Saturday, 27th March 2010

Disney All Stars Express rolls onto the parade route

Though the advertising would suggest you won’t see a moment of the New Gen attractions until 2nd April, as with recent years that’s not quite the case. In fact, from Princess Tiana to Remy, the Showtime Spectacular to this here All Stars Express, the events have been performing in the parks for up to a week now, ready for the press launch today, and will almost seem like old news come next weekend.

Just a couple of weeks after Minnie’s Party Train departed the parade route, the Disney All Stars Express suddenly steamed in, transformed (almost) from top to bottom with the multi-coloured design seen in its concept art and carrying characters such as Remy, Emile and Mr Incredible, previously reserved exclusively for appearances at Walt Disney Studios Park.

Disney All Stars Express

Those nasty spots have finally cleared up to give the old Casey Jr. a clean complexion of white, red, yellow and green, though several elements of the old Mickey’s Magical Party design remain — such as the Mickey emblems on the top of each carriage.

Disney All Stars Express

A collection of flags on the first carriage feature designs and logos from the featured Pixar films, and the “All Stars Express” banner across the front of the train even uses the animation studio’s logo typeface, Charlemagne Bold, with its recognisable not-quite-Serif “X”.

Disney All Stars Express

And then, of course, there’s WALL-E!

Disney All Stars Express

The most anticipated aspect of the redecorated character train since his reveal last month, this marks the first time the character has ever appeared in any Disney parade or event. He’s hardly all-singing, all-dancing: he remains static and silent throughout, but the production quality is top-notch.

Disney All Stars Express

Despite all this Pixar celebration, Disneyland Paris is still keen to emphasise the “Disney” in this New Generation (which is why they insist the event be titled “Disney new generation festival” in all official texts). And so, the final two carriages aren’t all that new at all — the second even keeps its old Minnie Mouse theme! Here you’ll often find more classic characters, such as Pinocchio or Chip and Dale, with the likes of The Incredibles and Ratatouille kept on the first, fully-redecorated carriage.

Disney All Stars Express

To see it in motion, check out these first clips to appear on YouTube:

As you might notice, another aspect of Disney All Stars Express (there’s that “Disney” again) that’s only half-new is the soundtrack. Fans of the now-infamous “Tous en Train” will be glad to hear that the song is still used, albeit in a remixed form, now fading into versions of “It’s a Small World” and “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” to continue the friendship theme we’re seeing.

Again, changed just enough that it can all be called “new” without really any massive change — though certainly preferable to the incessant Minnie Mouse clips played at full volume over the top last year.

Even more photos now, direct from Disneyland Paris, all the new official press shots:

Disney All Stars Express

Disney All Stars Express

Disney All Stars Express

Disney All Stars Express

Disney All Stars Express Disney All Stars Express

Finally, for those with a patchy memory, a look back across the character train eras:

Disney All Stars Express

So there we go. And we’ll see you all here again same time, next year, right? Who knows how many more times we’re going to be re-sold this event as something brand new!

Photos by Photos Magiques.com (more), Videos by cafemickey1, gochaton

Saturday, 20th March 2010

Refurb roundup: Ears gone, banners gone, trees gone?!

Was it all just a bad dream?

The big news of course is that Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant, our beautiful castle, has finally lost its Mickey’s Magical Party overlay. Once again we can enjoy its golden spires and centrepiece window with not a single set of Mickey ears on its magnificent medieval façade.

Disneyland Paris refurbishments

It’s not a complete return to glory, however — look closer and the iconic building is close to worn-out. Its stone features covered in spots of dirt, roof tiles uneven and out of place and two large holes now visible either side of the main window, where the Magical Party centrepiece was fixed in place.

Disneyland Paris refurbishments

Above that, the roof has some light patches, like its paintwork has been scuffed or scratched by something.

Disneyland Paris refurbishments

The balcony to the left still has too few plants draped over it, and let’s not even check elsewhere. Stand on the rear balcony of La Galerie de la Belle au Bois Dormant next time you visit and take a look upwards — this castle needs attention soon. We’ve been saying “before the 15th…”, “before MMP…”, “before the New Generation Festival…” every year now. So… before the 20th Anniversary?

