Posts Tagged ‘Anniversary’

25th Anniversary Parade

Sunday, February 28th, 2016

The French website C’est joli chez vous has published an interview with Jody Daily in French and English about her work on the Happiness Parade for Tokyo Disneyland worth reading not just because of the background information about that parade but also because towards the end she confirms once again that she is working at a new parade for the Disneyland Paris resort. Actually she confirms that she is work on an all new parade for the 25th anniversary of Disneyland Paris!

Further details she reveals is the confirmation that once again Steven Davison will be the creative director of that parade. There is already a team working on the new parade in Paris with which she holds weekly video conference calls (in addition to her on-site visit in November) and two visits of the team to her Anaheim studio. She also reveals that the final designs and models are currently in the process of being finished up and construction should start in the next couple of months, with work having already commenced on one of the more complicated pieces. But anyone hoping for details concerning the parades themes and designs will have to wait. While she goes a bit into her general design philosophy for parades there are now specific details revealed of the 25th anniversary parade – yet.

REINVENT THE MAGIC

Friday, June 12th, 2015

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During a recent big presentation to Cast Members, Disneyland Paris officially revealed their big plans for a big overhaul in both of their parks. Ten of their biggest attraction will be part of the big works. With this Disneyland Paris is going to get ready for their big 25th anniversary. Those visiting the park in the coming 3 years should inform themselves on what is being done when they go. It would be a shame if you get into the park and your favorite attraction is closed. The good news however is that once the works are done our beloved park will look amazing.

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REINVENT THE MAGIC

Ten attractions and shows over three years – this is the ambitious program of reimagining and new features launched in view of our 25th anniversary, to create new magic for Disneyland Paris. (more…)

21 and counting

Friday, April 12th, 2013

21 years of magic and fun … today, April 12, Disneyland Paris celebrates its 21st anniversary … or if you go with Pin Trading the 20th anniversary of the castle being decorated as giant cake for the occassion of the resort’s first anniversary.

While most guests most probably will not note this occassion with the 20th anniversary celebrations being extended well into fall 2013 this nevertheless is reason to celebrate … and to thank the resort and all its cast members over the years for 21 years of magic & fun, laughter & great memories, dreams come true … THANK YOU … and now on for many more years and many memories to be created!

P.S.: and DLP.info sure will be happy to be your guide to the magic of Disneyland Paris in the future as well.

20 Years of Magic & Wonder

Friday, April 13th, 2012

Yesterday Disneyland Paris celebrated its 20th anniversary with regular guests and thousands of fans that had turned out for the occasion. Fans started lining up in front of the park#s gates as early as 2 hours before the official opening time – when the time came around the area between the gates on the right hand side of the entrance and the main doors leading to the lobby of the Disneyland Hotel was already packed. Soon guests were allowed onto Town Square, where they were held for a special opening ceremony featuring speeches (broadcasted on giant screens set up on Twon Square for this occasion), a fly over by two acrobatic planes and a giant flash mob / dance performance by hundreds of cast members on Main Street, U.S.A. After their performance they became a honor guard as guests and fans rushed into the park. While a large number of fans headed straight to the Videopolis to catch the presentation by Imagineer Tony Baxter about the creation of the resort other fans (in particular pin traders and collectors) headed into Frontierland to try to buy the April 12th, 2012 anniversary pin – limited to just 1,000 copies (many fans were turned away as the line apparently was still about 300 guests long when the last pin was sold at the Pueblo Trading Post). Throughout the day special entertainment offerings could be enjoyed as each land featured their very own celebration party with music, dancers and characters. Sounds interesting? DLP.info certainly was on-site for you … so check back later for more detailed news!

Mickey’s Friends Take the Disney Train

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

 The well known Disney train is back on “track” to brings the characters around the park to their meet and greet locations. This time’s incarnation name is “Disney’s 20th Anniversary Celebration Train”.

