Disneyland Paris Christmas 2017 review

Christmas 2017 at Disneyland Paris truly is bigger and better than ever. That much seemed obvious even before the season began as the list of features was rather long; not only is there a lot of new things to do but they are mostly of a sublime quality. Christmas 2017 is probably the most complete seasonal offering that has ever been provided by Disneyland Paris.

Mickey’s Christmas Big Band

Mickey’s Christmas Big Band is the unexpected star of the season. It’s become almost traditional for Disneyland Paris to offer a Christmas jazz music show and in previous years this has been filled by the Jingle Bell Boys show. This year however, this slot has been filled by a new offering, Mickey’s Christmas Big Band; this show is a complete experience featuring musicians, the Disney characters, live singers and a wonderful choreography.

Mickey's Christmas Big Band at Disneyland ParisOnce again, Disneyland Paris is proving that when it comes to live entertainment that the resort is brimming with talent. The concept has been taken from Tokyo Disney Sea’s Big Band Beat, but the addition of wonderful costuming opportunities and an immense tap choreography is all Paris. Mickey’s Christmas Big Band is a show that the resort can truly be proud of and we can only hope that the run away success provides an incentive for this type of show to become year-round.

Disney’s Christmas Parade

The festive favourite returns for 2017 but with a new soundtrack that really does increase the energy of a parade that was already packed full of joy. Christmas is Here is a truly wonderful song that is a worthy successor to Chante c’est noël and one that will hopefully live in the parks for years to come.

Disney's Christmas Parade at Disneyland ParisThe parade is almost identical to previous years, and this is no bad thing. It is a truly wonderful parade that oozes with festive cheer; make sure to watch the parade from Main Street USA and see the snow fall as the characters and dancers come past.

A Merry Stitchmas!

This year the Royal Castle stage welcomes A Merry Stitchmas, a fun show featuring Stitch and the Disney characters. The show is highly musical with all your favourite Christmas songs. Stitch brings a touch of humour and some Hawaiian Christmas magic (who would have thought you’d be listening to Hawaiian Rollercoaster Ride is a Christmas show?).

Merry Stitchmas at Disneyland ParisAll in all this show is deservedly popular and features a fun soundtrack and some fantastic costumes.

Mickey’s Magical Christmas Lights

This is the only show that is really unchanged at all from previous years, but the magic of seeing Mickey, Minnie and Santa turning on the big Christmas Tree on Main Street USA is unrivalled.This is probably one of the most magical moments that Disneyland Paris provides in a single year. It’s main downfall this year is that it is pitched against the superior Goofy’s Incredible Christmas show in the Walt Disney Studios park.

The Enchanted Advent Calendar

The Enchanted Advent Calendar is a daily show that takes place at 10am by the castle. Essentially the idea is that each morning a child is picked to open the advent calendar door and receive whatever gift is behind it. This is great if your child is the one that has been selected to receive the gift, the rest of the audience watches on and may purchase that gift (and is given a prominent position in the Emporium).

Enchanted Advent Calendar at Disneyland ParisThis concept needs to be worked on, but it is cute for the family involved and the gifts have been items that would be wanted by guests.

Sing me a Merry Christmas

This is the blip on the wonderful Christmas season. The Sing me a Merry Christmas show revolves around hosts (and characters) singing through a Christmas playlist on an iPod. The singing is often quite poor and the song selection is not the greatest – it seems rather baffling that they picked a performer with a very strong French accent to sing this show in English. It makes for a rather cringeworthy show.

Sing me a Merry Christmas at Disneyland ParisThat’s not to say that there are not good moments in the show, the Feliz Navidad section is really good fun especially when the performers take the effort to really involve the audience.

Goofy’s Incredible Christmas

This is the star of the 2017 festive season at Disneyland Paris. Goofy’s Incredible Christmas is a 20 minute journey into the magical world of Santa’s workshop as Christmas is prepared for the boys and girls of the world. What follows is an emotional foray into Christmas filled with magic, Disney characters, wonderful Christmas songs and spectacular surprises.

Goofy's Incredible Christmas at Disneyland ParisThe show puts the Walt Disney Studios park on the map and is possibly one of the best evening spectaculars we’ve ever had in Disneyland Paris (Dreams! still comes out on top, of course). It’s difficult to describe the feelings produced as the park lights up with its Christmas lights but it also a feeling of pride as the resort is finally taking our second gate seriously.

Character Meet and Greets

Santa Goofy is the star of the 2017 Christmas meet and greet at Disneyland Paris; meeting daily in the Front Lot area of the Walt Disney Studios Park, this is a fun meet for all the family. Christmas Mickey and Minnie are meeting (individually) in the Art of Animation but queues do form early so ensure that you arrive early to meet your favourite character.

Over in Disneyland Park guests can meet Marie, Scrooge McDuck, Thumper, Miss Bunny and Sandy Claws.

