So Disneyland Paris did sell enough tickets to justify these four after-hours parties? That’s what their official statement sent to ticketholders suggests, with the official reason actually being that the “prolonged refurbishments” throughout the park wouldn’t have allowed the parties to go ahead to the standard of quality Disney originally wanted. With Sleeping Beauty Castle half-covered in scrims, areas closed for repaving and of course the icon of the park’s pirating land, Captain Hook’s Pirate Ship, also soon set to undergo a complete rebuild, that’s probably true — they couldn’t have picked a worse time in the history of Fantasyland and Adventureland to promote a Princesses and Pirates event. Whilst some refurbishment dates have slipped, the final schedules were surely known some time ago now.
An official statement (translated from French) reads:
Mickey’s Princesses & Pirates Party due to take place on 1st, 10th, 17th and 24th June in Fantasyland and Adventureland have been cancelled due to prolonged refurbishments underway in some parts of Disneyland. We are aware of your disappointment regarding the cancellation of these events, however this decision was taken because the current conditions would not permit the event to meet the Disney standard of quality. Disneyland Paris apologise for the inconvenience and thank visitors for their loyalty.
Visitors who have reserved tickets for the evenings can get a refund by contacting our reservation center at 01 60 30 30 30 or their tour operator.
For those who are still visiting the resort on the scheduled dates, in addition to a full refund of the ticket price, we invite you to join us in the space of Hurricane’s Disney Village between 5pm and 8pm on the day of the event originally planned, to spend a moment with our Disney Princesses and Pirates with a refreshing drink.* (*Details to be confirmed upon refunding of ticket)
It may just look like a few pipes in the waters around Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant, but this is the photo everybody’s talking about. Because those aren’t just pipes, they’re fountains. Tested for a short time last week in the water behind Castle Stage, exactly one year before the date of the resort’s 20th Anniversary, it’s our first hint that something big is in preparation for next year’s anticipated celebration. We may not be talking World of Color given the space, but we could certainly be talking about at least un petit morceau of that experience as part of a big nightly event.
There may be a whole year to go, but these tests have still come relatively out of the blue for the park. World of Color has been mentioned as an aspiration for Walt Disney Studios Park in the past, but given the huge costs of installing the show (not to mention building a lake for it to actually perform on) it’s exciting to see that the technology at least might find a way to arrive in Paris much sooner than expected. And with that, anticipation for the 20th just rocketed. Less than 360 days to go, folks!
Update 19/04 — Our photo reporter Dlrpteam has sent over photos of more temporary installations around the area, being used as part of the current effects testing. It’s likely they’re “testing the waters” so to speak, to see just what can be achieved here before working on more in-depth plans:
As promised, here’s the official video of the Molly Brown rededication ceremony and the refurbishment presentation events of 25th March, when we were invited to see first-hand the ongoing and upcoming projects taking place across the resort in the lead-up to the 20th Anniversary next year. The Molly Brown’s full-time return to the rivers this weekend finally brought the video online, which also features a good look at some of the concepts and details we were shown during the presentation that morning. A map of Disneyland Park shows the areas to be refurbished in red, whilst photos show the original 1990s model of Sleeping Beauty Castle being re-touched with its new colours that “soar into the sky”.
Special credit to Kristof of magicforum and Photos Magiques for not only stepping up to the mic but slipping in that fun little tribute to the Molly Brown’s original “Queen of the River” title!
Map showing planned refurbishments in Disneyland Park for 2011 (annotated by DLRP Today)
Katy Olsen applies the new colour scheme to the original castle model
Thomas Bardenat explains the logistics of the castle restoration
Saving months of speculation, last week during the special fan presentation Disneyland Paris showed us exactly what’s ahead for the refreshed Sleeping Beauty Castle. No, no dramatic changes of story or style — in fact, if anything, a return to the grace and elegance of opening day in 1992. Ever since the enormous restoration project began, fans have been trying to predict what colours the new team would choose for Le Château‘s third era. Now we can reveal all, long before the scaffolding comes down, along with a big photo update on current progress! Read More…
Progress continues at Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant from every angle and we can begin to see even more “before and after” views of this extensive and much-needed restoration. The stone wall above, for example, has regained its rich colour tones, whilst the lighter pink beginning to appear across the tallest tower shows how the whole Castle will soon look — if not yet giving away the final “after”. It’s impressive that all of this work to the upper towers, and much elsewhere, is being undertaken overnight. Walt Disney Imagineering will need to return to those freshly painted walls later to add special paint effects such as weathering to make sure Aurora’s château looks believably, timelessly old, not like it was poured out of concrete just twenty years ago.
The new scrim, hiding the lower middle section of scaffolding which was previously covered by a plain white tarp for some time, features the three good fairies Flora, Fauna and Merryweather hovering above the drawbridge and a stylised impression of the Sleeping Beauty Castle façade. A similar idea was used the last time the landmark of Disneyland Park underwent a complete renovation, in 1998, although then the fairies were pasted on a plain white background. Today’s new cover doesn’t yet hide the upper portion of scaffolding, around the feature window, nor the additional scaffolding which has grown around the Castle’s right-hand extension over the past week. This has caused the walkway next to the wishing well from Le Théâtre du Château to be closed, which joined with the ongoing repaving works past Pizzeria Bella Notte has severely limited access into Fantasyland. Nevertheless, as you can see this morning, the Castle itself remains completely accessible to guests.
