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Disneyland, February 2017 - A Trip Report
DisneyDan  Wednesday, March 15, 2017 10:41:27 AM
Hello everyone,

Last month I shared with you my report on our trip to Disneyland for AP Days and the return of the Main Street Electrical Parade. That report specifically focussed on those two things, can be found by clicking here.

In this second and final part of my trip report for our visit to Disneyland, I am going to share with you everything else that we managed to do in the whirlwind less-than-two-day adventure we had there!

  [ Read More... ]
Walt Disney World December 2016 Trip Report, Part Four - Magic Kingdom Continued
DisneyDan  Tuesday, March 14, 2017 5:38:55 PM
Hello everyone,

In this fourth and final part of my trip report for our visit to Walt Disney World during Christmas 2016 I am going to share with you some more of our adventures at the Magic Kingdom.

Let's start on Main Street USA where we met Santa Claus before he set off on his magical deliveries on Christmas Eve.   [ Read More... ]
Walt Disney World Photo Trip Report, June-July 2015 - Frozen Summer Fun, 4th of July and more!
DisneyDan  Friday, July 10, 2015 5:22:54 PM
Hello everyone,

Last week Jon and I were in Walt Disney World again, where we checked out all the Frozen Summer Fun offerings, and celebrated the 4th of July.

I'll start with Animal Kingdom, since we only went there for a few short hours to get some updated character photos. We stopped by to meet Daisy Duck, Tarzan, Pocahontas, Chip 'n' Dale, Baloo and King Louie.

  [ Read More... ]
NEWS - Summer and 24 hour events announced for US Parks, and Summer at Disneyland Paris
DisneyDan  Thursday, March 12, 2015 10:02:31 AM
Hello everyone,

Yesterday the Disney Parks Blog made two announcements regarding upcoming events at the Walt Disney World Resort and the Disneyland Resort.

At Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, summer is being dubbed the "Coolest Summer Ever", and will feature events based upon the wildly popular movie, Frozen. Kicking off the "Coolest Summer Ever" is the now-traditional 24 hour event over Memorial Day weekend in late May. Although few details have been given about it, the Parks Blog did say the event would launch the summer summer season, and given the name, and the fact they claim Olaf is the "host" of the summer events, it wouldn't be too surprising if the 24 hour event ended up being Frozen themed, at least to a degree. As with previous 24 hour events, you can expect characters, entertainment, food and merchandise offerings. After that event ends, you then have to wait until June 17th for the start of the next summer happening, "Frozen Summer Fun LIVE", which will run until September 7th. Anna, Elsa and Kristoff are returning to the parade route at Disney's Hollywood Studios, and this year will be joined by Olaf (as per the description on this new page on the WDW website). Nighttime at Hollywood Studios will be topped off with the special Frozen fireworks.
In addition to all these "cool" offerings, Hollywood Studios' awesome Star Wars Weekends are of course retuning from May 15th through June 14th.

At the Disneyland Resort in California, the Diamond Anniversary celebrations, which were previously announced to begin on May 22nd, will also begin with a 24 hour event. As with Walt Disney World, very few details have been released, except we can expect to see special characters and entertainment.

Disneyland Paris today officially sent out their press release for information regarding their summer events, and unsurprisingly, they are also Frozen over. They actually provided quite a lot of detail, so I will copy the information below.

"Let it go" this summer with Frozen at Disneyland® Paris

It's official: Disneyland® Paris will celebrate the 5th highest-grossing film ever this summer. Frozen, which has racked up more than 5 million ticket sales in France, will take centre stage from 1 June to 13 September 2015. The famous sisters, Anna and Elsa, will appear on stage with Olaf, their adorable snowman, in a spectacular event that will give guests chills!

New show: "Frozen Sing-along"

After catching a sneak peak of them in the famous Disneyland® Park Parade and meeting them to pose for pictures last Christmas, Disneyland Paris guests will be able to sing along with the stars of Frozen this summer! Enjoy this unique live experience with the heroes of the greatest Disney hit of all time.

