Sunday, 27th December 2009

Striking workers cheer as Disney parades cancelled

Unfortunately not. As reported on Wednesday, 23rd December, members of the cfdt, CFTC and UNSA unions began striking at 7.00am — on one of the busiest days of the year for the resort — citing the lack of dialogue from the resort following their opposition to the apparent “zero Euro” wage increase for 2010 and other issues.

So what did they do, simply refuse to show up for work? Take their placards and flags round to the management offices, of the people who actually make these decisions? Of course not. They didn’t even, in the grand Disneyland Paris tradition, set up camp on the neutral resort hub, amongst the nuisance street sellers.

Strikes at Disneyland Paris

In a shocking day of the resort’s history, the striking Cast Members went straight inside the parks — complete with giant banners, flags and signs. It gets worse: Come 2.15pm, Disney’s Stars ‘n’ Cars didn’t go out as announced. Instead, guests who had paid their entrance fee and waited patiently for the show were treated to a storming of the stage by the union members. At 5pm over in Disneyland Park, the parade route didn’t see Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade pleasantly passing by but a noisy mob of striking workers, blocking the parade route.

Reports state that not a single member of the Entertainment, Parades and Characters (EPC) department took part in the strike, but the casts were kept from performing for guests by the workers blocking the route. Managers no doubt also wanted to avoid any kind of stand-off, where the floats might enter the park but be stopped halfway.

But the awful thing is, now that the videos have started appearing on YouTube and other sites, it’s not even the bizarre sight of these striking workers inside the parks that’s most shocking. It’s how plainly heartless and repulsive they are with it. Skip to 3 minutes 20 seconds into this video found by Daniel on magicforum:

Yes, you heard right. When the announcement comes that Disney’s Stars ‘n’ Cars has had to be cancelled because they’ve taken over Place des Stars (an announcement perhaps never heard before with our hardy, good Cast Members), they cheer.

And all sympathy is lost.

Perhaps these people are forgetting a few things. First, there may well be just as “poorly paid” visitors in the audience, who are now having their expensive trips ruined. Second, Disneyland Paris is still in a very precarious state. Despicable though that proposal of a “zero Euro” pay rise really is, storming the parade routes will only serve to give an even more unprofessional image of the resort to thousands of guests — whether they saw it first-hand, heard about it from a friend or saw it on YouTube. In turn, people will continue to think “Disneyland Paris isn’t ‘proper’ Disney”, that it’s not worth a visit, that it isn’t worth returning. The resort will lose more money and they’ll be even less likely to get a better wage.

Nevertheless, the CFDT union has reported that talks have now reopened with the resort, so we shouldn’t be seeing such a display again. This situation will, one must hope, be particularly embarrassing for relatively new CEO Philippe Gas, not least because his history with Disney is based entirely in human resources — his former job title being Executive Vice President of Human Resources, Diversity & Inclusion for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts.

What’s the other thing the striking workers didn’t show much regard for? Oh yeah, their colleagues. Those friendly, smiling, helpful — and equally hard-worked — Cast Members who continued on, having to pick up the pieces of disappointed guests, complaint forms and return tickets.

Thankfully, the Entertainment cast of Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade did their own bit of storming the park: All the dancers and characters stayed in costume and, once the scene had calmed, arrived on Town Square and Central Plaza at 5.30pm to give guests the best chance they could of a meet ‘n’ greet with that true, professional Disney Magic.

Picture:; Video: chrissouille08.

Tuesday, 22nd December 2009

Small World’s grand scale Celebration, in video

Just across the hub from that lifeless market and lacking tree, Disneyland Paris got something oh-so right. For the first time since 2003, possibly earlier, classic boat ride “it’s a small world” was completely redecorated to celebrate holidays around the world.

The fact that we can’t quite place exactly the year when this overlay stopped happening is a bit embarrassing. Perhaps as fans we should have missed it a bit more loudly, or perhaps in 2002/2003 we were worried about other things (like the serious financial difficulties, lack of future attractions for the Studios).

Nevertheless, it’s back — and wow, is it back. If the stupendous colours, music and movement of “it’s a small world” weren’t enough to leave you on a dizzy high for days normally, now the whole, dazzling show is just simply alive

The reason for this success is simple: respect. All the cultural celebrations, the festive music and hundreds of new costumes have been integrated with absolute perfection into the existing show. It’s a complete labour of love toward the Imagineers’ original creation. Where decorations like the Mickey’s Magical Party emblem on Sleeping Beauty Castle treat the park like a dead canvas, this overlay is something that brings it to life.

