Thursday, 19th February 2009

Lampposts of Main Street prepare to Party

Will Disneyland Park be decorated for Mickey’s Magical Party? You bet it will. Though perhaps not as strongly as for the 15th Anniversary, you can expect to spot the year-long celebration even when none of its three Disneyland Park events are happening.

The first item on the (small, it should be said) list of decorations is a new look for Main Street’s “seasonal” giant white lampposts. “Seasonal” because they were first introduced as the Princess chandeliers for Christmas 2005, before being converted to hold the large, blue, LED-encrusted Lumière banners we’ve enjoyed for two whole years of the 15th Anniversary

Main Street USA decorations

…And the resort’s Entertainment department doesn’t plan on retiring them any time soon.

From late next month, expect to see Main Street, U.S.A. lined by lampposts transformed into a whole new style, covered with bright, multi-coloured streamers (similar to those seen at the American parks), topped with yellow “Mickey Mouse” shapes and holding blue circles showing an image of not only Mickey, but Donald, Goofy and Pluto too.

Retlaw on Disney Central Plaza forum managed to capture the first photo of the first “test” lamppost to be converted, hiding behind a backstage hedge:

Main Street USA decorations

The design is… eclectic, shall we say, and certainly far more modern than the classically-styled 15th Anniversary banners. The bright mixture of colours and the overall design of the streamers wrapped around the white poles closely resembles designs seen at the entrances of Disneyland in California and Magic Kingdom in Florida for their various celebrations over recent years, a sign that perhaps Paris has been swayed into following suit (by a “suit”) — or that our resort’s Entertainment team merely saw and liked the design.

As DLRP Times blog reported in January, the old 15th Anniversary banners have already all but disappeared:

Main Street USA decorations

If you’d been planning to join the advertised “finale” of the 15th Anniversary this Winter, you’d miss both the regular Candleabration and the beautiful illuminated decorations.

With all the lampposts now backstage being prepared for the Party, it’s a chance to enjoy a brief spell of Main Street, U.S.A. as it was originally designed by the Imagineers (remember them?). Expect the bright colours of the party to begin arriving in the second half of March, ready for the 28th March 2009 press events.

Photos as credited.

Tuesday, 17th February 2009

Widening the Party escape routes

Has someone at Disneyland Resort Paris been reading the several less-than-optimistic murmurings about the upcoming Mickey’s Magical Party online? It looks like they’re bolstering the escape routes in anticipation…

No no, of course not. This past weekend, more construction walls arrived around Central Plaza to close off two secondary paths which lead to Frontierland and Discoveryland avoiding the main hub. You might have used them to leave quickly on a Summer evening, or to rush to your first attraction in the morning — you can spot them on our Main Street, U.S.A. map, and they’re one of the unique features of Paris’ hub.

Central Plaza path widening
View by Casey’s Corner

Not so much accepting that downbeat fans will want to skip the Party then, more accepting (again) that Central Plaza was never built to handle these large, popular shows at its core.

For Candleabration, such a huge gathering of guests blocking all routes into the park is usually fine, since there’s only one show a day and it happens just before everyone leaves.

Central Plaza path widening
View by Frontierland entrance

But think about the new show — It’s Party Time… with Mickey and Friends. Up to five performances a day, all the popular characters — perhaps even (if we’re lucky), the main core of the Plaza (its raised curb/sidewalk area) being closed completely to guests, allowing everyone an even view.

There’s going to be an awful lot of people crowding the foot of Main Street, U.S.A., meaning those who’ve already seen the show, or don’t want to see it, will have to all squeeze down these extra routes.

Central Plaza path widening
View by Plaza Gardens/Tips Board

The only thing known about this work is that it will “widen” the paths. Concerns about the lack of space for popular shows here was only raised as recently as this Christmas, when, for safety reasons, the park’s record attendance meant that none of the scheduled performances of Enchanted Candleabration were advertised on the park programme, in case such a large volume of people appeared that all walkways were blocked.

Photos by Scrooge, Disney Magic Interactive forum.

Saturday, 14th February 2009

Lion King GONE, Tarzan Encounter CANCELLED!

It emerged last year that The Legend of the Lion King at Videopolis Theatre could be heading into the park’s entertainment archive perhaps sooner than we expected. And so it did — for now, at least — going on what the American Disney Parks often call “hiatus” since 4th January 2009.

