Posts Tagged ‘Disneyland Park’

French, English, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, and German

Saturday, June 15th, 2013

What have all these six languages in common? Most DLP fans and collectors will be able to tell you: these are languages in which the official park maps are available. However, in the meantime the wording of this answer requires extra special care – because it is not “these are the languages” but only “these are languages”. Why? Because the resort has just added a seventh language to the mix!

Reacting to the increasing number of high-rolling Russian speaking guests (many of which are staying at the top-of-the-line Disneyland Hotel and are spending top amounts) the resort is now offering the map for both parks in Russian as well. However, while the Russian guests are some of the resort’s big spenders their number is still comparatively low. Therefore, the resort is only producing a limited print run of Russian maps. To avoid running low on these due to collectors / fans picking too many Russian maps up as well as guests by mistake choosing the wrong language they Russian maps can not be found at the regular displays under the Main Street Station / inside the doors of Studio 1. Instead Russian maps are solely available for pick up at the City Hall respectively Guest Service on the Frontlot.

Let’s get DAPPER

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Remember those beautiful illustrations created for the Disney parks in the past? Most of them feature guests dressed in their best Sunday’s clothes – men in suits and with fedoras and ladies in elegant dresses. What a difference to the impressions that guests are treated to on any regular day in the Disney parks … so why not bring the original illustrations to life? That’s what the fans behind the DAPPER DAYS thought.

In spring 2011 they organized the first of their popular DAPPER DAY events at the original Disneyland Park, inviting fans to dress in dapper style and mingle in the parks during the regular operating hours. In the meantime the events are held twice annually in Anaheim as well as at Walt Disney World.

Now it is (once again) also time for us European fans of the Disney parks to show that we can dress in style – on September 14, 2013 this year’s DAPPER DAY fall soiree will be held at Disneyland Paris. As with the US events this is not a private party for which parts of the park will be closed off but instead the opportunity to meet with other guests and add some extra style to the park experience. As they say on their official website: “all sophisticated fashions, from vintage-inspired to contemporary chic, are encouraged“.

Further details of the event will be released on the official DAPPER DAY website later this summer – but why not start planning how to dress right away? The website certainly features a large number of photos from past events to inspire…

Royal Court asking for Reservations

Monday, April 29th, 2013

The Disney Princesses holding court at their new palatial home next to the exit of it’s a small world have been a smash hit with the guests since the heralds opened the door to allow the first guests into the new royal indoor setting. Unfortunately being popular also translates in long lines. During the past year Disneyland Paris therefore tried various methods to help keep the waiting time short for guests. Right now it seems that management has made its decision and has brought back the “reservation” system full time.

With immediate effect guests will only be admitted to the royal meet’n'greets with the princesses at the Disney Princess Pavilion with prior reservation. The reservations are handed out at the Old Mill in Fantasyland, where a waiting line is established for this purpose (in the area originally used for the line for the small ferris wheel that had been mounted to the back of the Old Mill). Reservations are made available several times daily at specific times as designated on the signage at the Old Mill resp. the Disney Princess Pavilion. However, we strongly recommend to show up early prior to the designated times and line up to receive the reservations. Only one member per party is allowed into the line but must present theme park passports for all members of his party for whom he wants to make a reservations.

The reservations are then checked by the royal heralds at the entrance to the pavilion. It should be noted that the reservations do not grant immediate or express access to the meet’n'greet. Guests should still expect a line to meet with their favorite Disney Princess. Also, per visit to the Disney Princess Pavilion guests can only meet one Disney Princess. A similar “reservation” system was in place for “The Legend of The Lion King” show at the Videopolis during parts of its run to deal with the huge lines the show used to draw.

It is important to note that the new “reservation only” system does ONLY apply to the meet’n'greets at the Disney Princess Pavilion in Fantasyland. All other meet’n'greets including those with Disney Princesses remain on a “first come first meet” basis.

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!

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.

Last resort for direct service to Endor

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

January 9, 1987 Star Tours officially opened regular services between Disneyland, Anaheim and Endor. The successful services with the reliable Starspeeder 3000 (and the maybe a bit less reliable robit captain RX-24, also known as “Rex”) was also added to Tokyo Disneyland on July 12, 1989, Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World on December 15, 1989 and finally Disneyland Paris on April 12, 1992 (where it is one of the opening day attractions).

However, on July 27, 2010 respectively September 7, 2010 the service was discontinued from Anaheim and Orlando as the Starspeeder 3000 was replaced with the Starspeeder 1000 for “Star Tours – The Adventures Continue” that opened on May 20, 2011 at WDW respectively June 3, 2011 at Anaheim. Now, yesterday Star Tours also ceased direct service to Endor from Tokyo Disney, where the new version of Star Tours is expected to open in spring 2013.

This leaves Disneyland Paris as the SOLE space port on planet earth with direct service to Endor operated daily by Star Tours and its fleet of Starspeeders 3000. Flights depart daily throughout the regular operation hours of Disneyland Paris.

At this time there are no rumors whether at all and if so when Disneyland Paris can expect a make-over of its Star Tours attraction. However, to some fans of Star Wars this might also be good news. This puts Star Tours as second entry on a unique list for Disneyland Paris – the list of attractions which only at Disneyland Paris have not received the makeover executed at all other Disney parks. The other entry on that list? Pirates of the Caribbean. As Captain Jack Sparrow has been added to the attraction in Anaheim, Orlando and Tokyo the only version without him is now found at Disneyland Paris.

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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