Monday, 2nd July 2007

Official 2008 15th Anniversary Brochure Preview

If you’re in the UK, the new brochure is available right now. If not, you’ve probably got a little bit longer to wait, so here’s you’re first look at the Autumn/Winter 2007/2008 15th Anniversary Brochure. Before we look inside, why not look back at the first anniversary brochure, so you can spot the change?

And what a change this is. Once again, a new brochure brings another brand new design both inside and out for the official brochure, which has now ditched the minimal, stylish cover used for the past 3 seasons in favour of a much lounder and more attention-grabbing design…

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Front Cover

The recognisable red carpet of classic characters from the advertising campaigns throughout the year has been reworked with a new Autumnal backdrop. There’s no mistake this is a Disneyland brochure — something that was maybe a bit harder to realise with the first 15th brochure and its golden “15” centrepiece.

The general page layout remains similar to the past two brochures – a fold-out first page, price guides within the book and two double-page spreads for each park. However, the actual design has been totally renewed throughout, and is generally more professional, simple and modern yet again, going back to the clean and clear 2006 versions rather than the flashier (and slightly messier, in retrospect) Spring/Summer 2007 edition. The message throughout is that time is running out, the celebration will only last until March 2008.

How better to make that message clear than with the White Rabbit?

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First Page, Closed

Fold the page out, and you’ll find the four birthday gifts they’re proudest of – Kids Under 7 Stay & Play Free, A New Parade, More Characters and — here’s the big one — Four New Attractions. How many of us could have ever imagined to see an advertisement like that in an official Disneyland Resort Paris brochure?

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First Page, Folded Out

This is also the very first introduction of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. They’re making no attempt to hide the size and impact of the attraction, the dazzling key visual we revealed one month ago is clearly the biggest on the page. After all, this really is “it” now — the culmination of their huge investment programme, the biggest single new attraction since Space Mountain. They really can’t mess this one up. The logo used is the one we’re all familiar with, but Disneyland Resort Paris have altered it slightly from California with a darker yellow colour and some Photoshop bevel & emboss.

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Contents / Experiences

Into the brochure itself, the Contents page is now as simple and clear as can be. Only six sections are listed, on a red page bordered with gold — a theme then carried through all the introduction pages in the brochure. Opposite, a fantastic photo of the main anniversary characters around a giant “15” symbol. You might have already seen this on those “interactive” billboards in Paris, now also a great way to open the brochure.

The next double page (for the resort’s various “Experiences”) introduces the standard page design of the brochure, quite different to the first 15th Anniversary edition. Lots of “whitespace” and simple, small text bordered by colourful photos. They’re even branching into new territory here with a greater focus on adults and seniors in the photos and a large paragraph titled “Just for grown-ups”, something many fans have suggested for years. You’ll see more additions like this through the rest of the pages…

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Parks Introduction

The parks introduction page again uses the Castle and Earful Tower together, that most favourite of mistakes for fans, but certainly looks much more inviting than the previous edition.

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Disneyland Park

Disneyland Park already unveiled all of its 15th Anniversary events back in April, but they’ve stuck with the illustrations and visuals to advertise them, placing Dreams of Imagination and Dreams of Fantasy on a red carpet. Even Disney Characters’ Express has made its way into a prominent place on the page, listed alongside Candleabration to hint that — since this brochure is valid from now until March — both of these features will indeed continue right through Halloween and Christmas. The second double-page is more standard, still with Buzz Lightyear in the spotlight and all the usual classic attractions.

Walt Disney Studios Park is the real star of this brochure, finally coming across as the kind of qualified second gate that will make guests decide to stay an extra night. Apparently, there’s some new attractions opening at the park, too…

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Walt Disney Studios Park (1)

One page, four new attractions. Crush’s Coaster and Cars Race Rally are still featuring using their same old key visuals and Stitch Encounter (or rather ‘Stitch Interactive Attraction’ for now) is hidden away in there, but the star of this production is undoubtedly The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. A full page is dedicated to its fantastic key visual and reworked logo.

Remember when no-one thought Disneyland Resort Paris would use ‘The Twilight Zone’ aspect of its storyline at all? Well, now that the first piece of advertising is shouting out at us, it looks like they couldn’t be more proud of it. As with Crush and Cars, however, that recognisable brand comes at a price — they’re now required to print “The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is inspired by The Twilight Zone, a registered trademark of CBS, Inc.” (CBS being the US television network which originally aired the series) on every page featuring the attraction.

