And so, for one year only, every character will receive a special medal to commemorate fifteen years of Disney magic in Paris. Or, for the Disney Princesses, an ornate blue and gold brooch. This covers yet another key area of the resort in vital 15th Anniversary emblems, and yet again adds to the special “VIP” celebration feeling guests are expected to receive throughout the year.
And what of the “new Character locations created for this very special year” we were first promised back in June 2006? Well, according the final concept art below, four new “Character Experience” locations will be popping up at the four corners of Central Plaza, providing a kind of character “hub” around the redecorated Central Plaza stage and Castle. It’s also possible, perhaps, that the locations will be tied into the lands they border.
As for characters in Walt Disney Studios Park, the opening of Toon Studio in June will bring new character locations here, with latest rumours suggesting Ratatouille will be one of the new locations, giving a location for Rémy and Emile to meet guests. Walk-about characters from Meet the Robinsons are also expected.
The major Disney character event, though, will take place early each day on Main Street USA, as Disney’s Character Express steams into the park following a similar route and set-up to last Halloween’s Stitch Cavalcade. Taking place four times each day with a cast of around 14 Disney characters, the cavalcade will use the retired Dumbo float from The Wonderful World Of Disney Parade (seen above in its original concept art and in the park).
The “Casey Jr”-styled float, which consists of several articulated sections, will be completely repainted and redesigned, with a bold colour scheme of blue, white and gold and additional decorations on each carriage. The final carriage, previously closed, will be redesigned to allow more characters to hop onboard.
Characters seen on the concept art include Chip n Dale, Mr Smee, Captain Hook, Woody, Jessie, Buzz, Goofy, Donald, Eeyore and Tigger. Mickey and Minnie won’t be featured, their “top VIP” status obviously restricting them to Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade only. As it makes its way up Main Street and around Central Plaza, the Character Express will stop four times to allow the characters to disembark and interact with guests… which sounds like a joy for the Guest Flow teams!
How these events will affect the usual Halloween and Christmas seasons is still uncertain, though forgetting the long-awaited new attractions and even-longer-awaited new parade, the 15th Anniversary looks to be a fantastic year for park entertainment. With extra Disney characters, a morning cavalcade and an evening castle show apparently performed every day, this is the scale of entertainment usually restricted to a one month season extended to cover an entire year.
Here they are – the full series of eight colour concept arts for the brand new Disneyland Park parade, officially released at the shareholders’ AGM (of course!) and captured by Mouetto on Disney Central Plaza forum (naturellement!).
Each of the concepts is accompanied by a quick summary from our guide page, and then beneath that any additional notes, details or corrections we can spot after seeing the full-colour artworks.
Float 1: Dreams of Imagination
“Mickey and Minnie hover high in the sky in a golden hot air balloon! They’ve dropped anchor on a most dreamy location, the purple curve of a smiling moon, resting on a storybook. Donald showers the moon in sparkling glitter, as Goofy rests on the pile of storybooks and blows bubbles into the clouds!”
The same concept you first saw right here over seven months ago. How time flies, eh?
Float 2: Dreams of Laughter and Fun
“A traditional fairytale hut is featured at the centre of the float, used by Alice in Wonderland first and then Pinocchio at the rear. The Pinocchio section features “marionnette” bungee artists similar to those in ‘Walt Disney’s Parade of Dreams’ at Disneyland in California, bouncing on bungee ropes from supports high above. Around this section of the float, stilt walkers will perform routines with their own puppets.”
The Alice in Wonderland scene features Tweedle Dee/Dum, the Caterpillar and a tree with painted red roses. As the theme shifts to Pinocchio, a number of clocks are featured. Pinocchio appears to be performing his “I’ve Got No Strings” routine, with Gepetto watching. Jiminy Cricket sits atop the bungee rope clock tower.
