Monday, 2nd May 2011

Stars ‘n’ Cars to lose its “petite surprise” stage number as parade stops refreshed

Disney's Stars 'n' Cars

They say no ideas at Disney ever go to waste and for Disney’s Stars ‘n’ Cars, the daily parade-come-show at Walt Disney Studios Park, that means a refreshed format reported to begin this summer will be a lot like a look at “what could have been”. Matthew Burggraeve (aka @InsideDLParis) tweeted on Friday that the parade would lose its “petite surprise” stage number and instead become a “parade with a meet ‘n’ greet showstop”. Before its Parisian debut in April 2009, the parade was due to become exactly that, before that idea was overtaken by one to pile all those individual show stops into one “mega show stop” on the arguably inadequate Place des Stars stage in Production Courtyard. This has often led to guests needing to arrive over half an hour (and perhaps up to one hour) in advance to find a spot on the front row for this performance, with the vast majority of guests behind them getting a poor view of the action in the cramped and untiered viewing space. If the event becomes a more standard parade, the amount of visitors able to feel part of the action will almost double as the route up through Backlot is brought back to life, for the first time since 2009’s High School Musical Party! show departed.

Meanwhile, Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade will reportedly see even more tweaks after the “interactive” show stops introduced for the Magical Moments Festival don’t appear to have been received too well. Changes apparently due early this month include “more dancing, less interaction and new music”, which might upset those hoping to hear the return of the “Just Like We Dreamed It” theme song written specifically for the parade in its show stops. In this case, you could have said way back in March: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

VIA @InsideDLParis (Twitter)

Monday, 18th April 2011

Fountain tests in Sleeping Beauty Castle moat hint at big splash for 20th Anniversary

20th Anniversary fountain tests

It may just look like a few pipes in the waters around Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant, but this is the photo everybody’s talking about. Because those aren’t just pipes, they’re fountains. Tested for a short time last week in the water behind Castle Stage, exactly one year before the date of the resort’s 20th Anniversary, it’s our first hint that something big is in preparation for next year’s anticipated celebration. We may not be talking World of Color given the space, but we could certainly be talking about at least un petit morceau of that experience as part of a big nightly event.

There may be a whole year to go, but these tests have still come relatively out of the blue for the park. World of Color has been mentioned as an aspiration for Walt Disney Studios Park in the past, but given the huge costs of installing the show (not to mention building a lake for it to actually perform on) it’s exciting to see that the technology at least might find a way to arrive in Paris much sooner than expected. And with that, anticipation for the 20th just rocketed. Less than 360 days to go, folks!

Update 19/04 — Our photo reporter Dlrpteam has sent over photos of more temporary installations around the area, being used as part of the current effects testing. It’s likely they’re “testing the waters” so to speak, to see just what can be achieved here before working on more in-depth plans:

20th Anniversary fountain tests

20th Anniversary fountain tests

20th Anniversary fountain tests

VIA Dlrpteam, Characters Photos Blog (Facebook)

Sunday, 10th April 2011

Magical Moments Launch: Adventureland Rhythms of the Jungle adds characters to tam-tams

Adventureland Rhythms of the Jungle

A staple of the park since the very beginning, Adventureland’s African Tam Tam music group just made some new friends — an orangutan, a bear, sometimes even a meerkat. This is Adventureland Rhythms of the Jungle, the new “moment” during the Disney Magical Moments Festival bringing life to a quiet corner of the land between Restaurant Hakuna Matata and Adventureland Bazaar. Read More…

Thursday, 7th April 2011

Magical Moments Launch: Disney Dance Express brings a technicolour new show to Central Plaza

Disney Dance Express

The fourth repurposing of Disneyland Park’s resident character express train in five years has officially premiered in its new guise: Disney Dance Express. This isn’t a straightforward redecoration or just another chance to meet and greet Disney characters, either — it’s a whole new show happening three times per day at the end of Main Street, U.S.A. and featuring a mix of modernised Disney tunes with well-known pop songs. A cast of 14 dancers is led by a live host, with Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Pluto, Chip and Dale joining in to coax the notoriously composed European audience to dance in the street. And one thing’s for sure: fluorescent is definitely in for 2011.

Photos and two videos of the show here! Read More…

Wednesday, 6th April 2011

Magical Moments Launch: Grand opening dedication show in photos and video

Disney Magical Moments Festival launch

Today’s the day — another year, another new festival begins at Disneyland Paris. And this year, it’s the Disney Magical Moments Festival, bringing a big (yet at the same time, rather modest) selection of new character “moments” and entertainments to the parks. Needless to say, there was nothing modest about the anticipated media launch event, which took place over last weekend and included the usual blow-out grand opening show and fireworks to round things off. Over 1,000 media types (plus for the first time ever, and at long last you could say, fan websites like DLRP Today and Photos Magiques) were officially invited along to see Mickey kick things off. Read More…

Wednesday, 16th March 2011

Disneyland Paris gets the Tilt-Shift treatment: Amazing “model” video of the parks and rides!

If you follow the official Disney Parks Blog you might have already enjoyed the superb “Tilt-Shift” videos of Magic Kingdom and Epcot at Walt Disney World, which turned those grand Disney parks into something resembling a toy train set or stop-motion animated film. Well, great news Disneyland Paris fans — they’ve taken a trip across the Atlantic! A brand new Disneyland Paris tilt-shift video premiered just hours ago today, in honour of the ninth birthday of Walt Disney Studios Park. Take a look above — it’s a seriously beautiful piece of work.

