It's Christmas tonight and i have for you plenty of news about DLP future, thanks to our good friends of ED92. And i also have a Christmas surprise for you at the end of the article, so don't miss it!
On Monday, December 21, Daniel Delcourt, COO of Disneyland Paris, invited representatives of nine fan sites / pages to a Q&A session. A quick roundtable first identified the participants: in order of appearance: Disneyland Paris Bons Plans, DLP Welcome, DisneylandBerry, Tinkly, Radio Disney Club, Disney Central Plaza, ED92, Chroniques Disney and DLRP Express.
You'll read in a few seconds the interview of Daniel Delcourt but let's stop first on one of the main announcements: a new show is coming soon at DLP Frontierland Chaparral theater! The presentation of their new show titled "The Forest of Enchantment: A Musical Adventure Disney" was done by Aur&lien Berda, Show Director Jr, and here are the main points you need to know:
The Disney characters who will be part of the show are: Pocahontas and John Smith, Rapunzel and Flynn Rider, Baloo and King Louie, Tarzan and Mérida.
The show will last 20 minutes and is sung from the beginning to the end, the principle for the decors is inspired by children's pop-up book and so will be change constantly ( Btw: the Frozen decors will not be removed and remain hidden in the back of the stage, waiting for the return of the show in May ).
The centerpiece of the decor will fold and turn and will include a staircase and decorations.
The show is currently in pre-production and rehearsals will take place after the holidays.
On stage there will be a total of 19 performers and most of the songs will be sang in English, and there will be an opening orchestrated by the mistress of ceremonies accompanied by four singers connected with nature followed by the Pocahontas scene, then will come The Jungle Book scene, Tarzan jungle and then the rebellious Rapunzel and the final scene. The scenes evolve along the songs to review the elements of nature like water lily represented the man, fired by Ragina, the air by Lucille Dragonfly and earth by Lézardo, there will be acrobats dancers of the plant world: Grass Man, Man and Roots Flower Man and the animal world: Man Fox, Frog and Lady Bird Man.
The guests flow CM will have a costume themed in relation with the show.
This is a 100% unique creation for Disneyland® Paris which will last 20 minutes and will take place at Chaparral Theater 5 times per day.
The show include a new music creation from Gordon and Lisa Goodwin, artists rewarded by a Grammy Award.
I have personally a very good feeling about this show. I always loved pop-up book and if the idea of a "pop-up book show" works well technically it could be truly magical. And now, here is the Interview of Daniel Delcourt, DLP COO, thanks to ED92. You can read the FRENCH version directly on ED92 HERE.
Picture of Daniel Delcourt below thanks to Max - DLP Welcome who also did his review of the interview.
At the start of the Q1A, Daniel Delcourt starts with a light opening; announcing “I am here for you!”.
1) How was the decision to close the parks after the November 13 2015 terrorist attacks taken?
There was no debate. After the decision of the French President regarding national mourning, it was decided to respect it.
On an operational level, Guests arriving at the Resort had to be taken care of: artists that were scheduled in the two parks (Disney Characters, drawing artists…) came to meet the residents, which was well received.
2) What is the status of the Guests satisfaction during this wave of numerous refurbishments leading to the 25th Anniversary of the Resort ?
Daniel Delcourt first thanks the Cast Members for the work already accomplished. Indeed, the results of the satisfaction surveys “are almost all better” despite the closure of major attractions, and the results are even above expectations. He adds that this is only possible through the Cast Members, who are the “key to success”, a “bit of paint”, while necessary, is not enough.
On this topic, he shares a project that he is working on, called “Join the Disney Attitude”: it is based on the “Courtesy” key of the four Disney service keys (Security, Courtesy, Show, Efficiency) and involves 9000 Cast Members in order to consolidate these good results.
Additionally, the Disney Characters presence will be increased — when he arrived (June 2014), the satisfaction on Characters had been getting lower for over a year. “I went to have a look — I like to go on site — nothing better to see than go on the ground..”.
In the parks, he notes that there were only four fixed photo locations while other Characters “moved”. Now, the photo locations are fixed, and are clearly marked in the schedule and the official app for smart phones, to make it official. By January, there will be 15 fixed photo locations.
