Wednesday, 18th March 2009

World-famous Ladurée creates the Mickey macaron

Of a greedy disposition? Still keeping up with your New Year diet? Best skip this one.

The world-renowned, Parisian luxury cakes and pastries brand Ladurée is, surprisingly, a fan of that Mouse out in Marne-la-Vallée. For this Paris institution and tourist must-taste, famed for its “double-decker macaron, fifteen thousand of which are sold every day”, has teamed up with –yes– Disneyland Resort Paris.

The very Parisian “Chef pâtissiers” are helping to launch the very American resort’s new year-long event, Mickey’s Magical Party, by creating… the Mickey macaron.

Ladurée Mickey Macaron

Now, “what’s a macaron?”, you ask…? Ladurée’s creation sees two outer shells — crispy on the outside, soft and chewy like a cookie on the inside — sandwich a thick, rich layer of ganache filling. They come in over 20 varieties — with a new one added each season — and in all the colours of the rainbow.

Disneyland Resort Paris has captured the entire process for us to feast over…

Ladurée Mickey Macaron Ladurée Mickey Macaron

First, a stencil for the base needs to be created. Then, the “pâtissiers” fill it with three circles of thick, raspberry macaron mixture.

Ladurée Mickey Macaron Ladurée Mickey Macaron

Next, the creamy raspberry-flavoured ganache (imagine the inside of a chocolate truffle) is smothered all over the bright red base, with three separate, circular macaron shells added to finish this special creation — one rich chocolate, one vanilla and the largest raspberry.

Ladurée Mickey Macaron Ladurée Mickey Macaron

The creators at Ladurée appear to be rather proud of their special creation — 17 years on, has Disneyland Resort Paris finally become “acceptible” in the mean, disparaging streets of Paris?

If the intoxicating sweetness of the Mickey macaron itself wasn’t enough, it comes wrapped in possibly the sweetest gift box ever seen, featuring a child-like Mickey Mouse in black and white above the Ladurée logo.

Ladurée Mickey Macaron

And to taste their final creation, the Mouse himself even travelled into the city to the luxurious flagship pâtisserie of Ladurée…

Ladurée Mickey Macaron

How can you get a taste of the Mickey macaron? It’ll be on sale in that cute gift box at Disneyland Resort Paris, in Walt’s – An American Restaurant in Main Street, USA and California Grill at Disneyland Hotel for two months from 4th April 2009, costing 12 euros.

Then, for a limited time from 4th to 10th May 2009 (perhaps they’re not that keen on promoting the Mouse after all), it’ll be on sale in the spectacular Ladurée boutique on the Champs-Elysées itself, setting you back a slightly inflated 14 euros.

Now, get a cloth and wipe that drool from your keyboard, will you?

Pictures © Disney/Ladurée.

Wednesday, 28th January 2009

Buffalo Bill recruits Mickey Mouse for Wild West Show!

Check your calendar, it’s not April 1st. Yet DLRP Today can this morning confirm that Mickey Mouse will be given a starring role in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.

In fact, this news broke online just yesterday evening, only hours after it was announced to Cast Members and the resort’s sales offices. But we can go a little better than that…

Want to *see* Mickey Mouse in his new Western role?

Hold onto your hats and glasses!

Mickey in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show

Mickey Mouse stands proudly in the spotlight in these brand new images released today, with Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley and Sitting Bull behind.

Mickey in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show

So, will we be seeing “Mickey’s Wild West Show” in the not-too-distant future? Absolutely not! This is still Buffalo Bill’s classic event, simply reworked with the addition of the Mouse to give the show a wider appeal amongst Disneyland Resort Paris guests and make it more pleasing to families who might otherwise not see much reason to cough up the high dinner price.

OK, sure, this may not come as the best news to those die-hard fans of the resort’s Old West experiences — particularly just days after Buffalo Trading Co. next door closed. But, with the show now reaching 17 years old and guest satisfaction levels said to be sliding somewhat, it looks set to be a modest change that will at least allow Buffalo Bill to keep the Wild West Show playing.

Mickey in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show

And when can Old West diners expect to see a mouse roll out into the buffalo ring? No date has been set — indeed, no official text of any kind accompanies these images just yet — but the change is said to be happening around the same time that Mickey’s Magical Party launches, the weekend of 4th April 2009, which would helpfully allow for a wider relaunch of the show generally.

Then, who knows what we’ll get to experience… the West being won by a Mouse?

You saw it here first, folks!

Visuals © Disney.

Thursday, 14th August 2008

Eat ‘express’ in 40mins for 19 euros!

This so-called “40-Minute Lunch Menu” was first introduced at Walt’s – An American Restaurant in Main Street U.S.A. last month and has now been extended already to two other table service restaurants at Disneyland Park.

