“12th April will be a very special day,” Disneyland Paris has confirmed in a tweet from its president Catherine Powell, with a new concept art showing Disney characters and a marching band emerging from Sleeping Beauty Castle. Read More…
No less than ten semi-finalists have been selected from those who applied for the roles, pictured below, chosen from all corners of the resort to represent Disneyland Paris Cast Members on the public stage for events and promotions.
The 2013-2014 team, Antonella Giallombardo and Jonathan Rabeute, will continue as ambassadors until the end of the year, when the new recruits will take over.
At Disneyland Paris, the visibility of the programme has improved noticeably in recent years, not least thanks to the use of social media, and helped by a run of enthusiastic and knowledgeable representatives, each truly raising the bar (tip: great Cast Members who also happen to be real fans make perfect ambassadors).
Originally just seeing a single candidate elected, the Disneyland Paris programme now elects two Ambassadors to represent the resort for two years.
While Osvaldo and Régis got to enjoy the 20th Anniversary and Antonella and Jonathan excelled at the Ratatouille grand opening events, we don’t yet know what our next two ambassadors could be cutting the ribbon on in the next two years… but we wish all semi-finalists, and the selected ambassadors, the very best of luck.
Update — The finalists of the 2015-2016 Disneyland Paris Ambassador selection have been announced today; they are: Sonia Demay, Romina Grochow, Anthony Houdinet and Rut Sospedra.
Staging an event like this purely for a guest list like us was truly unprecedented by Disneyland Paris, but hopefully its success will see the formula repeated again. Besides word that #Ratatouille briefly trended on Twitter in France, it presented a fantastic opportunity for us to gather as much information and as many photos and videos to prepare our blogs and websites ahead of the official public opening date.
In a sense, for every invitee we could take along another thousand or more diehard fans with us. Keeping the fans “in the loop” like this is good for us and great for Disneyland Paris.
No less than 41 live photos were shared on our @DLPToday Twitter feed, mostly focusing on the restaurant preview with the first pictures of its décor, menus and sample dishes. If you missed them at the time or want to relive it all again, here we go! Read More…
If you’re a Shareholder or an Annual Passholder, no doubt you’ve been going “Totalement Toquée” for a few weeks now, waiting to hear exactly when you’ll get your first chance to experience Ratatouille: The Adventure.
Putting an end to what, unsurprisingly, sounds like an onslaught of requests for information, Disneyland Paris has confirmed today the all-important dates.
In a brief notice, Annual Passport previews for 26th – 29th June 2014 are confirmed:
Due to a lot of requests, please note that there will indeed be Ratatouille previews for Annual Passholders (Dream, Fantasy, Francilien) from June 26 to 29.
More information about the registration process will be sent soon by the teams in charge.
Meanwhile, members of the Shareholders Club for Euro Disney S.C.A. were sent their full registration details this morning, with the “Actionnaires” event taking place on 28th June.
Online registration for this event is mandatory, on a first-come-first-served basis, and must be completed no later than Monday, 23rd June 2014.
On the date, Saturday, 28th June, attendees will be able to check in from 9.30am at the entrance of Walt Disney Studios Park, with both the attraction and Bistrot Chez Rémy reserved for shareholders between 10am and 2.30pm (thanks to @Jorienvh_ for these details).
21st – 22nd June 2014 — Grand Opening / Press Event weekend
26th – 29th June 2014 — Annual Passholder previews
28th June 2014 — Shareholders Club preview
10th July 2014 — Official Public Opening Date
All of which leaves a mighty space to fill of almost a fortnight between the last preview on 29th June and the official 10th July opening, during which we can surely expect some wider public “soft openings” — when regular park guests are invited to unofficially ride the attraction, allowing a final test and adjust phase before opening.
It can’t be stated so confidently that Bistrot Chez Rémy would be included in this, although you’d think Disneyland Paris would want to continue trialling that too — it’s spectacularly important that they get this restaurant right, first time, and the general public can often behave and react to concepts very differently than invited guests and Disney fans.
Regarding the release of preview dates, hopefully the teams involved at Disneyland Paris have learnt a lesson that guests prefer this information sooner, rather than later — say, a month in advance at the very least — especially when complicated travel plans and accommodation bookings from outside France have to be made.
So there we go, folks — now tell us below, when will your first “Ratmobile” ride be?
Ratatouille: The Ridewill open, that’s about as close as we can get to an official opening date right now. But today Belgian tabloid newspaper SudPresse appeared to break ranks by publishing an article (above, and in full below thanks to DlrpExpress.fr) which states quite clearly and confidently that the date will be 15th July 2014.
Upon closer inspection (or even from a great distance), it seems quite likely that this article hasn’t been anywhere near the Disneyland Paris press department for authorisation — besides the author logging on to transcribe their latest press release.
The concepts of a “Ratmobile”, unearthed as part of the ride’s planning application, have only ever been published publicly by the Disney Central Plaza forum, whose watermark can still be seen on the image. When it came to show the Ratmobiles during last month’s shareholders meeting, Tom Fitzgerland had much more final, official-looking renders.
