Thursday, 8th October 2009

Nostalgic return to Christmas past ahead

In fact, it’s looking like a truly nostalgic return to the events of Christmases past, as not only will a brand new Tree Lighting Ceremony be created for Town Square, but the seasonal “Celebration” overlay will finally return to “it’s a small world” after several years’ absence.

The Christmas Tree and the LEDs of the Crystal Castle will now be lit during separate events — the Castle being illuminated as part of a special finale to the last performance of It’s Party Time… with Mickey and Friends each day, similar to the current Halloween final show. And on Town Square, Mickey and Minnie Mouse will “orchestrate” an “enchanted illumination”.

Here’s the full press release for 2009:

The emotion and the magic of a Fairytale Christmas at Disneyland Paris

– From 8 November 2009 to 6 January 2010 –

Marne-la-Vallée, France – Beginning on 8 November 2009, the magic of Christmas will enchant Disneyland Paris. Winter will cast a snowy spell on each of the two Disney Parks, offering a brand-new, surprise-filled programme full of unforgettable memories for families and friends.

Nostalgic return to Christmas past ahead

A CHRISTMAS FILLED WITH DISNEY MAGIC

The magical atmosphere of a Fairytale Christmas

When the spirit of Christmas comes to Disneyland Paris, the Sleeping Beauty Castle becomes a sparkling Crystal Palace, Mickey Mouse and his Friends don their best winter costumes and guests eagerly wait to greet Beauty and the Beast in Belle’s Christmas Village… Snowflakes fall by the thousands over Main Street U.S.A.® and blanket the majestic Christmas tree that towers over Town Square. Décor straight out of the most beautiful Fairy Tales plunges guests into a unique atmosphere. Enchantment reigns during this wondrous Disney Christmas, allowing children to drop their wish lists into Santa Claus’ mailbox, located in the heart of the Disneyland Park.

New: Winter magic promises an abundance of lovely surprises, including an unforgettable encounter with Snow White and her Prince Charming at Castle Stage and the Tree Lighting Ceremony orchestrated by Mickey and Minnie Mouse at Town Square.

SANTA CLAUS RETURNS TO DISNEYLAND PARIS

Meet Santa Claus in his village at the Disneyland Park

The Christmas Holiday season is just around the corner. Santa Claus and his elves are busier than ever preparing to distribute thousands of presents. Santa has chosen to set up his workshop in the heart of the Disneyland Park to share all the magic of Christmas with children and to be closer to guests of all ages. With his fluffy white beard, his famous red suit and his bag overflowing with presents, no one can miss Santa Claus this year.

“Santa Claus’ Post Office” in the Disneyland Park

The dream continues all the way to a very special mailbox… Santa Claus’ Christmas mailbox. For this enchanted winter season, he has also set up “Santa Claus’ Post Office” to allow children to “mail” their letters and share their greatest wishes.

Children will also be delighted to receive a letter back from Santa when they return home several weeks following their visit. Wishes really do come true thanks to a Christmas signed by Disney Magic.

Location: Critter Corral – Woody’s Roundup Village – Frontierland –Disneyland Park

Disney’s Once Upon a Christmas Dream Parade

Aboard his bright and colourful sleigh, Santa Claus will be the guest of honour at the Disney’s Once Upon a Christmas Dream Parade! He will close this spectacular parade inviting everyone to dream alongside the Disney Characters.

Escorted by his Wooden Soldiers and Elves, in time to special Christmas music, Santa will spread all the magic of winter and Fairy Tales.

Nostalgic return to Christmas past ahead

ENCHANTING ENCOUNTERS WITH THE DISNEY PRINCESSES

New: Meet Snow White and Prince Charming

This Christmas is the right time for guests to discover and rediscover Walt Disney’s first masterpiece, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The magic of this delightful tale will come to life on the Castle Stage for an unforgettable encounter with Snow White and her Prince Charming.

And for the perfect last touch on this Disney Christmas, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the first full-length animated feature in Cinema history will be released on high-definition Blue-ray.

Belle’s Christmas Village

During this bright Christmas season, Disneyland Paris guests can enjoy the charm of Belle’s Christmas Village. Between picturesque taverns and traditional chalet stands blanketed in snow, Fantasyland will open its doors to the wonderful world of Disney classics for the Holiday Season. Whisked away by the magic of this tale in an enchanted world, guests can meet Beauty or the Beast while strolling down the streets of this authentic medieval village.

THE ENCHANTMENT OF DISNEY CHRISTMAS ENTERTAINMENT

New: Tree Lighting Ceremony at Town Square

Every evening, guests are invited to a stunning brand-new show around the majestic Christmas Tree in Town Square. Enchanted illumination orchestrated by Mickey and Minnie Mouse in person promises to dazzle young and old alike with loads of magical Christmas surprises.

Sleeping Beauty Castle Lighting SpectacularEach evening the Sleeping Beauty Castle undergoes transformation during an incredible illumination display. Over 400,000 lights transform the Castle into a genuine Crystal Palace before guests’ very eyes.

Disney’s Fantillusion

Disney’s Fantillusion Parade will be at its brightest for this Fairytale Christmas. Every evening, from 8 November 2009 to 6 January 2010, when night falls over Main Street, U.S.A., the dazzling night parade shimmers with the help of thousands of lights. The most beautiful Fairytales include Ariel, Aladdin and Jasmine, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, but also Mickey, Minnie Mouse and their friends who parade by, unveiling a lovely story with its happy ending before guests.

