Special Report: Disneyland Paris 30th Anniversary Launch Weekend

After months of guessing and teasing here we finally are! We’ll take a look at the new shows, the gardens of wonder, merchandise, food and more. Let’s take a look!

“Dream… and Shine Brighter”

“Dream… and Shine Brighter” is the new #DisneylandParis30 daytime show performed 4 times a day in Central Plaza. Similar to other “hub shows”, the floats will travel up Main Street but you really want to be around or in the center of the hub to enjoy the 360 experience in the four remodeled stages.

The show welcomes Miguel for the first time in Paris, as well as a nice roster of “newer” characters like Joy, Nick and Judy on top of the VIPs in their anniversary outfits and some random choices like Genie, Alice and Mad Hatter. I wanna say marketing picked the most popular but Stitch is noticeably absent so who knows.

The show also sees the premiere of what we call “new looks” for Jessie and Woody. Note that the meet and greets have not been updated yet.

Four new/refurbished floats are used to create the show. Many on social media loved them, many hated them. All I can say is come see them for yourself. It’s definitely a new approach for Paris with a design that’s more modern and abstract than previous productions. They are simple and don’t look like anything in particular from the Disney franchises but they are colorful and see through, they shine in the sun, I enjoyed them.

The main song is a big strong point. “Ready for the Ride” is so catchy it should’ve been the main theme song. Once in the hub the show uses a fast paced medley of classic and newer songs, some related to the characters, some completely random (“under the sea” but nothing in the show relates to The Little Mermaid).

The show is a party all around you that brings a similar energy to the Pirates and Princesses festival. Unlike other hub shows however, it’s hard to tell if there is any type of story… friendship ? Fun? Party ? I am usually big on story lines but in the end it doesn’t matter too much and I quickly forget there isn’t much of one as everyone is having so much fun!

The production also featured a good number of dancers and here it’s all about inclusivity. The designers created a whole line of street wear and performers can pick what they like. The makeup is also open with each performer allowed to use as much or as little as they’d like, men or women alike.

The Guest Flow team also received new costumes (modeled by Raphael) and it was also the debut of the new gold and blue name tags !

The entertainment team was of course on hand all weekend checking out the production including David Duffy, Entertainment VP.

Resort President Natacha Rafalski was also in the parks for part of the weekend to check out the launch of the celebrations.

Catch “Dream… and Shine Brighter” 4x a day on the Parade Route until end of September. The show will go into a reduced “b-mode” during Halloween and Christmas then fully return in January.

“Disney D-Light” and “After Glow”

Each night before Disney Illuminations, the new “Disney D-Light” will pull on your heartstrings with 4 minutes of orchestral edits of the theme song, some lovely projection mapping (special mention for the neon castle) and BAM – the drones make an appearance at the end, framing the Castle with the 30 logo as the entirety of Central Plaza literally gasps. After all the hype, everyone expected D-Light to be the main event and it is really lovely, maybe a bit generic. However the REAL wow moment is yet to come..

Once you’ve endured Disney Illuminations (and after another awkwardly long gap of silence) you are rewarded with the true power of the drones. Central Plaza comes back to life with glowing pink light, dancing fountains and fluo projections to what must now be the 10th new version of the theme song – the dance edit – until the drones magically come back into action for some truly amazing 3D effects that leave the crowd first gasping, then baffled, then cheering, clapping, and dancing. What a finale for the celebrations.

I must say I was worried to see if Disneyland Paris could manage this whole drone idea and well – they did it Joe! In a moment that remind of Disney Dreams when the Resort was suddenly first to market with new technology, Disney D-Light and After Glow put the Resort back on the map as a top innovator in Disney Nighttime entertainment, even if the two sequences are only a few minutes each. We will certainly see this in other Resorts soon but hey – you saw here first, kids! Bravo.

Gardens of Wonder

I must say I also had my doubts about the gardens of wonder that took so so long to get setup but in the end, once the mobiles start moving, and once I saw them in person, I was convinced.

