Disneyland Paris 2018: The year that changed everything

Walt Disney Studios Park - Redevelopment concept art

2018

The year everything changed

2018 has been a mammoth year for Disneyland Paris. We’ve had a €2 billion expansion of the Walt Disney Studios Park announced, the inaugural Marvel Summer of Super Heroes season and the unexpected success of the Festival of Pirates and Princesses. Let’s take a look back at the year in the 2018 DLP Town Square year in review. 

January 2018

The Force returned in the second edition of Star Wars: Season of the Force. This year saw the addition of new characters including Rey, it also saw the addition of an all-new celebration of the vehicles of Star Wars in a large exhibition that took place throughout the Walt Disney Studios Park. 

February 2018

Snow filled the resort for much of February 2018, but as the resort transformed into a Winter Wonderland, a bigger transformation was being announced. The €2 billion Walt Disney Studios expansion project was announced by Bob Iger and, French President, Emmanuel Macron at the Elysée Palace. The expansion will see Paris’ second gate double in size with attractions based on Star Wars, Frozen and Marvel. 

March 2018

The first ever Annual Pass party took place in the Walt Disney Studios Park; the event, exclusive to the Infinity Annual Pass, was entered around the 10th anniversary of The Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror. 

Disneyland Paris also celebrated International Women’s Day with special events scattered throughout the park. 

Festival of Pirates and Princesses
The Festival of Pirates and Princesses exploded with colour during the Spring of 2018. With its iconic dance routines, the festival very quickly became a fan favourite - so much so that guests are once again invited to choose their sides from January to March 2019.

April 2018

The Festival of Pirates and Princesses was taking the Disneyland Paris world by storm. But also enjoyed during this month was an all-new pre-show to Disney Illuminations inspired by the Disney Nature film: Blue, this pre-show was performed before Illuminations each night throughout the month. 

May 2018

The new InsidEars platform was launched to Disneyland Paris influencers during a special event entitled ‘InsidEars Ready! 2018’. Throughout the night a number of announcements were made including the arrival of Mickey’s Philharmagic and the vital refurbishment of Ratatouille: l’aventure totalement toquée de Rémy (later cancelled). 

Disney FanDaze
The party of the year was the Disney FanDaze Inaugural Party. Everything was curated especially for the fans including Imagineering panels, shows with long-lost friends, and exclusive meet and greet with extremely rare characters.

June 2018

June was perhaps the most exciting month of 2018 for in-park events. Disneyland Paris launched the Marvel Summer of Super Heroes to the press, and to guests. 

The Disney FanDaze inaugural party also took place in June and was live-streamed across the world. 

Marvel Summer of Super Heroes
Swinging into Disneyland Paris in the Summer of 2018 was the Marvel Summer of Super Heroes. This 3 month event allowed guests to salute Captain America, dance with Star Lord and eat some extra special snacks.

July 2018

Another busy summer month for Disneyland Paris as the resort hosts Electroland, the Ant-Man and the Wasp premiere, the second Annual Pass party entered around the Marvel Universe (or, that was the intention…). 

The ever-popular food festival, the Rendez-Vous Gourmand made its return to the resort in a new expanded form with foods and drinks from across Europe. 

August 2018

The long Summer season continued, August saw for the second annual Disney PhotoPass day. PhotoPass Day is a day that now features more PhotoPass photographers across the park, many of whom are accompanied by special rare characters. 

September 2018

The 25th anniversary came to an end with a spectacular Annual Pass party held in the Walt Disney Studios Park. The resort also hosted special guided tours that highlighted the resort’s heritage in the Journées de Patrimoine. 

Later in the month the Disneyland Paris Magic Run Weekend returned with 3 special races themed around the Disney Villains. To round out the month, the very first Disney Loves Jazz party took place in the Walt Disney Studios Park, the night featured a spectacular concert with big name Jazz stars. 

Halloween
Halloween 2018 took things up a notch with it's Country-Rock anthem 'Great Big Year'. The focus on the season was a super-sized stage show that celebrated Mickey's 90th birthday, the season and Phantom Manor.

October 2018

October 1st 2018 was a big day in Disneyland Paris: Halloween started, but so did the Mickey 90 festivities and Mickey’s Philharmagic. 

