Riding the EAC may no longer take an hour or more of queueing, but it remains to be seen what effect this has on regular, non-EMH-qualifying guests. Since it became the norm to run straight to Crush as soon as the park opens, how will these regular visitors feel if they arrive only to find the Crush’s Coaster queue already populated by more privileged ride fans?
Finally, park hours for the rest of December have now been published. Though they’re not as generous as these three weekends, we do see the opening time at Disneyland Park giving way slightly to regular guests — now set at 9.30am, rather than 10am, making EMH a still-respectable hour and half window. This is the first time in almost 10 years we’ve seen park hours go into half-hours, and the flexibility is very welcome indeed.
Well yes, quite a lot obviously. Just shows you shouldn’t go wandering into the Adventure Isle caves just before park closing… it’s been four long months!
If you’ve been similarly deprived of Disneyland Resort Paris news, given up trying to translate what they’re saying on the French forums, sit back and enjoy a quick and concise round-up of all the big stories of recent months — here we go!
SLEEPING BEAUTY’S BLING
Was it coincidence that updates here ended just about the time that Sleeping Beauty Castle succumbed to its most horrific, misguided meddling-with to date?
The birthday cake, the jester’s hat, the Epcot wand, the MGM hat… you’ve met your match. There truly aren’t enough negative adjectives in the dictionary.
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MAGICAL PARTY LAUNCHES WITH MEGA-PARTY
‘You’re invited!’ …but not to this. Press and media types were schmoozed in spectacular fashion as new theme year Mickey’s Magical Party kicked off with fireworks, projections, lights and so many characters they couldn’t even all fit on the damn stage.
Did it generate headlines, articles, media coverage? No.
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ACTUAL PARTY GROWS ON FANS
Frustratingly-titled new Central Plaza show ‘It’s Party Time… with Mickey and Friends’ initially looked rather like a drab flop on an overbearing and unnecessary new stage, but it has grown on most fans. The score by Vasile Sirli is actually plain fantastic (especially considering the lacklustre music in the year’s other new shows) and it provides a fresh, colourful heart for the year.
Over in Discoveryland, the other show with an annoying name — ‘It’s Dance Time… in Discoveryland’ — brought delights such as large, primary-coloured circles on the floor of a retro-futuristic land, and the expertly-chosen hits of Block Party Bash.
Despite the show being considered terrible on every level by most who’ve seen it, the performers put so much effort and energy into their routine they each almost deserve a window on Main Street.
Beyond the forced MMP hoopla over the other side of the esplanade, Walt Disney Studios Park gained a brand new attraction — its fifth addition since opening — in ‘Playhouse Disney – Live on Stage!’. Jolly good fun it is too — wonderfully staged, very charming. The Paris version even has a “1 Up” on the two earlier versions with a big new pre-show studio.
Changing its name to ‘Restaurant des Stars’, the far too interestingly-named ‘Rendez-Vous des Stars Restaurant’ gained a new logo, some new colours and a new entrance canopy.
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DUDE LOOKS LIKE A FIRE!
In a quite bizarre coincidence, just days after fans launched an online April Fool suggesting Aerosmith would be succeeded by French rocker Johnny Hallyday as musical guests at Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, a fire began in the roof of the showbuilding.
Luckily the damage was minor — though it did allow for these dramatic photos (below) as the inspection crews ripped off the cladding, checked and replaced it. The attraction reopened just the next day.
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SMEE GIVEN SURGERY
Captain Hook’s bumbling first mate was given a random makeover by the worldwide Disney Parks character team and, unlike most famous faces, he returned from the cosmetic surgery with a face more expressive than before. Remarkable.
Hopefully they’ll tackle some of the clearly worse-looking characters next, like the dead-eyed Woody, Jessie and Buzz…
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HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL PARTY!
Now back for a third year, the Studios’ High School Musical show this year gained musical numbers from the third film but stopped short of going for the full ‘HSM3’ show the other resorts put on. ‘I Want it all’ is the standout number, but one that certainly won’t win over any new fans.
