Monday, 28th July 2008

“It spins, dude!” Changes to Crush’s entrance

It’s safe to say that Crush’s Coaster is now the Peter Pan’s Flight of the Studios. The universally-popular attraction with the low capacity that everyone knows they have to ride. Only… for Crush’s Coaster, there’s a different element in there — the element of thrill.

Anyone who followed the project from its conception in 2005 will know that, for a very long time, the attraction was officially known as Crush’s Turtle Twister. A name that, whilst keeping some of the mystery about exactly what type of ride this is, spelled out the rather thrilling twisting — spinning — nature very clear.

With this later changed to the easier-to-pronounce and more understandable Crush’s Coaster, plus the Imagineer’s decision to keep the turtle shells from spinning until they reach the real coaster section inside, rather than during the outside drop, and some guests might be a little surprised. Only the most cautious English and French speaking guests who read the warning signs in full would know about the real free-spinning nature of the turtle shells.

Just last month, then, Crush’s Coaster saw its first “major” (though still relatively minor) changes since opening one year ago. Outside the entrance, where previously on the right you’d find two warning signs and the queue time indicator pointing toward Cars Quatre Roues Rallye, you now find that the waiting time sits on a single wooden pier stump and points more toward Animagique and the Flying Carpets — the direction in which the queue extends into on most days.

In addition, the queue time displayed on the counter is now accurate — previously, it would cap at about 45 minutes and the Cast Members would need to put a temporary board at the entrance to the extended queue, since it usually extends way beyond the area the Imagineers built.

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Before / After

Next to this is a brand new feature — a scale model of one of the turtle shells themselves, filled with four miniature guests, that constantly spins and turns on an axis to shout loud and clear — “It spins, dude!”. The shell is rather larger in real life than it appears in pictures, and actually serves to add a nice bit of kinetics to the otherwise static entrance.


You can see a brief videoclip of the shell in action here.

On the other, left, side of the entrance path, the original Crush figure and main entrance sign remains the same, though a second new warnings board has been installed toward the so-called Flying Carpets “Oasis” — now permanently a queue space for Crush’s Coaster.

Will the spinning shell put a few people off from riding who might not enjoy the experience? If it doesn’t, the Imagineers have also come up with another new addition just as you step inside Studio 5.

Watch it for yourself:

The video works in the same way as that at Space Mountain: Mission 2, playing on a loop in French and then English with clips cleverly cut from the film to not only introduce the very thrilling nature of the ride but also what it is meant to simulate, for anyone who has forgotten the film.

The female voice in English actually appears to be the familiar sound of one of the resort’s main parade announcers, albeit with a good attempt at a faux Australian accent to fit the theme.

[Pictures: DLRP Magiques; Video: DLRP]

Sunday, 27th July 2008

True love? The Enchanted Fireworks in video

Great choreography, great music, great colours, great projections… and a lot of loud, impressive fireworks. Is there anything at all to complain about with Disneyland Park’s new nighttime spectacular? It seems to have the perfect recipe for the end to a Disneyland day.

Going completely against the usual tide of events — particularly in this touchy subject of fireworks at the restricted Paris resort — The Enchanted Fireworks seem to be pretty much loved all over. Beyond the online fan forums, wait around in the park after the show has ended and you’ll hear comments like “…what a great finale…”, “…that was perfect…” and “…really amazing…” from just regular guests.

It’s an all-round success story for the park.

Now, take a closer look at the love story in a brand new video:

Our friends at Photos Magiques have also captured some spectacular photos from the show:

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The show certainly appears much bigger than fireworks of recent years, so are you wondering how much it costs to put on? Well, we can tell you: €400,000 for the entire run. That would work out at roughly €7,143 per night over the 56 nights.

This figure comes from the French television programme ‘Combien ça coute?’ which goes around the country discovering, well, exactly that… how much stuff costs. They previously featured the entire resort a couple of years ago in a theme park special, and have just returned to the park to film a few shots of the fireworks preparations and tests. You can see the interesting video clip below:

The size of this show can also be seen by the park’s routine of closures prior to 10pm each night. Whilst previous displays called for only Fantasyland to close at 10pm, since the roofs of the restaurants and dark rides here are used to launch the shells, the new display is also requiring the closure of much of Adventureland at 10pm.