The train’s decoration has changed drastically and has been given a pallet of vivid colors. Yellow, light green, orange, red, blue and more are all screaming “look at me” with this new look. But the train looks fantastic and it draws attention at once. If the train doesn’t make you look then the new catchy song will. It burst out of the Main Street speakers for everybody to enjoy. The song is written by Scott Erickson, a man who already has a nice selection of Disney songs credits.

The train travels from Main Street to the central hub and on to the Castle Stage Area a couple of times during the day. It carries some special guests that are very beloved by the Disney fans and, of course, the children. There is Chip and Dale in the first wagon. They have brought special company, their friend Clarice. In the next wagon Minnie took place. She shares her train wagon with both Donald and Daisy. In the final wagon you’ll see Goofy and Pluto. What a great bunch of characters. Who wouldn’t want to follow that train all the way up to the meeting point?

The character made sure to look their best too with new gear. Inspired by the Disney classic Sorcerer’s Apprentice, they all look fantastic. Mickey must be very happy with the new look of the train. He was there during the press event on the special press tribune looking at it, waving at it and dancing to the music. Mickey had so much fun he even forgot to pose for the camera when the train passed by.

Katy Harris, Disney’s Show Director, said during a special meet up during the press event that they love their train. It is a success with the guests and the children and, although there have already been a couple of incarnations, it is here to stay as it is such a popular and fun Disney attraction.

Make sure to check the “time table” so you won’t miss the train full of Disney celebrities on your next Disneyland Paris visit.

20th Anniversary Merchandise – and lots of it

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

A year long celebration, extensive special decorations throughout the Disneyland Park, further decorations in the Fantasia Gardens, the Walt Disney Studios, the Disney Village and the Disney Hotels, a new parade, a new experience to meet Mickey and a breathtaking nighttime spectacular called “Disney DREAMS!” – the resort is going to length for its 20th anniversary that kicked off on the past Saturday with a large event that saw Imagineer Tony Baxter visit and Steve Davison talk about his birthday present to the resort before returning to the USA.

So what might be missing? Oh, yes – special anniversary merchandise! During the weeks leading up to Saturday’s kick-off event the anniversary merchandise was added one by one to the displays and shelves across the resort, certainly in particular the Emporium on the Main Street, the extension room of The Disney Store in the Disney Village and the Studio Store in the Walt Disney Studios.

There is a wide selection of various items in several styles and on all price levels. These include various t-shirts, sweat shirts, rugby shirt, baseball hats and jackets with traditional some may say “college style”) prints of their very own 20th anniversary logo – as seen above on the left as well as on the t-shirt for girls on the right.

The major amount of merchandise picks up the blue and golden color palate of the official 20th anniversary logo and also features various graphics including in particular Mickey and Minnie in their new magician costumes, but also Goofy, Donald as well as Chip’n’Dale. The products of this range are the most varied and include magnets, photo frames, several snow globes (a smaller simple model and a larger one that plays music and lights up with Mickey leaning on top of it), playing cards, stickers, key rings, a beach towel, fun hats as well as baseball hats, various pens, plastic cups, a shopping bag, place mat, pocket umbrella, backpack, purse, collectible spoon, light-up spinner, the music piece of a music box with a special backdrop, a photo album, electric candle, mugs and much, much more up to a 1,000 piece puzzle.

In addition to the “blue line” there is also a smaller “pink line” for young girls including t-shorts, dresses and plastic wands. Also available are certainly plushs of Mickey and Minnie in their new costume – and for the real fans of Mickey a new big figurine of Mickey! Or what about some Mickey gloves? While Mickey continues to wear his regular white gloves even in his new costume, the gloves on sale are in a blue magician design.

