Like gold? Like bunting? Then this 20th Anniversary year Main Street, U.S.A. will be your kinda’ town! Despite the countdown clock still standing at more than a month before festivities begin, the town has already begun to receive its commemorative overlay. From tentative beginnings on the awning of Casey’s Corner, semi-circular gold and white bunting has begun to line the entire town. Coming in a large and small size depending on the location, these shimmering fans of fabric can already be spotted hanging from The Emporium, Walt’s – An American Restaurant, Lilly’s Boutique, Disney & Co., Boardwalk Candy Palace, Cable Car Bake Shop and Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlour.
This follows months of complete restorations to buildings including Walt’s and Gibson Girl, plus numerous ongoing clean-ups and repaints right across the street.
Bunting is the traditional way for the other Main Streets around the world to celebrate the seasons and events of the park, fitting naturally within the turn-of-the-century streetscape. While this particular style of flashy gold might require a small leap of period theme, it’s certainly favourable to the oversized banners of the 15th Anniversary — or pretty much any overlay to have come before it. Along with the culling of the Pumpkin Men from Halloween and unsympathetic decorations from Sleeping Beauty Castle, it continues a reaffirmed desire to respect the park’s original landscapes and stories when decorating for seasonal occasions; refreshing the environments more subtly — and effectively.
These decorations form part of the Main Street, U.S.A. Celebrates! event. Marketed as a “unique celebration of magic, lights and colours with even more twinkles and memorable glowings-on than ever before,” it sounds like this spot of bunting might just be the first of the street’s surprises…
Forget faith, trust and a little bit of pixie dust. It took 20,000 tons of sand, eight weeks and a team of skilled artists from around the world to move the most famous landmarks and characters of Disneyland Paris to the Belgian coast for one long summer. From Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant to The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Space Mountain, all the favourites have been recreated out of nothing more than sand and water. A world-first tie-in to promote the Magical Moments Festival, they’re now on show taking over the whole Sand Sculpture Festival in Blankenberge until 12th September.
Some of the most impressive sculptures are housed inside a giant temporary marquee, such as City Hall, Walt’s restaurant and Main Street Motors; all stunningly detailed recreations that you can walk right up to. The jail scene from Pirates of Caribbean is recreated with a wonderful likeness for the key-carrying canine — and even an early appearance from Jack Sparrow!
Beyond the resort landmarks, there are numerous lifelike character sculptures from Snow White to Tangled and almost every film in-between, with a special section for Pixar characters. A short “making of” film on the festival’s website gives a look at the work that went into the project. Our friends at Photos Magiques donated more than 400 Disneyland Paris pictures to help the sculptors refine their works. Head over to their Facebook page to see the full gallery of the finished exhibition from Friday’s special launch event… and don’t make any sudden movements!
As promised, here’s the official video of the Molly Brown rededication ceremony and the refurbishment presentation events of 25th March, when we were invited to see first-hand the ongoing and upcoming projects taking place across the resort in the lead-up to the 20th Anniversary next year. The Molly Brown’s full-time return to the rivers this weekend finally brought the video online, which also features a good look at some of the concepts and details we were shown during the presentation that morning. A map of Disneyland Park shows the areas to be refurbished in red, whilst photos show the original 1990s model of Sleeping Beauty Castle being re-touched with its new colours that “soar into the sky”.