And finally, the photo of the tunnel with a bust of Chef Gusteau comes, uncredited, directly from fansite DLP.info, circa 2010, who weren’t so lucky with their watermark — covered over by the newspapers own caption! There is no way Disneyland Paris would sign off the use of any of these images, so why would they give this publication an exclusive with a date?
What remains odd is that the paper plumped for Tuesday, 15th July 2014, when the most widely circulated rumour so far has been the 14th July — France’s national “Bastille” day.
Bastille Day looks great on paper, of course: opening an attraction based on French love letter Ratatouille, plus an adjoining restaurant, with endorsement from Chef Paul Bocuse, at Disneyland Paris, on the French national day itself; the concept of such a thing is so French the whole of France might just implode.
But is one of the busiest days of the year really the best time to open such a desperately awaited new attraction? And would the French press (not to mention all the extra technical and support staff required for a press event) really want to leave their families and traditional celebrations to cover an event happening on 14th July itself? Besides, Disneyland Paris press events usually onlytake place over a Friday, Saturday, Sunday weekend.
Elsewhere, one quite credible rumour has been that Cast Members could be given a preview of the attraction on Monday, 23rd June, followed by “Soft Opening” beginning on Saturday, 28th June. Soft Opening is the period of a few weeks where Disney opens new attractions for guests as a kind of “dress rehearsal”, giving a chance to tweak the experience and spot problems without the attraction officially being “open”.
Meanwhile June’s park opening hours were published yesterday, with a couple of clues that something might be afoot at the Studios, as reported on DLRPMagic.com. Notably, Saturday 21st June sees the park close at 6pm, rather than the usual 7pm. Indeed, this the first and only Saturday of the year so far that the park will close at this earlier time on a Saturday.
Disneyland Paris wouldn’t cut opening hours on a busy weekend lightly, so this must suggest some kind of private event — for Cast Members, for the press, for someone else? It’s usually good manners to give Cast Members first preview of an attraction, so if this were to be a press event date for the opening of the ride, it might put that 23rd June date in doubt.
Late June would make a far more sensible date to assemble the press for a showy grand opening, though: before the French summer holidays (and abandonment of Paris) begin, and giving enough time for them to draft their footage, reports and articles in time for a big media push on… 14th July? This could be particularly successful outside of France where, rather than the usual samey Eiffel Tower footage, news reports could show the implosion of French-ness on La Place de Rémy as a perfect populist tie-in to the national date.
That would leave Bastille Day itself as more a simple ribbon-cutting date for the public; indeed, the date on paper — the date that goes down as the day Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy finally, officially opened its doors. It’d be perfect. Even though, as is always the way with Disney attraction openings, it wouldn’t necessarily be true.
At this point, it’s really a shame Disneyland Paris won’t just do the sensible thing and make an announcement, if only so that us fans can stop obsessing over a date, book our summer trips with confidence and start focusing instead on what a seriously cool and spectacularly unique new addition this is shaping up to be — perhaps the best thing to come to Disneyland Paris since the hallowed date of 12th April 1992 …or should that be 11th April?
Doing the honours was Tom Fitzgerald, the Senior Creative Executive who has been closely involved with the expansion of Walt Disney Studios Park in the past ten years, particularly Toon Studio and Toy Story Playland. Brand new, previously unseen concept art, scale models and behind-the-scenes photos from the making of the attraction were all revealed for the first time in Tom’s exciting five-minute presentation, finally satisfying the fevered desire for more information and visuals from the ride and restaurant amongst us fans.
Continues with video, 24 stills and full transcript…Read More…
As usual, it remains a closely guarded secret what exactly will be revealed at the event, beyond the usual questions and numbers. There’s a new attraction waiting just across the park, of course, and most are hoping the meeting will reveal a little more of Ratatouille: The Ride, perhaps a glimpse inside or even, the strongest rumour… an opening date.
Picturing Rémy, the lead rat in the Brad Bird-directed 2007 Pixar animation, jumping forward holding a cork, it depicts a rounded, flattened, rat-shaped ride vehicle capable of transporting six guests. Behind, the fiery chef Skinner looms over with a rolling pin — no doubt an example of the huge video projection effects expected to be demonstrated within the vast new showbuilding at the back of the park’s Toon Studio, next to the existing Toy Story Playland, to be augmented with larger-than-life physical props.
As for that long-winded title, don’t despair — it may yet prove to be a moniker only seen in French promotions, or right at the entrance of the attraction. Disneyland Paris has past form with the rambling “La Tour de la Terreur: Un Saut dans la Quatrième Diménsion” (The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror) and even the nearby tongue twister Cars Quatre Roues Rallye, which was always promoted to English-speaking markets as “Cars Race Rally”.
One final piece of information: 2014. That’s still as specific as Disney will be with the projected opening date — though many would expect it not to be early in the year, despite the rapidly-materialising Parisian street scene, given the technical complexity of the world-exclusive ride experience within.
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