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Disneyland Paris Premieres New Interactive Show: Disney Junior Dream Factory at Walt Disney Studios Park

Marne-la-Vallée, July 1, 2021 – Following the reopening of Disneyland Paris on June 17, the resort’s first new show of the year – Disney Junior Dream Factory – is now welcoming guests at Walt Disney Studios Park.

Ideal for families with young children, Disney Junior Dream Factory is an interactive 20-minute show located in the brand-new “Studio D” theatre at Walt Disney Studios Park on a new state-of-the-art stage. Little ones can dream with their favorite heroes from popular Disney Junior franchises, as families join together to make dreams come true, singing and enjoying memorable musical moments.

The show features beloved characters such as Mickey, Minnie and Timon, as well as Disney Junior’s rising stars Vampirina and Fancy Nancy Clancy, joined by the Dream Factory crew. Just as they are about to reveal how dreams are made, the factory stops working – but Mickey, Minnie and the dream-making experts can help save the day!

With plenty of catchy tunes, they invite the audience to work together and show everyone that you can “dare to believe in your dreams and they will come true,” helping to make the dream machine work by singing, swaying and having fun. Now more than ever it’s time to dream, and Disney Junior Dream Factory will help guests do just that!

To create this show, Director Paul Chychota was inspired by the storytelling, music and locations from Disney Junior’s hit TV shows Vampirina, Fancy Nancy Clancy and The Lion King Guard.

“The biggest challenge in creating the show was to make sure it was relevant to both younger children and their parents. Our message had to be simple enough for children to understand and sophisticated enough for adults. The show was created and designed so that everyone feels welcomed in the Disney Junior Dream Factory!”

Check out an exclusive first look at the show: https://youtu.be/YdZjeRkhVe4

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Presented with French Sign Language Interpretation

To make sure as many guests as possible can enjoy the show together, Disney Junior Dream Factory will be presented every weekend* with actors specializing in “chansigne” – a form of artistic expression in French sign language – to immerse all guests in the show’s delightful story.

Production facts and figures:

  • Time lapse on new stage construction: Découvrez la transformation de Studio D ! – YouTube
  • 160 people worked on the show
  • 45 singers auditioned to join a cast of 18 singers (9 women and 9 men)
  • Cast represent four nationalities: English, Italian, Spanish and French
  • Four hearing-impaired comedians specializing in ‘chansigne’

*Subject to last minute cancellations.

Some experiences, shows or events will not be available or may be modified depending on the evolution of the health and safety measures and recommendations from public authorities. Guests can visit disneylandparis.com for the most recent updates All the events, shows, attractions and animations mentioned might also be modified, delayed, cancelled or closed without advance notice and they are subject of climatic conditions.

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Disney and Pixar’s ‘Coco’ Coming to ‘Mickey’s PhilharMagic’ on July 17

We can’t keep this news under Mickey’s sorcerer hat much longer. Fans of “Mickey’s PhilharMagic” will be tapping to a new song with the debut of an animated scene based on Disney and Pixar’s “Coco.” 

The musical number “Un Poco Loco”will anchor the new scene when it opens to guests at Disneyland Paris and Disney California Adventure park on July 17, before being added to Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort later this year during the Walt Disney World Resort 50th anniversary celebration.

The film’s fun, upbeat music and characters combined with the humor of Donald Duck marks the first time Disney and Pixar animators have worked on a creative endeavor where characters from both animation studios will be seen together on screen. 

Because music is such an integral part of the show, we were also fortunate to tap one of the film’s original composers – the world-renowned Germaine Franco – to produce a “Coco” score unique to “Mickey’s PhilharMagic.”

Guests of Discoveryland Theater will enjoy this new scene alongside all of the show’s current fan favorite musical numbers. Now it’s time to put on those 3D glasses and let the show begin!

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How do I get a PCR test during your visit to Disneyland Paris?

Guests required by their home country to provide proof of a negative PCR test result before departure can choose to schedule an appointment at the testing center opening on July 2 in Disney Village. The site will operate daily from 8AM-8PM from Monday through Sunday.

The PCR testing service will be equipped and managed by an independent third party, Loxamed, registered by the French Health authority which will oversee the logistics and operate the site autonomously. Disneyland Paris will provide the location necessary to carry out the operation.