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Walt Disney Studios Park (2)

Another thing they couldn’t be more proud of is the actual theme of Tower of Terror. Whilst Space Mountain: Mission 2 was marketed for its thrill alone, they’re already hyping the unique atmosphere and theming of The Hollywood Tower Hotel. The second key visual included is therefore… a bellhop. This brand new image, never before used for the Florida or California Towers, looks set to become very familiar over the next six months. Despite this renewed interest in good theming versus basic thrills, however, there’s no mention anywhere of either Toon Studio or the Hollywood Boulevard projects, which is a shame considering the effort (and money) put into them.

This second double page excitedly lists almost all the attractions at Walt Disney Studios Park — quite an impressive list these days — and also features a glimpse at the very first (and very understated) advertising for Stitch, an image from Hong Kong. What’s more interesting is the small sentence next to its listing in the attractions guide — “Stitch Interactive Attraction — the chance to interview Stitch live”, confirming that the story of the attraction will be a live interview with Stitch in outer space, and that the television studio theme is definitely staying.

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Seasons & Events

The Seasons & Events page doesn’t have much to reveal this year, as Halloween and Christmas take a backseat for the anniversary. Next to a nice new image of Stitch to advertise Halloween, we learn only that this October will bring “special shows and events” and “special make-up and hair ‘boo’-tiques”. Christmas is equally vague, but the prominent use of a photo featuring the Enchanted Fairytale “Chandeliers” raises the question if they can be used at the same time as Lumiere’s banners, and if indeed they will return this November…

St David’s Welsh Festival and St Patrick’s Day are also confirmed to return in 2008, following huge success earlier this year.

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Disney Village

‘Fun Beyond the Parks’ brings us four double-page spreads showcasing Disney Village, dining, recreation and the Paris region, the introduction page featuring a rather nice new photo of Disney Village itself. The next page, ‘Taste the magic’, features options such as character meals, Half Board, Christmas meals and the restaurant reservations hotline. The new Disney Princes & Princesses meals at Auberge du Cendrillon are given a strong push here.

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Spa, Sports & Relaxation

Following on that trend of more adult-orientated features, a new double-page now lists leisure and recreation across the resort with some modern and fresh photos — one in particular not what guests might expect from Disney. The new ‘Celestia Spa’ at Disneyland Hotel seems to be the focus here.

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Disney Hotels Introduction / Disney Hotels pages sample

The Disney Hotels pages are another big improvement over the previous edition of the official brochure, with a nicer introduction page and massively improved pages for each hotel. The design is now far more modern and fresh, with new photos, better information and more emphasis on the features only available at Disney Hotels, such as Extra Magic Hours. Continuing their new love of good theming, the first large bullet point on the “why stay at a Disney hotel?” page is now… “Disney theming”.

Disney’s Davy Crockett Ranch gets its own double-page, before the pages shift suddenly into the slightly dull pages entitled “Other Accommodation” for the partner hotels.

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2008 Resort Map & Official Partners

The 2008 Resort Map will be a bit of a disappointment to perfectionists. Even though they’d finally managed a correct illustration of the esplanade and hub area for the 15 years development plan revealed in February, the map to be used for 2008 is the same as that for 2007, with Tower of Terror simply replacing Reign of Fire.

More interesting, though, are the “official partners” now featured in the corner of this page — the regulars are joined by Ford and Unilever, Nestlé has now completely gone and right in the middle… IBM. They’re still hanging on!

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Special Offers / Price Guide pages sample

The special offers page is also new and improved, the calendar of offers shown via a red carpet wrapping across the top of the page. The usual ‘Kids Free’ offer in the early months of each year is now known by the snappy title of ‘Kids Under 12 Stay, Play & Travel for Free’.

Price guide pages use better photos and are generally simplified yet again. New features include more emphasis on the special benefits at Disney Hotels and the various offers and options available with each booking — “Add Half Board Plus for £16”, for example, similar to the new booking system of the official website.

