Disneyland Paris president Philippe Gas, the Disney Characters, two thousand Cast Members and even the French Air Force stunt display team came together at 9.45am on Thursday, 12th April 2012 to celebrate exactly 20 years to the day that Disneyland Park — then Euro Disneyland — opened its gates to the public. Experience the whole event, including the welcome speech, the spectacular flashmob dance to “Magic Everywhere!” and the truly epic walk along the purple carpet, cheered along by Cast Members from every department, as if you were there with our exclusive original video.
• More videos, reports surprises from 12th April 2012 to come, including Tony Baxter’s ‘Disneyland Paris: From Concept to Reality’ discussion at Videopolis!
At 3.00pm on Saturday, there was “Magic Everywhere!” as Disney Magic on Parade! saw its official premiere for the press, running “backwards” up Main Street towards Fantasyland for one day only. Also a one-off was the heavy “security” presence — you may have heard that the previous day’s parade, planned to be a final farewell for the Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade name and music, had to be cancelled due to a small group of strikers disrupting the parade route.
The next day, as the press and VIPs (and, err, us lot) gathered to watch the revamped parade for the 20th Anniversary launch, it was clear the vast majority of other Cast Members were not willing to see this performance disrupted and so the parade was guarded its entire length. If you watch closely, you can even spot Peggie Fariss, head of Walt Disney Imagineering Paris, walking alongside!
If you’d rather a video with sunshine and fewer parade guards (but no Tinker Bell), stay tuned for our video of the first “opening day” performance on April 1st, coming shortly.
Disneyland Paris is about to launch a brand new official website. No, not a new version of the main Disneyland Paris.com, but a special new interactive platform titled Disneyland Paris Generations. Due to open in the coming days for the 20th Anniversary, it will allow fans and visitors of the resort to create their own archive of memorable moments recounting 20 years of the European Disney resort.
The idea is that anyone — guests, fans, even Cast Members — will be able to submit their own memories of Disneyland Paris, illustrated with personal photos and videos. These will be uploaded and collated by Disney, which will publish them subject to moderation. We will apparently then be able to browse these moments from history by date or via an interactive map. Though the site will be available in either English or French, the contributions themselves will not be individually translated.
The website will be operational for around a year, but its contents will be preserved beyond this date, as a — hopefully — vast online archive of memories from the resort.
At the same time, Disneyland Paris is working hard to update its official Facebook Page with the new, very well-timed “Timeline” format, adding dates in the resort’s history such as this look back at the 5th Anniversary (Facebook login required), illustrated with a rarely-seen photo. The entire page should switch to the Timeline format in a couple of days.
• Don’t forget, we have our own Disneyland Paris history website at Euro Souvenirland, packed with photos, dates and memorabilia. Meanwhile, you can share your favourite memories and birthday greetings on our new 20th Anniversary Wishes Wall.
“20 Years — It’s going to be brilliant!” is, loosely translated, the slogan for Disneyland Paris’ 20th Anniversary advertising campaign. These two designs have just been revealed for the campaign’s print and poster ads. Mickey Mouse and Buzz Lightyear will feature in “giant” form on the side of buildings, similar to the TV advertising campaign, pointing the way to Sleeping Beauty Castle and all the anniversary events. The slogan in French, to be translated for other markets, is simply “20 ans ça va être géant!”, hinting at the big and “brilliant” surprises to come during the new Disney Dreams! nighttime spectacular.
Meanwhile, cue hoards of clueless Paris tourists wandering the city in confusion that the fabled towers of this particular château aren’t within quite such proximity to its city streets… Be kind and point them towards the nearest RER station, won’t you?
Phew, someone did remember! Next Friday, 16th March 2012 looked to be quite the awkward affair for Walt Disney Studios Park, as it glumly sat in anticipation of its impending 10th birthday, watching the ever more feverish activity centred solely on neighbouring Disneyland Park‘s 20th. But count on Régis Alart and Osvaldo del Mistero, the current Disneyland Paris Ambassadors, to have a surprise ceremony in store. And so it’s confirmed: at 9.45am next Friday 16th March, the ambassadors will host a special ceremony at the park entrance to honour the 10th anniversary of the second gate, with the promise of “belles surprises” for the big day.
Meanwhile, if you won’t be stepping through the studio gates on this special anniversary date, perhaps you could celebrate at home by perusing our partner site WDSfans.com, particularly its fascinating Image Archives with over 60 pieces of rare and unseen concept art from the park.
From Spanish to English to French, the multilingual advertising campaign for Disneyland Paris’ 20th Anniversary expands across Europe and all leads to this: the full-length 40-second TV spot, featuring all the scenes in one commercial. Like the New Generation Festival TV spots, new character animation has been specially produced just for these adverts. Notably, as seen above, Peter Pan appearing across the tower of Big Ben in London. That particular scene is currently running as a short 10-second teaser in the UK, with the 40-second trailer only arriving nearer the launch date itself. Meanwhile France will see this full-length advert running from this Monday, 5th March — but you can watch it in HD below.
What do you think — does the ad do a good job selling the events?
Full Disneyland Paris 20th Anniversary TV spot follows…Read More…
April is a busy month for Disneyland Paris, but it’s also outside of the main summer high season. For years that has meant, no matter how busy the parks, you’d see no fireworks and certainly stay no later than 10pm — 8 or 9pm on weekdays. The Extended Hours announced for the 20th Anniversary — primarily to make sure Disney Dreams! can be performed under darkness — promised to change that and revolutionise the annual calendar of the resort. Well, here we go.
