Monday, 7th May 2012

‘Making the Magic’ TV show reveals backstage preparations for Dreams, Magic on Parade

Neatly timed to coincide with the celebrations of 12th April 2012, Channel 5 in the UK broadcast a special behind-the-scenes “documentary” on Sunday, 15th April giving a unique look at the preparations for the 20th Anniversary. Titled Making the Magic: Disneyland Paris – 20th Anniversary, it will be available to watch on the online Demand 5 player until March 2013, but only within the UK.

Not wanting to let such a great promotional piece for the resort go unseen for everyone else, we managed to record the whole show from a DVR box. Quality isn’t perfect (no need for 720p), but hopefully it’s good enough to enjoy. (And yes, Walt Disney built his first park in 1955, not 1957!)

The show naturally focuses mainly on Disney Dreams!, with exclusive input from Steve Davison, Katy Harris and technical director Chuck Davis, but Disney Magic on Parade! is also featured with Kat de Blois and two British parade Cast Members preparing for the parade’s changeover. We get to see “Team Dreams” making last minute preparations on the same day Steve, Katy and Kat took time out to attend a Q&A session with fan sites, making us even more grateful for that opportunity. Added drama comes as Steve drops into the Dreams control room to announce: “There’s a big blue square which appears in the middle of Jungle Book, which I’ve never seen..!”

Knowing the promotional tie-up between Channel 5 and Disneyland Paris before the launch of the 20th Anniversary, this show is clearly more of a glossy promotional piece than a true “documentary” — but it’s also 22 minutes of the best British TV promotion seen for the resort in years. No CGI, no greenscreen, just letting the magic — and the people behind the magic — speak for themselves.

Meanwhile, across the Channel, French viewers recently got to enjoy the far less glossy but rather more revealing “Disneyland et ses Secrets” feature-length documentary on France 3, which can also be found in full on YouTube.

Friday, 6th April 2012

[VIDEO] 20th Anniversary Dedication Ceremony & Disney Dreams! Pre-Show

Disneyland Paris 20th Anniversary Launch Weekend

When Disneyland Park re-opened its gates at 9.40pm on 31st March, a magical glow had already fallen upon the land. Stepping into Main Street, U.S.A., the twinkling new Main Street Station greeted invited guests — as did some extra-special invitees: the giant, illuminated World of Color pre-show puppets, brought over especially for the occasion! This video takes you to “A Night in Disneyland” for the 20th Anniversary Dedication Ceremony as if you were there.

Everything is included: from walking into Town Square, to the ceremony itself with Philippe Gas, footballer Zinedine Zidane and Mickey Mouse (at 10:00), to the epic, emotional walk up Main Street, U.S.A. prior to the Disney Dreams! World Premiere (at 16:00), when Cast Members from every land and every attraction lined the street to wave and cheer guests along with cries of “Joyeux Anniversaire!” as golden confetti in the shape of the number ’20’ rained from above. Truly an exceptional and unforgettable ending and beginning to these chapters in Disneyland Paris history.

Friday, 6th April 2012

[VIDEO] 20th Anniversary Dedication Ceremony & Disney Dreams! Pre-Show

Disneyland Paris 20th Anniversary Launch Weekend

When Disneyland Park re-opened its gates at 9.40pm on 31st March, a magical glow had already fallen upon the land. Stepping into Main Street, U.S.A., the twinkling new Main Street Station greeted invited guests — as did some extra-special invitees: the giant, illuminated World of Color pre-show puppets, brought over especially for the occasion! This video takes you to “A Night in Disneyland” for the 20th Anniversary Dedication Ceremony as if you were there.

Everything is included: from walking into Town Square, to the ceremony itself with Philippe Gas, footballer Zinedine Zidane and Mickey Mouse (at 10:00), to the epic, emotional walk up Main Street, U.S.A. prior to the Disney Dreams! World Premiere (at 16:00), when Cast Members from every land and every attraction lined the street to wave and cheer guests along with cries of “Joyeux Anniversaire!” as golden confetti in the shape of the number ’20’ rained from above. Truly an exceptional and unforgettable ending and beginning to these chapters in Disneyland Paris history.