Float 3: Dreams of Friendship
“Features Toy Story and Winnie the Pooh characters, with a giant storybook in the middle separating the two themes. At the front, Woody joins his Roundup Gang to remind them “you’ve got a friend in me”, whilst at the back Pooh’s birthday party is in full swing, featuring all his best friends from the Hundred Acre Wood at a jolly tea party.”
This float was the hardest to decipher from the silhouette image, with a classic scene from the first Toy Story at the front and a Hundred Acre Wood tea party at the rear. Despite the logo of Toy Story 2 being used, the scene is more reminiscent of the first film, since Buzz has a rocket attached to his wings and the arcade machine of the Little Green Men is featured.
Float 4: Dreams of Fantasy
“This very British float first features Captain Hook’s galley splashing through the waves, before a sea of London rooftops bring Wendy peering out of her window at Peter Pan on the roof above! A whimsically-styled Big Ben towers in the centre of the rooftops, poking through the clouds, with Mary Poppins and her classic “jolly holiday” carousel behind, as a fleet of kites hovers above. A merry band of pirate flag artists will surround the ship at the front of the float.”
The crocodile from Peter Pan can be seen amongst the waves at the front of the float, whilst the Penguin waiters from Mary Poppins are featured in the Jolly Holiday scene.
Float 5: Dreams of Power
“The Disney Villains are out to take command of the parade, on a dark and menacing float filled with viciousness! As the serpent Jafar slithers along at the front, Chernabog towers over the parade route on the desolate summit of Bald Mountain. Bringing up the rear is the slimy sea monster Ursula. The float will be surrounded by menacing souls juggling (false) fire!”
Hades can be seen at the front of the float, whilst the Evil Queen from Snow White hides below Chernabog.
Float 6: Dreams of Adventure
“Serving The Lion King and The Jungle Book, a giant jungle tree towers out of the middle of the float, with Simba on Pride Rock before it and King Louie and Baloo behind. Various animals from both films can be found amongst the branches of the tree, including monkeys and giraffes. Rafiki is clinging to the tree behind Pride Rock, with Timon and Pumbaa joining in the celebrations below. It’s also likely that several of the colourful jungle animals from the Kids Carnival season will join the parade at this point.”
The Jungle Book scene chosen is King Louie’s temple, with Baloo in his coconut hula outfit and King Louie’s throne beneath the tree. Timon also wears his hula costume, and the entire tree is filled with too many animals to count – including The Jungle Book’s Vultures and Kaa the snake.
Float 7: Dreams of Romance (Part 1)
“A tropical garden oasis is the setting for Ariel and Jasmine, with beautiful flowers and an enchanted tree bringing a rainbow of colour to their romantic pursuits. The Dream of Romance section will feature the enchanted garden theme throughout, with each of the Princesses’ shimmering dresses scattered with beautiful gold leaves and several dancing flowers with yellow and green petals surrounding each float.”
The enchanted garden features Ariel at the front in some kind of sea shell grotto, whilst Jasmine swings on a tree with giant roses and Aladdin dances around her.
Float 8: Dreams of Romance (part 2)
“The grand finale to the entire parade, this giant float features a grand total of four princesses! The initial gazebo is an ornate shelter for Beauty and the Beast, whilst the whimsical fairytale bridge is occupied by Snow White and her prince. On the hill before the giant castle stands Cinderella and Prince Charming. Sleeping Beauty is possibly featured behind the castle, as a finale – afterall, the parade is named after one of her songs! The float will also be articulated (split into two free-moving, joined sections), giving an idea of its impressive size.”
Sleeping Beauty is indeed featured just behind the castle, which is a giant, glittering, crystal design. The gazebo of Beauty and her Beast is surrounded by giant red roses.
Finally seeing the full parade in colour concept art is a dream for any fan, and when it finally premieres in just over one month there’ll be even more to see, not just on the floats but all around – characters, dancers, confetti and more. We’re promised a unique parade in the history of Disney Parks, filling all five sense with wonder. Sight and sound are obvious, touch will be from the many Disney characters, more than in any other parade. Unique scents for each float were even confirmed some time ago, leaving just taste to be answered. Characters handing out sweets seems a likely option, already a popular stunt during Halloween events.