The ‘Smoking Areas’ inside the parks had been extended little beyond their miniature park map icons, so it’s reassuring to see that each area now has its own themed sign, tied into the location. Give it a few years and the public might actually use them.
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STUDIO STORE OPENS UP
Behind construction walls last time we saw it, the Walt Disney Studios Store has now been completed, with three new doors and payment desks in front of new, large windows.
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Main Street has always had the best-kept exteriors of the entire park, always popping with a fresh bit of paint here or there. A new development in recent years are the nice tarpaulin coverings given images of the building hiding behind. Even for tiny spots like this one on the end of The Storybook Store, the hidden façade is still presented on top.
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PLAZA GARDENS GLEAMS
After a major refurbishment of the interior, including bringing the central fountain back to daily life, the whole Plaza Gardens Restaurant building was wrapped in themed tarps for an expensive top-to-bottom refurbishment and repaint. It didn’t stand out as being particularly bad before, there are other areas needing paint sooner, but it does look fantastic.
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STUDIO 1 REFURBISHMENT CONTINUES
Over the hub, it’s surprising to see that the refurbishment of Disney Studio 1 continues, the huge centrepiece building of the park still wrapped up in scaffolding. Must be a bigger job than originally thought, right?
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FLOORS OF ADVENTURE, DISCOVERY
Tripped up in Disneyland Park recently? No wonder, some of the concrete pathways are literally falling to pieces. Thankfully, the first resurfacing works seen for many years have been taking place, with areas of Adventure Isle and vast swathes of Discoveryland closed off and given new flooring, the effect — especially just in front of Space Mountain — very noticeably making the whole land look brand new.
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TENNIS, MICE, MAIN STREET
Some of the resort’s press and advertising efforts have been surprisingly inventive this year, like this — turning the top of Main Street into a full-size tennis court and inviting Gaël Monfils and Stanislas Wawrinka to play with Mickey Mouse.
Just a few days later, Serena Williams visited the park and was met in front of the Castle by Minnie Mouse, wearing a special tennis player costume.
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Effectively the biggest change of the past few months, the news in April and subsequent official changeover in May that has seen ‘Disneyland Resort Paris’ — the resort’s name since the 2002 opening of Walt Disney Studios Park — change back to just plain ‘Disneyland Paris’.
It certainly makes sense — the extra word was always unpopular, confusing to non-English speakers and now, with every park from Alton Towers to your local fairground claiming itself as a “Resort”, it simply doesn’t have any value. “Disneyland Resort Paris” is cumbersome and never spoken, “Disneyland Paris” is short and very strong. Whilst things like the official website have changed over, don’t expect this to be an overnight transition — the new (or rather, old) logo will reappear just as and when things need replacing.
Unfortunately, this decision — made by new CEO Philippe Gas himself — came in April, just weeks after the resort had launched a whole new brand campaign for the theme year. These traditionally start in April, and everything from Cast Member name tags to park tickets and guidemaps had already been printed up with the full “Disneyland Resort Paris” name. Smart name reversal, silly timing.
There’s also a whole myriad of logo variations now available (above). Which should be used, when? The standard logo is being presented as two-colour, with the “Paris” in a gold gradient that already looks rather dated.
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BURNING FIRES, FLOWING WATERS
Tasked with bringing back old and forgotten effects, a new “taskforce” within the resort’s maintenance department has been one of the most positive steps in recent months. We already appear to have seen some brilliant reawakened touches, such as the torches on Fort Comstock at the entrance to Frontierland (lit from nightfall)…
And the water channels leading to the drinking fountains beside La Cabane des Robinson.
Whilst a long way short of having the full irrigation system working again (water should be hoisted right up to the top of the tree by the water wheel, before being poured out and running through the channels back to ground level), it’s great to think someone took the time to figure this out.
Elsewhere, these moving fairground balloons inside Boardwalk Candy Palace have been back working again, for the first time in years.
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CAFE DE LA BROUSSE
Mostly sitting closed, Café de la Brousse has never the less just had a large-scale refurbishment completed, bringing colour back to the “bush café” buildings. Dole is presented heavily as the host, but still no one thinks of bringing the legendary Dole Whip to Paris!