There is also one omission from this decorations cull — Tinkerbell, and her spiralling trail which circles the tallest tower. Originally part of the 15th Anniversary overlay, she held on for Mickey’s Magical Party, continuing to provide confetti blasts from her wand for certain events. Now the lone remnant of these celebrations, she towers over the huge structure like a dainty fairy really ought not to, the confetti pipe looking like some poorly-integrated plumbing for Sleeping Beauty’s new ensuite bathroom.

With the Mickey ears now consigned to history for more than a week, the chances of the same installation crew coming back to pick up this one decoration is beginning to seem unlikely. We’ve heard that even departments within Disneyland Paris don’t know what’s going on with her. Can’t someone step in and scrap the fairy once and for all?

Any Tink supporters should perhaps remember that she’s already present and correct — and much more pleasantly sized — atop the Disneyland Hotel:

Disneyland Paris refurbishments

But for now, back to the positives — and another big one is Main Street also returning (almost) to normal. The refurbishments of the Disney Clothiers, Ltd. and Town Square Photography façades continue, but now there’s something — or several things — missing from the view…

Disneyland Paris refurbishments

No giant lampposts! Without those towering white columns and their enormous, identical banners, Main Street has been opened up. The buildings aren’t hidden away but clear to see and yes, correctly sized. Welcome back to the turn of the 20th Century!

It’d be interesting, in fact, to see if footfall in the various shops might increase with the removal of the banners, which were overpowering enough to just funnel guests straight down the street as quickly as possible, without looking left or right, all building façades hidden until you were stood right up in front of them. Now, that visual interest in every millimetre of the street is visible again, ready to pull guests to one side… and get them to open their wallets.

Another disappearing act has been pulled by the illuminated Mickey’s Magical Party decoration which sat above the side doorway of The Emporium. Before that, we had Lumière bursting out of the building for the 15th Anniversary… so how long until Buzz Lightyear or Slinky Dog shows up for the New Generation?

Disneyland Paris refurbishments

Here again, the removal unfortunately shows up some less-than-perfect paintwork behind.

Disneyland Paris refurbishments

And the removals continue, back into Town Square! Let’s compare this photo, from last Summer:

Disneyland Paris refurbishments

With this view from earlier this week:

Disneyland Paris refurbishments

Besides the elevation, weather and other seasonal changes, can you spot the difference? Yes, the trees on Town Square have magically shrunk! Previously reaching well above the rooftops of The Emporium and Town Square Photography (even from that elevated viewpoint on the railroad station), they now suddenly stand only just as high.

This is about as “Disneyland” an idea as you can get — when the trees get too big for the forced perspective of the buildings around them, replace them! The old maturing trees were removed last week (replanted elsewhere in the resort), leaving Town Square with an odd few days of just temporary grass coverings, to be gradually replaced with these younger, smaller trees.

Disneyland Paris refurbishments

If you’ve followed Disneyland Paris news for many years, you might remember the same happening to all the trees along Main Street itself in the first half of the last decade, when they were again replaced with smaller trees more in line with their quaint (and we have to remember, at the turn of the 20th Century — recently built) surroundings.

At the same time, the first flowers of Spring have arrived!

Disneyland Paris refurbishments

Elsewhere, Pirates of the Caribbean has been closed for the past two weeks for a scheduled refurbishment:

Disneyland Paris refurbishments

Disneyland Paris refurbishments

As always, this also required a closure of the Blue Lagoon Restaurant, but we’re happy to report both attraction and restaurant reopened earlier today.

Finally, ignoring that Castle bridge scaffolding (which should also have come to a close earlier today – check back for updates), we end on a beautiful sight indeed…

Disneyland Paris refurbishments Disneyland Paris refurbishments

Here’s hoping we see the castle back in the “refurb roundup” before too long.

