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.
Mickey rises bright and early to begin another day of hard work…
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 arrives in the Stars ‘n’ Cars garage to surprise Goofy
Mushu steals the show in Mulan’s car
Characters polish up their cars
Mickey peers through a curtain to see Playhouse Disney — via greenscreen!
In the Radio Disney studios, Stitch prepares his beats to some wild camera work
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 emerges from the baloons…
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?
Instead, the attraction’s entrance will be pretty much as we guessed in the last construction update way back in August — a modest little off-shoot from the Walt Disney Television Studios building looking just like Stitch Live! a few metres away. The indented metal covering on this new extended concrete roof has already been completed, and we can’t even see the join…
The latest construction confirms not only that the curved canopy has indeed been extended to provide a new entrance marquee, but that the new Playhouse will also follow Stitch‘s lead with an identical show times display…
Having the same display, with two sides, could also hint that the show will be presented in separate French and English performances. So far, nothing about the attraction’s language plans has been announced or even rumoured, but it is expected Playhouse Disney will run more alike Animagique than Stitch Live!, with only 5 shows per day.
Finally, the attraction has followed Stitch Live! again right onto the latest park map. Though, perhaps confusing for some guests, the two attractions’ logos and numbers are presented the wrong way round, with Playhouse Disney’s entrance apparently closer to Rendez-Vous des Stars Restaurant…
Well, at least that elusive Number 8 on the Studios map has finally been found!
The current Mickey Mouse silhouette logos that sit in the bottom-left corner of TV screens were introduced in 2002, too late for both of the original Florida and California attractions which, despite being updated to introduce brand new characters and scenes last year, have retained the old squiggly-lined logo outside.
Last year’s update did bring in the new logo in several places, however, including as a projection on stage before the show begins. For Disneyland Resort Paris then, it’s simply a matter of “copy and paste” — et voilà — here’s the logo for the Studios’ newest attraction:
Having said that, “Live on Stage!” won’t mean an awful lot to the resort’s potential guests who don’t speak English. And so, a special, simplified version has been created to cover all other languages, reading “Playhouse Disney – Live!”:
What’s more, the Paris edition has also been granted its own special poster artwork to advertise the new attraction.
The key visual features the characters of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Little Einsteins and Handy Manny peeking out from behind a classic red curtain, with a spotlight trained on the show’s logo…
Though none of the official texts, artworks or promotions would have you believe it, the characters of My Friends Tigger & Poohdo also appear in the show.
As a touch to match the theme of Mickey’s Magical Party, several balloons have also been added. And Mickey’s candle? This simply confirms that Paris will indeed recieve a near-identical version of the show to the States, with the Clubhouse characters using their scene to organise a special birthday party for… Minnie!
— Find a new preview guide all about Playhouse Disney – Live on Stage! here.
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.
So let’s begin, with the 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:
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…
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.
The two pillars appeared at the weekend behind the first set of fences, connected onto the English queue of Stitch Live!, in the space between the Walt Disney Television Studios roof and a tree to the left of the building. One tree from this spot has already been removed.
Writing on the pillars confirms they’re moulded concrete. Whilst some initial reports suggested they could be connected to form an arch, their height and size matches quite neatly with the supports for the existing queue canopy.
This canopy, which actually curves slightly outward from the building in line with the circular Place des Stars, could actually be being extended using the pillars to provide an entrance to Playhouse Disney.
White dots are the pillars — could the canopy be extended similar to the red space?
Placing the entrance to Playhouse Disney: Live on Stage here, further out from the building, would also help to “fill in” this corner of the courtyard that now looks unlikely to receive the long-proposed addition of Soarin’ any time soon.
The only barrier for Handy Manny still to overcome — how do guests queueing on the left to see Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and friends bypass those guests exiting from Stitch Live on the right? Stay tuned…
— Consult our previous articles for more diagrams showing the placement of this new show, due to officially open in March/April 2009.
As it happens — and as you’ll no doubt see in the pictures below — not a lot.
