Monday, 9th March 2009

Stars, cars, music, costumes and previews

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…

Disney's Stars 'n' Cars

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…

Disney's Stars 'n' Cars Disney's Stars 'n' Cars

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)…

Disney's Stars 'n' Cars

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!

Disney's Stars 'n' Cars Disney's Stars 'n' Cars

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:

Disney's Stars 'n' Cars

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!

Pictures: PhotosMagiques.com

Monday, 2nd March 2009

Full Once Upon a Dream finally on CD

With the regular re-release of the resort’s CD albums we’ve learnt to hold out too much hope for any major new additions. Music tends to appear and reappear for years after it was last heard in the parks, and actual attraction soundtracks are all but ignored in favour of entertainment.

The “New Versions!” sticker has been stuck to almost every recent CD, whether there are new tracks or not. But wait a second — this time, the new re-releases of the resort’s two signature CDs, Disneyland Resort Paris en Musique and Les Parades en Musique, finally have a major new addition!

New CDs
Photo: PhotosMagiques.com

The new CDs appeared on store shelves around the parks and Disney Village in late January, and it’s the new Parades en Musique you should pick up for this pleasant new musical surprise: pretty much the FULL soundtrack of Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade!

Les Parades en Musique now begins with around 18 minutes of music from the parade — the hit Just Like We Dreamed It theme song, of course, but better yet: the rich instrumental score of the actual floats, as orchestrated by the acclaimed Steve Sidwell and recorded by the 100-piece Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London!

New CDs
Photo: Mouetto, Disney Central Plaza

The score is split into a separate 2 minute 10 seconds track for each “Dream”, with the 40 second Dreamy Overture included, too. The new tracks therefore run like this:

1. Disney’s Once Upon A Dream Parade – Just Like We Dreamed It (02:52)
2. Disney’s Once Upon A Dream Parade – Dreamy Overture (00:40)
3. Disney’s Once Upon A Dream Parade – Dreams of Imagination (02:10)
4. Disney’s Once Upon A Dream Parade – Dreams of Laughter and Fun (02:10)
5. Disney’s Once Upon A Dream Parade – Dreams of Friendship (02:10)
6. Disney’s Once Upon A Dream Parade – Dreams of Fantasy (02:10)
7. Disney’s Once Upon A Dream Parade – Dreams of Power (02:10)
8. Disney’s Once Upon A Dream Parade – Dreams of Adventure (02:10)
9. Disney’s Once Upon A Dream Parade – Dreams of Romance (02:10)

The CD also includes music ranging from It’s Halloween-Lo-Ween and Disney Cinema Parade to La-Di-Da Carnaval and the Disney Classics Parade. So, they’re still not willing to give up on the old tracks yet.

In fact, Disneyland Resort Paris en Musique is identical to the 2005 version, despite the availability of tracks for attractions like Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast, Tower of Terror and Moteurs… Action! from the US resorts’ CD releases.

Photos as credited.

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?

Thursday, 5th February 2009

First look as Stars prepare their Cars

Released just hours ago and available to watch in full here, the new video preview of the Mickey’s Magical Party celebrations sees the mouse rushing around the resort checking up on the preparations for his year-long party.

Amongst the special photoshoot set-ups, there are several surprising backstage glimpses, including one into the parade storage building which currently houses the vehicles of Disney’s Stars ‘n’ Cars

Stars 'n' Cars

We’ve seen inside here before, in fact, when some sneaky photos of the cars were published online just after they’d arrived in Paris. Now,eight months later, we can them in their final Parisian state… although, as confirmed in an earlier update, very little actually changed at all in the end.

Stars 'n' Cars

One car is “new”, however, and that’s Donald Duck’s. Now dark green all over with similar movie reel motifs to Mickey’s black and grey old-timer, the Duck polishes off his takeover of The Muppets’ old car neatly. On the bonnet, an old fashioned movie camera points toward the driver!

Stars 'n' Cars

Also note Mushu appearing alongside Mulan’s car — a character who has certainly been hard to spot in recent years, especially since the end of the Videopolis show.