Photos by Dlrpteam for DLRP Today.com

Saturday, 20th March 2010

A Disneyland Paris St Patrick’s Day in pictures

Ireland’s local Disney resort has made it an annual tradition to celebrate this annual tradition every 17th March, beginning a few years ago alongside the St David’s Day events.

St Patrick's Day at Disneyland Paris

Almost as much of a tradition, the “programme” notice board becomes ever more impossible to read…

St Patrick's Day at Disneyland Paris

We can, however, decipher that the Lee-Byrne Academy Dancers have returned to the park for another year, now one of the few entertainment spectacles you can enjoy on Royal Castle Stage:

St Patrick's Day at Disneyland Paris

This event is also unique in its inclusion of Disney characters — namely Chip and Dale — who rarely join visiting groups, for example during the Disney Magic Music Days events at Fantasy Festival Stage.

St Patrick's Day at Disneyland Paris

St Patrick's Day at Disneyland Paris

St Patrick's Day at Disneyland Paris

St Patrick's Day at Disneyland Paris

St Patrick's Day at Disneyland Paris

St Patrick's Day at Disneyland Paris

St Patrick's Day at Disneyland Paris

The Pride of Murray Pipe Band were this year given free reign of Main Street, U.S.A., parading the length of the street with traditional Celtic bagpipes and drums.

St Patrick's Day at Disneyland Paris St Patrick's Day at Disneyland Paris

St Patrick's Day at Disneyland Paris

At 8.30pm, they even helped to close the day with a final, nighttime performance on Central Plaza, leading right into the St Patrick’s Day fireworks at 9pm.

St Patrick's Day at Disneyland Paris

Elsewhere, the Main Street Fire Truck rolled out again with shamrocks replacing its earlier Welsh daffodils and leeks for the pre-parade and Mickey and Minnie donned their green and yellow outfits to meet guests at Town Square and Casey’s Corner.

Photos by Dlrpteam for DLRP Today.com

Thursday, 11th March 2010

New Generation in tasteful park decorations shocker

And the real shocker is, they’re not for the lampposts you might be thinking of.

Yes, unbelievably, these stills from a backstage video looking at the New Generation Festival, beginning 2nd April, show small character placards attached to the regular, human-sized Main Street gas lanterns.

New Generation Festival decorations

Both classic and ‘New Generation’ characters are shown within an ornate frame, integrated into the lamppost with a colourful ribbon, in yellow, green, pink and purple, leading down to a gold ring.

New Generation Festival decorations

This style of decoration, actually integrating things into the original park rather than throwing them on top, is often used at the American and Japanese Disney resorts. Disneyland in California and Florida’s Magic Kingdom in particular have recently had several different styles of gas lantern decorations for their continuous Dreams/Celebrate campaigns.

The only bad thing, perhaps, is that the concept images laid out on the table here also show a rather large New Generation Festival covering on Main Street Station. Well, old habits die hard.

For the past 3 years, we’ve never seen Main Street without those oversized white lampposts which held giant 15th Anniversary banners. Originally designed as LED-lit “chandeliers” for the Christmas season, they were modified for the birthday events in 2007 and have stuck on ever since.

New Generation Festival decorations

Since Main Street is designed using forced perspective tricks, where successive storeys of buildings are sized smaller, these oversized banner poles look completely out of place with the quaint world around them, reaching as high as the street’s (fake) third story with the banners bigger than doorways.

After all 26 towering poles were given identical Mickey’s Magical Party banners in March last year, there was suddenly an overnight cull as all but 8 were removed, opening up Main Street. If the rather more subtle decorations in these screenshots make it to the final cut, the giant white lampposts should be gone for good, if they aren’t already…

There’s been no time wasted in removing the decorations from Sleeping Beauty Castle this week as Mickey’s Magical Party came to an end. Twitter and magicforum user ElenaSearle posted two pictures a lot of people have waited months (or perhaps, with the 15th decorations, years) to see. The first, posted yesterday, shows the main ‘MMP’ emblem removed:

New Generation Festival decorations

Whilst the second shows the remainder of the twisted Mickey-shaped spires removed and replaced with the gold leaf originals:

New Generation Festival decorations

If there’s one good thing to come of this, it’s that we’re reminded all over again just how beautiful this castle really is. Now all that remains is for oversized Tinkerbell fly, fly away, as well…

Video stills © Disney. Photos by ElenaSearle. With thanks to magicforum, Photos Magiques.

