Welcome to the third issue of the Disneyland Paris Rewind – your recap of what’s been hot (and sometimes not) at Disneyland Paris over the past month. Think of it as your magical « Incase You Missed It » for all things Disneyland Paris. This edition is a pretty bumper one as a lot of things happened this past September… on with the show!
Christmas Season Unveiled
Disneyland Paris have finally stopped being mum on this year’s festive season! Titled Disney’s Enchanted Christmas: A Very Merry ChrisMouse, seasonal classics such as the Disney Christmas Parade and Mickey’s Magical Christmas Lights will be returning to Disneyland Park. Guest favourites from 2017 will also be making a return with a few changes: Merry Stitchmas will remain at Castle Stage but will include a new scene, Mickey’s Christmas Big Band will be heading over to Animagique theatre in the Walt Disney Studios park and will feature new costumes created with Moulin Rouge, and Goofy’s Incredible Christmas projection show in Production Courtyard will round out the day!.
Disney’s Enchanted Christmas: A Very Merry ChrisMouse will run from November 10th, 2018 until January 6th, 2019. Note that Merry Stitchmas will begin its run from November 16th, 2018.
Star Wars Season Returns to Walt Disney Studios, January 2019
Disneyland Paris have announced that Star Wars will be returning to the Walt Disney Studios park from January 2019, this time under a new name; Legends of the Force – A Celebration of Star Wars. While details are still a bit light on the season, we do know that guest-favourites such as the nighttime projection show and March of the First Order will be returning. Guests will also be able to see the likes of Kylo Ren, Rey, Darth Maul – and for the first time at Disneyland Paris – the fearsome bounty hunter Bobba Fett, during the Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away show in Production Courtyard. New for 2019, guests will have the chance to meet Chewbacca, alongside C3PO and R2D2. Those are definitely the droids you’re looking for!
Legends of the Force – A Celebration of Star Wars will run from January 12th to March 17th, 2019.
The Festival of Pirates & Princesses Return Date Revealed
As covered in our previous issue, the surprise smash-hit of the 25th Anniversary; the Festival of Pirates & Princesses – will be returning in early 2019. With Legends of the Force running in the Walt Disney Studios park at the same time, this normally slow time of year at the resort will be exceptionally active. We hope you’re ready to find your inner power again!
The Festival of Pirates & Princess will run from January 19th to March 17th, 2019
New Details for the World’s Biggest Mouse Party
With the 90th birthday of Mickey Mouse fast approaching (November 18th), Disneyland Paris have unveiled their plans to celebrate the momentous occasion. Titled the World’s Biggest Mouse Party, the event will run alongside both Halloween and Christmas seasons. The big visual theme of the season is… cupcakes! Yes, Disneyland Paris does love a good cupcake. Giant cupcakes will be placed in each of the lands of Disneyland Park, themed to their respective land. Parade performers with the Family of Honor car will also have cupcake themed outfits, and guests will be able to collect a set of cupcake themed button badges for each land.
A special Soirée Pass Annuels will be held on December 6th to celebrate the birthday season of Mickey. This will be the first AP soirée to be held inside the Disneyland Park! We don’t have any further details at present, but if we were to hazard a guess, we’d expect many surprise costumes and exclusive Meet ‘n’ Greets, and maybe even some merchandise.
The World’s Biggest Mouse Party will run from October 1st, 2018 to January 6th, 2019.
Cinémagique Set to Return
Yes, you read that right. It feels like barely a yesterday that we were waving goodbye to George and the magic of cinema for (what we thought was) the last time. However, the magic of cinema is set to return! With Marvel Super Heroes United now at the end of its 2018 run, Cinémagique will be returning to Studio Theater. Apparently some of the technology used for Marvel Super Heroes United will be utilised in the new version of Cinémagique (let’s hope it works then…) but the core of the show will remain unchanged.
Obviously, doing a big farewell for the show last year, only to bring it back again this year, has caused some controversy with some fans. However, I can get behind it. This adds more indoor entertainment options to the Walt Disney Studios park during the cold, and usually pretty wet, months.
Cinémagique will run from December 1st, 2018 through to February 3rd, 2019.
