller units. Both Cinderella and Aurora will be pulled along on whimsical carriages by carousel-style horses. LED lights are again hidden amongst the flowers at the rear, while the Sleeping Beauty unit features sculptures of birds, a squirrel and even the owl, to tie it into the story.
Taking the 20th Anniversary‘s theme of “colour, lights and magic” to its absolute pinnacle will be the new finale float. Gone is that calmly-coloured green hillside. In its place, a psychedelic mix of blue, indigo and violet, forming a landscape for the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Not content with two statues celebrating the moment over at Walt Disney Studios Park, Mickey will perform his thrusting of the magic wand into the skies for real.
The costumes of all the characters here will be brand new and designed especially for the new parade. Artwork below shows Minnie, Chip, Dale, Donald, Daisy and Goofy all receiving their own, brightly-coloured “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” outfits, covered in shimmering gold thread details.
Finally, “Magic Everywhere!” was revealed just this morning by @InsideDLParis on Twitter to be the title of the new song to accompany the parade and other 20th Anniversary events. But is all this enough to convince you the old parade will be given enough “magic” to make it feel new again?
It’s 2012 (Happy New Year!) and time for a fresh start. For Disneyland Paris, that appears to mean several key elements of the current Disney Magical Moments Festival, marketed to run until 4th March 2012, will be cleared out early. Rumours long suggested the main Mickey’s Magical Celebration show on Central Plaza would face an early finish, due to the much detested Central Plaza Stage finally being ripped out, opening up the hub of the park ready for Dreams.
Now, here’s the confirmation: no performances from 9th January onwards! In truth, the show has had a lukewarm reception ever since last April. Notably lacking the grander spectacle of the previous Disney Showtime Spectacular, it wasn’t quite the kind of production to justify such a monolithic stage to take over the heart of the park. Initially it seemed the four large satellite “arms” of the stage might be lopped off, but now the whole stage is said to be for the chop. For stage shows, this means any future open-air productions will (quite rightly) be on the Théâtre du Château where they belong. For new nighttime spectacular Dreams, the rumour mill is still pumping: Will the removal of the stage open up the area purely for more standing room again, or could the hub become part of the show? One particularly fun (if purely fabricated) rumour is for a “magic” dancing fountain to take the place of the former flower bed. To be honest, even being able to walk across and use the plaza as a “hub”, rather than an impermeable roundabout, seems an exciting prospect at this point.
Surprisingly, this show isn’t the only “Magical Moment” preparing for early retirement. It will be joined on 9th January by Disney Dance Express, the garishly-coloured dance show which reused the old Dumbo Casey Jr. parade float. Could this, the float’s fifth iteration since its launch as part of The Wonderful World of Disney Parade, be its last? Meanwhile, the Green Army Men Meet & Play event over in Toy Story Playland will also end on the same date and, as reported earlier, the first float will be removed from Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade for its “Magic on Parade!” makeover.
Making it all the way to the 4th March end date, but not continuing beyond that date, will be the “interactive” show stops of Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade, the temporary Tangled meet ‘n’ greet location for Rapunzel and, surprisingly, the small Following the Leader with Peter Pan show in Adventureland. That event was perhaps the most appreciated of all the new “moments” in 2011. For Rapunzel, we must presume she will simply join the other princesses in the new Princess Pavilion.
Finally, continuing into the 20th Anniversary are the many photo locations which popped up around the parks: Wall•E and Eve in Discoveryland, Alice in Wonderland near the Labyrinth, Aladdin near Adventureland Bazaar, Ratatouille near Restaurant des Stars and Monsters, Inc. in Toon Studio (which, added in 2006, was never “new” for 2011 to begin with, but never mind). Lighting McQueen will remain in his Moteurs… Action! Stunt Show Spectacular cameo and the new Adventureland Rhythms of the Jungle location next to Restaurant Hakuna Matata will remain the home of the popular Tam Tam.
Here’s a little relief for anyone planning a trip to in the next three months, before the launch of the 20th Anniversary: Disneyland Paris has confirmed to us that the parade route won’t be left empty while the current Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade undergoes its makeover into the new Disney Magic on Parade!. Some may have feared such a transition would require the original 15th Anniversary parade to take a leave of absence before its 1st April 2012 relaunch.
The production will, however, be left without two of its key floats for much of the period — those which have been previously confirmed to see more extensive redesigns. From 9th January until the launch of Disney Magic on Parade! on 1st April, the opening “Dreams of Imagination” unit will be missing as it is transformed into a new float for Disney’s fairies and sorcerers. The storybook base will remain, but a fairytale castle will replace the iconic smiling Moon and hot air balloon Sun which have hosted Mickey Mouse and the other VIPs since 2007. Mickey and friends will instead be given prime position on the former “Dreams of Romance: Finale” unit, which will be taken out of service from 16th January until the launch of the new parade. The current fairytale hillside and crystal château look will be turned into a Fantasia-esque pink and blue landscape, with golden broomsticks dotting the cliff side, Sorcerer Mickey standing atop the peak and the other characters in similar sorcerer-esque costumes.
