Sunday, April 3, 2011

Disneyland Paris Update : Disney Magical Moments Festival Opening

The official launch of DLP Disney Magical Moments Festival happened last Saturday and i have for you a full report about what's new in both parks for 2011. No more concept-arts, these are pictures and videos of the real thing!

Main Street station as you can see on the picture above has now new decorations and we will begin the tour by Adventureland where guests can find two new photo locations. The first one is themed on Aladdin and the magic lamp and is located on the right when you exit the Adventureland Bazaar area and walk towards Pirates of the Caribbean. Nice little decor and of course the Aladdin characters are doing regular appearances.

The next new photo location is located near the Hakuna Matata restaurant. A bit behind, in fact. You will find Kaa and Zazu...

...and the African drummers are normally seat there but they were in pause when i came.

Later in the afternoon, strangely, i found them playing in front of the restaurant and not at the new photo location which is may be a bit too much "off the main road".

Undeniably the best novelty this year in Adventureland is the new Peter Pan show. It's a small show located in front of Skull Rock, on the other side of the lagoon. Children and guests from the audience are asked to participate - children play the lost boys - and part of the charm of this show is coming from the fact that everything was done without any pretention. It's a nice, cute little show and quite close finally of the "spirit" of the original movie.

The right title of the show is "Follow the leader with Peter Pan" and they've themed a small pirate decor including parrots and a show poster too.

As for the show itself i have better for you than high-res pictures as here is a high-res video of the full show!
Spoiler Warning! If you're planning to come to the park this year it may be better to keep the surprise and don't watch the video, specially considering that this Peter Pan show is one of the best new things at DLP this year! But if you decide to watch it, then watch it in full screen mode!

While we are in Adventureland, remember that i told you last week that they're going to replace the Captain Hook ship as it is in bad condition? Well, here is two pictures of it and the least we can say is that the sooner the new boat will arrive the better it will be. And i didn't cheated on the colors of the pictures, the boat have really lost all its original colors.

Let's move to Fantasyland where an open air photo exhibit is waiting you near the Fantasy Festival Stage. It's all pictures of the park shot by VIP people from many european countries.

Also near Alice's Curious Labyrinth entrance you'll find the Mad Hatter photo location where Alice and the Mad Hatter will do regular appearances.

As you can see when i came last saturday they were not there, but that's because they were inside the labyrinth for a photo shooting with VIPs !

Always in Fantasyland here is a picture of the photo location decor of Raiponce - without her as i was not in luck that morning!

Some few yards from it is a temporary Disney Princess meet and greet. In my previous DLP update i told you about the works on the future Princess Pavilion which was supposed to open this year but obviously they're a little bit late on this one. On the next picture the entrance of the future pavilion will be where the fences are now.

But for now it's only under a "royal tent" that children can meet and greet their favorite Disney Princess.

Let's go back now through the castle to Central Plaza and as you can see the back of the castle is also in "repaint mode".

These big white balls that you can see on Central Plaza will be used later that day for the special event evening show projection effects. Of course they won't be here for your next visit.

There is a new show on Central Plaza stage this year and you'll be happy to learn that it is in my opinion a better one, less hysterical than last year's show. As it is a Disney show there is of course lots of Disney characters and if, just like me, you're a fan of the Sword in the Stone, you'll be pleased to see Merlin, in one of its rare appearances.

Before we move to the Walt Disney Studios, let's stop at the Disney & Co shop for a last goodbye to the band organ. As i've told you last week this beautiful band organ will be send to Florida and placed inside the Story Book Circus area in the new Fantasyland.

On the way to the WDS let's go first to Disney Village to have a look at the works on the new Earl of Sandwich restaurant which will open later this year. Some of you asked me pictures of it so here they are!

At the Walt Disney Studios we will have a look first at the Moteurs Action stunt show as Lightning McQueen is now appearing in the show. McQueen appears for a 3 minutes scene and it begins by Mater on the giant screen warning McQueen about a spy car. McQueen is coming out of a truck, quite unexpectedly (which is good) and try to find the spy car. Last saturday the McQueen car didn't worked on the first show but worked on the two others. McQueen is definitely not moving at a "lightning" speed but i suppose that the car is too precious to do real stunts. Anyway it's a pleasure to see him and here is the video of its full appearance and - Spoiler Warning again - if you prefer to keep the surprise do NOT watch the video!

