In preparation for their daily meet ‘n’ greets amongst the fitting tombstones of Boot Hill throughout the Halloween season, Disneyland Resort Paris have released some special publicity photos showing the ghoulish couple awaiting their first European fans.
The costumes appear almost identical to those premiered at Hong Kong Disneyland last year. Jack Skellington stands tall and thin in a strong pin-striped tailcoat and trousers, the spiked edges of his jacket flared upwards in a similar style to his black-spider bow-tie.
Though the character wears a mask, his jaw is exposed and given some wonderful make-up to allow the character to actually speak to his fans. This does give his head a somewhat less-rounded appearance than the well-known Tim Burton stop-motion original, but the overall look of the character is near flawless.
As for Sally, she appears even more startling than her skeletal partner. Her skin appears blue from top to toe, either from coloured tights, gloves or make-up, and everything from the stitched-together dress to the sheer red hair and contrasting red lipstick put her up amongst some of the most realistic and impressive creations from the character entertainment department.
The pair will make their Parisian debut on 4th October, meeting fans at this exact spot next to Phantom Manor, and will also make a daily appearance in the new Halloween Pre-Parade, riding atop a horse-drawn cart.
That’d be because, as we reported along with the ‘Disney’s Spooktacular Halloween’ 2008 press release, the Pink Witches characters which invaded the past three festivals have been entirely removed from all marketing, decorations and live appearances. They’ll be replaced by a greater presence from the park’s now-recognisable Pumpkin Men, showing off several new incarnations and costumes.
Since 2005, the Pink Witches were introduced as Halloween “rivals” to the orange paint-spreading Pumpkin Men, with guests asked to “choose your side” in a battle for Halloween victory. Though the live characters themselves received a good reception, the uninspiring decorations around Cowboy Cookout Barbeque in Frontierland did not. Adding to the festival’s perceived problems was the additional introduction of Stitch, now removed entirely since he was given his own attraction at Walt Disney Studios Park.
In 2008, then, what can we expect? Remnants of the old Pink Witches decorations certainly live on. The first picture from these very first photos of the 2008 decorations, by our partners Photos Magiques, sums up the changes perfectly — an old Queen of the Pink Witches statue given a Pumpkin head and paint pots over its broomsticks.
Colours throughout the decorations have been quite noticeably muted to more rustic and conventional orange, earthy tones. Frontierland now appears to host the majority of the old Pumpkin Men characters which previously populated the streets, rooftops and balconies of Main Street U.S.A., making the transformation of the land feel immediately more impressive, whatever your feelings on these now-six-year old mannequins.
The so-called ‘Téléfreak’ device, which once linked the mainland with Big Thunder Mountain via a complicated overhead cableway (to transfer orange paint, so said the legends), is now all but gone after two years as a cable-less tower. Frontierland fans will be pleased to now see no orange steel tower, just the slightly more fitting oversized paint pot.
Heading toward the ‘Pink Witches Academy’ area from recent years, where unpopular moulded plastic figures showed witches of various nationalities cooking up their local specialties, we’re pleased to find that these decorations have yet to materialise. The old entrance archway to the area has reappeared, but with a new orange and brown colour scheme and green vines running across its length, far more agreeable in its setting.
The ‘Trick or Treat Stage’ has now entirely lost its garish blue and pink colours in favour of, again, a more muted brown overlay to its coffins, boxes and supports. This will allow the two main shows — Goofy and the Magic Cauldron and Minnie and the Bat Boys stand out much more themselves, rather than the stage.
Finally, over in Cottonwood Creek Ranch, we find the only area not to have seen much change when compared to recent seasons past. Traditionally the area where Pumpkin Men grow on the vines of a giant pumpkin plant, the plant, scarecrows and plethora of real pumpkins have returned to provide a familiar corner of Halloween magic.
In terms of really, truly “new” decorations, however, we’re currently still waiting…
Disney’s Halloween Festival officially begins on 4th October 2008 and runs until 6th November. The full DLRP Magic! guide to the season will be launched very soon, but before then you can check out the 2007 guide here.
However, the park was distinctly quieter than the same day in 2007, which fell on a Saturday, when record crowds filled the pathways to bursting point and packed into Le Théâtre du Château to see the Irish dancing, musical groups and Disney characters dressed in Celtic greens. On a Monday in low season, the day was a quieter yet still unique occasion to experience at Disneyland.
