Friday, 19th September 2014

Videopolis hosts live Frozen Sing-Along trial for possible Chaparral Theater show

Videopolis hosts live Frozen Sing-Along trial for possible Chaparral Theater show at Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris has trialled a live Frozen sing-along event at the indoor Videopolis Theatre in Discoveryland. Taking place five times daily only this past weekend on 13th and 14th September, the 18-minute show — of sorts — saw a duo of live hosts take to the stage and encourage the audience to sing-along to popular songs from the hit movie including, of course, the inescapable smash “Let It Go”.

Using only English versions of the film’s songs, played out with film clips and classic sing-along subtitles on the large projection screen, the tests at least saw the two highly competent, energetic hosts engaging the audience in both French and English to some surprising success, given Europeans’ usual dislike of participation shows.

• Previously — Disney’s Oscar-winning, billion dollar Frozen is not just for Christmas anymore

That said, and as announced in advance, the shows featured no live characters from the film and ultimately play out rather too much like watching the sing-along version of a DVD in a music class, right down to the awkward overhead projector.

Videopolis hosts live Frozen Sing-Along trial for possible Chaparral Theater show at Disneyland Paris

For a lesson in how it should be done (or perhaps, how it will be done — see below), Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World already hosts the catchily-titled For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration as part of its surprisingly shrewd Frozen Summer Fun season.

Photos Magiques – Walt Disney World: Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

Though still not the full stage show many desire (and will likely have to visit Broadway to see), the event at least feels close to the film, rather than some unlicensed cash-in, and features the characters you’d expect.

For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration, Walt Disney World

We don’t know where Disneyland Paris might take the concept for themselves — whether they’d decide to include the characters instead of these generic hosts or perhaps perform shows with the songs in other languages — but we do appear to know the location that such a show could end up: The Chaparral Theater in Frontierland.

As noted by @InsideDLParis, the theatre is currently behind green construction walls.

Another currently wasted performance space, the former home of The Tarzan Encounter has the benefit of being bigger and, well, slightly more rustic-y. The stage has even previously had a snowy overlay for the long-running Mickey’s Winter Wonderland that wouldn’t look entirely out of place as Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post and Sauna.

What do you think — should Disneyland Paris run with this concept of a fully-fledged Frozen Sing-Along show or let it… well, you know?

Watch a complete video of the Frozen Sing-Along tests by InsideDLParis below

And for comparison, video of the Walt Disney World event

VIA InsideDLParis (YouTube), Photos Magiques

Monday, 9th July 2012

Disney’s Fantillusion, The Tarzan Encounter return for two months of Summer Time

This past Saturday 7th July, the night was “turned to light” at Disneyland Park. Not just by the spectacular, state-of-the-art effects of Disney Dreams! but now also by the more traditional twinkling bulbs of Disney’s Fantillusion, returning for its tenth summer season at Disneyland Paris. Scheduled for 22:15 each night, with Disney Dreams! at park closing time (23:00), Disney’s Fantillusion appears to have retained the same format and floats as its previous summer and winter 2012 seasons, with the only noted changes being some refreshed costumes.

However, as now seems to be customary before each season, there’s some doubt about its future. According to RadioDisneyClub.fr, the parade will not return as usual for the upcoming Disney’s Enchanted Christmas season. So far Disneyland Paris has confirmed only the dates for this Christmas — 9th November 2012 to 6th January 2013 — and none of the events contained within.

Earlier this year, before its current season to 2nd September 2012 was confirmed, it was rumoured separately both that the parade would precede Disney Dreams! every single night, all year, and that it had been cancelled completely.

The Tarzan Encounter cast and crew [(C) Disney_ParisEN]

Meanwhile, the essential live Disney stage show has also returned to the park with The Tarzan Encounter, beginning an eleventh season at The Chaparral Theater in Frontierland back on 9th June. Resident at the theatre since 2000, with a two year hiatus in 2009 and 2010, the musical acrobatics show continues to be a guest favourite after its 2011 resurrection, performing five times daily at 12:30, 13:30, 14:30, 16:45 and 17:45 to strong crowds.