Thursday, 4th March 2010

Refurb roundup: Town Square Photography shies away

As you enter Disneyland Park right now, the view along Main Street USA is a scene of change — the banners and castle decorations of Mickey’s Magical Party finally in their last days after a year of ruining photos, and there on the right, two buildings enjoying a full refurbishment.

Disneyland Paris refurbishments

The first to be wrapped in scaffolding was Disney Clothiers, Ltd. back in mid-February. Since then, the white tarpaulin covering has been given a very smart dressing-up to resemble the hidden façade itself, on all three sides.

Disneyland Paris refurbishments

This has become a trend for all Main Street refurbishments in recent years and is a real sign of Disney-quality operations alive and well. The covered Disney Clothiers has even had its entrance widened to full width and false windows put in either side of the scaffolding!

Disneyland Paris refurbishments Disneyland Paris refurbishments

Backing up a little, the big news on the street is Town Square Photography being given the exact same treatment. The famous Kodak-sponsored photography store is currently hidden behind a refurbishment covering for much of its exterior — only the blue “photographic studio” section next to Discovery Arcade on the left remains uncovered.

Disneyland Paris refurbishments

Disneyland Paris refurbishments

This is noticeably more ramshackle in appearance than the slick refurb covering next door, but it’s likely we’ll soon be seeing a similar fake Town Square Photography façade unravelled soon enough.

Disneyland Paris refurbishments

Disneyland Paris refurbishments

With no flowers yet in bloom, there are still plenty of changes yet to come for Main Street before the “New Generation” lands… as always, March is going to be a busy month.

Over at Peter Pan’s Flight, the work has been and gone. The ride re-opened from a regular refurbishment in the first week of February:

Disneyland Paris refurbishments

Disneyland Paris refurbishments

Changes outside don’t appear to have stretched above ground level this time, though the refurbishment did see all the queue line walls and barriers repainted in their original light green. Inside, all effects and lighting were fully freshened-up.

Disneyland Paris refurbishments

Disneyland Paris refurbishments

Over in Adventureland, a project begun last year has finally restarted — replacing the rough jungle terrain in numerous parts of the land. In recent years, the concrete paths have become almost as perilous as tackling the suspension bridge with a gang of schoolchildren, littered with holes and cracks…

Disneyland Paris refurbishments

Last year large areas of Discoveryland’s floor were replaced, including around Star Tours and entire area between Space Mountain and Orbitron. Some work was done here in Adventureland, near the Frontierland border, and it appears an even larger job is now ongoing, resurfacing the area front of Restaurant Hakuna Matata and therefore closing this important thoroughfare to Adventureland Bazaar.

Hopefully the area you see above, outside the fences, along with countless other places around the resort will be given the same treatment — this needs to be a rolling project given the state of many pathways.

Disneyland Paris refurbishments

Since the entire path here is closed, so too is Restaurant Hakuna Matata itself (not a rare event, in truth), with signs pointing across to Au Chalet de la Marionnette in Fantasyland — although you might just be better doing a u-turn and going to Colonel Hathi’s Pizza Outpost, unless that’s also closed…

And finally, the date many people have been waiting for: Friday, 19th March 2010. That’s the date when the Castle bridge refurbishment is scheduled to end, finally reopening the main route into the front of the Castle after a major two-month project to partly rebuild and rewire it. It’ll miss St Patrick’s Day, but still — only two weeks to go…

Now an annual tradition in this era of theme years, March is when everything changes.

Photos by Dlrpteam for DLRP Today.com

Tuesday, 2nd March 2010

Main Street’s Springtime windows span generations

Following last year’s rustic, Spring countryside theme, the refreshed shop windows for Spring 2010 explore knowledge and culture from across the generations, with a heavy foothold in French history.

