To celebrate Mickey’s 90th Anniversary, a special Annual Pass Party was held in Disneyland Park at Disneyland Paris on Thursday, 6th December, 2018. But was it a good, good, good, good time… or a bit of a deflated Pooh balloon? Read on to found out!
Throughout the night an eclectic mix of 80s and 90s Mickey Mouse themed numbers (many from the old Disney EuroBeat albums) were played throughout the park, along with the likes of Disney Parks classics such as Mickey Mania (hello 1995) being busted out of the archives. The lighting of the blue and silver Christmas decorations glowed a warm, and much more welcoming red and gold instead. Various Main Street USA shopfronts had also setup temporary selfie backdrops for the occasion. Cast Members lined the streets of Main Street USA at the start of the evening to high five guests and welcome them, very reminiscent of the Magic Run Weekend, and was a nice little touch to get the party atmosphere going.
Shows & Parades
As is seemingly become the norm for AP parties at Disneyland Paris, Mickey’s 90th featured a handful of shows that were repeated a couple of times throughout the event. Some were much (MUCH) better than others. All of the shows took place on a special stage setup for the occasion in Central Plaza. The special stage was likely due to the number of performers in each show, but we feel it would’ve made more sense to use the existing show stop platforms in the flower beds.
The opening ceremony was a fittingly upbeat affair for kicking off a birthday party celebration, featuring energetic dance routines, and classic Disney characters, all set to parts of Disney’s Soundsational soundtrack (from the parade of the same name at Disneyland Resort in California). Throw in a few confetti cannons for good measure et voila ! Previous AP night opening ceremonies have been rather hit and miss, but this one was right on the money and perfectly set the mood for the evening.
Les Folies de Mickey et Minnie
Possibly the surprise highlight of the night (if you don’t count that other surprise…), Les Folies de Mickey et Minnie featured a small parade down Main Street USA culminating in a show on the stage in Central Plaza. The show featured classic Disney characters dressed up in outfits matching one of the four lands of Disneyland Park. Goofy, Max, and the country bears represented Frontierland. Peter Pan, Wendy, Hook, Smee, Baloo, King Louie, and Chip & Dale represented Adventureland. Alice, Mad Hatter, Pinocchio, Geppetto, Jiminy Cricket, and Donald & Daisy Duck represented Fantasyland. Clarice, Lilo & Stitch, Angel, Louis & Wilbur, and Pluto represented Discoveryland.
This show was obviously very heavily inspired by the guest favourite Mickey Presents: Happy Anniversary Disneyland Paris from the 25th Anniversary celebrations, and was a wonderful, colourful, fun, and upbeat affair.
That being said, there were a lot of issues with guest flow practically man-handling some guests to clear them off the parade route at both the start, and end of the stage show. While I don’t envy the job they had, the aggression some guest flow Cast Members demonstrated was pretty uncalled for.
Goofy’s Surprise Dance
The only appropriate word to describe this is: what? You may remember that Disneyland Paris released a video featuring some rather complicated (for most guests) choreography for the It’s A Good Time anniversary song. Well, it seems they actually thought guests would perform this as a flash mob. Goofy’s Surprise Dance was just another tutorial for this choreography, but needless to say when a few thousand people are crammed into Main Street USA, there was hardly any room for guests to even try performing it. Every night has a low point, this was sadly it.
This would probably have been far more successful if they’d kept it simple, like with Pirates & Princesses, and instead opted for the much simpler, but just as fun, Cupcake Sisters dance from the daily pre-parade before Disney Stars on Parade.
I mean just take a look at what they expected guests to do:
Back for one night only, the guest favourite night-time spectacle Disney Dreams! was the guaranteed highlight of the night, and the main draw of the crowd. Thankfully the wind and rain from earlier during the day held off, and the show ran with the vast majority of technical effects – the only missing parts were the water screens (due to the occasional strong gust of wind). Each section of Dreams! was met with roaring applause from guests, showing that even after nearly 2 years without it, guests still love this show!
I won’t lie, I cried… multiple times.
To bring things to a close, the closing celebrations began with the 5 minute projection show Celebrate! 90 years of Mickey which regular guests can see each evening before Disney Illuminations up until January 6th, 2019, followed by an energetic show number on Central Plaza, where Mickey, Minnie, and all their invited friends for the night appeared on stage for one last dance. Curiously, Mickey somehow knew all the moves to Goofy’s Surprise Dance… he must be a natural dancer! Once the finale was over, all the characters walked down Main Street USA to say goodbye to guests one last time. It seems the farewell parade is becoming a staple of these AP nights, which is a good thing!
Mickey & Minnie quickly made their way to Main Street Station to give guests a goodbye kiss on their way out… awww!
As with any AP party, exclusive Meet ‘n’ Greets are a big draw for some guests, and plenty of rarer characters were out for the occasion. In Frontierland; Clarabelle, Horace, Kenai, and Koda were meeting. Adventureland played host to Carl Fredrickesen, Russell, Jane Porter, and Tok. Fantasyland was home to Winne the Pooh, and Tigger too, along with Robin Hood, and Friar Tuck. While Discoveryland was the base for Buzz Lightyear, Chewbacca, R2D2, Nick Wilde, Judy Hopps, and Vanellope von Schweetz.
Of interesting note was that these characters did not meet together, for example guests would meet either Robin Hood or Friar Tuck depending on which queue they joined. While this helped, in some cases, keeping the lines flowing, it was understandably disappointing for those hoping to meet both characters together. The common problem of AP nights, character lines being cut quickly, resurfaced again, and owing to conflicting information between Guest Flow and Character Attendants, there was a lot of confusion other whether some lines were closed or not. It’s a real shame that this queue management problem keeps occurring at these AP nights, but the problem did not seem to be as prolific as it was at the likes of FanDaze and the 25th Grand Finale.
Notable in their absence, however, were the Cupcake Sisters that Disneyland Paris created for the Mickey’s 90th season. The surprise cake they were all making ended up being a giant projection on the castle, but the Cupcake Sisters were nowhere to be seen for the entire evening. We’re sure they would’ve been pretty popular meets, especially considering many guests are still trying to round-out their button collection.
The special gift given to guests as a thank you for attending was a limited edition print of one of a few Mickey 90th Anniversary designs.
Theming and entertainment was on point, and Disneyland Park felt like a much more fitting home for these events. Characters being spread out around the park caused the crowds to be dispersed more, leading to far less of crowded feeling compared to the AP nights that have taken place in the Walt Disney Studios park. Disneyland Paris have obviously learned from previous events, but there are still plenty of takeaways from this event to be improved on:
- Guest Flow were incredibly rude for the most part.
- By 23:00 all of the restaurants, bar Casey’s Corner and Market House Deli, were shut despite being advertised as open until 00:30.
- As much of Central Plaza was roped off, guests only really got a good view of the shows if they were facing the castle front-on. While the shows were watchable from the sides, the performers and characters never really interacted on the sides – this seems like a real missed opportunity given how this year’s Halloween Cavalcade successfully made its show stop a 360 degree experience. The roped off areas also made it difficult to cross from one side of the plaza to the other.
- Lack of Cupcake Sisters!
That being said, the shows were delightfully quirky and fitting, and contributed to the general feel-good atmosphere of the night and are a marked step-up in quality when compared to the likes of the 25th Grand Finale event. Overall, Mickey’s 90th Mouse Party was a good, good, good, good time! A lot of guests also fell in love with this song from Disney’s past… OOOOOOOOOOOOOO-OOOOOOOOOOOOOH