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DISNEY VILLAGE NOW ‘COOL’
So. It took a Starbucks to make Disney Village “hip” again.
Yes, it meant losing the wonderful Buffalo Trading Co. and inviting a quite equally despised/appreciated corporation into a Disney-branded area, but the coffeehouse itself was built using genuinely eco-friendly ideas and looks really quite trendy inside, with a wonderfully modern exterior — industrial elements clashing beautifully with earthy materials.
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ROSES PAINTED RED, FINALLY!
The on-off refurbishment of Alice’s Curious Labyrinth — with little areas regaining sparkle each month or so — has continued, the Paris-exclusive attraction even seeing… new paint! The red edgings of the entire labyrinth have finally been repainted, a year after similar edgings on the Fantasyland-Discoveryland path received paint before them, and scenes like the Caterpillar suddenly “pop” like they should again:
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ROBINSONS RETURN TO LA CABANE
Also brought back to life this Summer is La Cabane des Robinson, previously the only other “blackspot” alongside the Labyrinth. For too long the treehouse has been bleak and worn. Props missing, effects broken, no colour. It was as if the Robinsons had long ago moved on from their treetop abode. Not any more — refreshed woodwork, new props and a complete clean-up really make it “pop”. Effects like the self-playing organ are still missing.
Even the water fountains were revisited and given an extra spruce-up:
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WOODCARVER’S WORKSHOP RE-OPENS
Not entirely the amazing news that might suggest, but nevertheless the long-abandoned Woodcarver’s Workshop over in Cottonwood Creek Ranch, next to what is now Woody’s Roundup, has finally been brought back into service — selling drinks and souvenir photos from the character meet ‘n’ greets inside.
A long way from the actual woodcarvers who used to create personalised souvenirs here, but good to see it alive and well in some form, eh?
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ENCHANTED FIREWORKS DAMPENED AGAIN
The Enchanted Fireworks have returned for their second year — dampened again in similar style to the later shows last year, when the nearby town of Chessy apparently banged on the wall and issued a loud “shhh”. Fans, and even apparently some regular guests, aren’t too impressed with the “new” show.
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ATTRACTION OPEN 12:00 – 12:05
The same limited opening schedule of attractions put in place last Summer has returned again this year, with visitors taking much more notice. Some say it’s fair enough that they have to close attractions early, since most people have headed to Main Street to watch Fantillusion, whilst others leave annoyed that the park’s advertised opening time of 10am to 11pm isn’t strictly true.
Most agree that the whole situation would be better if the limited openings schedule was at least published somewhere other than only at the attraction entrances themselves — on the tips board, in the Programme leaflet, for example.
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GOOGLE EARTH 3D: WORTH THE WAIT
The much-publicised and subsequently much-delayed official 3D recreation of Disneyland Paris in Google Earth finally launched in mid-May and proved to be well worth the wait, offering a truly spectacular metre-by-metre recreation of every inch of the parks and resort. Visit www.disneylandparis.com/googleearth3d and lose a few hours.
A few days later, Google Street View was also added for small stretches of each park:
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BROCHURE TESTS THE LIMITS
Have you seen the brochures and advertising for Walt Disney World? How grand and high-class it all looks. For Paris, however, the brochures in particular seem to be getting ever more garish and in-your-face with each publication. The latest, current brochure for Autumn/Winter 2009/10 features some truly frightening images of blurred children flying above the parks, with so much photoshopping and saturated colour you can barely see the resort they’re trying to advertise.
The actual, printed version also comes with a bizarre claim on the cover of “First ever interactive brochure”. Beyond the cut-out on the cover (Mickey is actually on the page behind), the only evidence of this is a French (+33) mobile number you can text to get a video trailer of the new theme year. Several weeks later, nothing received here.
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VAT REDUCTION? VAT CHANCE
The French government has officially lowered the VAT rate for cafés and restaurants from 19.6% to just 5.5% in order to keep the industry afloat, and, while you’ll certainly find many notifications of this within the resort, you’ll be much harder pressed to actually find reductions.
