We all have those odd jobs we never quite get round to and you’ll need to be a longtime reader of DLRPToday.com now to remember the demise of Hurricanes Discotheque back in March 2010. So it’s with some relief that, three years on, we report the unmistakably ’90s nightclub spot in Disney Village is at last being white-washed into the history books.
Signage and exterior decorations outside the first-floor unit have laid dormant since the club was unceremoniously and hastily shuttered just shy of its 18th birthday, surely confusing for casual guests and certainly an eyesore on Disney Village’s main avenue.
The latest photo above by DisneyGazette.fr shows the exterior stripped of its colourful fake palm trees and the stairs repainted in plain white — removing the previous Hurricanes Discotheque branding and slogans. Here’s hoping the tacky beach shack and all other remnants will be removed soon, too.
Below, the venue as it was before, pictured in April 2012.
Current consensus seems to be that the location will become a Cast Member restaurant or break space, a slightly disappointing use for a prime space within Disney Village which would itself still benefit from an improved dining offer. Previous rumours, soon after the nightclub’s closure, were for an ESPN Zone, a new Sports Bar or an Italian restaurant.
At the very least, the cleared ground floor area could be a good space for a small café or kiosk and seating area — perhaps Frank Gehry’s minimalist 1992 vision is due a return?
This Sunday, Disneyland Paris celebrates St Patrick’s Day for one day only with music, dance, fireworks and special character appearances. The full programme of events was released today, confirming the annual Irish celebrations will again be hosted largely in the Cottonwood Creek Ranch area of Frontierland, a tradition begun last year and continued with the St David’s Welsh Festival just last weekend.
On 17th March 2013, guests can expect special appearances from Disney characters in costumes inspired by the Emerald Isle, along with free face painting, a pipe band, Irish musicians and dance shows from the Sarah Clark Academy with special guests Chip ‘n’ Dale. A special fireworks display ends the day as a precursor to Disney Dreams! and the fun continues into the night at Disney Village.
All the times and details are in the programme attached below… CONTINUE READING…
You thought it might never happen. But at last, the Ratatouille dark ride is official. After years of winks and nods to this open secret from Euro Disney S.C.A. officials, not to mention that vast concrete shell of a showbuilding at Walt Disney Studios Park, CEO Philippe Gas has today publicly confirmed that a “Ratatouille-themed attraction” will open at Disneyland Paris in 2014.
Here’s the full press release, released to coincide with today’s Shareholders annual general meeting:
Marne-la-Vallée, 28 February 2013. During the group’s annual shareholder meeting on 28 February, Euro Disney Chairman Philippe Gas announced plans for the continued development of Disneyland Paris, with the addition of a new attraction based on the hit Disney/Pixar movie Ratatouille.
‘Our new family-focused Ratatouille attraction, which is scheduled to open in 2014, symbolises all of the creativity, innovation and emotion that guests associate with a Disneyland Paris experience,’ Gas said.
Set to open in Walt Disney Studios Park, the attraction is part of the group’s long-term commitment to investing in high-quality guest experiences. That strategy has been fundamental to strengthening the appeal of the multi-day destination, which achieved record-breaking attendance of 16 million visits in 2012.
This unique attraction will take guests into the world of the Oscar-winning Disney/Pixar movie Ratatouille which tells the tale of Remy – a talented young rat who dreams of becoming a renowned French chef. Disney storytelling and state-of-the-art technology will come together in this romantic, larger-than-life, Parisian experience.
‘By developing this new Ratatouille attraction, we continue to ensure our guests can experience their favourite Disney stories in memorable ways that only Disney can provide,’ Gas said. ‘The theme, which is very français, is a tribute to our capital and the unforgettable characters that make Ratatouille the ideal choice for an attraction that fits perfectly at Disneyland Paris.’
The group also announced the extension of its 20th Anniversary celebrations until 30 September 2013. Guests now have a second chance to enjoy the festivities that include a new twist on the award-winning ‘Disney Dreams!’ spectacular. The unforgettable show will now be enriched with scenes from two much-loved Disney animated classics, The Lion King and Brave. In addition,each performance will become an interactive experience when guests wear Disney Light’Ears.
These magical Mickey ears will change colour in time with the show, making ‘Disney Dreams!’ an even more spectacular experience for the whole family.
