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"Disney DREAMS celebrates Christmas" is among the great new holiday treats that Disneyland Paris is serving up for Xmas 2013

"Disney DREAMS celebrates Christmas" is among the great new holiday treats that Disneyland Paris is serving up for Xmas 2013

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Jouyeux Noel a tous, Buon Natale a tutti and a Happy Christmas, everyone!

This past weekend, Disneyland Paris had a media event where members of the press got to preview many of the Resort's holiday offerings. And what with this theme park's new Christmas Cavalcade, a retooled parade, an entirely-new nightly tree lighting ceremony and the DISNEY-DREAMS-celebrates-Christmas castle show, there are all sorts of seasonal surprises be found under DLP's holiday tree this year.

Best of all, visitors to this popular tourist destination now have longer than ever to experience & enjoy Disney's Enchanted Christmas. For the 2013 holiday season at the Disneyland Paris Resort is now scheduled to run from November 10th through January 6, 2014

Photo by Andea Monti

Mind you, you're going to want to get to the Park early to make the most of the magic of Christmas at Disneyland Paris. For this year's holiday celebration kicks off in the morning with the Christmas Cavalcade. Calling this a.m. entertainment event a mini-parade would be wrong.

This holiday celebration actually kicks off in the morning with a retooled & improved Christmas Cavalcade. Calling this a mini-parade of sorts would be a mistake.

If in the past Disneyland Paris might have had a single float or train going up and down Main Street, U.S.A. during the holiday season, this year we get a full 4-float cavalcade with lots & lots & LOTS of dancing of elves, toys and gingerbread men capering in the street inbetween these Christmas-themed units.

Photo by Andrea Monti

As you might expect, this fun-filled, 15 minute-long holiday cavalcade is set to classic Xmas tunes like "Toyland," "Here Comes Santa Claus" and "Jingle Bells."  And don't worry if you miss the first presentation of Disneyland Paris' Christmas Cavalcade. For this movable holiday feast is presented daily at this theme park (Consult your entertainment guide for exact times).

What's that you say? You want more holiday magic? Well, that Christmas feeling continues as the afternoon parade rolls through Disneyland Paris. This parade now has a holiday feeling, not only because of the new, slightly Christmassy version of its "Magic Everywhere" soundtrack but also because of the inclusion of three brand-new Disney characters: Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf from Disney "Frozen."

The parade float that these four are riding on may look somewhat familiar to DLP fans, given that it was previously home to two Disney Princesses and their beaus (i.e., first Princess Jasmine & Aladdin, then Rapunzel & Flynn Rider). But with a little help from Disneyland Paris show producers Emanuel Lenormand & Cristophe Leclerq, this ice-covered unit now features a frozen hill. From which the Snow Queen herself as well as her sister Ann & good friend Kristoff now greet Guests along the parade route.

Photo by Andrea Monti

These two new additions alone should be enough to bring a holiday smile to even the Scrooge-iest  of DLP Guests. But what should really fill theme park visitors with Christmas cheer are the two new nighttime offerings that Disneyland Paris just introduced.

Your magic-of-the-holidays filled evening begins with everyone gathered around the brand-new Christmas tree that Katy Harris & her team created for this theme park. For 21 years now, Disneyland Paris has presented the exact same Christmas tree lighting ceremony that debuted back during the 1992 holiday season (i.e., the first year that this theme park was open for business). No longer. For 2013, Katy & her crew came up with a brand-new tree, a state-of-the-art lightning system and a brand-new lighting ceremony.

This lighting ceremony (which is know as "Magical Christmas Wishes" is an emotional journey filled with music, lights and wonder. Through the narration of Jiminy Cricket (which is in English) and Pinocchio (his lines are done in French), DLP guests get to feel & hear what it feels like to be a child again, as Pinocchio wishes for the gifts that Santa Claus will bring once this Christmas tree lights up.

