Thursday, 28th September 2006

Once upon a dream job?

After casting sessions earlier this month at Lyon and Montpellier in France, casting moved to the UK last week and is headed for Poland next. The sessions have also given us some more clues and details about the final parade…

Poppy the Monkey posted the following information on our magicforum yesterday:

They are casting in the UK this week also for the new parade. Glasgow was on Sunday, Leeds was yesterday and they are at London today.

After talking earlier to Daniel (Parade Casting), he said they have no idea about dancers for the new parade, and most the anniversary celebrations are still in early planning, as final budgets have only recently been allocated. But they have been been told to recruit more people then normal – as next year the character presence over the whole resort will be “raised considerably”.

The floats will arrive in Paris in January, and rehersals will begin early February. Musically the parade will feature an upbeat, but classical sounding track, with character voices for each float. There will be musical variations for each float too.

And today, on forum, more information was given, again from Poppy the Monkey:

I was in Leeds on Tuesday, and was able to sit in on the audition with the panel. They recruited 4 people that day (2 boys and 2 girls) with 10 on a waiting list ready to be called up.

The man who plays the Bouncy Carnival Seagul was on-hand, to trial juggling, stilt walking, flag throwing and Puppeteering. All the people trialed were complete novices, but all 14 new employees are to be trained in these skills over this winter, in preperation for the new parade.

They also found an amazing new Jasmine at the Leeds auditions, look out for her next month – she looks fantastic! The auditions move to Poland next week!

You can also see an official UK casting announcement here.

It seems that, in addition to featuring a huge range of performers (from puppeteers to stilt walkers and many more), Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade will feature a huge mix of performers from right across Western and Central Europe, bringing the continent together to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of its own Magic Kingdom.

Thursday, 21st September 2006

Casting (and unveiling) the dream

Disneyland Resort Paris are certainly not just looking for parade dancers for their 15th Anniversary extravaganza, set to be a veritable circus of animation and entertainment, with the advertisement calling upon bungee acrobats, jugglers, flag artists, puppeteers and stilt walkers. The two casting calls are scheduled for Lyon and Montpellier on the 21st and 23rd September 2006 respectively, with the listing informing participants they should plan for the day with casual (sports) clothing, sneakers and a possible call-back in the afternoon. As usual, the casting has a height requirement of between 142cm and 193cm.

Rumours suggest the parade will only feature around 50 dancers (around 20-30 fewer than current parades in high season), since the balance will be shifted more towards character performers for the new parade. The silhouettes of the parade floats confirm most of what has already been rumoured about the design of the floats – here’s a full run-through of everything we can see:

Float 1: Dream of Imagination
We’ve seen this one aleady… Mickey and Minnie ride high above the clouds in a sun-stylled hot air balloon. You can see the full concept artwork here.
Float 2: Dream of Fun and Laughter
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 appears to feature “marionnette” bungee artists similar to those in Walt Disney’s Parade of Dreams at Disneyland California, bouncing on bungee ropes from supports high above.

Float 3: Dream of Friendship
Features Toy Story and Winnie the Pooh characters, with a giant storybook in the middle separating the two themes. The rear section appears to feature Winnie and friends, with lamps hanging on strings, whilst the front section isn’t too clear…

Float 4: Dream of Fantasy
The most obvious of all the designs, this very British float will feature a whimsically stylled Big Ben tower in the centre, with Peter Pan’s pirate ship at the front and Mary Poppins’ “jolly holiday” carousel and a fleet of kites at the rear. An interesting change of theme for Mary after the current chimneysweep theme, since the Disney Cinema Parade also currently uses the carousel theme.

Float 5: Dream of Power
The villains’ float isn’t too clear, but you can clearly see Fantasia villain Chernabog towering over it all and a serpent Jafar slithering along at the front.
Float 6: Dream of Adventure
Serving The Lion King and The Jungle Book, this one is bound to be popular. A giant tree towers out of the middle, with Simba on Pride Rock before it and Kong Louie and Baloo behind. You can see various animals from both films in the tree, including monkeys and giraffes. Rafiki is clinging to the tree behind Pride Rock and Timon and Pumbaa are likely featured below.