Whilst some things, especially the Half Board vouchers, have come down in price, most scenarios have just seen the prices stay the same and Disneyland Paris pocketing the difference in order to prop up the large drop in food and beverage sales this year — mostly on account of the prices being too high during a recession. Good thinking.
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ICE CREAM ARRIVES ON-SET
Walt Disney Studios Park must have been the only theme park in the world without a proper ice cream location until the latest change in its food & beverages offering. The Franklin Department Store façade (similar to the exterior of Gone Hollywood at DCA, international fans) gave up its wonderful 1950s-themed period window to become a new kiosk serving actual, real Ben & Jerry’s by the scoop.
The lost window was more interesting than the one remaining, featuring a mannequin woman sitting with a 1950s travel magazine, retro television and monster/sci-fi movie poster. The Tower of Terror across the way has such a minimal build-up in Paris that small period-setting details like this really mattered — the Imagineers would have put an ice cream kiosk in there from the start otherwise.
Couldn’t such a vital theme park component as ice cream have commanded its own building somewhere? Rather than expanding, the park almost seems to be imploding, with under-sized kiosks popping up all over where real, full-size boutiques and restaurants should be. More than anything, one single serving window for this in such a prominent position is madness.
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BLOCKBUSTERS IN THE BACKLOT
Over in Backlot, the big news has been the complete gutting of Backlot Express, the “props warehouse” counter service restaurant, in favour of the more brand-friendly idea of themed rooms dedicated to the Pirates of the Caribbean and High School Musical franchises. The changeover began with the arrival of a plain Ford Focus outside the restaurant, plastered with “HSM3” stickers…
The new logo has been completed on the outside…
And as for the inside? Well, real props from these two trilogies have yet to appear, with the High School Musical area causing much fan hair-tearing already with its “themeing” of bland posters, banners and mini basketballs (taken from merchandise). The “East High” theme does sit well within the building, but this isn’t anything someone with a good printer could set up themselves. Are there not even any costumes from the film lying around over in Burbank?
Beyond the “torn bedsheets” (as described by magicforum members) hanging from the ceiling, the ‘Pirates’ area has defied the odds and just presented the first real surprise of this project — the removal of the metal railings of the raised “garage” area to be replaced with pirate ship-styled wooden banisters and a full ship’s wheel.
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TELEVISION STUDIOS GOES ’50s
…Or is that wishful thinking? With a long-overdue repaint of the Walt Disney Television Studios building (home to Playhouse and Stitch Live) finally beginning back in April and only just making real progress, have the maintenance teams really taken a step back and reconsidered the building, rather than just bursting ahead with the same ugly yellows the original designers chose in 2002?
Yes, it seems so! The architecture was already within the period, but the colours didn’t quite fit. Now, a deep red has replaced the turquoise on the “fins” atop the building, with the yellow turning a much more earthy, peachy shade, in whole much closer to a 1950s Hollywood look and more pleasing next to the subdued tones of the Hollywood Tower Hotel just opposite.
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ANIMAGIQUE KIOSK MARK II
The bland merchandise kiosk which appeared outside Animagique in 2007 now has a partner. Filling in dead space on the right of the same TV Studios building, this little location opened just this week, using the new colour scheme and dressed up in a pleasingly similar style of fins and neons.
Photo: Sean Hamilton
In any other Disney park, such a location would be given a name or some kind of personality (think Crossroads of the World at Disney’s Hollywood Studios). It offers the usual generic collection of character merchandise.
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ROCKEFELLER PLAZA REBORN
Could this be the start of a new era for the environs of Disney’s Hotel New York? The Rockefeller Plaza building, a dull games arcade for far too long, has finally reopened as a lovely café refreshments location for the Summer.
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MICKEY SWINGS INTO — AND ONTO — BUFFALO BILL’S
It was the controversy of the year — nay, the decade — and now it looks like Mickey Mouse has made home. The not-so-great poster previously stuck on the Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show entrance has just been replaced by a large model of Mickey Mouse abseiling down over the building.
