2013 Christmas Season Rumours!

Reindeer pulling Santa's sleigh in the Christmas Cavalcade

Main Street USA Christmas decorationsDisneyland Paris promised a bigger Christmas season than ever before and so far that seems to be the case. So, let’s just get straight into what we already have heard on the rumour mill. Once again to clarify, these have not been confirmed by Disneyland Paris.

Last year Christmas began its overhaul, gone was Mickey’s Winter Wonderland, gone was Belle’s Enchanted Village, and so far we know that the Enchanted Village is not due to return this year. Mickey’s Winter Wonderland is unlikely to return, at the shareholders meeting in London Disney Character Central reported that Disney are working on something new. Perhaps we will see that this Christmas?

Last year one of the more finer points in the advertising was a brand new Christmas tree for the 20th Anniversary, and then once the Halloween season ended the old Christmas tree was put up. The reason? The new tree hadn’t got through all the approval processes in time. But luckily this year the tree has passed all the tests and we should see it in Town Square this Christmas season! Radio Disney Club have claimed that this tree will be at the ‘height of technology’

The garlands arrived on Main Street last year to huge fan approval, and so it seems as if they are here to stay! Radio Disney Club once again have written that new decorations will be used on Main Street USA and in each of the lands.
The Christmas cavalcade also arrived last year to more fan approval, the plan that Disneyland Paris had for this little parade was to increase it by a float or two each year until it became a proper parade that could potentially replace the daily parade during the season. So this year the rumour is that one or two floats will be added and that a new female character will be added to the park (rumours range from Shelly-May, who has already premiered in our parks during Disney Dreamers Everywhere to Mary Christmas), one user on the Disney Central Plaza forum has said that there will be improvements, more performers and new costumes.
Like last year, this cavalcade will be three times per day and will not replace the classic parade.
The future really does look good for this cavalcade, and we are glad of this. It’s the showpiece event of the Christmas season.

Christmas CavalcadeThe Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will be all new this year with new music and new characters for a more immersive ceremony which will include the garlands on Main Street USA.

Christmas Disney Dreams! visualMoving onto Disney Dreams! the UK version of the Autumn/Winter 2012/13 brochure advertised the Christmas season using this image. It really does look very likely that Disney Dreams! will be receiving a Christmas makeover. Now this is where we’ve heard conflicting rumours, we have heard that Disney Dreams! will be running with a little bit extra, but we’ve also heard that Disney Dreams! will be replaced by this Christmas edition. We think that perhaps it’ll play with a little attachment, it’s hard to see an entire new 22 minute show being played each night. Either way, we’re really excited to see the results!

Father Christmas Village and It’s a Small World celebration will continue as last year.

The Walt Disney Studios park will not see any new additions this Christmas season, except perhaps a few new decorations. Time will tell.
Finally, Christmas merchandise seems to be arriving in the resort, featuring a Christmas visual!

Disneyland Paris Christmas 2013 mug

These were posted online by Mickey Island on Disney Central Plaza in the image we see the Main Street garlands and Mickey and Minnie in a Christmas costume with Disney Characters dressed in a Christmas outfit including Stitch and Angel. We also see a glimpse of the Christmas tree (is that representative of what we will be seeing in Town Square this November).

The Hotels are getting Christmas rooms for an extra £105 (Disneyland Hotel) and £89 (Hotel New York), included you get Christmas decorations, a christmas tree and a few little gifts. Thanks to Parcorama (Twitter) for pointing that out.

That concludes our look at the latest Christmas rumours. The Christmas season runs from 10th November 2013 until the 6th January 2014 and we are really exciting to hopefully be going over and taking a look at all the new features. We’re huge fans of the Christmas season and just how the entire resort has a buzz around it. What are your opinions? We’d love to hear them both below and on twitter @dlptownsquare

Les Artisans du Rêve: Review

Castle with the words 'Les Artisans du Reve' next to it.

Artisans du reve coverBehind the world that we, the guests, see lies a world inhabited by over 14,000 cast members. Les Artisans du Rêve invites us into their world for a one hour glimpse into the part of Disneyland Paris that is hidden from most fans. Lets start by saying that this 50 minute look into backstage life is brief and only an
introduction, (We’re not saying that’s a bad thing, but Disney fans wanting an in-depth look at what goes on behind the scenes of a Disney park will need to look elsewhere) but what that means is that during the 50 minutes we get a good look at many different departments over a wide variety of time. One thing we did notice which confused us a slight bit was the opening which featured beautiful tilt-shift shots of the parks, including the Walt Disney Studios park, but this second gate was not mentioned once during the film itself which leads us to believe that this could have, unfortunately, made the cutting room floor.