This isn’t the only portion of the Castle being worked on, however. Nighttime works have brought the first fresh paint to the top of the highest tower, which has had its many holes and war wounds (from Anniversary decorations past) filled in. Look closely and you might just see the difference — Le Château is starting to shimmer again, already. In fact, as the fast pace of works so far might suggest, it’s looking hopeful that the refurbishment could be done well before the earlier September end date. Guest Communications are apparently now advising the work will “continue until June” — all done by July, ready for the Summer season!
Here’s the view guests saw this weekend as they stepped into Disneyland Park. New Disney fan blog Mickey Land has the latest photos of the Sleeping Beauty Castle refurbishment, showing the scaffolding which we last saw surrounding the landmark’s lower walls has now spread right up to its iconic stained glass picture window. The first step towards hiding the less than magical works has also taken place, with an initial white tarpaulin stretched over the majority of the scaffolding, as is normal with Disney refurbishments. Rumours are suggesting that the second covering, featuring a photo-realistic image of the castle behind, could appear within the next week.
Meanwhile, Disneyland Paris continues to invest elsewhere in Fantasyland with the new stone paving going in along the walkway behind Le Théâtre du Château. The red-hued stones stopped with a circular finish at the Fantasyland Gate, leaving fans wondering if the rest of the route could be relaid with coloured concrete as before.
But, as you can see, the stones look set to continue into the land — albeit with the pattern set at a different angle, the circular design helping to make more of a feature of the gate, which will itself surely be fully repainted sometime this year as part of the Castle refurbishment.
Just a couple of days ago we were excited to see the first fresh paint being tested on the grey walls of Sleeping Beauty Castle, with just a modest construction of scaffolding on the walkway beneath the fairytale landmark’s drawbridge. Fast forward a few days and the photo above sent in to DLRP Today by Caryl, shows rapid progress with preparation for the full-scale refurbishment ahead as scaffolding begins to climb around the castle walls on both sides of the bridge (which was fully refurbished last year).
Think that shows big things are ahead? Well just take a look a the latest progress yesterday, with scaffolding decks now wrapped right across the front of Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant, covering the majority of its stone walls…
Now we have to wait and see how this breach on the fairytale kingdom is to be covered up. A huge “bache” tarpaulin covering with a photo-realistic image of the castle printed onto it seems the most likely option, having been used for recent castle refurbishments at the other Disney parks (notably Magic Kingdom), as well as at Disney Studio 1 and on less important structures at Disneyland Paris. Though the refurbishment was apparently due to begin late last year or early in January, it was most recently stated to last from March to September, so seeing this amount of scaffolding this soon is quite a surprise.
Once upon a time… And so, the tale has already begun. Postponed from late 2010 and expected to run from March to September this year, the first visible signs of refurbishment at Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant are now clear to see a month in advance of that date. A scaffolding base has been constructed on the lower walkway underneath the drawbridge, which leads into La Tanière du Dragon, and the first fresh patches of paint can even be seen on the Castle’s stonework. The photo above posted today by Melroy of DisneyGazette.fr shows the difference between the upper stones, faded to almost an identical grey, and the repainted patchwork of pastel colours below.
There is currently still debate as to whether the interior of Sleeping Beauty Castle will be accessible once full-scale work begins to restore its exterior. Some suggest the drawbridge, both boutiques and the upper gallery floor will remain open throughout, whilst the Castle Courtyard behind (home to the Excalibur sword) may be closed off to provide a base for the work. In any case, we may not see such steps happen until the nearby Fantasyland repaving project, closing off the other main entrance to the land, is completed later in March.
Time stands still in Never Land, and for a good few years the same applied to our dear Château. But as a major refurbishment project approaches, the oversized golden Tinkerbell, which has sat atop the castle’s highest tower since the launch of the 15th Anniversary in April 2007, has finally flown away for good! Originally part of a collection of golden characters, holding between them 15 flickering LED candles, Tinkerbell was kept on after the two anniversary years as part of the unpopular Mickey’s Magical Party overlay. Even as we rejoiced that the castle returned to some normality last year, she hung on; the park still utilising her confetti effect for various shows and events.
It was actually before the 15th Anniversary that many fans began to hope for a refurbishment of the castle. Though the opportunity of that landmark (and each successive festival) passed, it’s now confirmed that this will be the year for a reawakening. Dates were provisionally set for works from October 2010 to July this year, but that has now been pushed back to a March 2011 start with an end sometime in September. No word yet on just how disruptive this refurbishment will be for views of the icon — a scaffolding rig (with a themed overlay) will be likely at some point, but whether it would cover just a potion of the castle at once or the whole thing is unknown.
From afar the castle certainly looks clean and pretty enough, but up close turrets can be seen dirty, roofs discoloured, paint peeling… and many fans wish for a return to its original paintwork, which had an earthier, more historic look, with more shading and a more organic pink colour.
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