Philharmagic replaced the former Star Wars: Path of the Jedi (and previously, Captain EO) in the Discoveryland Theatre and has been a moderate hit with guests. 

The giant cupcakes came to life with the Cupcake Sisters, one for each land for Mickey Mouse’s 90th birthday.

The World's Biggest Mouse Party
Mickey and Minnie turned 90 during November 2018, and that needs a party! Disneyland Paris's Mouse Party did misfire in a few places, but the 'Surprise Mickey' stage show was one of the most delightful pieces of entertainment we've seen in years.

November 2018

The Mickey 90 festivities ramped up in November with exclusive merchandise making an appearance. The day itself (November 18th) was marked by a number of special items on the shelves, but no festivities in the park (or button badge). 

Christmas 2018 was launched to much fanfare, this year the season is boosted with more magic in shows like Mickey’s Christmas Big Band and Goofy’s Incredible Christmas. 

Christmas
Christmas is always a special time of year in the resort - no other park manages to do it quite as well as Disneyland Paris - and this year was no exception! With special touches for Mickey's 90th all around, this was the biggest, and merriest, Christmas celebration ever!

December 2018

The new Disneyland Paris TV spot was launched on Christmas Day on TV sets across Europe – and the world’s hearts melted as we fell in love with a duckling meeting his hero in Disneyland Paris. 

The Mickey 90 Annual Pass event also took place with special shows and character meet and greet opportunities. 

2018 was a for Disneyland Paris

2018 was the year of the hard ticket event at Disneyland Paris. But that’s not to say that those who didn’t book tickets to these festivities were not entertained, there was a boosted entertainment presence across the resort – something we’ve been needing for years. The 25th Anniversary has now been and gone, in its place are new original shows and experiences and the park is very much all the better for them. 

For attraction fans, our prayers have indeed been answered with a large investment which will fix the Walt Disney Studios Park, whilst we may need to have a lot of patience yet, it is coming and it is promising to be spectacular!

Ready for

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Review: Season of the Force 2018

In 2017, Season of the Force made its debut in Disneyland Paris. The season was centred in the Walt Disney Studios Park and was widely regarded as a success by both fans and regular guests. In 2018, the season made its welcome return and featured activities in the Walt Disney Studios park and a number of (year-round) Star Wars attractions in Disneyland Park that were closed for refurbishment during the 2017 season.

Boosted returning features

The main features of Season of the Force were in fact the same as last year with shows including Star Wars: A Galaxy far, far, awayStar Wars: A Galactic Celebration and First Order March. These events are slightly modified this year either to take into account Star Wars: The Last Jedi, to increase the presence of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story or to take best advantage of increased technology installed in the park since last year. These additions blended seamlessly into the shows and indeed sometimes allowed for parts of the shows to be reworked, the result was a more enjoyable show which takes better advantage of new additions to the saga that have proven to be so popular.

X-Wing in Disneyland Paris for Season of the Force

In the two main stage shows, Rey finally makes an appearance as a character on-stage which really does allow for Disneyland Paris to take advantage of this incredibly popular (and important) character in the saga. Also added were the Death Troopers from Rogue One which look incredible.

The First Order March has seen a significant boost in Stormtroopers parading which is also very welcome as last year was in some ways lacking in that department (although the show was still fantastic to watch). This has the added bonus of allowing more guests a better view of more Stormtroopers. The main element of the show has not been significantly changed and is still short although enjoyable (particularly when paired with Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far, Away which can take place just 2-3 minutes later).

First Order March at Disneyland Paris Season of the Force

Amazing decorations

Perhaps the biggest addition this year (both literally and metaphorically) is the addition of Star Wars vehicles in the Walt Disney Studios park. Words cannot emphasise how big some of these vehicles are; the Tie Fighter which hangs over the exit of Studio 1 is especially impressive and has a distinct wow factor, especially when paired up with the X-Wing which faces it. These vehicles are all fan creations, but the level of detail and quality is exceptionally strong.

Tie Fighter - Disneyland Paris Season of the Force

A special mention must go to the fact that Disneyland Paris has not forgotten Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in the exhibition of vehicles, these little touches and explanatory plaques were a lovely surprise for the season and we can only hope that they return next year.

