Sunday, 31st July 2011

Tickets now on sale for Terrorific Night Halloween parties at Walt Disney Studios Park

Keep calm and whatever you do, don’t scream. All you budding zombies and vampires itching to get into one of the two exclusive Halloween party nights at Walt Disney Studios Park this Autumn will go voracious to hear that Terrorific Night tickets are now on sale! Priced at €32 or £28, the two dates this year as previously announced are 29th and 30th October.

You can buy tickets direct from the official booking website — click here for UK bookings in GBP or here for bookings in Euros (link takes you to the store for France). The booking pages also come with a few extra provisos and cautions, suggesting that the parties are not recommended for those under 12 years of age and warning that costumes and masks are strictly prohibited at this event.

If none of this sounds like your thing, tickets for the four very child-friendly Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party nights and the main Disney’s Halloween Party are also available to buy now. Don’t forget, annual passholders get great discounts of up to 30% on these Halloween party tickets and reportedly a huge 50% off Terrorific Night, cutting the price to just €16. To claim your discount you’ll need to buy via the telephone hotline or at the gates of either park. Read More…

Wednesday, 13th July 2011

The Enchanted Fireworks returns to Disneyland Park for final summer season

That’s How You Know it’s summer! Since 2008 summer nights at Disneyland Park have ended with the popular finale of The Enchanted Fireworks, a modestly Disneyland Paris-sized firework show set to Alan Menken’s score for the Amy Adams fairytale blockbuster. But, when the final “bang” echoes over the fields of Marne-la-Vallée at the end of this (newly extended) summer on 4th September… that really is “The End” for this chapter in the park’s nighttime entertainment history. It has been confirmed that this is the final season for the spectacular, with not just a new fireworks show but a “new concept”, a big new concept, coming next year — we think you know the one.

So, as the sun sets and the day cools down, enjoy True Love’s Kiss and the Enchanted Suite coming to life in the sky above Sleeping Beauty Castle for one last time. The show returned on Saturday and, as you can see at the end of the video, is determined to see its final year out with an extra bang!

Check out videos of the original 2008 show here, or the 2009 edition here.

VIA MrAlexis0211 (YouTube)

Tuesday, 30th March 2010

New Generation decoration mixes old habits, new ideas

These days it only happens at Halloween and Christmas, but there was a point in the recent past, around the time of The Lion King Carnival and similar events, when it seemed Main Street Station was never without decorations.

But, those seasonal logos have made a comeback. As spotted in a behind-the-scenes video, concepts prepared by the Entertainment department called for a return to Main Street Station decorations — although we couldn’t quite get a good look at them. Last week, they began to appear.

New Generation Festival decorations

First with a new idea, at least for seasonal decorations at Disneyland Paris: Ruffled semi-circular fabric bunting in red and yellow, a common way Main Street is decorated for Halloween in the overseas parks — where there’s no orange paint in sight — and a welcome idea for Paris.

And then, the old tradition: A large logo plaque and sculpted character models.

New Generation Festival decorations

Models that are, it’s been noted… a little off-model. The tacked-on Mickey is oversized compared to his new friends, and we’d better be careful what we say about that Woody and his eyes… there must be something in the s’mores at Cowboy Camp!

So far (perhaps there’s more to come?) there are only additional characters to the left of the main logo, with Tiana and Frog standing in front of one window and Remy in front of the other.

New Generation Festival decorations

New Generation Festival decorations

As we saw in the concept art, the Baroque style of the logo frame is continued through the new Main Street lamppost decorations, although the colour scheme seems to have become darker and less symmetrical.

The final colours of the ribbons under each frame are blue, yellow, red, green and purple, rather than the fresher pattern of purple, white, yellow, green, yellow, white and pink promised…

New Generation Festival decorations

New Generation Festival decorations

New Generation Festival decorations

Still, we can probably all agree this is how Main Street should be decorated. A big, big improvement on the mess last year; at last a reasonably subtle way to extend the year’s theme and bring the current advertising campaign into the parks.

Perhaps, then, it simply fell to Main Street Station to be this year’s sacrificial piece of Disneyland Park for the less successful decorations, now that the castle is finally off-limits. At least, better to have Woody frightening children there than from somewhere on our dear château!

Now, about Tinkerbell…

Photos by Dlrpteam for DLRP Today.com

Saturday, 20th March 2010

A Disneyland Paris St Patrick’s Day in pictures

Ireland’s local Disney resort has made it an annual tradition to celebrate this annual tradition every 17th March, beginning a few years ago alongside the St David’s Day events.