This service is intended to help assist guests visiting Disneyland Paris this summer from outside of France fulfill travel requirements specific to their home country. It is not required for guests to schedule a test to visit the resort. Operations are subject to change as the situation evolves. For more information and to book an appointment, visit: https://disney.loxamed.fr/

Who can get a PCR test at the testing center in Disney Village?
The testing center is open to any guest who wishes to make an appointment. This service is intended to help assist guests visiting Disneyland Paris this summer fulfill travel requirements specific to their home country. It is equipped and managed by an independent third party, Loxamed, registered by the French Health authority which operates the site autonomously.

Is a PCR test required to visit Disneyland Paris?
Guests are not required to provide proof of a negative PCR test result to visit the resort. However, any guest experiencing symptoms or exposed to another person with a suspected or confirmed infection should postpone their visit to the resort.

How much does it cost to get a PCR test?
There is an administrative cost for the testing service. Prices are determined by the independent third party, Loxamed, which operates the site autonomously. Until July 6, the cost of the test itself is covered by French social security for all guests. As per the French health authorities conditions, as of July 7, Non-French guests will be required to pay for the test, in addition to the administrative costs. For more information, please visit: https://disney.loxamed.fr/

What languages are spoken at the testing center?
The testing center can provide services in both French and English. For more information, please visit: https://disney.loxamed.fr/

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Disneyland Paris Guest Experience Enhanced with New Digital Services, next step in Continue Evolution of the Resort!

Disneyland Paris is helping guests maximize the fun and minimize the wait with a host of digital enhancements on the Disneyland Paris App, among them a new Food Hub, new Disney Premier Access service and new digital features at resort hotels. Further enhancements are empowering our Cast Members to excel in the resort’s signature service style and enabling Imagineers to push the boundaries of storytelling.

Digital Services for an Elevated Guest Experience

Disneyland Paris is always looking at opportunities to leverage technology for an enhanced guest experience in an increasingly interconnected world. To that end, the Resort has taken advantage of its temporary closure to further develop digital features for an even more compelling, tailor-made and premium guest experience.

Starting with Resort Hotels, a new Online Check-in feature will allow guests to start registration from their phones and get a text message when their room is ready, a great way to reduce waiting time and enjoy all that the Resort has to offer. More tech features are available at Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel, such as Super Hero Station Mobile Booking which is available exclusively for guests staying at this hotel to reserve an epic moment with Spider-Man!

On the Disneyland Paris App, guests can soon test new features for an enhanced dining experience, such as a “Food Hub” which allows anyone to conveniently search and book Disney-operated restaurants based on useful criteria such as type of cuisine or meal plans accepted. With the app, guests can book and plan their culinary experience months in advance.

Looking ahead, the online registration system put in place last year is now here to stay. This system allows for better planning the level of service to help deliver the signature guest experience that Disneyland Paris is known for across every aspect of a guest’s visit, from attractions to dining to entertainment and more. To ensure admission, Guests must continue to register through the system and obtain a reservation for park entry along with their park ticket, prior to their arrival. Guests who already have a dated ticket or who bought a package that includes parks tickets and hotel stay will not need to use the registration system.

The complimentary Standby Pass which debuted on the Disneyland Paris App last October has also returned. Standby Pass allows guests to spend part of their wait time for select attractions outside of the physical queue line, although it does not provide immediate access to an attraction. This service can be activated during certain periods of the day, subject to availability and dependent on day-to-day needs in the parks. When activated, guests can use the Disneyland Paris App to book a time slot to enter the physical queue line of an attraction and return to stand in the queue at that time.

Additionally, as part of our ongoing commitment to provide guests with a range of options to optimize trip planning, guests can choose to purchase Disney Premier Access on the Disneyland Paris App when it launches on August 5. This optional digital service allows guests to enjoy the ability to skip the regular queue line for some of our most beloved attractions, including a mix of thrill-rides, Disney classics and experiences for the whole family.