But you can’t complain — there have to be a few sacrifices in any love story.

[Pictures: Photos Magiques (more); Video: DLRP Magic! Video;]

Monday, 21st July 2008

Bastille Day ’08 fireworks in pictures and video

Skies were blue, flowers in bloom, attractions running well and crowds relatively light… it was a perfect day to celebrate the host country of our European Disney resort.

Bastille Day 2008 once again saw Disneyland Resort Paris pull out its regular music for a spectacular “feux d’artifice” over Le Château de Belle au Bois Dormant, but, as the show director Christophe Leclercq had promised, things were a little different this year. The resort’s new fireworks partner brought in new designs, new styles and new bursts to light up the sky.


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There were certainly hints of the regular Enchanted Fireworks in there, but also rare sights at Disneyland Resort Paris such as “shape” fireworks — giant red hearts bursting into the sky.

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Before the fireworks began, fans would smile at the fact that even Disney sometimes make a little mistake. As the crowds milled around after Fantillusion, an announcement proclaimed “You will soon have the pleasure of discovering Candleabration followed by The Enchanted Fireworks”. Several minutes later, the announcement was swiftly repeated with the correct “followed by a special 14th July fireworks” line.


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Candleabration itself would also present a little surprise. Whilst the show was still effectively cut-down considerably in line with its other performances this Summer, serving only as a lead-in to the fireworks, this night saw a second new version with an added finale of ‘Just Like We Dreamed It’ (itself abridged) as just Mickey and Minnie danced on-stage.

Candleabration (Bastille Day 2008 Edition)

Luckily, the earlier announcement mix-up did not extend to the fireworks themselves, which went ahead swiftly and without a single fault. Compared to the incredibly muddled recent attempts for New Year’s Eve (using unknown and out-of-place rock songs from the Narnia “inspired by” soundtrack, for example), Bastille Day once again proved to be the resort’s best night for a truly spectacular fireworks display…

Bastille Day Fireworks 2008

You can find more photos of the show at Photos Magiques here.

[Pictures: Photos Magiques; Video: DLRP Magic! Video]

Monday, 21st July 2008

La Bougillumination abrégée

The trumpets begin their fanfare, Mickey Mouse arrives. Then, before you know it, the candles are illuminated and we’re getting the cutesy “oh Mickey, c’est magnifique” line from Minnie. Don’t worry, you haven’t just passed out and missed several minutes of your Disneyland Resort Paris holiday — Candleabration has now been abridged.

Since the start of the 15th Anniversary, the nightly ceremony has begun with a fanfare of trumpets, led into the dancing flags to the theme of “Flying”, then, only after the arrival of Mickey Mouse and his traditional French dance with a hat to Vasile Sirli’s “Proudlights”, would you see the castle illuminated. For a grand finale, all of Disney VIPs join the party and dance along to the theme song ‘Just Like We Dreamed It’, each playing their own instrument.

When The Enchanted Fireworks premiered a couple of weeks ago, however, the show was cut down to its shortest running time yet — just over 2 minutes, and that if we’re generous. Only Mickey and Minnie appear, illuminating the candles together and then going right ahead to personally introduce the fireworks.

However, this change didn’t bring about the expected appearance of Mickey and Minnie on the balcony of Sleeping Beauty Castle itself, as confirmed on DLRP by the show’s actual director, Christophe Leclercq, several weeks earlier. Instead, they appear on the regular Central Plaza Stage. The reason for the last-minute change is unconfirmed — perhaps it caused operational problems, perhaps the characters simply couldn’t be seen as easily, the scene didn’t work as well.

DLRP presents a brand new video of the new Candleabration, Summer 2008 Edition:

It seems unsure whether the show will return to its regular form when the fireworks come to a close at the end of August. Several entertainment Cast Members spoke about these changes as a “new version” of Candleabration, suggesting they are permanent revisions and not temporary allowances just for the fireworks. As always, watch this space…

[Pictures/Video: DLRP Today]

Sunday, 6th July 2008

First impressions of The Enchanted Fireworks!