Once again, it was Le Théâtre du Château which hosted the dance troupes, bands and face painting events throughout the day, swapping its recent St. David’s Day makeover for a return of the green and yellow Irish decorations.
The dance troupes and entertainers themselves were also familiar — many, such as The Lee-Byrne Academy Dancers returning to the resort for the third time. They entertained park guests four times throughout the day with traditional dance, joined halfway through the show by Chip ‘n’ Dale in similar costume.
In the morning and later into the evening, the Gatwick Caledonian Pipe Band provided live music on the stage (see first picture).
All of the performers from both the dance troupe and pipe band, as well as a marching band from Northern Ireland, also took part in the special St Patrick’s Day pre-parade, dancing, drumming and piping their way along the parade route, followed by the stars of the show: Mickey and Minnie in bright green “leprechaun” costumes, riding on the redecorated Main Street fire truck
The pair could be met by guests at their usual locations on Town Square and at Casey’s Corner throughout the morning.
To round out the day of celebrations, which also included Celtic music in Disney Village and into the night at Billy Bob’s Country Western Saloon, the St Patrick’s Day Fireworks exploded into the sky above Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant. The fireworks were largely the same in formation as 2007, with the music remaining identical to the previous two years.
The real magic of this Christmas Season for a Disney fan is that it seems not a single corner of the resort is sleeping — everything, everywhere, is running at full steam. From the reopening of Agrabah Café to the daily Christmas streetmosphere at Walt Disney Studios with ‘Toon en Scène pour les Fêtes !‘, the constant improvements throughout 2007 have built to an overwhelming crescendo.
At Disneyland Park, The Chaparral Theater has Mickey’s Winter Wonderland, Fantasy Festival Stage has Winnie the Pooh, Videopolis Theatre has The Legend of the Lion King, Critter Corral the new Father Christmas Village… the list goes on. Have they missed anywhere? Well, Central Plaza isn’t filled with too much life during the daytime…
Minnie in Mickey’s Winter Wonderland
No fear, it sounds like Minnie Mouse has a late Christmas gift for us.
We’ve received word from a reliable source that preparations are well underway backstage for a new addition to the Christmas entertainment line-up. Starring Minnie Mouse, a new show entitled ‘Minnie’s Jolly Holidays Show‘ is expected to premiere on the Central Plaza Stage from the weekend of 15th/16th December 2007, playing daily throughout daytime hours for the rest of the season!
With Minnie as host and Central Plaza as the location, it’s hard not to connect this production to last month’s well received Disney Villains’ Halloween Showtime for Disney’s Halloween Festival. No doubt the staging will bear more than a slight similarity, though so far it seems very little about the show is known backstage, where casting sessions for the production have just been completed.
Enchantment like nowhere else on Earth… just got a little bit more enchanting!
UPDATE – 25/11/2007
Our source brings new information for the show, final title “Minnie’s Jolly Holidays Show“. The show will begin earlier than expected, from 1st December 2007, and will be presented four times early each day!
Since the opening year of 1992, Disneyland Resort Paris has celebrated Christmas with bigger and better events each and every year. For the 15th Anniversary, we were promised an “exceptionnoÃ«l” season, and, with a Father Christmas Village and Enchanted Candleabration to discover amongst countless old favourites, this is truly the biggest and most spectacular Christmas season the resort has ever seen.
Click below to play the video — and chante, c’est noÃ«l!
The video is exclusive to this page and cannot be seen on our usual Dailymotion account, so please do spread around this link to share the sights of the most magical Disney Christmas on Earth!
Member Poppy the Monkey on magicforum confirms the lineup currently being rehearsed, which will follow directly after the new parade as an 8th additional “dream” (or 9th float). As with Disney’s Halloween Festival, the parade directors are allowing guests to see the production as it was originally intended throughout the entire 15th Anniversary celebrations.
As rumoured previously, the 9th float of the parade will be Father Christmas’ Sleigh, the popular float which has been returning to the park every Christmas since 1992.
The float will be joined by a large amount of extra dancers and performers when compared to other Dreams. Now confirmed to be appearing are Victorian dancers, Poinsettia flowers (those usually featured in Dreams of Romance), the classic Toy Soldiers and Reindeer.
As the parade uses individual music for each float, a new soundtrack for the ‘Dreams of Christmas’ float has also been created. This will apparently use a short version of ‘Chante, C’est NoÃ«l !’ with “two other Christmas songs”. All other float music will remain faithful to the original parade, the show stop music also remaining as ‘Just Like We Dreamed It’, the anniversary theme.