Decorations

The decorations are largely unchanged for this year, however there are a few notable differences. The 25th anniversary means that Christmas has taken on a beautiful blue shade. This looks slightly strange during the day, but it comes alive at night as the colours pop and really do look in keeping with the rest of Main Street. The Central Plaza decorations have also been moved into Town Square.

Christmas Main Street USA at Disneyland ParisThe garlands make their return to Main Street as does the large Christmas tree; the sounds of Christmas fill the air with the festive musical loop on Main Street. There is truly nothing like walking into a festive Disneyland Park.

A wonderful Disney Christmas of magic

Christmas 2017 is hands down one of the most magical Christmas seasons that we have seen at Disneyland Paris. The entertainment offerings are truly special and the whole look and feel of the season blends seamlessly into the 25th anniversary. This is a wonderful place to build from and Disneyland Paris has cemented itself as the Disney resort to visit during the Christmas season.

Christmas 2017: A Christmas with extra sparkle

Disneyland Paris Christmas 2017 visual

Christmas 2017 at Disneyland Paris is lining up to the extremely special, after the smaller Halloween celebrations questions were being raised about how Disneyland Paris would be treating Christmas especially with the 25th anniversary running at the same time. We did not need to be worried, Christmas 2017 at Disneyland Paris is shaping up to be the best yet!

A Christmas in two parks!

The biggest news is that finally the Walt Disney Studios Park is joining in on the Christmas fun! Goofy will be taking control of the Christmas celebrations in Goofy’s Incredible Christmas which will be an evening projection show on The Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror. The show is looking set to include a range of Christmas themes with some Goofy touches. As Disney Dreams! of Christmas will not be returning this year, this will be your evening fix of festive magic. It’s also looking very probable that you will be able to see both this new Christmas show and Disney Illuminations in the same evening!

There will also be a brand new show coming to the Walt Disney Studios Park called Sing me a Merry Christmas! which will performed multiple times a day and will feature a Christmas sing-a-long featuring many of your favourite Disney Characters. This show sounds like it’ll be very exciting and hopefully full of festive cheer. The Walt Disney Studios park has always been following far behind Disneyland Park when it comes to seasonal celebrations and so it is very pleasing to finally see it come to life.

Finally, Disney Characters will be wearing festive outfits to celebrate the season including Goofy in his Santa costume!

Disneyland Paris Christmas 2017 visual

Disneyland Park hosts a sparkling Christmas

Unlike Halloween where the season was essentially banished from Main Street USA, Christmas will once again fill the entire park and will blend the Christmas that we have come to know and love with some brand new elements that will add that 25th anniversary sparkle to the celebrations.The Disney Christmas Parade is back and will be performing twice per day and will feature all your favourite floats from the previous years and the snow on Main Street USA. Mickey’s Magical Christmas Lights are also back and will see the large Christmas tree be illuminated in song and Disney magic, this is a truly wonderful show that fills guests with the festive spirit. One watch of thing and you’ll know: it’s Christmas. Also back is the ever-fun Frozen sing-a-longthe show is a good laugh the doesn’t take itself too seriously. It certainly is worth seeing on any Disneyland Paris trip.

New additions to the Disneyland Paris Christmas are more exciting than ever. The Castle Stage will be taken over by Stitch for the “A Merry Stitchmas” show. Mickey and the gang will be teaching Stitch the meaning of Christmas in a show of song and dance. This really does sound like it  will be a lot of fun and could encapsulate the meaning of Christmas. The wonderful thing about Happy Anniversary Disneyland Paris has been the number of characters on stage at once, hopefully this new show will see as many characters on stage to delight guests. Another new show is Mickey’s Christmas Big Band, this show sounds very much like the previous big band show in Videopolis but with more in the way of characters. If this show is anything like the previous show then we are in for a treat!

One of the more intriguing events that will be taking place this Christmas is the Enchanted Advent Calendar, this unique event will take place between the 1-25 of December at the foot of Sleeping Beauty Castle. There is very little information on this show that has been released by Disneyland Paris but it sounds very intriguing and if it turns out to be different every day, then it could be one of the most exciting elements of the 2017 Disneyland Paris Christmas.

And of course, the Disney Characters will be there to celebrate the festive season including Marie, Scrooge McDuck, Thumper and Miss Bunny. Additionally Santa Claus will be meeting in Meet Mickey up to and including 25th December. Finally, Miguel from the new Pixar film Coco will be at the Fuente del Oro.

Disney's Christmas Parade at Disneyland Paris

A wonderfully enchanted Christmas 2017

Christmas 2017 at Disneyland Paris will be more magical than ever and is potentially one of the most exciting seasons we have had at Disneyland Paris in recent years. Each Christmas feels as if the park undergoes a transformation and becomes a new park, this year that feeling will be intensified. It’s equally pleasing to see the Walt Disney Studios park joining in the season, there has never been any reason why the seasons couldn’t extend outside of the Disneyland Park, and this is hopefully just the start of a wonderful expansion and a new era of entertainment at Disneyland Paris!