From anywhere inside the parks, guests can use the App to book an assigned time slot for select attractions, with prices at launch starting at 8€ per person per ride depending on the attraction and day of use. Guests without a smartphone can also purchase Disney Premier Access at select locations in the parks. By choosing Disney Premier Access, guests have the option for more flexibility in planning their day and will be able to spend even more time enjoying attractions, shows and so much more.

As we continue to assess many aspects of our business and make changes where they are needed for both the current environment and the future of our resort, the addition of Standby Pass and Disney Premier Access will provide alternative services for our guests and the previous FASTPASS service at Disneyland Paris will not be returning. We are always working to enhance our offerings and the way that our guests experience them based on valuable feedback for ongoing improvements across the resort.

On the latest additions to the Disneyland Paris App, Juliette Bron, Vice President Digital & Data says:

We are always looking for ways to improve the guest experience. The return of Standby Pass, the introduction of Disney Premier Access and each new digital enhancement across our parks and hotels is part of our commitment to provide innovative products and services that take into consideration ongoing feedback and not only meet but exceed the expectations of our guests. 

Guests expect seamless experiences more and more, and with technology’s evolution, we have an             opportunity – and a responsibility – to match their expectations.”

These new services are just one part of a more dynamic, seamless guest experience designed to accommodate guests’ changing preferences and advancements in technology.

Enhanced Storytelling Through Digital Innovation

At Disneyland Paris, technology is ever-present in our most beloved attractions thanks to our Imagineers – a term coined by Walt Disney himself – who embody the innovation of Disney Parks, mastering emerging technologies to deliver immersive storytelling time and time again. Imagineers create the attractions of tomorrow using the latest in virtual reality and 4D design.

It’s no surprise that our latest attractions uphold this legacy.In Cars ROAD TRIP, guests are invited on an adventure into the world of Pixar’s Cars films along the idyllic Route 66, integrating GPS-triggered audio and visuals for seamless storytelling. This immersive approach follows in the footsteps of other tech-savvy rides, such as Ratatouille – The Adventure with its wireless autonomous vehicles, moving-eye point technology and customized projections, or Star Tours: The Adventures Continue with its built-in jukebox functionality for a ride experience that is unique to each guest.

Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel is a great example of how new technologies can help Imagineers create the experiences of tomorrow. Long before construction began, several spaces were virtually remodeled at scale, allowing the creative teams to see and test what guests would experience in order to fine tune every detail. This was the case for Skyline Bar, which offers a breathtaking view from a New York City skyscraper for a surreal look at the city that never sleeps, without the dizzying effects! Imagineers collaborated with Marvel partners to deliver more than 1.2 million frames of 4K resolution imagery on the nine, 86-inch monitors that create a seamless day-to-night view.

David Wilson, Vice President, Walt Disney Imagineering says:

“We are moving forward with a number of groundbreaking projects that will push the boundaries of innovation and storytelling even further. As we continue efforts to reinvent the overall guest experience, we are developing increasingly interconnected experiences for our guests which bring together the digital and physical worlds in a seamless way, creating new opportunities for immersive storytelling.”

Seamless Digital Experience for Cast Members

The resort continues to enhance the Cast Member experience from the very start with immersive training that brings together hands-on learning with engaging new digital tools. For example, Cast Members  working at Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel learned all about the Marvel Universe and how it fits into this exciting new hotel experience by interacting with a virtual guide that responds to verbal and visual cues to guide them through a fun series of challenges. By working together, Cast learn everything there is to know about this one-of-a-kind hotel and how best to accompany guests throughout their entire stay for an unforgettable visit.


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Disney Junior Dream Factory: Meet the show’s co-creator, Ludovic-Alexandre Vidal

To bring a show to life, it all starts with a great story that needs to be told. Ludovic-Alexandre, co-creator of this new production, tells us how he used his pen to bring dreams to life…

How did you become a writer for musical theater?

Nothing per se pre-destined me to work in the artistic world. I was trained as an engineer, with a doctorate from the École Centrale in Paris. A meeting with my close friend and composer Julien Salvia – with whom I have been writing musicals for 15 years now – changed everything. We started working together during our studies at Centrale, and when we left school, we decided to continue. We wrote The Prince and the Pauper, then Rapunzel and the Adventurous Prince, and The Little Match Girl (with Anthony Michineau), both nominated for Molières Awards. These were followed by The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Around the World in 80 Days, performed at The Mogador and also nominated for Molières Awards. We also worked on animated series and shows in England, and I adapted shows from English to French such as Sister Act, Cats and Beauty and the Beast, always at The Mogador.

