Whilst the invited travel partner guests enjoyed the plentiful previews of Mickey’s Magical Party inside the convention centre of Disney’s Hotel New York, another surprise preview was waiting outside — two of the actual cars from Disney’s Stars ‘n’ Cars!
Parked in the entrance bay first was Donald Duck’s classic green car, the former Muppets vehicle now transformed into the parade’s opening number, complete with a giant “Disney’s Stars ‘n’ Cars” clapperboard, an old-fashioned film camera and lots of new props stashed messily all over the body…
Donald and Daisy Duck will break convention to open the cavalcade, the second vehicle previewed was that of some characters we’ve not seen much of at all since the 2001 finish of their Videopolis show… Mulan, and Mushu…
Unlike the reworked vehicle for the ducks, this one comes pretty much complete from Florida — though at least here in the entrance bay of Hotel New York is missing a few important details: the large Chinese umbrella/parasol canopy and its adjoining hanging lanterns (as seen here)…
The previews didn’t end with these two cars (there will be 11 in the final line-up), however. Inside the convention hall, the presentations included a “fashion show” of past creations by the resort’s costuming department… with the grand finale being the reveal of Mickey and Donald’s brand new costumes for their Disney’s Stars ‘n’ Cars appearance!
Unlike in Florida, where he wore a black tuxedo dinner jacket, Mickey will wear a brighter white and gold jacket in Paris, whilst Donald has assumed responsibilities as the director of the piece, and is dressed accordingly in 1930s style.
Meanwhile, here online we’ve had a few revelations for ourselves. First, member Bechamel on Disney Central Plaza forum posted a confirmed final list of the stars taking part which confirms that Gaston, Cruella and the Evil Queen from Snow White will be the characters chosen to represent the Disney Villains, that Sulley will appear alone on the Monsters, Inc. car, without Mike, and that Snow White will only be joined by the most popular of the seven dwarfs, Dopey, for the event.
Rather than Woody and Buzz on the Toy Story car, in Paris we’ll see Woody and Jessie. And, since Mickey and Minnie will occupy the final car alone and Donald and Daisy now have their own, Goofy will join the cavalcade as an extra along the way.
Also now confirmed is the actual performance routine of this “cavalcade event”. In her interview with Jérémie Noyer, creative direct Kat de Blois stated:
“Originally, it was a classical Disney parade with dancers and cars. We started from the cars of that concept and then we thought about the way we could produce that kind of show in France. Knowing it’s about cars, meaning vehicles that are closer to the ground than classical parade floats, we felt concerned about their visibility. That’s why we made it a “cavalcade”, a motorcade, and not a parade; a big arrival of stars, the Hollywood way!
“The cars come along and gather at Place des Stars in Production Courtyard. The Characters step out, jump onto the stage for a production number and then go to join the guests for a meet and greet moment. You’ll see Mickey with his megaphone directing the shooting, with no need for words or language to understand the message. So, we imported elements from the States, but we created our own concept, very visual, very musical, to fit our very international audiences.”
So indeed, Disney’s Stars ‘n’ Cars won’t be a parade… it’ll be a cavalcade, then a production number on-stage, then a meet ‘n’ greet!
The directors in Paris have combined the three most popular Disney entertainment styles into a single event. Come the event’s premiere, we’ll therefore see all the vehicles enter the park from a single (currently unconfirmed) location — not from two as previously proposed — and drive across to the Place des Stars Stage. The cars will park up around the stage, the characters climb down and present a short musical dance number on the stage, before dispersing to meet and greet their fans.
Whilst the original parade in Florida sought to bring the feeling of a Hollywood premiere cavalcade to life, in Paris they’re also going for the gala opening ceremony and the red carpet autograph signings. And already, the Place des Stars Stage has been given a brand new backdrop for the occasion:
Finally, head over to Vasile Sirli’s MySpace page to hear a little excerpt from some of the parade’s music, which brings together not only several classic themes from most the films featured but many old tracks from the resort’s music archive and musical theatre songs such as “Dames” from 42nd Street.
And when can we get our first glimpse at all this happening? Now! Tonight!
Two preview nights are happening today, Monday, 9th March 2009, and tomorrow, Tuesday, 10th March 2009, with the full show being presented for the first time — and for regular park guests, no less — from 6.30pm, half an hour before park closing. This late performance time might not be an irregularity, either — park sources suggest the final event will always happen just before park closing each night, as a finale to guests’ day.
So if you’re nearby, try to get to the park. Guests in attendance will also be able to fill out feedback forms about these first performances, in that classic Hollywood way!