PhilharMagic Comes to Discoveryland Theatre
I know, you’d be forgiven for forgetting the Discoveryland Theatre even exists! The building has been sitting unused since the run of Star Wars: Path of the Jedi ended. Coinciding with the World’s Biggest Mouse Party, the theatre is being given a new lease of life with an adaptation of the popular Mickey’s PhilHarmagic Concert from Walt Disney World. The exact specifications of the theatre don’t lend themselves to a like-for-like direct port of the 4D experience, and this is likely just a temporary addition. Still, it presents an opportunity for European guests to experience a Disney Parks classic they might not otherwise have had the chance to.
You can read our (mostly) spoiler-free review of the Annual Pass preview of the show here.
New Premium FASTPASS Options
As part of an expanding premium offering, a new range of premium FASTPASS options have been announced. At first glance these offerings seem largely disappointing, especially to those who were hoping the MAXPASS system from Disneyland Resort would make its way over. However, these offerings clearly aren’t targeted at guests who visit the parks more than once a year. For day guests, particularly visitors from outside of Europe, these options might prove enticing enough to those looking to get as much as possible done in a short visit.
The regular, free, FASTPASS service is not being discontinued and will run as normal alongside this program. Premium FASTPASS options are subject to availability and capacity restrictions and are expected to come in to operation from October 15th, 2018.
Seasons & Events
25th Anniversary Le Grand Final
The 3rd Soirées Pass Annuels event took place on September 7th, 2018 in the Walt Disney Studios park. Yes, for some reason despite the resort celebrating its 25th anniversary, the grand finale was confined to the Studios rather than Disneyland Park where it really should’ve been. Upon entering the Studios, guests were given a decorative programme and exclusive pin to mark the end of the 25th celebrations.
Character-wise, guests had the chance to meet some classic Disney characters such as Mickey, Minnie, Daisy, Donald, Goofy, Max etc. in their 12th April Grand Cavalcade costumes. As is becoming the norm for these soirée’s, Kuzco & Yzma, and Oswald & Ortensia were also out meeting guests. Anna & Kristoff, and Elsa & Olaf also had scheduled meets – with the Frozen characters proving as popular as ever, with some of the longest lines of the evening. Despite having a much smaller number of tickets compared to the FanDaze Innaugural Party, lines for a lot of the meets were still cut around an hour after the park opened. Considering these AP soirée’s are becoming a big draw for character enthusiasts, this seems like one area where Disneyland Paris need to focus on improving.
Entertainment for the evening included promenades featuring Disney characters such as the Aristocats, Jose & Panchito, and Milo and Kida. Guests also had the opportunity to learn the flash mob dance performed by Cast Members on the 12th April, as well as look-back at some of the highlights of the 25th Anniversary with the Disneyland Paris Ambassadors. Throughout the event, instrumental versions of the music associated with the 25th Anniversary such as the Starlit Princess Waltz and Pirates & Princesses was played around the studios, leading to a lot of impromptu dance parties. The evening was rounded off with a parade featuring all the characters who were out meeting, and a fireworks and projection show on the Tower of Terror.
Surprisingly, the Flash mob was probably the highlight of the evening, once again showing that guests in good spirits are willing to dance. Sadly, the look-back sections were pretty disappointing as all that was really shown were marketing videos we’ve all already seen multiple times. The promenades were… weird… it felt like guests didn’t know how to react, it felt like the characters didn’t really know what to do either, resulting in not much more than a glorified photo opportunity for guests at the front of the parade route.
European Heritage Days
Disneyland Paris took part in the European Heritage Days celebration for the first time this year. A special app was available to guests in the park on September 15th & 16th, 2018, allowing guests to learn some fun facts about the creation of the parks, and many of the hidden cultural references and inspirations. Pre-registered guided tours were also available. Disappointingly, these only took place in Disneyland Park and focused mostly on the architecture of the buildings, despite the press release stating that « guests will discover Disneyland Paris in a new light with a brand new experience that focuses on architecture, history, gastronomy, and local artisanal trades. » Still, it was an insightful event and we hope it returns next year!
2018 Disneyland Paris Magic Run Weekend
runDisney at Disneyland Paris is becoming a staple event in the annual calendar now. For the first time at Disneyland Paris, all of the races had themes. The 5K was themed around Marvel, a race to get the Infinity Stones before Thanos, with many of the Avengers present around the course for photos. 10K saw the focus being shifted to the sidekicks of classic Disney villains with the likes of Flotsam & Jetsam, the Sheriff of Nottingham, and more being present for photos. While the villains themselves were the main focus of the Half Marathon with Gaston, Maleficent, Hades, and more being present. Runners taking part this year had the chance to earn up to a whopping 6 medals at this event for their hard work!