Embracing the Frozen Heart

Olaf during Disney Dreams! of Christmas

In 2013, the Disney Universe was shaken by a new film based on  Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen; a film that Walt Disney himself wanted to make in the earlier days of Disney Animation. Disney, keen to exploit their new film launched a campaign of blitz-marketing across their worldwide resorts in what is possibly the greatest example of synergy ever seen in the company’s history.

On paper, Frozen had everything. Disney were building on the immense popularity of Tangled (2010) with its cute animation scenes; its generic title aimed to appeal to both boys and girls and lyrics written by a big name in the music writing world. Robert and Kristen-Anderson Lopez had already made a name for themselves by writing the lyrics to the hugely successful Avenue Q were but one draw to the music of the new film. The star Idina Menzel joined the cast ensuring that a beautiful voice was behind a multi-dimensional role. Let it Go was to be the song that captured the hearts and minds of audiences worldwide, and it was clear that it would be the case since the Disney Animation Studios presentation at the 2013 D23 Expo in Anaheim, California.

Fast forward to August 2013 and it was revealed that Disneyland Paris would debut a new night-time spectacular for the Christmas Season named Disney Dreams! of Christmas the visual gave a clue as to what we were to expect.

Elsa and Olaf projected onto the castle

In November 2013, Frozen fever was starting to ramp up, despite the fact that nobody had even seen the film; and for once, Disneyland Paris was first. It’s November 8th and Disneyland Paris begins the soft-opening for Disney’s Enchanted Christmas! and the worldwide debut of Anna and Elsa in a Disney Park. Disney Magic on Parade! was significantly enhanced by the modification of the existing princess float which saw Ariel get removed and Anna, Elsa and Olaf added.

Frozen Float, Disney Magic on Parade in Disneyland Paris

The beautiful float sees Anna and Elsa playing in a winter wonderland with Elsa guarding her ice palace on top of the North Mountain. An animatronic Olaf greets guests and allows Anna to interact with another friend from the future film. Girls are greeting the parade with huge cheers whilst wearing Elsa dresses and the Olaf soft-toys were nowhere to be seen. It’s November 8th, the film isn’t released until 6th December 2013. Disney Dreams! of Christmas premieres to the press the following night, a giant Olaf adorns the castle introducing us the the most wonderful time of the year. Elsa (voiced by Idina Menzel) performs Let it Go in a spine-chilling moment, again despite anybody having seen the film in question.

I’m not here to explain the Frozen phenomenon, The New Yorker explains in beautifully but it’s likely we won’t know the real reasons for ten years or so, as Jennifer Lee explains in ABC’s The Story of Frozen: “I can’t wait for them to grow up in 10 years so they can tell us why”. It’s a funny concept, an animated film really has taken over the world and united audiences in a way that only Disney can.

The Frozen invasion was not just occurring in Disneyland Paris, Walt Disney World Resort debuted Anna and Elsa as a meet-and-greet in Epcot’s Norway Pavilion on November 19th 2013; Disney’s California Adventure saw the two debut as a meet-and-greet from November 15th 2013 as well as World of Color: Winter Dreams (a show very similar to Disney Dreams! of Christmas).

Anna - World of Color
Image: Disney

Frozen’s popularity has not slowed down since the December cinema release: Walt Disney World Resort moved Anna and Elsa from Epcot to the Magic Kingdom where queues topped five hours. Frozen’s magic also got added to Disney’s Soundsational Parade in Disneyland Resort, Anaheim as well as to the new Festival of Fantasy in the Magic Kingdom (where Anna debuted her coronation dress). Walt Disney World also added the Frozen Summer Fun celebrations to Disney’s Hollywood Studios Park. The event included a Frozen Sing-a-long, fireworks and a Frozen welcome each morning. Tokyo Disneyland will extend this during the Winter months as Frozen Fantasy will debut in January.

Anna and Elsa
Image: Disney

So, where does this leave Disneyland Paris? Anna and Elsa will once again be front-and-centre of the Christmas celebrations which is no bad thing. But, for the first time they will take over the Princess Pavilion meet-and-greet location offering their fans to meet them in person (it has recently been confirmed that guests will meet both Anna and Elsa)! It is unclear as of yet whether they will take part in the Princess Promenade, but smart money would say that they will be. But what of their appearance on parade? Arendelle fans might be less excited to learn that Disney Magic on Parade! will not be performed during the Christmas season thus cutting down on potential times to just see the princesses should they not appear in the promenade.  Disney Dreams! of Christmas will be returning as Olaf takes us through the season as we, once again, get chills upon hearing Idina Menzel’s mesmerising voice echo around Central Plaza and Main Street USA.