 

Artisans du Reve Film title cardWe really liked how this documentary, whilst seemingly targeted at fans of Disneyland Paris, did not alienate visitors who had never visited by giving introductory piece of aspects of the park, examples of this include cast member costuming how ‘each land has its own look, its own costume’ and during the segment about park refurbishment Main Street USA was described as ‘The Champs-Elysées of the park’. The film gave a good insight into ‘operational backstage’ as we are going to call it, for example we are shown the costuming department solving problems, such as fixing a parade outfit, or creating Mickey’s 20th anniversary wizard costume. Our criticism however with this section was ‘sugar-coating’ aspects of the process, we are treated to Cinderella’s presence in the department as she has a problem with her dress, we are then given a ‘tour’ of the dress and as the filmmaker asks Cinderella a question she looks almost blindly towards the camera in a ‘I’ve been told not to say anything’ sort of way, it’s a small complaint for an otherwise fantastic insight into the work of Disneyland Paris cast members. The brief nature of each segment of the documentary means we can see a diverse range of roles offered at the resort, perhaps the most well realised section is the day in the life of a parade performer, we learn just how much work these cast members put in before they make it out for that 7pm parade.

Some information given is not there to shock fans of the parks, it’s doubtful that if you are reading this that you’ll be sitting mouth open as you are told that Main Street USA is a representation of an American town at the turn of the 20th century and inspired by Walt Disney’s birth town, but there are wonderful shots behind those green maintenance fences as we discover the care and attention given to make our parks look as beautiful day in and day out as they do. It’s little facts such as where the inspiration for our version of Sleeping Beauty Castle came from and how the colours of it were chosen that is likely to make you want to pick up this film and spend 50 minutes of your day watching it. Fans of ride maintenance won’t be disappointed as we are treated to a few minutes of overnight maintenance footage on both Indiana Jones et le temple du péril and Pirates of the Caribbean, again don’t be expecting information on the ride system but seeing how much care is put into the rides from both an artistic and technical viewpoint was something to behold. Again we were very impressed with the segment on the care of the audio animatronics both by those tasked with locating the problem animatronics and those tasked with the unenviable job of creating and fixing them. Something that we can’t overlook in the park is the excellent work by those who work on the parks horticulture, and whilst perhaps this team is given the briefest section of all the teams featured it is enough to convey for a neutral audience, the love and attention given to each individual plant. A gardener is asked about an individual plant and he could tell us immediately its age and when her birthday was, a real eye opener.

Disneyland Paris gardenersPerhaps the longest section (at over 10 minutes) was reserved for a behind the scenes look at the work put in each day by the team of the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show. We felt the time reserved for this was perhaps a bit over what we expected compared to other roles in the resort but interesting nonetheless. If behind the scenes of this show interests you (horse training, how the actors prepares and a bit of information on the props) this is an ideal film to watch in itself.
A parade float exiting the parade hangarOverall, this is a basic introduction to the world of the backstages of Disneyland Paris, fans of the parks are not going to be shocked or amazed by a wealth of information, however what you will get from this film is a look behind the scenes and interviews with the people that make the magic happen everyday, you will see their passion and determination to do their job to the fullest so that we can enjoy ourselves.

This film is not for those who do not care for seeing underneath the magic, if Disneyland Paris for you is what you see in the park, this film really is not for you, you might not enjoy the sight of a ‘naked’ pirate or a Fantillusion float in the daytime.

We really enjoyed the film and gave it a 4 star rating, our wish is for it to be a little bit longer and to go more in-depth. (But for French speaker we have France 3’s ‘Disneyland et ses secrets’ for that).

4 stars

This film is presented in French with English subtitles and can be purchased from the French Amazon website.

Finally, a note of thanks from us to all cast members of Disneyland Paris, past, present and future. All fans of the resort really appreciate the work you put in to keep our resort looking fresh and giving us unforgettable days each time we visit. This DVD serves as a tribute to your work and hopefully brings your work to a wider audience. Thank You! ~ I’m sure we’ll return to thank cast members in a later post.
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Technical Profile

Les Artisans du Rêve
Studio: The Walt Disney Company (France) – Bonne Pioche Télévision – Disney Channel 2012
Director: Dominique Lenglart
Narrator: Tom Novembre
Running Time: 50 minutes
Language: French
Subtitles: English
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