MICKEY AND HIS FRIENDS CELEBRATE AN ENCHANTED CHRISTMAS

It’s Party Time… with Mickey & Friends

To celebrate Mickey’s Magical Party, the Disney Heroes take the new Central Plaza stage by storm and perform their show in 360°. It’s Party Time… with Mickey & Friends! Guests learn the “Mickey Dance”, an easy-to-learn choreography perfect for spreading the party spirit across the globe.

And every day, for the Christmas Holiday season, the Disney Characters put on an exclusive finale signed by the magic of Christmas. Following the day’s last show, the Sleeping Beauty Castle is transformed into a sumptuous Crystal Palace to offer an exceptional shimmering display.

Mickey’s Winter Wonderland

Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Goofy, Donald and Chip ‘n’ Dale share the joy of winter sports during this show on ice designed to please the whole family. Through slapstick falls and snowball fights, Mickey’s Winter Wonderland celebrates the spirit and the enchantment of the winter season several times a day.

Location: Chaparral Theater – Frontierland

Meet Goofy Santa

For the Holiday season, Goofy just couldn’t resist putting his Santa suit back on! Perched atop his sleigh, he greets children of all ages in the Disneyland Park for a souvenir photo in Town Square.

Happy New Year!

On 31 December, the Disneyland Park welcomes guests until 1:00 a.m. for an unforgettable New Year’s Eve party. As the clock strikes midnight, a dazzling fireworks display emblazes the sky over the Sleeping Beauty Castle to bring in a bright and shiny new year.

Mickey’s Christmas Dinner

A unique gift to enjoy as a family for all Christmas Holiday buffs wishing to experience a privileged Disney moment.

This fantastic dinner will thrill the palates of both young and old alike. Beloved Disney Characters are impatient to join them in a lively dance party in the Disneyland Park.

Mickey’s Christmas Dinner can be savoured exclusively on 5, 12, and 19 December from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., and includes private access to the Pavilion and privileged Meet’n’Greets with lovable Disney Characters. The delicious Christmas buffet sets the stage for a fun, dynamic and interactive celebration.

Missing above but featured in the French press release is “it’s a small world” Celebration, the resort’s one and only seasonal attraction overlay. It disappeared a few years ago, but they’ve seen sense and the nations of Small World will once again be celebrating New Year’s Eve in their own way from 21st November, with the attraction closed the two weeks beforehand for preparations and a general refurbishment.

“it’s a small world” Celebration

L’attraction “it’s a small world” célèbre elle-aussi les fêtes de fin d’année avec des costumes, musiques et décors dédiés. La plus joyeuse traversée en bateau de Disneyland Paris rend hommage aux traditions de tous les pays qu’elle représente, de la Scandinavie à l’Amérique du Sud, de l’Afrique à la Chine… Si les différentes nations ont leurs propres manières de fêter le nouvel an, “it’s a small world” Celebration honore l’esprit des fêtes adorées par les enfants du monde entier !

A partir du 21 novembre 2009.

Also new this year is the Snow White event on the Castle Stage we reported in August, confirmed above, whilst everything from Santa Claus’ Village and Post Office to Mickey’s Winter Wonderland, Belle’s Christmas Village to the special Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade finale all return. The season continues to grow in every respect.

However, it’s the return of the Tree Lighting Ceremony which will no doubt be the highlight of the season this year. Not that there was anything technically wrong with the Central Plaza-based illuminations shows we’ve seen since 2003, but they never managed to get that tear of emotion in your eye, as anyone who saw the old ceremony will tell you.

Now based back around the tree at Town Square, hopefully the new 2009 ceremony will recapture some of that cosy, old-fashioned magic the previous events shunned for Princesses.

Images © Disney.

Tuesday, 6th October 2009

Halloween 2009 events roundup, party surprises

Just like that, the nights are dark and the leaves are falling. And since the Saturday just gone, 4th October, Disneyland Paris is back in the Halloween spirit for — with great coincidence — its 13th season.

Disneyland Paris Halloween 2009

Disneyland Paris Halloween 2009

So what’s new? For the past two years the festival had to coincide with the eternal 15th Anniversary celebrations. This year, it has to battle Mickey’s Magical Party for airtime. In this great big roundup of all things Halloween, we’ve quotes from DLRP Magic!.com‘s interview with festival director Emmanuel Lenormand and some fresh videos pulled from YouTube along the way.

This is Halloween – let’s hope we’ve no need to scream.

Jack Skellington & Sally move to Cottonwood Creek

The Nightmare Before Christmas pair were so popular during their inaugural season in 2008 that they’ve had to be given a wider area than Phantom Manor‘s Boot Hill. This year, they’re over by Cowboy Cookout Barbeque instead…

Halloween Opening Parade

…but do again appear in the rather dull-titled “Halloween Opening Parade”. The pre-parade to Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade this year features lots of Pumpkin Men (or Pumpkinfolk), a horse and cart carrying the couple and the old Carollers/Snow White/Seasonal float carrying Cruella, Gaston, Stitch and other “Villains”, all set to the music of Florida’s HalloWishes fireworks “This Is Halloween”/”Grim Grinning Ghosts” remix.

Here’s the pre-parade moving past (40 seconds in):

And a show stop on Town Square:

Anything to add? Oh yes, definitely don’t look at Hong Kong’s Halloween parade.

It’s Party Time… with Mickey and Friends… and the Disney Villains

…and a Ridiculously Long Name. This is only one performance mind — the first three shows of “It’s Party Time…” each day run as normal, with only the final show (currently at 7pm) being given a light Halloween touch.