Just this week, however, there are suggestions from some — apparently including the African Tam Tam players, who now have the stage all to themselves this Winter — that the show will return, as a high season-only affair, possibly from as early as May onwards.

Another, arguably even more popular large-scale entertainment production hasn’t been so lucky. It has now been confirmed that The Tarzan Encounter will NOT return to The Chaparral Theater in Frontierland this year at all. The entire production has been cancelled just this week, and the show will not see its tenth season play out in 2009 as planned.

The Tarzan Encounter CANCELLED

The Tarzan Encounter has remained the most popular live stage show at the resort, possibly only beaten by its snowy cousin Mickey’s Winter Wonderland, which continues to play until March, performing to a huge audience of 1,350 guests in the resort’s second-largest park show space after the Moteurs… Action! arena (capacity 3,000).

So, whilst The Legend of the Lion King has been suspended mostly due to the very limited capacity of Videopolis’ theatre seating not making budgetary sense for the entertainment department to continue running the expensive show 5 days a week for just a few hundred guests, why cancel a second show, for an entire year?

If we’re to believe the latest information from posted online, the entertainment department had a decision to make — a very last-minute one, apparently. The Mickey’s Magical Party event It’s Dance Time… in Discoveryland was originally only due to be performed on five days each week. By cancelling The Tarzan Encounter, it can now be a full 7-days-a-week production.

A strange decision, if true, since the cost of running Tarzan versus two extra days of DJ Stitch must be slightly imbalanced — not to mention it being unlikely that that same 1,350 people who could see each Chaparral Theater show will be able to crowd around the outdoor location of the dance-along in the streets of Discoveryland…

It’s a bad announcement for many fans, then, but not necessarily for those still holding out hopes that a water-based attraction along the lines of Splash Mountain could one day arrive at the back of Frontierland as originally planned. Rumour has it this cancellation will also allow preparatory work for a new attraction where The Chapparal Theater currently stands.

Though yes, true, we’ve had such unlikely things happening as a jungle ape-man on-stage in an American Old West setting, Euro Disney SCA going ahead with a hugely expensive new attraction in Frontierland would be pushing the believability scale a little too far for now… wouldn’t it?

Friday, 13th February 2009

Mickey Star TV tie-in reveals promos, full remix

Disneyland Resort Paris have long looked to main French TV network TF1 for television promotion when it comes to new attractions or events, and Mickey’s Magical Party will be no different. In fact, they’re due to launch one of their most substantial tie-ins to date: a special dance contest for children aged 5-10, in the same vein as the telephone-voting talent contests which seem to have taken over almost every nation on the planet.

Mickey Star

In France, the two biggest shows of this kind are Nouvelle Star and Star Academy, so what to call Mickey’s own version? Mickey Star, bien sûr!

Mickey Star

The show’s casting website has already gone live at www.castingmickeystar.fr, which actually redirects straight to www.mickeymagicalyear.com/mickeystar/, also confirming the web address of the upcoming mini-site of the actual celebration.

Mickey Star

Star Acamedy‘s own Nikos Aliagas will present the broadcast, which, from 6th to 18th February, is accepting video uploads of children aged 5 to 10 dancing to a song of their choice for one minute.

Mickey Star

Then, from 19th February, a jury of professionals at Disneyland Resort Paris will pick the best of the entrants, who will be invited to the resort on 21st or 22nd February (yes, it’s all happening very fast) to join the final auditions.

Mickey Star

And what does the young winner receive? Why, the chance to dance live on that new Central Plaza Stage alongside Mickey, to launch the entire Mickey’s Magical Party celebration to millions of viewers on TF1 on 29th March 2009!

The first short trailers for the new tie-in have appeared on TF1 this week:

Things will actually play out a little differently to the schedule mentioned earlier, with TF1 viewers seeing adverts to check out the final auditions at the website from 8th to 19th March, with the final result announced on 20th March.

Then, from 21st March, viewers will see advertisements for the big event and the final winner’s moment of magic will come in a special extended advertisement on 29th March 2009 just before the 8pm news. The entire thing, really, is merely a series of special advertisements, with most the action being broadcast instead online.

Mickey Star

According to the official website, though, Nikos will be on the judging panel alongside not only Mickey but Stitch and Donald Duck. Listen closely — well, perhaps you won’t have to listen too close — and you’ll hear something special in the background too: the full version of the “It’s Party Time” dance remix, all 6 minutes of this controversial, noisy, europop mash-up of the actual, really very different theme song of the year.