With today the final day of Disney’s Halloween Festival, preparations for the next major season are well underway both backstage and on-stage. The most notable progress is the installation of the 26 LED Disney Princess crowns atop Main Street’s banner poles, to be used combined with the Lumière banners which took their place back in March.
Disney’s Christmas Season will also see a small Christmas overlay of the popular Disney Characters’ Express, plus the highly anticipated Enchanted Candleabration, combining the former Enchanted Fairytale Ceremony with the 15th Anniversary “wow!” of Candleabration‘s candles, banners and pixie dust.
— Look out for the launch of a brand new chapter dedicated to this year’s Christmas Season on the new DLRP Magic! Guidebook later this week!
Disneyland Resort Paris always announces its new developments in the most understated of ways. Whether its a paragraph at the end of a financial report or a nondescript mention on a webpage, the resort certainly knows how to keep its fans on their toes.
Today, official confirmation for the ‘Father Christmas Village‘ finally comes from an online newsletter sent out to all UK guests introducing both the Halloween and Christmas seasons, together. Once the email has arrived in their inbox, subscribers can click a link to visit a special webpage on disneylandparis.co.uk providing a preview of the upcoming season under the tagline “This year, Christmas will be 15 times more MARVELLOUS!”
One sentence, hidden toward the end of the text, reads as follows:
“…And take advantage of this exceptional day to visit the new Father Christmas Village.”
The email newsletter itself mentions guests being able to “spend some magical moments with the Disney Characters who await you in their special Christmas finery beside Father Christmas in person”, suggesting the village will mix well with the perpetually popular Mickey’s Winter Wonderland within the ranch area, providing a ‘Disney Character’ alternative to the ‘Disney Princess’ theme of Belle’s Christmas Village, returning to Fantasyland from 17th November 2007.
Woody’s Roundup Village itself will then likely take over the ranch in the new year, providing Disneyland Resort Paris with its only attraction to be “made-over” annually for seasonal events.
The newsletter also confirms the English name of Candleabration‘s festive guise – Enchanted Candleabration.
For the grand launch events of the anniversary, we saw it rolled out in real life for Miley Cyrus and various VIP guests, whilst stunning print advertisements filled magazine pages, billboards and even tour buses. The whole idea was a huge success, a far cry from the poorly conceived campaigns of Walt Disney Studios Park and The Legend Of The Lion King in years gone by.
Since the launch, the red carpet has continued to roll through each and every 15th Anniversary campaign, big and small, giving the treat of some cleverly themed carpets for Cars, Crush’s Coaster and more recently, Halloween.
However, we shoudn’t get ahead of ourselves. As announced last week, Disney’s Christmas Season is most certainly back for a fifteenth season this November, joining together the best of Christmas past and the best of the anniversary, plus some extra presents (eg. the Roundup) thrown in.
Despite Christmas seasons rarely being given the gift of expensive advertisements or clever promotions in the past (case in point: last year’s ‘key visual’), this newfound confidence in the power of the 15th campaigns thus far brings an exciting new textile-floor-covering-based chapter for us to stare wondrously upon…
Click to enlarge (724×1024).
Without gushing too much, it’s certainly another great addition to the collection, don’t you think?
The two new promotional posters, a portrait and landscape version of the same design, see the red carpet stretching upwards into Sleeping Beauty Castle decorated both with its glittering ice palace Christmas lights and the character candles of the 15th Anniversary. The characters peering out from Christmas trees along the carpet could be the most interesting detail here, however…
Click to enlarge (1024×768).
Beyond Mickey, Minnie, Chip and Dale in their Enchanted Fairytale Ceremony (now ‘Bougillumination Enchantée‘) costumes, aside from the classic Toy Soldiers making an unusual advertising appearance and ignoring Goofy in his popular Goofy Claus outfit… do you see them?
The two visuals feature a couple of Disney-ised reindeer, standing on their “rear” legs and looking ready to meet and greet their festive park guests. What should we expect of them, new guests for the ‘Dreams of Christmas’ float? Extra characters for Frontierland‘s new Christmas Village? Or perhaps, simply stand-in extras for this promotion, drafted in from the North Pole?
So, if you’re planning on actually visiting the resort this Christmas rather than drooling over the standout effort from the resort’s marketing department above… don’t forget a carrot or two, just in case.
