Since 2016, Disneyland Paris has been selling a summer Pineapple Whip treat; this delightful snack has become such a staple of the Disneyland Paris offering that for the Lion King and Jungle Festival it has received a little makeover and become the Mango Whip which is served at a price of €4.99 from the Adventureland Bazaar food cart (no annual pass discounts applicable).
This snack follows the exact same style as its Pineapple cousin in that it is a Vanilla soft -serve ice cream which rests on a bed of Mango juice. It’s a simple snack but one that just hits the spot every single time. The ice cream is of a great quality and the mango juice tastes amazing when mixed in. For those summer days, it’s both refreshing and delicious.
The only downside is the presentation, none of the Mango Whips I saw even came close to the presentation on the menu photo, they all just looked a bit floppy. Perhaps it is the cup that is just too big, the amount of ice cream and juice felt just right.
I love mango flavour anything, so this snack was always going to be a winner for me – better than the pineapple whip? I’m not sure, but it was a brilliant alternative.
——— The Lion King and Jungle Festival, and all the food offerings associated with it, run until Sunday 22nd September 2019.
The menu is decidedly simple, there are essentially two options to pick from. The adult menu features a Yassa Chicken, Plantain, Beef Meatballs, sautéed shrimps, vegetable salad with a peanut dressing; the Vegan menu which contains a Vegan sauté with tomato sauce, plantain and a vegetable salad with the peanut dressing.
Ordering takes only a few minutes and the meal is presented on a tray much like a standard quick service meal, once you have tray in hand you will be taken to a seat by a Cast Member.
The food is actually delightfully tasty. The chicken dish is nothing particularly special but is a cut above all other quick service chicken dishes; where this meal delivers on flavour is the delightful plantain – a cooked banana – this is both very tasty and unique, more importantly, it was cooked very well allowing all the flavours of the banana to be tasted. The meatballs in sauce were also very good.
The whole dish worked really well together, each part of the main having its own very unique flavour and texture. It felt more like a tasting platter where I got to try a little of everything and I came away wanting more of everything on the regular menu.
Major points go to the presentation of the plates, the bamboo plate and cutlery added something quite special and unique. It’s refreshing to see such effort going into a quick service meal; of course this also helps it be elevated above any of the other quick service meals.
For desert the coconut and banana flavour ice cream which has a number of flavours on it and a Simba motif – this was exceptional, a real themed snack that is Instagram heaven. Whilst it looks really good, it also tastes brilliant, the banana flavour is really evident and refreshing – add in that the ice cream is actually surprisingly large, we have a winner here.
The character meet and greet element to the meal is also super relaxed and chilled – just like the signature packages last year – Mickey, in a very cute new adventurer outfit – and Rafiki will walk casually up to your table and you have a very relaxed pace meet and greet, there’s no time pressure and the characters are brilliant.
Overall, I would not hesitate to recommend this lunch to anybody who loves the Lion King, or who just wants to be further immersed in this wonderful season. This is one not to skip during your visit, you will not be disappointed!
The Lion King Signature experience lunch runs daily from 30th June – 22nd September 2019. It is priced at €39 for adults and €35 for children. Dining reservations can be made by phoning the Disneyland Paris dining reservations line on +33 1 60 30 40 50.
With the start of the Lion King and Jungle Festival just days away, Disneyland Paris have released details of some of the food and drink offerings available to guests during the festival.
Over at the Djembe Joy village (Frontierland), guests will be able to enjoy a range of quick hot and cold snacks with an African/Summer feel.
Savannah Chicken Strips Exotic fruit salade Pride Rock Croq’ Coco-Cookie ice-cream Zebralicious Donut Safari Macaroons Savannah banana bread Mango Whip Lion Tartelette Choco-coco lollipaw Pawsome chocolate print
Over at Victoria’s Home Style Kitchen – now a bar – two new Lion King inspired milkshakes have been created to celebrate all things Lion King. The Simba Shake is Vanilla and Praline flavoured, and the Pumbaa Shake is Nutella and banana flavour.
The Disneyland Paris buffets are also getting some special Lion King and Jungle Festival style treats with dishes including:
Wild Marble Cake Shrimp and Pineapple Millet Salad Smoked Chicken and Pineapple Millet Salad African Peanut Soup Yassa Chicken Savannah Style Poulet DG Mahi-Mahi Wrap African Vegetable Stew The Pride Coco Rock Wild Mango Cake Zebra Macaroon Sweet & Wild Macaroon Exotic fruit salad Mango Baba Tropical Paw Mousse Lion Tartelette Rhezail Horns – Oriental pastry
Other speciality food offerings include the special African platter at Hakuna Matata – part of the signature experience – and only during lunch time. There is also a special Tribe Burger at Annette’s Diner.