Float 7: Dream of Romance (Part 1)
The most difficult of all the artworks, float 7 is due to feature The Little Mermaid and Aladdin and Jasmine in an “enchanted garden” setting. Ariel seems to be featured at the rear, with Jasmine further forward.

Float 8: Dream of Romance (Part 2)
The grand finale to the entire parade, this float looks suitably huge and is due to feature not two but four princesses! The initial gazebo is likely for Beauty and the Beast, whilst the ornate fairytale bride is occupied by Snow White and her prince. On the hill before the giant castle stands Cinderella and Prince Charming. No sign of Sleeping Beauty yet, but the rumours of this float being articulated (split into two free-moving, joined sections) look to be quite possible.

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With a double-character style similar to Walt Disney World’s Share a Dream Come True and an extravagant, classical float design similar to Disneyland’s 50th anniversary Parade of Dreams, the first all-new daytime parade in Paris for 5 years looks set to truly be a dream come true. You can find out more about the parade here.

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Sunday, 27th August 2006

Another enchanted Christmas on the horizon

At the moment, the season is looking to be surprising similar to last year’s celebration, but after many years of enhancements and additions they’re definitely still not done. Firstly, what we won’t be seeing. Le Noël de Mickey is gone for good – the resort announced last Christmas that 2005/06 would be the final season of this incredibly long-running show (since 1992, believe it or not) at the Fantasy Festival Stage. Another no-show for 2006 will be Belle’s Musical Medley at Belle’s Christmas Village. The lively mimed show, performed by a special seasonal cast, was introduced with the market village itself in 2002, but is confirmed to not be returning this year. The market village itself, though, will return.

Secondly, what will be new? There’s nothing (so far) as grand as the Crystal Castle and Enchanted Fairytale Illuminations of previous years, but the gap left by Le Noël de Mickey at Fantasy Festival Stage will certainly be filled by Winnie the Pooh and Friends, Too. Since the new Summer version of the show features the friends hunting for the end of the rainbow, it seems likely a totally different version will be developed for Christmas. Also in park entertainment, some changes and additions at Walt Disney Studios Park are likely. Last year the park unwrapped a Christmas version of the popular “Good Morning Walt Disney Studios” mini parade, plus a small “Goofy presents… The Swing Along Santas” musical show, both of which would be perfect for additions and development for a second season.

Finally, what will be the same? The Christmas Parade, Mickey’s Winter Wonderland, Christmas CinéFolies, Belle’s Christmas Village and most of the parks’ decorations, certainly. The Enchanted Fairytale Ceremony could be changed again, but the second version developed for 2005 was very popular all round so major change seems unlikely. Fans of The Christmas Parade should perhaps make extra effort to enjoy the spectacle this year, since with Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade scheduled to run throughout 2007/08, a return for 2007 isn’t looking promising. The parks and hotels will all present another enchanted Christmas, their most magical (and now most popular) time of the year for guests.

Sunday, 20th August 2006

Parade changes

Saturday, 5th August 2006

Tow me at once, the way you did once…

Soon enough, however, one of the small parade tow vehicles arrived on the parade route to pull dragon Maleficent and her two victims to the end of the route at Town Square.

The event was witnessed by IndianaAngus from Disney Central Plaza forum, and is the second reported time this year that a parade float has broken down. In May, the Minnie’s Dressing Room float of Disney Cinema Parade malfunctioned – photos can be seen here.

Thursday, 20th July 2006

At the end of the rainbow

Piglet performs a brand new song by well-known resort composer Vasile Sirli, and the show is filled with new music and narration throughout.

Photos Magiques have a great gallery of photos from the show, and have just today uploaded the first full-length video, which is definitely worth a watch.