It is likely the characters from these two units will continue to feature in the parade but as walking dance units, similar to when floats have been taken out for refurbishment or maintenance.
Concept art for the new units, above, was leaked earlier this month via the Dutch Café Mickey forums.
Princess fans will be reassured that the final unit’s commandeering by Mickey Mouse won’t mean a lack of Disney royalty in the new parade. Instead, Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen will permanently join Ariel and Prince Eric on the “Dreams of Romance: Prelude” unit, as will newly-christened royalty Rapunzel and Flynn, from Disney’s Tangled, who replace Aladdin and Jasmine on the unit. Cinderella and Snow White, along with their respective princes, will follow up on stylised horse-drawn carriages.
Additional new characters will also be added for the revised opening float: Tinker Bell, Flora, Fauna and Merryweather (the Three Fairies from Sleeping Beauty), the Fairy Godmother (from Cinderella), the Blue Fairy (from Pinocchio) and Merlin (from The Sword in the Stone). No changes have been announced for the other five floats of the original parade. New costumes and a new soundtrack are expected throughout, although rumours also suggest that the “Dreams of Power” villain unit will be removed from the new parade, possibly returning only for Halloween.
Here it is: the 20th Anniversary Disneyland Paris brochure! The multicoloured edition has been spotted out in the wild at travel agents in the UK since its limited launch a couple of weeks ago, but now it’s available online for all to see. Check it out here. Of course, there are new prices, new options and yet another new design for all the pages, but it’s the 20th Anniversary events and images we want to see. The final line-up to make the brochure cut is modest but promising. Star of the show in 2012 will no doubt be Dreams – the “magical, immersive” nighttime spectacular that’s due to take over the Castle, Central Plaza and even Main Street with projections, special effects and — yes — at least a few fountains, as it plunges guests inside a journey through classic Disney dreams.
Also given top billing is Disney Magic on Parade!, actually a reworking of Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade that will see the 15th Anniversary‘s showstopper (certainly the best parade ever to be seen in Paris) given new costumes, music and characters. The current Dreams of Romance Finale float will be turned into a mountain ledge for Sorcerer Mickey, with the gang expected to appear in their spangly multi-coloured outfits seen throughout the brochure, while the original opening float will become home to the fairies, wizards and sorcerers of the Disney world. Oddly, that appears to oust the Princesses from the parade almost entirely, although Rapunzel and Flynn are said to be taking over from Aladdin and Jasmine on the smaller Romance Prelude float to freshen up that aspect.
The new magician-themed permanent meet ‘n’ greet for Mickey is advertised simply as Meet Mickey Mouse, while the fourth and final 20th Anniversary event is the mysterious Main Street, U.S.A. Celebrates. The brochure blurb is suitably blurry but its references to “twinkles” and “glowings-on” are spot on with our sources, suggesting a gold theme for the street and certainly a lot of lights…
As we revealed in September, longer opening hours for Disneyland Park are due to be one of the big bonuses of the year. Advertised as 20th Anniversary Extended Hours, they’re confirmed to be in operation from 1st April to 30th September 2012, although there’s no mention of just how many extra hours we can expect beyond the usual closing time. Presumably, just as many as it takes for the park to see nightfall, providing a suitable canvas for Dreams.
Whilst the 20th Anniversary doesn’t coincide with any major attraction investments, the chance to stay in the park until nightfall every day of the year represents a big gear-change for Disneyland Paris. Add to that a real, signature finale to each day with Dreams — produced by Disneyland California entertainment legend Steve Davison and the team behind World of Color, did we forget to mention? — and the culmination of a huge investment in refurbishments. Looks like an E-Ticket year here.
They say no ideas at Disney ever go to waste and for Disney’s Stars ‘n’ Cars, the daily parade-come-show at Walt Disney Studios Park, that means a refreshed format reported to begin this summer will be a lot like a look at “what could have been”. Matthew Burggraeve (aka @InsideDLParis) tweeted on Friday that the parade would lose its “petite surprise” stage number and instead become a “parade with a meet ‘n’ greet showstop”. Before its Parisian debut in April 2009, the parade was due to become exactly that, before that idea was overtaken by one to pile all those individual show stops into one “mega show stop” on the arguably inadequate Place des Stars stage in Production Courtyard. This has often led to guests needing to arrive over half an hour (and perhaps up to one hour) in advance to find a spot on the front row for this performance, with the vast majority of guests behind them getting a poor view of the action in the cramped and untiered viewing space. If the event becomes a more standard parade, the amount of visitors able to feel part of the action will almost double as the route up through Backlot is brought back to life, for the first time since 2009’s High School Musical Party! show departed.
Meanwhile, Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade will reportedly see even more tweaks after the “interactive” show stops introduced for the Magical Moments Festival don’t appear to have been received too well. Changes apparently due early this month include “more dancing, less interaction and new music”, which might upset those hoping to hear the return of the “Just Like We Dreamed It” theme song written specifically for the parade in its show stops. In this case, you could have said way back in March: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.