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Eurostar / Mickey’s Holiday Dinner Show

This being the UK brochure, there’s a lot of extra space devoted to travel and transport, in particular the direct Eurostar which moves to St Pancras International from 14th November and will then enjoy journey times of less than 3 hours from the heart of London to the gates of Disneyland. There’s also photos and details on the new entertainments and privileges introduced to make the direct Eurostar a little more “Disney”, such as a jazz band at London and better activity packs for kids.

Finally, amongst the three double pages of “magical options”, one change stands out — it appears that the Christmas dinner show at Disney’s Newport Bay Club, formerly titled The Magical World of Tinker Bell, will change its name this year to ‘Mickey’s Holiday Dinner Show’. The vague description mentions “music and dance” with “Disney friends”, hinting perhaps that the only change may be the name.

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Back Cover

And there we have it, the second and final Official 15th Anniversary Brochure!

The world outside the gates of Disneyland now knows that Tower of Terror is on its way to Paris in just six months, that ‘Stitch Interactive Attraction’ will bring the new attraction total at Walt Disney Studios to four, and that — quite simply — this is one year at Disneyland nobody should miss.

All images scanned by DLRP Today, brochure © Disney.

Friday, 29th June 2007

Disney Village to host European Festival of Martial Arts 2008

The new event will see martial arts teams, clubs and organisations descend on the resort from 26th to 28th September 2008, competing in special tournaments inside the Disney’s Hotel New York convention centre and joining in streetmosphere at Disney Village that will include entertainers, market stalls, themed restaurants, demonstrations, lion dance and live video feeds from the ongoing tournaments.

The Disney Village and Lake Disney area of Disneyland Resort Paris has built quite a name for itself over the years hosting seasonal and sporting events,which have ranged from the recent “Tropical Festival” and annual “Country Western Festival” to major sporting occasions such as an X-Games tournament and the annual Xtra Jet jet ski competition. Announced well over one year in advance, this upcoming event shows the amount of time and planning which goes into each of these seasonal events, always a good boost for the resort – and particularly its hotels.

One of the organisers of the event has kindly contacted us with information and a brochure (aimed at clubs who might wish to take part), which can be seen below. Long-time fans might notice the recycling of various graphics and photos from Disneyland Park‘s old Mulan – The Legend show, as well as the Disney Village Chinese New Year events – could some of the props from these events also reappear?

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The Times Square ballroom of Disney’s Hotel New York will host the main tournaments, “transformed into a warriors’ arena with fully matted competition, seminar areas and tiered spectator seating”. Competitions will culimate in a grand final at the Disney Village Dome. The event claims it will welcome everyone “no matter what age or level you’re at”, and allow competitors in a wide range of areas, such as Karate, Kung Fu, Tae Kwon Do, Judo, BJJ, Kickboxing or Capoeira.

With promises that the organisers will be “turning Disney Village into an oriental-themed festival”, it seems that – for those of us without a black belt – this future event will also offer more than just sporting matches.

Brochure images © Disney / EFMA2008. See the official website here.

Tuesday, 26th June 2007

Incident at Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster

The thoughts and sympathies of ourselves along with all Disney fans and theme park visitors will be with the family and friends of the teenager today, along with the Cast Members attending the attraction during this unfortunate event.

The news has been reported this morning on several French television and news networks, with BBC News Online providing the following brief report:

Teenager dies at Disneyland Paris

French police are investigating the mysterious death of a 14-year-old girl who lost consciousness while riding on a roller coaster at Disneyland Paris.

The Spanish teenager’s friends noticed she was unconscious when the RockNRoller Coaster ride had stopped. Medical teams at the theme park tried to revive her but by the time an ambulance arrived, the girl had died.

A preliminary inspection of the roller coaster found no machinery malfunction, but the ride remains closed. Disneyland spokesman Pieter Boterman said the ride would not reopen until the cause of the girl’s death was determined.

The ride is at the Walt Disney Studios Park in Marne-la-Vallee, east of the French capital.

A postmortem is being held today to determine the exact cause of death. As reported, an inspection of the roller coaster yesterday found no faults or malfunctions. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster remains one of the most intense of all Disney’s attractions at its five themed resorts, pulling up to 5Gs of force through its 1037 metre layout and 3 inversions.