Combat Assault Tank - Rouge One Disneyland Paris

Star Wars: Also in Disneyland Park

Whilst not ‘special’ for Season of the Force it must be mentioned that this year Star Wars has a presence in Disneyland Park. Unfortunately this was lacking last year due to the refurbishment of Star Tours and Hyperspace Mountain, we have also seen the addition of Darth Vader at Starport and Star Wars being included in Disney Illuminations. Whilst these additions are not special for Season of the Force, they do enhance the Star Wars presence in the resort and so can only be a positive for any Star Wars fans planning a trip.

Star Tours in Disneyland Paris

Looking forward to 2019

With Disneyland Paris focusing on these exciting seasonal events, it is quite likely that Season of the Force will return for a new round in 2019, it can also be assumed that Disneyland Paris will be tweaking what things during the preparation time as we run up to January 2019. The big missing thing from Season of the Force is the distinct lack of Star Wars character meet and greets; it is true that Darth Vader and Stormtroopers can be met, but we are missing characters from the new trilogy and any characters from the Light Side. We can only hope that this is something that Disneyland Paris can work on to win some easy points next year.

Final thoughts

Season of the Force is a very fun season that grows year on year, this year the modifications and additions are very strong. The season has a firm base on the Disneyland Paris calendar and it can only be hoped that it continues to grow and boost the appetite for Star Wars in Disneyland Paris in the years to come.

Is 2018 the most exciting Disneyland Paris year yet?

Happy New Year! And with each New Year period, it’s time to both reflect on the year that has passed but perhaps more fun is to be excited for what lies ahead. For Disneyland Paris, 2018 is set to be perhaps one of the most exciting yet with seasons based on our favourite heroes; galactic warriors and wonderful princesses and dazzling pirates, and that’s not forgetting that it will still be time to sparkle! 2018 is set to be the most exciting year yet for Disneyland Paris!

Saving the galaxy – Season of the Force 2018!

Season of the Force is back on January 13th 2018 for another year of intergalactic fun! Last year’s season was a pleasant surprise and the success of last year will be built upon for 2018. The highlights are back including Star Wars: A Galactic Celebration, the charming and thrilling night time spectacular in the Walt Disney Studios park. This show will be updated to include scenes from the new edition of the Star Wars saga and builds on the huge success of last year. Additionally, there will be a celebration of famous vehicles from the saga with an exhibition from the 501st legion.

Star Wars: A Galactic Celebration
The 2017 edition of Season of the Force made a usually quiet period more active and desirable to visit. Whilst the criticisms of 2017 included that the celebration was small, this year sees some growth and the addition of Star Wars themed attractions in Disneyland Park (which were closed for the duration of the season last year). This truly is becoming one not to miss.

Swashbuckle and Sparkle Princesses – Festival of Pirates and Princesses

The new addition to the 2018 roster at Disneyland Paris involves the Festival of Pirates and Princesses; whilst we still don’t have a lot of information on the season, we do know that there will be a big show on Central Plaza that will involve both Pirates and Princesses. There will also be some themed meet and greets for the season.

Pirates and Princesses logo

This season will take place from late March until May 2018 and will provide a nice filler between Season of the Force and the Superhero spectacular of the summer.

Be dazzled by Disney FanDaze

The item on some Disney fan’s agenda will be Disney FanDaze, we’re still finding out more information about this exciting evening of entertainment but it is already shaping up to be one of the most memorable in the history of Disneyland Paris. This is an evening that is all about fan service of the highest degree, be it classic Disney characters or an evening of attractions and imagineering presentations, this evening will be one to satisfy all Disneyland Paris fans.

The Disney FanDaze Characters

This special evening will take place during the first weekend of June 2018 in the Walt Disney Studios park.

Save the world! – Marvel Summer of Superheroes

Perhaps the most exciting new event of 2018 will be the Marvel Summer of Superheroes, this special summer of unique entertainment will take place in the Walt Disney Studios park and will see a unique show take centre stage in the Studio Theatre (formerly home to Cinémagique), a dance party and much more.

Marvel Summer of Heroes at Disneyland Paris poster

Marvel fans will want to keep an eye on all Disneyland Paris news in 2018 as the Disney’s Hotel New York closes to begin making way to the new Marvel-themed hotel. This special summer will take place from June until September 2018.