From the Candlelight Processional to the Star Wars Weekends and many more, one of the first things to notice about the American resorts for a Disneyland Paris fan is the sheer number of annual events which happen like clockwork each and every year. At the young age of 17, and probably no thanks to the countless changes (management and otherwise) it has seen over that short time, Disneyland Paris just hasn’t built up as many of these traditions.

Hopefully, the return of “it’s a small world” Celebration every November can now be one of them.

— And the good news is, if you’ve yet to book, had your trip interrupted thanks to Eurostar or otherwise, because this Celebration recognises everything from Sinterklaas to Chinese New Year, the overlay stays in place right up to 15th February 2010.

Sunday, 20th December 2009

How (not) to decorate a Disney Christmas tree

…But should we be the ones apologising for that?

If you’re celebrating Christmas, no doubt your home is well into the swing of things by now. As we all know, the tree is the most important thing to get right — or do we? Following the posting of a new how-to video by the DisneyParks blog, this funny little tweet from the account of our partner site WDSfans commented:

Useful video for Walt Disney Studios Park managers: RT @DisneyParks Video: How to make a Disney-themed Christmas tree


In the video, Disneyland Resort’s Manager of Resort Enhancement, Dave Caranci, explains in just a few minutes how “you too” can easily have a Disney-themed Christmas tree. Well, forget posting these tips on the DisneyParks blog, how about sharing them with Disneyland Paris? Judging by what’s happened in the Studios this year, they need some serious help:

Christmas at Walt Disney Studios Park

No, really, this is the tree.

It appears to be the same one as last year, only with the reasonable blue and silver decorations of film canisters and celluloid reels replaced by deathly dull stars and positively melancholy wreaths. It’s about as far from an all-singing, all-dancing, technicolor, Hollywood Christmas as you could imagine.

Fans have also pointed out that the location isn’t perfect — that it might be better sited within the Hollywood Boulevard area as more of a focal point — but see, there’s a method to their madness. Here at the corner of Production Courtyard, it anchors the all-important Christmas Market.

Dubbed “Christmas Lane” for its 2009 appearance, the encampment of old stalls, recycled from Disney Village, has also seen a Parisian “plussing” after its first, “test” appearance in the park last year. Compare and contrast:

Christmas at Walt Disney Studios Park Christmas at Walt Disney Studios Park
2008 Christmas Market / 2009 Christmas Lane

Whilst the old wooden sheds were hardly going to win Miss Hollywood, there’s something to be said for how they were able to disappear into the background a little. Slapped up with lashings of white paint, it’s a confusing scene indeed. Where are we meant to be? It seems more reminiscent of your local garden centre or DIY store than a Disney theme park.

For all the work and money poured into improving the park with fantastic, top-quality additions like The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, this takes us right back to the starting block. Yet again a Disney park in Paris is being treated like an empty canvas, as if they’ve got nothing to work with. As numerous elements of the Christmas festivities across the way prove — most recently “it’s a small world” — it’s a whole let better when you complement the park rather than pretend it’s not there. And Walt Disney Studios does still need a lot of complementing.

It’s not like Christmas and Hollywood don’t mix; Just take a look at the decorations over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. And, though in debt, it’s not even like Disneyland Paris don’t have money to spend on Christmas; Just look at the constant stream of new events at Disneyland Park this decade, from Belle’s Christmas Village to Santa Claus’, and the new Snow White show and “it’s a small world” Celebration this year. Somewhere, between all of those changes, you’d have thought a bit of the budget could be spared to improve the truly dire offerings just across the hub.

Christmas at Walt Disney Studios Park
A Hollywood Christmas done right

Luckily, the wonderful overlay inside Disney Studio 1 has returned as usual, so all is not lost. The lights, tinsel and glorious jazzy music in there almost make up for the barren park, decorations-wise, beyond. But not quite.

So, Disneyland Paris, our most treasured place, we plead you: It’s time to stop messing around. Priority Number 1 for Christmas 2010 must absolutely be to fix the Studios’ offering. Buy a new tree. Buy some lights. Decorate the buildings. Consider alternatives to the garden shed market. But above all: Sit down and think about the potential here. The amazing theme and time period you’ve got to work with. Take us back to an overblown, primary-coloured, Santa Claus, American “department store” Christmas of the 1950s.