However, there is a third product line as well so far consisting of plates and ceramic mugs. Also called “retro design” these items feature artwork in the style of the early years of the resort. The first item in that line is a set of two coffee mugs with an identical design showing the castle and the Town Square gazebo on one side and the earfel tower with the main gate of the Walt Disney Studios on the other side. Also available are amongst others a ceramic cup, decorative ceramic tiles (one per land of Disneyland with iconic landmarks of the land), as well as a set with paper and pen

Another item of the line is a set of four quadratic plates, that set next to each other are to depict both parks by selecting various especially iconic landmarks. The plate for the lower left corner features the right half of the Main Street as well as Discoveryland (represented by Space Mountain and Orbitron). The plate for the upper right corner features Fantasyland (with the facade of it’s a small world and the giant beanstalk of Sir Mickey’s) as well as the right half of Frontierland (represented by the rocks of Big Thunder Mountain and Phantom Manor). The plate for the top left corner includes Adventureland (represented by Captain Hook’s Galley, the Temple du Peril, the Swiss Family Treehouse and the Adventureland Bazaar). Also included on this plate are the Tower of Terror, the Toy Soldier Parachute Drop and a bit from the Earfell Tower as well as the magic hat of Disney’s Art of Animation from the Walt Disney Studios. The “rest” of the Walt Disney Studios including the lower part of the Earfel Tower, the magic hat structure as well as the entrance gate are represented on the plate for the lower left corner, which also includes the majority of the Sleeping Beauty Castle.

The retro line is only available at selected shops – including Harrington’s which also sells an engraved crystal glass.

Two more items have already been announced and should be arriving in stores soon. The first one is glossy multi colored photo book documenting the history of the resort titled “Disneyland Paris: 20 Years of Dreams”. The resort hopes to have it in stock by April 12 for the actual birthday but this is not yet confirmed. The second item is a CD-release of the theme song of the new “Disney Magic on Parade” that also functions as the anniversary’s theme song titled “Magic Everywhere”. Originally the resort had hopped to have the CDs in stock by Saturday but technical difficulties resulted in a delay.

Oh, and there is also the set of four special 20th Anniversary Vinylmation (sold separately) already available in the resort – as reported earlier in a separate news.

The Disney Dreams! Dinner

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

After yesterday’s official grand premiere with invited guests and media “Disney DREAMS!” tonight saw its first two performances open for all guests of the Disneyland Park. Yes, two performances – anticipating huge interest in particular from local fans a first performance was scheduled for 9:30 pm in addition to the second performance as regularly scheduled for park closure.

Based on the fact that Central Plaza and the top of the Main Street was packed with guests way in advance of the first performance already this sure was a wise decision. About 1,000 holders of the Annual Passport Dream got the opportunity to watch the second performance from the dedicated viewing area usually reserved for guests booking a “Disney Dreams! Dinner Package” at either Walt’s – an American Restaurant (on Main Street U.S.A.) or Silver Spur Steakhouse (in Frontierland). Therefore, today the number of dinner packages was even stricter limited and guests received only tickets for the VIP viewing area for the first performance of “Disney Dreams!”.

The VIP viewing area in question is located on top of the Main Street, stretching from the top entrance of Casey’s Corner all the way up to the beginning of Central Plaza. It encompasses the left half of the Main Street and the according walkway which apparently is supposed to offer viewing space for about 1,000 guests.

It should be noted that the area had filled up (with guests that had booked the dinner package) already more than 30 minutes prior to the performance time today. According to first reports it was packed, but not as tightly as the surrounding area leaving guests enough space to move a bit from side to side to find a good view – without the constant pushing and shoving that many guests had to endure that filled up Central Plaza and the right half of the Main Street, next to the roped of VIP area.

Interested in the food of the dinner package? Take a look at the left which shows the current adult and kids menus for the package at Walt’s – priced at 40 EUR for adults respectively 19.50 EUR for kids. Compared to similar offers of dinner packages for Fantasmic! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World or World of Color at Disney’s California Adventure, Anaheim the pricing at Disneyland Paris is reasonable, however, the food selection is limited as well since at this time only two table service restaurants participated in the offering and the capacity of the VIP viewing area is limited.