Whilst it looks much smarter now, it has fans worried that the mouse may well be there to stay. On the subject of the show itself, the current Summer park programme leaflets are now advertising Adult tickets for the price of Child tickets. In high season? Maybe adding a mouse wasn’t the best way to sell the scale of this truly epic dinner show.
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FASTPASS FOR MONEY
This one must be the second-biggest controversy of the year, then. In itself not a huge thing by any means, this could however be the first step of a huge shift in how Fastpass works. From 18th July to 4th August, guests staying at Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Hotel New York and, it seems, Disney’s Newport Bay Club, can buy a special “Premium FASTPASS” for €80 per person per day.
The ticket is effectively a VIP FASTPASS, the unlimited-access ticket previously given only to guests in Club rooms and Suites, allowing you to use the FASTPASS queues for attractions as and when you want, as many times as you want to.
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STUDIO 1 REFURBISHMENT CONTINUES
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GOOFY’S SUMMER CAMP
Somewhere you won’t find Mickey this year is the new show at The Chaparral Theater in Frontierland. Yes, since we last updated the topic, The Tarzan Encounter was cancelled again — for good.
This new show is somewhat like the Summer cousin to the brilliant Mickey’s Winter Wonderland, only scuppered by a desperation for audience interaction, with too few scenes between. However, with a live country band as the big “plus” to replace the Winter ice rink, a great stage and some nice musical numbers, it’s winning more fans than certain other shows this year, and much more fitting for its location than Tarzan ever was.
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MAIN STREET COMES ALIVE WITH MARCHING BAND
Last seen making brief appearances last Summer on the old Central Plaza Stage, the brass band has returned! Now performing a brilliant set of Disney music (even including Hans Zimmer’s Pirates score!) on Town Square, this is the kind of classic Disneyland entertainment we rarely see in Paris, so enjoy! The only problem — no one, not the makers of the park programme, nor the Cast Members inside City Hall, appear to have been given their performance schedule.
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CARL’S HOUSE FLIES OVER FRANCE
The real-life version of the balloon-lifted house from Pixar’s next — and 10th — major hit, “Up”, travelled over to France recently and, amongst appearing in some truly spectacular hot air balloon festivals, paid a visit to Disneyland Paris early one morning.
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Who’d have known — the Sleeping Beauty fountain inside the Castle gallery was actually meant to trickle down into the waterfall below, beside the staircase, as one, complete water system! Now, after truly years of being turned off and ignored, it’s fixed and running. The “crystal” at the bottom of the falls glows, too!
Wonderful. Utmost appreciation to whoever made this happen.
Heading to Disneyland Resort Paris with Playhouse Disney fans over the next three weeks? You could be in luck. Member (and Cast Member) guimik at Disney Central Plaza forum has posted the full “soft opening” show schedule, as published internally at the resort.
It goes as follows:
Saturday 21st, Sunday 22nd, Monday 23rd March 2009
So, Playhouse Disney – Live on Stage! certainly won’t be the five-performances-a-day attraction expected. If the final soft opening date, 3rd April, just a day before the official opening, is the most likely to show the final schedule, this means we’ll be seeing 10 shows per day on peak dates. Five of those French, three English and two Spanish.
The same source, guimik, also confirms another very interesting detail — the capacity of the new theatre/show room is 480 guests. Next door, the benches of the Stitch Live! theatre welcome 200 guests per performance.
So, even given that guests at Playhouse Disney will sit on the floor close to the puppets’ stage and mostly be quite small-bodied, this new show room in the former Disney Channel CyberSpace post-show area will be quite a bit bigger.
Note: “Soft Opening”, by the way, is a Disney term given to advance previews of a new attraction, when it opens to the public ahead of the advertised date in order to train the Cast Members, test satisfaction and simply make sure everything is ready for the big day. It should be noted that these dates and showtimes can therefore be subject to change or cancellation without notice.