But is this too much Frozen? Can there even be too much Frozen? The short answer is no. Disney are exploiting the pulling power of perhaps their current most profitable IP. It’s wise to market Frozen as being the big draw of the Christmas season – and for most families, it will be. Frozen packs a lot of pulling power in today’s society. Is this Frozen invasion going to impact too much on Disneyland Paris? No. If you wanted to avoid Anna, Elsa and Olaf simply don’t watch the parades or Disney Dreams! of Christmas. Disneyland Paris will still offer the classic, classy, traditional Christmas we are all used to and love. As Disneyland Paris fans and guests, we want more Frozen. As previously mentioned, the pulling power is so great that guests will come just to enjoy a Frozen sing-a-long. Why not take that further and develop the Walt Disney Studios with it? The recent rumoured closure of Animagique could bring a Frozen show, which upon opening would arguably attract the biggest queues in the resort. Further in the future, why not a Frozen ride? Afterall, if Ratatouille deserved a ride, Frozen and Tangled certainly do.

Frozen has its critics, but we cannot all love everything. Embracing the Frozen heart could be the best thing Disneyland Paris fans can do – it has the power to transform the parks and really drive guest attendance as well as providing moving, emotional memories that will stick with us forever; that is the real heart of a Disney holiday anyway.

Anna and Elsa to star in a magical Disneyland Paris Christmas.

Christmas is the most wonderful time of year at Disneyland Paris; and despite it only being late August, the first official details are beginning to emerge. After last year’s Frozen focused Christmas season, the Arendelle sisters are returning to deliver one of Disney’s most spectacular Christmases ever.

As of yet, there is no press release, however the Disneyland Paris website details a few pieces of information about the season:-

Town Square with Christmas Tree in Disneyland Paris

Celebrate amid snow-kissed splendour

Dazzling decorations and Disney Characters offer the warmest of season’s greetings, while the glowing star atop our giant tree grants Magical Christmas Wishes all season long.

Whilst this is mostly marketing-speak for the fact that the park will be decorated and special Disney Character meets will be on the agenda, we do learn that Magical Christmas Wishes is, unsurprisingly, returning this year. The show was a beautiful mix of light and sound delivering the message of Christmas in a near perfect way. The show is short but sweet as Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket narrate a show that is much more than a tree lighting ceremony. 

Catch a festive flight of fancy

Be dazzled as our nighttime spectacular takes a seasonal twist to become Disney Dreams®! of Christmas and find the Frozen princesses illuminated amid its incredible fantasy.

As if you needed any further confirmation, Disney Dreams! of Christmas will be returning after its beautiful first year of operation. The show, which features the OSCAR award winning Let It Go by Idina Menzel, will be performed nightly at park closing time. Marvel as the sounds of Christmas fill the air on Main Street USA and sing along as your favourite Christmas songs come to life. 

Olaf during Disney Dreams! of Christmas

Disney’s Christmas Parade snowballs in size

The season’s biggest parade just got bigger – and tastier! Join this Christmas Celebration as Santa, Mickey and a stocking full of Disney stars flood the street with extra performers and an incredible new Sugar and Spice float.

The Disney Christmas Parade replaces Disney Magic on Parade! for the Christmas season, this parade features a variety of Christmas scenes and characters in festive attire. The magic of Christmas is intensified by the delightfully jolly Christmas music filling the air. The extra Sugar and Spice float will feature Chip and Dale and should take on a food theme. One could only hope that the Frozen sisters can find their way into the parade to provide a beautiful Christmas moment to all their fans. 

The Christmas Cavalcade has a history of including many dancers and performers and to be promised even more points to an even more magical parade experience. Let’s hope that it is multiple times a day, a real draw for the current cavalcade.

 

ALL NEW – Brush up your etiquette for brand new royal encounters

Practice your curtsies for the Princess Promenade and enjoy the first-ever audience with Anna and Elsa from Frozen as they hold court at the Princess Pavilion.

Here is the BIG new addition at Disneyland Paris, following the huge success of Frozen meet-and-greets in American Disney parks, they finally arrive at Disneyland Paris to meet their loyal fans. The Princess Promenade sounds like an exciting event that should allow guests to see all their favourite Disney princesses in front of the castle permitting everyone to enjoy seeing the princesses and take photos of them in a magical location. Anna and Elsa will then go to the Princess Pavilion to meet their fans. We can expect huge queues here as the popular princesses meet-and-greet for, what one would hope to be, the entire day. Expect 3+ hour queues if Rapunzel during the Spring season is anything to go by.

Get snapped with some Disney Christmas stars

Catch up with Santa in his very own chalet* for a photo together before cuddling up to other Christmas-loving Disney Characters, like Minnie and Jack Skellington**, clad in their festive finery.

* Only until December 25th 2014
** from Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas ©Disney

Finally, the confirmation (as if it were needed) that Santa will return along with other Disney Characters in their festive attire. Which is always a beautiful moment to share between families.

Source: DisneylandParis.co.uk

UPDATE: PREPARE FOR MERIDA! 

Disneyland Paris have confirmed that Merida will be meeting near Casey’s Corner in a specially created decor. This will mark Merida’s first ever appearance at Disneyland Paris and proves that this Christmas is certainly not one to be missed.