The attraction first opened at Disney-MGM Studios Florida (Walt Disney World) in July 1999 and this near-identical design at Walt Disney Studios Park (Paris) in March 2002, featuring a duplicated ride layout with an alternate theme applied on top. It is not known if any action will be taken at Walt Disney World today following this news. Followers of Disney park news worldwide may recall similar events at Walt Disney World itself, where rides have triggered medical problems in at least two guests – the most related, a 12 year old boy almost one year ago.

Whilst no ramifications could possibly outweigh the tragedy of this event itself, from an operational point of view it comes at an unfortunate time for the park and resort, in the middle of its 15th Anniversary Celebration and currently welcoming more guests than ever through the gates of Walt Disney Studios Park following the opening of its two new attractions. What could be considered the “sister” attraction of Rock ‘n’ Roller CoasterSpace Mountain: Mission 2 at Disneyland Park – is also currently closed for a brief period during the routine bi-annual replacement of its launch cables.

We’ll bring you more updates on this story as soon as any news breaks.

Saturday, 16th June 2007

Autumn-Winter brochure says “there’s still time!”

The new brochure appears to break from the tradition of the past three, which since Spring/Summer 2006 have featured simple, bright covers with a single image at the centre. Perhaps as a final kick to the 15th Anniversary Celebration, this new Autumn/Winter brochure for the second half of the Anniversary features a crowded cover of Disney characters surrounding a re-designed version of the Anniversary Castle visual. It’s an image that has become familiar from the resort’s impressive advertising campaign, however, so should work well as a recognisable Disneyland Paris image for prospective guests.

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At the foot of the red carpet, you can read “There’s still time to join the party!”, with an inside page proclaiming “The time is now, the magic is here!”. If the original 15th Anniversary brochure was all about pouring out their long list of new features, this second brochure is all about trying to capture as many people as possible before the celebration concludes.

What can we expect inside the brochure? Along with the usual information about Halloween and Christmas, there should be fairly big push for The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, likely using that key visual we presented a couple of weeks ago. If you’re outside the UK and have to wait a little longer for the next official brochure to arrive across your borders, don’t worry – as soon as it arrives at DLRP Today we’ll be giving you a good look inside at all the best bits!

» Click Here to order your Autumn/Winter brochure today! (UK)

Friday, 1st June 2007

From Disneyland to Disneyland

Most guests rush through the resort area each day on their way to Disneyland Park or Walt Disney Studios Park, perhaps missing these clever new symbols on the central hub of the entire resort. For these guests there’s still an improvement to be spotted — the bright-white security tents have finally been changed to a much more pleasant green, as at Disneyland Resort in California, for example.

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And for anyone who takes their time and takes a look down at the ground, they’ll spot some unique floor decorations that bring the five Disney resorts closer than ever before. With all the current ‘Disney Parks’ branding going on and each resort beginning to share more styles, ideas and advertising, this is another step in the widespread plan of Bob Iger and Jay Rasulo to bring the parks and resorts closer together, to work off of eachother and help eachother out.

At select angles of the compass design embedded into the floor of the hub, you’ll now find a series of golden discs showing the logo for each of the four other Disney resorts, their opening date and the distance from Disneyland Resort Paris to these overseas parks.

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Whilst Disneyland Resort Paris is often short-changed when mentioned by the other resorts with an incorrect name or logo (usually the old Disneyland Paris logo, now 6 years gone), the people behind these new compass points have made sure to get the logos of Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort, Tokyo Disney Resort and Hong Kong Disneyland right up-to-date. You’ll see Disneyland Resort with its classic Walt Disney script, rather than the clinical 2001 version, and Walt Disney World Resort with its golden arc and stars — “stolen” from the 2002 Disneyland Resort Paris logo.

Currently, Disneyland Resort Paris is the only Disney resort in the world to acknowledge the others in this way. Will each resort get a similar centrepiece, or is this just a friendly “Bonjour!” from the folks in Paris?

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The distances from Paris to the other Disney resorts…

Disneyland Resort – Anaheim, California
9102 km

Walt Disney World Resort – Orlando, Florida
7272km

Tokyo Disney Resort – Tokyo, Japan
9698 km

Hong Kong Disneyland – Hong Kong, China
9584 km

As you can see, Disneyland Resort Paris is around halfway between the resorts of the West (California and Florida) and the East (Hong Kong and Tokyo) — the Disney magic has wrapped its way around the entire globe!