If you’d like to listen away from the Mickey Star website — though judging by several readers’ comments we’re not sure if you’ll appreciate knowing — you can also listen on Vasile Sirli‘s very own MySpace page. The resort’s musical director also has a few more, rather more — dare we say — “listenable” tracks on there from his archive, too.

Video uploaded by newsdlrp.

Thursday, 5th February 2009

Mickey’s Magical Party preview video… with music!

The special video sees Mickey Mouse rushing from corner to corner all over the resort, meeting up with other characters who are shown to be preparing their entertainments for the upcoming Magical Party.

Several of the scenes were obviously filmed at the same time as some of the still photo shoots we’ve been seeing this past week, but — along with giving a first look at the Stars ‘n’ Cars vehicles as they’ll appear in Paris — there is one huge, enormous spoiler in here… the music!

We posted the lyrics just yesterday and only introduced the concept of this new song — “It’s Mickey’s Magical Party Time” — just last week, but already, here it is! Well, almost… as you might guess from the synthesised opening, this is actually a special remix of the song. Far more “dance” flavoured than the true number, and in fact likely to be the version heard during It’s Dance Time… in Discoveryland.

Here’s the video:

And a series of stills:

Mickey's Magical Party preview video
Mickey rises bright and early to begin another day of hard work…

Mickey's Magical Party preview video
Another close-up of the Minnie’s Party Train concepts — note that the third carriage will be different again from both the first and second.

Mickey's Magical Party preview video
Mickey arrives in the Stars ‘n’ Cars garage to surprise Goofy

Mickey's Magical Party preview video
Mushu steals the show in Mulan’s car

Mickey's Magical Party preview video
Characters polish up their cars

Mickey's Magical Party preview video
Mickey peers through a curtain to see Playhouse Disney — via greenscreen!

Mickey's Magical Party preview video
In the Radio Disney studios, Stitch prepares his beats to some wild camera work

Mickey's Magical Party preview video
The characters rehearse their moves for “It’s Party Time… with Mickey and Friends” backstage — with the show’s additional stars from The Jungle Book and The Lion King

Mickey's Magical Party preview video
Mickey emerges from the baloons…

Mickey's Magical Party preview video
That’s Mickey’s Magical Party!

As for the “It’s Party Time!” song, hearing a slightly wacky dance remix before the real thing maybe isn’t the best way to be introduced to the new theme music of the year, but what do you think so far? Is this another Disneyland Resort Paris song destined to stay with you almost every hour of the day?

Wednesday, 4th February 2009

Lyrics of new “Party Time” theme song revealed

The song, of course, is for Mickey’s Magical Party and will therefore unsurprisingly be titled “It’s Party Time!”, with the actual chorus proclaiming “It’s Mickey’s Magical Time!”.

Beginning with a lone chorus singing out “It’s Mickey’s Magical Time… Everybody’s ready it’s time to play”, the song builds through a quick jazzy brass intro before launching into the first verse with drums, heavy guitars and some very pacey vocals from both a male and female lead. The brass element returns several times, but the overall feel is very much a progression of the modern pop/rock touched upon with Just Like We Dreamed It“.

Unusually, the full lyrics are already out!

It’s Party Time

It’s Mickey’s Magical Party Time,
Everybody’s ready it’s time plaaayyyyy……

(Its time to party, come have a party, ohh yea, you know its party time)

Verse 1:
Welcome everybody, let the fun being
(Oh oh it’s party time)

A Disney celebration with all of our friends!
(You know its party time)

Young, Brand New – we’re so glad that you’re here!
(Oh oh it’s party time)

It’s a magical invitation to the party of the year
(You know its party time)

With Disney magic excitement grows, Grab a balloon – come on lets go……

Chorus:
It’s Mickey’s Magical Party Time,
Everybody’s ready it’s time to play…

At Mickey’s Magical Party Time, yea yea
The party of the year, and it’s happening here!

It’s Mickey’s Magical Party Time,
We’ll let the music out load – dancing with the crowd!

At Mickey’s Magical Party Time, hey hey!

(Its party time, its party time, if you wanna party, you know its party time!)

Verse 2:
Kiddies, right we’re coming, it’s getting a little wild!
(Oh oh it’s party time)

Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and every child.
(You know its party time)

Lint, then needles with ribbons and bows!
(Oh oh it’s party time)

Lets decorate to celebrate with everyone we know
(You know its party time)

With Disney magic excitement grows….
Everybody Grab a balloon – come on lets go……!!!