Please note: due to the space limitation in the viewing area reservations for the dinner package must be made in advance. However, seating times are flexible throughout the evening with the limitation that each restaurant enforces a cut-off time to ensure that its patrons have sufficient time to enjoy the dinner and get to the viewing area in time.

Meet with Mickey Mouse backstage (updated)

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

As part of the 20th Anniversary celebration Disneyland Paris is providing Mickey Mouse with a new home! Well, it is preparing a new home for Mickey as it isn’t ready yet. Despite the work already going on since last summer the new location for a meet’n’greet with Mickey is unfortunately only set to open later in May.

For this new “Meet Mickey Mouse” experience the former Fantasy Festival Theater is completely reworked. Originally a covered out-door theater for shows featuring the fab five the theater was later enclosed and for several years used as home for the second version of “Winnie the Pooh and friends, too” show. Before its transformation into the new location for a meet’n’greet with Mickey started the theater was only for performances by guest groups as part of the Magic Music Days program.

Differing from his prior meet’n’greet location (which was outdoor) the “Meet Mickey Mouse” experience (including its queue area) is indoors – protected from the weather – and features a themed environment specifically created for it. This setting is inspired by the 1937 color short  “Magician Mickey” in which Mickey performs in front of an audience of orphans as magician on a big stage. Fans who have visited the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, Orlando, might notice that a similar setting for meet’n’greets with Mickey has been set up there as well.

At “Meet Mickey Mouse” guests are invited into the theater and to go backstage where Mickey will meet them during the breaks in his magic show in his dressing room. When entering the former Fantasy Festival Stage through the right hand doors guests are stepping into the lobby adorned with posters of some of Mickey’s biggest magic tricks. The whole waiting area is designed to be fully wheel chair accessible. It leads guests from the lobby into the actual theater auditorium, where guests will have to wait approximately 45 minutes in switchbacks if the line is at full capacity.

However, during this time guests are entertained by classic Mickey shorts on a large screen placed on the stage. However, Disneyland Paris retained a fully working stage here allowing it to have live performances in here as well. For this purpose the stage is also equipped with three curtains: one rising up, one folding sideways (Italian style) and the final one sliding sideways.

Finally at the front of the auditorium guests will step backstage to see the magic in the making … and meet Mickey. However, in a first step they meet up with the stage manager of the theater – a cast member that takes the guests’ details and sends them through one of supposedly three doors. Behind the door finally Mickey will wait for a close up, personal experience. According to a feature released by Disney’s official fan club D23 online Mickey will even talk to the guests! However, this hasn’t been confirmed by any other source and it should be noted that while a talking Mickey has been tested in meet’n’greet set-ups in the US parks it is not yet a regular feature. Therefore it can not been ruled out that D23 was maybe a bit too fast with their statement.

Even so the experience is not yet fully finished Mickey’s backstage room already looks amazing. There is so much detail the short visit a guest is granted will not be enough to take it all in. There is Mickey’s big traveling trunk with stickers of all the various (Disney) locations he visited, Mickey’s hat from Fantasia, pictures of Mickey and even a very special hidden Mickey. Want a hint how to find it? Take a look in the trunk filled with Magic gadgets. There You’ll see three magic rings interlocked with each other and forming the hidden Mickey.

For those with a keen eye for details and love for the Disney classics there are many more surprises to discover as Mickey seems to have collected magic items from various Disney classics such as the black crow’s feather used to make Dumbo fly. Just before exiting Mickey backstage room guests can spot a book with the magic number 52 on it. 52 certainly stand for the deck of cards, but it also stands for the date when (what is today called) Walt Disney Imagineering was set up.

While meeting Mickey will be the highlight for many guests the magic doesn’t end once guests leave his dressing room. Outside Mickey’s backstage dressing room, still in the backstage area guests will walk an exhibition of some terrifying tools that could be used in some really funily scary magic tricks. There is a saw of death, a big water tank used for escape tricks and even a basket with swords sticking out.