From Donald and Daisy at a Versailles masquerade ball alongside Princess Tiana to Remy exploring haute cuisine and Mickey and Minnie playing at La Princess et le Troubador, the windows mix new generation characters like Mike Wazowski and The Incredibles into historic themes of Renaissance to show that things are constantly evolving, even on the frozen-in-time cobbles of Main Street USA…

Main Street shop windows Main Street shop windows

Main Street shop windows Main Street shop windows

Main Street shop windows Main Street shop windows

Main Street shop windows

Main Street shop windows

Photos by Dlrpteam for DLRP Today.

Tuesday, 16th February 2010

Refurb roundup: Disney Clothiers wrapped up

Starting on Main Street, U.S.A., Photos Magiques were keen-eyed enough to spot the disappearance of the balcony railing around the top of Disney Clothiers, Ltd. in their latest update:

Disneyland Park Refurbishments

Just a week later, and the building is fully encased in scaffolding and tarpaulin wraps for a complete exterior refurbishment:

Disneyland Park Refurbishments

Disneyland Park Refurbishments

Disneyland Park Refurbishments

Access to the boutique is still available through gaps in the construction walls below and from Main Street Motors and Boardwalk Candy Palace either side.

At the end of Main Street, the big project of the moment is hard to miss:

Disneyland Park Refurbishments

While the stone (or rather, concrete) bridge across to Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant continues its extensive reconstruction, the giant waterfall (Fungus Falls) and the waterways surrounding it have been turned off and, on the left of the moat area, had their perimeter dug up.

Disneyland Park Refurbishments

Disneyland Park Refurbishments

Taking a peek through the construction walls, the following photo appears to show the first section of the bridge’s walls have now been completely removed, matching reports that the bridge would be partly rebuilt. Previously, they lined up perfectly with the end of the green railings, curving up to the bridge itself. Now, nothing but a gap…

Disneyland Park Refurbishments

Since postings on various forums suggest some visitors have been told the Castle is “closed” it’s worth stating again that it most certainly isn’t. Following the smart “By Royal Decree” signs on the construction walls, you can still access the inside of Sleeping Beauty Castle, its two boutiques and first-floor gallery.

Disneyland Park Refurbishments Disneyland Park Refurbishments

A great (and equally spectacular) way to enter the Castle during the work its via the Dragon’s lair to the left of the bridge — spot the path leading to it in the very first photo above.

Heading across to the Studios, it’s been some time since the repaint of the Walt Disney Television Studios building finally finished up, massively improving the building’s look…

Walt Disney Studios Park Refurbishments

Though all this time later, the ‘Walt Disney Television Studios’ lettering which used to span the front canopy has yet to reappear. And who can fail to notice, the colourful Art Deco/Streamline Moderne satellite dish mural on the building’s corner was hastily painted right over with a solid teal…

Walt Disney Studios Park Refurbishments

Unfortunately the same impulsive attitude hasn’t yet been applied to Disney Studio 1, which remains covered by scaffolding around 583 days since the refurbishment covering was put up and approximately 1656 days since that first Chicken Little billboard rose up in 2005.

Pictures by Dlrpteam, Photos Magiques (more) and DLRP Today.

Tuesday, 10th November 2009

Thierry Marx whips up first batch of sweet treats

Unless you’re about to visit the resort and pick up some of these for real (for €7 at any of the parks’ Christmas market villages), you’ll have to make do with some photos.

And, since you’ll likely just be drooling and/or ordering a larger pair of jeans whilst feasting your eyes on these, we’ll let the pictures — and Thierry Marx — do the talking…

Thierry Marx whips up first batch of sweet treats

His presentation on Main Street explained the concept and the manufacturing process to the press, but where did it all begin? With a little inspiration — from the tried and true sweet traditions already at Disneyland Park

Thierry Marx whips up first batch of sweet treats

Then, it was into the kitchen!

