Friday, 6th April 2012

[VIDEO] Disney’s 20th Anniversary Celebration Train Premiere with Mickey Mouse

Disneyland Paris 20th Anniversary Launch Weekend

It might be one of the less-anticipated 20th Anniversary events but, with a passenger list now comprising all the “VIP” characters, Disney’s 20th Anniversary Celebration Train will no doubt be just as big a hit with guests as ever. Surprisingly, the characters on-board, who ride up to Central Plaza before stepping down to be mobbed (or in official terms, for “meet ‘n’ greets”) now even include the hallowed Mickey Mouse himself!

However, for this special “premiere” performance at 5.45pm on 31st March, the multi-coloured train didn’t stop as it rounded Central Plaza and Mickey Mouse wasn’t on-board: he was stealing the show in his new sorcerer costume atop the temporary press platform, dancing to new theme song “Do You Believe” and guiding the train around the plaza with a wave of his hands.

Thursday, 5th April 2012

[VIDEO] Disney Magic on Parade! Premiere

Disneyland Paris 20th Anniversary Launch Weekend

At 3.00pm on Saturday, there was “Magic Everywhere!” as Disney Magic on Parade! saw its official premiere for the press, running “backwards” up Main Street towards Fantasyland for one day only. Also a one-off was the heavy “security” presence — you may have heard that the previous day’s parade, planned to be a final farewell for the Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade name and music, had to be cancelled due to a small group of strikers disrupting the parade route.

The next day, as the press and VIPs (and, err, us lot) gathered to watch the revamped parade for the 20th Anniversary launch, it was clear the vast majority of other Cast Members were not willing to see this performance disrupted and so the parade was guarded its entire length. If you watch closely, you can even spot Peggie Fariss, head of Walt Disney Imagineering Paris, walking alongside!

If you’d rather a video with sunshine and fewer parade guards (but no Tinker Bell), stay tuned for our video of the first “opening day” performance on April 1st, coming shortly.

Thursday, 5th April 2012

[VIDEO] 20th & Disney Dreams! Q&A with Steve Davison, Kat de Blois, Katy Harris

Disneyland Paris 20th Anniversary Launch Weekend

This has been one epic upload, but here we go: the full, unedited 48-minute presentation and panel discussion with Creative Director Kat de Blois, Show Director Katy Harris and VP Parades & Spectaculars Steve Davison himself. Seated in Plaza Gardens Restaurant at 12.30pm on Saturday, we were just inches away from the creators of the 20th Anniversary entertainments as they first explained and presented their creations before moving on to an open and informal Q&A discussion with the intimate audience of around 20 invited Disneyland Paris blog and fansite authors.

Kat de Blois began by presenting Disney Magic on Parade! in French (the only small part missing from the video), followed by Katy Harris introducing Disney’s 20th Anniversary Celebration Train in English, then Steve Davison talking about Disney Dreams! — which made up the bulk of the 40 minutes of questions which followed, revealing numerous insights into the new spectacular.

While I had the camera rolling the entire time, Kristof from Photos Magiques put a couple of questions direct to the panel. Including, at 42 minutes in, the million dollar question that is: “When did you decide to get rid of Central Plaza stage, and was it a tough decision?” The reaction, and the justification, is fascinating viewing, as is the entire presentation. We’ll revisit it more soon and go through all of the details revealed about the creation of Disney Dreams! in particular. But for now, we thank Kat, Steve and Katy for taking time out on such a busy day to meet a small number of their fans, and for allowing us to film and document the occasion so that everyone at home can be there, too.

Note: The sound quality has been improved as much as possible in editing, but due to the intimate setting it obviously won’t be perfect. Nevertheless, this is a unique all too rare chance to meet the people behind the “dreams”. And to think, as Steve reveals, it all began by spotting a Peter Pan motif in the design of Disneyland Hotel… Proving that Dreams can come from anywhere, but you never quite know where they’ll take you.

Thursday, 5th April 2012

[VIDEO] 20th & Disney Dreams! Q&A with Steve Davison, Kat de Blois, Katy Harris

Disneyland Paris 20th Anniversary Launch Weekend

This has been one epic upload, but here we go: the full, unedited 48-minute presentation and panel discussion with Creative Director Kat de Blois, Show Director Katy Harris and VP Parades & Spectaculars Steve Davison himself. Seated in Plaza Gardens Restaurant at 12.30pm on Saturday, we were just inches away from the creators of the 20th Anniversary entertainments as they first explained and presented their creations before moving on to an open and informal Q&A discussion with the intimate audience of around 20 invited Disneyland Paris blog and fansite authors.

Kat de Blois began by presenting Disney Magic on Parade! in French (the only small part missing from the video), followed by Katy Harris introducing Disney’s 20th Anniversary Celebration Train in English, then Steve Davison talking about Disney Dreams! — which made up the bulk of the 40 minutes of questions which followed, revealing numerous insights into the new spectacular.

