Saturday, 22nd October 2016

First look: Disneyland Paris 25th Anniversary brochure reveals more celebration secrets

Disneyland Paris 25th Anniversary brochure

The official Disneyland Paris 25th Anniversary holiday brochure is here! Well, if you know where to look. Though not accessible directly from the resort’s website, a simple change of a web address now suddenly reveals a whole load more “sparkling” secrets… Read More…

Thursday, 20th October 2016

Disneyland Paris 25th Anniversary deconstructed: New Shows & Park Entertainment

Disneyland Paris 25th Annviersary deconstructed: New Shows & Park Entertainment

Beyond the main features of the 25th Anniversary, Disneyland Paris also announced two new events to be discussed: Mickey presents “Happy Anniversary Disneyland Paris” and The Starlit Princess Waltz. What can we expect from these, and other park entertainment throughout the next year? Read More…

Tuesday, 30th September 2014

First signs of Swing Into Spring 2015 with auditions ahead of second season

Swing Into Spring at Disneyland Paris - Printemps Spring season

Swing Into Spring will return to Disneyland Paris from 1st March to 31st May 2015, that’s confirmed already. But while we prepare for Halloween and Christmas, Disney is preparing for the second season of this successful new annual festival with a new audition notice already posted for dancers on the official Casting website. Read More…

Thursday, 3rd April 2014

Main Street Station becomes blank canvas for ‘Swing into Spring’ overlay

Swing into Spring on Main Street Station © DisneylandBerry

Welcome to turn of the 20th Century America! At least, that’s what Main Street Station was designed to say. In practice, it has suffered an innumerable series of seasonal overlays over the years that often do little to embellish its period style. The latest, for Swing into Spring, was completed this week ahead of the new season’s launch on 5th April.

Production quality looks surprisingly good for a fledgling season — the main “Swing into Spring” marquee is big but thankfully well-designed, compared to previous efforts. The way the typeface springs out of the oversized daisy is quite classy, the character illustrations are a welcome “Disney” touch, the flowers (albeit fake) give a feeling of life. From a distance it looks like a fantastic, bright, fresh welcome into Disneyland Park for Spring. Great job!

It’s just a shame it’s all over Main Street Station. After the 20th Anniversary overlay, Halloween, Christmas, and many more in the years before, you almost need to remind yourself what this landmark is supposed to look like. So here we go:

Main Street Station Disneyland Paris

Now where do you begin? Let’s start with the windows. The four stained glass windows of the original station are beautiful and should simply never, ever be covered over. Definitely not with flat yellow backgrounds for 2D cut-out Disney characters.

Then there are the 20th Anniversary leftovers. The two plasticy gold garlands along the top of the façade, the three golden arches above the walkways and the four circular castle motifs are all still in place two years later. The thinking could be they’re yellow (ish) and vaguely fit the colour scheme, the reality is that they cheapen a building which, along with the stunning Disneyland Hotel, was designed to instantly tell guests they’re not in any old tacky theme park.

Also part of that overlay was the black “Disneyland Paris” sign. It seemed fitting for the 20th Anniversary, but isn’t it about time the old “Main Street Station”, with its higher quality embossed gold letters and warm red background returned?

After all that, the flowers and even the logo are rather inoffensive. Indeed, imagine how good the station could have looked if it was simply “plussed” with a colourful floral overlay, not just treated like a blank canvas — as if there’s nothing of quality there to actually work with and the only option was for the designer to cover it with their own, bright yellow, canvas.

Main Street Station Disneyland Paris

It’s been easy to shrug off the Halloween and Christmas overlays in the past because, besides the fact they’re well-established holidays, they’re only there for one and two months respectively, giving us nine more months to see the park entrance as it should be seen.

Swing into Spring will last for a record three months. If it returns with the same decorations next year (spending on these seems to suggest it will), that means only six months to see the station untouched: January to March and July to September. That’s provided they ever take the 20th Anniversary elements down. The situation is similar to the oversized Tinkerbell of the 15th Anniversary castle overlay, which outstayed its welcome (and spoilt the forced perspective of the castle) for several years after the anniversary ended.