How did you come to work for Disneyland Paris?

It was my childhood dream! My first contact with musicals was with the great Disney classics of the 1990s. I dreamt of joining this great family! Julien happened to be one of the performers in The Forest of Enchantment: A Disney Musical Adventure performed at The Chaparral Theater from 2016 to 2017. It was there that he met the show’s producer, Claire Salmon. At the time, our Tom Sawyer was playing at The Mogador, and that’s how she discovered our work. Things fell into place naturally with Claire, Aurélien Berda – who was also working on the project – and Paul Chychota, the director of Disney Junior Dream Factory. For a first experience at Disneyland Paris, it has been a dream experience! And as luck would have it, Julien was also picked as one of the performers for the show!

What is the story behind Disney Junior Dream Factory?

There is a place on Earth where dreams from all over the world are collected to transform them into magic that is then spread throughout the world: it is the Dream Factory. Our Guests will have the unique opportunity to discover this wonderful place. As the story progresses, they realize that of the six employees in the factory, three are natural dreamers – Rotor, Gasket and Stylus – and the other three have more difficulties dreaming. Axel and Spark will need Fancy Nancy and Vampirina to learn how to convey their dreams while Miss Mallet, the head of the factory, is so busy running it that she has forgotten to dream. Thanks to Timon and the whole team, she will learn to dream again, and the whole factory will start working again.

How did you go about writing the show?

We went through many phases and versions before deciding upon the final one. In our first meeting with Paul, we thought about the concept and how we would represent dreams on stage. What is a dream? How does the factory work? These are all questions we asked ourselves to determine the core of our story. We also thought about which characters would be present and about the songs from Disney Junior that would help tell our story. Then we collaborated with Matt Hoverman, one of the writers on the Fancy Nancy Clancy series. He knows Disney Junior inside and out, and he lent us his expertise on the storytelling of all these Characters. We also translated some of the songs and dialogue, while being very careful to make sure that our story was understandable beyond the words, through the Characters’ body language and movements.

How do the Disney Junior Characters fit into the story?

We invited the Characters who would be the best at helping the workers who are having trouble dreaming. For Axel, we really needed the help of Fancy Nancy Clancy. He doesn’t dare to speak up and is hardly noticed. Fancy Nancy Clancy is going to teach him to dare to be himself, to express his chic and flamboyant side, like her! As for Spark, she is passionate about music but prefers to hide in the locker room playing the guitar. With her “rock star” side, Vampirina was the perfect Character to help Spark assert herself and show her talent to the world. She’s been there, done that, and gone down that same road. As for Miss Mallet, she’s a bit stuck in her manager role. Nothing better than Timon to teach her to let go and finally discover herself.

Mickey and Minnie are also in the show.

When the Factory breaks down, our six employees are in a bit of a panic, and to help them, they will need the dream experts: Mickey and Minnie! They are the ones who will magically summon all of the Disney Junior Characters to help out.

Disney Junior Dream Factory is a show that speaks to children and adults alike. How did you find the right tone to engage the whole family?

First of all, we had to be faithful to Disney Junior, and that’s where Matt was essential because he knows all the details. It was necessary that the Guests who know and appreciate these Characters find them as they are in our show. We also accomplished this through humor, like Timon’s jokes. Rotor, Gasket and Stylus form a very funny trio because they are Characters with very distinct personalities. Rotor is the nervous one who is a bit afraid of everything, while Gasket is the natural dreamer who reassures everyone. This contrast generates funny situations.

In another realm, Miss Mallet has let herself be locked up in this bubble of daily work and has lost sight of the child inside herself. This theme will speak to another part of the audience.

This is the richness of the show that can be read on different levels. Guests can come simply to have fun and be amazed because this show is full of energy with dancing, singing, magic, humor – it doesn’t stop! You can go even further and find more wonder, messages and emotions.

Guests will be able to share a family experience, go through all kinds of emotions and connect to different key moments in the story.

Speaking of harmony, how do the songs fit into the show?