As the Disney Parks Blog explains, “Tilt-shift videos like these use different photo angles, focus settings and color saturation adjustments to make the subject of a photo appear miniature.” And most awe-inspiring, “It took more than seven months and 4,000 photographs to produce this 2:38-minute clip.” The variety of attractions, events and locations captured is truly impressive, far greater than the two earlier single-park videos, successfully making everything from Disney’s Fantillusion to Moteurs… Action! look like a small-scale model magically coming to life. We even get to see the up-scaled Toy Story Playland attractions downscaled again to the size of a toy!

VIA Disney Parks Blog

Monday, 7th March 2011

Dates set for 2011 return of The Tarzan Encounter

The Tarzan Encounter

C’est officiel: The Tarzan Encounter returns to The Chaparral Theater in Frontierland on 11th June and runs (daily, presumably) right through the Summer until 4th September 2011. It’s an odd turn of events that Disneyland Paris is championing so keenly its return to a show which originally premiered more than a decade ago, but that’s exactly what operating company Euro Disney SCA did at its Annual General Meeting last Friday, 4th March, announcing the dates for its new season as one of the biggest draws for 2011 in a dramatic video presentation, drawing woops of praise from the audience.

It was previously suspected that the show could just make it for a May start date, based on the audition calls, but the final June date still gives the show a good three-month run in the farthest corner of Frontierland — a vast improvement over 2010’s complete void of entertainment at the park’s theatres.

Thursday, 3rd March 2011

Royal Castle Stage seating now completely cleared

That’s it — it’s the end of an era, for now at least. All the benches of Le Théâtre du Château, the open air theatre at the heart of Disneyland Park, have now been completely removed as expected, save for those few back rows said to be retained as general seating. Member tarf on Disney Central Plaza captured the first photo of the bare amphitheatre above and in fact, it’s not an entirely negative change. Having row after row of empty, disused seating here throughout the day (save for a little excitement around parades) did always look rather depressing after all. Had the park been more sure of the theatre’s criminal disuse, it probably should have happened years ago, just to put it out of its misery.

The next step is anyone’s guess. Repaving? Redevelopment? Are the stone benches being kept somewhere in case the stage ever has some Sleeping Beauty-like reawakening? Do drop us a note if you happen to know more…

VIA tarf (Disney Central Plaza)

Thursday, 10th February 2011

Could Cirque du Soleil swing into Disneyland Paris, albeit seasonally?

It already has permanent shows based at Walt Disney World Resort and Tokyo Disney Resort — now, could Cirque du Soleil, the world-famous avant-garde circus, be looking to Paris? Founder of the company Guy Laliberté has suggested for the first time that a show based at Disneyland Paris could be a real possibility. When interviewed by Christian Sylt for a piece in The Independent, we can reveal that on the subject Laliberté commented: “We are having discussions with Disneyland Paris. It could be good but we have to be careful because this is an environment where it doesn’t have the same kind of traffic as in Orlando.”

According to brief details given, any Cirque du Soleil show at the Paris resort would most likely be seasonal, with performances only during one of the busier periods for the resort, similar to the Wintuk show held from November to January in New York’s Madison Square Garden — which just finished its final run last month. The location at Disneyland Paris would possibly be the site of the existing Crescend’O “dome” in Disney Village, though probably not the existing tent, which was built for the smaller aquatic circus show in 1999 and has since been used mainly for business events. Both the La Nouba show in Florida and Zed show in Tokyo are in permanent residence at custom-built theatres.

Friday, 21st January 2011

First character details for Magical Moments Festival events leak out

Our third “theme year” in a row doesn’t actually have any definable theme like the current New Generation, but Disney Magical Moments Festival beginning 6th April will bring to the parks a new trend of character “happenings”, as they’re awkwardly translated. According to Character Central Blog, even Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade won’t be free from a little Magical Moments “plussing”, with six new costumes including a swarm of bees behind the Winnie the Pooh unit and a new interactive show stop which will invite children to step up and don small costumes to dance with the characters (or for Toy Story, run around with stick horses resembling Bullseye) — a similar idea to that which greeted the launch of The Wonderful World of Disney Parade in 1998.

Replacing the rather good Disney Showtime Spectacular on Central Plaza Stage will be another creation of the random Disney show name generator, Mickey’s Magical Celebration, this year said to feature a more classic range of characters such as Merlin, the Fairy Godmother, the Three Good Fairies and Mickey in two different costumes (surely including that Sorcerer outfit, rarely seen in Paris), with just one performance daily each evening. Interestingly the Genie will apparently appear as a real “face” character, something only seen before at the Disney California Adventure stage musical. More conventional will be the fourth (yes, really) reworking of the park’s Casey Jr. parade train, to this year be known as Disney Dance Express and exclusively feature the VIP team of Mickey, Minnie and friends. Rather than stopping for meet ‘n’ greets, however, the train is this year said to be stopping for a live show in the middle of Main Street akin to Magic Kingdom’s “Move It! Shake It!! Celebrate It!!! Street Party” — with fewer exclamation marks but still a live human host, dancers and possibly imported music.

On the subject of those “happenings”, Character Central has no word on the Peter Pan event but does report that a Jungle Book event will feature the park’s long-running African Tam Tams group alongside King Louie and Baloo. This is apparently in addition to new static figurines of these characters, similar to those of WALL-E and EVE which arrived in Discoveryland late last year. A new, live meet ‘n’ greet for Aladdin is also said to arrive near the back of Adventureland Bazaar, while Rapunzel and Flynn from Disney’s Tangled could be given a more permanent home near The Old Mill.

VIA Character Central Blog

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