Thierry Marx whips up first batch of sweet treats Thierry Marx whips up first batch of sweet treats

Thierry Marx whips up first batch of sweet treats Thierry Marx whips up first batch of sweet treats

Thierry Marx whips up first batch of sweet treats

Thierry Marx whips up first batch of sweet treats

What attracted you to this new project?

Thierry Marx: “Those childhood memories, that have resurfaced in me, with much pleasure and wonder. For me, arriving at Disneyland Paris, it’s held completely in its own space and time. It’s a break from the daily grind, a real journey for the senses, without any interruption. Anything is possible, everyone can descend into their thoughts and dreams, something very precious.”

Is Disneyland a different world for you?

Thierry Marx: “On the contrary, this experience matched my philosophy. Like Disney, I do not like seeing conflict between tradition and innovation. The establishment can continue to do things. The pleasure of my work lies in the possibility of being at the forefront of innovation, while preserving the French culinary heritage.”

What most inspired you in the world of Disneyland Paris?

Thierry Marx: “The magic, the indulgent pleasure of just enjoying being together in a different world. I’ve always remembered the opening day of Disneyland Paris well. It represents for me the perfect place to recharge your inner childhood batteries. All the worlds intersect… Space Mountain in Discoveryland makes me dream of what I read in the stories of Jules Verne but Disneyland is also fairy tales, Mickey and your earliest childhood.”

How is this experience a reflection of your gastronomic practice?

Thierry Marx: “I want to make the dream. Everyone can share a real culinary experience with this outdoor vending “street food”, even if it is not obvious today. There is a real chance to share in dreams from the kitchen and instigate interaction between people. Best of all: it’s an international principle, there’s no language barrier.”

Thierry Marx whips up first batch of sweet treats

Thierry Marx whips up first batch of sweet treats

Thierry Marx whips up first batch of sweet treats

Thierry Marx whips up first batch of sweet treats

Towards the end, Mickey Mouse showed up in his full chefs’ gear, taking all the glory with the final dipping and dusting-off of the finished foods.

Thierry Marx whips up first batch of sweet treats

Thierry Marx whips up first batch of sweet treats

Job done!

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, 18th October 2009

Contactless payments trial now at resort locations

This “Paiements sans Contact” initiative was first announced back in July and began right on schedule on 3rd October.

How does it work? Unfortunately, it won’t work at all for most of us yet. Although most of us have seen the waterslide advert for Barclaycard’s system, the technology now at Disneyland Paris is currently only open to users who have a (French) bank account with CIC or Crédit Mutuel (who just recently actually became a new official partner of the resort), and have already signed up to a trial of those banks’ early contactless payment schemes.

If you’re lucky enough to qualify for all of that, your new credit card contains a special chip that can be read without contact when lightly touched or flashed across one of the new devices, first caught on camera by Scrooge at Disney Magic Interactive in Walt Disney Studios Store:

Contactless payments trial now at resort locations

This allows users to pay for their Disney shopping — or even better, food — in a second. No fumbling with Euro cent coins, no waiting behind someone as they try every combination of four digits possible. Contactless cards allow instant payments up to a certain, safe amount. Just imagine the effect that could have within a few years on those ugly counter service queues.

You’ll find the trial machines now at the following locations:

Casey’s Corner (Disneyland Park)
Café Hyperion (Disneyland Park)
Chalet de la Marionette (Disneyland Park)
Disney Blockbuster Café (Walt Disney Studios Park)
Club House Grill (Golf Disneyland)

Walt Disney Studios Store (Walt Disney Studios Park)
Goofy’s Pro Shop (Golf Disneyland)

Not that such an innovation needs a carrot to quash any possible stick, but Disneyland Paris are also offering trial users of the scheme an incredibly generous 25% discount at boutiques and 20% discount at restaurants!

Oh, but one more condition of the test — you need an Annual Passport, too.

Phew, we don’t see the man on the waterslide going through all this… but it’s definitely something to watch for the future. Find out all the official information (in French) right here.

Photo: Scrooge.

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