Emmanuel Lenormand wasn’t being modest when he described it as “only a camera” in his recent backstage interview. Just as the show is wrapping up, thunder claps and the usual Halloween sound effects herald the arrival of Maleficent via the stage lift usually reserved only for Mickey.

(jump 5 minutes 35 seconds in)

Apparently the witch is there because she’s upset not to be invited to Mickey’s Magical Party (clearly she hasn’t had to stand through “It’s Dance Time…” like the rest of us). The purpose of her arrival will be lost on a vast majority of guests, however, since she speaks only French. Yes, it’s Goofy’s Summer Camp all over again. Not all that long ago, Entertainment would have ensured a mixture of languages and then possibly a repetition of what’s happening from each language.

But huh, who cares. Soon enough, rather than doing something, er, “villainy” as you might expect, the now collection of baddies suddenly begin to take part in yet another rendition of the so-called “Mickey Dance”. You can’t deny it’s funny to see the Old Hag from Snow White bopping away to the rock-pop theme song, but for the past few years the festival was been built around a centrepiece show here on Central Plaza. Now that focal point is just a silly dance.

A touch which feels more special, though, is the addition of pyrotechnics to the stage as Mickey disappears towards the end (which can be seen at 10 minutes 15 seconds in the video above). They produce a whole lot of smoke but make for a great finale. Apparently they were meant to be there for every show, since April.

It’s Dance Time… in Discoveryland

Though not marked on the Programme as being part of Halloween, Emmanuel Lenormand does comment: “There will also be a similar cameo at the end of It’s Dance Time… in Discoveryland.”. Naturally, we’re all expecting Gaston and Cruella De Vil going wild to the show’s quintessentially Disney number “Shake Your Booty”, and nothing less.

If you’ve seen the real “cameo”, do comment below.

Minnie’s Halloween Party Train

Now on version number 2,561 of this meet ‘n’ greet train, the park has redecorated the carriages with thorny vines and pumpkins, adding Halloween sound effects over the already saturated soundtrack. The bigger change, though, is that the train now only makes it as far as Town Square, doing a loop around the Gazebo before stopping for the characters to step down.

There’s a bit of a blunder with the introduction, however, as the train is announced as the old “Disney Characters Express”, yet later, Minnie’s ear-piercing voice of 2009 continues to play, so guess away at how that mix-up happened. D’oh! And to think Minnie’s Party Train so nearly got away with guests thinking it was a “brand new” event!

Disney Witches Dancing Spells Party

The difficult name might not exactly inspire, but from Emmanuel’s words this new show on the temporary Trick or Treat Stage near Cowboy Cookout Barbeque sounds like it might be the hit of the season. The stage has been redressed, given a proper set — even special effects. Maleficent and the Old Hag from Snow White battle it out with the help of placed audience members.

“In this show, Maleficent and the Old Hag from Snow White arrive in a cemetery during the night to have fun with their cauldrons and spells to invent new potions. Four children/dancers passing by are going to be choreographically transformed according to the Hag’s and Maleficent’s potion ingredients.

“For that show, Jérôme Picoche came up with some superb scenes, with the transformation of the tombs into cauldrons, with effects everywhere, and a cool ambiance!”

Unfortunately nothing appears to have made its way online yet, so we’ll keep you posted.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties

This year, the extra-ticketed events take place on 9th, 16th, 23rd and 27th October and have thankfully been extended beyond Fantasyland to also include Frontierland and Pirates of the Caribbean. Last year, everyone was kept inside Fantasyland for the duration.

Emmanuel elaborates: “It was such a success last year that we decided to fully open Central Plaza and Frontierland for the occasion. There will be a brand new show in front of the Castle with Disney Characters, in which each good character with confront his or her evil counterpart! And again, there will be lots of candy and sweets handed out.”

“There will also be a Disco Party in Frontierland. The whole place will be filled with dance and fun everywhere! With all of our dancers and Disney Characters, it’s going to be terrific!”

Disney’s Halloween Party (31st October 2009)

And on the big night itself… there’ll be not a bang in the sky. The big talking point for 2009 is what amounts to the cancellation of the usual Halloween Soirée fireworks show. Over the years, they’ve been good and they’ve been underwhelming, changing almost every year. But this year, there’ll be nothing at all after midnight.

Instead, Emmanuel has been helping to prepare a brand new “Light and Sound Show”. Getting that sinking feeling? Don’t judge too soon — as Emmanuel revealed, “we’re going to revisit the elements that made last year’s show such a success — projections, dancers, etc — but enhanced a million times! You’ll have up to 60 artists, projections, pyrotechnic effects and the Castle transformed into a stage itself!”

Last year’s finale show, in case you didn’t catch it online or in the park, was one of the most impressive to date, using the old Central Plaza stage for dancers and a very rare appearance by Sorcerer Mickey — who even did his special pyrotechnic trick usually reserved for Fantasmic! in the States.

Beyond possible noise or cost issues, there’s one good reason to scrap fireworks in the unwelcome early closures it brings to the whole back half of the park. “The idea is to have Mickey confronting the forces of evil with lots and lots of surprises: black light effects and lots of projections.”

“In fact, we’ve got a new projection system which is really effective, so you’ll be able to see giant characters and news ways to animate the walls and the windows of the Castle. It’ll look really different.” All things considered, maybe this kind of imaginative, one-off show is actually better than the same old low-level squibs we’d see otherwise.