While it seems ungrateful to say it when we have something as beautiful and big as Disney Dreams!, it is still true that both parks — and particularly Walt Disney Studios Park, with its slightly lacklustre Disney’s Stars ‘n’ Cars parade — lack these daytime entertainments, shows and streetmosphere which add life to the lands throughout the day, not just for 20 minutes before park closing time.

At least for the next two months now, Disneyland Park offers the full line-up: stage show, daytime parade, electrical parade and nighttime spectacular. That’s a day only Disneyland can give you.

VIA @InsideDLParis (Twitter), @Disney_ParisEN (Twitter) RadioDisneyClub.fr

Wednesday, 18th January 2012

Hit show The Tarzan Encounter to return for second encore season this summer

Can you swing through the trees like an ape? Are you a talented gymnast with a passing resemblance to Jane Porter? Disneyland Paris is giving you another chance to make your big break — and for thousands of new park visitors to watch in amazement — as it confirms: The Tarzan Encounter will return again!

Official casting notices (PDF) have just gone out for the high-flying acr0batic stage show, with contracts running from late April to early September. Last year, the show performed from 11th June to 4th September with contracts beginning early May, so it looks like the show’s 2012 return to The Chaparral Theater will follow broadly similar dates, perhaps beginning a week or two earlier.

Auditions were launched this same week last year and the show returned to positive acclaim in June, ending a two year hiatus and finally giving the production, which began in 2000, a long-awaited tenth season. In 2009 the Frontierland stage presented the less popular Goofy’s Summer Camp, while in 2010, despite efforts to bring Tarzan back, it remained empty through the summer. Its 2011 return was therefore hailed by Disneyland Paris as quite the event, even boasting a special video trailer at the annual shareholders meeting and listing it as one of the key “highlights” at the end of the year.

PHOTO Bert Snyers (Flickr)

Saturday, 23rd July 2011

The Tarzan Encounter is bringing Two Worlds together again at The Chaparral Theater

This time, it wasn’t cancelled! Long-running favourite The Tarzan Encounter leapt back into The Chaparral Theater exactly as promised from 11th June. Despite the two-year hiatus, during which an entirely different Summer show was presented at the venue (the poorly-received Goofy’s Summer Camp), the show has returned looking entirely familiar. Thankfully, this includes the blackout curtains around the sides of the open-air theatre, allowing for much more impressive lighting of the more dramatic scenes, as seen in the photo from Bert Snyers’ excellent Flickr set, above.

It isn’t known if the show will return for another unexpected encore season in 2012, so make sure to enjoy the acrobatics, dance and multilingual Phil Collins music all over again while you can. Let’s show Disneyland Paris how much we prefer a good show in a proper theatre! Currently showing at 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 16:15 and 17:15, Tarzan and friends will be Trashin’ the Camp until 4th September.

MORE PHOTOS Snyers Bert (Flickr)

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, 13th January 2011

Confirmed: The Tarzan Encounter to swing back into Chaparral Theater after 2 year hiatus

Those oddly-matched “Two Worlds” of Tarzan and Frontierland‘s Old West will be colliding again. That’s right, The Tarzan Encounter will be making a surprise comeback from June this year! The confirmation comes via an audition announcement on the Disneyland Paris Casting website. Featuring dance and acrobatics set to the music of the film, it originally ran over Summer seasons at The Chaparral Theater from April 2000 to September 2008.

The show was previously cancelled in February 2009 during a period of major decline in live entertainment at Disneyland Park which also saw The Legend of the Lion King come to a close at Videopolis Theatre just a month before. A fortnight after the cancellation, rumour suddenly surfaced that the show would, in fact, return for at least July and August, but it wasn’t to be. Frontierland’s theatre venue, the largest in the park, ultimately paid host to a brand new show, Goofy’s Summer Camp, which failed to win many fans and failed to return in 2010, leaving the theatre empty over the Summer for the first time in its history.

Looking for gymnasts and aerial acrobats as well as lead actors for Tarzan and Jane themselves, the casting call notes a contract from early May, although the actual premiere date is later due to time needed for rehearsals and the show will run from 11th June to 4th September.