One year without a parade seems to have done this embellished version of the Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade the world of good. “It looks amazing!”, “I want to be there”, “Oh wow!!”, “Wonderful”, read the comments on our first article. Best of all, “It’s great to see Paris take this show and really add some magic to it.” Looks like they pulled it off.
Now, here are two of the best additional videos of the previews; the first showing the cars arriving around Place des Stars, the second presenting the entire “production number” show, where (almost) each of the stars gets their moment in the spotlight.
Enjoy, thank jjasonz54 for uploading them to YouTube, and we’ll see you after for a few extra thoughts…
First question on most peoples’ lips has been “With a show this big and this good, why hasn’t it been featured in any of the TV advertisements?”. The simple answer could be that they just wanted to focus more on the “simpler” events like It’s Dance Time… in Discoveryland, which are very easy to put across in an advert.
The more interesting reasoning, on the other hand, is one that rips open the major flaw in this otherwise very well-executed concept: If this is going to be performed just once a day, before park closing, with the entire cavalcade gathering around Place des Stars Stage, there’d be some very disappointed guests if this were advertised too much.
Sure, the first half of the parade route does give a pretty big space for lots of guests to get a look at the cars passing, but people won’t be happy if they can’t get anywhere near this surprisingly lengthy 10-minute show at Place des Stars because the viewing area is so small.
If you’ve been following the arrival of this parade-event in Paris, you’ll know that the original concept for many months was to have the cars entering the park at three or four set locations, several times a day, perform their own little musical number and then give time for meet ‘n’ greets.
Combining all that into this single, evening event has arguably given a much better end product — with the downside of only allowing for a much smaller audience.
Usually it’s the press, shareholders or Cast Members who get first-look at the latest new events and attractions at Disneyland Resort Paris. Earlier tonight, just as daylight was fading over Marne-la-Vallée, that tradition was delightfully broken and normal, regular guests were the first to see a complete presentation of Disney’s Stars ‘n’ Cars.
As reported several times previously, you might recognise most of the vehicles — but this certainly isn’t the linear parade you’ll remember from Disney-MGM Studios in Florida. The event now combines a cavalcade, a surprisingly lengthy dance medley on Place des Stars Stage and a meet ‘n’ greet with guests all in one.
Showtime sign on Place des Stars Stage
Different also is the showtime of this new event — not 1pm as with the old Disney Cinema Parade, nor earlier in the day like Good Morning Walt Disney Studios. Instead, it’ll be happening half an hour before park closing each day, as a grand finale of the stars arriving for their “premiere” after “wrapping production” on the film shoots of the day.
So, for the parade doors in Toon Studio to open and reveal the first of the Stars ‘n’ Cars driving out onto the parade route earlier tonight, fans had to wait right until 6.30pm. We’ve collected some of the best of the first photos, taken by Grégory Grienche, Aléxandre Rosa and Clément Poizot. See the links at the bottom of this article for more of these lucky fans’ first photos…
And now, the very first video clip!
This video shows the stars returning back to Toon Studio across Disney Bros. Plaza, with the original “Roll out the red carpet” theme from Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade now combined with a park closing announcement:
Tonight, 10th March 2009, at 6.30pm, the Stars ‘n’ Cars will do it all over again in a second and final preview performance, so check back soon for even more photos and videos!
These two avant-premieres are designed to test both audience reaction and the handing of the event by park operations, to tweak or improve the performance if necessary before its actual premiere on 4th April 2009.
Photos: 1, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 25, 26, 27 by Grégory Grienche (more 1 | more 2); 2, 3, 4, 14 by CharactersPhotos Blog (more); 5, 6, 9, 24, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36 by Aléxandre Rosa (more); Video: pitiguigui, YouTube.
We’ve been used to that tiny corner of Production Coutyard being behind blue construction walls for over a year now, but last week saw a sudden flurry of new fences — and more dramatic activity — in the area.
The walls have been extended to cover a much larger area in front of — and, interestingly, to the left of — the park’s new attraction.