And check out our Christmas Tracker keeping track of all the Christmas news in bite-size form between now and November 9th

We need a Disney Christmas now…

Mickey and Minnie kissing in front of the castle

During last years Christmas season, Disneyland Paris introduced the new Christmas Cavalcade to huge praise from the Disneyland Paris community. The short parade consisted of three floats, and many many performers along the route.

This year, the Cavalcade has been extended and improved, and whilst the improvement don’t make it feel any more festive (Since it already felt incredibly festive), they do make the parade feel different enough to still call it new for this years season. If you want to experience the Cavalcade, make sure you watch our YouTube video now:

It all begins with my favourite Toy Soliders; these smiley, fun characters were always a joy to see perform, but this year, they have a new leader in Goofy.

The jolly Christmas music fills the air, the emotion of childish happiness fills the air, people begin dancing and skipping. Many characters have been given entirely new costumes for this changed cavalcade, it’s a more subtle Christmas in some respects.
For fans of the Disney characters and parades, these cavalcades provide the perfect opportunity to see many different (Occasionally rare) characters in a short space of time. Such as the surprise inclusion of Mr. and Mrs. Incredible.
Another great feature of this Cavalcade, is the chance to see those seasonal, yet much-loved characters such as the Gingerbread Men.
The new-found trend in the Cavlacades that Disneyland Paris has begun to produce is a high quality parade, with a lack of dead space, by ‘dead space’ I mean from the moment the first dancer arrives at your location, to the moment the final dancer leaves, there is no blank space. These are spectacularly filled with fun, happy dancers; something that really gives the parade a feel good factor.
The grand finale has changed from the core Disney characters of last year, to Santa Claus passing through with some very special young ducks.
As I have already alluded to, I am a huge fan of these new Cavalcades introduced to the park, they really help fill up Disneyland Park’s daily schedule. I really hope they continue to grow into something even more perfect in the years to come.

Disney’s Enchanted Christmas runs from the 10th November 2013 until the 6th January 2014. The Christmas Cavalcade runs three times daily during this period. Check the programme available at the Park entrances for exact timings.

Believing in the power of a wish

Christmas tree in town square lit up.

Quand on prie la bonne étoile, La Fée bleu secoue son voile, anything thing your heart desires will come to you. 

One of the highlights of this years festive offering at Disneyland Paris is the Magical Christmas Wishes show which is performed twice per night in Town Square in Disneyland Park. Let’s take a step back and set up the scene, night has fallen on Main Street USA; the magical new Christmas tree with its many colours has been plunged into darkness. As crowds gather in and around Town Square, something magic is about to happen.

The lights turn off, the entire street is put into darkness, but we soon begin to find the lights on the tree and meet our master of ceremony Jiminy Cricket and Pinocchio, as we learn about the power of wishes, the tree becomes a screen on multicoloured lights in a changing formation. The whole show is technically brilliant, but you don’t need me to tell you that, rather I’d prefer you to experience it for yourself, either in person or via our YouTube video.

What is particularly strong about this show is the many different colours and effects that have been used, it is impossible to not get that tingling sensation down your spine when that final reprise of ‘O Christmas Tree’ comes over the speakers as the mesmerizing effect of the tree takes effect on the guests who have gathered to watch the spectacle. As a package, the show has evolved totally from what was experienced in recent years, which mostly involved singing characters and a child lighting up the tree (which was a nice touch). Whilst this made a nice show, there was one element that was against it, and that was it’s one-dimensional nature (from a viewing perspective). This show allows guests to experience it from multiple angles, 360 degrees to be precise; not having characters or a ‘focal point’ (That isn’t a tree) means that the spherical nature of the tree can properly be exploited to magical effect. The experience changes from place to place, see it in Town Square, and you’ll certainly see the tree (no child on shoulders needed!) and you might even see the garlands too. Stand mid-way down Main Street and the show will feel even more like a 360 degree show as the garlands join in on the act further into the show, the colour changing to reflect the show really is a perfect touch.

As a viewer, things don’t get better than this show, as a technical fan this show is a real marvel. To see the baubles and stars light up in synchronisation is nothing short of a marvel. This show will continue to marvel audiences for as long as it runs, and lets hope that it does for a very long time.

Disney’s Enchanted Christmas runs from the 10th November 2013 until the 6th January 2014. Magical Christmas Wishes is performed twice daily during this time, consult your daily program for more information, including show times.

Let the Festive Fantasy commence!

Night on Main Street with the Christmas tree and garlands illuminated

Christmas is the most wonderful time of year in Disneyland Paris. It’s a time that both parks get involved with, and evidence of the season can be seen in multiple places around the resort. Perhaps this season, more than any of recent years, the celebration this year has seen a bit of an overhaul and has grown up somewhat.