Chorus:
It’s Mickey’s Magical Party Time,
Everybody’s ready it’s time to play…

At Mickey’s Magical Party Time, yea yea
The party of the year, and it’s happening here!

It’s Mickey’s Magical Party Time,
We’ll let the music out loud – dancing with the crowd!

At Mickey’s Magical Party Time, hey hey!

Verse 3:
We’re dancing in the street to a party-time beat –
lets shoot for the stars that’s what you will do…

We’re dancing in the street to party-time beat – everybody let loose!

People from all around the world – have come from far and near!

Everybody clap, everybody cheer – the party of the year and it’s happening here!!

Chorus:
It’s Mickey’s Magical Party Time,
Everybody’s ready it’s time to play…

At Mickey’s Magical Party Time, yea yea
The party of the year, and it’s happening here!

It’s Mickey’s Magical Party Time,
We’ll let the music out loud – dancing with the crowd!

At Mickey’s Magical Party Time, hey hey!
We’ll let the music out loud – dancing with the crowd!

Mickey’s Magical Party Time, yea yea
The party of the year, and it’s happening here!

At Mickey’s Magical Party Time, hey hey!
Everybody’s let loose

(Party time, oh yea, its Mickey’s magical party, yea, party time, yea yea)

ITS PARTY TIME!!

Though very much a generic “event” tune, the lyrics do make reference to several of the key Mickey’s Magical Party emblems, such as “Grab a balloon — come on let’s go…”. The full details of where and when during the celebration it’ll actually appear has yet to be confirmed, but we can certainly count on it being used for It’s Party Time… with Mickey and Friends and It’s Dance Time… in Discoveryland, if not Minnie’s Party Train too.

As mentioned previously, the song is produced by Scott Erickson, who worked on a variety of direct-to-video releases such as Mickey-Donald-Goofy in The Three Musketeers, Bambi II and Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch.

Finally — yes, the song will be catchy. Very catchy. In fact, from April 4th, be very prepared to have nothing but “It’s Mickey’s magical party time” ringing through your head, until May at the earliest…

With many thanks to Poppy the Monkey for the lyrics.

Monday, 2nd February 2009

New Central Plaza stage shoots up …literally?

With Candleabration‘s last show on its now seemingly quite dull, circular stage still fresh in the mind, the pace of construction for a brand new stage on the same spot is certainly surprising.

Even more surprising, though, is that guests are no longer greeted by a wall of green construction fences at the end of Main Street, but a pleasant, colourful teaser for Mickey’s Magical Party filling the entire perimeter of the construction area…

Central Plaza Stage construction

The walls, decorated with a new mural of the Disney VIPs in CGI style dancing amongst balloons, have messages popping out of envelopes which read rather placidly: “A big party is being prepared. All my friends will be ready to celebrate Mickey’s Magical Party …rendez-vous on 4th April 2009! -Mickey”.

Central Plaza Stage construction Central Plaza Stage construction

And so, to the construction itself — the choice spot of viewing being the Castle drawbridge. The steel frame for the main body of the stage has already progressed well and already appears far larger than its predecessor, filling a greater area of the Central Plaza hub.

Central Plaza Stage construction

White tarpaulins currently cover the areas where the four “satellite” stages will connect onto the body, which also already features a noticeable feature from the concept illustrations and visuals we’ve seen so far — a circular, raised section at its middle.

What? That doesn’t excite you? Well, if you can bear to be let in on quite a large spoiler for the show to come, some posts from our friends on magicforum reveal a surprising secret about that circular black device in the centre…

As admin Kristof writes, “Mickey will magically appear and disappear through the use of a lift amid a cloud of streamers and confetti.”

Now, there’s a party trick to look forward to!

It has also been confirmed that the new show will be performed five times daily.

Photos from the latest Photos Magiques trip report, here!

Monday, 2nd February 2009

Party? Fête? Festa? Choisissez votre langue…

It’s often said that one of the best things about Disneyland is that it means something different to everybody who visits. At Disneyland Resort Paris, with its countless languages coming together in one place and all their required translations, that’s quite literally the case.

Unlike the 15th Anniversary, which could be communicated in all the required languages simply by placing a “15” next to the resort’s logo, explaining Mickey’s Magical Party in different languages requires a little more effort, and a little more translation.

In fact, English speakers will be the only ones to hear about the event under that name in their advertising and communications. For the other five key languages of the resort, every single one has its own, entirely different, translation.

