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The holidays are coming… The holidays are coming… Always the real thing.

Disneyland Paris in the usual non-particularly-forthwith way released the details of what we should expect for the upcoming Christmas season, building on the strength of last years spectacular christmas out lay, Christmas 2013 stands out as a beacon of quality on the Disneyland Paris Calendar.

To rewind for a moment though, just weeks before this recent announcement, the rumour mills were flying with details of Disneyland Paris being on an effective stop with The Walt Disney Company causing all future development to be completely ceased. There has been no comment from any of the Disney family of companies to the resultant of this claim.

To rewind further still, it was announced officially that The Walt Disney Company had paid off Disneyland Paris’ €1.3 billion debt. A move needed to remove the burden of the French banks on the flagging Disneyland Paris operation.

Christmas seems to be the first result of this renewed spirit and ushers in the days of collaborative efforts from the venture. Paris has had 20 years to do it their way, its now time the American park leaders step in and stop Paris from seeming like a blemish on their record, and as each day passes it becomes more apparent that Disneyland Paris is being mentored and helped by the American jewel of “Castle Parks”, the original Disneyland park.

Christmas this year in Paris hosts:
The Christmas Cavalcade – a brilliant short, energetic, bouncy parade that storms up the streets of Main Street, throwing snow, festive cheer and christmas spirit out in large volleys. Rumour here suggests we’re even going to see a refurbished Fantillusion float brought out in Christmas splendour (it’s worth noting, its unlikely to even resemble its former self).

– Disney Dreams! Christmas Special – a full new show using the Disney Dreams! technology and special effects to transport us to Disney’s latest upcoming film Frozen, to tell a unique story for the Christmas season only.

All new Christmas Tree and Lighting Show – a new, bigger, better, Christmas tree will take centre stage of Town Square, with a new and more interactive show.

Santa’s Village – a staple of preview years Christmas fun, a grotto and winter wonderland with treats and toys will be opened back up.

It doesn’t look cheap does it?

Paris is certainly putting on a larger spread for us to devour this year, especially the news of a new Dreams! show, that many of us did not quite expect to see, definitely larger than the guesses of extra scenes or a Christmas 5 minute tag at the end.

So how did they pay for it, or better yet, since Dreams was last updated about 7 months before, could they not have got away with just adding the usual Christmas lights?

Technically they could have “gotten away with it” but thats the spirit thats currently in change, now they can take their Europe leading show and lead further, give the local population a further reason to visit, after all the 20th will have just ended, now theres a reason to come straight back.

It also helps that over the pond in Anaheim, Steve Davidson’s other (slighty older) spectacularly bright night show “World of Color” just had its Christmas revamp announced. The content? Frozen.

Not a coincidence. As @FuseMP (Mark Peters) tells us on the latest episode of the Dedicated to DLP Podcast (Episode 19) the “Brave” scene from the latest version of Disney Dreams! is a content copy from the latest World of Color. This could very well have been the live test to see whether development costs for both shows could be reduced or even spread between the parks, and Christmas will be our opportunity to see the continuation of this program.

If you consider that Steve Davidson has his hands in multi-spectral of park projects, such as Walt Disney Worlds new parade, Disney Dreams!, World of Color, Tokyo Fantasmic, you can see this man being a mentor to the Disney Paris team from the doors of Disney’s success in Anaheim.

In another tangent of thought, Steve Davidson pioneered “Glow with the Show!” alongside World of Color, quickly integration on other shows like the Disneyland Fireworks, and Fantasmic were released. Speculation fully expected the Ears to migrate rapidly east to Orlando’s parks, after all with Wishes, Illuminations, Celebrate the Magic and Fantasmic all able to received easy integration, it was all set. Instead they jumped over the Floridian cash cow for the company and came to Paris next, the site of Davidson’s latest night child, Dreams!

Again if its in the crown jewel, and its on the other show that we’re content sharing with now, programming them all and having them work should be fairly simple. Sadly they changed the name to a little less descriptive of the function.

Take both seasonal updates, content sharing, and show additions such as Light’Ears/Glow with the Show, combine it with the changes in seasons from Disneyland Paris and the enhanced usage of Dreams! Tech in the Welsh, Irish, and French festivals it points to a VERY bright future Dreams!

I would bet that Dream’s becomes the staple for defining what season Disneyland Paris is in, what the current event is, and what the message the parks are trying to push, linked of course with the resorts new found mentor. After all Team Disney Anaheim saved the Californian Adventure Park, time to impart that knowledge on how we do the same for the Disney studios.

By the stats:

  • Parks: DLP = 2 / DLR = 2
  • Hotels: DLP = 7 / DLR = 3
  • Shopping: DLP = Disney Village / DLR = Downtown Disney
  • First park guests: DLP = 11m / DL = 16m
  • Second park guests (Pre-DCA Makeover): 4.8m / DCA = 6m

If they can take a 6 million guest park with a sister park of 16 million, they can certainly improve the better (ratio wise) Walt Disney Studios park with a sister park of 11 million guests.

I suspect from the news we have seen, the rumours that circle, and the facts that are evident, that ceasing all future development, was more a recalibration. A new master plan. 20 years in the future we should see a radically different and improved Disneyland Paris.

Even though the 20th anniversary is coming to a close, daily updates from @InsideDLP show constant maintenance improvements, many of those being long awaited, including a better arrangement at the entrance with new gates and esplanade, hotel refurbishment program and constant micro-daily-imrpovements.

Disney have fixed the finance problem so they can spend, they have fixed the night entertainment, they’ve added seasonality for repeat custom, they’re addressing maintenance, and now we can firmly believe they’re rebuilding the plan based on their current run away success story.

Ensuring that Disneyland Paris isn’t a sub-par resort, instead its always known as the real thing.

By Graeme Spence

Traveller of Disney Parks worldwide, with an absolute love for Disneyland Paris.

Contact: info@dlrpr.com

What do you think?