Park opening hours for the first half of April 2012 have now been published (check them here), giving us our first look at exactly what “Extended Hours” mean. The first two weekends of April now see Disneyland Park open until 10.30pm, giving up to an hour and a half more time than the same period last year (check our archived hours here). On the weekend of the 14th and 15th, that extends further to the magical 11pm; the first 11pm closing time in April for almost two decades. Meanwhile weekdays see a solid 9.30pm closing time, again an increase of up to an hour and a half on last year.
These new hours not only add a great deal more value to park tickets (and particularly resort hotel stays), they herald the moment where Disneyland Paris is ready to grow up, to start acting like a real Disney park. Previously weighted far too heavily towards the two summer months of July and August, the resort’s old calendar saw pretty much the entire rest of the year besides Christmas relegated to “off season”. If you wanted the “full Disney experience” of later hours, darkness falling over Main Street and nighttime entertainment, you had to wait until summer — and stump up the prices to match. Now, that full Disney experience will be available every day and every night of the year.
It’s 2012 (Happy New Year!) and time for a fresh start. For Disneyland Paris, that appears to mean several key elements of the current Disney Magical Moments Festival, marketed to run until 4th March 2012, will be cleared out early. Rumours long suggested the main Mickey’s Magical Celebration show on Central Plaza would face an early finish, due to the much detested Central Plaza Stage finally being ripped out, opening up the hub of the park ready for Dreams.
Now, here’s the confirmation: no performances from 9th January onwards! In truth, the show has had a lukewarm reception ever since last April. Notably lacking the grander spectacle of the previous Disney Showtime Spectacular, it wasn’t quite the kind of production to justify such a monolithic stage to take over the heart of the park. Initially it seemed the four large satellite “arms” of the stage might be lopped off, but now the whole stage is said to be for the chop. For stage shows, this means any future open-air productions will (quite rightly) be on the Théâtre du Château where they belong. For new nighttime spectacular Dreams, the rumour mill is still pumping: Will the removal of the stage open up the area purely for more standing room again, or could the hub become part of the show? One particularly fun (if purely fabricated) rumour is for a “magic” dancing fountain to take the place of the former flower bed. To be honest, even being able to walk across and use the plaza as a “hub”, rather than an impermeable roundabout, seems an exciting prospect at this point.
Making it all the way to the 4th March end date, but not continuing beyond that date, will be the “interactive” show stops of Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade, the temporary Tangled meet ‘n’ greet location for Rapunzel and, surprisingly, the small Following the Leader with Peter Pan show in Adventureland. That event was perhaps the most appreciated of all the new “moments” in 2011. For Rapunzel, we must presume she will simply join the other princesses in the new Princess Pavilion.
They’re going the wrong way! It seems like the set-up for a classic something-goes-wrong Disney attraction, but the diversion of Disney’s Stars ‘n’ Cars at Walt Disney Studios Park you see above is actually entirely planned. Since May this year, in fact, the plan has been for the part-parade, part-show event to become a simple linear cavalcade, passing on its original Production Number show stop at Place des Stars. From Friday, the “logistical issues” which had delayed the change were finally overcome when Donald and Daisy led the parade down Rue George Méliès toward Backlot for the very first time.
We noted at the event’s arrival in 2009 how the small, low-level Place des Stars stage wasn’t really suitable for a “main event” like this, allowing so few people to get a good view, which must had led to many poor guest experiences. The only downside of this extended parade run is that the twelve cars appear exactly as before, only with Donald and Daisy taking the lead while Mickey and Minnie provide the finale behind 2010’s added Ratatouille car. Without any dancers or action in-between the vehicles, or a stage show to provide a raison-d’être, does the cavalcade stand up as a parade on its own?
In a unique first, Disneyland Paris is launching an official online survey, right at this moment, seeking only the feedback of one particular group of visitors: the fans! The questionnaire aims to not only build more of an understanding about why we become fans and what we appreciate the most about Disneyland, but what we expect from our relationship with the resort.
Don’t expect any questions asking you whether you’d rather see Splash Mountain or Indiana Jones Adventure as the next E-Ticket, but do be prepared for some very intriguing questions about where Disneyland Paris may take its relationship with fans next. Suggestions throughout the survey include an official blog, perhaps similar to the existing Disney Parks Blog, or even an official discussion forum. The possibility of “fan events”, which could mean anything from simple gatherings to special events such as those for D23 in the U.S., is mooted several times.
On the subject of what would be most likely to draw us back to the magic, we’re given several options: from “New Attraction” right at the top (we’ll all click that one, right?) to more minor occasions such as a new character meet ‘n’ greet or even a new piece of merchandise.
You’ll also have a chance to share feedback on the Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts for Disneyland Paris, which were only launched in early 2010. Do you think those accounts do a good enough job of communicating with visitors, sharing the magic of the resort and the latest news?
One particular section of the survey (above) asks whether you currently visit any websites related to Disneyland — and if so, which ones. There’s a “Dlrp Today” box on there which, once clicked, grants you our eternal gratitude. For extra bonus points — but of course only if you use the websites — you could add “DLRP Magic” or our friends “Photos Magiques” to the “Other” box at the bottom.
The survey only takes about 15 to 20 minutes to complete, depending on how much you write, but it’s open from now until 12th December 2011, so there’s no need to rush to fill it in if it’s not convenient right now. No personal details are required, but you can optionally give your email address to be informed of any future surveys. As an exclusive survey just for fans it won’t be communicated via the more “mainstream” channels such as the resort’s Facebook page (with its 1.3m+ fans), so we should all make sure to seize this unique opportunity to give feedback and tips direct to Disneyland Paris, which may lead to a better experience for us and even greater success for the resort we love.
Update: Some Firefox users have reported problems completing the survey. Use Internet Explorer, Safari or Google Chrome instead, if you can!
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