Stars 'n' Cars

Only three of the cars are featured in the video, you can see the full final lineup here.

It has also been confirmed recently that the performance of this event will now involve two separate, small cavalcades entering the park from Toon Studio and Backlot, travelling along the parade route to apparently meet and park-up around Place des Stars.

A kind of doubled-up version of the old Good Morning Walt Disney Studios — with far better cars — if you like.

Friday, 30th January 2009

Minnie’s Party Train concept art arrives on time

One of the undoubted hits of the 15th Anniversary years, providing both plentiful meet ‘n’ greets and a mini-parade in one, it might have been enough just to keep running Disney Characters’ Express with its ’15’ plaques removed. Not for Mickey’s Magical Party!

Instead, entire control of this former Dumbo/Casey Jr. Wonderful World of Disney Parade float has been handed to Minnie Mouse. She’ll be leading the way on board Minnie’s Party Train each day and, crucially, giving the train a rather radical cosmetic update. Blue and gold are out… red polka dots are in!

Minnie's Party Train

The full visual above cheats the eye a little with its seemingly never-ending line of carriages, but it’s a smart photo edit of the current train to convey the idea. Whereas the 15th Anniversary version was plainer and more generic, the new Mickey’s Magical Party events will be entirely character-led and as bright as possible.

Minnie has also prepared for her home audience, with an alternate French title and logo — Le Train en Fête de Minnie:

Minnie's Party Train

And, just yesterday, she officially revealed her final concept art for the brand new Party Train at Art of Disney Animation in Walt Disney Studios Park, watched over by Mickey Mouse!

Minnie's Party Train

Sketching with an oversized pencil and cutting pieces of polka dot fabic with oversized scissors, Minnie gives us a very first look at exactly what will be changing to turn the Express into the Party Train. At first glance, it certainly seems that the advertising visual above was a very conservative depiction of the final result…

Minnie's Party Train

For the most part, the blue of Characters Express has turned to red and white polka-dots, but the entire train is now also covered in multi-coloured streamers, with bows atop the flagpoles and a ‘Minnie’s Party Train’ logo inside a blue Mickey Mouse silhouette on every carriage.

Also note the carriages themselves — in the image we’ve zoomed into above, you can see that the middle wagon will be given an entirely different design, almost completely golden, with more whimsical safety rails, perhaps closer to its Casey Jr. circus train origins…

— Find a new preview guide all about Minnie’s Party Train here.

All logos, visuals, photos © Disney.

Monday, 26th January 2009

Final lineup of Stars ‘n’ Cars confirmed

Is this a scaling-back, a budget cut? Not entirely.

Two of the “cars” proposed to play a part in the event were old vehicles from the resort’s past parades and events — the black Cinema Parade van (which itself used to be a Wonderful World of Disney Parade warm-up) and Mickey’s small red car.

The latter was going to be customised with paint brushes and other animation-related props. But both, now, have been cut from the line-up. Instead of trying to bolster the event with these cheaper additions, the parade managers are sticking to the originals from Florida — in some cases, rather more tightly than they’d planned.

We shared rumours last year that The Muppets‘ hot air balloon car was planned to become a kind of galleon-on-wheels of Jack Sparrow. Not any more — the car will instead host the ever-popular Donald and Daisy Duck.

The same goes for Cruella‘s planned takeover of the Disney Villains car from Florida. Though her Hollywood Boulevard appearances in a spotted Cadillac might still be going down a storm, the decision has been made for this to remain a more general “villains” car, rather than be given a black-and-white make-over for the diva, with movie cans and props in the back.

Finally, and less lucky, the former Playhouse Disney car not only won’t be transformed into a Finding Nemo vehicle as proposed — it won’t appear at all. The transformation would have been a difficult one anyway, particularly when it comes to these stars stepping out of their cars to greet guests…

And so, the final line-up is as follows —

Disney's Stars 'n' Cars

• Toy Story
• Mary Poppins
• Mulan
• Monsters, Inc.
• Lilo & Stitch
• Aladdin
• The Little Mermaid
• Snow White
• Mickey & Minnie
• Donald & Daisy
• Disney Villains

The Star Wars car will also not appear in any form.