The show begins to the opening strings of True Love’s Kiss, the announcement asking: “Are you dreaming of the beauty, the passion of one true love?” It continues “Reach out… and let yourself be… Enchanted. Reach out, and you will find a very happy end.”

Then, as the music kicks in, you hear “Once upon a time…” and spotlights shine up and down Sleeping Beauty Castle as a rainbow of fireworks fan inwards and outwards from either side. The music shifts straight into the Enchanted Suite we’ve all been expecting, and The Enchanted Fireworks have begun!

Red rockets, white flames, showers of pixie dust, sparkling stars and great, golden cauliflowers that fill the entire sky lie ahead. The slow romantic number So Close, left in the mix despite many fans’ worries about its speed, surprises with a burst of slow, swooping colours that time perfectly with the single piano notes, creating a dreamy, romantic moment… like when you meet that special someone and the whole world seems to run in slow motion.

Brilliant bursts of gold and blue follow, tinted with red rockets, fanning outwards, filling the sky with massive sparks as the “love” blossoms and explodes. As the music reaches its finale with the notes from That’s How You Know, the sky suddenly clears except for the four bright spotlights. Into the climax, single white rockets fire upwards at angles and, to end, a single burst from either side of the Castle, as tall as its highest spire.

But wait… the show hasn’t ended! One of the biggest, most spectacular finales of a regular daily fireworks show at the park suddenly begins, shooting hundreds of white bursts, brilliant sparkling fans and screaming rockets into the sky, just when you thought the Happy Ending had already been reached.

And here it is, the very first video!

Did that false ending fool you too? also has a selection of photos from the show, which make many of the projection and lighting effects much clearer to see:

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Clearly, the new relationship with a fresh fireworks partner has brought a great deal of innovation and excitement to this show when compared with recent displays in the past, presenting a seemingly never-ending line of different firework colours and styles, many never seen at the park before. All that, coupled with simple, effective projections that completely stray away from the basic animations of Wishes (such as Aladdin on a magic carpet) criticised for being too “Microsoft Powerpoint”. The new lighting effects also add a powerful tone, yet softer than the green lasers of that previous show.

As we reported recently following our exclusive interview with the director of the fireworks Christophe Leclercq, the show is actually coupled right onto the regular Candleabration ceremony. One surprise for many at the premiere last night was just how much Candleabration had changed for the Summer season, cutting itself down to just a few minutes to illuminate the candles with no preceding flags or ‘Just Like We Dreamed It’.

In addition, and proving just how much things can change at the last minute at Disneyland Resort Paris, the promised positioning of Mickey and Minnie on the front balcony of Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant, as confirmed even by the director, failed to happen. The couple instead conducted Candleabration and the introduction to the fireworks from the regular Central Plaza Stage. Whether this was a temporary measure due to technical issues on the first night or the plans have been cut completely remains to be seen.

The fireworks themselves, however, truly live up to their name. The next 56 Summer nights will be just as Enchanted as we hoped.

[Photos: (more); Video: Celli0905, YouTube]

Tuesday, 29th April 2008

Tower of Terror: Spectacular inauguration (full video)

It was one of the most spectacular events in the 16-year history of the resort, but the official video of the event we just shared features only 4 minutes of highlights from the inauguration show of Marne-la-Vallée’s tallest landmark. The real thing lasted an entire 14-minutes from the chiming clock to the ghostly, wandering souls making their way toward the audience.

Would you like to attend the exclusive gala? Thanks to a source in the park, we’re going back to October 31st, 1939, with an exclusive full video of the entire inauguration show, including front-row shots of the Hollywood cars and zombified victims.

Turn down the lights, yank up the volume, click fullscreen and let Hollywood come to life…

You can also download this video as a WMV file here.

Did you notice, the American broadcaster reporting on the gala evening even announces its callsign as K-WDS? Now remember — don’t stop watching when the fog rolls in, there’s still one final scene waiting to grab you by surprise.

You have just entered into The Twilight Zone.

» Click here to see the full event in picures

» Click here to see official video highlights

Tuesday, 29th April 2008

Tower of Terror: Spectacular inauguration (official highlights video)

The audio/visual team of Disneyland Resort Paris spent days, weeks and possibly even months preparing for the spectacular inauguration of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, a unique show on and around the 183-ft tall attraction at Walt Disney Studios Park.

