More than a few Disney celebrities were on hand, including the man who oversaw the design of Europe's first Disney theme park, two and a half decades ago.
That noise you can hear is 12-year-old Ben Mills gently weeping with joy. pic.twitter.com/5kXQaNa67m— Ben Mills (@benjoelmills) March 25, 2017
That's our Ben Mills with Disney Legend Tony Baxter. The day started with an official 25th anniversary celebration ceremony, with Disney Parks Chairman Bob Chapek and Disneyland Paris President Catherine Powell. [The show starts at 3:00]
But the birthday presents for Disneyland fans would be the new shows, including Mickey Presents: Happy Anniversary, Disneyland Paris. [Skip to 1:35]
And The Starlit Princess Waltz:
The big daytime show is the new parade, Disney Stars on Parade. [Skip to 8:00]
After the sun set, Disneyland Paris introduced its 25th anniversary replacement for Disney Dreams, Disney Illuminations. No, it's not the same show from Epcot, but another castle projection show featuring classic Disney songs. Tonight's debut performance kicked off with a live three-song set from special guest John Legend. [Skip to 1:45 for a Peter Pan pre-show. Legend arrives at 6:00.]
Ben posted a "Twittereview" of the show:
Here's the rest of it, from Ben:
Point 2: it is essentially Shanghai's night show - much of the projection a straight copy+paste. But given the crossover in audience here is only ever going to be a tiny number, I can't see that's a problem. And actually, what has been copied across works better here. Texture of the castle is a better fit, sight lines fairer.
It's a huge tonal shift from predecessor Dreams. Romance and intimacy swapped for bombast and bravado. But I suspect that speaks more to the park's future direction. And an artistic manifesto is never a bad thing.
Interestingly, the only sequence that didn't work for me was the (live action) Beauty & The Beast one. Something about the graphic style didn't work with the castle texture. And the 'window' concept just didn't come off.
But the rest did the job - highlights from favourites made MASSIVE through clever mapping, pyrotechnics, fountains et al. It reminded me of Universal Cinematic Spectac more than trad Disney. So much is huge, loud, bright. Ending is an explosion! To adapt Disney vernacular, it's less of a Goodnight Kiss, more of a Goodnight... something-else. Ahem.
Anyway, if it gets half the reaction it gets in Shanghai, it'll be a hit. And freer structure means sequence-swapping easier.
Final thought to sum up the shift from Dreams: it reminds me of a note I sometimes give in theatre... do you want to draw the audience in to the show, or take the show out to the audience? Both are valid, but different. Dreams (and in many respects DLP as a whole) was the former, Illuminations is the latter. It'll be interesting to see if/how that is reflected in design choices going forward. Anyway, that's plenty long for a twittereview. De rien.
In addition to the new parade, projection show, and two castle shows, Disneyland Paris's 25th anniversary features include the debut of Star Tours: The Adventures Continue in Tomorrowland, with Hyperspace Mountain coming later this spring. This summer, the refurbished Pirates of the Caribbean will open and this time, it will join its Pirates brethren around the world by featuring the addition of Captain Jack Sparrow, too.
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