And what of the plan to roll out these cars in three groups across the park, at the same time, rather than run them as a linear cavalcade along the parade route? As far as we know, this plan hasn’t changed, though all brochures and official texts are keen not to include the “parade” word — or even the words “meet ‘n’ greet”.

The red carpet is ready to be rolled out, either way…

With thanks to WDSfans.com.

Monday, 26th January 2009

Introducing… Mickey’s Magical Party from April 2009!

Partly a commemoration of the mouse himself hitting 80 years old, partly another excuse to decorate the park and introduce some brand new entertainment, Mickey’s Magical Party will be a brand new year-long event taking over both parks and introducing new decorations, new shows, a new parade-event and a whole new attraction.

The theme is bright — balloons, characters and colour — and fully intended to feel as fresh and new as possible after the two, more nostalgic, years celebrating the 15th Anniversary.

The Logo

So let’s begin, with the logo:

Mickey's Magical Party logo

The balloon theme will never be far away this year, at least in the resort’s advertising, with the colour of red seeming to be a obvious replacement for the copious amounts of blue we’ve seen during the 15th.

A second logo has also been produced, featuring Mickey, Donald, Goofy and Pluto bursting out from a circular Castle background:

Mickey's Magical Party logo

The logos themselves are quite deceptive, however — the “Candy Script” font chosen is inspired by South America — brush-like and quite classical — unlike the proposed events themselves…

The Events

Surprisingly, it’s Walt Disney Studios Park that will once again steal the show, enjoying the launch of both a new attraction and a new parade/event (which you’ll know by now) — whilst, over the esplanade, Disneyland Park has to make up its own party games:

Disney’s Stars ‘n’ Cars
The renamed and reworked Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade from Florida finally opens in Paris as part of the event. As we’ve reported previously, it likely won’t run as a parade but as a series of drive-in meet ‘n’ greets and photo shoots. (More news…)

Playhouse Disney – Live on Stage!
Currently being fitted out right next to Stitch Live! in the Walt Disney Television Studios building and classed as a full new attraction, this will be a live puppet show for the younger audience, featuring Handy Manny, Little Einsteins, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and My Friends Tigger & Pooh. (More news…)

It’s Party Time… with Mickey and Friends
Here we come to the key event of the party, a daytime show on a rebuilt Central Plaza Stage that aims to get the entire audience dancing along with characters from The Jungle Book and Aladdin in particular. (More news…)

Minnie’s Party Train
You might recognise this one, just a little. It’s the Disney Characters’ Express in a new polka-dot guise, still travelling between Main Street and Central Plaza with its trainload of Disney characters. (More news…)

It’s Dance Time… in Discoveryland
Jules Verne won’t know what hit him — Stitch is due to roll into Discoveryland atop a moving podium of DJ decks, “pumping out tunes” and encouraging everyone to dance along using special coloured dance mats. (More news…)

Look out for much more in-depth news and features about all these events — and the party itself — on DLRP Today every day from now until the official launch.

The Launch Date

Speaking of which — when does Mickey’s Magical Party really launch? The UK brochure states Friday, 3rd April 2009, whilst other official publications state the Saturday — 4th April. Those are the official launch dates, then there’s the actual launch, the press preview, when these events really begin rolling into the parks — which seems to be set on Saturday, 28th March 2009.

Watch this space…

Saturday, 16th August 2008

Motor Cars Parade becomes Stars ‘n’ Cars Event

The thing is — the anticipation surrounding this parade, that, after years of rumours, was finally retired from Disney’s Hollywood Studios park in Florida earlier this year and brought to Paris, is not just anticipation to see it in Paris. It’s an anticipation to see what Paris do with it.

Famously slow on the eyes despite its pleasing cavalcade of themed motor cars and a wide variety of stars, the news of the parade’s move to Paris was met with some hesitation from fans who’d seen it right from the word go.