At least, these days, it’s not the castle. That’s what we need to remember.

• Discover more Disneyland Railroad Main Street Station photos on the Guidebook

LEAD PHOTO @DisneylandBerry (Twitter)

Wednesday, 2nd April 2014

New ‘Swing into Spring’ decorations take root on Main Street ahead of launch

Swing into Spring at Disneyland Paris © DisneylandBerry

Less than three days to go before the first ‘Swing into Spring’ season begins at Disneyland Paris, the new decorations on Main Street, U.S.A. and Central Plaza are already taking root to add a burst of fresh colour to Disneyland Park.

Just days after they were officially revealed in final concept art, the first arrivals were the colourful Central Plaza “topiary” displays of favourite Disney animals, interacting with musical notes and instruments. Each one takes the centrepiece of one of the four Central Plaza flower beds, surrounded by a fresh display of much less synthetic blooms.

Swing into Spring at Disneyland Paris © DisneylandBerry
Swing into Spring at Disneyland Paris © DisneylandBerry

Bambi, Flower and Thumper, The Aristocats Marie, Berlioz and Toulouse, and The Lion King Simba and Nala are pictured here by @DisneylandBerry, who has been sharing these updates of the growing Spring decorations each morning. Three of the 101 dalmatian puppies are in place, too, completing one of the best Central Plaza overlays in many years.

Meanwhile, down in Town Square the theme is more Mary Poppins. The 1964 film celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, and is of course a natural fit for a springtime “Jolly Holiday”.

Swing into Spring at Disneyland Paris © DisneylandBerrySwing into Spring at Disneyland Paris © DisneylandBerry

As the concept art depicted, the two flower beds either side of Main Street’s gazebo have become home to full-size floral topiary figures of Mary, Bert, Jane and Michael.

The Town Square Gazebo itself soon followed, being decorated with colourful garlands of synthetic flowers, musical notes and a large butterfly for its “Balade Printanière”.

Swing into Spring at Disneyland Paris © DisneylandBerry

Perhaps a simple floral overlay would have been enough and more in-keeping with the time period of Main Street, but at least, thank heavens, the psychedelic multi-coloured music staff of the concept art was changed to a more subdued green.

Penguin waiters are even less in-keeping with Main Street, of course, but they add some fun to the scene and are by far one of the least offensive things ever done to the poor gazebo. And they’re penguin waiters, so it’s impossible to dislike them.

Swing into Spring at Disneyland Paris © DisneylandBerry

Main Street, U.S.A. is home to almost all the Swing into Spring decorations, the furthest they spread into the park being only Le Théatre du Château. Here, the successful Halloween overlay of recent years has been echoed for Spring with daisies wrapped around the columns and a new green podium stage, ready for the main Disney’s Spring Promenade event which will take place both here and around Central Plaza.

Swing into Spring at Disneyland Paris © DisneylandBerry
Swing into Spring at Disneyland Paris © DisneylandBerrySwing into Spring at Disneyland Paris © DisneylandBerry

It’s simple and tasteful enough, and again good to see the stage finding a new lease of life after some years of dilapidation and uncertainty. Now to see how it will be used…

PHOTOS @DisneylandBerry (Twitter)

Tuesday, 1st April 2014

Video: Show Director Christophe Leclercq introduces ‘Swing into Spring’ (at last)

Swing into Spring Disneyland Paris season festival concept art

You’ve less than four days to get to Disneyland Paris for the opening of ‘Swing into Spring’, the almost mythical Spring Festival which now at last has been given its official English title, dates and some welcome publicity by the resort.

Released today is a new video featuring Show Director Christophe Leclercq, introducing the season of springtime decorations and entertainment. If not revealing any new details of the much-speculated festival, Christophe confirms again some important details, such as the main event featuring no less than 90 dancers, 22 musicians and a quite startling 33 characters, taking place “in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle”.