Photo by Andrea Monti

And speaking of lighting up ... DLP's new Christmas tree features a unique light system built around LED balls twinkling lights which is synchronized  to a brand-new symphonic score which is sure to bring a tear to those who wish that they too could be "Home for the Holidays" in front of a beautifully decorated holiday tree.

 And as if this new light-and-sound show weren't enough, the emotional experience which is "Magical Christmas Wishes" is is then topped by having snow gently fall on the Guests below as the nightly lighting of this holiday tree draws to a close. Me personally, I thoroughly enjoyed "Magical Christmas Wishes" and expect that this new DLP holiday show will become a Xmas classic.

Now an improved Christmas Cavalcade, a retooled afternoon parade and a brand-new holiday tree lightning ceremony might be enough for another theme park. But not Disneyland Paris. Walt Disney Creative Entertainment saved its biggest & best present for last by taking DLP's "Disney DREAMS" nighttime show (which debuted as part of this resort's 20th anniversary celebration back in April of 2012) and then  making a 100% new show, "Disney DREAMS celebrates Christmas / Disney DREAMS fete Noel).

Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

Something few people may realize is that Steve Davidson (i.e. Disney Parks & Resorts'  VP of Parades & Spectaculars) has created two Christmas-themed shows for the 2013 holiday season: Disney California Adventure Park's "World of Color - Winter Dreams" " and Disneyland Paris' "Disney DREAMS celebrates Christmas." What's more, each of these holiday light shows are built around the exact same character -- Olaf, the snowman from Disney "Frozen." And while these nighttime shows may share some scenes, they each have their own identity & differences due to location and operational issues.

Both of these holiday shows share the same premise (i.e, Disney characters celebrating Christmas) and the same narrator (Olaf). But if the California version will be more fountain and character centric, Paris took the leap by taking the different languages & traditions of Europe and then integrating them into this show. Katy Harris worked in Paris hand-in-hand with Steve Davison and "Europe flavored" the scenes & ideas featured in "Disney DREAMS celebrates Christmas." As a direct result, creating a very unique and fun-filled 22 minute-long show.

The Paris team used Anna & Olaf from Disney "Frozen" as the French and English narrators of this after-dark Xmas show and then put together an amazing set of scenes which wittily combine digital projection, water fountains, lights and lasers. This celebration of Xmas starts out sweet & subtle with vintage Disney characters (Bambi, Classic Mickey and Minnie, 101 Dalmatians and many others) and eventually reaches WDAS' next big release.

Photo by Andrea Monti

What sets "Disney DREAMS celebrates Christmas" and literally makes the audience sing & cry with joy is the multilingual sing-along segment in various languages (which is interrupted by Olaf when this snowman stops the sing-along by proclaiming that he can't feel his legs). The second half of the show is a fun-filled rollercoaster loaded with songs, scenes and crazy fountains which  -- when these elements all come together -- celebrate the very essence of Christmas in European countries such as France, England, Germany, Spain and Italy.

This is where Katy Harris' team took the ball given to them by Steve Davison and started running in their own direction. Giving the already amazing show a show-stopping scene by first featuring Elsa singing "Let It Go" and then by gradually the Disneyland Paris castle into the Snow Queen's frozen one. Thus transforming "World of Color" 's little sister into its own very own unique show, one fit for the world's most beautiful theme park castle.

"Disney DREAMS celebrates Christmas" and DLP's new "Magical Christmas Wishes" tree lightning ceremony is exactly what this theme park needed. Two holiday-themed shows that have the same amount of heart that the original Disneyland Park's "Believe in Holiday Magic" fireworks show does. Here's hoping that visitors to Disneyland Paris are quick to embrace these nighttime Xmas presentations so that they can then entertain Guests for many Christmases yet to come.

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  • Hey Andrea - this looks absolutely magical. Have been deliberating over what to do this year with the kids and this looks magnificent.

    Thanks for sharing!

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