What is certain though is that Disney’s Enchanted Christmas offers something for everyone. Last weekend (November 9th and 10th 2013), the Christmas celebrations were presented to the press, following a day of soft openings. This has given ample time for fans to sit and digest what the new features are, and formulate opinions; which at the moment are overwhelmingly positive. Perhaps what is striking about this Christmas is the integration of the newest Disney Animation Studio’s film Frozen. The film has not even been released in cinemas, and yet the characters are on their new Disney Magic on Parade float and can be seen in Disney Dreams of Christmas. Compare this to last Christmas where Wreck it Ralph was nowhere to be seen in Disneyland Paris (and still isn’t), other than in merchandising.

Image: Disney

As one walks into Main Street USA, the sights and sounds of Christmas immediately flood the air. Gone is the usual ragtime loop, and in comes the warm sound of classical Christmas carols. Main Street Station is appropriately dressed for the occasion, images of classic Disney characters appear in a snowy Christmas settings. Garlands adorn the station and glisten in the evening sky. The beauty of Disney’s Enchanted Christmas is immediate, before the new Christmas tree even comes into sight.
The new Christmas tree in Disneyland Paris stands tall and proud in Town Square, towering over Main Street. Everything about this tree is new, and will excite guests of all ages. The new ornaments look classy, yet maintain the Disney touch. Perhaps this tree is more striking at night when the lights come on. This is not a ‘simple’ tree; the lights aren’t ‘on or off’. This tree is at the height of technology, the colours change and light formations alter in the new Christmas tree lighting ceremony Magical Christmas Wishes. This show centres around wishing upon a Christmas star with Jiminy Cricket and Pinocchio, when we wish upon a Christmas star all our dreams come true in this spectacular light, sound and snow show.

Disneyland Paris has once again found its festive overlay for the winter season, the garlands above Main Street are the obvious highlight, the ooze class and the classic Christmases whilst maintaining their Disney nature. What is amazing this year about those garlands is how they react to the Magical Christmas Wishes show, and to Disney Dreams of Christmas. These shows have suddenly become much more immersive, and Disneyland Paris is much better because of it. Other decorations include the return of the snow men to Central Plaza and Christmas shop windows. Various Disney characters are doing meet and greets in special Christmas dress including Duffy the Disney Bear at the Boarding House, Winnie the Pooh near Casey’s Corner; and for the first time Sandy Claws will be at Jack and Sally’s Cemetery, and various Disney characters will be waiting for you whilst you wait to see Santa Claus at Father Christmas Village in Frontierland.

Image: Disney

In Fantasyland, It’s a Small World Celebration returns for yet another year; discover how different cultures all across the globe celebrate the holiday seasons whilst being enchanted by fabulous seasonal carols being mixed into that very familiar, well-loved, piece of music.
Paris last year, it was made very clear that is was just the beginning of a larger piece of work. This is evident the moment the parade arrives in vision this year, the cavalcade has grown and evolved into something even more beautiful than in previous years. The music begins, and it’s instantly Christmas. The new floats (and the rearranged previous floats) looks superb. The parade floats match the change in Christmas atmosphere, the Christmas tree is represented (take a moment to look at the float, and the tree), there are new characters on the parade route and many more dancers. Making this superb parade even more impressive.

What can be said about Disney Dreams of Christmas that has not already been said, this beautiful new spectacle of a show will be on the castle each day at park closing time until January 6th 2014. It is a version of Disney Dreams that makes us dream of Christmas. It makes us laugh, and cry, it entertains us, it marvels us. Disney Dreams of Christmas is a real success of a show, and hands down the best piece of Christmas entertainment in Europe. Read our thoughts on the show in this dedicated article. (And our friends thoughts at Dedicated to DLP)

The 2013/14 Christmas season at Disneyland Paris is huge, bigger than one article can hold for all the details, it’s a spectacular looking event and feels totally re-imagined this year. Many Disneyland Paris fans will be heading to the magic this Christmas, and we wish you a magical time. Christmas at Disneyland Paris is where magical family memories are made, what will your memories be?

Disney’s Enchanted Christmas runs from November 10th 2013 until January 6th 2014. Disney Dreams of Christmas runs nightly at park closure. Consult the programme in the parks for full times during your trip.
DLP Town Square will be LIVE in Disneyland Paris on the 23rd and 24th November. Follow us on Twitter for live updates, and to request photos.  – I’ll be posting follow-up articles after the trip detailing the festivities with pictures and videos.

Once upon a Christmas Dream…

Olaf on the snowy Disneyland Paris castle

As Disney Dreams! began to be talked about more and more, it was revealed that the nature of the show allowed for scenes to be taken in and out. This lead to speculation of seasonal changes for various holidays. This of course has happened over the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, where the show Celebrate the Magic frequently receives additional scenes for various holidays.

Then, the day came. It was announced that Disney Dreams of Christmas would not be an additional scene, rather an entire twenty-minute show all to itself. This was further hyped by Disney’s California Adventure in Anaheim’s announcement of a Winter Dreams! show as a festive version of World of Color. A few weeks later, an image appeared of the Disney Dreams! creative team standing outside London’s Abbey Road studios.