Starting June 1st, the world of Frozen will appear in Frontierland in Disneyland Park, with a brand new show. An ice-themed musical production combining singing and dancing with guest participation. The famous sisters, Anna and Elsa, along with their faithful companions, Kristoff and Olaf the funny snowman, will take to the stage to bring the show to life and expand the unique experience of Frozen live. They'll be surrounded by dancers straight out of the Kingdom of Arendelle.

As the show begins, the villagers are preparing to celebrate the Arendelle winter festival. The intrepid Princess Anna appears and welcomes guests to the snowy universe of the Kingdom of Arendelle. She invites them to help her create a surprise for her sister, Elsa, asking them to join together as a choir. The show is a wonderful occasion to experience, relive and participate in the most beautiful musical moments of the greatest Disney success story of all time.

Olaf, renowned as the only snowman in the world capable of dreaming of heat and sunshine, will also join the party live on stage. To celebrate his longed-for summer, guests are encouraged to sing along, while he dreams innocently of sun tans and beaches!

Among the highlights is an emotionally charged performance of the unforgettable song "Let it go" by Elsa. [The French version of "Let it go" ("Libérée, Délivrée", sung by Anaïs Delva) has over 45 million hits on YouTube].

Playlist:
  • Do you wanna build a snowman?
  • In Summer
  • Love is an open door
  • Let it go

The show will take place several times a day, with live performances in French and English, with French and English subtitles on screen.

Venue: Chaparral Theater, Frontierland, Disneyland Park.

June and September: 7 days a week (6 shows a day from Monday until Friday – 12 shows a day at weekends)

July and August: 7 days a week - 12 shows a day

Limited number of seats

A Market Place decked in the colours of Frozen

At Cottonwood Creek Ranch, guests are invited to visit the Market Place, inspired by the universe of the kingdom of Arendelle, and enjoy all the delights that recall one of the greatest Disney hits of all time.

Venue: Cottonwood Creek Ranch, Frontierland, Disneyland Park

Two other magical appearances showcasing Frozen at Disneyland Park

The two heroines of Frozen will appear at Disneyland Park every day, for two special events. On their frosty float, Princess Anna and Queen Elsa will star in "Disney Magic on Parade!" with Olaf. They will also cross the Park several times a day for a special carriage ride, "Frozen: A Royal Welcome", waving to the crowd from their royal carriage.

"Disney Magic on Parade!" Once a day, 7 days a week, Disneyland Park

Frozen: A Royal Welcome, 3 times a day, 7 days a week, Disneyland Park

A special Frozen feature in Disney Dreams®!

Frozen is now part of the traditional version of Disney Dreams®!. A breath-taking night-time show with fountains and pyrotechnics, where famous Characters from the world of Disney come to life through projections onto Sleeping Beauty Castle.

"Disney Dreams®!" tells a magical and moving story. Guided by Peter Pan, guests discover, or re-discover, the greatest Disney stories, from Beauty and the Beast to Aladdin, not forgetting Rapunzel and many others.

Frozen is now part of this amazing night-time show, taking its place among Disney classics such as The Lion King and Peter Pan, as well as the unforgettable Parisian hits Ratatouille and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. This feature is vibrant and full of emotion, thanks to a specially re-orchestrated version of Let it go and the special effects expertise of Disneyland Paris.

Venue: Sleeping Beauty Castle, 7 days a week, Disneyland Park

Come to Disneyland Paris between 1 June and 13 September 2015 and celebrate a superbly snowy summer with Frozen at Disneyland Paris.


What is interesting is that their sing-along sounds completely different from either of the US versions. Although Florida and California both have slight variations from one another, the Parisian one sounds like a whole new concept, with villagers, dancers and even Olaf live on stage! We will be there in August, and look forward to seeing it.
Anna and Elsa featuring in Disney Dreams! is a new addition, and the cavalcade through the park I anticipate will be very similar to what they had at Christmas (perhaps with the addition of Kristoff and Olaf since they will be in the sing-along?). Anna and Elsa featuring in the main day parade however, is not new (just like how the Disney Parks Blog uses existing attractions such as Splash Mountain to advertise the "Coolest Summer Ever").

That's all for new items for today, but I just wanted to point you all towards some other highlights from the past couple of weeks that you may have missed, that are definitely worth reading.