Fan favourites return – Halloween and Christmas

One of the stapes of the Disneyland Paris year are the Halloween and Christmas celebrations. In 2017 we saw changes in both celebrations, and it remains to be seen how this will develop in 2018. Halloween should grow back onto Main Street USA once again as this year it was moved entirely into Frontierland (in order for Main Street to celebrate the 25th anniversary). Christmas 2017 saw a large scale growth, 2018 should see some changes to the offering and hopefully further growth into the Walt Disney Studios Park.

Christmas Main Street USA at Disneyland Paris

A sparkling finale – 25th anniversary

The 25th anniversary has enchanted guests since March 2017, however on September 9th 2018 it must end. Until then we can still enjoy all the special entertainment that has been created for this unique celebration from Disney Illuminations, to Disney Stars on Parade via the two new castle stage shows.

It has been an amazing celebration, and one we can only hope that will be matched by whatever comes next following its conclusion.

A key refurbishment – Phantom Manor

Perhaps the most intriguing thing to come from Disneyland Paris this year will not be the seasonal celebrations (as enjoyable as they are), it will be this key refurbishment. Phantom Manor is a staple of Disneyland Paris, that attraction that you can’t miss on any visit (although, there are quite a few of those), and in January 2018 it will close for a period of time for a complete refurbishment. We have no precise re-opening time frame as of yet, all we do know is that the similar refurbishments recently have been of an exceptional quality.

Time will tell what is being reimagined at this highlight attraction, but it’ll be intriguing to know more.

2018 will be unmissable – will you be there?

2018 is going to be another stellar year for Disneyland Paris in which there will truly be something for every type of guest. What are you most looking forward to? Do drop a comment and let me know.

Otherwise, may I take a moment to wish you a very happy new year and all the best for 2018. I hope you have the best year yet!

 

2017 at Disneyland Paris in photos

2017 has been a year rich in emotions. From Season of the Force to Disney’s Enchanted Christmas, there has been no shortage of things to see and do during this 25th anniversary year. Memories are always stoked by photo and video media, and so perhaps the best way to tell the story (and the highlights) of the year is through a collection of photographs. To find out everything that 2017 offered, read this month-by-month review.

 

Here are some of my favourite memories of 2017, and I hope some of your highlights are included as well.

Main Street USA as seen from the Castle Club lounge

 

The Agrabah Café at Disneyland Paris

 

Star Wars: A Galactic Celebration, part of Season of the Force at Disneyland Paris

 

Disney Magic on Parade in February 2017 at Disneyland Paris

 

Sleeping Beauty Castle during the 25th anniversary at Disneyland Paris

 

The Grand Celebration Parade at Disneyland Paris, April 12th 2017

 

Maleficent during Disney Stars on Parade at Disneyland Paris

 

Tangled scene in Forest of Enchantment at Disneyland Paris

 

Disney Illuminations at Disneyland Paris

 

Halloween at Disneyland Paris in 2017

 

Goofy's Skeletoon Party at DIsneyland Paris during Halloween 2017

 

Disney Christmas Parade at Disneyland Paris

 

Mickey's Christmas Big Band at Disneyland Paris

 

Pirates of the Caribbean at DIsneyland Paris

 

2017 was full of amazing memories, 2018 will be full of even more memories. Have a wonderful New Year’s Eve and I look forward to talking to you in 2018!

How will our perception of Disneyland Paris change in 2017

A lot will be happening at Disneyland Paris in 2017. That much we already know; the indisputable event of 2017 will be the 25th anniversary of the resort, but other exciting developments will also be taking place such as Season of the Force and an expanded Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend.

But rather than asking the straight forward question of what is coming up which you can read in countless places and on social media, the better question is what will change in our minds. Disneyland Paris fans have become increasingly optimistic over the direction of the resort, but niggling doubts and negativity remains. And in the wider Disney parks community Disneyland Paris is still seen in some circles as the ugly duckling. But will that change over 2017?

Disneyland Paris is gaining in reputation

The answer to the above question is, undoubtedly. Each year and with each piece of news that Disneyland Paris releases the reputation of Disney’s European outpost increases. This is true not only with local fans but with the international segment as well. Returning to the 20th anniversary and fan appreciation of Disneyland Paris was at an all time low.