“It’s a small world afterall”, and the hub of Disneyland Resort Paris finally has a little golden touch of Disney magic.

All photos by Photos Magiques.

Friday, 1st June 2007

Disney Magic drops anchor in Barcelona

The Disney Cruise Line first began as a pilot test in 1995, with the first of Disney’s own ships — the Disney Magic — coming into service in 1998 and the second — the Disney Wonder — arriving in 1999. The operation grew rapidly throughout the late 90s and can without doubt be hailed as one of the greatest modern success stories for Disney. The good news for Disneyland Resort Paris fans? Karl Holz, CEO of Euro Disney SCA, was president of Disney Cruise Line before moving to cheif operating officer role in Paris, and can be thanked somewhat for the huge boom in popularity for Disney’s cruise intinerary.

It’s the Disney Magic that will complete the Mediterranean cruises scheduled for this Summer. Apparently the more daring of the two vessels, she spent the Summer of 2005 on the West Coast of the USA, rather than the ships’ usual Caribbean route, as a try-out during Disneyland’s 50th. Now, for Disneyland Resort Paris’ 15th, she’s gone trans-atlantic and arrived in the port of Barcelona, Spain for a Summer of 10 and 11-day cruises around the Mediterranean. With two more, far larger, ships now on order for 2011 and 2012, success for these holidays could eventually mean a more permanent spot for Disney in the Med…

This isn’t quite the same as building a Sleeping Beauty Castle or Earful Tower amongst the landscape, though. The Disney details are kept to a minimum, and a subtle yet very high quality look takes over. It’s almost like Paris’ Disneyland Hotel floating on water – elegant and stylish, but with small Disney details to make sure the fun is always there.

The Disney Magic’s version of the Mickey Mouse Clock? Try the Mickey Mouse funnel!

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The Disney Magic logo is discreet and whimsical…

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And the golden detailing of the ship’s bow features not only hidden Mickeys, but hidden Minnies (riding jet skis no less)…

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…Along with hidden Plutos and even hidden Daisys.

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The 10 and 11-night cruises include stops at: Palmero (Sicily), Naples (Italy), Olbia (Sardinia), Sivitavecchia (Italy), La Spezia (Italy), Marseilles (France), Villefranche (France). The ship also offered guests the chance to book a 14-day cruise on its Eastbound and Westbound route across the Atlantic, with calls at ,Cadiz (Spain), Gibraltar (UK), Tenerife (Canary Islands) and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.

For guests arriving via shuttle bus at the port from the city of Barcelona, they’re also met with a fairly subtle Disney touch. As a temporary try-out itinerary, the biggest signs of Disney might be the uniformed Cast Members or the “Welcome Home” banners.

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“Is there a Disneyland Resort Paris connection with the ship’s arrivial in Europe?” I hear you ask. Well, yes! It was several years ago now that we first heard rumours a Disney Cruise Line ship would be sailing the Med, but no-one could ever be sure if the two Disney destinations would be able to team up the way they do in Florida. In April of this year, the Mediterranean cruises were given a prominent spotlight at the 15th Anniversary press conference, guests booking a cruise were given the option to add a stay at Disneyland Resort Paris onto the beginning or end of their time at sea, and there’s also a little surprise waiting at port…

The walkway to the ship also features a giant banner showing the Disney Magic and her new Mediterranean itinerary. But as we know from Paris, where there’s a Disney banner this year, there’s bound to be Lumière! Flying the flag for the French and for Disneyland Resort paris, he appears in the familiar design covering about a third of the entire display.

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Should these cruises in honour of Disney’s 15th Anniversary in Europe be a success, maybe –just maybe — Spain will get a full-time dose of Disney (Magic or otherwise) for the 20th, particularly if Wikipedia (and the findings of many guests trying to book on these trips) are to be believed…

“These trips have proved to be very popular; not only did most rooms sell out immediately after the reservations opened, but the side excursions that were made available also were sold out within hours. For Castaway Cay members side trips that were opened as of March 18, 2007 were almost completely sold out within 18 hours.”

With the Disney Magic returning to the West Coast of the USA in 2008, an encore could certainly be in sight here too.

More information about Disney Cruise Line can be found at the official website.

All photos by Dream_Maker (Jordi).

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