Disney recently announced the dates for their popular Halloween and Christmas parties at the Magic Kingdom. Click here to find out the dates. Tickets will be available April.

The next part of my in-depth Grand Circle Tour of the World's Magic Kingdom's was posted, and covers Fantasyland. You can catch that here.

This past weekend we were in Walt Disney World for Flower and Garden, and of course other Disney fun. I wrote a trip report yesterday, which can be found here.

Ok, that's everything for today. Have a great day everyone,

Dan.
Re-inventing Christmas, the Disneyland Paris way
DisneyDan  Sunday, October 27, 2013 12:05:08 PM
Hello everyone,

As the Halloween Season draws to a close this week, I can't help but think about Christmas!
This year Jon and I will be at Disneyland Paris just after Christmas itself, for the Christmas Season and New Year's celebrations at the Resort.

We are both really excited to be going back to Disneyland Paris this year for Christmas, as there will be many new things, which only Disneyland Paris offer.

I have been to Disneyland Paris for Christmas Season at least five other years of the past ten, so let's take a look back at some of what has been offered over the year, before we come back to the new offerings this year.

This is a very photo heavy post, so be warned that it may take a while to load all the images below.

For the longest time Disneyland Park had a Christmas addition to its regular day parade, usually just tacked on at the end. This happened during the old Wonderful World of Disney Parade, and the Once Upon a Dream Parade. There was never a Christmas parade, per se. There was a Santa's Sleigh, Toy Soldiers, and more recently Duffy.

Disney's Once Upon a Dream Parade - Dreams of Christmas

Other long running entertainment included the enchanting Mickey's Winter Wonderland show at the Chaparral Theater in Frontierland, and the Tree Lighting Ceremony in Town Square.
Mickey's Winter Wonderland remained unchanged for many, many years, but was a firm fan favourite every holiday season.
The Tree Lighting Ceremony was also incredibly popular, and always starred Mickey and Friends lighting the big Christmas Tree in Town Square. Some aspects of the show changed slightly over the years, but it basically remained the same.

Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

Tree Lighting Ceremony

Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

DLP Feb 2009 - Mickey's Winter Wonderland

Mickey's Winter Wonderland

Disneyland Paris also pioneered the beautiful Christmas lights that now adorn the other Disney Castles of the world. Disneyland Park would present a special Castle Lighting show. As with the Tree Lighting, the way in which this was done changed slightly from year to year, but overall the concept remained the same.

DLP Dec 2010 - Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant at Christmas

Character greetings have included Santa Claus, Elves, and of course Mickey and Friends in seasonal costumes at both parks. Other characters in Christmas costumes have included the Winnie the Pooh friends, and Duffy the Disney Bear. Some years back, Belle also used to meet in a pretty red jacket.

DLP Jan 2012 - Santa's Elves have fun in Town Square

Meeting Santa Claus

Santa Goofy

Pere Noel

Meeting Christmas Belle and Beast

Meeting Eeyore

For 21 years, the Christmas Tree in Town Square was the same. Last year they added some 20th Anniversary ornaments to it, but it remained identical otherwise.
Some years ago, the park used to also feature the stunning Lights of Winter (which EPCOT also used to have) along Main Street USA, but these were sadly retired nearly 10 years ago now.
After the lights of winter the Princess Crowns graced the street for a couple of years, but were quite unpopular by all accounts.
Like the other parks, snowfall on Main Street is a regular occurrence, although in Paris, as we have personally experienced, it isn't always just the magical Disney snow that can fall across the park!

DLP Dec 2011 - Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant at Christmas

DLP Dec 2011 - Walking down Main Street USA at Christmas

Phantom Manor in the snow

City Hall in the snow

View down Main Street in the snow

View of Main Street in the snow, from Inventions

In Fantasyland guests used to be able to discover a Christmas market, straight from the world of Beauty and the Beast, 'Belle's Christmas Village'.

Belle's Christmas Village

Belle's Christmas Village

Finally, a staple of the holiday season for some years has been the "it's a small world" overlay, becoming "it's a small world" Celebration during Christmas Season.