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“Green Army Man in Surgery Shock”

Considering Disneyland Park right next door now has a parade — Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade — with so many characters, dancers, static props and moving puppets that it literally bombards your senses as it passes, would something as mellow as a Hollywood-style cavalcade of film stars in cars be enough for the second gate, just metres away?

And here, apparently, is the answer: no, not quite.

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The Studios’ wish comes true — a real Disney Princess on its parade route!

So, what will the Entertainment department of Disneyland Resort Paris do with those highly-themed motor cars, now sitting backstage since April this year? For an answer to that, you have to look to what inspired this parade’s move to Paris in the first place — the original version of a popular Walt Disney Studios Park character event — Good Morning Walt Disney Studios.

Because, though this cavalcade of regular classic cars carrying Disney stars was hardly a dazzling show-stopper as it passed by you on the parade route, it was always one of the most memorable events of the day. As the cars hit Production Courtyard, they took a turn and parked up, letting the stars step out of the cars for a 20-minute meeting with their fans.

In that same vein, let us not announce Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade for 2009, but instead: Disney’s Stars ‘n’ Cars Event.

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Two Genies at once in Toon Studio! Nescafé would call that Genie Genies.

No longer a parade, now an event! And those earlier rumours from several months ago were entirely true — it WILL be split into three distinct, different events, happening throughout the day, in three set locations of Walt Disney Studios Park. Imagine it like three unique Good Morning Walt Disney Studios-es happening at the same time, in different lands, several times each day.

Let’s also confirm the full list of cars that have arrived safely in Paris from Florida: Mickey and Minnie, Aladdin, Lilo & Stitch, Mary Poppins, The Little Mermaid, Snow White, Villains, The Muppets, Toy Story, Playhouse Disney, Monsters Inc and Star Wars.

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Star Wars gives Walt Disney Studios Park the fffo…fforc..franchise!

Star Wars in Paris? Yes! Though rumours suggest that Luke and Princess Leia will infact be replaced by Darth Vader, with C3PO running alongside (though latest reports say he has yet to arrive…).

The Muppets in Paris? No! We can reveal that the plan is to turn this green and wooden car into a kind of automobile-ship for none other than Captain Jack Sparrow! This would be the Pirates of the Caribbean stars’ first ever daily Disney parade appearance — albeit as part of an “event”, not a “parade”, we must remember…

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Muppets no more — welcome Jack Sparrow to the Studios!

In addition, a rumour we left out of our previous article might now have a little more truth, considering the new resident we’re spotting on Hollywood Boulevard each day. One of the cars in the parade will feature Cruella De Vil — which one? Most likely Florida’s original Villains car transformed, though some rumours did suggest the car from outside Studio Tram Tour could be brought into working order… She will get her way and arrive as part of the ‘Event’, either way.

So, the only cars not to appear in Paris are the Power Rangers and Grand Marshall (a car for guests to appear on) units. But will we see ALL the cars that have arrived out in the park next year? Maybe not… we’ll have to wait and see.

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Watch out Hades — Cruella is coming…

Added to the mix and redecorated, if early plans go ahead, would be the old Cinema Parade Van, now running as part of this year’s cut-down Good Morning Walt Disney Studios, and the Toon Car, currently running in the pre-parade of Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade. Only four cars for each of the three spots were marked out in the original plans.

The three spots envisaged for the Stars ‘n’ Cars to arrive and stop for the meet ‘n’ greets are: Backlot (outside Moteurs… Action!), Hollywood Boulevard (where Cruella currently stops in her regular Cadillac) and Toon Studio (the area between Animagique and Cars).