It might seem like summer is only just starting, but Disneyland Paris have released the first details of the 2019 New Year’s Eve Party. Taking place, naturally, on 31st December 2019 the party runs from 20:00 until 02:00 (an hour later than previous years – and thank goodness, it always felt like the party just ended flatly at 1am).
Tickets for the 2019 party cost €99 (or relevant local currency) and can be booked online or via your travel agent. Additionally, tickets are included in the traditional New Year’s Eve dining options at the following restaurants:
Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show €245 – €280 depending on category and time.
Agrabah Cafe €335
It seems likely that more will be added as we usually see dining possible at Plaza Gardens, Inventions, California Grill and Captain Jack’s.
Whilst New Year’s Eve is never a cheap night to visit Disneyland Paris, it has fast become the highlight of the year for many fans with its giant parade, plentiful character meet and greets and the general good atmosphere of the dance parties and festivities. This is one we firmly recommend.
As a special preview for the upcoming Disneyland ParisLion King and Jungle Festival, the Disneyland Paris teams sat down with the Musical Arranger for the Rhythm of the Pridelands show and Grammy award winner, Steve Sidwell, to discuss how the music came to be and the influences for the show. Steve has worked extensively at Disneyland Paris before, most notably for the music of the Once Upon a Dream Parade which premiered during the 15th anniversary in 2007.
How did you approach The Lion King and the Rhythms of Pride Lands?
For this show, we tried to develop new ideas, which is always difficult when you are working on such a famous story. It has been successfully treated in a variety of forms, which makes things more complicated. But Disney knows how to collaborate with creators to breathe new life into its stories. And, in fact, the concepts and models of this show have inspired the music immensely.
With such a famous soundtrack, how did you find the balance between respect for this musical legacy and bringing fresh air?
It was a real challenge. It is always very difficult to change such an iconic work. Balance is hard to find. It’s been 25 years now that The Lion King has been released. It has become a timeless classic, but at the same time, we wanted to consider it with a new look. The decor of our show being based on musical instruments, it was a key element of our approach. We took some risks, but always with immense respect for the original work. In addition, our show lasts only half an hour and is played in a very particular context: our guests are in a Park and they try to do a lot of things. It was therefore necessary to offer them a particularly exciting experience. To do this, I made sure to keep a great energy throughout the show, while providing for quieter moments with the ballads, so that children and adults can enjoy the show.
How does music fit into this show?
From a general point of view, music is an art based on collaboration. In a live production, there is always the visual aspect, and in addition to technology, there is dance, staging, singing and costumes, all of which create an atmosphere. I am very inspired by all these elements. In The Lion King and Rhythms of Pride Land, music plays a vital role. When writing for a show like this, you must be aware that music accompanies a performance: singers, acrobats and dancers, with this superb aerial choreography. Everything has allowed me to create a truly unique music, whose originality has been praised by Disneyland Paris teams. This is the best compliment I could get.
From what material did you work?
We used elements of the animation classic as well as the musical, from the magnificent instrumental score of Hans Zimmer, especially for the final fight scene, to the songs of Elton John and Lebo M.
For the wildebeest stampede and the final fight, I had access to the orchestral scores of the film. This allowed me to study very precisely what had been done for the film, and I tried to recreate the same atmosphere, while adding some novelties. And for the songs, to the extent that they had to be cut in order to fit into our format, I started from scratch. It allowed me to develop a different, unique concept. I tried to make them exhilarating, modern and original, while preserving their African influences.
What type of orchestra did you use?
A traditional orchestra, except for percussion. I was fortunate to have at my disposal a large symphony orchestra, a big band and a huge rhythm section. We had djembes, tamas or “talking drums” from West Africa, kalimbas or “thumb pianos” from sub-Saharan Africa, a kora, an instrument from Mali, congas and bongos. We used as many African instruments as possible. It was impressive to see all these instruments brought together during the recording at the famous Angel Recording Studios in London. Extraordinary! I learned a lot on this occasion. Working between Paris and London, I had the opportunity to meet many experts because African drums are really a specialist business. For the fight scenes and wildebeest, we also had a big chorus typical of Hollywood that sang in Latin, and a Gospel choir that sang in Swahili. We even had a specialist of this language with us to make sure of the pronunciation. The best conditions were brought together.
How did you manage the “live” dimension of the show?
It’s something I’ve done many times. Of course, the show has a soundtrack, but I did not want the audience to be aware of it. I wanted all the musical elements to blend into each other. The recorded music has been designed in such a way that it leaves a space for live singers. We also took into account the unique audio system of our theater, which greatly influenced the way we recorded and mixed the music. In fact, everyone in the audience can enjoy perfect stereo. Wherever you sit, you will be surrounded on all sides by the music.