The music has an essential place, and the songs really service the story. Nothing was free and easy. There was an enormous amount of vocal work between the six performers who sing live in several voices. It’s like in our story – the harmony between our Characters is that each brings their own tone and personality to sing the same song together. The “live” aspect of the show brings an incredible amount of energy, and when you hear these six voices resonating together, it’s magical! I can’t thank enough the teams who prepared our performers. It’s beautiful to see and hear. To imagine it all on paper and to see it take shape is just phenomenal!

The script of Disney Junior Dream Factory also uses lots of accessories. How did you come up with them?

This was a really exciting aspect of creating the show. We talked about it from our very first meeting with Paul. We immediately asked ourselves how we would bring the dreams to life on stage and how this energy could be collected which had a direct impact on the sets and props. This is how we came up with the “dreamometer” which measures the dreams collected in the factory. There are all sorts of set elements, like the extraordinary transporter which allows people to teleport. And let’s not forget the slide! It was an obvious choice because it symbolizes the childhood that our natural dreamers have kept. This prop allowed for very original Character arrivals compared to what is usually done on theater stages.

French Sign Language is present in a particularly original way in the show.

Absolutely! Not only do we have a French Sign Language performer during the performances to welcome the public and help them follow the show better, but the show’s choreographer Pierre Caumon made sure that some of the dancers’ movements integrate the sign language. It’s beautiful and just perfect.

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Discovery, inspiration and immersion for young people from Sports dans la Ville association

As part of ongoing efforts to inform, motivate and inspire future generations, Disneyland Paris welcomed young people from the Sport dans la Ville association’s “Young Talent Summer Camp” program to discover various jobs in hotels, reception, sales and restaurants. They had the chance to meet employees of various nationalities working in a number of roles to discuss their international experience and practice their English.

Focus on Hotel jobs

On June 30th, 12 participants had the opportunity to learn more about the hotel field at the newly opened Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel. After a tour of the hotel guided by an Art Guardian, they met Cast Members from reception, concierge and room service, as well as the manager of the Downtown Restaurant, who explained their different roles. Two Cast Members who took part in the international exchange program at Walt Disney World Resort also shared their experiences. Discovering the jobs, exchanging ideas and advice allowed the participants to better understand the hotel business in an international environment. Sports dans la Ville program organizer Marie Normant  said “ As part of this Young Talents Summer Camp, young people discovered the environment and the jobs at Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel, meeting inspiring employees to imagine themselves in real international experiences.”

Discovery at the heart of Disneyland Park 

On July 7th, 18 participants from the same program were immersed in the magic of Disneyland Park and its jobs. For the program, they met Cast Members and discovered the hospitality jobs at City Hall and at Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast, as well as for restauration at the Plaza Garden Restaurant and finally of sales at the Emporium store! They also met Cast Members of various nationalities and exchanged with them in English.

After a morning of job immersion, they even had time to experience the park attractions themselves!

Disneyland Paris counts thousands Cast Members of 120 nationalities who exercise their talents in more than 500 different professions. Their role is key to create the unique experience that our guests enjoy every day in our parks and hotels. Creating moments of discovery and exchanging with younger generations to inspire and encourage them to pursue their professional projects is one of the company’s key commitments throughout the year.

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The Kraft Heinz Company is Now an Official Partner of Disneyland® Paris

Marne-la-Vallée (July 9, 2021) – Disneyland Paris has officially chosen The Kraft Heinz Company, with its unique Heinz portfolio of sauces, as its Official Condiments Partner across the entire resort, including its two Disney Parks, Disney Village and its Disney Hotels frequented by guests from across France and Europe. The much-loved iconic American brand Heinz, which celebrated its 150-year anniversary in 2019, will also develop, as the partnership progresses, exclusive and delicious recipes for Disneyland Paris in collaboration with the resort’s chefs, designed to complement its uniquely immersive themed dining experience. All condiments will be produced in Kraft Heinz’s manufacturing facilities in Europe, including the company’s French plant in Seclin. 

This marks a strategic partnership between two international leaders who embody excellence, quality and joy to create memorable moments for people across the globe, and underlines Disneyland Paris’s confidence in the value of a new dedicated condiment offering for its guests. It’s an innovative way to approach a 360° consumer experience, where food plays a vital role, and it is the first time ever Disneyland Paris has signed a partnership for condiments.  