At the other end of the WDS the green soldiers appear now regularly inside Toy Story Playland. The best location to see them is near Parachute Drop entrance. Last saturday they were only three but hopefully they will be more on your next visit. Here is the video with, of course, the same spoiler alert.

Before the big evening show every guest of this special event had dinner in the Disneyland park and I with others webmasters had a table reserved at the Agrabah restaurant in Adventureland Bazaar. And we were really lucky as Philippe Gas - DLP CEO - and Jeff Archambaud - Vice President Communications - had dinner with us. Yes, we talked about a lot of things including the future but some things must remain secret for now! Here is our table.

After the dinner the big press event show happened and you can see the full video of it in the next article below. Once the show was over it was time to go back but a last surprise awaited us on Town Square: Lightning McQueen himself! Look well the picture below as you won't see McQueen back on Town square anytime soon!

DLP "normal" guests will probably be pleased with this Disney Magical Moments Festival and there is some good things in it like the Peter Pan show and the new show on Central Plaza but i will understand that Disney fans waiting for new rides might be a bit disappointed. 2011 is clearly an "in between" year and hopefully next year and DLP 20th Anniversary will bring something new in the "attraction" section.

That's the end of this big DLP Magical Moments Festival update, hope you've enjoyed it and see you soon to talk about the future!

Pictures and videos: copyright Disney and more or copyright Disney


Guillaume said...

Thanks Alain for this very detailed DLP update!
There is just one thing missing : your opinion about this new festival in general and its additions to the park.
What do you think about it.

This Peter Pan show seems to be the only thing that is actually nicely done.
Judging by your pictures, most of these new photolocations really look cheap.

Am I wrong?

Once again, I don't get how there is such a gap in quality between DLP and other Disney parks around the world.
I think that would be a very interesting article.

Thanks again for this update!

Alain Littaye said...

You're right Guillaume, i forgot to say my thoughts about it! I just added a few lines at the end of the article.

Jones said...

For the money they spent on the special event show, they could probably have repainted the entire Jolly Roger... As for the quality: Things have improved a bit in the US parks lately, but there are problems as well. Even in Tokyo, not all that glittered was gold - for a while, they had a fireworks show there that was a joke, and the parades have been recycling the same floats for years now. DLP still is the most beautiful park in the world, the substance is there, but yes, the upkeep leaves much to be desired.

Unknown said...

Fantasyland photo locations - oh dear!

Anonymous said...

isn't that Zazu with Kaa? not Iago?

Alain Littaye said...

You're right! I'll change this right now!

Teevtee said...

Wow, the condition of the bot is SHOCKING. I am going to be there next week... very surprised the ship sis THAT bad, one of the worst conditions I have ever seen anything at at any Disney park.

BTW, do you knwo if Pirates is open again at this poitn from it's rehab?

Marco Antonio Garcia said...

I'm also shocked by the condition of the Jolly Roger, I was there last time in the beginning of 2008 and I did not notice it, so I picked up my pictures from that trip and saw that it was not in good conditions, the line above the canons was already wood color (I picked up a childhood picture from my first trip to DLP in 1992 and saw that it was originally black), and the colors were not so vivid as they were, but it was not in the conditions shown on this post. I really like this ship, specially because it is almost a replica of the original fantasyland Pirate Ship restaurant (that I only know from pictures).

By the way, can't they just reform it?

The quality difference of the shows, special events and maintenance from the American parks to DLP is indeed huge in my opinion, anyone who have seen the updated Fantasmic, world of color, remember dreams come true fireworks, for instance, is going to agree with me. Besides, both American resorts are undergoing major expansion projects while the Parisian one does not even receive updates on its existing attractions (Star Tours, Pirates, eg) and we would never see something in such a bad condition as the Jolly Rogers in the US. DLP is a beautiful park, the essence is there, but its becoming outdated and spoiled but bad maintenance and ship shows and events. The Walt Disney Co. should intervene, because all this is at least bad for their image.

DLP is more delayed on new attractions for the 20th anniversary than Brazil is on the stadiums for the world cup!