Wednesday, 4th April 2012

[VIDEO] 20th Anniversary Opening Ceremony with Fabienne Bergmans and Salma Hayek

Disneyland Paris 20th Anniversary Launch Weekend

Join Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and the Disneyland Paris Ambassadors for a special one-off Park Opening Ceremony at 10am on 31st March 2012 to launch the 20th Anniversary of Disneyland Paris!

Features a live performance of the new Disney Magic on Parade! theme song “Magic Everywhere!” by Fabienne Bergmans, winner of The Voice Kids Netherlands, before actress, director and producer Salma Hayek cuts the ribbon to launch the celebration — but not before Chip and Dale arrive with the all-important scissors!

• Enjoy a complete gallery of original photos from the event at Photos Magiques!

Friday, 23rd March 2012

Tony Baxter Imagineering Masterclass leads confirmed April 12th events programme

Tony Baxter, 1992 (C) Disney

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?

Sunday, 4th March 2012

‘Disney Dreams!’ to premiere 31st March… broadcast live online at MyTF1.fr

Shhh… Whisper it, but the 1st April 2012 showing of new nighttime spectacular Disney Dreams! won’t actually be its first performance. The odd Sunday launch date might have given it away, or the fact that Disneyland Paris has a history of premiering its new events exclusively for the press a day beforehand, but now it’s confirmed: the so-called world premiere of Disney Dreams! will take place Saturday, 31st March 2012. This will be part of a wider, private 20th Anniversary press event to take place over the 31st March/1st April weekend. But even the press won’t be the absolute first to see the completed show; no, that honour naturally goes to the resort’s thousands of Cast Members, who will get their very own private performance on 29th March.

But here’s an interesting development: thanks to a tie-up with French television network TF1, the 31st March premiere performance will also be broadcast live online, via their MyTF1.fr website. The website is currently running a contest for four French viewers to win passes to the press event and assist in the broadcast, which will be hosted by station personality Sandrine Quétier. On the night of 31st March, the main TF1 channel will broadcast three special promotional spots with Sandrine to introduce the winners of the contest and count down to the premiere of Disney Dreams!, which will apparently then be broadcast live online at the MyTF1 website from 10.30pm.

It has been pointed out that this broadcast, although certainly a giant spoiler for the show, may well be edited or missing segments due to rights issues. It’s also not known whether this particular live stream would be available to view outside of France. Toy Story Playland had a similar live online broadcast on its opening day, hosted on the official Disneyland Paris website, featuring a tour of the attractions and interviews with Imagineers and guests.

And if you can’t make it to any of these premieres? You’re invited to join us for our full HD video of the show, to premiere just a few days later on DLRP Magic! Video, our YouTube channel and of course embedded right here on DLRP Today!

Press release (in French) follows… Read More…

Sunday, 4th March 2012

Early 20th sparkle for Sleeping Beauty Castle as Peter Andre films new commercial

We all know 1992 as the year that saw Disneyland Paris open its gates, but what other tentative beginnings is that fateful year famous for? Why, the launch of British-born pop singer Peter Andre‘s career, when he released his first single in Australia, of course! Whether this was the smart thinking behind asking him to present what appears to be a new commercial for the 20th Anniversary, or the fact that he has more recently appeared in a string of ITV reality shows, remains to be seen, but Sleeping Beauty Castle was ready to put on an extra sparkle for his arrival yesterday.

The news spread on Twitter with Andre himself tweeting “Back at work today, filming my first ever TV commercial for Disneyland :)) it’s cold cold cold in Paris” in the early afternoon. After darkness fell, he posted the two photos featured here, showing him appearing with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Sulley in front of an illuminated castle, holding a 20th Anniversary-branded microphone. The anniversary logo was also projected onto the façade of the castle as spotlights criss-crossed the sky, creating quite a spectacle from Main Street, U.S.A. for regular guests.

Below, two Instagram photos shared by @pka13 of the filming and the castle, which was lit by the colour-changing embedded LED lights first installed for the Princess Aurora’s Christmas Wish show last year.

Since we’ve already seen numerous versions of the main TV advertising campaign for the anniversary, Peter Andre’s “commercial” filming will presumably be for a special one-off broadcast closer to the 1st April launch date itself, perhaps as part of a promotional segment within a TV show or as a one-of commercial spot. Meanwhile, Pat Sharp is still waiting for his call-back…

VIA @MrPeterAndre, @pka13 (Twitter)

Wednesday, 16th November 2011

Disneyland Paris welcomes 250 millionth guest – a quarter billion visitors in less than 20 years!