Let’s take a look…

French: La Fête Magique de Mickey

As usual, inverts the title and stays away from the possessive apostrophe…

La Fête Magique de Mickey

Spanish: El Año de Mickey

Literally meaning “The Year of Mickey”, which was in fact the working title for the event in English, too…

El Año de Mickey

Dutch: Mickey’s Magische Jaar

Again, preferring to push “year” over “party”…

Mickey's Magische Jaar

German: Micky’s Fantastisches Fest

Whilst Germany sits better with some alliteration…

Micky's Fantastisches Fest

Italian: Il Magico Anno di Topolino

And Italy is still the only one of these languages to have an entirely different name for Mickey: Topolino…

Il Magico Anno di Topolino

We promised two new languages, and here they are! The amount of press and advertising visuals for the new event already far outweighs the number created even for the 15th Anniversary, and now to truly prove that all bases are being covered, we have the resort’s very first logos in two extra European languages — Portugese and Greek…

Portugese: A Festa do Mickey

A Festa do Mickey

Greek: To Mayikó Πápti tou Míku

To Mayikó ?ápti tou Míku

It remains to be seen if these two new logos will be followed up by any other communications in these extra languages, such as websites or park guide maps.

But, for now, that concludes our little continental tour. Who knew an obsession with an American theme park could teach you so much about European languages..?

All logos © Disney.

Sunday, 1st February 2009

Magical Party advertising starts at home

Following on the welcome trend begun with Crush’s Coaster and Cars Race Rally to use the resort’s main parking lot and its moving walkways to push the events or attractions you should return for soon, Mickey’s Magical Party began taking over the area late in December.

First, with banners and placards above the walkways:

Mickey's Magical Party advertising
Photo: Scrooge, Disney Magic Interactive

With a second style for the smaller spaces:

Mickey's Magical Party advertising
Photo: Mouetto, Disney Central Plaza

Then, with posters filling all the display cases along the route back to the car parks:

Mickey's Magical Party advertising
Photo: Scrooge, Disney Magic Interactive

Of course, if you’d like to start the advertising in your real home, you can do that too! The new Spring/Summer 2009 brochure is available now online to order or download, and has been taken over almost entirely by previews for the upcoming celebration year:

Mickey's Magical Party brochure

Mickey's Magical Party brochure

The general style and layout remains faithful to that set up for the 15th Anniversary brochures, merely redecorated with these new brighter colours. The back cover even reuses the same tagline — “The only one missing is you!”.

Like much of what we’ve seen of the party so far, the general idea seems to be “if it ‘aint broke, don’t fix it” — just make it brighter!

Photos as credited; brochure images © Disney.

Wednesday, 28th January 2009

Buffalo Bill recruits Mickey Mouse for Wild West Show!

Check your calendar, it’s not April 1st. Yet DLRP Today can this morning confirm that Mickey Mouse will be given a starring role in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.

In fact, this news broke online just yesterday evening, only hours after it was announced to Cast Members and the resort’s sales offices. But we can go a little better than that…

Want to *see* Mickey Mouse in his new Western role?

Hold onto your hats and glasses!

Mickey in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show

Mickey Mouse stands proudly in the spotlight in these brand new images released today, with Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley and Sitting Bull behind.

Mickey in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show

So, will we be seeing “Mickey’s Wild West Show” in the not-too-distant future? Absolutely not! This is still Buffalo Bill’s classic event, simply reworked with the addition of the Mouse to give the show a wider appeal amongst Disneyland Resort Paris guests and make it more pleasing to families who might otherwise not see much reason to cough up the high dinner price.

OK, sure, this may not come as the best news to those die-hard fans of the resort’s Old West experiences — particularly just days after Buffalo Trading Co. next door closed. But, with the show now reaching 17 years old and guest satisfaction levels said to be sliding somewhat, it looks set to be a modest change that will at least allow Buffalo Bill to keep the Wild West Show playing.

Mickey in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show

And when can Old West diners expect to see a mouse roll out into the buffalo ring? No date has been set — indeed, no official text of any kind accompanies these images just yet — but the change is said to be happening around the same time that Mickey’s Magical Party launches, the weekend of 4th April 2009, which would helpfully allow for a wider relaunch of the show generally.

Then, who knows what we’ll get to experience… the West being won by a Mouse?

You saw it here first, folks!

Visuals © Disney.

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