Closer to the exit of the experience, back in the regular front of the house displays will showcase the photo of each guest taken with Mickey by the official photographer backstage (as usual there is no obligation to buy the photo and the photographer is happy to take a photo of the guests and Mickey with the guest’s camera as well for free). According to some hints placed during the 20th Anniversary kick-off event there might be a special message on the boards displaying the photos – but as these have not yet been installed it wasn’t clear yet how this would look like or work.

Continuing the approach by Disneyland Paris to be as inclusive as possible toward disabled guests and disabled cast members one of the counters at which guests can buy a copy of their picture is wheelchair friendly. This means not only that it is accessible without problem by guests in wheelchairs but also that it is set up in a way to allow a cast member seated in a wheelchair to work in the location. After this “shop” area guests exit the theater again back onto the large plaza in front of the Fantasy Festival Stage through the doors on the left of the building.

As already stated it currently looks as if Mickey has three rooms to welcome his guests, however the number four was mentioned during the 20th Anniversary kick-off event as well. We will keep you updated of course and also provide you with photos at a later point. Since the experience is still under construction no photos were allowed at this time.

Guests visiting prior to the opening of the new experience will be able to meet Mickey Mouse in a dedicated setting created in Frontierland on parts of the Cottonwood Creek Ranch (cast members stationed in front of the former Fantasy Festival Stage direct guests to this temporary locationUPDATE: after the kick-off event construction fences were put back in front of the Fantasy Festival Stage and signs were posted directing guests to the temporary meet’n’greet with Mickey on Cottonwood Creek Ranch). In the meantime the former meet’n’greet area of Mickey, in front of the Boarding House on Town Square, has been taken over by Duffy, the Disney Bear, who joined Mickey late last year already.

 

Andy, member of DLP.info, attended the 20th Anniversary kick-off event as invited guest of the resort and was granted a first look into the “Meet Mickey Mouse” experience.

Strike day 2 – but without impact

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

In a follow-up to our (near-live) coverage of the first day of a 48h strike by the four unions CFDT, FO, UNSA and CFTC on Friday we are glad to report that day two of the strike – which was Saturday, the day of the 20th Anniversary kick-off event – doesn’t warrant any major reporting.

While a small group of castmembers congregated in front of the RER / TGV train station early in the morning hours no disruptions of any kind inside the parks were reported by our team members on-site. The event took place without any noticeable impact by the strike, in particular the anticipated premiere of “Disney Magic on Parade”at 3:00 pm took place without the strikers being able to repeat their actions from Friday, when 50 of them were able to achieve a cancellation of the final ever performance of the “Once Upon a Dream Parade” by blocking the parade route in the Main Street. However, regular guests could notice an increased amount of security guards along the parade route in advance of the parade and also during the parade to assure that this first major element of the event would take place without interruption.

Also the second major part of the event took place without any interruption – the evening program consisting of the gala dinner and the grand premiere of the nighttime spectacular “Disney DREAMS!”.

Steve Davison Meets Disney Fans

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Fans of the Disney parks always love to hear some of the stories and secrets behind an attraction or show. A the occassion of the kick-off event for the 20th Anniversary celebration of Disneyland Paris selected members of fan operated websites covering the resort online were invited to meet and talk to Imagineer Steve Davison who created the resort’s new nighttime spectacular Disney DREAMS (as reviewed in an earlier post). After introducing the attendants to his work he happily answered questions.

As Steve Davison explained the first time he was approached to create what would eventually become “Disney DREAMS” was over two years ago. Steve Davison revealed that interestingly the first contact concerning him creating a spectacular for Disneyland Paris came from … the marketing department.

The team of Disneyland Paris wanted to create a spectacular using video mapping on the castle – i.e. projecting on the three dimensional surface of the castle turning it into a unique canvas utilizing the actual shape of the castle for added effect. Story-wise one of the first ideas was to have it centered around the concept of “dreaming”. So this corner stone was in place from the very beginning of the creative process. However, they certainly looked also into alternatives, to be specific a total of four concepts were considered.