Bringing The Tarzan Encounter back to the stage after two years will be a popular move for visitors lamenting the park’s often empty theatres. However, having to revert back to an 11 year old show like this may just be further evidence of the way the once highly-regarded stage show offering at Disneyland Paris has faded. Energy and budgets in recent years have shifted to the Central Plaza “spectaculars”, which guests are forced to watch over each others’ shoulders, standing up and outside in all weather.

In fact, it may be that the new Mickey’s Magical Celebration show from this April is currently scheduled to be a single, evening-only daily performance which has prompted this return for 2011.

VIA @PhotosMagiques, Disney Central Plaza

Wednesday, 25th February 2009

Tarzan: le Retour! Now returning for July, August

The announcement wasn’t popular. When rumour turned to confirmation that Disneyland Resort Paris had cancelled plans to bring the popular Tarzan: Le Rencontre (The Tarzan Encounter) acrobatic stage show back to The Chaparral Theater in Frontierland for its tenth season, fans near enough shouted outrage.

Even more so when it emerged the main reasoning behind that decision — to ensure the Mickey’s Magical Party street shows could run seven days a week for the entire season.

The Tarzan Encounter

Well, sellotape back together your Passeport Annuel…

The Tarzan Encounter WILL return!

Entertainment has now decided once and for all that Tarzan will swing back into the Chaparral — but only from 4th July to 30th August 2009, the Summer high season.

This is much shorter than his usual schedule from early April to late September, but will still come as a pleasant surprise for the show’s many fans after their earlier disappointment.

Prepare for the new season with our show guide here.

Source: magicforum; Photo: © DLRP Magic!

Saturday, 14th February 2009

Lion King GONE, Tarzan Encounter CANCELLED!

It emerged last year that The Legend of the Lion King at Videopolis Theatre could be heading into the park’s entertainment archive perhaps sooner than we expected. And so it did — for now, at least — going on what the American Disney Parks often call “hiatus” since 4th January 2009.

Just this week, however, there are suggestions from some — apparently including the African Tam Tam players, who now have the stage all to themselves this Winter — that the show will return, as a high season-only affair, possibly from as early as May onwards.

Another, arguably even more popular large-scale entertainment production hasn’t been so lucky. It has now been confirmed that The Tarzan Encounter will NOT return to The Chaparral Theater in Frontierland this year at all. The entire production has been cancelled just this week, and the show will not see its tenth season play out in 2009 as planned.

The Tarzan Encounter CANCELLED

The Tarzan Encounter has remained the most popular live stage show at the resort, possibly only beaten by its snowy cousin Mickey’s Winter Wonderland, which continues to play until March, performing to a huge audience of 1,350 guests in the resort’s second-largest park show space after the Moteurs… Action! arena (capacity 3,000).

So, whilst The Legend of the Lion King has been suspended mostly due to the very limited capacity of Videopolis’ theatre seating not making budgetary sense for the entertainment department to continue running the expensive show 5 days a week for just a few hundred guests, why cancel a second show, for an entire year?

If we’re to believe the latest information from posted online, the entertainment department had a decision to make — a very last-minute one, apparently. The Mickey’s Magical Party event It’s Dance Time… in Discoveryland was originally only due to be performed on five days each week. By cancelling The Tarzan Encounter, it can now be a full 7-days-a-week production.

A strange decision, if true, since the cost of running Tarzan versus two extra days of DJ Stitch must be slightly imbalanced — not to mention it being unlikely that that same 1,350 people who could see each Chaparral Theater show will be able to crowd around the outdoor location of the dance-along in the streets of Discoveryland…

It’s a bad announcement for many fans, then, but not necessarily for those still holding out hopes that a water-based attraction along the lines of Splash Mountain could one day arrive at the back of Frontierland as originally planned. Rumour has it this cancellation will also allow preparatory work for a new attraction where The Chapparal Theater currently stands.

Though yes, true, we’ve had such unlikely things happening as a jungle ape-man on-stage in an American Old West setting, Euro Disney SCA going ahead with a hugely expensive new attraction in Frontierland would be pushing the believability scale a little too far for now… wouldn’t it?

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