With 100 extras to capture and navigate amongst, a projection show on the Tower and several fiery bursts of fireworks into the sky, it required a full rehearsal the night before and perfect co-ordination between the creators of the show and those who would be filming.

It’s time to play back the dailies…

The Tower inauguration is followed by some extra B-roll footage (the kind of shots a TV company might intersperse between their own footage with a presenter, for example) from the attraction itself, Stitch Live! and the Celebration Continues launch ceremony, packaged with the video.

» Click here to see the full event in picures

» Click here to see our exclusive full video

Sunday, 25th November 2007

Terror with a view – premiere on-ride video

Now, DLRP Today usually tries to keep up the illusion, stay away from spoilers, … But when you spy a video which not only reveals the long-awaited first-hearing of The Hollywood Tower Hotel’s French narration but a truly spectacular nighttime view over the resort from the top of said hotel… Well, who can resist that?

Can you?

Leave this page now if you don’t want to take an early drop into The Twilight Zone…!

Just released to the world less than 2 hours ago via video website Dailymotion, the video is labeled as “Tower of Terror Avant-Premiere”. The resort generally tries to stop video capture or picture taking during its Cast Member and various other attraction previews, but, in this new video sharing world, one inevitably slipped through the net – from the Imagineer family preview this weekend. It reveals enough to seriously excite, but not nearly enough to spoil the massive, immersive experience of an entire, real ride on the attraction, starting as it does just as the elevator “pushes away” and ending during the final drop.

The French commentary follows exactly that of the original English version with no room given for improvisation. “Your destination… unknown” becomes simply “Votre destination… inconnue”. Impressively, even this relatively low-quality still camera video picks up the sublime show lighting throughout the Tower’s scenes, along with one other major feature…

That view!! What can you say? If the Paris Tower wins in one field, it’s having the most spectacular, jaw-dropping Twilight Zone panorama of them all.

Your thoughts…?

— Video by Mustaleski on dailymotion.

Thursday, 15th November 2007

In Video: Christmas enchantment like nowhere else on Earth

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 “exceptionnoël” 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 noël!

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!

You can find full guides, histories, photo galleries, fun facts and useful tips for Disney’s Christmas Season 2007/08 in the extensive DLRP Magic! Guidebook chapter for the season.

— Video footage and music © Disney/Euro Disney Associés S.C.A.

Wednesday, 14th November 2007

Agrabah Café re-opens with 1001 delights

The re-opening of the restaurant was first rumoured back in August, with work beginning inside the restaurant just several weeks later to return it to daily operations. Cleaning, repairs and new modifications to the area, which, prior to 1999, was actually an indoor alley with several small shops, were all scheduled, and the faded entrance sign was repainted in brighter and more exotic colours.

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Speculated at the time of the first rumours was the possibility of the restaurant becoming the first “Half Board only” dining option at the resort — an exclusive location for guests using Disney’s discounted meal vouchers which have proven popular since their launch just 12 months ago. The final decision, however, will no doubt be more popular — the restaurant is available for all guests, with only a slight priority reportedly given to Half Board users at peak times.


The menu is an all-you-can eat buffet with oriental and Mediterranean specialties, including starters, main courses and deserts, but not including drinks (except for the children’s menu). Highlights include Shoarma, cinnamon rice, fish and baked spice potatoes, amongst regular fare such as pasta and lasagna.

Priced at €21 for adults and €10 for children, it’s an affordable addition to the park’s menu of restaurants and is expected to take some strain off Plaza Gardens Restaurant, particularly over the busy — and cold — Christmas season.


The atmosphere inside has been captured by our friends at Photos Magiques in a special video tour:

This enchanting location, locked away for over five years, has finally broken its spell cast by the early-2000s cuts. Coming as it does towards the end of the remarkable events of 2007, the reopening of Agrabah Café could be considered the crown on a magnificent turnaround for resort in recent years.

And those who’ve tried it say it’s rather delicious, too.

— You can find a full gallery of new photos from the restaurant over at Photos Magiques.

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