Now, 760 words and plenty of revelations later — how’s that new name settling in? Don’t worry, we’ve still got many more months to get used to it before April 2009…

[Pictures: reidmix and Wyscan, Flickr]

Friday, 15th August 2008

Santa Claus, Mickey Mouse prepare for a Fairytale Christmas

This year, we’ll be enjoying Disney’s Fairytale Christmas from 8th November 2008 to 6th January 2009. A time for snow falling on Main Street, Santa Claus in his Frontierland workshop, Princesses dancing beside the castle, transformed into an ice palace, and much, much more…

But do take note of that name — it’s not Disney’s Christmas Season any more, at least not in any of the promotions. Disneyland Resort Paris are focusing all of their efforts on Disneyland Park to give it the biggest seasonal makeover we’ve ever seen. And of course, for one more year, it’ll have an extra 15th Anniversary flavour…

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Here’s the press release in full:

Disney’s Fairytale Christmas 2008/09

Meet Santa this Christmas at Disneyland Resort Paris

– BRAND NEW for 2008, Santa Claus Village and Mickey’s Magical Christmas Dinner –

London, 24th July 2008 — Where better to kick off the Christmas season than at magical Disneyland Resort Paris! The spirit of Christmas comes alive this year from 8th November, 2008 to 6th January, 2009. Celebrate the most joyous time of year with your family in the company of the Disney Characters in their Christmas costumes.

Santa Claus’ Village comes to Disneyland Resort Paris for the very first time in 2008. Children are invited to enter Santa’s winter wonderland to meet the man himself and pose for a memorable photo. What’s more, in the heart of the village children can find the Santa Claus Post Office where they can post their Christmas wish-lists in time for a Christmas Eve delivery. And with the help of a little Disney magic, the children will receive Santa’s response sent directly to their homes!

Also new for 2008, Disneyland Resort Paris will host Mickey’s Magical Christmas Dinner*, a unique new dining experience where guests can join the Disney Characters for a huge Christmas buffet feast, complete with sparkling lights and sing-along music that will make hearts warm and spirits soar! (Ticket only event).

And for a guaranteed white Christmas, snowflakes will fall from the sky on Main Street U.S.A giving everyone the special Christmas memory they have always dreamed of!

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Christmas season festivities include:

‘¢ Enchanted Candleabration — Mickey and his friends invite guests to Central Plaza for an unforgettable evening ceremony held in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle, which transforms into a glistening ice palace
‘¢ Disney’s Fantillusion — Princes, Princesses and other Disney characters emerge on Main Street, U.S.A. at nightfall to host a magnificent parade where Disney’s best-loved fairytales are retold
‘¢ Santa Claus, VIP guest of Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade — Santa Claus appears at the end of this magical procession to wish everyone a Merry Christmas
‘¢ Minnie’s Jolly Holidays Show — Minnie Mouse, along with her Chorus Boys and Girls, invites guests to join her in the celebration of Christmas as she hosts a fantastic show with many jolly surprises
‘¢ Meet Goofy Santa — Lovable Goofy dressed as Santa Claus in his sleigh will welcome children for a souvenir photo
‘¢ Belle’s Christmas Village — With picturesque taverns and snow-covered stalls, Fantasyland transforms into an authentic medieval village at Christmastime
‘¢ Mickey’s Winter Wonderland — Mickey and his pals put on their ice skates for a winter spectacular the whole family will love
‘¢ Christmas at Disney Village — Disney Village will be the home of a traditional Christmas Market this year

The Celebration continues… big time with a ‘Kids Under 7 Stay and Play’ free offer until 7th March 2009. The package is valid for up to three children per one paying adult per room booked, and includes a stay in a Disney Hotel and entrance to both Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park.

* Mickey’s Magical Christmas Dinner will take place on 6th, 13th and 20th December from 7-9pm. Tickets will be available in advance at £39 for adults and £14 for children (3 to 11 incl.)

And that’s the jolly, jolly, jolly holidays that lie ahead!

So, what’s new? According to the press release, ‘Santa Claus’ Village’! But wait… didn’t we all see Father Christmas Village last year, that makeover of the then-brand-new Woody’s Roundup Village at the former Critter Corral, Frontierland?

The addition of a new Santa Claus Post Office could at least hint that the makeover will see substantial improvements or changes for its second year. This brand new feature will make use of the second new building in the village, which sat empty last Christmas, allowing children for the first time ever at Disneyland Resort Paris to post a letter to Santa Claus and then receive a real reply to their home in time for Christmas Eve.

