Our venue started modestly as the Chaparral Stage and hosted country music groups in particular. As of 1996 the main stage of Frontierland became a real theatre and welcomed four major productions. In just a few days, on 10 February precisely, it will welcome the Enchanted Forest: a Disney musical adventure. This has prompted us to rewind a few a few years back and show you images that prove the place live shows play in the guest experience in the Disney Parks.
1. Pocahontas – The Show
Pocahontas – The Show was the first major show when it inaugurated the new theatre at Frontierland on 12 May 1996. The show was inspired from the 33rd Great Disney Classic and the story between Pocahontas and John Smith, presented as the shooting of a movie in which the stand ins were chosen among the public. This show designed like a movie set invited guests to experience adventure and romance, live! It is important to note that in 1996, Chaparral Theatre was not yet a covered venue and therefore the shows were totally dependent on Nature’s whims.
Pocahontas – The Show, enchanted guests at Disneyland Paris until 29 August 1999.
2. Mickey’s Winter Wonderland
As of Christmas 1997, the Chaparral Theater started to host a seasonal show on ice. It would perform every Christmas season until 08 January 2012. By then the stage was covered thus allowing guests to have an improved experience and the Entertainment teams better operating conditions. In a snowy and ice shimmering setting, the Disney characters enjoyed the joys of winter. Being very talented ice skaters they would glide and dance on the lake tot eh rhythm of a show that had something in common with the musical comedies of the 50s. Stage director Emmanuel Lenormand gave the main role to Anglo-saxon classic tunes such as “Let it snow”, “it’s cold outside” or “Walking in a winter wonderland”.
3. Tarzan : the Encounter
On 1 April 2000 Reed Jones and Kat de Blois –then stage director, today artistic director – launched the show Tarzan: the Encounter. It perfectly illustrates the notion of Live Show with multi-talented and multi-disciplinary artists, including dancers, acrobats, stunt men and singers who perform in a poetic and energetic show, enhanced by special effects. The music was recorded in Los Angeles together with the co-composer of the movie’s music, Mark Mancina. Music Director Vasile Sirli insisted on working with the original movie’s team, from the orchestra director to the music copyists. Phil Collins, who recorded the 6 official languages presented at the time to meet the needs of the show, declared he got his inspiration from Tarzan: the Encounter to write the Broadway musical comedy taken from the movie! The show was one of the most impressive and successful shows at Disneyland Paris when the curtain came down at the end of the 2012 summer season.
4. Frozen Sing along
The new seasonal show at Disneyland Paris for the summer of 2015 was Frozen Sing along. Inspired from the great Disney animation Studios success, it is the return of live shows on stage, and a new type of production in which interaction is very important. Spectators, children and adults alike, sing in unison the songs interpreted live by the performers on stage, following the words of the great hits of “Frozen” which appear on giant screens perfectly integrated into the snow covered scenery. Queen Elsa arrives in person in a remarkable snow storm before the great finale. Over one million spectators enjoyed the show during its first season, and the show was given up to 12 times a day, a record for a Disneyland Paris production! Given its spectacular success, the show Frozen Sing along came back to the Chaparral Theatre during the Christmas 2015 season and will be presented again to the public as of the month of June.
5. The Forest of Enchantment: a Disney Musical Adventure
As of 10 February 2016, Disneyland Paris will unveil a totally different show on the stage of Chaparral Theatre, in which Disney heroes and heroines will celebrate Nature in an unusual manner. This truly traditional musical show will allow guests to meet the Disney characters in the heart of an enchanted forest, full of surprises. The spirits of the forest will invite them on an extraordinary voyage to the sound of catchy and energizing rhythms that prelude the imminent arrival of spring.
The show is an original Disneyland Paris creation. Christophe Leclercq, the show’s stage director, designed a particular atmosphere in which guests would plunge into the heart of an enchanted forest. Not surprising they should have chosen the stage at Chaparral Theater, right in the heart of Frontierland, “we wanted to offer a story that had a strong link with the forest. Chaparral Theater very quickly appeared as the ideal venue”. To put this brand new musical adventure on stage, Christophe Leclercq called in great talents from Broadway, Los Angeles and Paris. The Forest of Enchantment: a Disney Musical Adventure brings together all the Disneyland Paris know-how and the talent of international artists, thus offering a unique show in its genre.