The video includes an additional piece of concept art for the Central Plaza “topiary” displays (above) which feature characters from Bambi, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, The Aristocats and The Lion King interacting with musical notes and instruments.

This is also the first time (besides a lone Belgian press release) that Disneyland Paris has confirmed the season will run from 5th April to 22nd June 2014.

In French, the season will be known as La Balade Printanière, or “Springtime Stroll”.

An earlier version of the video mistakenly subtitled Town Square as Times Square.

VIA Disneyland Paris (YouTube)

Thursday, 20th March 2014

Disneyland Paris swings into late Spring Festival promotion – concepts, details, dates!

Disneyland Paris Spring Festival concept art - Swing into Spring

Disneyland Paris has finally swung into action, confirming months and rumour and speculation with the first promotion of its upcoming Spring Festival season at Disneyland Park. While the calendar season begins today, Disney’s season of entertainment and special decorations will run from 5th April to 22nd June 2014, confirming the rumoured dates exactly.

Two new pieces of concept art lead the announcements, shared on the resort’s official Facebook and Twitter pages.

Above, the concept shows Town Square and its gazebo decorated with Mary Poppins-themed topiaries, flowers and decorations including Mary, Bert and the “Jolly Holiday” penguins.

Below, one of the new centrepieces for Central Plaza is shown, featuring One Hundred and One Dalmatians. Each of the four main flower beds in the heart of the park will have a different display of flowers, topiary and musical notes — a new official press release confirms the others will feature The Lion King, Bambi and The Aristocats.

Disneyland Paris Spring Festival concept art - Swing into Spring

So far, the press release has only been slipped onto the Belgian press websites, under the title “Disneyland Paris aux couleurs du Printemps” (Disneyland Paris in the colours of Spring). Here’s a full translation of the key points from the French language version:

Disneyland Paris in the colours of Spring

5th April to 22nd June 2014

If Disneyland Paris was a garden, it would be the largest in Europe with 35,000 trees, 250,000 shrubs and more than a million flowers planted each year. Mickey and friends have decided to celebrate this legacy of success with a special theme for more than three months, in the colours of Spring. With new happenings, new decorations and the opportunity to meet the Disney characters in new costumes.

Disneyland Paris turns into a “springtime stroll”.

The new daily “Promenade Printanière” happening promises to be the event of the day. This ultra-colourful musical event will be enlivened by more than one hundred artists including 90 dancers. Not to mention the Disney characters in new, specially-created costumes. Mickey and Minnie, Alice and the Mad Hatter, Woody and Jessie from Toy Story, Stitch, Pinocchio, Clarabelle and many more will delight park guests accompanied by the musicians of the “Jolly Holiday Band” and “Swing into Spring Orchestra”. The new generation will also be in the spotlight, notably Rapunzel.

In decorations, small and big dreamers will be able to discover their favourite Disney heros in versions more “flowery” than ever. Beside Sleeping Beauty Castle, topiaries depicting One Hundred and One Dalmations, Simba and Nala (The Lion King), the Artistocats and even Bambi and his friends Flower and Thumper have sprung up like magic. Elsewhere, landmarks will be transformed into showcases of flowers.

“Bienvenue à la Belle Saison”, at the entrance of Disneyland Park, will immerse guests in the magic of Spring, with butterflies, flowers, topiary and music.

Finally, children can play as budding explorers with an entertaining leaflet guiding them through the nature, ecology and diversity offered by Disneyland Paris.

While the English name “Swing into Spring” has long been associated with the season and/or its daily happening, the main event is confirmed here in French as “Promenade Printanière” (Springtime Promenade), with two musical acts named “Swing into Spring Orchestra” and “Jolly Holiday Band”. It remains to be seen how the season itself will be titled in English.