But let’s begin with the latest slab of news from the Production Courtyard construction site that suggests something might be happening. Guigui on the French forum Disney Central Plaza has reported that the first new supports are in the process of going up behind the blue fences, news which is backed up — though unfortunately not yet in photos — by another member.
Mr.Freddy says it seems as if the supports could form some kind of arch, and that — somewhat bizarrely — this, the only visible sign of new construction, is quite far from the actual entrance to the attraction — which will be the former ‘Disney Channel CyberSpace’ post-show area, the production stage next to Stitch Live!‘s theatre.
The photos below from just a few weeks ago show the general state of progress under and around the two sets of blue construction fences.
One set is connected directly to the English-language queue area for Stitch Live!, and has attracted strong suggestions that this work could in fact be to extend the queue here, rather than add an entrance for Playhouse Disney: Live on Stage. You can see in the following pictures that the decorative metallic plates around the concrete canopy have been removed, as if it is about to be extended.
Below, the view under the second set of fences at this revealed nothing more than weeds and remnants from the Studios’ past — un-themed CCTV cameras, anyone?
Since Playhouse Disney: Live on Stage is not due to officially open until the start of a new celebration in April 2009, the slow progress doesn’t need to be a worry. And as always, we can only imagine what has happened inside the building, by now…
Quietly announced by Operations, talked about by Cast Members and introduced to the sales teams, the opening of a new Playhouse Disney: Live on Stage show alongside Stitch Live! inside the Walt Disney Television Studios building has so far not been allowed as anything more than a strong rumour amongst fans.
Will a Marne-la-Vallée authorities construction notification change that?
The sign is now posted along the road at the backstage of Walt Disney Studios Park, near the town of Val d’Europe, and reads:
“DISNEYLAND RESORT PARIS
Modification to studios 2, 3 and 4 of “Walt Disney International” building for use by the “Playhouse Disney” attraction”
Yes, curiously three studios will be affected by the Playhouse Disney attraction. Since Stitch Live! already uses one room, that leaves the former space of Disney Channel CyberSpace post-show arcade, a huge, long studio and a smaller room toward the back which may not be classed as a “studio”.
The important thing to note here is that the area occupied by Disney Channel CyberSpace was actually built as two separate studios before being joined together for use by park guests as the channel began to disown the building. However, the listing of three studios must at least mean that the long, thin studio well within the building will be involved — almost certainly as the show theatre itself, being the ideal shape and size.
Our plan of the building has been updated to reflect the new information:
The show-based attraction, which uses puppets along with a live host, is still officially pencilled in for March 2009, after the 15th Anniversary has ended. Nothing is yet known about languages or the design of the exterior entrance, where construction activity has now increased to include a small digger.
The actual location of the show within Walt Disney Television Studios, the former home of the unpopular Television Production Tour, was originally quite uncertain. With its flatmate Stitch Live! now open for business, however, and the former Disney Channel CyberSpace post-show room of the original tour still closed, it is now confirmed that this vast space will house the show.
Diagram showing inside of Walt Disney Television Studios.
Current construction areas are shown in blue.
Indeed, reports from several people “in-the-know” suggest work inside is already well advanced with casting and rehearsals scheduled soon.
In fact, those returning construction fences signal the start of this new construction project on the exterior of the building — the attraction’s new entrance. Nothing is yet known about the design or placement of the entrance, how it will link into the Stitch Live! turnstiles right next door or even how the queue line will cross the exit path of that same show.
Looking at the current placement of the blue fences, it appears that the entrance will be similar in size to Stitch Live!, but separate from the building and angled slightly more toward The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror across the courtyard.
Additional fences next to the old Mickey Mouse Trailer, which has been sitting unused for almost a year now, appear to have removed an old Production Courtyard lamppost here. The placement is interesting if we were to still consider Soarin’ to be built in the space behind, squashing four attractions into just a small corner of one courtyard.
The show itself is believed to be near-identical to those at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida and Disney’s California Adventure, featuring Playhouse Disney favourites Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Handy Manny, My Friends Tigger and Pooh and Little Einsteins. At these two locations, the entire audience sits on a soft floor and watches the action on a raised stage, the characters mostly brought to life through puppetry from below.