Various visuals surfaced, including visuals of Tinkerbell superimposed on the castle, and that of Anna and Elsa. Disney Dreams of Christmas was beginning to take shape in our minds; and on the castle itself as programming really got under way.

On Friday 8th November, Cast Members got a sneak peek of the show in its entirety and on Saturday 9th November, the lucky invited press (and Disneyland Paris bloggers!) got to see the show. Obviously the show leaked online almost immediately. After careful deliberation, and consultation with my twitter followers, I decided to watch the show on YouTube. Wow. I was rendered speechless immediately following the show. After a second viewing, I felt much more able to bring myself to post a reaction.
My reactions are posted here, scene by scene. Of course, a huge SPOILER WARNING is to be placed on the rest of this article.

Opening: The show opens with a chilling, festive version of Carol of the Bells, as the music gets grander, and more festival magic scene is unveiled before our eyes, as we move into our first featured film of the show: Fantasia. In snowflakes, various classic Disney scenes are represented, with some more traditional friends taking centre stage: Mickey, Donald and Goofy.
What is so fantastic about this scene is the transition from the initial, quiet calm and peaceful Christmas to the grander, importance of the event. As the scene moved from the 0 second mark, it gradually built up the pace and the anticipation of what was to follow.

Introducing Christmas: Our host for the evening is introduced, a Disney favourite already (and his film isn’t even out yet), Olaf. The castle is beautifully lit and projected onto, in fact a more perfect lighting of the castle will be incredibly hard to find. The use of projections and Christmas ice castle lights here is perfect. As in Disney Dreams!, a secondary character is used in order to translate Olaf’s speech into French, in this show Anna is used.This section is used to introduce the character, and Christmas in general. The projections onto the castle looks beautiful, and the song choice is good. We then move into another featured film, Bambi. It’s only a short clip, but manages to fit the context very well and transitions well into Mickey, Minnie and Donald.The transition projections worked very well to a radically changing type of music and theme.

Frozen (Let it go): This is the emotional piece of the show. Elsa (Idina Menzel) sings Let it Go from the upcoming Disney Animation Studios film Frozen. Perhaps this section is slightly too short, but the projection and pyrotechnic effects look fantastic. It really does help build hype for the film, and I really felt an emotional connection to the piece; which ultimately is a sign of a job well done.

It’s a Small World: It was quite comical to see Olaf in 2D animation on a Christmas card. The idea of seeing how Christmas is celebrated across the world is a fantastic idea, especially here in Europe where we have many different cultures visiting one park. It really felt like a nice educational, yet entertaining section. The music here tugged at my heartstrings, as did the meaning of the segment, which was that of peace, the word appearing in multiple languages on the castle affected me in a way that I didn’t imagine it world do. The animation style obviously matched that of the It’s a Small World attraction.

Toy Story Nutcracker: The big comedy section of the show, which was clearly designed for laughs. And laughs it got. I felt this was timed quite well after what was a heavily sentimental and meaningful section. It was introduced by the second star becoming the ‘wishing star’.
After a short introduction segment by the Toy Story characters (ripped right from the Toy Story 3 teaser trailer), it was time to launch straight into the Nutcracker. What pleasantly surprised me was the various uses of the music, which I found to be very clever.
As Woody and Jessie dance together, the traditional Nutcracker suite gets a country feel to it. It was the middle segment which sent me into tears of laughter. Seeing the little green aliens and Rex dancing to the suite was hilariously funny.

Spanish Buzz and Jessie appeared which featured the visual highlight of this segment with its castle projections. The segment ended with the Toy Story characters leaping in slow motion across the castle, this is sure to delight guests day after day during this Christmas season.

Jingle Bells Sing-a-long: For me this was the highlight of the show. I can easily visualise families singing along to this each night. What I found striking was the use of pyrotechnics; the way they were used with this particular arrangement of Jingle Bells made the entire piece feel grand (which is should do, as in a sense it is the shows finale), and adds excitement. The use of language also impressed me, quite often things in Disneyland Paris are presented in either French or English; this section of the show was presented in many different languages promoting learning languages whilst providing guests from each nation to sing their bit just that little bit louder. We finally meet Santa Claus, the music begins to build and we see our favourite characters in baubles, whilst pyrotechnics are going off. (Much like the Disney Dreams! finale). Suddenly LED lights begin to turn on in the trees in Central Plaza, and on the garlands on Main Street USA. Disney Dreams! has finally become a 360 degree show, lights can be seen in all directions, the show has literally jumped from a castle show, to incorporating all of Main Street.

Post-Show: The pyrotechnics have gone off, the projections have finished. The castle has gone black. But wait… there’s more. In an incredible post show twist, Disney have saved some of the best projections. Olaf reminds us to make sure we’ve got all our belongings. Colour fills the castle and street, it’s become a celebration. Then, the lights turn on and it’s all over for another night.