Where will be who? The above map indicate the Disney characters location in the park starting January 8!
He then moved on to the return of the Disney Characters in hotels: “that’s what is going to make the difference”. A three month long study was done so that Daniel Delcourt could present his vision to bring back the Characters in the hotels.
Other entertainment and refurbishment highlights discussed include:
- A new show at the Chapparal between the two Frozen seasons, called “The Forest of Enchantment, a Disney musical adventure”,
- The Lucky Nugget will get a new stage show,
- A new show for Animagique,
- Improvements for the seasons — Last year’s Tree Lighting Ceremony was considered not up to expectations and without Characters by Daniel Delcourt. He finds this year’s more touching and successful. There are more performers. All of this is aimed at growing the seasons to offer the best possible experience to Guests. “It’s moving forward, going the right way”,
- The Main Street facades: Main Street and Lucky Nugget facades were repainted.
- Attractions have been rehabilitated and renovated. Sometimes, some things don’t work. Daniel sees it and reports it to the teams right away. “Hard work will be needed for all this to improve”. “Attention to detail will make the difference”.
3) What time frame do you give yourself to get to the “perfect” Guest satisfaction level?
First goal: 25th Anniversary. Everything must have improved for this date. The park must be in shape, entertainment must be up to par, restaurants must have been upscaled, and higher satisfaction in hotels.
Currently, guest satisfaction is higher in Disney Village, Parks and Hotels, and Daniel Delcourt is proud of this.
After the 25th; there will be new goals, new innovations.
4) Walt Disney Studios : when will they get a Halloween and Christmas season ?
The first goal is to fix Disneyland Park.
But there are plans for the Studios for the 25th Anniversary. Seasons at the Studios won’t be until after the Anniversary.
5) Are you nervous for the 25th Anniversary ?
Not at all ! Tom and Daniel share the same vision. His time in California inspired him. The timing of his return was perfect.
6) When will you start communicating about Animagique ?
There is still a lot of work to be done, it is an ambitious endeavor. The artistic direction will be set in January.
The name will change and it will no longer be in black light.
Will it be in the Pixar universe ? No.
7) What about the Disney Village re-development ?
Disney Village is not in accordance to the vision that we have for it anymore. Work on a rehabilitation plan is in progress. A re-investment into quality and image, a “ family place where life is good, in a nice setting”, connected to the Disney Magic. No more discos and concerts.
8) Will the maintenance be increased ?
Yes. We can no longer recreate things and then not take care of them.
In Marne-la-Vallee, we must adapt to the weather (cold, rain, ice…). The Newport Bay Club Hotel, for example, was entirely redone in composite materials, instead of wood which gets old quickly.
The other hotels will be redone with similar materials instead of wood.
9) Is there a plan to build a new hotel?
Projects are underway, but Daniel Delcourt cannot tell if they will materialize or not.
10) Announcements (Spiels) have been played in the parks. Is the goal to inform visitors?
One was agreed to by Daniel: the one about RATP (Paris transport). During a strike, 2500 Guests were stuck at the train station with no RER (commuter train), replacement solutions had to be found, it was a headache. In order for this to not happen again, Daniel agreed to the announcements during other RATP strikes, so that Guests would not be stuck again.
11) Will you try the Star Wars Night experience again ?
The lighting, the photo-locations, the Star Wars characters.. “It was fun, pretty”. But the feedback is mixed, “Not enough product”. If it happens again, the product will be stronger.
12) Will Cast Member selection criteria change during castings ?
During the “Journées Tradition”, emphasis will be on courtesy. It will be closely evaluated during the trial period.
13) Comment from participant:
The Christmas Season 2015 really put the emphasis on the shows, the characters, and Guests like it. It was a demand fro, Guests. Same thing for the food: increase quality at the restaurants (buffets, table service, fast food) upon Guests demand.
14) Will there be another film after « Ant-Man », at Discoveryland Theatre ?
A plan was in the works for Discoveryland Theatre, but it could not happen. So two solutions: keep it open or close it. Daniel wants to keep it open for the cold winter season. New content is expected for March/April.