Not surprisingly Steve Davison didn’t reveal anything specific about these other three concepts. However, he went into detail about the creation of the on concept that made the cut explaining that the idea of using Peter Pan in the story came from seeing his image all around the Disneyland Hotel at Disneyland Paris. The many decorations based on this character inspired him to use him as the main character. The team then developed the idea further up to the point where they decided to choose Peter Pan’s shadow as the main story telling character. However, the various scenes feature numerous additional characters – including Quasimodo who was specifically picked because of the French location. This local aspect is also reflected in the team involved in the creation and execution of the spectacular which included US and French Imagineers – as well as the Pixar crew.

The process to laser map the castle to allow for the creation of the projections for its surface took three months as Steve Davison explained. As the animation was done in the USA. “Disney DREAMS” features a large amount of new, specifically created animation, some of which was handled by the Pixar Studios since it involved their characters – for example Remy from Disney Pixar’s Ratatouille. As far as the dialogue is concerned the team ventured to as many performances as possible by the original voice actors. For some parts they were able to repurpose old recordings after research in the studios’ archives while other parts were newly recorded specifically for the spectacular.

The completed sequences were then tested on a 3 meter replica of the castle erected in California. Differing from past projections on DLP’s castle for “Disney DREAMS” the projections are not only limited to the castle’s front but also wrap around the sides. This opens up whole different perspectives when watching the spectacular from different angles.

Compared to the firework displays featured at Disneyland Paris since opening day “Disney DREAMS” allows to keep a larger part of the park open during the night (as there is only much more limited security perimeter required). This also means that guests will not need to be pushed as far back over the Central Plaza into the Main Street creating more viewing space allowing up to 15,000 guests to enjoy the spectacular from various viewing areas –  even from the sides of the castle. While weather conditions could impact the spectacular they do not necessarily result in cancellations – not even in case of high winds. Instead these might only force the team on-site for the performance to stop the use of fireworks – but the spectacular could still go on featuring all other elements which still provide a magical experience to guests. Speaking of viewing points – Central Plaza certainly will be a prime spot. Steve Davison told the attendants that he specifically requested the stage placed in the center of the hub to be removed.

The unique setting for “Disney DREAMS” on and around the castle with the inclusion of specifically installed water fountains in the castle’s moat certainly created unique challenges. And as in every project of this scope not every vision can be executed in the end. For example the idea of projection on the water fountains from the back and the front was dropped as it was impossible to get them fit into each other as the water was always moving differently depending on wind and weather conditions. While it would have added an extra dimension, they had at some point to admit that it just didn’t work out.

As “World of Color” created by Steve Davison for Disney’s California adventure “Disney DREAMS” can be changed depending on the seasons. For example a new sequence could be added for the Halloween or the Christmas season. Although creating these might take a while, swapping them in once they are ready can be done with a push of a button. This allows the resort to run one version of the spectacular in the first night and a different version the following night.

The mix of various different (technical) elements also required the installation of various new equipment on and around the castle and the hub area. Some of that equipment is still visible at the moment or only temporarily covered at the moment during daytime. However, the plans call for all equipment to be themed / covered / hidden during daytime to limit the intrusion as far as possible and retain the magical views. Steve Davison emphasized that these plans are still moving ahead and everything should be hidden well in a couple of weeks.

Furthermore, some of the equipment will also be used for entertainment offerings besides “Disney DREAMS”. In particular the fountains in the moat are already programmed to present several times daily a little fountain show featuring music from the Disney Princess movies – in fact guests can already enjoy this experience since Saturday March 31st.

Even before the grand premiere speculations appeared online whether the spectacular might be copied for Tokyo Disneyland since executives of the Japanese resort visited Disneyland Paris recently – but Steve Davison was able to solve that mystery with one (or two) short sentences: NO. While they looked at the spectacular they will not get their own version. However, a new parade for Tokyo Disney is in the works – and their visit was related to that project.

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