But that’s not all — continuing Paris’ love for high-tech video screen tips and times boards, the old poster case has now been fitted with a fancy LCD screen, so that the show times are updated throughout the day and always kept in-sync with the LED electronic displays below the entrance sign.
Next, our friends at Photos Magiques did what fans do best and moved over to the top of the Disney Village parking structure to get a look behind those construction fences…
Above, you can see the new wall constructed along the side of the Television Studios building, where it is expected guests will exit from the attraction. Recently, the backstage doors here were painted the same purple/pink as the Playhouse Disney logo.
What? Not dramatic enough for you? Well, take a look at this…!
Just as they were blasting a hole in the wall of Walt Disney Studios Store, the construction crew were finally given chance to let loose and remove that abandoned character trailer!
As we only very recently wrote in a special Wish List column about the decaying caravan, it had long ago ceased to serve its purpose. Since this expansion slot is unlikely to see construction of Soarin’ or another new attraction anytime soon, we concluded it’d be a wise investment to build up a higher berm (a boundary hill) and some thick trees here, to finally block the outside world.
Well, they’ve been ruthless enough to finally remove the dirty temporary fences along this stretch and fill in the area where the trailer used to be, to make sure it all looks clean and tidy for the launch of Playhouse Disney. But, this is still the Disneyland Resort Paris we know and love…
As can be seen, both the main logo and the four smaller signs all have depth to them, likely to be lit from inside similar to the Stitch Live! signage. The “Live on Stage!” portion of the logo sits on top of the Playhouse Disney Mickey Mouse ears.
Since the attraction will be known simply as “Playhouse Disney – Live!” to most non-English speaking markets, it’s interesting the Imagineers insisted on the full title for the entrance signage, probably to differentiate this stage-based puppet show from the video screen-based living character show next door.
The zoom-ins, courtesy of DisneyGazette.fr, continue with a view from the parking structure of Disney Village, which lies just behind the empty expansion slot in Production Courtyard. From here, it’s now possible to see the completed waiting area barriers, turnstiles and ticket booth-style Cast Member shelter, all similar to Stitch Live! next door.
There are four turnstiles, as for Stitch, but here they all lead into a single waiting area. As mentioned in a previous update, it is expected the show will be performed around five times a day, similar to Animagique, and likely with separate performances for French and English.
Whilst those electronic displays built into the roof canopy above will display the remaining seats for the next show, the full show schedule, it seems, will also be posted outside the attraction — on the grey noticeboard which Photos Magiquesrecently reported had been removed from outside Stitch Live!.
As NewsDLRP spots, the board has now reappeared outside Playhouse Disney – Live on Stage!, likely because Stitch’s 15-minute show schedules didn’t really require a full guide to be posted outside.
The roof canopy we saw being constructed so faithfully to the design of the Walt Disney Television Studios it joins onto was only the beginning. The third new attraction in Production Courtyard has finally unveiled its entrance — and the look is every bit in-keeping with the location.
Well, admittedly the bright yellow Mickey Mouse shape and its colourful text is a slight departure, but the pink border actually matches the circa-2002 column of Stitch Live! next door, as does the new Playhouse Disney column itself…
Though, with that pre-designed pink border in place, and to give a bit of variety compared to Stitch, the Imagineers have instead gone with a classic deep red column for the alien’s new TV partner. And, rather than a satellite dish, a fancifully-designed, smaller antenna.
The Playhouse sign and column also sit slightly to the left of the show times indicator below, rather than at its middle. This provides an end point to the extended canopy and allows both signs to be seen easily between the trees of the courtyard.
But they weren’t done there… It’s worth remembering that Playhouse Disney doesn’t have the same widespread recognition it does across the USA, with some Europeans perhaps never encountering it before either through lack of a premium TV subscription or its plain lack of availability in their country.
So, to give a little idea of the characters to be found inside, four new images of the four groups of characters popping out from colourful TV screens has been added next to the main logo, as seen above.
The attraction has also been announced as officially opening on 4th April 2009 in the ‘Backstage’ Cast Member magazine, though so-called “soft opening” previews/open rehearsals are expected during the week or fortnight before then.
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.
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