15) Is there an “Ambassador” type of program in the “Courtesy” project ?
A jury selected Cast Members who volunteered to become “Courtesy Representatives” (non-official term).Daniel wanted Cast Members — and not representatives higher up — to deliver the message on courtesy to their fellow Cast Members. “It can only come from Cast Members, not from us”.
16) WiFi in the parks: what is the current state ?
WiFi will arrive in October-November 2016 at the Walt Disney Studios, then at Disneyland Park for the 25th Anniversary (April 2017). Daniel also announced the arrival of an RFID card that will group the equivalent of all the paper vouchers/cards used today (park tickets, hotel key at select hotels at first, restaurant vouchers, shops). The expected launch is January 2017. Also, starting January 2016, Guests in select hotels will have access to a card of this type to pay bills (restaurants, shops…).
It will not be a Magic Band per se. This card will simplify the life of guests and Cast Members.
17) Will the Newport Bay Club and the Disneyland Hotel be upscaled ? Will the Disneyland Hotel lose rooms in order to gain new suites ?
Getting more upscale is the goal for both hotels. For the Newport Bay Club, they are waiting for the inspectors’ opinion. For the Disneyland Hotel, studies are being conducted to “Completely revisit the Hotel” and “Deliver a higher level of service with a number of rooms matching the service we want to provide”.
18) Will the Walt Disney Studios receive a nighttime offering ?
Nothing has ben decided but it is being considered.
19) Are there any plans to revamp the Annual Passport offer?
Daniel says this does not depend on Operations, but Marketing.
20) What can you say about the rehabilitations, like La Cabane des Robinsons ? Will there be new effects ? Will there be any communication on this ?
At La Cabane des Robinson, a lot of effects that do not work anymore will come back, plus new ones. Persons with limited mobility will be able to visit, but not the entire attraction.
Daniel then talks about Big Thunder Mountain: the Geysers will come back, and the breakdowns will decrease — and their length diminish as well.
21) What is the future of the Mark Twain ?
“It is in my 10-year rehabilitation plan”. “It is in a terrible state”.
22) Let’s talk about It’s A Small World ?
All the dolls will be gradually changed. It is currently not planned to add Disney characters. The entrance sequence has changed, to accommodate people with reduced mobility. During the rehabilitations, measures to conform to French laws for accessibility are taken as much as possible.
23) How is the rehabilitation plan created ? What is the criteria ?
It depends on the state of the attraction (Daniel talks about Star Tours, Peter Pan), number of breakdowns (Big thunder Mountain). A lot of things are being looked into but not confirmed, so Daniel cannot say more.
24) Opinion of participant:
The recent video about the current rehabilitations was a great idea.
Daniel reminds us of the “Cast Member Forum” organized when he and Tom Wolber arrived in order to present the road map: “You know where you are going and everyone has the same vision”. It also allows Cast Members to be able to answer Guests’ questions. “Everyone knows what we are working on and where we want to go”.
The interview ends with those words. Participants thank Daniel Delcourt who answers “I thank you” and adds: “Let’s do it again whenever you want!”.
Again, let's thanks ED92 for their transition.
In Fantasyland, IASW just reopened after a few months of renovation and here is the video of the freshly renovated It's a Small World filmed by Max from DLPWelcome.
And i have a "one more thing" for you.
The Disneyland Paris "From Sketch to Reality" book already has a great Christmas Special Offer - for its English updated edition or its French collector's edition and because it's Christmas tonight i'm adding a Christmas double promotion valid from today Dec 24 until January 1st thanks to which you can get for the same price of a regular copy - 75€ ( including worldwide shipping - except for Belgium or Italy for which shipping has an additional 15€ ) - a SIGNED copy which will be dedicated to the person of your choice.
For all orders and specially if you want to pay with credit card, bank transfer or check, please send me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know if you want an english or french edition, and at what name you wish the book to be dedicated.
Make sure to check the video below which presents the whole book, page by page, and Merry Christmas to each of you!
Pictures: copyright Disney, DLPWelcome