“Disneyland Paris is committed to providing an exceptional Guest experience with magical memories that last a lifetime, and our dining experience is an integral part of that,” said Laure Albouy, Vice President Business Strategy & Integration for Disneyland Paris. “Created in 1869, the Heinz brand of condiments is a standard bearer that has stood the test of time. Offering the best products and service is how we deliver on our commitment to quality, and to that end, we are delighted to partner with The Kraft Heinz Company.”   

As the Official Condiment Partner, Heinz will also work with Disneyland Paris to develop surprising and creative marketing and communications campaigns throughout Europe. This unique association taking shape outside the resort is a wonderful opportunity to enhance these two beloved brands! 

We are delighted with this alliance, which demonstrates the confidence that Disneyland Paris has in us” said Jacques Pradels, Chief Sales Officer International for The Kraft Heinz Company. “This collaboration highlights the quality of our products. It’s representative of a transformative way of aligning forces with our customers to brilliantly activate in both food service and retail, delivering the maximum value for them for all occasions. Our purpose is to Make Life Delicious for all our stakeholders, and this is a clear example of how this can happen”.  

Halloween & Xmas at Disneyland Paris

Dreams, thrills and chills: Halloween and Christmas seasons return to Disneyland® Paris!

What better place than Disneyland® Paris to celebrate the end of the year together? Now more than ever we all need to dream, and what better way than with a spellbinding program full of surprises for the holidays, including the return of exclusive Halloween Night and New Year’s Eve parties!

Disney’s Halloween Festival, October 1 to November 7, 2021

Disney’s Halloween Festival promises some wicked fun when it returns on October 1. Disneyland Park will be decked out in seasonal décor to entertain Guests with a unique Halloween ambiance, among them pumpkins, colorful autumn garlands and friendly ghosts.

Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park will be full of Disney Villains like Maleficent, Captain Hook, Jafar and Cruella, as well as Disney Characters dressed in their most mischievous Halloween costumes.

This will be the perfect opportunity for Guests to discover – or rediscover – the resort’s most spellbinding attractions, be it the head-spinning fall on The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror or the mysterious journey filled with ghostly spirits in Phantom Manor.

Disney’s Halloween Festival has plenty more surprises in store! More details coming soon on disneylandparis.com.

This year also marks the return of the iconic Disney’s Halloween Party*! This unique evening at Disneyland Park on October 31 will feature a selection of attractions open late, plus many surprises and wickedly funny events concocted by Disney Villains… chills, thrills and fun guaranteed! Everything Guests need to know will soon be available on disneylandparis.com.

Tickets for Disney Halloween Party are already available for purchase! Tickets for Disney Halloween Night as an add-on to a package (including Hotel + Disney Parks Tickets) will be available soon.

Disney’s Enchanted Christmas, from November 13, 2021 to January 9, 2022

Guests can finally get together and celebrate the season, as Disneyland Paris wraps itself in the magic of Christmas starting November 13! Guests of all ages can dream once again and celebrate Christmas as it should be. At Disneyland Park, a thousand lightswill brighten the magnificent Christmas tree welcoming Guests as they arrive, and the illuminations on Main Street, U.S.A. will guide them to Sleeping Beauty Castle. The frosting on the cake? You might even see frosty snowflakes falling from the sky from time to time on Main Street, U.S.A.!

For this special and long-awaited Christmas, many iconic Disney Characters like Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Stitch – even Santa Claus himself – will be dressed in their finest holiday attire, enhancing this Winter’s magic in both Disney Parks.

All of the festive details for Disney’s Enchanted Christmas will be coming soon, with the promises surprises that will keep you dreaming!

And finally, to celebrate the coming of the New Year, Disneyland Paris will offer Guests an unforgettable New Year’s Eve Party*, a unique evening experience with plenty of Disney Characters, a selection of attractions, exceptional menus in restaurants at both Disney Parks and many surprises for a dreamy New Year’s Eve.

*Detailed program and opening of the ticket office for the New Year’s Eve Party will be available soon on disneylandparis.com.