Some of the concepts here appear to be quite realistic (for example, the first and second floats), whilst others seem to merely give an artistic impression of the characters and details the floats will include (Dreams of Fantasy in particular), rather than an accurate plan.
To see these concepts made a reality will be the real moment of magic. And, when you spot the first new daytime parade at the park in almost seven years coming towards you along Main Street for the first time, it’ll be better than a dream.
In true Disney fashion, every element of this vast celebration gets its own piece of concept art. First, Candlabration – the evening ceremony show which will see Mickey and friends light up the fifteen candles on the castle in a twilight show similar to the hugely popular Enchanted Fairytale Ceremony of Disney’s Christmas Season. The concept art confirms that the Christmas stage will stay, but shows it with a beautiful, golden overlay and “15” emblems in place of the current “Once upon a time” motif.
Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Pluto and Chip ‘n’ Dale are all present, wearing pastel and royal blue outfits which might be more than a little familiar to anyone who follows the US resorts. These “Year of a Million Dreams” costumes are due to be carried over to Paris for both this show and for general meet ‘n’ greets.
In Walt Disney World’s “Dream Along With Mickey” show (video here), the characters even have “articulated” talking heads, a concept which was premiered back in 2004 with Timon in our very own The Legend Of The Lion King. Since the costumes are the same and the show is featured in a similar location, we have to ask – will our Fab 7 be talking for the 15th?
Even if they don’t, it certainly looks like they’ll be providing us with some music. Take a look at what they’re all holding – each character has their own musical instrument!
Finally, the candles themselves also present a question – just how bright will they be? Both here and in the new TV spot they’re shown as bright, shining beacons of light, rather than the small flickering flames we might have expected.
With the park located in Paris and much of the focus being on those candles, it seems almost too good to be true that Disney have the perfect showman and mascot for the celebrations – Lumière! And if his golden statue right at the centre of the Castle wasn’t enough of an ego boost, he’s soon to appear on brand new banners lining Main Street.
Recent visitors to the park will likely have wondered why the Enchanted Fairytale Illuminations “Chandeliers” are still in place – and here’s your answer! Come 1st April, though, they’ll be barely recognisable. The chandelier crown itself will be completely removed and replaced with a golden cap and horizontal frame for the banner, whilst other gold elements will be painted onto other sections of the giant, ornate lampposts.
Whilst it hasn’t been confirmed if the poles themselves will still be able to illuminate, it has been mentioned that the banners will be lit in some way by modern LED lights. Two of the banners were on display at the shareholders meeting, and perhaps give a typically “Disney” solution – LED lights fitted inside the banners themselves, lighting up the bright white dots peppered across the design? We’ll have to wait and see…
And finally… something no-one could have expected. After the Pumpkinmen and Pink Witches, the entertainment teams of Disneyland Resort Paris have been off designing their own park characters again. This time, you’ll be able to meet one of the ten letters spelling out “Disneyland”. No, honestly!
It doesn’t seem to be confirmed yet whether these will be statues, walk-around characters or maybe even giant puppets (like those at WDW’s Finding Nemo The Musical), but an early name being given to them is “Alpha Bet You Are”.
There hasn’t even been confirmation if all ten will appear at once, so perhaps we’ll have to hunt them down, throughout the park? It could be massive for autograph book sales, with ten separate single-letter autographs to collect… Or am I the one getting carried away now?
“Come a little closer… Turn another page… In the story of what’s waiting for you…”
The typically “Disney” lyrics couldn’t be more appropriate. Singing of their dreams coming true “as far as the eye can see” and “as good as good can be”, the two lead vocalists of the new song, “Just Like We Dreamed It”, could be speaking the words of any fan or guest at this truly incredible time in the life of Disneyland Resort Paris.
