New details of the Star Wars shows and events taking place during Season of the Force at Disneyland Paris early next year have just been confirmed in a brand new press release. Some of the characters will be brand new to Disneyland Paris. Read More…
The most exciting thing about the 25th Anniversary isn’t even the 25th Anniversary. No — for every one of the new events, there are probably five more good reasons for any passionate fan or visitor to return to Disneyland Paris next year.
In this final part of DLP Today’s series looking behind the 2017 announcements, let’s look at why the so-called Experience Enhancement Programme is the real game-changer for this resort. Read More…
Disneyland Paris has formally revealed a four-point renovation plan to “reinvent the magic”, covering ten key attractions in both parks. In planning for several years with the codename “Project Sparkle”, the major slate of refurbishments and updates will both restore lost details and add fresh new features, aiming to bring the Disneyland Paris experience fully in line with its American counterparts. Read More…
Sonia Demay and Romina Grochow will be the Disneyland Paris Ambassadors for 2015 and 2016, as announced during a special public ceremony at Videopolis Theatre on Friday. Chosen from ten semi-finalists by means of a democratic vote, they saw off competition from fellow finalists Anthony Houdinet and Rut Sospedra, in the programme which awards Ambassador roles to high-achieving Cast Members from across the resort. Read More…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Videopolis Theatre in Discoveryland saw a packed house at 10.45am on 12th April 2012, as the Disneyland Paris Ambassadors welcomed legendary Imagineer Tony Baxter to the stage for a one hour discussion of its history, creation and progress “from concept to reality”. From broader points about the challenges his team faced in bringing a Disney park to Europe, he went on to discuss his favourite hidden details in the park, anecdotes of meeting Walt Disney, and even shares his very own version of the contested Phantom Manor storyline…
Couldn’t make it there yourself? We’re proud to present our own, exclusive video of the entire event for you now, above — including the special appearance of all the worldwide Disney Ambassadors from every resort to pose questions to Tony himself.
Planning to celebrate the exact date of Disneyland Paris’ 20th Anniversary, on 12th April 2012? You’re not the only one. We’ve now had it confirmed that Tony Baxter will be present at the park, in person, on the heralded date. Senior Vice President of Creative Development at Walt Disney Imagineering and the original lead creative force behind Disneyland Paris, the legendary Imagineer will answer questions and talk about the history of the park during a special “Imagineering Masterclass” at Videopolis Theatre from 10.45am to 11.45am. Places are open to all but strictly limited to the size of the venue.
Given his legendary status amongst Disneyland Paris fans, having led the overall design of the park and its five key show producers — Eddie Sotto (Main Street, U.S.A.), Jeff Burke (Frontierland), Chris Tietz (Adventureland), Tom Morris (Fantasyland) and Tim Delaney (Discoveryland), it looks set to be an unmissable hour. After the presentation, which will include a Q&A for fans to put their own questions to Tony, video screens inside Videopolis will continue to play archive footage from the resort’s history throughout the day.
Also scheduled for the grand date is a special morning event held by Philippe Gas. The company CEO himself will welcome guests to the park with a personal ceremony on Town Square at 9.30am, to be followed by a much-rumoured — and now officially announced — Cast Member “flashmob”.
The exact details of this moment of music and dance remain a secret, but Cast Members have voluntarily signed up to give their time for the occasion. Park gates will open at 9.00am to allow guests into Town Square, in advance of the ceremony, with the park itself officially opening at 10am. Extra Magic Hours on this date will be held instead at Walt Disney Studios Park — but you’re not going to trade a one-off date in history for a shorter queue at Crush’s Coaster, are you?
Character fans should look out for special one-off happenings and surprises all around the park throughout the day, including appearances from some of the more rarely seen Disney characters. All of these events and times will be listed in a special edition of the park Programme.
For collectors, besides special editions of the free Park Guide leaflets which will only be available on April 12th, there will even be dated merchandise. On sale in strictly limited quantities, a “golden key” pin and both a male and female T-shirt design, pictured above, all with the 12th April 2012 date.
Those who took a gamble and booked trips to coincide with the date, having no guarantee that it would even be commemorated, have certainly been duly rewarded. And for those who hesitated, this surprising programme of events may well be more than enough to encourage a last-minute trip. But given the very late nature of this announcement, it could now be difficult — and perhaps expensive — for those who can’t easily jump on the next RER train to experience the date for themselves at just three weeks’ notice, especially as it falls within the busy Easter holiday period.
Do you plan to be there to mark the date, and experience these events for yourself?
Successfully tested last year at Restaurant en Coulisse, the concept of digital video screens for menu boards has now crossed over to its fast food cousin in Disneyland Park, Café Hyperion. Under the shadow of the Hyperion airship in Videopolis, guests now choose their counter service meals from five LCD monitors mounted above each serving area. The advantage presumably being that, aside from the menus apparently looking more enticing and being better illuminated, they’re easier to update with new food choices — or rather, prices.
Disneyland Paris has led the way with technical innovations like this, the most notable being its two park “Tips Boards”, which use LCD screens linked directly to the turnstile counters at each attraction, while other resorts still use chalkboards and stick-on wait times. However, digital technology in counter service restaurants has arguably been put to much better use around the world — the self-service ordering kiosks at locations such as Disney California Adventure’s Taste Pilot’s Grill, for example, should have been introduced over here long ago, reducing painful wait times at that first ordering stage and of course, providing perfect service in every language.
The Legend of the Lion King ended after almost five years on 4th January 2009, with unconfirmed word of a return in high season only. But now, despite the huge Lion King stage set still filling the theatre, a new event has been confirmed for the space inside Videopolis as part of this year’s celebrations.
Unlike the other Mickey’s Magical Party events, however, this one won’t be focused strictly on bright, modern themes and might even not be too scared to mention Mickey’s 80-year age. Confirmed in our interview with creative director Kat de Blois, we’ll soon see the entertainment/dining venue become home to Cinéma Mickey, an all-too-rare chance to watch the classic cartoons that began Mickey’s career.
Kat announced in the interview:
“That said, Mickey will be not only present on the stage in front of the Castle, but also at Videopolis in Discoveryland.
“The theater will be transformed into a big cinema, Cinéma Mickey. Be it in the stalls, or eating upstairs, you’ll be able to watch a bunch of Mickey cartoons that made him the star we know, introduced by himself. A new way to celebrate with him, this time as a cartoon character.”
Mickey Mouse cartoons at Videopolis? It’s true, after all, that Discoveryland presents the future according to the past — and so, this “new” event will take heavy inspiration from something we’ve been enjoying at the venue for as long as we can remember…
Classic cartoons from the Disney archives have always been played on the big screens above the restaurant space to provide entertainment in-between theatre shows, and now it seems they’ll be becoming the main attraction. Kat de Blois’ announcement that Videopolis Theatre will be “transformed into a big cinema” must surely suggest some major changes to the stage area itself, especially with the added confirmation that we’ll now be able to enjoy the cartoons “in the stalls”, without food, too.
But will this be closer to a real stage show or a simple cinema? Kat states that “Mickey will be not only present on the stage in front of the Castle, but also at Videopolis in Discoveryland” and that the cartoons will be “introduced by [Mickey] himself”. It’s up to our own interpretation for now whether this means Mickey will appear on-stage to introduce the cartoons, or simply via a pre-recorded video clip or narration.
• Read the full Mickey’s Magical Party interview with Kat de Blois here!