Some experiences, shows or events will not be available or may be modified depending on the evolution of the health and safety measures and recommendations from public authorities. Guests can visit disneylandparis.com for the most recent updates All the events, shows, attractions and animations mentioned might also be modified, delayed, cancelled or closed without advance notice and they are subject of climatic conditions.

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Disney Junior Dream Factory: Meeting with Charles Saulais, Special Effects Entertainment Designer

Disney Junior Dream Factory, created exclusively for Disneyland Paris, is a show full of rhythm and fantasy where the special effects bring a unique touch of magic. Charles tells us more about this brand-new production and about his unique job.

Before we talk about Disney Junior Dream Factory, can you tell us about your career at Disneyland Paris?

I’ve always been passionate about the world of entertainment in general and special effects in particular. That’s what led me to join Disneyland Paris 19 years ago when Walt Disney Studios Park opened. I started as a Special Effects Technician on the Motors… Action! Stunt Show Spectacular. Gradually, I was given more and more complex tasks, and that’s how I became Special Effects Stage Manager, Assistant Special Effects Project Manager, and finally Special Effects Entertainment Designer in 2015. I have been working in the Support Technical Device Show division since 2017, always as a Special Effects Entertainment Designer. I have worked on many productions such as The Lion King: Rhythms of the Pride Lands, Frozen, Disney Stars on Parade, Season of the Force and other seasons like Christmas and Halloween.

Can you tell us about your job?

When I was a Technician, I was taking care of the projects that were given to me. Now, as a Designer, I have moved to the creative side. I have a special relationship with the productions and with the Directors. My role is to bring the Director’s vision to life and bring wonder to our Guests. We reveal emotions.

How did you approach this new stage and new show?

Studio D has been completely redone and now uses the latest technology. It was designed to be multi-functional which allows us to do a lot of new things. It’s an exciting new playground for us.

For Disney Junior Dream Factory, I had a long discussion with Paul Chychota, the Director. The main idea was to use the audience’s senses such as sight and smell as much as possible, to offer the most immersive experience. For example, with Paul, we wanted the audience to be immersed even before the show started. So, we looked for solutions on how we could make an ambiance fragrance for the theater, and we settled on a very unique “cotton candy” scent. We smelled dozens of them before making our choice. This one has notes of sugar and almond that fit perfectly with the spirit of the place. As soon as the public gets a small whiff of it, straight away, they’re drawn into our story.

How did you go about choosing the effects for the show?

We worked hard to find special effects that were truly immersive. For instance, the smoke bubbles that we see during Vampirina’s appearance are really incredible. When they explode, you have these magnificent spiral shaped forms that correspond perfectly to the character’s universe. The bubbles will surprise you throughout the show. You’ll even see Mickey’s head lit via the transparent bubbles. It’s really magical!

Each effect is directly linked to the story, put in the show for a reason. As a designer, I worked from the script and the discussions we had with Paul. He conveyed his ideas to me and then I tried to give them shape by proposing different effects. Once he chose the effects he wanted, we began the testing phase.

How do you manage that?

For pyrotechnic effects, we use software to preview the final rendering, but for other effects, nothing beats full-scale tests. For example, for the bubbles, one of the show’s magic moments, I really looked for something that you don’t usually see. It is indeed the first time that this effect is being used in a theater at Disneyland Paris. Once I found what I wanted, I made the installation and executed the effect for Paul – he was speechless. The research process can be quite long, but with testing, you know right away if it’s the right choice.

Did the show’s Characters inspire you to make certain effects?

When Paul presented me with the script for the show, he told me that Fancy Nancy Clancy would be there. I thought that was very original because you don’t often see her at Disney Parks. So, we had to find an idea to mark her arrival. He wanted a slightly chic effect, with color like in the series. I suggested we release confetti in the form of butterflies of all colors. In one of the first episodes of the show, Fancy Nancy says she’s a butterfly expert, and I thought that when she came on stage to sing and dance, she would be thrilled to be among her winged friends.

Smoke has a special role in this show.

We use smoke effects in different ways. On the one hand, interacting with the sets, especially with the machine where the Characters pop out. Our idea was to make it alive, to make it a real character. There is a lot going on around it and the smoke allows us to animate it, to give it life.