All of the costumes are brand new and unique to Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade. The characters wear shimmering, silky costumes in vibrant rainbow colours, joined together with a beautiful theme of white and gold throughout. Up front is the Mouse himself, wearing a stunning purple, white and gold suit with a big top hat, whilst the other side of François is Minnie in a bright pink dress and golden shoes. Behind them, Chip and Dale wear green hats and bow ties with white detailing, whilst Goofy wears a snazzy orange tailor suit as seen in the parade’s key visual. As always, Donald is just left out of the fun – to the far left of the photo – though his bright sailor blue costume can clearly be seen.
And, whilst we’ve already seen two of the beautiful Princess dresses to be worn exclusively in the parade, their appearance at the event allowed a sneaky glimpse at the others – including Cinderella, who can also be seen in the photo. Her pastel blue dress continues the theme of golden leaves and flowers seen in the earlier dresses.
The new song itself will be used both as the opening to the parade and as the “parade stop” music, when the parade comes to a halt to allow the characters to interact with their audience. The version used for this presentation also features a short prologue medley of classic Disney music, suggesting, perhaps, that this could be the version which opens the parade, since a voiceover introduction could easily be overlayed. Some have likened it to the music of Walt Disney’s Parade of Dreams already, which also features a slower beginning before the main pop song “Welcome” begins – and, just like our new parade, the music then shifts into classical Disney music, before the song returns for the parade stops.
For anyone desperately dreaming of hearing it for themselves, you’ll be glad to know the presentation was recorded and uploaded in mp3 by Mouetto on Disney Central Plaza forum. And, since many people are having trouble with the temporary fileshare site, we’re going to host it here for a brief time:
Temporary download no longer available!
Want to hear the music? Get to Disneyland Park from 31st March 2007!
Make sure you’re absolutely sure you want to hear it before you download, this is obviously quite a large spoiler for the upcoming parade! If you decide to wait, then you can always just look at the Lyrics instead, which have just been added to our Disneyland Resort Paris CD Archive already.
And if you can still resist that temptation, then you know where you have to be – Disneyland Park, Paris, from 31st March 2007!
This is the 200th news article on DLRP Today! Thank you to all those who continue to visit each day, the project has been more successful than I could have ever dreamed! And with the anniversary now just over a month away, there’s still plenty more magic still to come.
If you’d like to see the video in motion, simply click onto www.disneyland15.com and follow the link from “15th Anniversary” on the drop-down menu. Many of these shots are shown for less than a second, though, so unless you’re living in slow motion it might take a few viewings to take it all in!
The video is hosted by four very influential backstage Cast Members of Disneyland Resort Paris, each seen spinning around in one of Disneyland Park’s lands whilst they describe the events and the power of dreams. Kat de Blois, Creative and Artistic Director, begins the commentary, followed by Roland Kleve, Director of Operations Integration (most importantly the introduction of the new attractions). Next is François Leroux, Vice President of Entertainment, before WDI-Paris chief and head of Show Quality Standard Peter McGrath joins to describe the new attractions.
In just a few seconds, we’re treated to quick shots and close-ups of two elements from Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade – the moon from the first float, “Imagination”, and a giant Alice in Wonderland stuck inside a house, just part of float two, “Dream of Fun & Laughter”. The very first shot quickly shows a concept model for the first float, before the camera pans upwards to show the fully realised moon from the original design.
Whilst the moon appears to already be on its final base (a giant, open storybook), the house from Alice in Wonderland (with her legs sticking out) will form just half of the final float, with a second section starring Pinocchio (and several bungee artists similar to the Pinnochio float in California’s Parade of Dreams) to be slotted in behind on the final base.
We begin with Imagineer Beth Clapperton, who poses next to one the turtle shell ride vehicles from Crush’s Coaster in Toon Studio, holding plans to the entire track layout. The turtle shell follows all the usual standards of a Maurer SÃ¶hne Xtended SC-2000 car, with four seats back-to-back in rows of two. However, the car has also been extensively customised by the Disney Imagineers, extending the front and sides to perfectly resemble a turtle shell, with an incredible level of detail compared to other Disney ride vehicles.