In this show, it’s the songs that tell the story, not the dialogues.
Many things had to be reworked to fit the format of the show. This is one of the reasons why there is no dialogue. It’s up to the music to fulfill that role. It’s a way of doing that I know well. It’s more enjoyable as the script is written with talent and precision.
You’re saying that The Lion King and Rhythms of Pride Land was an artistic and emotional experience?
That’s my motto: making music to share emotions. And on The Lion King and Rhythms of Pride Land, it was not difficult because it is such a magnificent show, both from the point of view of writing and staging. The emotions came naturally. I just had to deal with tension and relaxation. The Disneyland Paris teams are so talented; it’s a joy to work with them. They guided me very easily in the right direction. I’m only more impatient to discover the reactions of the public!
When rewatching Toy Story 3 in the lead up to seeing Toy Story 4, you have this sense that it was the perfect ending to a wonderful franchise, how could you top that? We had, with those final scenes, a bow being put on top of the franchise when the torch was passed from Andy to Bonnie.
Toy Story 4 doesn’t quite top Toy Story 3, but it does a very good job at telling an emotional story that also feels like a logical next step in this series – and yes, you will need tissues because the ending will break you.
The Toy Story franchise is an odd one in where it sits itself, having been around since 1995 it has found itself grappling with the audience and its adolescence and now young adulthood; and, much like the previous outing, it manages to balance this wonderfully. The plot isn’t overly revolutionary – toys start off happy, something happens, toys go off on an adventure, then the film serves up an emotional kick at the very end. It’s simple and it works.
This new installment introduces interesting new characters with Gaby Gaby as well as Ducky and Bunny (who provide the comedic relief) and Duke Caboom. Of course the star new character of the film is Forky and, whilst I did enjoy watching the character, I do wonder what larger role Forky could have played, it does feel that there is some lost potential. Bo Peep returns, and with it the explanation as to why she was not in Toy Story 3; it is very clear that she is not the same character as she was, and with it she has become a much more developed character with a good deal of depth and the Toy Story franchise is all the better for it.
For all the Pixar fans out there (myself included) keep an eye out for a number of really quite brilliant references and throwbacks to previous films and shorts including Up and Tin Toy. These hit a brilliant sweet spot and fans will really get a kick out of these moments.
The thing that really works for the Toy Story films is the emotional connection we have to the characters, and that is the genius of the original creators of Toy Story: taking inanimate objects that we can all connect to, and giving us an emotional connection to them. Here we are, 24 years on and it still works.
Toy Story 4 is not the best of the Toy Story films (for me, that’s still the original Toy Story) but it does do an excellent job of being a funny, emotional and enjoyable film. These Toy Story films are very likely the closest we have to a perfect film franchise, they don’t skip a beat.
Halloween is one of the most anticipated seasons of the year at Disneyland Paris and the 2019 season will be no different. Running from 28th September until 3rd November 2019, the Halloween Festival will feature all new shows and a new addition to the popular The Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror, this Halloween is shaping up to have a lot of exciting features for everyone.
New Villains Show – starring Ursula
Over on the Royal Castle Stage a new stage show has been announced starring the Disney Villains, and a new addition to Disneyland Paris for 2019 – Ursula.
Whilst It’s Good to be Bad had taken a place as a Disneyland Paris fan favourite, it was probably time to go and to be replaced with something fresh and exciting.
Mickey’s Halloween Celebration
The hit Halloween parade will return with the wonderful sounds of Vive la Vie filling the air, no changes have been announced to the parade, given the acclaim it had last year this can only be a good thing.
It remains to be seen if the show stop will be slightly modified to remove the references to Mickey’s 90th Birthday and the ‘Great Big Year’.
Disney Character Meet and Greets
One of the most celebrated features of the Halloween season at Disneyland Paris is the sheer number of character meet and greets. Of course 2019 will be no different, the Disney Villains will meet throughout the park with Maleficent taking over the Castle Courtyard with her brambles once again.
Other new meet and greets include Stitch, Max will join returning characters Minnie and Cheshire Cat – of course there will be plenty more surprises along the way!
The Tower of Terror: Revisited
The biggest news of the season, perhaps, is that the Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror will be getting a overhaul for the Halloween season; the attraction will be more terrifying than ever as it introduces random drop sequences into the attraction and no two rides will ever be the same.
This type of technology has been a long time coming for Disneyland Paris, but now it is here, let’s hope it becomes permanent.
Two Halloween Parties!
There will, of course, be two Halloween parties this year. The first on Saturday 26th October and the second on Thursday 31st October 2019. The two parties are expected to be identical but offers much more in the way of flexibility and choice to guests who can’t get to the park during the week for the 31st October – a problem that has dogged Disneyland Paris for years.