Make this truly “the most wonderful time of the year”, for both parks.

• See the full set of WDS Christmas 2009 photos at Photos Magiques.
• Attn. Walt Disney Studios Managers: Beautiful 1950s Disney Christmas cards, 1950s Christmas ads at Plan59 and our own magicforum WDS Christmas wish list.

Sunday, 6th December 2009

Snow White’s Happily Ever After gets new hag-hurdle

From this weekend, the 8-minute show has been extended slightly with a new scene adding yet another character — the event is already a very unique chance to see Snow White, her Prince and all seven Dwarfs together at once in Paris.

Now, the fun is interrupted by the Evil Queen in her Old Hag disguise, who skulks on-stage to tempt Snow White with a gleaming red apple. And — oh, she never learns — the white-as-snow damsel takes a bite and falls onto a new white plinth, handily positioned nearby.

The “Happily Ever After” then becomes a more emotive finale than before, as the Prince is able to wake his future Princess from her deathly sleep and lead her in a jovial waltz to the finish.

Characters Photos News has provided the first video via YouTube:

It’s an interesting move since, as the show’s director Katy Harris points out in our interview just published earlier today, the show is really meant to be nothing more than a brief medley of the show’s key scenes, rather than a full stage-show story.

Though the event is obviously still small, this scene takes it closer to exactly that.

Perhaps, one day soon, the Entertainment team will once again be allowed to create a fuller, longer show in that classic Disney tradition for this — or any — of the park’s stages.

• Read our full interview with show director Katy Harris here!

Wednesday, 11th November 2009

Shannen Doherty tops Mickey’s Christmas invite list

Press events at Disneyland Paris are usually frequented only by those famous exclusively in France, so it was a surprise to see actual real American Shannen Doherty make an appearance at the Christmas launch events on Saturday.

Judging by the amount of photos released featuring the actress, of Beverley Hills 90210 and more recently just 90210 fame, Mickey and Minnie were pleased to see someone they just about recognised, too…

Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list

Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list

Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list

Shannen was even special guest at the first Tree Lighting Ceremony on Town Square.

Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list

But it wasn’t all about the Charmed actress. Also in attendance were Virginie Ledoyen, Sliimy, Marie Gillain, Bob Sinclar, Hafsia Herzi, Frédérique Bel, Christophe Barratier, Laurence Ferrari, Claire Barsacq, Bruce Toussaint, Alessandra Sublet, Sandrine Quétier, Nikos Aliagas, Frederic Taddei, Fanny Valette and the Chef Thierry Marx.

You know, her…

Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list

And him…

Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list

And that guy…

Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list

And for the Brits reading: Former glamour model Melinda Messenger, who currently presents the frighteningly bad Live from Studio Five.

Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list

We’ll probably never find out what happened during the actual nighttime press party, such is the astonishing lack of publicity these schmooze-fests traditionally generate. However, from these pictures we can at least garner that there was a large mannequin Father Christmas locked inside a giant snowglobe.

Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list

However, costumes and characters from the park’s two parades were used in the following three pictures, which are very pretty indeed:

Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list

Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list

Note the clever covering-up of the Mickey’s Magical Party decoration on the Castle. We’re not the only ones who’ve tried to do that this year, then.

Back to the celebrities, French DJ and house music producer David Guetta has been featured amongst the Christmas photos, but apparently actually visited earlier in the week, seen here riding Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast with his wife, Cathy:

Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list

Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list

Anyway, from celebs to zelebs, we all know who the real stars are…

Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list

Very cute. That’s their Christmas card sorted!

Pictures © Disney.

Monday, 9th November 2009

Tree Lighting Ceremony, Ice Palace in pictures

For the first time since 2002, the Christmas Tree is given its very own illumination ceremony. As reported previously it’s a similar format to the classic shows, as Mickey Mouse lights up the giant tree with the help of a young child from the audience.

Tree Lighting Ceremony, Ice Palace in pictures

Forming the stage, a parade float you’ll certainly recognise — it’s the same one which served the event back in the early years of this decade, and has since returned every Halloween and Christmas in a variety of temporary seasonal guises.

Tree Lighting Ceremony, Ice Palace in pictures

Tree Lighting Ceremony, Ice Palace in pictures

It’s not an entirely nostalgic show, though. The music isn’t the wonderful old soundtrack but the newer illumination music previously (and in fact, still) used for the shows on Central Plaza. And as its director Christophe Leclercq explains, the story behind the show is also different.