From today’s annual general meeting, the operating group’s strategy for the resort is now more firmly fixed on expanding Walt Disney Studios Park into a viable partner for Disneyland Park, though no detail was apparently given beyond this already-under construction development.
The press release naturally fails to give many details away about the new attraction — there’s plenty of time ahead for that. Hopefully this is just the start of a well-organised promotional campaign to maximise this €150 million investment. Disneyland Paris has been notoriously poor at “hyping” its new attraction openings, compared to other theme parks and the American Disney resorts — notably California — which build interest with updates and teasers well in advance of the opening date.
Here’s to Paris, 2014…
Just can’t wait to see how one of the new scenes coming to Disney Dreams! will look? Here’s your first sneak preview, courtesy of a new teaser trailer on the official Disneyland Paris website. For a few brief seconds, visible in the screen capture above, we see the face of Simba from “The Lion King” roaring across Sleeping Beauty Castle, surrounded by colourful projections and fountains.
With Simba’s red-leafed mane, this is unmistakably the “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King” segment of the new scene, scheduled to be officially added to the show from 1st April 2013. We reported last week that this new scene is said to be a medley of the songs penned by Tim Rice and Elton John for the film, also including “Circle of Life” and “Hakuna Matata”.
Along with a scene from Pixar’s “Brave”, it will apparently replace the current “Mary Poppins” and “The Jungle Book” scenes – so catch those “originals” while you can.
However, unlike that second new scene featuring Princess Merida, Simba’s guest role in the nighttime spectacular was reportedly already animated and programmed for the launch of the show last year, but held back in favour of Baloo and King Louie’s “I Wanna Be Like You”, so this footage could actually date from then. One confirmed change to the scene since its 2012 trials, though, will be the young singers of Dutch TV show “The Voice Kids” now providing vocals for its soundtrack, recorded just last month at Abbey Road Studios in London.
You’ve already upgraded from a standard lodge room to a Montana room, perhaps even a Lake View. But from April, Disney’s Sequoia Lodge begins offering an altogether more “exclusive” category of room with the launch of its own Golden Forest Club.
Modelled on the successful Castle Club of Disneyland Hotel and Empire State Club at Disney’s Hotel New York, these rooms will be located in the top floors of the main building and come complete with their own Golden Forest Club Lounge. Besides the privileged room location, benefits include breakfast with Disney characters and private reception, plus free soft drinks and afternoon snacks in the adjoining lounge, which is said to have a “beautiful tree” as its centrepiece.
Special Disney’s Fastpass tickets are also a benefit, although not as generous as the other “Clubs” which provide unlimited VIP Fastpass tickets: For Golden Forest Club, you’ll only receive one “Disney Hotel Fastpass” per person per day, which is a single-use, any-time, any-attraction ticket.
A higher tier means a higher price, and that’s especially true here. For one night including park tickets for two adults sharing a Golden Forest Club room, prices start at €634 according to Disneyland Paris’ standard pricing grids. That compares to €498 for a standard room at Sequoia Lodge and is notably more than the €596 for the same stay at the Admiral’s Floor of Disney’s Newport Bay Club, which doesn’t offer the private lounge nor any special Fastpass.
The rooms of Disney’s Sequoia Lodge were completely refurbished throughout 2011 and 2012, adding light “Bambi” touches. Current hotel refurbishment efforts now centred on the lowest tier Disney’s Hotel Santa, adding touches from Disney-Pixar’s “Cars” to the rooms. Up next for a major update is said to be Disney’s Newport Bay Club, which rumour suggests could enhance its “Admiral’s Floor” offer to become more like these Club rooms.
Yesterday was a special day for character fans, as troublesome kittens Berlioz and Toulouse from “The Aristocats” made their first ever park appearance at Disneyland Paris. The pair joined sister Marie, who has been sighted rarely at the resort before, for a special photo shoot on Town Square and a brief parade event aboard the Main Street Omnibus.
Titled “Be my Valentine!”, the day’s events also included decorations around Town Square gazebo and numerous “rare” character appearances all around the park, captured here in pictures by @InsideDLParis, @DisneylandPFans and @DisneyMoi.
