How do we bring such an iconic season to life? While the Holiday season is in full swing, Jeanne Debost, the producer of Disney Enchanted Christmas, talks about her professional journey and shares with us her vision, values, and passion for an extraordinary profession.
First of all, could you please explain your role as a producer?
I play a central role in the preparation of the season, as I am in charge of bringing everything our artistic teams dream up to life while complying with clearly defined specifications. I make sure that all of the creative teams’ ideas are turned into reality in the most faithful way possible.
Obviously, I don’t do it all by myself – what I particularly love about this profession is that I can collaborate with many teams with incredibly diversified talents. They are the real experts! At Disneyland Paris, we have 16,000 Cast Members who work in 500 different professions. This gives you an idea of the number of different teams that may be brought to work on such a large-scale project! Costume makers, show directors, set designers, prop designers and technicians are among the many essential professions that contribute to bringing Disney Enchanted Christmas to life!
You have been producing Disney Enchanted Christmas for three years now. Have you faced any particular challenges?
Of course! Each season brings its share of challenges, which contribute to making this profession so fascinating and multifaceted. I had already worked on the Christmas season in the previous two years, but this year, I was for the first time in charge of Mickey’s Dazzling Christmas Parade, which was launched in 2021 by my colleague, producer Astrid Gomez. For this season, we improved the audio mix – which is the finishing touch of the soundtrack – so that our guests can enjoy the best sound experience possible, regardless of the spot they choose to watch the parade. This project gave me the opportunity to work with Dan Scott, the audio engineer that has been collaborating with our music producer Jonathan Barr for many years now. Dan is well known for creating this specific type of mix using unique technology. He adapts studio recordings for our Parks.
We are constantly looking to upgrade every season by offering new experiences. Thus, show director Emanuel Lenormand and I wanted to add a brand-new act to the Let’s Sing Christmas! show at Videopolis. To bring this idea to life, costuming teams have designed new dazzling accessories for Minnie, and I also collaborated with our set designer Olivier Dusautoir and decoration teams to deck our Parks with new ornaments.
Let’s talk about your professional journey. What did you study and how did you end up working at Disneyland Paris?
At the beginning of my studies, I majored in visual arts. Then, I specialized in performing arts – notably opera – and cultural policies, before applying for a position at Disneyland Paris.
I have both an artistic and technical background – not only do I love arts and music, but I am also passionate in all things related to the stage among other things. I’m interested in combining all these elements. In addition to working as a producer at Disneyland Paris, I also work as a show director and company director. I have mainly staged operas, and when I was younger, I even took opera singing lessons.
What values do you convey every day in your job?
I need to have a career that is meaningful both for me and for other people, and the Holiday season is all about celebrating values – it is a time to gather with family, share, take care of one another, create magical and festive memories, etc. Not only does this season reflect my own values but it also involves great responsibility during holiday season as our guests are more than ever looking for a day of magic.
In my job, it is also important to take the environmental aspect into account as Disneyland Paris is implementing energy-saving measures across the resort. Therefore, we also applied measures that help reduce our environmental footprint to our Disney Enchanted Christmas offerings. For example, 100% of the lights we use for the Christmas season are LED lights.
I have always been committed to promoting access to culture for people with disabilities. To this end, I collaborated with the Culture H non-profit organization to raise awareness our teams on how to host people who may not be able to participate fully in entertaining activities due to their disabilities. Thus, we had the opportunity to welcome a group of children with cognitive disabilities as part of an event organized by our CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) teams. During this event, they discovered the Let’s Sing Christmas! show from a different angle, as they took part in various workshops. Not only did they get to see the show, but they also had the opportunity to listen to music, touch costumes, meet with the teams and even dance!
Enjoy our Disney Enchanted Christmas season until January 8th at Disneyland Paris. Discover all the experiences this season has to offer by clicking here.