The new press release answers a lot of questions and confirms the Christmas overlays of Candleabration and Once Upon a Dream, but before we begin — take a look at this brand new visual:
Should this be next to the word “extravagance” in the dictionary?
Any questions about whether the chandeliers would return or whether they will replace the 15th Anniversary banners can be cast aside… Two spectacular, popular Main Street and Castle overlays will join together for the first time — glowing, icy chandeliers and sparkling Lumière banners, flickering character candles and glittering ice palace lights, presented together for two months only.
Quite a jawdropping spectacle in itself, don’t you think?
– – – – – – Press Release, Translated – – – – – –
Christmas more spectacular than ever
for the 15th Anniversary of Disneyland Resort Paris
Christmas at Disneyland is a time for all the family —
this year, kids under 7 can stay and play for FREE.
MARNE LA VALLÉE, France 11 Septembre 2007 … The Christmas celebrations begin 10th November at Disneyland Resort Paris. Amongst the high points of the season, the new ‘Dreams of Christmas’ float for Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade, the musical show Mickey’s Winter Wonderland and the unforgettable illumination of Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant in her 15th Anniversary makeover.
Until 6th January 2006, the most enchanting season of the entire year will be even more magical. And to make the celebration sparkle, hotel stays and access to the Disney Parks is completely free for children under 7 years of age!
More than one million lights will transform Disneyland Park into a Christmas wonderland. Snow will fall on a Main Street lined with grand chandeliers dedicated to the Disney Princesses and happy snowmen. A majestic Christmas Tree and Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant glow in thousands of lights, specially decorated for the 15th Anniversary.
Father Christmas and his reindeer take their place on the ‘Dreams of Christmas’ float in Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade every afternoon. This sparkling parade was created especially for the 15th Anniversary to bring to life the most beautiful Disney Classics, helped along by a grand collection of Disney characters wearing their most beautiful party clothes.
Even more surprises await vistors with Mickey’s Winter Wonderland, a colourful ice-skating spectacle presented several times a day with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and their friends in a wondrous Winter landscape. The fantasy presents the charms and delights of the coldest season through memorable music. Naturally, Chip and Dale make a surprise appearance!
At the heart of Fantasyland from the 17th November, guests can explore the winding streets of Belle’s Christmas Village. The heroine and her beast themselves can be encountered at the entrance of this picturesque seasonal market. Over at the Fantasy Festival Stage, Winnie the Pooh and Friends, Too enchants guests of all ages in a special Christmas-themed show from 15th December to 6th January.
The Disney characters are at the celebration and waiting for guests at the foot of the Castle. In the elegant Christmas Tree Forest of Town Square, Goofy Claus is ready and waiting for photos. And, as every day since the start of the 15th Anniversary celebrations, Disney Characters’ Express circles Main Street, U.S.A. several times a day, redecorated with a special Christmas theme!
Every evening, Mickey and his friends join together for the joyous finale of Bougillumination Enchantée (Enchanted Candleabration, Christmas Candleabration) in dance and song, before Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant — its fifteen candles lit by Mickey Mouse himself! Enchanting Disney princesses dance under the moonlight whilst, behind them, the Castle is transformed into a spectacular, crystal ice palace of lights. The crowning moment comes as a shower of glittering, golden pixie dust rains from the magic wand of Tinkerbell atop the highest spire, which illuminates, one by one, the giant chandeliers and banners lining Main Street all the way to the towering Christmas Tree itself, on Town Square.
Finally, the nighttime fantasy of Disney’s Fantillusion* reunites the heros of Disneyland in an extravagant parade making use of the most sophisticated sound and light effects, to close the day in a glittering shower of lights and unforgettable music.
*From 10th to 30th November 2007 — Disney’s Fantillusion will be presented only on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. From 1st December 2007 to 6th January 2008, Disney’s Fantillusion performances are daily, weather permitting.
Walt Disney Studios Park
Christmas with the sparkle of Hollywood.
Visitors can again step in front of the camera and play their part in the hilarious live Christmas Ciné Folies shows of Disney Studio 1, transformed with an irresistible festive atmosphere.
Across the Resort
Disneyland Resort Paris sparkles with Christmas decorations all over. Each Disney Hotel is given an extra festive touch with Christmas trees, illuminations and specially-organised activities for the Christmas season.
