70 years ago, Cinderella, Walt Disney’s masterpiece, first premiered on the big screen, and since then, the princess with the glass slippers has not aged one bit. This anniversary is the perfect opportunity to rediscover her world and fulfill “a wish your heart makes” at Disneyland Paris….
THE GLASS SLIPPER
The story of Cinderella dates back to the moment when Walt Disney first got his start in the industry. In 1922, he opened his studio in Kansas City and produced his first series of cartoons, called the “laugh-O-Grams.” As part of this series, he released his first adaptation of the fairytale, with contemporary and comic undertones, in December that same year. A Silly Symphony based on the same story was considered for a while in 1933, but the project was nipped in the bud.
Only in 1943 did a new scenario see the light of day, and in 1948, Walt decided to use it for his next animated movie.
The movie enjoyed immediate success upon its release on 15 February 1950. It was nominated for three Academy Awards (Best Sound, Best Music and Best Original Song for Bibbidi-Boddidi-Boo) thus kick-starting a new golden age for Disney animation.
Cinderella also includes one of Walt Disney’s favorite scenes, when Fairy Godmother magically transforms her ruined dress into a wonderful ballgown. The animation work for this magical scene was particularly well-executed by the very talented Marc Davis (who also played a prominent role in the creation of Pirates of the Caribbean). Cinderella’s ballgown, inspired by Christian Dior (who had made a strong impact when he visited Los Angeles in 1947), is absolutely stunning!
As the animated movie proved to be a tremendous success and it was of particular significance for Walt, it felt perfectly natural for the Imagineers to use it as a source of inspiration for the different Disney Parks, and most notably for the castles at the Magic Kingdom in Florida and at Tokyo Disneyland.
It made as much sense to pay homage to the movie at Disneyland Paris, in the home country of Charles Perrault. As such, Cinderella holds a special place in Fantasyland, especially at Auberge de Cendrillon, which hosts one of the iconic restaurants of the Park.
The building is clearly reminiscent of the Renaissance architecture from the Loire Valley, which the artistic directors of the movie, Mary Blair and John Hench, had used as inspiration before. The pastel pink facade and the blue rooftops are in clear reference to the color palette used in the animated movie. Inside, the French style ceilings, stone arches, beveled windows and the pastel colors recall the outdoor feel of the place while the tapestries, column capitals, fresco paintings all hint at the 1950 classic. The carriage, which is out front, and the fountain, adorned with an elegant bronze statue, complete the enchanting feel of the place, just like the treats offered by the chefs – most notably, the signature Cinderella dessert, an exquisite slipper…made of white chocolate!
ON THE WAY TO THE BALL!
Beyond her various appearances, whether it be at Auberge de Cendrillon or at the Princess Pavilion, Cinderella enjoys taking part in the resort’s various shows. She used to appear in her fabulous carriage, shaped like a pumpkin, drawn by magnificent horses, in the Disney Parade (1992-1994) as well as the sparkling Main Street Electrical Parade (1992-2003), which also featured the castle clock.
The pumpkin used to magically transform into a carriage right before the eyes of the guests, during the Festival des Contes de Fées show (1995-1996), as court dancers performed a pas de deux (ballet duet) and tap-danced to the sound of a live marching band. At Walt Disney Studios Park, she would sometimes join in the Disney’s Stars’n’Cars parade (2008-2015) and appears nowadays in the Mickey and the Magician show at Animagique Theater. Cinderella does not shy away from joining the other Disney Princesses for a show or a dance. For example, she can be admired on Castle Stage, in the Starlit Princess Waltz (2017-2019), or during the Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony on Main Street U.S.A. Disney Princesses come to lend a hand to Santa Claus, in order to make the Castle sparkle!
PRINCESS AND FRIENDS
Cinderella is not the only character from Walt Disney’s classic animated movie that guests can meet at Disneyland Paris. Between 2012 and 2017, Fairy Godmother held a prime spot on the first float, called “Inventons la Magie,” of Disney Magic on Parade! Nowadays, guests can applaud her in the show Mickey and the Magician, in which she seeks to teach the basics of magic thanks to her famous song “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo!”
Suzy and Perla also take part in the festivities. They can sometimes be seen next to Auberge de Cendrillon for heartwarming encounters, as well as inside the restaurant where they frequently welcome the guests. Jaq and Gus also join them at times.
Halloween is undeniably the best time of the year to meet Lady Tremaine and her two disgraceful daughters, Drizella and Anastasia. Throughout the entire season, they can be seen roaming around Fantasyland (maybe in search of a fiancé?) or on Castle Stage for Attention… Méchants! If you ever happen to stumble across them, will you be brave enough to dare approach them?
WHEN DREAMS COME TRUE
What if it was your turn to lead the life of a princess?
Nothing is easier at Disneyland Paris!
Enjoying lunch, or a “royal breakfast” at Auberge de Cendrillon is always an unforgettable experience. This table service restaurant will enable you to relish in the most exquisite treats in a fairytale setting with the Disney Princesses.
For an extra touch of magic, don’t hesitate to go to the Fantasyland or Studio 1 makeup stands, and choose from the many models offered inspired by Animation Classics.
For a total makeover, make your way to the Disneyland Hotel. “Princess for a day” is an exclusive service which enables your child to transform into a real princess! Hair and make-up are done by professional artists and the sovereign apprentice can even dress as her favorite Disney Princess and turn this moment into a long-lasting memory with a photoshoot.
Why not conclude the day in the enchanting environment of the “Cinderella” suite, the large Vice-Presidential suite of the Disneyland Hotel? Beyond its unparalleled view overlooking Disneyland Park, it features numerous refined details and references to Walt Disney’s animated movie, from the glass slipper in the lobby to the vegetable theming of the furniture, in reference to the transformative scene of the movie.
Nothing is better to fulfill a wish you heart makes, without fearing to be out and about when the clock strikes midnight!