And finally…

The Decorations

Oh, Halloween at Disneyland Paris. It’s love/hate. You’ll mostly see the same old things around the park this year — that means Main Street trashed by orange paint and Frontierland turned to Halloweenland with a hodgepodge of items from across the years. At worst, these creations still unfortunately treat Disneyland like a lifeless canvas, rather than actually complementing its themes and bringing extra life to the lands.

However — the poorly-judged (or quite simply poor) Pink Witches are entirely gone, as are most of their most awful remnants (the astonishingly bad “Travel Agency” desk, for example). Jack and Sally have begun to be represented in several places, most notably on the former “Pink Witches Academy” arch, and several other assorted new pieces have popped up that are really rather pleasing. Some of the older items, like the crypt arch, have been repainted in nicer new designs, finally incorporating purple into the colour scheme.

It seems like they finally know the direction to take Halloween in, but the issue yet again is money. For such a key season, now one of, if not the most important season for markets like the UK, Halloween in Paris is sorely under-funded when it comes to decorations. Everything is rehashed over and again. Hopefully sometime next decade they’ll finally be given the cash to invest in proper, comprehensive overlays in the more sensitive style of those seen in California.

And what about Halloween at Walt Disney Studios Park? After all, even Tokyo DisneySea launched a “rival” Halloween event to its next-door neighbour this year with great success. Well, Emmanuel is posed that very question — but isn’t exactly forthcoming.

• Read the full interview with Emmanuel Lenormand here!

• Buy your tickets for the Halloween Party Nights at www.disneylandparis.com!

Sunday, 13th September 2009

More New Generation Festival event images

You’ve seen the logo and the main key visual, now for the events of the New Generation Festival themselves. Friday saw a whole series of initial images appear on the resort’s publicity visuals website.

Note the wording there — “initial images”. Maybe this is just wishful thinking, but a couple of the images you’re about to see are surely — surely — just stand-ins for some final, polished visuals yet to come. In short, they look like the kind of hastily chopped-together visuals we might have found on internal presentations or proposals for the 2010 theme year, not true “advertising visuals” that have been released for use in brochures, in print… in public

The Princess and the Frog in Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade

Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen will only be hitting European cinema screens in January and February 2010, but come the April launch of New Generation Festival they’ll both find a new home on the ‘Dreams of Romance: Finale’ unit of Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade.

New Generation Festival

Quite where they’ll be slotted in on this huge articulated float — which already boasts Belle, Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora — isn’t exactly answered by the visual above, which shows an assortment of Disney Princess stock images cowering behind a truly gigantic version of the Princess and the Frog couple.

For comparison, remember the artwork that greeted the parade’s launch in 2007?

It’s Party Time… with Mickey and some new Friends!

As confirmed just a month ago, the general concept of this year’s Central Plaza show will continue into 2010. Rather than the classic Mickey’s Magical Party characters of Timon, Baloo, Peter Pan, Donald Duck and co., however, it looks like we might be seeing those four satellite stages hosting Sully, Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Rémy, Emile, Stitch and even Princess Tiana again…

New Generation Festival

…Which all throws up a few questions about what route the re-imagined show will take. The current format is based very much around the music, and interactivity. Whilst Tigger certainly lends himself to bouncing and Baloo to a sing-along of Jungle Book tunes, we’ve never seen that kind of event from these characters above before.

“Note” the musical notes falling from the sky on parachutes, continuing that theme. And, though you can’t see it, we can add the interesting note that this image is labelled “KEY VISUAL SHOWTIME SPECTACULAR”, which certainly hints at a name-change for the annoyingly-titled It’s Party Time… with Mickey and Friends come April 2010. ‘Mickey’s Showtime Spectacular’? ‘New Generation Showtime Spectacular’?

The visual above re-uses a strange image of Mickey Mouse originally created for the Mickey’s Magical Party version of the show, where the stage was viewed from above. Re-used here, the poor Mouse simply seems to have an (even more) abnormally-large head.

‘Enhanced’ Monsters, Inc. meet ‘n’ greet

Now here’s an interesting one. As listed originally, the small Monsters, Inc. “Scream Scene” location near the entrance to Toon Studio is, for some reason, being touted amongst the main New Generation Festival events…

New Generation Festival

There’s certainly nothing new in the visual here that might suggest an “enhancement”, so why is this 2006 addition suddenly becoming an event? A more regular appearance of Sully? The replacement of the Mike figure with a real-life character? Some kind of mini-show or Sword in the Stone-style scream canister event…?

Ratatouille in Disney’s Stars ‘n’ Cars

Wave goodbye to all hope of Florida’s old Star Wars car joining our Disney’s Stars ‘n’ Cars. This vehicle will be remodelled for Rémy and Emile from April 2010, adding a 12th car to the parade/show event.

New Generation Festival

Given that the Star Wars car is very different to that above, don’t take this as a real concept.

So there you go, the four main events Disneyland Paris Entertainment are cooking up for the New Generation Festival. After their five large-scale launches for 2009, it should be a breeze. There’s also the strong chance that Disney Characters’ Express / Minnie’s Party Train will be remodelled yet again into a New Generation Express, but thankfully it’s looking like such a rehash won’t be quite so widely advertised.

Three more visuals are also floating around for Toy Story Playland and two of its attractions, but we’ve a lot of catching up to do on that subject before getting to those. Stay tuned…

Your thoughts and comments are welcome!

— — —

Images © Disney.

Friday, 11th September 2009

New Generation Festival logo, key visual revealed!

Here we go, the official logo of the New Generation Festival…!