When the parade float pulls into Town Square and stops in front of the tree, the much larger group of characters dance to a medley of songs before the show’s live host, in French and English, explains that the tree can only be illuminated by opening the magic book in front of them — which itself can only be opened by the hands of a child.

Tree Lighting Ceremony, Ice Palace in pictures

With the chosen child on the podium, the book opens in a sparkling glitter-ball effect, throwing beads of light all around Town Square as the tree gradually lights up.

With the final blast of the music, the Princess Chandeliers lining Main Street illuminate all at once, leading guests towards the yet-to-be-lit Castle at the end.

Tree Lighting Ceremony, Ice Palace in pictures

That event has now been slotted into the final performance of It’s Party Time… with Mickey and Friends, which, taking place in full darkness, has been tweaked with new, warmer costumes for the dancers and a series of new projections and lighting effects on and around the Castle.

Tree Lighting Ceremony, Ice Palace in pictures Tree Lighting Ceremony, Ice Palace in pictures

Notice the musical notes for Baloo, and the yellow animal patterns for Timon.

After Peter Pan’s final game and before the last “Mickey Dance”, the Castle is quickly illuminated to the same “Lumina” music of recent years — practically the same music just heard earlier during the Tree Lighting Ceremony.

Tree Lighting Ceremony, Ice Palace in pictures

Then, before you’ve chance to gasp in wonder or soak up the atmosphere, — boom! — it’s back to the party. And “La Mickey Danse” continues on…

Tree Lighting Ceremony, Ice Palace in pictures

But never mind, Sleeping Beauty Castle lit for Christmas is still a sight to behold — once that damn dance remix of “Mickey’s Magical Party Time” has faded out, at least.

The Princesses are nowhere to be seen, remembering that even the past two years they were featured heavily in the Enchanted Candleabration illuminations show. Perhaps this provoked the pushing of Snow White’s new “happening” as a Christmas season event, because if they’re still going for a “Fairytale Christmas” (and judging by all the press releases, they are), keeping the disco Party Time finale so intact makes it all feel slightly off the mark.

UPDATE 10/11/2009 — Disneyland Paris released a few extra photos yesterday after this article was published. Taken during Saturday’s press events (note the empty park and hundreds of press badges), they feature the view up toward the Castle as snow blows across the rooftops of Main Street:

Tree Lighting Ceremony, Ice Palace in pictures

The same view in the opposite direction, towards the Christmas Tree:

Tree Lighting Ceremony, Ice Palace in pictures

And a wonderful view over the whole of Town Square, showing the set-up of the returning Tree Lighting Ceremony, with the float/stage parked in front of the tree for the ceremony.

Tree Lighting Ceremony, Ice Palace in pictures

• Read the full interview with Christophe Leclercq, director of the season, here!

Pictures © Disney.

Sunday, 8th November 2009

Snow White gives Castle Stage kiss of life

Here are the very first photos of the show we originally reported in August, showing the modestly-decorated stage populated by stage characters for the first time in, oooh, five years? It’s great to have it back…

First photos of new Snow White Castle Stage event

It’s also rare to see all seven dwarfs together in Paris, and they’ve been given wheelbarrows filled with colourful diamonds for the musical numbers on Le Théâtre du Château.

First photos of new Snow White Castle Stage event

Eventually, Snow White’s prince appears to complete the scene of “romance éternelle”.

First photos of new Snow White Castle Stage event

Lasting around 8 minutes with about 15 minutes of meet ‘n’ greet time afterwards, in an identical mould to the Mary Poppins: Step in Time and Sleeping Beauty: Once Upon a Time events, the show has a soundtrack of mostly recycled musical numbers, which member EVE on Disney Central Plaza forum has done a good job of recounting already.

First photos of new Snow White Castle Stage event

Spanning several languages, they include “Heigh Ho” in English, from the stage’s original Le Livre Magique de Mickey show, “Whistle While You Work” in French, “The Silly Song” in German (yes, German, apparently!) and an old recording of “Someday My Prince will Come”, which has already been recycled this year for Disney’s Stars ‘n’ Cars. Also apparently included is some of the music from the Snow White float of Fantillusion‘s Happy Ending…

The show has been directed by Katy Harris, who will be the second in our special series of Christmas interviews, revealing more about the show later this week.

UPDATE 10/11/2009 — The latest park Programme confirms the show’s official English title is Snow White: Happily Ever After, with performances three times daily at 11:45, 12:45 and 13:45.