The photo appears to have been taken on the break-run of the attraction’s “coaster” section, likely sometime in mid-2006 since the building does not appear to be fully enclosed. It also seems restraints and seat backs had yet to be fitted to the first vehicle at this point.
Next up, we move across to Cars Race Rally and into the backstage workshops of Walt Disney Imagineering, where a life-size Luigi is being crafted by hand for the upcoming attraction. Also sporting an exceptional level of detail, Luigi is due to appear at the Casa Della Tires photo location near the attraction’s entrance (see the map here), similar to the Mike Wazowski and CDA figures at the Monsters Inc Scream Scene location.
As you can see from the photo, it luckily seems that the resort have been given the rights to use the badge of this 1959 Fiat 500 on the real-life reproduction itself. Guido, Luigi’s forklift sidekick, is also expected to appear at the finished attraction, marking the first time these characters have been created in life-size 3D form.
Finally, the series of photos take us into the colourful Costuming Workshop at the ImagiNations building, backstage at Walt Disney Studios, for a glimpse at two stunning new dresses created exclusively for Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade. The dresses featured are Belle, from Beauty and the Beast, and the “one that started it all”, Snow White.
Along with rich, glistening fabrics and remarkable attention to detail, the dresses have been peppered with beautiful gold-laced leaves, petals and flowers (roses for Belle), allowing them to match perfectly with the garden-themed “Dreams of Romance” finale float where they will be featured. This is the first time such a high level of customisation has been used to allow the dresses to match their floats.
Sumptuous dresses, detailed props and “turtally” unique ride vehicles, all oozing Disney quality… as if the 15th Anniversary wasn’t an exciting enough prospect already!
The introduction of a High School Musical streetmosphere show has been rumoured for several weeks, and now confirmation has been given. The show will run from 16th June to 26th August 2007, adding yet another new addition to the hefty lineup of events for the 15th Anniversary year.
It will likely be based on the “High School Musical Pep Rally” shows from Disneyland Resort in California and Walt Disney World in Florida, the latter of which just moved to Disney-MGM Studios itself after a brief spell at the Magic Kingdom. The shows feature most of the songs from the hit TV movie weaved into a storyline which sees the performers rallying support for the stars of the movie with all the cheerleading and basketball stereotypes of an American High School. If the show is to be performed at the same location as Starring Cruella De Vil, it will be featured directly opposite the Disney Channel studios themselves.
Rumours suggest that the three trailer sets of Starring Cruella De Vil could even be reused for the new show, with the decors replaced. Many will be sad not to see the previous show return, which built up a surprising fan base over its two Summer seasons thanks mainly to the exceptional performances of Cruella herself. You can still find a full guide to old show here, or a video by Photos Magiques here.
As for High School Musical, LaughingPlace.com has a photo guide to the Disney’s California Adventure version, which could give us some idea of what to expect from this all-American high school show.
News from WDSfans.com; Lead photo by LaughingPlace.com
Whilst the large lighting rigs along the parade route illumated the procession, several extra lights were added to the classic floats to light up the characters and their decor. Previously, a nighttime version of The Christmas Parade such as this could only be seen on New Year’s Eve, when entertainment times were shifted to compensate for the park’s late 1am closure.
Photos captured 30th December 2006.
The Christmas Parade enjoyed its final performance of the 2006/07 season earlier today, and it remains to be seen whether it will return again in November. With Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade scheduled to run the entire year, either a hushed Christmas makeover will take place, The Christmas Parade will return, or there will be no main Christmas parade.
Whatever happens, enjoy the nighttime Christmas Parade, truly at its best, with two special guests…
Katy Harris began her career at Disneyland Resort Paris in 1993, performing in the Beauty and the Beast show at Videopolis Theatre. After then performing in every production at the park, she became an assistant show director and produced various spectacles for small events and business conferences.