New Generation Festival

As you can see, the design takes on a modern and very “Toy Story”-inspired design, with big, ,3D yellow letters for “New”, a slimy green “Generation” and a “Festival” built out of… building blocks, just like the word “Playland” will be at the Toy Story Playland entrance.

Naturally, the logo comes in a couple of additional variations.

First, we’ve the new resort logo for 2010:

New Generation Festival

As with Mickey’s Magical Party, the name of the event is slotted in across the top. Unlike 2009’s logo, however, there’s no balloon or extra graphics on the end.

Note also that both here and above the classic ‘Disneyland Paris’ logo is back to its good old navy blue self. No shoehorned “Resort”, no having “Paris” in a separate colour, nothing. To long-time fans, it’ll feel like an old friend has returned.

The third and final logo is the largest:

New Generation Festival

Here we see the first, main logo above — but with a scattering of the characters who’ll “star” in next year’s events. Lightning McQueen, Princess Tiana, Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Mickey Mouse, Sully, Rémy, Nemo and Stitch. The idea is to contrast between the very classic characters of the current year (Donald, Goofy, Peter Pan), making 2010 seem as fresh as possible.

Phew. Are you all New Generation-ed out? Sorry, but there’s yet more…

Finally, here’s the key visual for the New Generation Festival. As promised in the earlier reveal, balloons are out. In 2010, it’s all about — erm… parachutes!

New Generation Festival

Buzz Lightyear leads the image as Lightning McQueen, Rémy, a Toy Solider, Slinky Dog, Princess Tiana, Nemo, Sully, RC, Woody and Stitch glide towards Sleeping Beauty Castle behind.

This “key visual” is the main piece of advertising imagery we’ll be seeing throughout the entire promotion of the event. You might remember those for Mickey’s Magical Party, and this here is our brand new one. Get used to it, we’ll be seeing it a lot.

Thoughts? Opinions? Ahh, we’ll leave that to you for now!

— — —

• If you missed our original exposé on the events of the New Generation Festival, including the new Toy Story Playland and new parade characters, click here!

Images © Disney.

Wednesday, 12th August 2009

Disney’s New Generation Festival: 2010 details leaked

The project has been in planning and kept top secret for months. But now, as the deadlines for advertising visuals and creatives for the next round of brochures nears, the entire list of new events has been leaked online.

Working title: Disney’s New Generation Festival, this next theme year will put the newest animated characters firmly in the spotlight. That means, though Toy Story Playland will certainly be the key new attraction of the year, we aren’t looking ahead a whole of solely Toy Story themes. No, instead we’ll be seeing Disney’s upcoming The Princess and the Frog plus a whole lot of Pixar — they are, after all, the closest to “Disney” the past decade has offered.

Avert your eyes now — the most spoiler-filled post of 2009 awaits! Here, are the events of 2010:

  • Toy Story Playland
    You know this one already: Three brand new attractions set within a highly-themed giant garden to extend Toon Studio at Walt Disney Studios Park. However, with groundwork barely begun, there’s no way this new Walt Disney Imagineering area can open before at least June next year — meaning a surrounding festival of events to begin in April 2010 is necessary…
  • Princess Tiana joins Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade
    The newest Disney Princess hasn’t even hit the big screen in The Princess and the Frog yet and already she’s being prepared to join the Disneyland Park parade. Not on a new float, unfortunately, but just stepping up onto the final Dreams of Romance: Finale float with Prince Naveen, giving this unit an overwhelming cast of five Princes and Princesses.
  • ‘Enhanced’ Monsters, Inc. meet ‘n’ greet
    A little patch of Monsters, Inc. has been in the Studios since 2006, but for some reason it’s now being included in next year’s new events. The leaked details here say it’ll be “enhanced”, but there isn’t any further information yet.
  • Ratatouille joins Disney’s Stars ‘n’ Cars
    The Studios’ new evening finale will definitely continue into 2010, with the advertised novelty being a brand new car themed to Ratatouille, featuring Rémy and Emile. We can reveal it’ll be the old Star Wars car to undergo this transformation.
  • Minnie’s Party Train becomes a New Generation Express
    Yes, the old Casey Jr. float will be given its fourth colour scheme and feature mostly — if not entirely — Pixar characters next year.
  • It’s Party Time… with Mickey and Friends reworked
    We confirmed this just yesterday — this year’s Central Plaza show will be pretty much staying, though is to be reworked to a single-performance finale to the day, and — just a guess — given some more modern characters to join Mickey.
  • NO Castle decorations whatsoever!
    That’s an event in itself, right?!

And finally… in 2007 we had the red carpet, in 2008 the wrapping paper and in 2009 the very successful balloons motif. Next year, it’s all-change again on the advertising ideas front — and the new theme? Taken straight from the most imposing attraction of Toy Story Playland, we’ll be seeing… parachutes! No, seriously.

The New Generation begins here… your thoughts?

Details broken by mclarkson, magicforum.

Friday, 7th August 2009

Winter Wonderland’s 12th season confirmed

Between the drama over The Tarzan Encounter cancellation and the new Goofy’s Summer Camp replacement, the life of The Chaparral Theater in Frontierland has been constantly at the peril of the rumour mill this year more than ever.

First they said it would be gone by the Summer, then demolished over the Winter… now, it looks set to stand firm until at least 2010. After an ambiguous early Christmas press release, casting calls on French website www.paris-casting.com have finally confirmed that Mickey’s Winter Wonderland will be back for this year’s festive season!