When can expect it to open? Well, there is currently some speculation that both the new show and parade might debut as early as Christmas this year, rather than being held off until the real launch of the 2009 celebration in April 2009. With the parade cars sitting backstage and this show’s preparations relatively minimal, it could be possible — but how likely?
Opening early would follow the plan used for The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, which opened last year on 22nd December 2007 with full advertising not starting until April this year. For a major E-Ticket attraction such as this, it allowed for a long period of build-up and for word of mouth to spread.
For a small children’s show and a new parade, brought over from another resort? It could just lead to a massive anti-climax come 2009. For fans, at least. Watch this space.
Not content with Crush’s Coaster, Cars Quatre Roues Rallye, High School Musical On Tour, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Stitch Live, officials and Imagineers at Walt Disney Studios Park are said to already be lining up their next new attraction.
Playhouse Disney – Live on Stage!, the puppet and character show from Disney-MGM Studios and Disney’s California Adventure, is now strongly rumoured to set up home in another of the empty television stages within Walt Disney Television Studios — the same building where, come March 2008, we’ll be able to see Stitch Live, forming a double act of live, interactive shows.
The trustworthy source La Rouquine on Disney Central Plaza forum claims the show is now a confirmed future plan for the Studios, likely to launch for the 2009 season.
In both Florida and California, the show is presented in a soundstage-style building with guests young and old sitting on the floor, a series of “hanging” sets interchanging automatically on stage to present the worlds of Bear in the Big Blue House, JoJo’s Circus and Book of Pooh, amongst others. A live presenter carries the show, which features both puppetry and regular stand-up characters, encouraging young children to dance and clap along to their favourite television stars.
The show seems a perfect match for the park’s real Disney Channel studios, which originally hosted the actual Playhouse Disney continuity set for some time, on the stage where Stitch Live is now under preparation. With guests seated on the floor, costs would be minimal and the attraction would finally answer the calls of many parents visiting the resort whose children want to meet these stars. Disney has been putting a great deal of effort into its ‘Playhouse’ brand in recent years, including using it to introduce young children to Mickey Mouse for the first time with “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse”.
Where could this rumoured Playhouse Disney – Live on Stage attraction go? Well, the television building is far larger than many might realise. Since its inauguration in late 2001, Disney Channel France have gradually used less and less of the television production facilities built exclusively for them, handing them over instead to park operations and using the building instead as their main office headquarters and the channel’s “playout” centre.
Take a look at our exclusive map…
Beyond the stage most likely to be used for Stitch Live, a third stage of the same enormous size, perhaps larger, lies towards the back of the building. Its elongated shape would suit the live show format well, and with some realignment of doors the stage could certainly link directly through to use Disney Channel CyberSpace as its post-show, as has also been rumoured. Earlier rumours suggested new automatic doors will lead from the Stitch Live auditorium into the post-show area.
La Rouquine claims the show’s entrance would be located right next to that of Stitch Live. Noting the backstage corridors between the soundstages shown above and breaking into some pure speculation, it would be perfectly possible for Stitch to use the area marked “Pre-Show Area” for its pre-show, whilst Playhouse Disney guests could be ushered through the former “Channel Playout” backstage viewing area towards the third stage.
Now of course, we can’t forget those rumours — which are still surprisingly quiet — of the Stars and Motor Cars Parade coming to the park from Florida, either. Whilst many suggested that the vehicles in this parade hosting Playhouse Disney characters would be cut immediately, the addition of an attraction dedicated to the channel’s characters would say otherwise — and add more credibility to rumours of the parade itself one day arriving.
Speaking of Florida, their plans to rename Disney MGM Studios to Disney’s Hollywood Studios include an update of their own Playhouse Disney – Live on Stage! attraction in February 2008. The current round of characters will be replaced with even fresher faces from shows such as “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse”, “Little Einsteins” and “Handy Manny”. When — or should we still say, “if” — the show arrives at Walt Disney Studios Park, it will be this newer version of the show.
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