1, 2, 3… 250,000,000! A huge milestone was celebrated at Disneyland Paris yesterday, 15th November 2011, as the resort welcomed its 250 millionth guest into the parks. That’s a quarter of a billion visitors in just 19 years, 7 months and 15 days. Yes, ok, so they’re still not able to turn a consistent net profit, but let the urban myth that Disney’s European resort has been under-attended since 1992 officially be put to rest. In the 2011 financial year, the parks set a new record of 15.6 million visitors, making the outlook for the 20th Anniversary year rosy indeed. With the usual birthday year boom, longer opening hours through the year and the premiere of Dreams, the resort may well hit the magical 16 million.

The guests in question yesterday received the honour of a celebratory ride up Main Street, U.S.A. on the Fire Truck with Disneyland Paris Ambassador Régis Alart and a photocall with Mickey, Minnie and Duffy in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle. Just like the 100 millionth visitors in 2001 and the 200 millionth visitors in 2008, they were a family of mum and dad with two photogenic young kids, but in a groundbreaking move they were Spanish, not French, and visiting for the fourth time. Euro Disney SCA’s own press release (PDF) notes that families with young children make up 66% of visitors. So, by those odds, maybe we’ll see someone from the other 34% awarded the 300 million honour in a few years?

VIA Ambassadeur Disneyland Paris (Facebook), Disneyland Paris Corporate (PDF)

Friday, 22nd July 2011

John Lasseter meets the Disneyland Paris Ambassadors – “I’m only here for the Castle!”

Yeah sure, John. During his European publicity tour for Cars 2, which included hosting a special showing of the film for fans in Paris, John Lasseter also dropped into Disneyland Park on Wednesday. Stopping for this photo at around 2pm with the 2011-12 Disneyland Paris Ambassadors Régis Alart and Osvaldo del Mistero, Pixar’s creative chief had the pleasure of seeing Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant nearing the end of its lengthy restoration, complete with newly-returned golden spires.

We also completely missed, in yesterday’s excitement, that this would have been John Lasseter’s first ever visit to Toy Story Playland, a land he had much creative input in. Better to see it here, and when the leaves are on the trees, than as a sore thumb at Hong Kong Disneyland

VIA Ambassadeur Disneyland Paris (Facebook)

Thursday, 21st July 2011

John Lasseter spotted in future Ratatouille quarter! Dark ride plans finally green-lit?

We might have expected to see John Lasseter in Disneyland Paris this month, with Cars 2 opening across Europe. After all, he’s dropped by the Parisian resort several times in recent years since becoming Principal Creative Advisor for Walt Disney Imagineering. But yesterday, the Pixar creative chief wasn’t just spotted anywhere in the parks — he was spied on the new Ratatouille road, alongside Toy Story Playland, site of that proposed dark ride. Mr. Freddy of Disney Central Plaza provides the proof, above, showing that John didn’t just stumble into the area by accident, like most people passing through the Playland. He’s joined either side by Tom Fitzgerald, Executive Vice President and Senior Creative Executive, and Chrissie Allen, Senior Show Producer, both of whom were present on the opening day of Toy Story Playland and have been key figures in the development of Walt Disney Studios Park.

From above, new activity can even be seen on the construction site behind the Costuming building. The huge trees in the centre of the site will at some point be removed, to be replaced by greenery in a more fitting scale around the Parisian façades.

So, are we looking good for go? Just last weekend, (unconfirmed) word began spreading that funding for the ride had finally been secured. As far as Imagineering and the resort’s management are concerned, the ride seems to have been green-lit for quite some time but as with all major projects, Euro Disney SCA has to agree funding with investors. Back in May, highly detailed concepts were found at the local town planning office in Chessy. The latest is that construction should start this year and take 18 months, with interior elements (such as props, décor) possibly even already being built!

Let’s hope John has a suitably cheesy Hawaiian shirt ready for 2013 — and meanwhile, we’ll see you in the Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop queue…

Check back on previous Ratatouille dark ride news here and see the concept art here.

VIA Mr. Freddy (Disney Central Plaza)

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