Since then Disneyland Paris has opened Ratatouille, launched a large scale refurbishment plan and swapped out annual celebrations and opted to run shorter seasonal celebrations which ensured guests experienced something very different on each visit.

This has worked, Disneyland Paris fans are consistently praising the work of those leading the parks and the quality of the refurbishments and new additions.

The big event!

This year all eyes will be on Disneyland Paris which will shortly be celebrating its 25th anniversary. The celebration is almost unprecedented, two new attractions, a new nightly evening spectacular, a brand new parade and a few new shows and happenings. On top of all of this there will be, presumably, some form of decoration in the park to create a festive atmosphere.

Disneyland Paris 25th anniversary decoration design
Decoration mock ups for the 25th anniversary

It is very difficult to imagine that Disneyland Paris emerges from this monumental event without its reputation in both the press and online communities increasing.

Season of the Force

The other big push at the moment is Season of the Force. Disneyland Paris has always suffered in the winter months after the Christmas season. Whilst many take advantage of the cheaper rates, many are put off by the colder weather meaning that the parks can be very quiet indeed.

To combat this, Disneyland Paris has launched the Season of the Force. This Star Wars themed celebration will attract many guests from a previously untapped demographic. We already know that this celebration shall be returning in the 2018 winter period, and next year will also boast Star Tours and the upcoming meet and greet in Discoveryland – Season of the Force may well be the first big celebration to span both parks!

Season of the Force team photo
Season of the Force team photo in Walt Disney Studios at Disneyland Paris

Beautiful refurbishments

The “Project Sparkle” refurbishment plan is scheduled to end this summer when Pirates of the Caribbean reopens. This schedule has been tough for fans with some key attractions closed for months at a time; the rewards of this, however, are marvellous.

Fan favourites are returning with increased colour and magic and the park genuinely is looking “as-new”. Painting a ride may seem trivial to some, but to fans it is greatly appreciated and is noticeable.

Disneyland Paris once had a reputation of being the ugly duckling of Disney resorts, but no longer. 2017 will be the year that everyone will take notice and look to book a trip.

Walt Disney Imagineering

Now for the negatives. I cannot ignore the change of Space Mountain into Hyperspace Mountain. Here’s the problem, I see this more as a reflection on WDI than Disneyland Paris – although the blame will, perhaps unfairly, land on the shoulders of the resort itself.

The reasoning is clear, Star Wars is popular and it sells. It’s easy to understand the commercial decision behind this swap and it makes commercial sense. However Disney parks have always been about more than pure commercial elements. We love the parks because of the story they tell, story is king – theoretically.

Hyperspace Mountain poster
The poster for Hyperspace Mountain which will open in Disneyland Paris in Spring 2017

As I have said, however, I feel this is a wider direction for Walt Disney Imagineering as similar switches have occurred in other parks (to Hyperspace Mountain as a seasonal change and the Tower of Terror change to a Guardians of the Galaxy attraction which is permanent.

A transformative year… and the best is yet to come!

2017 will be the year Disneyland Paris fans finally makes it. And by this I do not mean in the eyes of Disneyland Paris fans who, I think, have been careful watching the developments but to international onlookers.

Local fans have a reason to really brag about the resort and international fans a reason to visit. I cannot think of a better birthday gift for Disneyland Paris.

2016: Project Sparkle and change

The splashdown on the newly reopening Big Thunder Mountain at Disneyland Paris

2016 was a year of immense change at Disneyland Paris. Indeed, Change is the world that will define 2016 for any Disneyland Paris fan. We saw the closure of Big Thunder Mountain in late 2015, the closure of Star Tours in March of this year. Who can forget the abrupt ending to the run of Animagique which was replaced in July by the mesmerizing Mickey and the Magician? We also saw a management change as Tom Wolber returned to the Disney Cruise Line and Catherine Powell got the top job at Disneyland Paris.

Let’s take a look back at the Disneyland Paris year month by month.

January

January started looking bleak for Disneyland Paris. Two of the star attractions in the resort would be closed for the vast majority of the year. But things soon started to look up as Disneyland Paris released their list of things to look forward to. The headline attraction was the launch of a brand new show Mickey and the Magician which would be launching in the summer. We also got more details about another new seasonal show Forest of Enchantment.