Unusually, some characters were out as couples: Mickey and Minnie, Donald and Daisy, Woody and Jessie, Peter Pan and Wendy, Stitch and Angel… even Chip ‘n’ Dale vying for Clarice’s heart together. Even more unusual, there was a chance to see characters including Bernard and Bianca from “The Rescuers”, Phoebus and Esmeralda from “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and, over at Walt Disney Studios Park, Chicken Little and Abbey Mallard (remember them?!).
Disneyland Paris never usually celebrates Valentine’s Day with this much effort, so it was great for them to do this for their guests, right? Well, yes, and also the certain Prince with deep pockets who was reportedly visiting… but still, we get to enjoy most of the events too, so let’s not complain. Like we all said about the fantastic 12th April 2012 events, which were again presented mostly for a visiting VIP party: this is simply how Disneyland should feel all year round, for all paying guests.
Watch a complete video of The Aristocats’ “Be my Valentine!” cavalcade… CONTINUE READING…
Long-standing rumours of a LEGO Store in Disney Village have been given new immediacy by the posting of a job recruitment notice for assistant managers. Posted on the Mercuri Urval website, the listing originally made explicit reference to a LEGO-branded retail store at Disneyland Paris and even went so far as to claim it will be the biggest in Europe. The page has now been amended to become more ambiguous, but still references a “flagship / concept store”.
We first reported rumours of a new LEGO Store in March 2012 when, in the lead up to the opening of World of Disney, the now rather superfluous Hollywood Pictures store was seen to be the likely location for such an outlet. That’s still the case, and some rumours suggest LEGO could open as soon as June — but so far there’s no word of an imminent closure for the movie-themed merchandise shop.
Following World of Disney opening last July, which sells the vast majority of general Disneyland Paris merchandise, the older Disney Store was reconfigured into more of a “character merchandise” location featuring franchises such as Star Wars and Cars. A “boutique” refit of Disney Fashion was also completed last year, leaving the remaining Disney Village stores to find a new raison d’être.
LEGO Stores have recently opened elsewhere in France at Lille and Paris’ SO Ouest shopping mall. Locations at the Downtown Disney districts in Florida and California, which are more of an “experience” with large custom-built Disney brick models, were originally given more prestigious “LEGO Imagination Centre” branding, but now appear to be being titled with simply the LEGO name.
Given the floorspace of Hollywood Pictures, the Disney Village location could be big, but maybe not particularly huge. Perhaps LEGO could use the World of Toys store next door too, especially since it would have its through-access cut off from the row of shops here anyway.
Just please, do something about that orange shopfront…
• See the current store: Photos Magiques recently added a new Hollywood Pictures photo gallery
Your 2013/2014 holiday to Disneyland Paris might now feel a lot more like a 21st Century experience. Lagging behind for years in internet access offering, Disneyland Paris has made a surprise sudden move towards offering more widespread — and crucially, free — Wi-Fi access across the resort.
Announced late on Monday was that the prestigious Disneyland Hotel now offers free Wi-Fi access. Then, on Tuesday, the official Twitter feed of the resort followed that up by confirming free Wi-Fi would be rolled out gradually within the next year to all other Disney Hotels, along with convention centres, Golf Disneyland and even Disney Village.
Free Wi-Fi is now arguably considered as important as other hotel room fixtures such as a television. From previously offering only patchy and expensive Wi-Fi access in only the four higher tier Disney Hotels, this move will add some much-needed additional value back to those — many say — overpriced “on property” room nights. Guests have in the past been faced with the frankly absurd situation that, for example, the ultra-basic €52 per night Ibis Budget over at Val d’Europe offered free Wi-Fi, but the €459 minimum Disneyland Hotel did not.
The inclusion of Disney Village in these plans is interesting. Could that be a commercial decision, to make the entertainment district more inviting for visitors to “dwell” longer, or could it even be an easier test bed for eventually covering the whole of the resort — and both parks — by free Wi-Fi? Last year, Walt Disney World began offering free Wi-Fi to visitors within its Magic Kingdom park, with plans to roll it out to all four parks and Downtown Disney over there too.
Besides giving guests what they now see as an almost essential home comfort, providing free Wi-Fi will also exponentially increase the number of status updates, photos and videos posted to social media websites during guests’ stays, especially at Disneyland Paris where many guests have had to avoid “roaming” charges for foreign networks, giving the Disney Parks perhaps their most powerful ever marketing tool: us.