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The popular late addition to the 2007/08 season — Minnie’s Jolly Holidays, a musical revue which brought life to Central Plaza Stage throughout the daytime — successfully returns for a second season, now promoted in advance for the first time — though it is currently unknown if it will run for the entire season, rather than just the final, busiest few weeks.

The biggest addition to the season, and another sign that it takes in even more of the British/American Christmas traditions is Mickey’s Magical Christmas Dinner. To be hosted at the Pavillion conventions tent behind Discoveryland, usually used by the resort’s profitable Business Solutions department, this will not be a dinner show like that previously held at Disney’s Newport Bay Club but a kind of large-scale character meal.

Plans include several brand new, unique photo locations for a variety of popular Disney characters, to be set out around the edge of the giant ballroom, with appearances throughout the meal. Imagine it a little like spending your Christmas Dinner with Mickey Mouse and many other Disney characters, with chances to pose for photos and dance to music between the courses.

Be sure to stay with DLRP Today.com for much more news about Disney’s Fairytale Christmas in the lead-up to the season. (Until then, enjoy the Summer while it lasts!)

— Discover last year’s season in great detail and countless photos at our dedicated guide.

[Pictures/Logos © Disney]

Wednesday, 30th July 2008

Horrors new and old for Halloween 2008

Here it is, the press release in full. We’ll be introducing Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Parties in a separate article, and be sure to read below for a full re-cap of the news and much more information…

Disney’s Halloween Festival at Disneyland Resort Paris

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The logo — for just one more year…

Marne la Vallée, July, 2008, from October 4, 2008 to November 2, 2008, guests are invited to discover the unmissable colourful Halloween season in Disneyland® Park that will be full of surprises.

During the month long celebration, Disneyland Park will offer a range of new Halloween entertainment to make the whole family scream with laughter. The spirit of Halloween is up for grabs for the delight of all, Pumpkin Men and Ladies will lead the fest which takes place on Main Street, U.S.A., Central Plaza and Frontierland®, transformed in Halloweenland for the occasion. And for the first time Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties in Fantasyland and not forgetting the now famous Halloween Party on October 31st.

Halloween invades Main Street, U.S.A.®

Guests, entering Disneyland Park, will discover a ‘˜spook … tacular’ Main Street, U.S.A., covered with blotches of orange paint left behind by the Pumpkin Men and Ladies.

The Disney Villains’ Halloween Showtime presented by Minnie dressed in Halloween fashion line and surrounded by Pumpkin Men and Ladies will take place several times daily on Central Plaza, followed by a giant ‘Meet’N’Greet’ with Disney Villains.

The Halloween Disney Characters’ Express will several times daily go back and forth on Main Street, U.S.A. with beloved Disney Characters on.

The Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade which features famous moments from the most beloved Disney stories ever, will be preceded by a special Halloween pre parade featuring the Disney Villains, Pumpkin Citizens and for the first time, Tim Burton’s Nightmare before Christmas characters Jack Skellington and his friend Sally.

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New advertising graphics.

Halloweenland: the heart of this scary, good humoured celebration

Once through the gateway of Fort Comstock a walk along Halloweenland’s pathway will offer guests loads of surprises.

There will be regular shows on the Trick or Treat stage:

‘¢ Minnie & the Bat Boys will appear with live music and a host of singing classic Disney Villain songs.
‘¢ Goofy and the Magic Pot, an exhilarating and energetic show where children can learn to make pumpkin soup and dance alongside Goofy himself!

At the Phantom Manor boot hill cemetery, guests may meet Jack the skeleton and his friend Sally, from Nightmare before Christmas.

Children will enjoy the traditional Halloween Piñata for the chance to grab some sweet treats several times daily.

Disney’s Halloween Party in Disneyland® Park*

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New image to advertise the Halloween Party.

On the night of Halloween, Disneyland Resort Paris lets all the friendly ghosts in for a special Halloween Party from 8.30pm to 1.00am in Disneyland Park. Night owls in their most spectrrrraaaaacular costumes can enjoy family friendly and ghostly nights filled with fun and laughter.