Image

Yes, whilst we’re enjoying the Summer sunshine, the Entertainment department in Paris is already well advanced with their plans for this year’s Halloween and now just beginning on Christmas. The show will begin casting from 22nd August to find performers for its run from 7th November 2009 right through, as usual, to early March 2010.

Here’s the casting announcement, for the male and female hosts of the show:

Jusqu’au 22 août audition comédienne/comédien pour
le spectacle “Mickey et la Magie de l’Hiver”
par Disneyland® Paris

Dans le cadre du spectacle “Mickey et la Magie de l’Hiver”, Disneyland® Paris organise de nouvelles auditions.

Afin de tenir les rôles de Maîtres de Cérémonie, nous recherchons des comédiens/comédiennes sachant impérativement patiner sur glace :
– ayant de bonnes bases de danse.
– bilingues anglais/français.

Contrats CDD (statut intermittent) à temps partiel.
Pour la période de : début octobre 2009 à début mars 2010.
Cachet de 127 Euros brut/jour pour les répétitions.
Cachet de 159 Euros brut/jour pour les spectacles.

Rumours have persisted for over a year that the theatre at the back of Frontierland would meet the bulldozers sooner or later, likely hinting at a redevelopment of the area for something like… ooh, Splash Mountain, of course. All this, strangely, despite the fact that plans exist showing that it could sit perfectly well alongside a new version of that popular water ride, with only the Frontierland Depot railroad station moving further up the line.

Focus has been shifting constantly between possible candidates for a “20th Anniversary” attraction, and though Splash Mountain has been heavily rumoured (as it has been generally for over a decade), it’s still certainly at the upper end of the cost scale. With word coming that a different proposal has apparently been greenlit for 2012, should the Chaparral really be too worried just yet?

As for Mickey’s Winter Wonderland, the show will return just as it has for the past 11 years. The only rumours here, via magicforum, are speculating a replacement of the real ice rink in the stage with a synthetic plastic substitute. Perhaps a more eco-friendly Winter Wonderland this year, then.

Picture: © Disney; Casting link via Characters Photos News.

Wednesday, 5th August 2009

Halloween ’09 press release, website and rumours

Halloween? Must be August! The regular location of the season’s flash mini-site — www.magichalloween.com — has been updated for the upcoming 2009 season beginning this October 3rd. Generally, the look is the same — save for one noticeable new ingredient: balloons, of course — orange ones!

Image
New official website

And so, this annual season, which has been meandering between different themes for several years since the arrival of the Pumpkin Men in 2003 and the thankfully short-lived focus on Stitch later, finally appears to have been set on a steady course.

Things are much more family-friendly than the early years of the festival, whilst much more “Disney” than the first seasons featuring the Pumpkin Men. Overall, the events are moving closer in style to their praised Tokyo and Hong Kong cousins. Mickey and Minnie will return in their perfect purple, orange and green costumes, whilst Jack Skellington and Sally return with greater prominence since their hugely successful 2008 debut.

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Jack & Sally joined the Paris season in 2008

Orange paint still features, however. Whilst this year the orange Main Street is explicitly mentioned in the press release, for the two previous years the decorations have actually been cancelled — only to return to the street at the last minute. It seems Entertainment simply didn’t have the money for a replacement.

Interesting to note, for example, that the “Mickey’s Magical Party Time!” theme song began life as a new Halloween theme song, but Entertainment — to quote composer Scott Erickson in our interview“didn’t have the budget last year to update the parade and change the Halloween song”. What with the new characters, costumes and major new nighttime hard ticket event in Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party introduced last year, it’s easy to understand why.

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Mickey’s new 2008 costume set the festival on the right track

So, we come to 2009. And, with the events of Mickey’s Magical Party continuing through the Halloween Festival, it’ll be looking slightly different again from its previous 15th Anniversary-tinted years…

Disney’s Halloween Festival… something BIG is brewing in October!

– From 3 October to 1 November 2009 –

Marne-la-Vallée, France, July 2009 – From 3 October 2009 through to 1 November 2009, Mickey’s Magical Party adds even more fun to a marvelous month of mischief and mayhem. It’s the perfect month to make family and friends scream with delight. Join Mickey as he welcomes the Disney Villains, Pumpkin Men and Pumpkin Ladies and the star of the season, Jack Skellington from Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas to celebrate Mickey’s Magical Party for a frighteningly fun Halloween surprises!

Welcome to the Disney Halloweenmosphere

A full month of thrills, spills and chills galore at Disneyland Park, as Halloween invades Frontierland and Main Street, U.S.A.® with decorations, eerie events and hair-raising shows, face painting and oodles of tricks and treats. Family and friends, young and old, everyone is sure to have a ghostly good time with…

… the stars of Nightmare Before Christmas

Jack Skellington and his friend Sally, the stars of Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas, are back to captivate Disney’s Halloween Festival with their bewitching world.

… mischievous Pumpkin tricksters

When Disneyland Paris goes orange, you know the Pumpkin Men and Pumpkin Ladies can’t be far away. They are just itching to splash the road and shop fronts of Main Street, U.S.A. with their bright orange paint. Masters of the most devious decoration, mischievous jokes and pranks, Pumpkin Citizens take Frontierland by storm as they transform it into Halloweenland for a howling good time! No one can escape the antics of those uncontrollable Pumpkins we just can’t help but love!

… Disney Villains and Characters

Children of all ages are going to love staring down the infamous Disney Villains and becoming accomplices to their demonic deeds. Cruella De Vil, Captain Hook, Jafar and the wicked witch from Snow White take vile pleasure in posing with young guests and giving them a wonderful souvenir of the year’s biggest monster mash. Mickey and Friends have also spread the word to give guests a memorable welcome decked out in their finest Halloween costumes.