St Patrick's Day at Disneyland Paris

Almost as much of a tradition, the “programme” notice board becomes ever more impossible to read…

St Patrick's Day at Disneyland Paris

We can, however, decipher that the Lee-Byrne Academy Dancers have returned to the park for another year, now one of the few entertainment spectacles you can enjoy on Royal Castle Stage:

St Patrick's Day at Disneyland Paris

This event is also unique in its inclusion of Disney characters — namely Chip and Dale — who rarely join visiting groups, for example during the Disney Magic Music Days events at Fantasy Festival Stage.

St Patrick's Day at Disneyland Paris

St Patrick's Day at Disneyland Paris

St Patrick's Day at Disneyland Paris

St Patrick's Day at Disneyland Paris

St Patrick's Day at Disneyland Paris

St Patrick's Day at Disneyland Paris

St Patrick's Day at Disneyland Paris

The Pride of Murray Pipe Band were this year given free reign of Main Street, U.S.A., parading the length of the street with traditional Celtic bagpipes and drums.

St Patrick's Day at Disneyland Paris St Patrick's Day at Disneyland Paris

St Patrick's Day at Disneyland Paris

At 8.30pm, they even helped to close the day with a final, nighttime performance on Central Plaza, leading right into the St Patrick’s Day fireworks at 9pm.

St Patrick's Day at Disneyland Paris

Elsewhere, the Main Street Fire Truck rolled out again with shamrocks replacing its earlier Welsh daffodils and leeks for the pre-parade and Mickey and Minnie donned their green and yellow outfits to meet guests at Town Square and Casey’s Corner.

Photos by Dlrpteam for DLRP Today.com

Sunday, 7th March 2010

St David ends the Magical Party with a bang

What’s been occuring at Disneyland Paris this weekend? The St David’s Welsh Festival, a now-annual event spread over three days, this year from 5th to 7th March, to celebrate the feast day of the patron saint of Wales (which is actually held on 1st March) — and no doubt tempt a few proud compatriots over to Disneyland Paris in the process.

As the schedule reveals, this is a rare chance to see Merlin calling up guests to pull Fantasyland’s sword from its stone, a location now used more frequently for the Sleeping Beauty “happening”.

St David's Day

It’s also the only time in any Disney park in the world you can see Mickey and Minnie dressed in traditional Welsh costume, be it at their special meet ‘n’ greets or riding the Main Street fire truck as a special pre-parade. Where the upcoming St Patrick’s Day has shamrocks all over, St David’s is all daffodils and leeks…

St David's Da

Between the “dathliad” (is that right?) of Wales came the eventual, anticipated end of Mickey’s Magical Party, the “theme year” which began way back on 4th April 2009 and brought us It’s Dance Time… in Discoveryland, Minnie’s Party Train and of course, It’s Party Time… with Mickey and Friends, which saw its final official performances on Central Plaza under a cold grey sky this weekend:

St David's Day Mickey's Magical Party

St David's Day Mickey's Magical Party

St David's Day Mickey's Magical Party

St David's Day Mickey's Magical Party

The pyrotechnics were a late addition last year.

What was that about spoiling pictures? Oh yes, the decorations. Though (if you can believe it) not as bad as they could have been, this was certainly a year to point your camera… elsewhere. Try a new angle rather than that generic castle shot.

Mickey's Magical Party

But, for one last bang before the year is locked away in the pages of Euro Souvenirland, our Mickey Moused medieval castle celebrated St David’s with the traditional fireworks display…

Mickey's Magical Party

Mickey's Magical Party

Mickey's Magical Party

Mickey's Magical Party

Mickey's Magical Party

Mickey's Magical Party

Mickey's Magical Party

Mickey's Magical Party

How do you say “what a relief”, “good riddance” in Welsh?

Photos by Dlrpteam for DLRP Today.com

Sunday, 20th December 2009

How (not) to decorate a Disney Christmas tree

…But should we be the ones apologising for that?

If you’re celebrating Christmas, no doubt your home is well into the swing of things by now. As we all know, the tree is the most important thing to get right — or do we? Following the posting of a new how-to video by the DisneyParks blog, this funny little tweet from the account of our partner site WDSfans commented:

Useful video for Walt Disney Studios Park managers: RT @DisneyParks Video: How to make a Disney-themed Christmas tree http://bit.ly/5mOkml

Ouch!