As always guests will be able to experience a wide variety of Halloween entertainment:

‘¢ The Disney®’s Fantillusion Parade, where the world of darkness meets the enchanted world in a fantastic twilight spectacular
‘¢ A Special Fireworks display with the fangtangulous backdrop of Sleeping Beauty Castle
‘¢ Spooktackular Stage Shows on the Trick or Treat Stage (Halloweenland) and The Disney Villains’ Halloween Showtime in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle
‘¢ A Spooky DJ Party on Main Street, U.S.A

*Disney’s Halloween Party ticket will be available at 29€ .On October 31, 2008 attendance is limited in order to ensure premium experience, we recommend to buy tickets in advance on www.disneylandparis.com or to call +33 1 60 30 60 53. The Party ticket holders can benefit of entering the Park as early as 5.pm. The Party can be modified, or cancelled without prior notice, notably for inclement weather.

This is Halloween, this is Halloween! Let’s begin with the most interesting announcement of it all — real, live meet ‘n’ greet versions of Jack Skellington and Sally will be arriving on Boot Hill next to Phantom Manor for the duration of the festival! These characters have never before been featured in Paris, and only officially debuted for the first time at Hong Kong Disneyland last year.

The ongoing, if not elevating, popularity of Tim Burton’s stop-motion classic can be seen at the resort even today by the amount of merchandise both being sold, bought and worn around the parks.

Phantom Manor will not be getting an overlay in the style of the ‘Haunted Mansion Holiday’ from California and Tokyo, but the Nightmare Before Christmas theme will certainly become a strong part of the Halloween Festival, as the couple pop up again in the pre-parade of Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade. The new daytime parade will again not be made-over for the festival as the park’s old parade was, as the entertainment directors stick to a short cavalcade to precede the event and keep the popular parade intact.

One element of the 15th Anniversary that WILL be given a makeover this year, however, is Disney Characters’ Express, now to be known as the Halloween Disney Characters’ Express with special decorations and rather more villainous characters on-board.

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Stitch leaves, new villains arrive, Minnie gets a new outfit.

Last year’s popular new Disney Villains’ Halloween Showtime event on the Central Plaza Stage will also be expanded with a couple of new villains — Governor Ratcliffe from Pocahontas and Shan-Yu from Mulan.

Besides this, the festival looks remarkably similar to last year. Minnie and the Bat Boys and Goofy and the Magic Cauldron return to the Trick or Treat Stage next to Cowboy Cookout Barbeque, as does the long-running Halloween Pinata. Even Disney’s Halloween Party on 31st October sounds like it might, for once, remain quite similar to the previous year.

As for decorations, on reading the press release you’d be forgiven even those will be the same — Main Street again overrun by orange “Pumpkin Men” and Frontierland turned into Halloweenland. But here’s the big news: This year, those Pumpkin Men will arriving on their own. The Pink Witches, including their live character forms and all decorations (such as those unpopular cauldrons near Fuente del Oro Restaurante) are GONE.

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Goodbye, good riddance…

In addition, Stitch’s very short-lived invasion of the event is now well and truly over, as the resort seeks to refine his presence to the new Stitch Live! attraction over at Walt Disney Studios Park. In place of these two, for 2008 we will instead be welcoming the Pumpkin Men in much greater numbers — and, as you read above, Pumpkin Ladies too.

Reports suggest that brand new decorations will be created, in a much more “Disney” style. Both Mickey and Minnie will also apparently wear brand new costumes, in rich deep purple, orange and green colours. Finally, everything will again be focused on Disneyland Park — no expansion whatsoever of the festival into Walt Disney Studios Park is planned.

The directors are taking the entire concept back to a more focused, classical approach — and continuing to develop the “Disney” presence in the festival at the same time.

[Pictures & Images: © Disney, by DLRP Magic.com and Photos Magiques]

— Disney’s Halloween Festival kicks off on 4th October and continues until 2nd November 2008. Keep your devilish stare and scrawny face pointed right here on DLRP Today.com for more news…

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