With no less than a hundred “artists” including 90 dancers from the auditions earlier this year, the event, which is rumoured to take place around Central Plaza, could be quite a surprise spectacle indeed. Having two confirmed musical acts is also great move, rather than the park’s usual erratic live music schedule. This release also confirms Rapunzel will be featured, with a meet ‘n’ greet rumoured for the spot near to Casey’s Corner in Main Street, U.S.A.

Very welcome too is the renewed focus on the park’s gardens, especially as Disneyland Paris always spends money creating fabulous flower displays every year in springtime anyway.

It’s reassuring to see the event should indeed include some real flora rather than just fibreglass decorations. Indeed, while the flowers and topiaries look lovely, it wouldn’t exactly be a shame if the rather garish, unnecessary musical notes and butterfly were dropped from the Town Square gazebo concept, would it?

But still, simply for Disneyland Paris to share concept art publicly like this is a positive step itself — not just promoting the event but showing the talent and artistry going into it.

Posting on Facebook, Disneyland Paris announced:

“As of April 5th, Disneyland Paris will be officially welcoming the return of spring! This brand new season will be bursting with surprises, so come and join all your favourite Disney Characters for a music-filled celebration of blooming flowers and glorious sun-drenched days!”

However as “product” launches go, this must be one of the most last-minute in the resort’s history, giving only just over two weeks notice before the events actually begin. This could be a way to reduce expectation ahead of a bigger investment and promotional push next year, when the concept is proven, but for now has Disneyland Paris confirmed these Spring details with enough time for you to actually plan a trip, or did you wish you knew sooner?

Previous updates:

New “Spring Festival” season set to fill April – June months at Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris Spring Festival speculation blossoms with new logos, official text

Sunday, 9th March 2014

Disneyland Paris Spring Festival speculation blossoms with new logos, official text

Disneyland Paris Spring Festival - Swing Into Spring

It’s a glorious, sunny day in our corner of Europe today, with the feeling that Spring has truly sprung. The same could finally be the case for Disneyland Paris’ much-rumoured Spring Festival season, with new logos and creative text published this week.

The three designs, shared by Dlrp Express, take the standard Disneyland Paris logo in a fresh shade of green and apply colourful flowers, climbing plant shoots, a bright pink butterfly and musical notes floating in the air.

Both this rather over-the-top design, and a more discreet, flatter version have been released.

Disneyland Paris Spring FestivalDisneyland Paris Spring Festival

Alongside those is a new graphic to complete the set: a green petalled flower with Mickey Mouse-shaped centre, plus the same pink butterfly and musical notes.

Disneyland Paris Spring Festival

The first piece of text describing the season also appears to have been unearthed. Although we don’t have this directly from an official source, it’s unlikely even a fan could write something so typically Disney, let alone produce the logos above:

“Swing into a Disney Spring, blooming with magic at Disneyland® Paris. Color and music blossom throughout Disneyland® Park. And with the smell of flowers and fun in the air, it’s sure to be magnifiScent.”

Rumours point towards the new season beginning around 5th April and running until 22nd June 2014. Not only would this fill a gap in the schedule where Disneyland Paris has previously launched a year-long festival, it’d fit remarkably well with speculation of Ratatouille press and soft opening dates, which could perhaps start taking place around 21st June.

So, Disneyland Paris has a brand new season of entertainment and decorations beginning in less than a month — why on earth isn’t it advertising it? Besides the fact that the resort often leaves promoting things quite late, there are clues in the rumours so far.

• Read our previous article to learn more about what the new season could include: New “Spring Festival” season set to fill April – June months at Disneyland Paris

If the “main event” of the season’s first year is only going to use the Casey Jr parade train, repurposed for the millionth time, and some borrowed cars from Disney’s Stars ‘n’ Cars, it definitely hints at something that will be more a trial concept rather than a fully-fleshed season from the outset.

Disneyland Paris has grown, improved and redefined its Christmas and particularly its Halloween seasons over several years recently, and likely wouldn’t want to create too much hype over something that is such a completely new idea. Will the theme, decorations and events work? Will guests actually buy into a “Spring” season, as a reason to revisit?