Mickey and the Magician Concept Art
Mickey and the Magician Concept Art

In the way of closures, Adventure Isle closed for a major refurbishment which would last until September and the Disneyland Railroad began a short closure. The railroad would, of course, reopen in March with Main Street station following in July and Discoveryland Station reopening in March 2017. On the 31st January 2016, Animagique ended its 12 year run at the Walt Disney Studios Park and left the theatre open to refurbishment and a new show.

In more exciting news, the B&B Hotel next to Disneyland Paris finally received its inauguration. The new partner hotel includes a shuttle bus to Disneyland Paris and a Disneyland Paris boutique.

February

February will go down as the month that Forest of Enchantment debuted in Frontierland. The show mixes live vocals and fantastic visuals to create a treat for the senses. The big feature of the show was that live vocals had once again returned to the resort after years of piped in music. Forest also included athletic dance numbers and a stellar cast. The show is seasonal in Disneyland Paris, but is due to return in 2017 during the 25th Anniversary celebrations.

On the 17th February, the annual Disneyland Paris comedy show took place, the AGM. The AGM features pointless questions in the main from shareholders, but some useful Disneyland Paris information comes out of this important event. The first being this video overview of Project Sparkle, the project for getting Disneyland Paris ready for its 25th anniversary:

And this video filled with key facts and figures from Disneyland Paris and is essential viewing for anybody who wants to understand Disneyland Paris better:

 

March

March, the month that spring fever made its return to Disneyland Paris. Swing into Spring made its triumphant return to the resort and mixed in the firm fan favourites of Welcome to Spring and Goofy’s Garden Party. The Minnie’s Little Spring Train returned and this year Cheshire Cat was included on weekends.

Disneyland Paris also celebrated St Davids and St Patricks day in the way that they usually do: a short firework spectacular, a pre-parade, special shows and a Mickey and Minnie meet and greet in traditional outfits.

The new Vapiano restaurant was formally announced by Euro Disney and Vapiano. Vapiano was quoted as being looking for 5 or 6 restaurants per year in attractive sites whilst Euro Disney were seeking a diversified dining option for Disney Village.

The biggest event in March, however, was the closure of Star Tours. The attraction closed to a big fanfare as Disneyland Paris hosted a large fan event to allow fans to say goodbye in their own way. Star Tours 2: The Adventures Continue is scheduled to open in March 2017 and forms part of the 25th Anniversary celebrations.

April

April is always a special month for Disneyland Paris; the resort celebrated its 24th birthday and for its birthday Euro Disney got us an exciting gift. Tom Wolber was announced as leaving Disneyland Paris and Catherine Powell would be taking over in the summer.

We also got more information about Mickey and the Magician which was due to launch on July 2nd as well as the first rumours of the puppet show in the Lucky Nugget Saloon.

May

A rather quiet month for Disneyland Paris news. The Disney – Pixar short film festival was announced to open in the Discoveryland Theatre from the summer onwards. The new puppet show also debuted in the Lucky Nugget Saloon. The show features 3 unique shows. Two featuring the Toy Story characters and one with Mickey and friends.

June

From the 4th June, Frozen Summer Fun returned to Disneyland park. Guests could once again enjoy Frozen themed snacks and meals, the sing along show, Elsa’s return to Disney Dreams! and the royal welcome parade.

Disneyland Paris announced that Moana would be hosting a meet and greet in Disneyland Paris during the Christmas season. Pineapple Whips finally debuted in the park after a wait of months to immense fan fanfare and hype and the Disney-Pixar Short film festival opened in Discoveryland.

Away from Disneyland Paris, The Walt Disney Company opened their Shanghai Disney Resort in China with a big celebration event. The new member of the Disney Parks family is headed up by formed Disneyland Paris chief, Philippe Gas.