… Mickey’s Magical Party takes on the colors of Halloween

More enchanting than ever in her delightful witch costume, Minnie leads the dance in Town Square. Disney Characters take advantage of this scare-a-licious month to don their mischievous pumpkin masks as they ride Minnie’s Party Train in all its Halloween splendor.

Meanwhile, the Disney Villains have spent all day preparing to invade the stage during the final show It’s Party Time… with Mickey & Friends. Captain Hook, Gaston, Jafar, Frollo, Cruella De Vil, Maleficent the witch from Sleeping Beauty and other fiendish folk are going to perform a devilish rendition of the “Mickey Dance” on the new Central Plaza Stage. It feels so good to be bad, and they’ll do whatever it takes to ensure we never forget!

… Disney Once Upon a Dream Parade to a Halloween tune

The Disney Once Upon a Dream Parade will kick-off with a special Halloween theme, as the Pumpkin Men and Ladies join in the abominably bewitching parade, along with Jack and Sally from Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas and the Disney Villains, of course!

The spectrrrrraaaaaaaacular month of Halloween is also your last chance to get down to an intergalactic beat with DJ Stitch and the “It’s Dance Time… in Discoveryland” show. Hurry, his space mission ends on 8 November 2009.

And for that fiendish final touch, Disney’s Halloween Festival continues with parties you won’t want to miss to enjoy Halloween to the max!

Disney’s Halloween Party: 31 October is Ghoul’s Night Out!

Guaranteed to be a scream! Get ready for the most magical night of the year at Disneyland Paris! The now-famous Disney’s Halloween Party* will take place on 31 October 2009 in Disneyland Park. A one-of-a-kind experience to enjoy with family and friends from 8:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.

By the light of the moon, Disneyland Park will reopen its doors to a most terrifying atmosphere featuring a wide variety of events, surprises and boo-groovy music until the late-night hours:

  • Spooktacular street entertainment and stage shows throughout the evening
  • The Disney’s Fantillusion Parade led by the vicious Disney Villains, where the world of darkness meets the enchanted world in a fantastic twilight spectacular.
  • A special Halloween Sound and Light show with the fangtangulous backdrop of Sleeping Beauty Castle.

And oodles of other dreadfully delectable surprises!

*Paid event: €32 for adults and children, free for children under 3.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

Want to celebrate Halloween in pure Disney style that’s fun without being scary? Then Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Party is the place to be!** Four dream opportunities for family fun with Mickey and Friends in their most boo-tiful Halloween costumes on 9, 16, 23 and 27 October 2009 from 8 to 11 p.m. with tricks and treats galore! Places are limited to this one-of-a-kind event for children of all ages who just can’t wait to get dressed up. Disney Characters and Villains will be there to create an exclusive and interactive experience of exciting and truly unforgettable moments.

In addition to exclusive events and shows, guests will enjoy access to a number of attractions in Disneyland Park open especially for the grand occasion: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio’s Fantastic Journey, Lancelot’s Carousel, Peter Pan’s Flight, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups, “It’s a small world”, Sleeping Beauty Castle in Fantasyland and Pirates of the Caribbean in Adventureland. And the fearsome Phantom Manor and the legendary Big Thunder Mountain in Frontierland.

**Paid event: €25 for adults and children, free for children under 3.

All the fun and fantastical ingredients are there to make Disney’s Halloween Festival the most monstrously magical month of the year at Disneyland Paris, from 3 October to 1 November 2009.

— — —

Did you get all that? Let’s have a quick recap of what’s new…

  • Disney Villains invade It’s Party Time with Mickey and Friends — this is instead of the standalone Disney Villains’ Halloween Showtime which used the previous stage during daytimes in 2007 and 2008.
  • Minnie’s Party Train also takes on a Halloween theme with decorations — no wonder poor old Casey Jr. huffs and puffs with all the extra layers on top of him these days.
  • Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade slated to “kick off” with a Halloween theme — suggesting it’ll be similar to last year’s pre-parade, a few special floats running separately to the main parade, rather than a full overlay — which had actually been rumoured to happen for Christmas and/or Halloween this year.
  • Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties return for a second year on 9th, 16th, 23rd and 27th October, with the big plus being that the event has broken out of its Fantasyland-only confines of the first year and now allows access to Adventureland and Frontierland. It will be interesting to see, now, how they go about properly differentiating it from the 31st October Disney’s Halloween Party, other than just being a cut-down version…
  • And as for the Halloween Soirée itself, this press release lists only a “light and sound show” — rather than the usual fireworks. We’ll have to wait and see…

Of course, Halloween often has other events beyond these widely-communicated ones above. There’s the temporary Trick or Treat Stage in Frontierland, for example, usually home to small shows like Goofy and the Magic Cauldron.

Good news here — we’ve heard that plans have been moving ahead for Jack Skellington and Sally to take on stronger roles than just meet ‘n’ greet characters, by taking part in their own show on this special Halloween stage next to Cowboy Cookout Barbeque.

As with all creations starring these characters, the event has even been approved by Tim Burton himself. However, with the official website listing only a “brand new, devilish show to the sound of your favourite Disney hits” starring “the witches”, has another new Halloween plan already been scuppered?

Pictures © Disney.

