After twenty five years of turmoil, it feels kind of surreal to write about it but this is finally happening. Earlier this week, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that The Walt Disney Company will invest two billion euro in Disneyland Paris. The new development mainly includes an important transformation of the infamous Walt Disney Studios. Three major additions have been revealed in the statement: new Marvel, Frozen and Star Wars themed areas alongside new attractions and shows. To make this announcement even bigger, Bob Iger met French president Emmanuel Macron (not related in any way to first EuroDisney ambassador and favorite gay icon of mine Sabine Marcon). But you don’t get to have brunch with a country’s president even when you invest two billion just to announce it. They probably discussed lobbying stuff like tax cuts, land and how to facilitate Disney’s buyout of EuroDisney. But for your convenience I’ll focus here on what you truly care about: attractions.
As a part of Disneyland Paris 25th anniversary celebrations, Disney organized a very special event for a handful of lucky DLP long-time lovers: a guided tour of the park with the man who supervised its design: Walt Disney Imagineering legend Tony Baxter.
He’s the person you should thank for making Disneyland Paris’ castle so elaborate and romantic, with square trees and a fire breathing dragon underneath. The one who decided to put Big Thunder Mountain on an island because why not?! The man who made the most spectacular Disney castle park ever made, with dozens of highly detailed walkthrough attractions. The list goes on and on.
When you think about what makes Disney parks more special than most amusement parks, you probably think about the stories and characters you know and love, amazing architecture, the tasty treats and of course the countless shows and attractions.
But there’s something else that no other theme park takes as seriously as Disney: music and sound design. So seriously in fact that some soundtracks that Disney created especially for its rides have become standalone pop culture icons over times.
You wouldn’t have landed on this blog if you weren’t a total theme park nerd, so I’m not going to make a list of the most famous Disney park soundtracks. Phantom Manor, Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain, Soarin’ , Main Street Electrical Parade… you already have all of these in your music library anyway. Besides these A-listers there are so many unknown gems in Disney’s theme park music catalogue that are worth listening too. Here is a non-exhaustive list of my favorite lesser known Disney theme park tunes, whatever it’s been composed especially for the parks or it’s a playlist of non-Disney tracks crafted for an area or queue line.
November has just started. What does it mean? You’re already late on your Christmas shopping and you know it. But there’s worse: you haven’t given your family a list of all the glorious Disney park related stuff you need. And because you are a serious theme park nerd, how can your relatives know the super specific things you want under the Christmas tree, I mean really?
Don’t panic though, you just landed on the only page on the Internet that features everything you want – all you have to do is forward this blog post to your mom and tell her you need everything on it. She’ll dispatch every item to every person who owes you Christmas presents! Oh and if you happen to be that mom, welcome to our geeky community – I love your festive sweater Karen! Is it mohair or cashmere?
We’re just six months away from the 25th anniversary of Disneyland Paris. In the ever-tumultuous story of Disney’s European destination, this might mean a little more than a typical birthday celebration, but also, maybe, a turning point.
Last week, Disneyland Paris press service announced the programme of the festivities:
- Celebration will start on 26th March 2017
- A new daytime pradade called “Disney Stars on Parade“
- The much anticipated ride update “Star Tours: The Adventures Continue“
- A new revamp for a classic ride: “Star Wars: Hyperspace Mountain“
- A new show : Mickey Presents “Happy Anniversary Disneyland Paris“
- Another new show on the castle stage: “The Starlit Princess Waltz“
- A complete show update on the guest favorite Disney Dreams Nighttime Spectacular: “Disney Illuminations“
Photos: Disneyland Paris
For a detailed look at all these additions and the unprecedented way Disneyland Paris announced the programme, I encourage you to have a look at DLPToday’s comprehensive series that breaks everything down.
Over the years on the pages of this blog, I frequently complained about the lack of merchandise that I’d actually like to buy in theme parks. Shirts that I’d actually like to wear. Posters and art that I’d actually like to display at home.
Of course we can argue that it’s only a matter of personal taste. I completely agree. But in the meantime, too often I returned home with great memories of a fun day spent in wonderful theme parks, oh-so-ready to spend big bucks to bring something home from the countless gift shops but nothing in these oceans of merchandise items made me want to buy something. It’s not just frustrating for me: it’s also a missed opportunity for theme parks.