We also worked a lot on the light marking, the way the smoke prolongs the light and gives it a particular density. It was a real team effort. The lighting designer worked with Paul to develop the lighting identity for the show, and the ambient smoke enhances all these lighting effects. When you walk into a factory, there’s movement, animation on all sides. The smoke makes all these things palpable, even more real.

A true team effort!

Yes, the team has many experts in each field – audio, machinery, lighting, special effects. We work with a technical director who supervises the entire project, from the structures to the decoration, as well as with all the technicians who set up the various machines on stage.

How do you manage to stay on top of things, to constantly deliver new ideas for the shows at Disneyland Paris?

First of all, it’s a lot of research. I watch a lot of shows. I also keep a close eye on new technologies by going to trade shows and talking to companies and specialists. It’s a small world and everyone knows each other. That being said, a good special effects technician is above all a good handyman. For example, it’s not unusual to take an existing machine and totally change it from its original use to create an original effect such as a fan that could be used not to make wind, but to suck in air.

What does the Disney Junior Dream Factory represent for your career?

For me, this theater and this show represent a true renaissance. It’s one of the first steps in the upcoming expansion of Walt Disney Studios Park. I feel a tremendous amount of pride to be able to be a part of it. It’s a privilege to be able to do the job I do at Disneyland Paris and especially in this kind of venue. It’s a dream job, in an absolutely fabulous environment, with exceptional people. Disneyland Paris is my very own Dream Factory!

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Discover one of the world’s largest collections of Marvel art with Thomas Muller, Scenographe

After several years of transformation, Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel opened its doors on June 21. Thomas Muller, Scenographer for Walt Disney Imagineering Paris Design & Show Quality, tells us more about his role in opening Disney’s first ever hotel dedicated to Marvel art.

With more than 350 works of art on display in the common areas, Guests at Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel can now experience one of the largest collections of Marvel art available to the public. “We often talk about the number of pieces, but that’s not counting the ones in the guest rooms and suites, making a total of more than 1,500 Marvel-themed decorative elements throughout the hotel,” Thomas explains.

Thomas joined the Walt Disney Imagineering Paris teams in 2018 just before the hotel’s transformation began, becoming familiar with the plans and designs drawn up by Sylvie Massara, Art Director, Walt Disney Imagineering Paris Design & Show Quality. In collaboration with his fellow Imagineers in Glendale, California, Thomas was responsible for the development and installation of the hundreds of works of art that make Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel a unique experience, immersing Guests in the atmosphere of a New York City art gallery. “You have to think about it beforehand and know exactly where you are going to put this or that painting. After that, we identify the Super Hero we want to highlight and how the art will look in the environment where it’s displayed. Several artistic trends are represented: realism, comics, pop art and street art. In total, 110 artists specialists in Marvel art have contributed to the realization of the art pieces.

Among the most impressive is the gigantic backlit comic book in the lobby, the heart of the space. Designed by Spanish artist Carlos Gomez, it was conceived in black and white for traditional comic book style, and without text so all visitors can understand it regardless of their nationality.

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Also in the lobby, Guests can admire some of the most iconic Marvel Super Heroes, engraved on huge columns. “It took almost fifty hours to engrave one panel. It looks absolutely stunning in the light,” says Thomas. The hotel’s exterior is not to be outdone, as the sports field in the Hero Training Zone also features a huge work of art that can be seen in its entirety from the sky. In the Jack Kirby Legacy Gallery, Guests will discover a permanent exhibition of 21 comic book covers, which require careful study to find small hidden images. The space, named after the legendary “King of Comics,” was designed to accommodate temporary exhibitions as well.

To reinforce the feeling of being immersed in a New York City art gallery, Cast Members from the reception and concierge areas are trained on the various artistic trends represented. Guests can request guided tours at the reception desk – these ‘Art Guardians’ have plenty to share with Guests about the many works of art exhibited in the hotel.

The main challenge encountered during this transformation period was to completely reinvent the hotel from an already existing base and structure. “We had to stay true to the identity of the building while giving it a new energy and giving our Guests and Cast Members the impression that we are in a new place. I believe we were successful with this challenge!”