Overall thoughts: The music used is simply stunning. I cannot think of a better arrangement of classic Christmas songs (mostly used in links) to suit the show more.
The film Frozen is not yet out in cinemas, Disney have obviously realised this and introduced all the characters in a very easy to understand way, meaning that none of the show is lost on the audience from Day 1.
The projection effects even outperform those featured in Disney Dreams!, the teams who have worked on the show deserve a huge congratulations.

Once again, by launching Disney Dreams of Christmas, Disneyland Paris have affirmed themselves as a world leader in seasonal celebrations. This is one show we’ll be enjoying for years to come. Isn’t it great to not just be on the map, but leading the game?

Disney’s Enchanted Christmas runs from November 10th 2013 until January 6th 2013. Disney Dreams of Christmas will run nightly at closing time.

First glimpse of Disney Dreams of Christmas

Elsa and Olaf projected onto the castle

Having tried to stay away from spoilers posted on twitter by @DLPTreasures (Whose new blog I do recommend you read by clicking here), I finally gave in. I saw his photos and was blown away by the entire new show, whilst not a surprise the quality seems high and I think we can be expecting a real treat this Christmas. Now, as you know I’m a bit of a fan of the festive season at Disneyland Paris (I’ve been keeping a tracker since the site launched in July!). Today, Disneyland Paris finally released a 1 minute trailer featuring footage from the show, which I certainly recommend you take a look at. But, as I tried to avoid spoilers, and I know some of you are also trying, I’m attaching a SPOILER ALERT to this post from this point onwards, as I will try to ‘dissect’ this promotional video.

The first clear image we see are the Toy Soldiers marching perhaps as part of the promised Toy Story
Nutcracker sequence since these toys are traditionally linked to this very famous piece of music.
To me, one of the most interesting (and perhaps exciting) pieces on this video was a small snapshot of Mickey and Minnie ice skating through a wintery scene, depending on the length could we claim this as Mickey’s first real Disney Dreams appearance (and yes, I am aware he features briefly in the Be Our Guest segment of the normal show), but also making an appearance will be chip and dale and the 101 dalmatians.

Obviously we can expect Frozen to take a reasonably large part in this incarnation of Disney Dreams, especially with Olaf featuring as the main character in the way that Shadow is represented in Disney Dreams! There also seems to be elements of a more traditional Christmas as a toy train appears on the castle snaking around.
Perhaps the star of this show will be the aforementioned Toy Story nutcracker sequence, which from the clips shown in this video looks to be spectacular (in perhaps a similar way to Never had a friend like me is currently). Steve Davison appears on the video and tells us to expect scenes from Fantasia, 101 Dalmatians and Frozen in additional to ones that have already been rumoured such as Bambi.
As Santa Claus himself wraps up the video, we can safely say the show looks fantastic and that it will be a unmissable feature of the Disneyland Paris Christmas season for years to come. Personally, I cannot wait for those first videos to appear on YouTube and to be blown away, and I know many of you feel the same way.

Frozen Disney Dreams! coming this winter.

Elsa and Olaf projected onto the castle
It’s news that has been a long time coming, despite the continued rumours, and news of a Winter Dreams

world of Color show, Disneyland Paris has been tight-lipped about what was coming to Disneyland Paris this winter. Well, no longer as Olaf presents an exciting, totally new Disney Dreams! just for you this Christmas. Meet new friends from the Disney Animation Studios film Frozen, as well as discovering your current friends presenting a Toy Story twist on a celebrated classic: The Nutcracker. Amongst all that new Disney Dreams! fun, you also have the exciting new additions to the Disneyland Paris line up. Meet Anna and Elsa in a new parade float, and marvel at the utterly wonderful Christmas Cavalcade.
If you are in Disneyland Paris this Christmas (10th November – 6th January), you are in for an exciting adventure.

This news shouldn’t come to a shock to those who follow us on twitter, when we tweeted this photo in early August

The Disney Dreams! development team visited London’s Abbey Road studios to record the soundtrack at the same time as Steve Davidson confirmed he was there working on Winter Dreams (World of Color).

And we saw this image in the Autumn/Winter brochure a few months ago.

This news has certainly got me even more excited, Disneyland Paris fans have long been longing for a treat of this size and here it is.

Update 30/08/2013: Christmas Dreams! will include scenes from Frozen, Toy Story, Fantasia and Bambi according to the French Disneyland Paris Christmas press release. Not going during Halloween? Huey, Dewie and Louie will also be in the Christmas Cavalade. Santa Claus will also head the Disney Magic on Parade! as well as the Christmas cavalcade. Our new Christmas Tree is now confirmed and will be replaced with a 25 meter high tree decorated with thousands of decorations from around the world, which every night will be illuminated in a special lighting ceremony named “Les Voeux Magiques de Noel” (literally translated to: Thr Magical Wishes of Christmas) headed by Pinocchio and his conscience Jiminy Cricket

Where will we be this Christmas? With any luck we’ll be in Disneyland Paris! How are we getting there, and how are we paying for it? Well, that remains to be seen. Any ideas anyone?   We’ll keep you updated on our progress on that one!

Dreams! images are copyright Disney.

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