At Silver Spur Steakhouse in Frontierland, you can hop on the “Pony Express” set menu for €19.90 to choose from three main courses — including both steaks and salads — with a “gourmet coffee”, all served in 40 minutes.


Meanwhile, Blue Lagoon Restaurant in Adventureland offers the option to sail by the winds of the “Alizé Express” set menu for the same price, with another pick from three different main courses, and again a gourmet coffee to finish.


This new €19.90 set menu seeks to fill up and maximise the capacity of these three table service restaurants in the middle of the day during Summer, when lines at fast food outlets are longest and many people are still in too much of a hurry to stop for a longer lunch.

By allowing guests to pay less and giving the tables a quicker turnover, it seems to give both sides a good deal.

— Tried the new menus? Why not post a quick opinion on DLRP Review…


Wednesday, 13th August 2008

Nescafé’s new Café Cafés pours its first cup

We’ve been used to slightly more interesting cups of coffee in the parks for some time now, since The Coffee Grinder in Main Street, U.S.A. and others began offering a squirt of cream on top of your cup. Rather a long way from the creations of a regular city coffee shop, sure, but the new Café Cafés looks to be taking it another step closer…

Top of the menu for this new semi-covered eatery in the corner of Production Courtyard is the option to “Personnalisez votre café en 3 étapes” — or, as the English translation less eloquently says, “Do your own coffee in 3 steps”.


What does that mean? First, (1) you choose your coffee — such as Latte, Cappuccino and others — then, (2) your recipe — add flavoured syrups — finally, (3) your topping — chocolate powder, cinnamon, etc.

After the “themed” smoothies and faux cocktails of Hollywood & Lime at La Terrasse Perrier, the Studios are again trying something new for the parks.


The location also sells sweets such as the standard brownies and cookies, which you can enjoy on seating inside (either side of the counter) or outside. The tables are identical to those at La Terrasse and the new Café Mickey extension, only with new designs on top, whilst the chairs actually appear to be recycled from the original La Terrasse.

Overall, the installation appears to be a great success in turning a dead area of the park and an underused portion of Rendez-Vous des Stars into a busy miniature coffee shop.

[Pictures:’s latest photo trip report]

Thursday, 7th August 2008

WALL-E advertising and the words of WALL-E

What WALL-E lacks in his limited speech of synthetic sounds, beeps and whistles, he more than makes up for with a powerful message of caring for our planet. It’s not quite as overstated as a 90-minute power lecture from Al Gore, but it’s definitely there.

So, when you visit Backlot Express restaurant in Walt Disney Studios Park this Summer, you’re bound to feel more than a little guilty as you take your tray.


Because, not only will you be picking up food in plastic wrapping and a drink from a plastic bottle you’ll likely throw away in a few minutes, the people in charge of the Buena Vista-Disneyland crossovers (yes, the same movie distribution/park crossovers that brought us the famous Disney Studio 1 billboard) have thoughtfully lined your tray with a large sheet of crisp white A3 paper.

On it, you’ll find an advertisement for WALL-E — featuring the robot presenting a windmill to his love, Eve — and a message to visit the Shutterbugs photo studio inside Disney Studio 1. Here, you can pose against the green-screen backdrop to be transplanted into the world of WALL-E for a souvenir photo.


So first Buena Vista International ruined Studio 1, are they now going for the Earth?

It’s inevitable that a film with the agenda of WALL-E will come under fire for not practising what it preaches amongst the mountains of merchandise and marketing materials that need to be produced, but using literally tens of thousands of sheets of un-recycled paper to advertise it is rather an unfortunate decision. Luckily, Disneyland Resort Paris does claim to sort and recycle the vast majority of its waste, and has a very good record for doing so, but in this case did that waste need to exist in the first place?

On the opposite end of the AXIOM, the advertising for WALL-E in the park began with just three or four single posters outside Backlot Express, together seen by more people than these thousands of paper sheets put together. Even the guys at Walt Disney Records have given the film’s underlying message some thought — your soundtrack CD won’t arrive in a plastic case but with a cardboard wallet and paper booklet produced from 100% recycled materials.

Rather a more Earth-friendly way to do things, wouldn’t you have thought?

[Pictures: DLRP;]

Thursday, 7th August 2008

Café Cafés – blending art deco and contemporary?

Café Cafés, the oddly-titled new coffee shop fashioned out of the enclosed former terrace of Rendez-Vous des Stars Restaurant, is just about ready to open its doors!


Well, it would if it had any. With construction fences now removed, we can see for ourselves what the designers and Nescafé sponsors have managed to create out of this relatively small semi-circular edge of the building.


