Friday and Saturday European press and invited guests were treated to a presentation of the various elements of Mickey’s Magical Party (for a first short report from the event hop over to the Mousekingdom Blog). The event being a week prior to the official start of the Party season most of the presentations took place in the after-hours, when regular guests had left the parks already. This also allowed the parks to press on with their preparations throughout the day. In particular various last minute rehabs and paint jobs continued in areas throughout the parks that were not “on camera” for the press and media. Certainly finished in time for the event was the Sleeping Beauty Castle as it functions as the backdrop to Mickey’s Magic Party show on the new stage on Central Plaza.
While a huge extra structure was errected especially for the event to the left of the bridge leading up to the castle, guests nevertheless the past weekend had the first opportunity to observe the finished decorations on the castle. And yes, the castle once again has received a (limited) layover for the year. Gone are all the golden statues with the candles installed in 2007 for the 15th anniversary – with one exception: Tinkerbell and the spiral flying next to the highest turret and the golden spiral leading up to her was kept in place. Also gone are the golden crowns on top of the castle’s turrets. In their place golden bands forming a large Mickey shape (three circles) are sitting on top of many of the turrets. Also gone is the large “15″ blocking the stained glass window on top of the main draw bridge. Unfortunately in its place a huge Mickey shape was placed. While the two ears are only formed by a golden band (so are not massive). The main circle (forming the “head”) is not only formed by a golden band but filled with a massive blue backdrop (blocking the view onto the stained glass window). The blue backdrop is supposed to look a bit like a sky and even has little stars in it. Leaning out of the big circle are the heads of Mickey in the center, Donald to the left (Mickey’s right), Pluto on the other side and Goofy from behind Pluto. The massive, three dimensional character heads are painted in color and not gold. The whole construction gives the decoration element a rather cartoonish look not really blending perfectly with the more subtle, elegant design of the castle (and the reminder of the decorations on the castle).