Tuesday, 17th February 2009

Extra characters, extra hearts for Valentine’s weekend

Guests had the unique opportunity to meet both Mickey and Minnie Mouse together, at once, in Town Square, or both Donald and Daisy Duck near Casey’s Corner.

As the Characters Photos Blog reports, Mickey and Minnie came dressed for the occasion in special costumes — Mickey with red hearts decorating his shirt and Minnie in a bright pink polka-dot number:

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day Valentine's Day

Never one to miss a new trend, however, Minnie was also spotted in a different — even more loved-up — dress over the weekend by Scrooge at Disney Magic Interactive forum:

Valentine's Day

A scattering of white hearts replace the classic polka dots on her dress, which has longer sleeves and extra red trims!

Between their regular clothes, Christmas and Halloween costumes, Welsh and Irish dress and individual park and land outfits, the wardrobes of the happy couple continue to grow!

Photos as credited.

Monday, 26th January 2009

Introducing… Mickey’s Magical Party from April 2009!

Partly a commemoration of the mouse himself hitting 80 years old, partly another excuse to decorate the park and introduce some brand new entertainment, Mickey’s Magical Party will be a brand new year-long event taking over both parks and introducing new decorations, new shows, a new parade-event and a whole new attraction.

The theme is bright — balloons, characters and colour — and fully intended to feel as fresh and new as possible after the two, more nostalgic, years celebrating the 15th Anniversary.

The Logo

So let’s begin, with the logo:

Mickey's Magical Party logo

The balloon theme will never be far away this year, at least in the resort’s advertising, with the colour of red seeming to be a obvious replacement for the copious amounts of blue we’ve seen during the 15th.

A second logo has also been produced, featuring Mickey, Donald, Goofy and Pluto bursting out from a circular Castle background:

Mickey's Magical Party logo

The logos themselves are quite deceptive, however — the “Candy Script” font chosen is inspired by South America — brush-like and quite classical — unlike the proposed events themselves…

The Events

Surprisingly, it’s Walt Disney Studios Park that will once again steal the show, enjoying the launch of both a new attraction and a new parade/event (which you’ll know by now) — whilst, over the esplanade, Disneyland Park has to make up its own party games:

Disney’s Stars ‘n’ Cars
The renamed and reworked Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade from Florida finally opens in Paris as part of the event. As we’ve reported previously, it likely won’t run as a parade but as a series of drive-in meet ‘n’ greets and photo shoots. (More news…)

Playhouse Disney – Live on Stage!
Currently being fitted out right next to Stitch Live! in the Walt Disney Television Studios building and classed as a full new attraction, this will be a live puppet show for the younger audience, featuring Handy Manny, Little Einsteins, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and My Friends Tigger & Pooh. (More news…)

It’s Party Time… with Mickey and Friends
Here we come to the key event of the party, a daytime show on a rebuilt Central Plaza Stage that aims to get the entire audience dancing along with characters from The Jungle Book and Aladdin in particular. (More news…)

Minnie’s Party Train
You might recognise this one, just a little. It’s the Disney Characters’ Express in a new polka-dot guise, still travelling between Main Street and Central Plaza with its trainload of Disney characters. (More news…)

It’s Dance Time… in Discoveryland
Jules Verne won’t know what hit him — Stitch is due to roll into Discoveryland atop a moving podium of DJ decks, “pumping out tunes” and encouraging everyone to dance along using special coloured dance mats. (More news…)

Look out for much more in-depth news and features about all these events — and the party itself — on DLRP Today every day from now until the official launch.

The Launch Date

Speaking of which — when does Mickey’s Magical Party really launch? The UK brochure states Friday, 3rd April 2009, whilst other official publications state the Saturday — 4th April. Those are the official launch dates, then there’s the actual launch, the press preview, when these events really begin rolling into the parks — which seems to be set on Saturday, 28th March 2009.

Watch this space…

Monday, 17th November 2008

Sleeping Beauty fireworks launch Christmas 2008!

The launch of seasonal events at Disneyland Resort Paris usually just means a raft of (to our mostly non-French audience) unknown celebrities and a bank of photographers obscuring the publics’ view at the special shows and parades throughout the day.

True, this year’s Christmas launch yesterday inflicted both of those upon regular park guests, but they were also given a very unexpected Winter treat when it came time for the evening’s Enchanted Candleabration finale.

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If you were confused by the special park Programme for 15th November and the switching-round of Fantillusion so that the illuminations ceremony came last, here is our reason why — as the bells chimed and the Castle sparkled in its now-completed array of crystal lights, majestic music in the vein of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty began and fireworks flew up into the air!

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The special launch show on Central Plaza Stage featured performances by live singers, a group of children helping out with preceedings and an encore from Princess Aurora and Prince Philip as their fireworks exploded overhead.

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Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant itself was lit in a classic scheme of pink towers and blue spires, rather than the usual all-purple colours used during Christmas Season.

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Below, Daviddu59 was lucky enough to catch the special one-off fireworks — albeit from behind the impenetrable wall of photographers — and shares the video with us:

Even in the short length of these fireworks, the Castle is almost completely engulfed in smoke due to the cold temperatures — perhaps that’s our reason for the general lack of Winter fireworks on other busy weekends and holidays.

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And, though it’s expected the resort will put on its best show to give the press the best possible impression of the seasonal entertainments, is it honest? Do they know that Enchanted Candleabration doesn’t usually have this firework-finale, or doesn’t it matter, in the name of good publicity for our beloved resort?

— Read our exclusive interview with the creator of this year’s Christmas Season here.

[Pictures © Disney, Video by Daviddu59]

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