In 2001, she became a full show director, and has a good list of credits to her name. Choreographer with Craig Revel Horwood (as seen on BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing) on The Legend Of The Lion King, she then conceived and directed the Kids Carnival as well as adapting Winnie the Pooh and Friends, Too for the Fantasy Festival Stage. Tasked with conceiving a new Disneyland Park parade for the 15th Anniversary, she eventually presented the parade to Jay Rasulo (head of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts) in America and got the greenlight for the project in January 2006.
Series: Backstage at the park (3/5)
A choreographer for the new parade
To celebrate the 15th Anniversary of Disneyland Park, the park’s teams at Marne-la-Vallée (Seine et Marne) are assembling themselves ready. This is the next in our series on those who, in the shadows, are preparing the festivities, due to begin 1st April.
You would imagine it like the light-footed style of a dancer, but Katy Harris, choreographer and director at Disney, arrives burdened with stress and pressure. Because this 38-year old English woman, previously director of the Kids Carnival, has accepted a hefty task: to conceive and direct the first strictly French parade, Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade, which will be performed each day at the park. She brings together seven dreams: imagination, laughter, friendship, fantasy, power, adventure and romance, played out by the characters of Disney.
“I had lots of pieces of paper with all the most important characters, the films – a true puzzle!” remembers Katy. “Once the choices had been made, we very quickly got the green light from the Americans. Lucky, since one year is very short to create the costumes, lights, music, etc.”
Thirteen Years at Disney
Today, the workshops, mainly situated at Montreuil (Seine-Saint Denis), are putting the finishing touches to the floats. The music has been recorded. The rehearsals are about to begin. “The team comprises 105 performers. For each role, we need four people, to allow for days off. That means creating enough costumes and in every size.” It’s for the this reason mainly, that the physical criterias were established. The princess flowers, who wear dresses covered in yellow and green petals, measure around about the same height. “If not, we could never do it, and it’s also important for harmony with the choreography.”
Educated as a dancer at British theatre schools, Katy Harris has resided at Disney for over 13 years. “In a parade just as much as a musical theatre show, the direction is just as important as the choreography, since the presentation to the spectator is very short, never more than 2 minutes, and the scene continues to move. To create emotion, it’s a lot of hard work.”
Tomorrow’s column will feature Roland Kleve, head of future attraction construction.
Article: Julie Cloris, Translation: DLRP Today
Article scan thanks to Julien-Fantillusion, Disney Central Plaza forum.
Despite attendance counts slightly lower than previous years, mostly due to the weather, some exaggerated wait times could still be seen across the park. Whilst Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast stuck on 80 minutes all day, on the other side of Discoveryland it seemed to be time for Star Tours to enjoy a newfound popularity, as the entire first section of the outside queue filled with eager guests.
Restaurants appeared to cope with the attendance well, with extra Cast Members positioned at most to inform guests before they queued if seats are available and to then seat guests with food, ensuring every table was full.
At 9.30pm, the DJ Party on Central Plaza kicked off with lively disco and pop music, as the lights of the castle and Main Street illuminations “danced” to the beat of the songs. The rain began to pour even heavier at 10pm, but subsided as midnight drew near, leaving just the strong winds to fight with the upcoming fireworks.
Around 25 minutes before midnight, a single firework was launched from the right of the castle, testing the effect of the strong winds. Unfortunately, with wind speeds still too high, the decision was made to cut all ground-based fireworks on the right of the castle from the show, since their shells were blown far too quickly towards Discoveryland. Credit to those involved, however, for still being able to present such a large show in such poor weather conditions.
The music used for the show was carried over from 2005 – “New World” by Toby Mac from “Music Inspired by The Chonicles of Narnia” album. Though a strange choice for such an event (the classical style of the previous Treasure Planet show seemed infinitely more fitting), the countdown beforehand, choreographed to the Illuminations, was perfectly timed and the crowds cheered and applauded after the show before continuing to dance their way into the New Year of 2007.
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