Indeed, there are no doors, rather a large opening cut perfectly into the old glass-brick wall, leading into a covered area with a large serving counter. Decorated with (likely faux) mahogany panels and given a metallic trim, the counter already houses a display case for pastries and cakes, with several menu boards ready and waiting up above. If you were a new park visitor, you’d probably assume it was here all along.

The counter itself appears curiously similar to the on-ride photo desk at the exit of Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast. Nevertheless, there has always been a slight cross-over between the neons of Discoveryland and the neon Art Deco of Production Courtyard, allowing the same circular, ringed edges to feel at home here.

Image Image

Inside — yes, there will be an “inside”! — the floor has been replaced with a continuation of the more durable patio stones from outside.  Tables and chairs similar to those in the new Café Mickey terrace have already arrived and the walls and ceiling have been painted a colourful lilac. Unfortunately, it’s here that signs of the modern-day world begin to creep in rather more noticeably than if this were a true Imagineering project.

The hanging smoked-glass lights blend contemporary with Art Deco well, but a second type of lighting — a large coffee bean-styled piece of smoked glass embedded with halogen lights — seems like it could be taking the balance a little too far in the wrong direction.

Image Image

Very visible speakers, identical to those which still plague La Terrasse, are also here, along with a long horizontal heater for those many cold days in this very open-to-the-elements area. The general layout seems to put the new location in the same category as Victoria’s Home-Style Restaurant, only with a less “home-style” environment. It’s “functional”, rather than “immersive” or “themed”, and certainly less than we’ve become used to from sponsors such as Coca-Cola and Perrier recently.

When you’re sipping your flavoured coffee, gazing out across the courtyard, will you care? Well, the experience likely won’t be quite as memorable as a coffee at Disneyland Park’s Cable Car Bake Shop, but it will finally give Walt Disney Studios Park a fifth indoor eatery.

Only the fifth, and only just “indoor”…? Make that a black coffee.


Tuesday, 22nd July 2008

Café Cafés unveils its new logo logo

Sometimes these days, you really think you’re seeing things at Walt Disney Studios Park. You have to look twice. A 75-minute wait for Flying Carpets Over Agrabah? The billboard finally removed from Disney Studio 1?

Over in Production Courtyard, however, Nescafé’s new signage for its ‘Café Cafés‘ …err… café really will make you do a double-take. Installed just last week, it arrived just days after fans were wondering whether the old signage above the location, reading ‘Rendez-Vous des Stars Restaurant’ would confuse guests into thinking that this small new coffee stand is infact that restaurant.

Problem solved — replaced by Café Cafés!


Though the name itself is perhaps somewhat strange for a location that borders so closely on the park’s “Hollywood” area — and indeed may become part of it in the future, the signage has clearly been designed with a few quirks of the building’s art deco style in mind. The rounded letters, stylised drawings and old-fashioned white supports all lend it a good overall style.

Image Image

Now, fans may suggest, the ‘Chef Rémy’ sign for the restaurant next door should be moved or removed to avoid clashing with the new signage below.

Inside the semi-circular area still surrounded by construction fences, countless wires hang from the ceiling and work continues throughout the week. It is as yet unknown whether guests will be able to walk inside this area to order, or what kind of seating — if any — will be provided.

Image Image

The new refreshments stand is due to open in August, as listed on the latest park guide. The guide also gives an interesting clue about its products. We’re used only to small paper cups of Nescafé, perhaps with a squirt of cream on top, around the parks. If this listing is anything to go by, however, Café Cafés will be the first location to sell flavoured coffees.

[Pictures: DLRP Today, Photos Magiques]

Sunday, 6th July 2008

Rendez-Vous for a Nescafé

It’s strange how rumours come and go in the world of Disneyland. Sometimes things fade into nothing, but most of the time — as in this case — a very early sign eventually turns into something real.

Cast your mind back to March this year and you’ll remember we reported on the rumours of a new Nestlé snack stand right next to the windows of Rendez-Vous des Stars Restaurant in Production Courtyard at Walt Disney Studios Park. A strange position? Well indeed.

Eventually, the construction fences came and went leaving just a small patio. A terrace instead, perhaps? Well, when Photos Magiques visited the location back in June, that’s what it looked like:


But, this rumour came around to reality in the end. One of the large windows in the front of the restaurant’s circular art deco-inspired building has now been completely removed.


The logos on the new canopies give it away — Nescafé. This will indeed be the serving hatch for a new coffee kiosk, strangely located within part of the restaurant.

Image Image

Like the similar recent food retail kiosks from other partners like Coca-Cola, this is financed in full by the partner. Compared to those exact locations (among which L’Arbre Enchanté and Hollywood & Lime), it does seem Nescafé are a little less willing to invest.