With a unique blend of Disney magic and the beauty of China’s cultural spirit, the design of Shanghai Disney Resort is “authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese.” That guiding principle is incorporated throughout the resort – and it’s visible here with a scene from Voyage to the Crystal Grotto, an excursion that travels the waters of Fantasyland and through the Enchanted Storybook Castle. The golden dragon is found in the attraction’s “Mulan” scene. The special nature of Shanghai Disney Resort celebrates Disney stories, and also salutes Chinese culture and design, with Wandering Moon Teahouse in Shanghai Disneyland, the Shikumen architectural features in Disneytown and original Chinese fonts for themed signage. (Kent Phillips, photographer)

July

July was probably Disneyland Paris’s biggest month of the year. It all started with a big celebration for the launch of the Mickey and the Magician show, which opened on July 2nd to great praise from the fan community. The show blends live singing, with impressive magic tricks and illusions to create a real feast for fans of live Disney entertainment. It still stands up as being one of the best stage shows that Disneyland Paris has ever created. The show takes a brief break in early 2017, but returns in time for the big launch of the 25th Anniversary celebrations.

Mickey and the Magician Finale

Catherine Powell took over as Présidente of Euro Disney SCA ushering a new era of hope and optimism in the fan community. Indeed, Catherine has already presided over changes at the company and the resort is coming out of these changes in a stronger way with a better reputation among fans.

August

If you thought Disneyland Paris took the summer months off from announcing news, then you would be mistaken. A new dining experience at the Disney’s Hotel Cheyenne was launched allowing guests to enjoy a barbecue with Goofy and Chip & Dale, this would run throughout the summer.

Season of the Force was officially announced by Disneyland Paris to run in early 2017 plugging the gap between the Christmas season and the start of the 25th anniversary festivities. Finally, the Halloween season was officially announced. Whilst nothing had changed from the previous year, it still marks the beginning of the end of summer and a move into the winter months.

September

If July was the biggest month for Disneyland Paris, then September was the most exciting. Only one really big event happened this month, but it was perhaps the most exciting of the year and saw Disney fans from across the world descend on Paris to enjoy a run. RunDisney, the Disneyland Paris half marathon was a whole weekend of fun and excitement which culminated in a half marathon (or 5k).

The event was a huge success and has been expanded to include a 10km race in 2017 in addition to all the 2016 festivities.

Disneyland Paris also announced the names of their 2 ambassadors who would take over for the 2017-18 rotation. Laura Janice Gedigk (Housekeeping – Disney’s Newport Bay Club) and Michaël Giordano (PC Ops) begin their term on the 1st January 2017.

Disneyland Paris Ambassadors 2017/18

October

The long run into the winter months begins, as always in Disneyland Paris, with the return of the Halloween season. This month-long celebration is celebrated by fans of characters and villains alike as they get to enjoy days of singing in the fall and spooky, spooky nights with their favourite villains and the arrival of Cheshire Cat as a meet and greet.

However, the big news of the month was the official announcement of Disneyland Paris’s 25th anniversary celebrations which are due to begin on 26th March 2016. Announced were a new parade, a new nighttime spectacular, new shows, Star Tours 2 and Hyperspace Mountain. The time to sparkle tagline was introduced and it is widely agreed that the 25th will perhaps be the best for a very long time for Disneyland Paris.

Disneyland Paris 25th Anniversary Visual

November

November was a quiet month for Disneyland Paris. The Christmas season begun with very little in the way of fanfare, but retains all its quality entertainment spreading across the full day and the magical atmosphere takes over Main Street USA and the entire Disneyland park.

On top of this, another press release was released for Season of the Force whose arrival is hotly anticipated.

December

Whilst a quiet month in the way of news, Big Thunder Mountain finally reopened in Disneyland Park after a one year absence. The ride opened with a small opening ceremony and the first batch of guests to ride were gifted an exclusive, limited edition, newspaper from Thunder Mesa. A delightful keepsake for a momentous occasion.

The splashdown on the newly reopening Big Thunder Mountain at Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris, along all Disney parks, commemorated the anniversary of the death of Walt Disney with a board for guests to write their memories and messages of thanks to Walt for all he has given them and to celebrate his legacy. A new line of cupcakes and macaroons were launched in Boardwalk Candy Palace designed by the Atelier des Gâteaux in Paris.

Finally, Disneyland Paris launched their first TV spot for the 25th anniversary:

2016 may have looked disappointing from the outset, but it has turned out to be one of the most exciting years ever to be a Disneyland Paris fan. The refurbishments look gorgeous and the park is looking almost as if it were 1992.

2017 will be an equally exciting year, and I’m very much looking forward to sharing it with you all – allow me to take this opportunity to wish you a very happy and healthy 2017!