In the video, Disneyland Resort’s Manager of Resort Enhancement, Dave Caranci, explains in just a few minutes how “you too” can easily have a Disney-themed Christmas tree. Well, forget posting these tips on the DisneyParks blog, how about sharing them with Disneyland Paris? Judging by what’s happened in the Studios this year, they need some serious help:

Christmas at Walt Disney Studios Park

No, really, this is the tree.

It appears to be the same one as last year, only with the reasonable blue and silver decorations of film canisters and celluloid reels replaced by deathly dull stars and positively melancholy wreaths. It’s about as far from an all-singing, all-dancing, technicolor, Hollywood Christmas as you could imagine.

Fans have also pointed out that the location isn’t perfect — that it might be better sited within the Hollywood Boulevard area as more of a focal point — but see, there’s a method to their madness. Here at the corner of Production Courtyard, it anchors the all-important Christmas Market.

Dubbed “Christmas Lane” for its 2009 appearance, the encampment of old stalls, recycled from Disney Village, has also seen a Parisian “plussing” after its first, “test” appearance in the park last year. Compare and contrast:

Christmas at Walt Disney Studios Park Christmas at Walt Disney Studios Park
2008 Christmas Market / 2009 Christmas Lane

Whilst the old wooden sheds were hardly going to win Miss Hollywood, there’s something to be said for how they were able to disappear into the background a little. Slapped up with lashings of white paint, it’s a confusing scene indeed. Where are we meant to be? It seems more reminiscent of your local garden centre or DIY store than a Disney theme park.

For all the work and money poured into improving the park with fantastic, top-quality additions like The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, this takes us right back to the starting block. Yet again a Disney park in Paris is being treated like an empty canvas, as if they’ve got nothing to work with. As numerous elements of the Christmas festivities across the way prove — most recently “it’s a small world” — it’s a whole let better when you complement the park rather than pretend it’s not there. And Walt Disney Studios does still need a lot of complementing.

It’s not like Christmas and Hollywood don’t mix; Just take a look at the decorations over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. And, though in debt, it’s not even like Disneyland Paris don’t have money to spend on Christmas; Just look at the constant stream of new events at Disneyland Park this decade, from Belle’s Christmas Village to Santa Claus’, and the new Snow White show and “it’s a small world” Celebration this year. Somewhere, between all of those changes, you’d have thought a bit of the budget could be spared to improve the truly dire offerings just across the hub.

Christmas at Walt Disney Studios Park
A Hollywood Christmas done right

Luckily, the wonderful overlay inside Disney Studio 1 has returned as usual, so all is not lost. The lights, tinsel and glorious jazzy music in there almost make up for the barren park, decorations-wise, beyond. But not quite.

So, Disneyland Paris, our most treasured place, we plead you: It’s time to stop messing around. Priority Number 1 for Christmas 2010 must absolutely be to fix the Studios’ offering. Buy a new tree. Buy some lights. Decorate the buildings. Consider alternatives to the garden shed market. But above all: Sit down and think about the potential here. The amazing theme and time period you’ve got to work with. Take us back to an overblown, primary-coloured, Santa Claus, American “department store” Christmas of the 1950s.

Make this truly “the most wonderful time of the year”, for both parks.

• See the full set of WDS Christmas 2009 photos at Photos Magiques.
• Attn. Walt Disney Studios Managers: Beautiful 1950s Disney Christmas cards, 1950s Christmas ads at Plan59 and our own magicforum WDS Christmas wish list.

Wednesday, 11th November 2009

Shannen Doherty tops Mickey’s Christmas invite list

Press events at Disneyland Paris are usually frequented only by those famous exclusively in France, so it was a surprise to see actual real American Shannen Doherty make an appearance at the Christmas launch events on Saturday.

Judging by the amount of photos released featuring the actress, of Beverley Hills 90210 and more recently just 90210 fame, Mickey and Minnie were pleased to see someone they just about recognised, too…

Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list

Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list

Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list

Shannen was even special guest at the first Tree Lighting Ceremony on Town Square.

Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list

But it wasn’t all about the Charmed actress. Also in attendance were Virginie Ledoyen, Sliimy, Marie Gillain, Bob Sinclar, Hafsia Herzi, Frédérique Bel, Christophe Barratier, Laurence Ferrari, Claire Barsacq, Bruce Toussaint, Alessandra Sublet, Sandrine Quétier, Nikos Aliagas, Frederic Taddei, Fanny Valette and the Chef Thierry Marx.