A fantastic sounding season for 2019
Halloween is always a high point of the year and 2019 will be no exception. It’s very likely that numerous little surprises will be unveiled as we get closer to the season and that the success of Halloween will continue to be built upon.
One thing is for certain, Halloween will likely be another fantastic Disneyland Paris season for a park that is having success after success with its seasons.
The Toy Story Playdays run from 18th – 28th June 2019 in Disneyland Paris and to celebrate a special range of snacks have been created for the event. These snacks will be on sale throughout the Walt Disney Studios Park and feature highlights such as a Jessie cookie sandwich filled with Nutella and a candy apple featuring the famous Luxo Ball.
Woody Biscuit – €4.29
Woody is a sandwich biscuit filled with a chocolate/hazelnut spread (it’s not Nutella, but it totally is).
Jessie Biscuit – €4.29
The Jessie biscuit is the exact same as the Woody one – except it’s Jessie, of course!
Bo Peep Shortbread – €4.29
Get your JPEG food-suitable printers ready because this shortbread is basically that. But it’s Bo Peep, the star of Toy Story 4!
Candy Apples (Hamm and Luxo Ball) – €5.99
The stars of the Toy Story Playdays snacks, these two Candy Apples both look fantastic, and the Luxo Ball one is a genuine delight for all Pixar fans.
Forky Shortbread – €4.29
Let’s face it, you want this because it’s Forky and Forky is awesome! Other than that, yeah it’s another shortbread with a sticker put on top.
The Toy Story Playdays snacks are not particularly inspiring – but then again, what did we expect for a festival that is just over a week long? They look fun and they cover every major character in the film, and that’s all we could really hope for.
In the strangest news we’re ever likely to hear from Disneyland Paris, the much-anticipated Rhythm of the Pridelands show which is part of the Lion King and Jungle Festival, will be streamed daily into Studio Theater in the Walt Disney Studios Park.
Whilst the show will, undoubtedly, feature extensive queues throughout the season, it really is hard to see this move as anything other than a cheap way to fill a theatre that is otherwise sitting empty after the Marvel Season of Super Heroes and Toy Story Playdays and opens the floodgates to more lazy entertainment decisions by Disneyland Paris who had recently significantly upped their entertainment offering.
The stream will be pre-recorded (presumably during the upcoming press event) and will be the same each day – this is not a live stream.
Whether or not there is an audience for this type of entertainment waits to be seen, but I would be advising anyone who does, unfortunately, miss out on a place seeing the show – enjoy the rest of the parks (and the Jungle Book Jive!) and enjoy the show on YouTube, somebody will undoubtedly have uploaded it by the end of day 1.
The Lion King and Jungle Festival starts Sunday 30th June and runs until Sunday 22nd September 2019.
The Panoramagique balloon in Disney Village has become such a highlight of the Disneyland Paris skies since it’s launch, except on bad weather days which sees the balloon grounded; now a unique experience awaits on these days as the balloon offers VR flights on bad weather days.
These virtual reality headsets will allow guests to experience the views of Disneyland Paris without even leaving the ground via 360 imaging technology.
This does not affect the normal experience during good weather meaning you’ll be able to enjoy Panoramagique whatever the weather! Now that’s good news!
Panoramagique is open every day with opening hours dependent on the season.
Tickets for adults cost €12, children aged 3-12 are €6 and any child under 3 goes free of charge. Annual pass discounts are applicable: -25% for Infinity and Magic Plus; -15% for Magic Flex and Discovery.
Disneyland Paris have announced that additional bibs for the Disneyland Paris Run Weekend will go on sale Tuesday 18th June 2019 at 16:00 (CET) – 15:00 (UK Time). These bibs will be made on sale on the official Disneyland Paris run weekend website.
Bibs will be on sale across all races including the 5k, 10k, Half-Marathon and the two challenges (31k featuring entry to the Half-Marathon and 10k race; and 36k with entry to the 5k, 10k and Half Marathon).
Guests who have already registered for the races will be able to pre-order select merchandise (including pins) from the 18th June 2019 at the same time (16:00 CET).
It is important to note that only guests that buy bibs for the challenges will be able to claim challenge medals; unfortunately, it is not enough to simply do each race.
Between January 2018 and May 2019, Phantom Manor at Disneyland Paris went under an extensive 16 month refurbishment. Whilst many things in the Manor did change following the refurbishment, one thing remained constant: the dedication of the Disney Imagineers to their craft and creating the best illusions to surprise guests.
To celebrate the reopening, Disneyland Paris have released a 17 minute documentary which goes behind the scenes with some of the key creative figures involved in this magnificent refurbishment.