Inside, there are little clues as to how the kiosk will be run and whether this circular area is now completely closed for use by the restaurant — the park’s only buffet service location and growing in popularity since the addition of a faint Ratatouille theme. Just a few metres away to the left, another, larger patio left behind by a now-departed Studio Catering Co van remains empty.

The work continues…

[Photo credits: Photos Magiques,]

Wednesday, 11th June 2008

Videopolis brings Retro-Future back

Installed just last week at Café Hyperion in Discoveryland’s Videopolis entertainment centre, these two new “Electro-Matic” vehicles are part turn-of-the-century Main Street vehicle, part Jules Verne invention. Their simple function? Toppings bars for the fast food restaurant’s burgers.

When the “toppings bar” idea was first introduced (or re-introduced, if long-time fans are correct) to Café Hyperion, the ingredients were laid out on simple tables decorated only with fabric tablecloths. The idea was obviously a hit, but Disneyland would never settle for something as simple as a table…

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The two new vehicles, custom-built to hold everything from tomato ketchup to salad, each feature their own unique design. One, with red wheel covers, holds luggage in a tall storage compartment — perhaps for a flight on the Hyperion airship above. The other, with yellow wheel guards, has a giant petrol tank of some sort atop its body — refuelling the dirigible, perhaps?

Both are decorated with authentic wood panelling, bronze fronts and golden edges, with perfect “Videopolis teal” colours to fit seamlessly into the environment. Café Hyperion logos and symbols in various forms are even emblazoned across both, along with lightning symbols between the wheels on each side.

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The dashboards feature lightning balls connected together by metallic pipes, every detail a refreshing throwback to the kind of retro-futuristic props previously seen in the pre-show room of Le Visionarium.

After years of changes to land which apparently sought to make it more “relevant” and up-to-date, rather than a convincing, largely period-specific themed land, these two new restaurant props/service vehicles are a very welcome addition, but their quality is not all that surprising.

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After all, recent restaurant Imagineering projects brought us the beautifully-themed L’Arbre Enchanté food kiosk, the well-placed Coolpost in Adventureland and — most closely related to this — the Coca-Cola Delivery Truck, one of the first completely new Main Street vehicles introduced anywhere in the world for years.

Did they simply surface through some kind of hole in the space-time continuum, or are the Electro-Matics signalling a new, more precise (retro-)future for Discoveryland?

[All photos by Joel’s Photo Hunt]

Monday, 31st March 2008

Fibre optics light up Village of new trees, terraces

Since the loud neon lights which protruded into the middle of the Disney Village street disappeared just a few years ago, the streamlined Frank Gehry architecture of the large Eastern building has felt more flat than ever before — save for the odd illuminated balloon or two. Today, this unusual stretch of Disney architecture is well on its way to being “humanised”.

Just over a week ago, construction walls surrounded the entire area of the former Sports Bar and New York Style Sandwiches terrace. This was previously an enclosed, slightly raised area before it met its end when much of the seating moved to the undercover area on the left.


Last weekend, all was revealed — more new trees for the Village! There continues to be a mix of evergreen and deciduous, with the fir tree between Disney Fashion and New York Style Sandwiches joined by these — currently skeletal — new trees.


Somewhat like Walt Disney Imagineering’s ‘placemaking’ works for Walt Disney Studios Park, the works at the Village will turn it from a vast expanse of concrete into a place where trees and planting invite you to explore slightly more hidden corners.

All well and good, but let’s not forget that the 2005 removal of the pylons in the middle of the street — which looked less than beautiful during the day — also caused one of the best things about Gehry’s original design to disappear: the starry sky. Long stretches of lights between the pylons, like a roof to Gehry’s “industrial factory” party space.

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Now, many years later, a reasonable replacement has arrived — bright, colour-changing, fibre optic lights, laced along the branches of each tree! The ends of each wire light up throughout the day and change colour continuously. They are being fastened in place to illuminate the branches and should certainly add to the effort to help Disney Village feel a little more like an extension of the parks, rather than an unwelcome distant relative.

And what of those new terraces? At Billy Bob’s Country Western Saloon, the mysterious work continues to go on without much word as to what exactly will become of the bar/restaurant’s exterior. It is clear that more “relief” and texture is a likely addition to the flat, un-themed building, which was last year given a border around its roofline to begin the process, but no exact details are known about the redesign.

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The terrace area, which often became nothing more than empty wooden pen during Winter months, has seen some destruction to provide a home for another new tree and planter. Some sources on the usual Disney Central Plaza forum have suggested a proper cover for the terrace could be a possibility.


At Café Mickey, meanwhile, it looks like a covered terrace is a reality. As the photo above shows, a new curved steel framework is going up around the edge of the building, where previously an uninviting tarmac terrace was bordered by temporary potted plants.

[Photos by Photos Magiques and]

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