The New Year’s Eve party is coming soon! Visitors to Disneyland Paris will say goodbye in 2019 at a party that will be a real eye-opener. InsidEars met Julien Baptist, Director, who gave us an overview of the upcoming festivities.
Hello Julien Baptist, can you introduce yourself to our readers?
Good morning, everyone! I am Julien Baptist, Event Designer and Show Director at DLPEG (Disneyland Paris Events Groups). I have been working at Disneyland Paris for 19 years, I have been in turn a performer on parades, an actor… for three years I have been a director for DLPEG, with a rather varied background since I have also worked in the artistic field on television and musical entertainment.
What are the milestones you have been working on?
I work mainly on Live Events. One of the most significant for me is Disneyland Paris Pride this year, very important for its socio-cultural dimension, and a very strong emotional force for the organizers and participants alike.
The Disneyland Paris Run Weekend races are another great highlight for me every year. The dedicated team is exceptional, and even if I am not a great sportsman at the base, I found the emotional dimension very strong on these events. I am therefore delighted to participate in the Disneyland Paris Princess Run, which will be held for the first time in May. And for the past two years, I have been working on Halloween and New Year’s evenings, hand in hand with the Show teams. Our studies show that there is clearly an expectation of themed evenings with exclusive content, so it is an opportunity to reinvent oneself even more to continue to surprise our visitors.
How is the design of an event like the New Year’s Eve Party approached?
First we look at what was done the previous year, and ask ourselves: how can we do so well, while at the same time innovating to offer a new experience to visitors? Of course, we analyse satisfaction surveys, we read a lot of comments from our visitors on the internet (including those of fans of course!) and we see how we can answer them, depending on what we are able to do of course.
We have heard that the concept of the great parade has changed. Can you tell us more about it?
That’s true. This year, we decided to break the rhythm of the evening at that level. Rather than proposing a single huge parade that blocks some of the park’s lanes and requires a lot of time for visitors who want to see it, we will propose two different and complementary parades. With Emanuel Lenormand (Director of Shows), we thought to ourselves: What is a New Year’s Eve party? It is a festive moment where we relive the past year, while looking forward to next year. The first parade will therefore celebrate all the great moments of 2019 at Disneyland Paris, and the second will take us to 2020 by giving us a glimpse of what awaits us. The two formats will be different, so will the songs.
Can you tell us a little more about it?
Let’s take the first parade then: a lot of work has been done on the strong « stories » of 2019. Of course, you can’t bring out entire shows like Lion King, Pirates and Princesses for one night only, but the themes must be present. So we thought a lot about how each story can be represented or told. For the song, we took a theme, that the fans know well, we play on nostalgia, with an air that symbolizes as soon as we hear it a Disney parade. Of course we reinvented it, with the teams that composed the Electroland anthem.
For the rest, it will be a surprise! But I think visitors will be positively surprised.
I guess we’ll meet a lot of Disney Characters….
Like our parades, we set off on the most emblematic Characters of 2019. It’s a real Best of! Of course, Oogie Boogie had a huge success for Halloween, so it will naturally be back (with the Lineberty system) But we also know that our visitors prefer to see many Characters rather than visit each rental photo, which can be very popular. As a result, we will find a lot of Characters on our two parades, so that visitors can see as many as possible.
This year we will dance to the rhythms of DJ Afrojack’s turntables…
Thanks to the events of recent years, we have good relationships with the big names in DJs. Many want to come and play at Disneyland Paris, it’s fun, it’s a different audience. It brings an extra touch to our visitors, and DJ Afrojack happens to be a big Disney fan. He regularly comes to Disneyland Paris even outside of events, so it was