On Saturday, March 31 and Sunday, April 1, the ‘Designing Disney Research Center’ crew attended the media event organized by Disneyland Paris at the occasion of the launch of its twentieth anniversary celebrations.
The twentieth anniversary of Disneyland Paris is being marked by many new initiatives. In this review, we try to highlight those initiatives we think will please both avid Disney fans (as it will be good for ‘their’ Resort) and visitors (as it will give them even more good reasons to rediscover the ‘most magical place in Europe’).
In today’s and next weeks articles, we’ll discuss the refurbishment of major parts of the Resort, the launch of the new nighttime spectacular “Disney Dreams”, the transformation of the current “Once Upon A Dream” parade and the opening of a new character meet and greet location.
Exactly a year ago, Euro Disney S.C.A. (the company that owns and operates Disneyland Paris) started an ambitious multi year program to protect, upgrade and enhance its existing guest facing assets at the Disneyland Park and Hotels.
In the build up to its twentieth anniversary, many structures were being refurbished: Sleeping Beauty Castle, Big Thunder Mountain, the Molly Brown Riverboat, Captain Hook’s Galley, Alice’s Curious Labyrinth, Orbitron Machines Volantes and several facades on Main Street U.S.A.
And it has to be said, the Disneyland Paris maintenance crews have done an excellent job. Their effort now allows guests to discover the Disneyland Park in its early nineties glory.
Details ‘Alice’s Curious Labyrinth’ (Fantasyland)
This will make many Disney fans forget about the Resort’s rocky childhood and realize that the Disneyland Park in Paris is (still) the most beautiful Disney theme park ever built. And in the long run, it will guarantee the quality and value of the guest experience in the years to come.
The centerpiece of the twentieth anniversary celebrations is “Disney Dreams”. This marvelous nighttime spectacular in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle combines technology from shows that are currently being presented at Disney theme parks across the Atlantic.
It features crystal-clear castle projections (The Magic, the Memories, and You!), huge water screens (Fantasmic), colorful dancing fountains (World of Color), spectacular pyrotechnic displays (Wishes) and stunning laser effects.
Disney Dreams follows the adventures of Peter Pan's shadow as it weaves among more than a dozen Disney and Pixar stories, including "Beauty and the Beast", “Ratatouille”, “Aladdin”, “The Hunchback of the Notre Dame”, “Marry Poppins”, “Jungle Book”, "Tangled", "The Princess and the Frog” and “The Little Mermaid”.
This nighttime show can and will be used most of the year round, as it isn’t exuberantly expensive to stage and can work around DLP’s firework noise restrictions (reference is made to our article “Creating Disney Magic – The Enchanted Fireworks”).
Like its American counterparts, Disney Dreams is expected to appeal to many. After all, Disney theme park magic is at its brightest at night! Or as mister Walt Disney once said: “It seems like a new kind of magic takes over, in Disneyland after dark”.
The execution of an extensive refurbishment program and the creation of true nighttime spectacular is the most beautiful birthday gift Disneyland Paris (fans) could have wished for. In the end, both initiatives will contribute to the Resort’s short term growth (Disney Dreams), reputation and the long term stability of its success (refurbishment program).
Furthermore, these initiatives will provide guests with some pretty good reasons to consider (re)visiting Disneyland Paris. After all, now they can enjoy the Disneyland Park again in its original state and see one of the best (nighttime) shows ever created for a Disney theme park.
Next week, we’ll have a look at “Disney Magic on Parade” and the “Meet Mickey Mouse” meet and greet location. So stay tuned for more!
Photos: Designing Disney Research Center, except photos 'Dreams' and puppets: Disney.