The event will be returning next year from September 19th – 22nd under a new name, the Disneyland Paris Run Weekend. If you want to learn more about this year’s event, you can read our full review!
2018 Junior Ryder Cup
For those not interested in golf (like myself, admittedly) it’s very easy to forget that Disneyland Paris actually has its very own golf course. This year, that very golf course played host to the 2018 Junior Ryder Cup. Junior golfers (under 18) from the USA and Europe took part in the renowned tournament on September 24th and September 25th. Team USA pipped victory with a score of 12.5 to 11.5
Disney Loves Jazz
On September 28th, 2018, as part of a growing list of hard-ticketed events happening in Disneyland Paris, the Walt Disney Studios got all jazzed up for one night only! Featuring a premium concert, exclusive meet & greets, and limited edition merchandise, this particularly soirée had a lot to offer. I won’t go into too many details here as our good friend Patrick took the time to provide his thoughts on the event. You can read his review by clicking right here!
There’s no word yet on whether or not Disney Loves Jazz will be returning in 2019.
Marvel Summer of Super Heroes
It has been a rocky summer for the Marvel Summer of Super Heroes season in Walt Disney Studios. The keystone draw, Marvel Super Heroes United, was plagued with technical problems throughout, leading to parts of the show being outright replaced or removed. Still, the season has proved popular with Marvel fans so hopefully Disneyland Paris will put lessons learned into practice for 2019.
Marvel Summer of Super Heroes will be returning next spring, probably under a new name.
Deck the Halls with Boughs of Pumpkins
All that leftover 25th Anniversary merchandise is long gone. With Halloween well underway, and Christmas just around the corner, we’ve seen a significant increase in seasonal themed merchandise available in the resort shops. From Minnie ears, pumpkin mugs, popcorn buckets, and Christmas plushies – there’s probably something to satisfy most tastes. Speaking of tastes, there’s also seasonal snacks available and Halloween Menu options at the Lucky Nugget and Silver Spur Steakhouse. Take a look through the gallery below to a small sample of what’s available this year.
Spirit Jerseys Come to Disneyland Paris
Spirit jerseys have been a huge hit over in the stateside Disney resorts over the past year. Disneyland Paris fans have been asking for their share of the spirit jersey pie for quite some time now. Well, the wait is over! Disneyland Paris branded spirit jerseys are now available in black, and pastel pink varieties from the Disney Fashion store in the Disney Village, retailing for €59.99 (the jerseys are also eligible for Annual Pass holder discounts).
In our previous issue we reported that the lengthy closure of Ratatouille for an extensive refurbishment had been cut down to a short 2 week period in October. However, it now transpires that the closure has been scrapped entirely and Ratatouille will continue to operate as « normal » (as normal as missing a few « bells & whistles » can be) throughout the Halloween and Christmas seasons. It’s unknown at present whether the attraction will enter refurbishment in early 2019.
As you can see from the photographs above (click them to enlarge), the tarp and scaffolding are down, and work continues on courtyard and queuing area. Work appears to have been completed on the possible FASTPASS building and a new photo location. The attraction is still slated to return in early 2019 – not long to go now!
Tower of Terror
The themed tarp is now completely covering the previous white sheets protecting the scaffolding for this extensive renovation of the attractions facade. Projection mapping effects worked flawlessly during the Magic Run Weekend and Disney Loves Jazz events, which means Goofy’s Incredible Christmas show will be returning this year without any compromises.
Le Carrousel de Lancelot
Le Carrousel de Lancelot is fresh out of refurbishment. Many of the ponies and horses have had a new lick of paint and varnish applied and are looking sparkly and fresh again.
Until Next Time
See You Real Soon…
Whew, that was a lot of stuff to get through – September definitely wasn’t an uneventful month at Disneyland Paris! The magic doesn’t stop there though, in our next edition will be focusing on the Halloween season and all the surprises that have come with it. Don’t forget to follow ED92 on Twitter for daily reporting live from the parks, and all the news as it breaks. Thanks for taking the time out of your day to give this issue a read, I’ll see you real soon!