Don’t get me wrong – this is completely bunkers for a Disney Park. This highly – hiiiighyyy conceptual metallic design for Disney characters is something no one has dared to do before and it’s more an art installation than anything else. If any Disney Park was gonna try this out, it was for sure gonna be Paris. They have, and it will shock some, but well done for taking the risk because looking at Guests reactions, it paid off!

But wait – this feature also has a surprise. At night. A network of LED hidden behind the gardens, mixed with LED wash in the trees transform the gardens in a whimsical techno nature wonderland. A must see!

Decorations

Let’s get straight to it with Main Street Station! This week we saw the medallion turn for the first time but the real wow moment is when the sun comes down as the station comes to life with a whole series light effects! It’s a lot. But. It’s also really cool and fun!

The Town Square Gazebo gets the glow treatment with the same arrangement of light effects that cycle through the night. The roof overlay contains fiber optic and lights up periodically while the flame turns at the top. Not as big a fan as this one (the roof looks terrible during the day) but again – glowy and fun, so well done.

In the Resort Hub, some simple but efficient banner serve as decorations.

While at Walt Disney Studios, similar style banners have been installed in Toon Studio, and a (very nice) large banner on Studio 1. This is pretty much the extent of it for DLP30 in this Park.

Posters were also updated both in Fantasia Gardens and Guest Parking.

Merchandise

A selection of merchandise arrived at Flora’s on Thursday. It seems so far it is only part of the collection as not all the items were available. But the “big hits” were here: the Mickey flaming hand soap, spirit jersey, ears, T-shirts, dish ware, pins, and more. You can see the selection in our photos above – it seems so far that the shops are being restocked regularly so there is no risk of completely selling out- but time will tell.

All around Main Street, special DLP30 shop windows were setup. All marching the glowy pink / blue / purple / EARidescent theme. They’re okay!

The Mickey and Minnie ballons were updated, with a special EARidescent bow for Minnie!

A collection of open edition pins also launched of course , as well as a new lanyard.

The anniversary is also the occasion to launch some pretty awesome collectibles (exact date TBA) including metallic 1992 tickets, metallic plates and mini plush collection

Food

Ohhhhh food at Disneyland Paris. The plus side is that there are more Mickey themed things and variety of Instagram worthy designs. But on the other hand, the execution is very much still.. Paris.

To note in the big news items: the Mickey Ice Cream Bars (same idea but smaller than the Us and not made by Nestle), the Turkey Leg (available March 12 at Cafe de la Brousse), the NEW pineapple whip (same product as Dole Whip), Mickey shaped brioche sandwiches (pretty basic but at least original) and the mini Mickey waffles with whipped cream or Nutella – nice to see these back.

Cafe Hyperion is selling this €20 (Twenty Euros at Hyperion !) menu with a basic double patty burger and the anniversary mousse dessert. I would say just buy the dessert on its own.

Victoria’s also reopened after its lengthy refurbishment and features a celebratory menu with mini pastries , a “spectacular” milkshake and wine by the glass or bottle.

At the time of review not everything was immediately available so we will provide more update in our weekly recaps!

Media Event

This weekend we were also invited at the DLP30 media event to learn more about the creation of the celebrations.

As part of the press conference we got to meet Astrid Gomez, producer on “Dream… and Shine Brighter” and Ben Spalding, in charge of Disney D-Light and After Glow to learn more about these two productions.

It was also a chance to taste some of the food from the season, meet characters in special photo locations, and discuss the celebration with the management and creative teams. Thank you to the InsidEARS team for this fantastic opportunity.

And that’s our roundup of the Disneyland Paris 30th Anniversary Launch Weekend! While it may not be comparable in scale to the 25th, this celebration brings tons of fun and its share of novelty and innovations, from new characters to wacky gardens, glowy neon style decorations to the first Disney Parks drone show! The celebrations are now officially underway and will continue with this specific offering until the end of September. So come Dream… and Shine Brighter at Disneyland Paris!

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Actively involved in the Disneyland Paris Community since 2014, Ben is a founding member of DLPReport and focuses on our Twitter account, the Podcast in English and the group’s relationship with Disney.
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