Monday, 17th July 2006

I wish it may, I wish it might

Previously empty sections now feature spectacular new fireworks, and the opening and finale have been given more fireworks than before.

The most noticeable changes begin with Ariel’s wishes, previously featuring just image and laser projections on the castle, which now features large blue/purple fireworks and enhanced projections. During the Fantasia sequence (pictured), large new sparkling red bursts of fireworks have been added where previously there were none. Later in the villains section, the Evil Queen’s voice is also now accompanied by fireworks. There are also countless other smaller alterations and additions throughout the show.

Just goes to show what a little wishing can do! Thanks to Tron 2.0 on forum for the list of alterations. And for more magic from Wishes, check out Photos Magiques’ new gallery of photos from this year’s show.

Monday, 17th July 2006

Storming of the Bastille (part 2)

Top of the bill: Karl Holz was watching the show on the hub, next to the Wishes logo. (We were staning on the gate right in front of it). He was already in a bad mood when there were a lot of errors during the Fantillusion parade (appearently the 3 Fairies float crashed when it drove on stage, causing the stop animation and music to play while it was driving along the parade route). Quite a few floats had missing effects or weren’t working like they’re supposed too.

And then the fireworks started way too late, because (we were told by someone from Guest Flow) there was a group at the Blue Lagoon which refused to leave, so they had to wait until they had left before the fireworks could start.

And then ofcourse almost nothing happened during the fireworks. Most of the show was dead, with people actually boo-ing or plain leaving. Karl Holz told to some Disney Central Plaza forum members that there were problems with the computer that launches the fireworks.

Photos Magiques will be featuring a full gallery of photos from the fireworks very soon.

Saturday, 15th July 2006

Storming of the Bastille

The problems began with the 22.30 performance of Disney’s Fantillusion, the first since January, when the “Fauna’s Carousel” float began the parade without its lighting effects turned on. The blacked-out float continued along the parade route from “it’s a small world” to Pizzeria Bella Notte in darkness, before maintenance crews dashed towards it and corrected the problem. By this time, however, the problems had caused a backlog of floats and the rest of the parade saw these floats (and their dancers) frantically trying to keep up with the earlier floats.

Bigger problems were yet to come, however, as the epic Bastille Day Fireworks – the biggest display of the year at the park – faced technical problems with the ground-based pyrotechnics. Raptor1982 from Photos Magiques messaged us right away after the fireworks with news of the problems:

“The fireworks were a big disaster. None of the rockets behind the castle went up. Only the big shells behind the park went off.”

Despite these problems, causing some sections of the show to feel very (and sometimes totally) devoid of fireworks, guests were still treated to an incredible display of large firework shells – a rare event for the Parisian resort in recent years. Unfortunately for the team working on the fireworks, however, the crowd featured one special VIP who was no doubt watching their efforts very closely – Karl Holz, CEO of the resort’s operating company, Euro Disney Associés SCA. (See photo above). Kyoto from Disney Magic Interactive forum caught him on camera, wearing an oddly John Lassester-esque shirt…

Kyoto also has three videos of the fireworks online. You can download them right here.

Friday, 14th July 2006

The silly old bear finds a new home

The theatre itself has been decorated with branches and leaves covering the lighting equipment above the stage, plus woodland murals on the side walls, totally enveloping guests in the Hundred Acre Wood. The show now also includes a solo musical number from Winnie, a rainbow adventure and a Heffalump musical number.

Rumours of Pooh Bear’s move to the smaller, indoor theatre began spreading last year, with the possibility of a year-round show adapted for each season (Halloween, Christmas, etc.) strongly rumoured. The new show was confirmed by Katie Harris of Disneyland Resort Paris Entertainment in Annual Passport magazine “Envie de +” on 4th January 2006. Today, the new show begins its first season, but it is already scheduled to return for Disney’s Christmas Season from 11th November 2006 to 7th January 2007.

You can see a full run-through of the new show on a new guide page at » The site also has a 9-minute video, giving a good impression of the style of the adapted show. Video »

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