If the season’s a success, we can surely expect it to return next year, bigger and better, with a full promotional push as a third “pillar” season of the year in official brochures. It’s a perfect way for Disneyland Park to feel “fresh” each spring even when the resort doesn’t have a genuine new attraction to offer. But for this, the first year we might “Swing Into Spring” (it’s still not confirmed!), it’ll probably be more a pleasant bonus. Just like today’s weather.

VIA Dlrp Express

Thursday, 20th February 2014

New “Spring Festival” season set to fill April – June months at Disneyland Paris

Spring at Disneyland Paris

Remember the “Festival of Flowers” (Festival des Fleurs) of 1997 and 1998? Park icons covered in colourful spring flowers, topiaries of Disney characters all around, beautiful displays decorating the flower beds? It was a beautiful way to see in season of “printemps”.

Well, those will remain memories… but it’s this classic event that has apparently served as inspiration for a new season rumoured to begin at Disneyland Paris this April: the Spring Festival, or “Swing Into Spring” if you want the latest reported title.

Disneyland Paris in its usual self-aggrandising style has announced nothing, but information and speculation has been trickling out for almost two months now from various sources.

The speculated season looks set to revolve around a central street event, which will reuse three of the cars from Disney’s Stars ‘n’ Cars. The Monsters Inc and Snow White vehicles were removed from the Walt Disney Studios Park parade on Wednesday, 19th February, and are expected to be redecorated for the new cavalcade “happening”.

Joining them for the Disneyland Park event will be the Mary Poppins car, apparently leaving the Studios without a parade for the duration of the season — characters will simply perform a meet ‘n’ greet in the second park, instead. Update: @InsideDLParis informs that despite missing these three cars, Disney’s Stars ‘n’ Cars is planned to continue as a parade during the season.

Mary Poppins car in Disney's Stars 'n' CarsDisney's 20th Anniversary Celebration Train

Other rumours suggest the long-running Casey Jr train (Disney Characters Express, Minnie’s Party Train, Disney All Stars Express, Disney Dance Express, Disney’s 20th Anniversary Celebration Train) returning in some form with a similar colourful, floral, spring overlay.

Only the Disneyland Paris Casting website has confirmed plans for special spring events, with a casting notice (below) advertising for an impressive 102 dancers. Even taking into account days off, reducing the numbers in each actual performance, that’s a healthy figure.

Disneyland Paris Casting Spring Festival Dancers

Meanwhile, the fresh festival could also introduce some new floral decorations and street animations or meet ‘n’ greet opportunities. Concept art suggesting these was leaked by a blogger in early January and swiftly removed at the request of Disneyland Paris, stating the internal documents were not meant for public release.

More recently, a Mary Poppins “Jolly Holiday” theme has been mooted, which would be a good choice given the film’s fiftieth anniversary and renewed popularity thanks to Saving Mr Banks. This could be confirmed by the appearance of chalk paintings being tested on the pavement outside City Hall on Wednesday, photographed by @DisneylandPfans.

Spring Festival chalk painting test © DisneylandPfans

Created by an artist using just chalk, water and masking tape, it’s not known how these colourful paintings, like those mastered by Bert in the 1964 film, could be put to use as part of a season (or avoid the footsteps of idle visitors).

Dates: the “Spring Festival” is rumoured to run from 5th April to 22nd June, possibly with a “soft opening” day on 4th April, nicely filling the void in the resort’s calendar left by the “summer” opening of Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy. Again, no part of this speculated festival has been officially announced or confirmed by Disneyland Paris.

Gradually turning “Spring” into its own annual season makes perfect sense, and though this year looks like being more a trial of the concept (hence the lack of a big announcement too far in advance?), with continued investment it could conceivably become a third pillar season as important as Halloween and Christmas, driving repeat visitors without the need for those increasingly desperate, largely irrelevant year-long “festivals”.

Bonus: “Festival of Flowers” 1997 programme Read More…

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