Finally, Disney Village celebrates Christmas from 21st December 2007 to 6th January 2008, including the famous Marché de NoÃ«l and a meet ‘n’ greet location for Father Christmas and his snowmen friends.
– – – – – – End Release – – – – – –
Let’s recap all that news:
Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade will indeed see Father Christmas on his own ‘Dreams of Christmas’ float (likely the old sleigh float from previous years). Candleabration’s Christmas overlay will be known beautifully in French as ‘Bougillumination Enchantée’ — we’ll have to wait for the English name, but something similar to Enchanted Candleabration or Christmas Candleabration is likely. The Christmas Tree will return again to Town Square, following its success there last year.
Mickey’s Winter Wonderland, Winnie the Pooh and Belle’s Christmas Village return. Disney’s Fantillusion is to run only 3 days a week during November. Walt Disney Studios Park will again have only Christmas Ciné Folies to celebrate the season. Disney Characters’ Express will continue to run and even get a special Christmas overlay.
Perhaps most interesting — Father Christmas’ usual meet ‘n’ greet location of Town Square is now confirmed to be taken over by Goofy in his Santa Claus costume previously seen only at Walt Disney Studios Park. Now, where could Santa have gone? A temporary inhabitant of the future Woody’s Roundup Village in Frontierland, perhaps?
The 15th Anniversary with the added enchantment of Christmas is beginning to sound a lot like something rather special. Alors, chante — c’est presque NoÃ«l !
When Stitch joined the Halloween festivities in 2006, it marked a turn towards a more “Disney” and “childish” theme for the festival, with fewer of Disneyland Park‘s unique Pumpkin Men and more classic Disney characters dressed up for trick or treating. This was joined with a shift back to the older Mickey Mouse pumpkin logo for the event rather than the darker, and less “Disney”, 2005 version.
This year, as Halloween goes “to the power of 15”, the logo is very familiar. The Disneyland15 logo has simply been given three simple silhouettes of bats, and for Christmas season the same simple idea will follow. Certainly, one thing the old season logos always missed were the words “Disneyland” and “Paris”…
You might have already noticed the logo on the new online advertising banners which officially launched today for Disneyland Resort Paris’ affiliate network…
Or, failing that, a visit to the official Disneyland Resort Paris website in the past few days will not have allowed you to miss the strong Halloween promotions now going on. In addition to links in the “What’s New?” section and on the sidebar, the actual main logo of the website has been completely altered to take on a Halloween theme. All this, to lead visitors to the brand new Halloween mini-site, now launched at the annual www.magichalloween.com address.
Let’s take a look…
The website is open to an unusual mixture of countries, including Switzerland and Ireland now with
their own sections — Ireland in particular has seen a small surge to the magic recently.
Choosing your country sends Stitch flying towards the Castle, before you find
yourself in a haunted house with Stitch at the door — “trick or treat?”
Opening the front door to the masked creature (is this a good message for children?) sends him
spinning monstrously into the room, before leading you to the Halloween events at Disneyland…
A welcome screen introduces the Halloween events effectively.
The main screen is set in Frontierland, with Stitch climbing into a mine cart. With Main Street filled
with Lumiere’s 15th events, will the Far West become the true Halloween homeland again?
“Create your own scary face” lets you do just that, with a nice silhouette of Big Thunder in the
background. The build of the website is very similar in style to the main 15th Anniversary website, an
equally, if not even more, professional.
The “Halloween Festival” tab leads to general information and photos for the season. Nothing
particularly new is mentioned other than that featured in the recent press release.
The 31st October Halloween Party (which requires an extra ticket) gets a much more prominent section this year, equal in size to the main festival information and with much to tempt a visit.
Particularly — absolutely no mention of a “Ghost Ship Cavalcade.”
Main Street is used at the backdrop of the Halloween party. The website also features wallpapers
and a screensaver, information about Kids Under 7 Free and an online game to become the
“Halloween Champion”, though apparently no mention of the actual prize.
However, the true event is expected to take place in daytime, finally bringing the Central Plaza stage to life without having to wait for darkness to fall. The villains are expected to make way completely for Candleabration (and Disney Characters’ Express, it would appear) to continue as normal throughout the festival.
Overall, a very promising launch campaign for this years Halloween festivities, don’t you think?
Whilst the emphasis on the 15th Anniversary might have left the traditional Halloween events by the wayside, they seem to be planning an event stronger than any year before — that’s the power of 15.
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