You know, her…

Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list

And him…

Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list

And that guy…

Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list

And for the Brits reading: Former glamour model Melinda Messenger, who currently presents the frighteningly bad Live from Studio Five.

Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list

We’ll probably never find out what happened during the actual nighttime press party, such is the astonishing lack of publicity these schmooze-fests traditionally generate. However, from these pictures we can at least garner that there was a large mannequin Father Christmas locked inside a giant snowglobe.

Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list

However, costumes and characters from the park’s two parades were used in the following three pictures, which are very pretty indeed:

Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list

Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list

Note the clever covering-up of the Mickey’s Magical Party decoration on the Castle. We’re not the only ones who’ve tried to do that this year, then.

Back to the celebrities, French DJ and house music producer David Guetta has been featured amongst the Christmas photos, but apparently actually visited earlier in the week, seen here riding Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast with his wife, Cathy:

Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list

Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list

Anyway, from celebs to zelebs, we all know who the real stars are…

Shannen Doherty tops Mickey's celebrity Christmas list

Very cute. That’s their Christmas card sorted!

Pictures © Disney.

Monday, 9th November 2009

Tree Lighting Ceremony, Ice Palace in pictures

For the first time since 2002, the Christmas Tree is given its very own illumination ceremony. As reported previously it’s a similar format to the classic shows, as Mickey Mouse lights up the giant tree with the help of a young child from the audience.

Tree Lighting Ceremony, Ice Palace in pictures

Forming the stage, a parade float you’ll certainly recognise — it’s the same one which served the event back in the early years of this decade, and has since returned every Halloween and Christmas in a variety of temporary seasonal guises.

Tree Lighting Ceremony, Ice Palace in pictures

Tree Lighting Ceremony, Ice Palace in pictures

It’s not an entirely nostalgic show, though. The music isn’t the wonderful old soundtrack but the newer illumination music previously (and in fact, still) used for the shows on Central Plaza. And as its director Christophe Leclercq explains, the story behind the show is also different.

When the parade float pulls into Town Square and stops in front of the tree, the much larger group of characters dance to a medley of songs before the show’s live host, in French and English, explains that the tree can only be illuminated by opening the magic book in front of them — which itself can only be opened by the hands of a child.

Tree Lighting Ceremony, Ice Palace in pictures

With the chosen child on the podium, the book opens in a sparkling glitter-ball effect, throwing beads of light all around Town Square as the tree gradually lights up.

With the final blast of the music, the Princess Chandeliers lining Main Street illuminate all at once, leading guests towards the yet-to-be-lit Castle at the end.

Tree Lighting Ceremony, Ice Palace in pictures

That event has now been slotted into the final performance of It’s Party Time… with Mickey and Friends, which, taking place in full darkness, has been tweaked with new, warmer costumes for the dancers and a series of new projections and lighting effects on and around the Castle.

Tree Lighting Ceremony, Ice Palace in pictures Tree Lighting Ceremony, Ice Palace in pictures

Notice the musical notes for Baloo, and the yellow animal patterns for Timon.

After Peter Pan’s final game and before the last “Mickey Dance”, the Castle is quickly illuminated to the same “Lumina” music of recent years — practically the same music just heard earlier during the Tree Lighting Ceremony.

Tree Lighting Ceremony, Ice Palace in pictures

Then, before you’ve chance to gasp in wonder or soak up the atmosphere, — boom! — it’s back to the party. And “La Mickey Danse” continues on…

Tree Lighting Ceremony, Ice Palace in pictures

But never mind, Sleeping Beauty Castle lit for Christmas is still a sight to behold — once that damn dance remix of “Mickey’s Magical Party Time” has faded out, at least.

The Princesses are nowhere to be seen, remembering that even the past two years they were featured heavily in the Enchanted Candleabration illuminations show. Perhaps this provoked the pushing of Snow White’s new “happening” as a Christmas season event, because if they’re still going for a “Fairytale Christmas” (and judging by all the press releases, they are), keeping the disco Party Time finale so intact makes it all feel slightly off the mark.

