For the last 15 years, Disneyland Paris has commemorated an event that greatly interests our Anglo-Saxon guests. Indeed, the anniversary of the death of Guy Fawkes, also known as the Bonfire or The gunpowder plot is celebrated every month of November on Lake Disney. In the beginning it was a simple bonfire with fireworks, but with time it graduated into a true pyrotechnical show, prepared and mounted by the creative teams of Disney Business Solutions. This year’s “Mickey’s Magical Fireworks” just wrapped up their three shows. We want to look into the means implemented to create this event which attracts 20 000 spectators each year!
For Denis Lemonne, Senior Manager Concepts & Supports for Disney Business Solutions (the events structure at Disneyland Paris), “Mickey’s Magical Fireworks” is a lot more than a simple show of fireworks. The show is designed like a ‘lights and sounds’ event, with pyrotechnic elements. It is a heroic, musical fresco in 7 movements that commemorate a historic event of the United Kingdom. During three evenings each year, 32 persons are dedicated to mount / dismount the show, and during the whole production itself.
The point of departure is the soundtrack on which they start working in early June for a week. It includes classical music, pop, rock and world music. Then the stage has to be set, the fireworks supplier needs to be chosen and the feasibility study is carried out. This takes a good two months. And last but not least the mounting and dismounting of the installations, which takes a week each time. All this requires true team work and great synergy. So of course the Business Solutions design office works hand in hand with the technical teams from Disney Village, a light and special effects technical team and the Entertainment teams of Disneyland Paris.
The teams need to meet a number of challenges: short rehearsal periods, crowd control, weather constraints and safety distances for the fireworks. As if this were not enough, Denis Lemonne is expected each year to innovate by changing the show: “Our Bonfire Show clientele, mostly Anglo-Saxon, come especially to Disneyland Paris to see it. Many come back every year so we must constantly renew our show and innovate.”
This year for example, 50 light spheres distributed throughout the lake marked a light pause for each sequence of the show. Denis also has 3 lasers and 24 projectors and all this represent a large technical installation and particularly one floating on water. “The show lasts 24 minutes, which is relatively long and this explains why we have insisted so much on the design of the show, in order to produce a top quality, one-of-its-kind show.” As we see the reactions of the spectators this year, we can claim Denis and his teams have accomplished their mission.