While I had the camera rolling the entire time, Kristof from Photos Magiques put a couple of questions direct to the panel. Including, at 42 minutes in, the million dollar question that is: “When did you decide to get rid of Central Plaza stage, and was it a tough decision?” The reaction, and the justification, is fascinating viewing, as is the entire presentation. We’ll revisit it more soon and go through all of the details revealed about the creation of Disney Dreams! in particular. But for now, we thank Kat, Steve and Katy for taking time out on such a busy day to meet a small number of their fans, and for allowing us to film and document the occasion so that everyone at home can be there, too.

Note: The sound quality has been improved as much as possible in editing, but due to the intimate setting it obviously won’t be perfect. Nevertheless, this is a unique all too rare chance to meet the people behind the “dreams”. And to think, as Steve reveals, it all began by spotting a Peter Pan motif in the design of Disneyland Hotel… Proving that Dreams can come from anywhere, but you never quite know where they’ll take you.

Thursday, 29th March 2012

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

Disney Dreams! characters, films, dreams, songs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, 29th March 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cara Dillon
Cara Dillon

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, 28th March 2012

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

Disney Dreams! world premiere live on YouTube

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, 27th March 2012

New floats, changes, additions revealed during Disney Magic on Parade! soft openings

Disney Magic on Parade! (C) NewsDLRP.com

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.

Disney Magic on Parade! (C) NewsDLRP.com

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.

Disney Magic on Parade! (C) NewsDLRP.comDisney Magic on Parade! (C) NewsDLRP.com

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.

Disney Magic on Parade! (C) NewsDLRP.com
Disney Magic on Parade! (C) NewsDLRP.com

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?

MORE PHOTOS NewsDLRP.com

Tuesday, 27th March 2012

Disney’s 20th Anniversary Celebration Train bursts onto parade route for soft openings

Have your sunglasses at the ready, folks! No, not for the glorious weather we’re enjoying in this corner of Europe, but for the first “soft opening” arrivals of Disney’s 20th Anniversary Celebration Train, which began at 11.30am today and continue all week. And there it is — in all its day-glo splendour. If you can believe it, it’s even brighter than the publicity image. The whole train has been resprayed from pistons to chimney in a complete rainbow of colours. This was not a moment of artistic restraint.

On-board, the characters wear their new 20th Anniversary costumes, inspired by Mickey’s classic Sorcerer’s Apprentice guise but coloured with more wild, day-glo shades. Chip, Dale and their female friend Clarice led the first wagon, followed by Minnie, Donald and Daisy in the middle, then Goofy and Pluto bringing up the rear. New additions to the design of the train include a ’20” on each wagon and Tinker Bell atop the chimney, guiding the train.

Disney's 20th Anniversary Celebration Train (C) @InsideDLParisDisney's 20th Anniversary Celebration Train (C) @InsideDLParis

The train was quickly described as “garish” on forums, and that could be perfectly accurate. But you know what — and perhaps not setting the bar high here — it might actually be the best revision of this event to date, since the original Disney Characters’ Express. While that started out with a fairly classy blue, white and gold train, it was modified here and there in subsequent years to become a real mish-mash of a design with little artistic direction nor anything that really tied it together.

At least this year the train has been stripped back and completely resprayed, giving a uniform look to the whole event. This is helped by restricting the invite list to only the “VIP” characters, wearing new costumes which actually match the colours of the train, rather than their clashing everyday gear. And, rather than continuing to remix “Tous en Train” to infinity, we’ve got a whole new song in “Do You Believe” (which you can listen to here). The whole vision is such a spectacularly jarring contrast with the quaint cobblestones of Main Street, U.S.A. that maybe it just works.

PHOTOS @InsideDLParis (Twitter)

Saturday, 24th March 2012

First look: Disney Dreams! revealed in first official photo of new nighttime spectacular

'Disney Dreams!' official promo photo

This is our very first, official look at the completed Disney Dreams! — projections, multi-coloured lasers, illuminated fountains — wow! Just a handful of the effects on show and only one of its many “Dreams” pictured — turning Sleeping Beauty Castle into a collection of rocket fireworks for the Aladdin “Friend Like Me” sequence, but a thrilling first “official” glimpse at what’s ahead, right?

Exactly one week from now, the show will premiere to the world’s press at 10.30pm, Saturday 31st March. Creative director Steve Davison is certainly feeling the anticipation, posting on Thursday: “Great rehearsal tonight of the show with a lot of bells and whistles. It is really starting to come together. So much fun!!! Almost time to unveil this magical show!”

We can also now confirm that on the official opening day of the show, 1st April 2012, it will be presented twice in one evening: at 9.30pm and 10.30pm. Yes, if late park hours all year and a nightly nighttime spectacular weren’t surprising enough for Disneyland Paris, they’re now running double performances. There are rumours this could continue for the whole 20th Anniversary year, but no further showtimes have been announced as yet.

If you can’t make it to the resort so soon, stay with us as we’ll be there to capture the whole thing, reporting back with photos, videos and more from the first week of April onwards to give you the whole story on the 20th Anniversary launch. Be the first to see our 1080p HD videos of the show, and other 20th Anniversary events, by subscribing to our YouTube channel!

PHOTO VIA Le Figaro

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