"it's a small world" Celebration

"it's a small world" Celebration

"it's a small world" Celebration

Now we fast forward from our trip through the past, to 2012. Last year Disneyland Paris took a giant leap away from previous Christmas offerings.
Mickey's Winter Wonderland did not return, the Princess Crowns were ditched, brand new garlands graced Main Street, there was a new live entertainment offering starring Mickey, and a fantastic new Christmas Cavalcade was launched.

Unfortunately we were unable to attend last year (although we were in California for their Christmas Season, so that was a great substitute!).
That means that this year will be our first year seeing the new offerings, and what's more, there is set to be even more this year than last year! Of course, some old favourites will still be there too.

This year the park has got a brand new Christmas Tree, which is really exciting for me, as I love Christmas Trees! As well as the new Tree, last years there were brand new garlands all along Main Street and giant character snowmen in Central Plaza. This is as well as all the beautiful decorations that find their way throughout the resort, with nearly every restaurant, store being decorated inside and out. The Disneyland Hotel also has a yearly traditional giant gingerbread house.

The Christmas Gingerbread House

The Cavalcade is said to be receiving some extra characters, making it better than last year, and the Tree Lighting Ceremony has been changed again, this time being narrated by Jiminy Cricket and Pinocchio.
Santa and his Elves will still be at the Ranch, snow will still fall on Main Street USA, and "it's a small world" Celebration has been reinstalled.
The Jingle Bell Boys are set to return too. That's a live band that also stars Mickey Mouse showing off his dance moves at the Videopolis in Discoveryland.
I have also heard that Jack Skellington is sticking around after Halloween Season ends, but will be putting on his Sandy Claws outfit! Now that would be really awesome!
One of the biggest things that the park is doing this year is a brand new version of Dreams especially for Christmas!
Disney Dreams! is the most spectacular nighttime show ever created by Disney Imagineering, and for the holidays it'll switch to featuring scenes from the new Disney movie Frozen, a Toy Story Nutcracker tale, and much more!



If all that wasn't enough, there are a few more things that are continuing some Disneyland Paris traditions.
For many years, the Disney Hotels have offered special meals during the holidays, some of which are character ones.
On the 29th December we are planning to attend the Christmas Brunch with the Disney Characters at Inventions, in the Disneyland Hotel, and on New Year's Eve there is a special character dinner at the Hotel New York, which we are also attending.

Usually on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, the Disneyland Hotel puts on special entertainment too. We really hope that this returns this year also, as we've really enjoyed this in the past. And speaking of New Year, both parks and Lake Disney all will continue their annual New Year's Fireworks. Two years ago we saw them in Disneyland Park, this year we plan to see them on Lake Disney due to our meal at the Hotel New York.

Huey, Dewey and Louie Present The Nutcracker

Mickey and Friends Opening Event with the Mayor of Main Street

Mickey and Friends Opening Event with the Mayor of Main Street

The Disney Princesses Present The Sugar Plum Fairy

Although nothing has been officially been announced as to which characters will be greeting in special Christmas costumes this year, there will be no doubt be some old favourites, and perhaps some new ones!

Finally, as we as the new additions to last year's brand new Cavalcade, the regular day parade's Romance float has been out for refurbishment, and will be returning at the start of the holidays with Anna and Elsa atop it, on a brand new, redesigned Frozen float!

To say that we are really excited is actually an understatement. I think this year is going to be the best Christmas Season at Disneyland Paris for many years. Let's hope they keep adding to it, and keep reinventing themselves, always offering something just as magical, but new and different.

I'm going to leave you now with a load more photos of the Resort at Christmastime. Enjoy!

Dan.

The World of Disney Store

Special Christmas sweet treats at Belle's Christmas Village

Christmas at Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlour

Christmas in Town Square

Christmas plush at La Boutique du Château

"it's a small world" Celebration

Christmas in Town Square

Special Christmas sweet treats at Belle's Christmas Village

"it's a small world" Celebration

Christmas at Fuente del Oro Restaurante

Disney's Santa Claus Village

Sleeping Beauty Castle lit up for Christmas

Pere Noel's Elve's Workshop

Disney's Santa Claus Village

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