UPDATE 10/11/2009 — Disneyland Paris released a few extra photos yesterday after this article was published. Taken during Saturday’s press events (note the empty park and hundreds of press badges), they feature the view up toward the Castle as snow blows across the rooftops of Main Street:

Tree Lighting Ceremony, Ice Palace in pictures

The same view in the opposite direction, towards the Christmas Tree:

Tree Lighting Ceremony, Ice Palace in pictures

And a wonderful view over the whole of Town Square, showing the set-up of the returning Tree Lighting Ceremony, with the float/stage parked in front of the tree for the ceremony.

Tree Lighting Ceremony, Ice Palace in pictures

• Read the full interview with Christophe Leclercq, director of the season, here!

Pictures © Disney.

Sunday, 8th November 2009

Snow White gives Castle Stage kiss of life

Here are the very first photos of the show we originally reported in August, showing the modestly-decorated stage populated by stage characters for the first time in, oooh, five years? It’s great to have it back…

First photos of new Snow White Castle Stage event

It’s also rare to see all seven dwarfs together in Paris, and they’ve been given wheelbarrows filled with colourful diamonds for the musical numbers on Le Théâtre du Château.

First photos of new Snow White Castle Stage event

Eventually, Snow White’s prince appears to complete the scene of “romance éternelle”.

First photos of new Snow White Castle Stage event

Lasting around 8 minutes with about 15 minutes of meet ‘n’ greet time afterwards, in an identical mould to the Mary Poppins: Step in Time and Sleeping Beauty: Once Upon a Time events, the show has a soundtrack of mostly recycled musical numbers, which member EVE on Disney Central Plaza forum has done a good job of recounting already.

First photos of new Snow White Castle Stage event

Spanning several languages, they include “Heigh Ho” in English, from the stage’s original Le Livre Magique de Mickey show, “Whistle While You Work” in French, “The Silly Song” in German (yes, German, apparently!) and an old recording of “Someday My Prince will Come”, which has already been recycled this year for Disney’s Stars ‘n’ Cars. Also apparently included is some of the music from the Snow White float of Fantillusion‘s Happy Ending…

The show has been directed by Katy Harris, who will be the second in our special series of Christmas interviews, revealing more about the show later this week.

UPDATE 10/11/2009 — The latest park Programme confirms the show’s official English title is Snow White: Happily Ever After, with performances three times daily at 11:45, 12:45 and 13:45.

Pictures © Disney.

Sunday, 8th November 2009

Santa’s (almost) new sleigh pulls into Disneyland

Yes, the old Santa Claus Sleigh float, which saw the resort through two financial restructurings and seventeen Christmas seasons is no more, relegated to Christmas Past. But wipe away that tear: the Dreams of Christmas unit at the end of Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade now has a brand new sleigh, with some more reliable reindeer out front…

Santa's (almost) new sleigh pulls into Disneyland

As the resort’s own family of reindeer sadly saw their numbers dwindle and retirement ages creep on them, the old float simply wasn’t really suitable any more — it being set up and designed to look as if being pulled by the real reindeer in front. It saw its last season in 2008/09, as a lone sleigh magically travelling along with no reindeer.

Santa's (almost) new sleigh pulls into Disneyland

Cue a bit of that traditional Disneyland Paris make-do and mend resourcefulness, and problem solved — take the old Cinderella coach float (from The Wonderful World of Disney Parade and before that, Disney Classics Parade — circa 1992!) and transform it into a brand new sleigh, floating above clouds, with the horsed redecorated as reindeer and Cinderella’s coach removed and transformed beyond recognition into this very sweet — and surprisingly original — galleon-style sleigh.

Santa's (almost) new sleigh pulls into Disneyland Santa's (almost) new sleigh pulls into Disneyland

It’s traditional for DLP Entertainment to get Christmas mostly “right” compared to other seasons and events, but this new sleigh is a very pleasant surprise, very nicely finished. Note the pine cone detail of Santa Claus’ seat, for example.

Santa's (almost) new sleigh pulls into Disneyland

Surrounding the float are a band of elves, who also appear to have undergone some changes with better costumes incorporating more metallic materials and lots of different, individual props. The only thing apparently missing, at least from today’s previews, are the Toy Soldiers who usually finish up the parade. Perhaps they were still polishing their uniforms?

Reindeer on white sticks might look like an invention of Thierry Marx — it certainly seems outdated next to the clever float designs elsewhere in the more modern 2007 floats, which precede the unit — but this smart transformation is a great start to the season, don’t you think?

• See how the float used to look here, here and here!

• Read our brand new interview with Christophe Leclercq, director of the season, here!

Pictures © Disney.

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