Pictures © Disney.

Sunday, 8th November 2009

Santa’s (almost) new sleigh pulls into Disneyland

Yes, the old Santa Claus Sleigh float, which saw the resort through two financial restructurings and seventeen Christmas seasons is no more, relegated to Christmas Past. But wipe away that tear: the Dreams of Christmas unit at the end of Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade now has a brand new sleigh, with some more reliable reindeer out front…

Santa's (almost) new sleigh pulls into Disneyland

As the resort’s own family of reindeer sadly saw their numbers dwindle and retirement ages creep on them, the old float simply wasn’t really suitable any more — it being set up and designed to look as if being pulled by the real reindeer in front. It saw its last season in 2008/09, as a lone sleigh magically travelling along with no reindeer.

Santa's (almost) new sleigh pulls into Disneyland

Cue a bit of that traditional Disneyland Paris make-do and mend resourcefulness, and problem solved — take the old Cinderella coach float (from The Wonderful World of Disney Parade and before that, Disney Classics Parade — circa 1992!) and transform it into a brand new sleigh, floating above clouds, with the horsed redecorated as reindeer and Cinderella’s coach removed and transformed beyond recognition into this very sweet — and surprisingly original — galleon-style sleigh.

Santa's (almost) new sleigh pulls into Disneyland Santa's (almost) new sleigh pulls into Disneyland

It’s traditional for DLP Entertainment to get Christmas mostly “right” compared to other seasons and events, but this new sleigh is a very pleasant surprise, very nicely finished. Note the pine cone detail of Santa Claus’ seat, for example.

Santa's (almost) new sleigh pulls into Disneyland

Surrounding the float are a band of elves, who also appear to have undergone some changes with better costumes incorporating more metallic materials and lots of different, individual props. The only thing apparently missing, at least from today’s previews, are the Toy Soldiers who usually finish up the parade. Perhaps they were still polishing their uniforms?

Reindeer on white sticks might look like an invention of Thierry Marx — it certainly seems outdated next to the clever float designs elsewhere in the more modern 2007 floats, which precede the unit — but this smart transformation is a great start to the season, don’t you think?

• See how the float used to look here, here and here!

• Read our brand new interview with Christophe Leclercq, director of the season, here!

Pictures © Disney.

Monday, 26th October 2009

A 24 ton Christmas Tree & more festive fun facts

Disneyland Paris has published a great new collection of famous Disney “fun facts”, all about the upcoming 2009/10 Christmas season.

Amongst the fascinating figures of the festive period, it also reveals a little about the refreshed “Dreams of Christmas” unit to again follow at the end of Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade from November 8th…

The Christmas Tree

• Towering 24 meters high (from the grass to the star on the top) and weighs more than 24 tons.

• Near to 500 light bulbs illuminate the tree tinsel.

• 590 Christmas baubles (390 round ones and 200 byzantine shaped ones) decorate the tree.

• 240 various decorations (figures, candy canes, toy soldiers, drums, red bows…) hang on the branches.

• The assembling of the tree takes place over one night

• 23 persons (of all different types of professions) are required to help install and completely set up the tree.

The Christmas Illuminations

• From Town Square, all the way up Main Street and right up to Sleeping Beauty, more than 1 million lights twinkle at night fall.

• Around 7 km of fairy lights are used to decorate the Main Street, U.S.A. lampposts.

• Between 300 000 and 400 000 leds are needed to transform Sleeping Beauty’s Castle into a Cristal Castle.

• The final lighting concept has been completed this year with the light overlay of the castle giving a maximal sparkling effect.

• 3 full nights of work are necessary to lay the led lighting curtains (entertainment technical term) on the castle towers, roofs and turrets

• 15 nights are planned to install all the other Christmas light overlays in the trees and firs of Critter Corral for the transformation process of the area into the Santa Claus Village

• 6 nights are necessary for the dismantling of the Halloween season decorations and overlay to transform Main Street U.S.A. for our Christmas Season

“Dreams of Christmas” Santa Claus Float

• The new Santa Claus float weighs around 6 tons.

• The new float was built in the Paris region and represents Santa’s Sleigh, filled with presents and pulled by the reindeer, floating above clouds…

• This Parade unit is composed of 12 Toy soldiers, 18 Elves, 1 nutcracker

The Santa Claus float Elves

• 70 sets of costumes and 45 hats have been made for the elves accompanying the Santa Claus Float.

• The costumes were made in three different sizes to cater for the different body shapes of the performing artists.

• Nearly 400 meters of different material was necessary to make these costumes

• Various accessories were sew on the costumes: 90 bobbles, 500 sleigh bells, 700 golden buttons

• A total of 180 pairs of shoes were necessary to shoe all the performers

• 6 different types of Elves are performing in the Parade

Look out for an exclusive series of interviews with the artists and directors behind Disney’s Fairytale Christmas over on DLRP Magic!.com very soon, beginning with season director Christophe Leclercq as he reveals all about the new Tree Lighting Ceremony and more!

Wednesday, 14th October 2009

Mickey’s first Not-So-Scary night of ’09 in video

The first extra-ticket night of 2009 took place last Friday, 9th October, with three more Not-So-Scary parties still to come on the 16th, 23rd and 27th. The nights give guests special access to Disneyland Park from 8pm to 11pm for exclusive entertainment, character meet ‘n’ greets and far more attractions than in 2008.

Last year confined to Fantasyland, the party has spread in 2009 to include Frontierland, as far as Big Thunder Mountain and Phantom Manor, plus Pirates of the Caribbean in Adventureland. Main Street, U.S.A. and Central Plaza also now play a role, whilst the tally of attractions open in Fantasyland now stands at seven — including Peter Pan’s Flight and “it’s a small world”.

If reports from the first party are anything to go by, the queues — particularly outside of Fantasyland — are definitely on the light side. Kaleo on Disney Central Plaza forum, for example, notes a wait of just 5 minutes posted at Big Thunder for the entire party, although these events do grow in attendance as we get closer to Halloween itself.

So far as attractions, it’s looking good for your €25 entrance. But what of the special entertainment? Our thanks to DCP member fandlrpstyle for sharing the full programme online:

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties

Last year’s Merlin and the Witch Academy show returns at the Castle Courtyard for three performances at 20:30, 21:30 and 22:30, whilst Fantasy Festival Stage hosts regular performances of its Winnie the Pooh and Friends, Too show, just the same as the daytime version.

The real highlight of the entire event, however, happens out on Central Plaza, where the new stage has been put to fantastic use for the huge new show “Le Spectacle Pas-Si-Trouille d’Halloween”Disney’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Show, as announced by show director Emmanuel Lenormand. Here’s a full video by Vidimouse:

This lengthy 20-minute spectacle has a pleasingly large (for Paris) cast of dancers and characters, as Mickey arrives in his purple Halloween suit to enjoy a “Not-so-scary” night amongst his Disney friends.

From Snow White to Belle, to a surprising (but very welcome and fitting) focus on The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the first half of the show sees a medley of relatively peaceful song and dance numbers. But, you’ve guessed what’s coming — Maleficent. Bursting up through the stage, just like her appearance in It’s Party Time… with Mickey and Friends during the day, she speaks live — and in English!! — to tell Mickey that Halloween should be scary. And then, we see the show again — from the Villains’ point of view, with the relevant villain theme songs and characters for each of the films just presented.

Happening twice each night during the events, at 9pm and 10pm, the show makes great use of a number of investments made around the area in recent years — the high-powered spotlights either side of the Castle, the new stage lifts and the on-stage pyrotechnic effects installed just this month. Though the numbers involved might restrict such a wish, this is probably the kind of thing we should have had every night during Halloween, rather than the small “cameo” within the regular Central Plaza show.

It at least gives us much more hope for the now-firework-free finale of the separate Disney’s Halloween Party on 31st October.

Closing the Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties is a cavalcade, just like last year. Except this time, it’s not the Disney Characters’ Express travelling down the Disneyland Park parade route but… Disney’s Stars ‘n’ Cars! Here’s another full video with thanks to Vidimouse:

Aside from the music, taken from Walt Disney World’s Disney Villains Mix and Mingle event, and a few extra characters, there’s little done to put a Halloween stamp on the regular Walt Disney Studios Park parade. It’s a unique chance to see the cars filing down Main Street, but probably not “special” enough for a special party night.

However, being given a few more free packets of Haribo — now the official “treats” of Halloween in Disneyland Paris, and handed out after each event during the party — when the cavalcade stops on Town Square, probably sweetens (sorry) the deal, right? Well, it helps.

For only their second year, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties have really grown up.

• Buy your tickets for the Halloween Party Nights at!

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